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Month: April 2018

The Military-Tech-CIA Complex: Google Employees Protest

According to the New York Times,

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes.

The letter, which is circulating inside Google and has garnered more than 3,100 signatures, reflects a culture clash between Silicon Valley and the federal government that is likely to intensify as cutting-edge artificial intelligence is increasingly employed for military purposes.

(Read the text of the letter.)

“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” says the letter, addressed to Sundar Pichai, the company’s chief executive. It asks that Google pull out of Project Maven, a Pentagon pilot program, and announce a policy that it will not “ever build warfare technology.”

Yasha Levine writes, “It’s great that Google employees are protesting their company’s Pentagon AI drone research, but that’s hardly the only work Google does for militaries and law enforcement. What about Google’s work with predictive policing contractors? What about the NSA?” and links to this blog about Google’s history of helping the warmongers in Washington.

John Vibes of the Free Thought Project writes that Google CEO Eric Schmidt and VP Milo Medin are members of the “Defense (sic) Innovation Advisory Board” for the Pentacon, and other members also include the evil “Internet-infiltrator” guy Cass Sunstein, and Jeff Bezos. So not just Google but Amazon too? We already knew that Amazon was helping the CIA in its evil misdeeds.

The Military-Tech-CIA-Complex is alive and well. So while it’s good that Google employees are protesting, they will do what their superiors tell them to do, and that is helping military and CIA to continue provoking foreigners retaliation to justify further ballooning CIA and military budgets (as we have just seen recently with Trump’s budget).

More Comments on “Turn Off Your Ad Blocker!”

I recently wrote a brief post on the websites asking me to turn off my ad blocker. Forbes and Business Insider are two of them. No, I will NOT turn of my ad blocker. Why do you think I have an ad blocker? It’s because I don’t want to see those ads with the flabby fatsos and the couples having sex and the deformed and disfigured people with terrible skin rashes and other abnormalities. Sorry about that.

And further, some of these Internet advertisers put spyware cookies on people’s browsers, tracking cookies, etc. And in some cases, malware. I learned that the hard way back in 2005, and since then I’ve been very cautious with these things. More recently, on one website I read, some of its advertisers were loading their ads and were making the page take too long to load. I could see in the lower left what they were, and after doing some research, I saw that some of those ad websites were flagged for their spyware. So I put those ad websites into the “cookie exceptions” list to block them and prevent them from placing cookies on my browser. Yes, for me it’s beyond just using an ad blocker.

And more recently, I saw that the Daily Caller is joining in their telling me to turn off my ad blocker. (Well now I see that at least they have an option to “continue without whitelisting Daily Caller” or something like that. I don’t think that was there before.)

So, if I can’t read your website without turning off my ad blocker, then I obviously won’t link to any of your articles. Yes, I know these websites are “ad-driven,” but I never click on website ads and have never actually made a purchase from clicking on an ad. At least, I don’t think I have. Each one of us is different. And I think that the Internet is more individualistic. Each one of us has one’s own desired settings and personal preferences.

Now, do these website people think that my having an ad blocker prevents other people from seeing the ads? Is that what the “Turn off your ad blocker” people think? Nope. My having an ad blocker only prevents MY browser from showing your stupid, disgusting ads, so that only I don’t see them. Other people viewing your website can see your ads. Am I the only one who understands this?

For some reason, Tom Knapp seems to think that I as a website visitor have some obligation to view disgusting ads if I want to see that website. Commenter Paul says that Knapp might be referring to some kind of implicit contract that doesn’t exist. And no, the website’s CPU resources or bandwidth is not the responsibility of those visitors to that website. If you want to make that the case, then the website needs to charge visitors for merely visiting the website. No, it’s the responsibility of the people running the website. Am I wrong?

Anyway, I’m going to continue using my ad blocker because I don’t like seeing annoying, disgusting, intrusive ads. I HATE them! If a website demands that I turn off the ad blocker, then I guess I won’t go to that website and see anything on that website, and I obviously won’t link to any of their articles.

