Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Why Anti-War Libertarians Should Join Greens in Boycotting and Divesting from Nuclear Weapons

It probably won't do all that much good, given that there don't seem to be all that many libertarians who anti-war enough to do anything to help and are still alive, but I published an article trying to persuade them to boycott and divest from nuclear weapons here.

These are the references:

  1. Kristensen, Hans, and Robert Norris. “Status of World Nuclear Forces.” Federation of American Scientists. (accessed April 5, 2017).
  2. ICAN. “Nuclear Arsenals.” International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). (accessed April 5, 2017).
  3. Choi, Charles. “'Small' Nuclear War Could Trigger Catastrophic Cooling.” Live Science, March 26, 2014. (accessed April 5, 2017).
  4. Germanos, Andrea. “Nuclear War Could Mean 'Extinction of the Human Race: New report issues 'red flag about the threat to humanity' posed by nuclear weapons; calls for global disarmament.'” Common Dreams, December 10, 2013. (accessed April 6, 2017) "'With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible —not certain, but possible—extinction of the human race,' Helfand told Agence-France Presse.”
  5. Mills, Michael, Owen Toon, Julia Lee-Taylor, and Alan Robock. “Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict.” Earth's Future 4, no. 2 (2014). doi:10.1002/2013EF000205. (accessed April 5, 2017).
  6. Stahl, Lesley et al. Who's minding the nukes?” CBS News, 2014. (accessed April 6, 2017). “The warhead on each of these land-based missiles is 20 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and could kill millions if dropped on a major city. The Air Force still keeps nearly all 450 of them on constant alert, ready to go.
  7. Waging Nonviolence: People-Powered News & Analysis. (accessed April 6, 2017).
  8. Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 6, 2017).
  9. Chenoweth, Erica, and Stephan, Maria. "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict." Columbia University Press, August 2011. (accessed March 22, 2017).
  10. Lakey, George. "The more violence, the less revolution." Waging Nonviolence, March 6, 2012. (accessed March 22, 2017).
  11. McHenry, Keith, and Chaze Bufe. "You Can't Blow Up A Social Relationship.” In The Anarchist Cookbook. (accessed April 6, 2017).
  12. Tolstoy, Leo. “Chapter VIII.” In The Kingdom of God is Within You. (accessed April 6, 2017).
  13. Rothbard, Murray. “The Anti-War Movement.” In The Complete Libertarian Forum 1969–1984. Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012. (accessed April 7, 2017).
  14. Nuclear Weapon Producers.” Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 6, 2017).
  15. "Who invests?” Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  16. "United States: 226 Financial Institutions made an estimated USD$ 344 billion available to 27 nuclear weapon producing companies since January 2013." Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  17. “Don't Bank on Bomb: A Global Report on the Financing of Nuclear Weapons Producers.” Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  18. "The Co-operative Bank.” Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  19. "Banca Etica.” Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  20. "2016 Hall of Fame.” Don't Bank on the Bomb. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  21. Hess, Karl. “Letter From Washington.” In The Complete Libertarian Forum 1969–1984. Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  22. Thoreau, Henry David. "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.” The Gutenberg Project. (accessed April 7, 2017). “Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe—'That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.” “Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man's real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death. I see this blood flowing now.”
  23. King, Martin Luther. “Chapter 2: Morehouse College.” In The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Internet Archive Wayback Machine. (accessed April 7, 2017). “During my student days I read Henry David Thoreau's essay 'On Civil Disobedience' for the first time. Here, in this courageous New Englander's refusal to pay his taxes and his choice of jail rather than support a war that would spread slavery's territory into Mexico, I made my first contact with the theory of nonviolent resistance. Fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system, I was so deeply moved that I reread the work several times.”
  24. Epictetus. Written down by Arrian. "Book 1, Chapter 1." Discourses. The Internet Classics Archive. (accessed January 15, 2017). “What then should a man have in readiness in such circumstances? What else than 'What is mine, and what is not mine; and permitted to me, and what is not permitted to me.' I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment? 'Tell me the secret which you possess.' I will not, for this is in my power. 'But I will put you in chains.' Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg, but my will not even Zeus himself can overpower. 'I will throw you into prison.' My poor body, you mean. 'I will cut your head off.' When, then, have I told you that my head alone cannot be cut off? These are the things which philosophers should meditate on, which they should write daily, in which they should exercise themselves.”
  25. "Live From Standing Rock (12/11/2016) Chase Iron Eyes & Water Protectors.” Youtube, February 18, 2017. (accessed April 7, 2017). ~5:15-9:32.
  26. Fox, Josh. “Filmmaker Josh Fox witnessed activists getting injured at Standing Rock — and the sheriff's dept. is lying about it.” Facebook/NowThis, December 10, 2016. (accessed February 2, 2017). “They shot my colleague, Erin Schrode, in the back, with a rubber bullet, in the middle of an interview. I witnessed it. […] They completely denied that this happened. […] They used water cannons in 20 degree weather against peaceful protectors, causing instant hypothermia. They also denied that this happened, even though it's on tape. […] They hurled a concussion grenade at an unarmed protector, Sophia Wilansky, completely obliterating her arm. The Morton County Sheriff's Department completely denies having done this. […] The rubber bullets and the concussion grenades have been recovered. They didn't just fall out of the sky, they came from the police force. When the police are blatantly lying, they're no longer the police. And they're certainly not a credible source of information.”
  27. Ross, Alexander R. "Algeria: fracking and the Ain Salah uprising." Ecologist, March 14, 2015. (accessed January 16, 2017). “Protestors reacted to the oppressive measures by rallying at the Gendarme station, and police responded with large quantities of tear gas and rubber bullets. The police violence persisted into Resistance Square, where the rally site was destroyed and tents burned, and over the next few days, hundreds of people were arrested and numerous injuries incurred among the mostly-peaceful protestors.”
  28. "400 DAPL protesters ‘trapped on bridge’ as police fire tear gas, water cannon (VIDEO).” RT, November 2016. (accessed April 7, 2017).
  29. "Police shoot rubber bullets at Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.” RT, November 2016. (accessed April 7, 2017).
  30. Schrode, Erin. “WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO. Speechless. I was shot by militarized police WHILE interviewing a peaceful man at Standing Rock live on camera. [...]” Facebook, November 3, 2016. (accessed February 2, 2017).
  31. Digital Smoke Signals. “Arial view of water cannon spraying and other actions.” Facebook, November 20, 2016. (accessed February 3, 2017).
  32. Unicorn Riot. “Police Tear Gas #NoDAPL Water Protectors.” Facebook, November 20, 2016. (accessed February 3, 2017).
  33. Unicorn Riot. "Police Attack Unarmed Water Protectors w/ Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas, and Water Cannons; 300+ injured.” Unicorn Riot, November 21, 2016. (accessed February 3, 2017).
  34. Haze, Meko and Kevin Gilbertt. “Collection of Kevin Gilbertt’s livestream from Standing Rock.” The Daily Haze, November 20, 2016. (accessed February 17, 2017).
  35. Stelloh, Tim et al. “Dakota Pipeline: Protesters Soaked With Water in Freezing Temperatures.” NBC News, November 21, 2016. (accessed February 20, 2017).
  36. "Deadly Environment: A rising death toll on our environmental frontiers is escaping international attention.” Global Witness, April 15, 2014. (accessed April 7, 2017).
  37. "On Dangerous Ground." Global Witness, June 20, 2016. (accessed January 16, 2017).
  38. Aesop. “The Wolf and The Crane.” Fables of Aesop. (accessed April 7, 2017). “In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.”
  39. Rothbard, Murray. "Libertarians in a State-Run World.” Mises Daily Articles. (accessed April 7, 2017). “Surely there are no moral systems that require people to be martyrs.”
  40. Rothbard, Murray. The Ethics of Liberty. 1982. Reprint, Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2016. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  41. Childs, R.A. Jr. "Review of Hospers' Libertarianism." In The Complete Libertarian Forum 1969–1984. Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012. (accessed April 4, 2017).
  42. Rothbard, Murray. For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto. 1973. Reprint, Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2006. (accessed April 4, 2017).

