Sunday, November 29, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 56: Tom Got Documented!


This episode (like all episodes for 2015-2016) is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:



In this episode:


  • Thanks For Asking! (Bond, James Bond);
  • Tom Got Documented!

As always -- but especially lately -- I'd appreciate comments on both the production values (audio quality, etc.) and content of this episode. As you can see, I've taken Lance Brown's advice (offered on Facebook) to change the way I title the episodes, so that the title offers at least a hint as to content.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Now Actually Working: Moar KN@PPSTER


Awhile back, I joined Liberty.me. I really love the service, the price is right ($5/month for all the benefits, including the ability to maintain two blogs), I publish the daily edition of Rational Review News Digest there every morning, and I had intended to port each post here at KN@PPSTER over to a KN@PPSTER @ Liberty.me blog.

Had intended means that my plan was, every time I posted here, I'd just manually copy/paste the content over there. I'd was a concept operating on the tenuous assumption that I would remember to do so. And I very seldom did.

BUT!

Turns out there's an "autoblog" feature that lets me have KN@PPSTER @ Liberty.me check the RSS feed for KN@PPSTER proper every hour and import any new posts. So that's set up and hopefully you'll be able to read everything that appears here, there within an hour and without me having to remember to. Enjoy, if you want to read it there instead of here.

The KN@PP Stir Podcast -- Thanksgiving Weekend Special


This episode (like all episodes for 2015-2016) is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:



In this episode:


  • Thanks For Asking! (Thanksgiving foods; really stupid assertions that we live in a libertarian pacificist era that's about to end);
  • Where this podcast is at, where it's going, and a request for comments on quality, etc.;
  • What/who I'm thankful for.
Some links mentioned in the episode:


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/25/15


This week's AMA thread and the podcast to follow are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:


The easy-peasy process:


  • Ask me anything (anything!) in the comment thread below this post; and
  • I'll answer you in comments, on this weekend's podcast, or both.


Bada-bing, bada-boom, and so on and so forth.



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I Have to Admit, Donald Trump is Making Me Re-Think the Whole "Deportation" Issue


In fact, I'm leaning toward the idea that all Trump supporters should be deported to North Korea where things will be more to their liking.

But I'm also kind of Romneyish on it. I'm cool with "self-deportation."

Monday, November 23, 2015

Why I Love Hostgator, Redux


I'm sure I've mentioned this before -- if not, I certainly should have -- but I love Hostgator. No, that's not an affiliate link. But I do recommend them.

I didn't love them this morning, but that was a temporary thing that was, as always, resolved by their excellent customer service once the matter got to a live person. And that's been the case over and over in the eleven years or so that I've been a customer.

It started with a clearly automated email this morning, right after I put out the day's edition of Rational Review News Digest. An excerpted/redacted digest of the email:

Unfortunately, we have been forced to temporarily restrict access to MySQL for knapp on [nameserver redacted]. Please take a moment to review this email in full as it contains important information and resources to assist you in resolving this issue. ... Why did this happen? Per our terms of service (http://www.hostgator.com/tos) a single hosting account may use no more than 25% of the entire server's resources. Accounts are typically not actively restricted until they exceed those resource limitations exceptionally. Unfortunately, in this instance, we were forced to place a temporary restriction on your user to prevent service issues with the server's over-all system performance.

Accompanying the message were some logs, which told the story: One of my sites (RRND, actually) was under attack, with bazillions of MySQL queries coming in, many of them for stuff that didn't actually exist (the small number of valid ones were presumably real visitors). The message didn't include any IP information on where these queries were coming from, and as part of the lockdown, when I went to "raw logs" in my cPanel dashboard there was no information there, either.

So I was under attack, Hostgator had shut me down through automation rather than human examination, and I had no way of just blocking the attackers by IP (assuming there were limited IPs they were coming from -- if it was a botnet, I was screwed on that anyway).

I got real hot under the collar, real quick, not just at the attackers but at Hostgator. Let's just say that I was looking at other web hosts while I waited for my a response to my multiple nastygrams in reply to what became multiple instances of the above.