Mid-Term Elections, 2018: Continuing the Rearranging of Deck Chairs

It’s another mid-term election year, and Republicans have their hopes up, as though the new GOPers elected will stick to principles of free markets and small government. In 2010 many Tea Party Republicans were elected, in response to ObamaCare having been passed earlier that year, and in 2014 more Tea Partiers were elected. There is still a Republican majority in Congress and we currently have a Republican President. However, just as during the 2000s when there were Republican President and a Republican Congress, all we have now is continued statism, continued warmongering and welfare-warfare statism, spending like drunken sailors and increasing debt, and it’s not going to get better, it will only get worse. Just look at the recent budget that was passed, that Trump said he would never sign another one like that again. (Heh.)

So, here is an article I wrote in March 2010 regarding the 2010 elections. Maybe it can help people to understand things better, and get people to not be so unrealistic with these elections. The U.S. can follow the lead of Brexit in the EU’s dismantling. We can do it. Decentralization is an important way to restore freedom and prosperity, combined with nullification and “civil disobedience.”

In this reposting of this 2010 article, I had to get better links for some that didn’t work or in which the linked website changed to different pages but weren’t properly formatted such as in saving block quotes.

November, 2010: More Rearranging of Deck Chairs (On LewRockwell.com, March 22, 2010)

March 22, 2010

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” which refers to making futile changes to a failing situation. This November’s elections will be such a case of rearranging the deck chairs on Titanic America, because the real problem that needs to be addressed is systemic, and serious systemic changes need to be made.

There will be those who will say, “No, no, don’t say that, we have a chance to win back both the House and the Senate this November!” But these are times that call for a dose of reality. Unfortunately, many people involved with the Tea Party movement seem to have the misguided notion that the Founders’ structure of the federal government is adequate, but that the people in Washington just need to be replaced. However, the Founders’ forming a federal government with centralized power and authority and a compulsory territorial monopoly has been shown to be an immense error. Inherent in such a structure is the violation of property and individuals’ rights to life and liberty, hence America’s steady moral decay over the last century. And inherent in federalism is the violation of state independence and sovereignty.

The elections of 1980, 1994 and 2000 did not reverse Big Government. When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, the “conservative” president not only didn’t cut entire cabinet-level departments as promised, he added three new cabinet-level departments. After cutting taxes, a year later Reagan signed what was then to be America’s biggest tax increase. Reagan also signed one deficit-laden budget after another, and during Reagan’s presidency, the National Debt skyrocketed along with all the regulations and bureaucracy he promised to cut.

Following the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” the federal government continued to grow out of control, and, after 2000, the younger President George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” – i.e. more socialist redistribution of wealth schemes – and expanding the military industrial complex only fed Leviathan much more.

As economist Murray Rothbard noted,

…first, left-liberals, in power, make a Great Leap Forward toward collectivism; then, when, in the course of the political cycle, four or eight years later, conservatives come to power, they of course are horrified at the very idea of repealing anything; they simply slow down the rate of growth of statism, consolidating the previous gains of the Left, and providing a bit of R&R for the next liberal Great Leap Forward….

Rothbard and economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe have written extensively on these issues. In his book, Democracy: The God That Failed, Hoppe explains how democratic governments have contributed a great deal to reversing the process of civilization. The real achievements of democracy have been the empowering of some people to legally extract private wealth and property from others, and empowering the political class to use coercion and brute force against others to achieve certain goals.

At the heart of the problem are the temporary nature of democracy and the exploitative nature of a system of compulsion and monopoly. Economically, according to Hoppe, unlike in a monarchy in which the king owns the country’s territory and has a long-term interest in its capital value, in democracies the ruler is a “temporary caretaker,” and

a temporary and interchangeable democratic caretaker does not own the country, but as long as he is in office he is permitted to use it to his advantage. He owns its current use but not its capital stock. This does not eliminate exploitation. Instead, it makes exploitation shortsighted (present-oriented) and uncalculated, i.e., carried out without regard for the value of the capital stock.