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The brutal efficiency of slavery

The articles this in in reply to are here and here. These were linked to me during a blog discussion which can be found here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Solar panels for peace! Wind mills for peace!

Reposting two comments I left on a Juice Media youtube video about #NoDAPL. In summary, I was replying one person was concerned about the affordability of going green, and another person concerned that the "liberals" would invade more countries in the Middle East. Edited for formatting, but you can go see the original conversations here if you like. I put this on Medium as well.

"A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step." -- Lao Tzu

It would seem that switching to green electricity -- wind, solar, etc. -- would come before worrying about the cars, as a matter of practicality. Switching to electric cars while the electricity is still made from fossil fuels and nuclear fission seems unlikely to accomplish much. (Please note that natural gas is indeed a fossil fuel and not green, in spite of being falsely marketed as such sometimes -- see Josh Fox's Gasland and Gasland 2 for details. That is, unless they are talking about gas from plant matter, but normally that is referred to as "biogas" to avoid confusion.) SolarCity, Sungevity, others, offer deals where where they front the cost of the solar panels and let you buy the electricity -- and the solar panels too, over time -- for more or less the price you are paying now (often less), and without the risk of the price increasing over time as it might with your electric utility. 

If you're a hands-on type person, and can afford a small up-front investment, it's also possible to make solar panels.

It's also possible you might get more bang for your buck installing a solar water heater before solar panels.

Micro wind might be a good option for some people.

If you don't own your roof, or if you can't install enough solar panels up there to cover your electric use, another option is to purchase green electricity via your utility, which generally doesn't cost that much more than your current prices. Conservation measures, even little things like unplugging appliances that are not in use, can help counteract that by bringing your prices down. If you live in the United States, there's a lot of information here, for Australians here, for those in the UK here, and an example of one Canadian green electricity provider here.