But then the sun peeked out from behind the clouds ... as soon as a human being at Hostgator got my nastygrams, I got this response:

This does appear to be a directed attack against your site. Unfortunately this was caught by they automated system which is simply unable to make that distinction. I have lifted the restrictions on your site and [redacted -- he did some stuff that I won't reveal because why give the bad guys information that might help them next time?] to prevent these from being a continuous issue ...

That's customer service, folks. Yes, it took a few hours, but then again the whole thing started at oh-dark-thirty and I'm sure there were plenty of other customers with similar things going on. They got to me pretty quickly, and resolved the issue perfectly as soon as they did.

It's also a wake-up call in one respect. I try to run clean sites in terms of not being a resource hog (e.g. W3 Total Cache), but RRND isn't on CloudFlare yet. I tried Cloudflare a few years ago when it was brand new and had some problems. Since then, I've successfully implemented it with a different site, but hadn't gotten round to trying with RRND again. I'll be doing that over the long weekend. Cloudflare will be yet another layer of caching and security to minimize my load on the server and help stop attacks before they really get going.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 11/22/15


This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:



In this episode:

In this episode:


  • Thanks For Asking! (What if Hitler ..."; Tom is a Wobbly; Bernie WTF);
  • Garrison Center update (50 pickups this month already, three top-50 US newspaper pickups in the last month!).
Bleg: This episode was recorded using the Spreaker "dashboard." Please let me know in comments how you think it sounds versus other episodes (volume, distortion -- sound quality).

Scott Cleland Says "defend the Internet digital commons from the reach of sovereign authority and accountability" Like It's a Bad Thing


It's only Sunday, but there's already a strong contender for Dumbest Thing I'll Read This Week.

Yes, he actually seems to really think ubiquitous strong encryption is a bad and dangerous thing, apparently on the basis of a bizarre and completely evidenceless belief that the purpose and/or effect of "sovereign nations' law-enforcement and intelligence capabilities" is to "investigate and prevent terrorism and crime."

I'm wondering if maybe an April Fool's Day post got put up early by accident or something. Nobody's really that naive, right?

Chrome Extension Recommendation: The Great Suspender


One recurring problem I've experienced with my Chromebook and Chromebox -- and have heard others complain of as well -- is low memory. Not surprising. Most ChromeOS devices come with only 2 gigabytes of RAM (I get a weird feeling any time I use that "only," given that my first computer, a Commodore VIC 20, came with 4.5 KILObytes, and I experienced an embarrassment of riches when I got the 16k expansion card). So of course, what happens when you have a whole bunch of tabs open is that all those tabs consume a bunch of RAM and things slow down.

The Great Suspender addresses this problem quite nicely. When you have tabs open that you haven't actually looked at for awhile, the tabs automatically "suspend" and release your RAM back to you. When you come back to one of those tabs, you can click to reload it. You can set the wait time before suspension manually, and you can "whitelist" domains so that important tabs that you use a lot never suspend.

In the week or so that I've been using The Great Suspender, the slowdown problem has pretty much gone completely away for me. Highly recommended for ChromeOS devices. I expect I'll keep it even when I get around to expanding my Chromebox to its maximum 8 gigabytes of RAM. Assuming (I can't tell for sure) that the extension is also available for the Chrome browser for Windows and Mac, you might want to try it on those platforms as well. I've never known anyone, no matter how powerful his or her machine, who didn't occasionally complain about memory-hogging apps slowing the thing down.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Garrison Center: More Cool Numbers


Tonight's numbers are: 50, 3 and 50 again.

50:

So far in November, I've identified 50 reprints or citations of Garrison Center op-eds in "mainstream" newspapers and non-libertarian political media. Fifty happens to be my baseline goal for the entire month, so it's really nice to hit that goal only 2/3 of the way through the month.

3 and 50 again:

One month ago, on October 21st, my Garrison Center op-ed on Julian Assange ran in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Then on November 5th, the Dallas, Texas Morning News ran my "'Papers, please' demand is un-American."