Hoppe expands on those ideas:

…a private government owner (a monarch) will want to avoid exploiting his subjects so heavily, for instance, as to reduce his future earnings potential to such an extent that the present value of his estate actually falls. Instead, in order to preserve or possibly even enhance the value of his personal property, he will systematically restrain himself in his exploitation policies…. In distinct contrast… public government ownership will result in continual capital consumption. Instead of maintaining or even enhancing the value of the government estate, as a private owner would tend to do, a government’s temporary caretaker will quickly use up as much of the government resources as possible….

Therefore, a distinct characteristic of government, or “public sector,” activity is lack of incentive and ability in long-range planning, and, because “societal planning” cannot take individual market factors into account, economic calculations are impossible. In the public sector, political calculations are necessary.

For example, in 1990, just after a war initiated by Russia against Afghanistan, and seeing how the people of a territory did not like being invaded and thus the underdog Afghans put up a good fight against the mighty Russians, one might think that then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush would foresee that his invading Iraq (a country that did not attack the U.S.) would have negative long-term consequences for the U.S. But Bush took U.S. forces into Iraq, and increased forces in surrounding foreign lands, at America’s long-term expense. Bush’s son, the younger President George Bush followed in his dad’s footsteps.

Without regard to America’s capital value and actual long-term economic interests, politicians have acted largely on self-interest and short-term exploitation of the system of democratic governance.

Moreover, because of corporate-statism, America has also experienced such short-sightedness and parasitic consumption among America’s business sector. One example of that is the federal government’s October 2008 Wall Street Bailout, which further discouraged long-range planning and productivity of the nation’s most powerful financial institutions.

America is now suffering great economic turmoil while rewarding the short-term, immediate gratification of the Wall Street fat cats. As a major contributor of pervading societal moral decay, the Wall Street Bailout has been an example of activist government redistribution programs that discourage saving, investing, long-range planning and responsibility.

Over generations of electoral rearranging of deck chairs and further expansion of government’s size and power, America has experienced a decline in personal responsibility and traditional values. As a consequence of Social Security, families’ responsibility for the care of their elder members is transferred to anonymous neighbors. President Obama’s threatened government takeover of the entire medical system will make FDR’s New Deal pale in comparison.

Thus, America’s structure of government’s territorial monopoly and legislative rule has turned society from one of natural laws guarding individual rights to one of man-made laws that have allowed citizens to covet others’ wealth and property, and has enabled politicians to rise to the top with proficiency in rhetoric but no abilities in producing anything of actual value to others.

The 2010 delusion of correcting government’s mistakes has already begun with Scott Brown’s recent election to the United States Senate. After having voted for socialized health care and fascist insurance mandates in Massachusetts, and opposing cutting the state income tax, Brown was falsely promoted as a conservative Tea Party candidate. And already the Tea Party movement itself, supposedly one promoting independence and limited government, is being pulled into a life of dependence on the GOP, a party glued to the false security of dependence on centralized Big Government’s monopoly of territorial protection. As author James Bovard observed,

We now have the Battered Citizen Syndrome: the more debacles, the more voters cling to faith in their rulers…. The greater the government’s failure to protect, the greater the subsequent mass fear – and the easier it becomes to subjugate the populace.

One way to prevent a huge societal disaster is by decentralizing, the dismantling of the federal government and letting the states have their independence and sovereignty back.

The total destruction of the United States of America will have been wrought by the U.S. federal government. Instead of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic with more electoral changes, the way to save America will be by decentralization and a return to the sanctity of private property rights, freedom of association and contract, and totally unrestricted free trade and commerce.

***

Addendum: Regarding the last paragraph, I am not as concerned with “saving America” as I am with saving our freedom. Freedom First.

Some Thoughts for Today

As I have pointed out here several times now, Jacob Hornberger asks why the anti-gun students protesting don’t protest the U.S. military and CIA and otherwise U.S. government with decades of shooting, bombing and murdering the many thousands of innocents abroad. I think it’s because the students are in part traumatized by these school shootings, and also they are brainwashed by their elders in the government schools to have the George Sorros-funded and promulgated leftist views that they have.