So far as your car goes, there aren't really any options for going green on that which are affordable to those who cannot afford a substantial up-front investment. Otherwise, the most you could probably do (without giving up your lifestyle) would be to buy solar or wind offsets from time to time, maybe just $40 or so at a time, and perhaps switch to walking or biking for short-distance trips. Buying offsets is also a good option for people who do not pay separately for their electricity, or whose utility does not offer an option to buy green electricity instead. Indeed, many of the programs through utilities are offsets anyway, unless they specifically say you are buying local green electricity. In the long run, fuel cell vehicles will probably be better than electric ones. In any case, Sterling Planet and the New England Wind Fund are two options in the United States for wind offsets.

Ultimately, though, the water protectors are not accountable to the affordability of electricity and gasoline, but rather, to their own well being, and to the well being of the millions of people who depends on that river for water. They need not willingly sacrifice the water supply for millions of people just so that some other people can have cheap electricity and gasoline.

If you want to avoid wars for oil and other fossil fuels everywhere, against Middle Eastern countries, against indigenous nations here on Turtle Island (what you call North America), and against anyone else, the answers are solar, wind, and other renewables. The cause of avoiding war in the Middle East does not justify war against American Indians any more than the cause of avoiding war against American Indians justifies war in the Middle East. Solar panels for peace! Wind mills for peace!

Also, not that it's news or anything, but if by "liberals" you mean "Democrats", the Democrat party has always been at best a fake green party -- to point to an obvious examples, bombing other countries is not green. True, a few green politicians may have infiltrated the Democrat party, and some greens may vote for them for "lesser evil" reasons, but the Democrat party as a whole are fake greens, not real ones. So it should come as no surprise that the Democrat party doesn't care about #NoDAPL either. Warmongers abroad, warmongers at home.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What are the police doing that they won't even let NBC see what's happening?

NBC asked Kevin Gilbertt if he knew any eyes and ears on the ground at Standing Rock because apparently their reporters were banned from entering.

NBC is mainstream media -- if they don't even what NBC to see this, what in God's name is going on there?

We already heard Eric Poemz crying out, "It hurts! Y'all broke my hip!" towards the end of this video. Unicorn Riot published a picture of the incident.

Much love to our brothers and sisters on Sioux treaty land right now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Reply To Robert P. Murphy On Clean Air

The actual letter is published here, but since actual lists of references (as opposed to inline links) are apparently against editorial policy, and some of the references are offline, plus a references list gives me the chance to direct you to particular chapters, pages, or segments, here is the references list.


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Saturday, February 4, 2017

On the risks of homelessnes and the risks of being housed, and "society's" responsibility on the matter.

Repost of something I wrote on Medium. You can read the comment I am replying to here, but this is fairly generic and could've been a reply to more or less anyone questioning other peoples' choices regarding homelessness.


You seem to be operating under the premise that being homeless is always risking “greater insecurity” and “suffering the indignities and physical risk associated with homelessness”. You leave out the risks of being housed. While the risks of being housed vary from person to person, they can potentially include being beaten, being raped, being physically tormented in other ways, being poisoned, being locked in a basement, being chained or handcuffed, and being killed— often in private, where there are no witnesses (although for references, I chose a number of examples that actually were published in the news, although such attention is really the exception rather than the rule).(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22)(23)(24) A lot of people feel safer in a public area like a tent city where there are others around to intervene if things get out of hand, or in a place cheap enough that they can afford it on their own like a self-storage that they don’t have to share with anyone potentially violent, or else just finding hiding spots and being able to sleep in different places/run away more easily.

Yes, being homeless is dangerous too, but all risk is relative, and sorting out the risks is for each person to decide for themselves. If a person feels physically safer or happier or even just financially more secure being homeless than not being homeless, who are you to tell them whether or not that choice is in their best interest, in the short run or the long run?

I don’t know about homeless students specifically, but an estimated 44% of homeless people actually do work.(25) Personally, I suspect that number is a vast underestimate because a) those who are not certain that their work is legal or are sure it isn’t (consider sub-minimum-wage jobs, some that pay only in food, self-employment without the appropriate licenses, unreported bartering, etc.) are likely to report as unemployed, and b) the employed homeless are likely to be better at hiding and thus less likely to be interviewed to begin with.

So, many of the homeless students likely do some sort of work, and even if they don’t, it’s not as if re-prioritizing would be any guarantee of being able to afford a home. If they feel their long-term chances are better with a college degree, they might be right.

Society’s responsibilities? At the very minimum, “society”, for some definition of “society”, is responsible for normalizing violence against the homeless by criminalizing homelessness.(26) In Brazil and some other countries it’s common to just kill homeless people.(27)(28)(29) Violence against the homeless at the hands of police and other authorities leads to even more violence as it causes people in domestic violence and other dangerous situations to be less likely to leave (for fear of what the police and others will do to them if they do) and also causes existing homeless people to be far less likely to report violence committed against them because of lack of trust in police (many homeless will not report even rape, for example). And thus, thanks in part to “society”, violence is rampant and normalized. You yourself suggest “medical intervention” which is vague, but immediately calls to mind forced institutionalization and forced drugging. 

“Failure” to self identify? More like success at keeping a secret that could well endanger a person if entrusted to the wrong individuals.

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