And this morning, my op-ed on Florida's "campus carry" bill appeared in the Miami, Florida Herald.

What do these three newspapers have in common? Two things:

They've all run a Garrison Center op-ed in the last month.

And they're all among the top 50 daily newspapers in the United States as ranked by circulation.

The Garrison Center is libertarian outreach that works. It deserves your support, and since it's not really an organization as such, the way you support it is by supporting me. Which you can do from over in the sidebar using Patreon, PayPal, Bitcoin or Litecoin.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Concerning Trump


Specifically his "not ruling out" required registration of Muslims in a special government database and noting their religion on their government IDs ...

There's an app for that! It's actually a fictional app, but a stirring story, attributed to King Christian X of Denmark.

It's really simple: If the government of the United States orders all Muslims to register as such and to carry special IDs, we should -- all of us who don't hate America -- put the kibosh on that fascist idiocy by reporting for registration as Muslims whether we are Muslims or not.

Quick Recommendation: I'm Saying no to the Asus Chromebit


Hat tip to David Klaus for calling the new ChromeOS offering to my attention on Facebook ...

The Asus Chromebit is a new take on the "tiny computer on a stick" phenomenon. It plugs into the HDMI port of a monitor or television and runs ChromeOS, just like a Chromebook laptop or Chromebox desktop machine. The retail price runs to ~$85 USD.

I'm still a ChromeOS fanboy, but I don't even need to try the Chromebit to reject it and to explain to you why it's not a good deal.

The Chromebit comes with 2Gb of RAM and 16Gb of flash storage. That's the baseline configuration for most Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, too (you can get models with more RAM or storage, and you can upgrade both, but the minimal model is 2/16). No problem there, really, except that you probably can't upgrade.

But here's the thing: You can get an Asus Chromebox for about $150 or an Asus Chromebook for about $200. Both are superior machines for not much more money.

The Chromebook includes its own display and touchpad. The Chromebook and the Chromebox include multiple USB ports and headphone jacks. The Chromebox comes with two display ports (they vary from machine to machine; my Asus Chromebox has a DVI port and an HDMI port), allowing the user to run two monitors (I started doing that last year and it is nice).

The Chromebit plugs into an HDMI port at one end and has a single USB port at the other end. That USB port isn't something you can use for whatever you want -- it has to be used to power the Chromebit. So no peripherals. You're going to have to use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. If you want headphone audio, I guess you'll have to hope your display device has a jack for that.

Why would I pay $85 for a gimpy thing like the Chromebit when I can get a full-blown ChromeOS machine for $150-$200? The only way that would make sense to me is if I wanted to use ChromeOS as a second system and run the Chromebit from my other computer through a remote desktop app or whatever.

But ChromeOS isn't something I'd use as a secondary system. A decent Windows or Mac machine already does everything the Chromebit can do, including running Chrome.

To me, the "secondary system" thing runs the other way:  I've considered getting a "Windows machine on a stick" and accessing it via a remote desktop from my Chromebox to do things that ChromeOS can't do (like play Starcraft).

I guess if I try really hard, I can come up with a reason to run the Chromebit as a secondary system. Maybe I don't want to browse using my PC because I fear malware or whatever, but I really need that Windows machine to run proprietary software for my work or whatever. But that seems like a pretty narrow demand niche to me.

The Chromebit just doesn't make sense to me. If you're looking to get into ChromeOS, I recommend shelling out a little more for Chromebook or Chromebox.

[Update: Over at Google+, Michael Dopp corrects me on an important technical point. The Chromebit DOES have a regular USB port that is not used to power the device (it has a dedicated power port). You might want to read the rest of his counterpoint as well (he considers the device more potentially useful than I do, and the price difference to be less negligible than I do). Thanks, Michael!]