And I’m not a particularly big fan of Laura Ingraham, but now we have all those companies withdrawing their ads from her TV show, just because she tweeted a little teasing of the 17-year-old anti-gun activist David Camera-Hogg (as Rush Limbaugh calls him). She called him “whiny.” (Oh, grow up! as Joan Rivers would say.) Some people on a talk radio show this morning were saying, “He’s 17, leave him alone,” and that sort of thing. Excuse me, if he is going to take the time to get his skinny little face on stage to lead the chanting to ban guns (and they want to take not just “assault rifles” but all guns away from civilians but not from government goons), and to violate the rights of other people then he is risking criticism, satire and lampooning just like any other political figure. And that is what Hogg is now, he has entered the political arena because he wants to use the armed political power of government to violate the rights of others.

Some of the companies withdrawing ads from Laura Ingraham include AT&T, Bayer, and Nestle. I don’t like those companies anyway, so if there is some kind of boycotting backfire against them from Fox News fans, it wouldn’t bother me.

And Justin Raimondo has this article about the Israelis and the Palestinians: a problem without a solution. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m not particularly supportive of Israel. One reason is because I am not supportive of socialism and central planning (Israel is big on socialism and central planning). Also, I am not supportive of militarism and the police state (Israel is big on militarism and the police state as well). But I am especially supportive of private property rights and contract rights, civil liberties and due process (Israel is not big at all with private property, contract rights, civil liberties and due process). And also, Israel was intended to be a “safe haven for Jews,” while it has not been particularly safe for Jews. I think that most of the United States has been the safest for Jews, certainly safer than Israel has been. And for those who don’t like my writing those things and want to call me a “self-hating Jew,” well, I’m not irrational and I believe in reality and the truth. It’s important to be truthful and not sweep the truth under the rug, no?

Debate: Adam Kokesh vs. Larken Rose on the Effectiveness of the Political Process

This is a debate between an “anarchist” candidate for U.S. President, Adam Kokesh, and another anarchist, Larken Rose, moderated by “Anarchast” host Jeff Berwick. Larken Rose says that the whole political process is illegitimate and that an anarchist running for President legitimizes an illegitimate system of coercion and force.

Now, I’m not an “anarchist,” I’m a voluntaryist. In my view, all relationships, contracts, associations, transactions and trades must be voluntary in a civilized society. No coercion. If coercion or compulsion is used by someone against another, that’s criminal. Of course, between parents and their children, coercion might be necessary at times. However, as Murray Rothbard noted in Ethics of Liberty, if the child wants out, that is his right. Most people don’t agree with that. But that is not what this video is all about.

Toward the beginning of the debate, they praise Ron Paul and say that while Dr. Paul is not an “anarchist,” he has nevertheless advanced the cause of liberty while in Congress by being “Dr. No.” And they seemed to agree that Dr. Paul didn’t vote for anything that violated the non-aggression principle. However, Dr. Paul did vote to take the U.S. military into Afghanistan. Terrible. Maybe these two debaters forgot that. But whatever.

I disagree with Jeff Berwick who said that Adam Kokesh will definitely get the Libertarian Party nomination for President, when the closest candidate to Kokesh’s point of view in 2016 Darryl Perry couldn’t get the nomination, and lost it to … Gary the Pothead! Kokesh praised other candidates, far-right statist Austin Peterson and the confused John McAfee, but didn’t even mention the actual principled voluntaryist, Darryl Perry. Shameful!

I don’t really support Kokesh’s run for President, given his history of self-destructive and counter-productive confrontations with the agents of the State. And I do recommend Larken Rose’s book The Most Dangerous Superstition, which discusses how a whole population’s faithfully believing in government as their “authority” is an extremely dangerous superstition.

But the debate is a good discussion for those who are genuinely interested in the ideas of freedom, non-aggression, voluntaryism, etc.