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/19/15


This week's AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:




As always, here's how it works:


  • Ask me anything (anything!) in the comment thread below this post;
  • I'll answer your question in the comment thread, on the podcast, or both.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quickie Review: WatchMyBit


I heard about WatchMyBit on last night's episode of Free Talk Live (CEO Doug Scribner called in and talked a bit about it). No referral/affiliate link here, just a recommendation, based on four suppositions:


  • You like to watch videos;
  • You hate having the videos you watch prefaced by, interrupted by, or visually cluttered with, ads;
  • You're willing to pay something for the content you consume; and
  • You use Bitcoin.
You can probably figure out what WatchMyBit is from those suppositions. Creators upload content. Users pay for that content using Bitcoin instead of putting up with ads.

One of the nice things about Bitcoin is that it makes micropayments practical. In my own case, I had to create a new wallet at blockchain.info and move a little coin out of BTC-E, which has a minimum withdrawal transaction amount that's too high for this purpose, but if you're a regular Bitcoin user who has a smartphone, you probably use a phone-based wallet that handles small amounts (I'm a cell phone Luddite at the moment). But once you can send tiny amounts, you can spend tiny amounts at e.g. WatchMyBit.

As a test, I paid 21 cents (USD) to watch the premier episode of Scribes, a sitcom that prominently features Jane Lynch (of Glee fame) and Danny Trejo (of too many productions to list fame). Great show, but enough about the content.  Let's talk about the platform:

Clean video. No streaming lag. Very nicely done. So there's really nothing more to say about that.

Side note: WatchMyBit does also host audio, so my plan is to make episodes of The KN@PP Stir Podcast available through it for those who want to support my work but prefer to pop for ten cents an episode rather than make large contributions or sign up for a monthly subscription payment (cough ... sidebar ... cough). More on that later.

PSA: Syrian Refugees


An explanation for the War Party supporters who are always keen to bomb any time, anywhere, for any reason, but are now concerned about the possibility of the refugee situation THEY created visiting them at home:



Another Nice Number at The Garrison Center


Today's number is: 46.

My baseline goal at present is for Garrison Center op-eds to get re-printed by (or cited/responded to in, something I sometimes forget to mention) "mainstream" newspapers and non-libertarian political publications at least 50 times per month. And since hitting that mark for the first time early this year (I think it was March or April), we've only missed it once (IIRC, that was in September, with only 41 pickups).

Today is the 18th of November, and Garrison is already at 46 pickups and responses -- 45 pickups, one response. I'm guessing we'll pass 50 in the next couple of days.

Here's the part where I ask you to support this very effective (and very cost-effective) libertarian outreach program. You can do so via Patreon, PayPal, Bitcoin or Litecoin from over in the sidebar.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Bitcoin Talk You Should Really Listen To


Paul Rosenberg (of Freeman's Perspective) , speaking at the Bitcoin Investor Conference in October:


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 11/15/15


This episode of the KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:




A reverse-order, two-take episode:

  • Quick updates (send money, guns and lawyers!);
  • Thanks For Asking! (a short answer on Max Stirner, a long rant on "the paleo strategy").

Friday, November 13, 2015

Value, Again


I addressed value subjectivism awhile back in relation to Bitcoin, but I'm going to do so again, apropos of Steven Horwitz's recent takedown of the "Labor Theory of Value" and Kevin Carson's longstanding "subjective recasting" of the LTV.

Horwitz's treatment of LTV covers the basics, then goes off the rails into a set of objectifications that are opposite from, but just as problematic as those of LTV's defenders:

[T]he real Copernican revolution in economics was how the subjective theory of value related to the value of labor. Rather than seeing the value of outputs being determined by the value of the inputs like labor, the subjective theory of value showed that it's the other way around: the value of inputs like labor were determined by the value of the outputs they helped to produce.
Well, no. The value of labor is determined at the point of exchange of labor for something else. If I work for you for a dollar an hour, it means that that dollar is worth more to me than that hour and that that hour is worth more to you than that dollar at the point of exchange. And that's all it means. You might or might not make an eventual profit on my labor; your educated guess that you will do so affects your subjective valuation of my labor when we're dealing, but it doesn't magically make that valuation objective. Furthermore, the values of the outputs are also subjective.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Carson writes:

[T]he expenditure of labor is an absolute cost, regardless of the quantity available. Or to be more exact, the opportunity cost of an expenditure of labor is not simply the alternative uses of labor, but non-labor. The laborer is allocating his time, not just between competing forms of labor, but also between labor and non-labor.

It seems like Carson is being a little tricky here, substituting the word "absolute" for the word "objective." While it's true that labor involves the allocation of a resource that is scarce in an absolute respect (everyone has exactly the same amount of time within a given timeframe), that doesn't make the value of said time either absolute or objective. In fact, it is highly subjective.

If I can spend an hour working for you, or working for myself, or sleeping, or engaged in some kind of recreational activity, the value of that time for any of those uses is not absolute or objective. It is a matter of my subjective preferences. Maybe you're offering me a dollar for that time; maybe I know I could make two dollars doing something for myself instead of for you, or maybe I just like working for myself enough to be willing to do it for less than I'd demand to work for you. Maybe I'm tired and getting some sleep is worth more to me right now than a dollar or two dollars; likewise, maybe I want to go to the park and throw a football around with a friend and that's worth more to me right now than the dollar, or the two dollars, or the sleep. And maybe someone else, faced with the same choices, would value those options differently.

Quick note: "Objective" is not the same thing as "rational," nor is "subjective" the same thing as "irrational." Just thought I'd throw that in there for those of you who might assume otherwise. Feel free to look the terms up.

In some correspondence on this subject, Sheldon Richman brings up a distinction between "use value" and "exchange value." I don't find that distinction very useful. The only real way to determine "use" value -- how "useful" something is -- is to consider what the person possessing it would be willing to exchange it for.

Say I have a cow that I milk every morning. It has "use value" to me. Now you come along and offer me $1000 for the cow. Whether I accept or refuse the offer,  its "use value" to me is clearly the same as its "exchange value" to me. If I accept the offer, the cow's "use value" and "exchange value" -- to me -- were both "less than $1000." If I turn down the offer, the cow's "use value" and "exchange value" -- to me -- were both "more than $1000."

And there's no real way to make that value "objective." It's possible that with that $1000, I could have bought more milk than the cow would have produced over the rest of its life. But maybe I prefer milking the cow every morning to going to the store for milk every day. Or maybe I like the taste of fresh whole milk straight from the cow better than I like the taste of homogenized milk from a plastic jug. There could be any number of reasons for my decision that cannot be objectively quantified.

The value of of good or service is the value that someone who has that good/can provide that service or wants that good/service places on good or service. And that's all the value is. Factors that might contribute to someone's valuation are not always objective themselves, and never make the ultimate valuation objective.

Selah.

Quote of the Week


Quoth Kevin Carson:

When "libertarians" start talking in terms of Volk and Kulture over individual autonomy and agency, and preaching discipline as the cure for "cultural disintegration" and decadence, you can be pretty sure that the word "freedom" in their propaganda is as devoid of substance as "Freiheit" was in that of the Nazis. The Paleos are a cancer on any movement that genuinely respects human liberty and dignity.

That's the tail end two sentences of a long piece, the entirety of which deserves a careful read: "How Low Can Lew Rockwell Go?"

There's actually a question pertaining to "the paleo strategy" in this week's Thanks For Asking! thread. I haven't answered that question yet. It's somewhat different from, but definitely related to, the question in Kevin's article title.

My answer to Kevin's question is "as low as he has to go to continue dragging in money from a market niche he considers under-served due to the fact that decent human beings find that niche too sickening to serve."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Totaled


No injuries, but the car is toast. There probably would have been injuries if the car wasn't a 1989 Volvo, built like a brick sh*thouse. Tamara took a turn down an unfamiliar street at night and ... um, discovered ... a median of some sort that apparently wasn't very visible (I wasn't there, but I know her to be a careful driver and there was no alcohol or anything involved).

Screwed up the frame near the front end, broke at least one motor mount, crushed the suspension up into the oil pan, etc. We paid $1,350 for the car nine months ago. It would certainly cost more than that to repair it even assuming only the immediately visible damage, and there was no point in keeping full coverage with a $500 deductible on something that cheap. But now we're gonna have to go find another ride. So if you've been eyeballing that "support" area in the right sidebar, now would be a great time to go for it. Just sayin' ...

Purse: A Quickie Review


Disclosure: If you register with Purse using my affiliate link, and if you spend or earn more than 50USD worth of Bitcoin through Purse, I receive a 10 mBTC bonus from Purse (FWIW, you receive 10 mBTC from joining through the link as well).

I mentioned a few days ago that I was trying out Purse, a service that lets you order stuff from Amazon at a discount using Bitcoin. And I said that I'd review the service once I received the stuff I ordered (if, of course, I actually did receive the stuff I ordered).

Well, I received the stuff I ordered, and can confirm that the service works as advertised. It's really that simple. You sign up, you search for stuff you want to order and see a discounted price for it (I checked the Amazon site and yes, the price is actually discounted), you order the stuff, you pay for it with Bitcoin, and the stuff comes.

It's almost that simple. The two complexities not mentioned above are as follows:


  1. Once you receive your order, you need to return to the Purse site and confirm that it arrived. Until you do that, your Bitcoin is held in escrow. I didn't notice that until just now, which means that Purse was kept waiting a couple of days to get its Bitcoin. My bad.
  2. The regular discount is 5%, but there's an additional system through which you can "name your own discount." I haven't tried that. It looks like it may be a sort of arbitrage scheme where you pre-fund the purchase and then someone buys it for you when the amount of Bitcoin you've put in escrow for it goes up in USD value enough to cover the real price. But that's just a rough guess of how it works.
Anyway, pretty cool. It's a way to use Bitcoin in regular commerce.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/11/15


This AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:


The rules, as usual:

  • Ask me anything (yes, anything!) in the comment thread below this post;
  • I'll answer in the comment thread, on this weekend's podcast, or both.


A Special Midweek Episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast


This special episode is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:



In this episode:



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Parable


Once upon a time, a group of people got together to build and sell the best vehicle ever. The design they came up with seated 20 people comfortably, aced all the safety tests, cruised at a top speed of 200 miles per hour, got 500 miles per gallon of gas, and sold for half the price of other popular vehicles.

Unfortunately, Libertarian Motors performed poorly in the marketplace, selling only about 25,000 vehicles every four years versus Ford Motors' "F-Family" pickup group, which sold more than 2.5 million vehicles every four years and had been the top seller in America for decades.

Every four years, Libertarian Motors chose a new chief salesman for their cheap, durable, fast, gas-saving, safe car. One year, a group within the company brought in a new candidate for chief salesman. "He used to be one of the top salesmen at Ford -- he had a stellar record as head of their New Mexico division!" "He KNOWS how to sell cars!" "He's the guy who can take us to the top!" The candidate was obviously very popular with Libertarian Cars sales reform advocates.

A smaller group within Libertarian Cars had some questions, though. "Will you be able to do for us what you did for Ford?" "What's your plan for making Libertarian Cars competitive with Ford?"

"Not to worry," said the candidate. "I have a plan that's virtually guaranteed to increase sales. As you know, the Ford F-Family has been the best-selling vehicle in America for decades. So what I'm going to do is re-tool our factory to produce something a lot like the latest Ford F-Family truck. Not exactly the same, but close."

"What will be the difference?"

"Well, instead of saying 'Ford' on the back, it will say 'LIBERTARIAN.' I think that if we go my way -- build a car almost exactly like Ford's, market it almost exactly like Ford's, and most importantly put a face on it that people associate with Ford, we might be able to sell 50,000, even 75,000 of these things every four years!"

"But that's not what we're really about. We designed a REALLY good vehicle. It's much better than anything Ford makes. It's faster, it's safer, it uses less gas and it's cheaper. We want to promote THAT vehicle, and we don't want to just sell two or three times as many vehicles every four years as we sell now. We want to sell 2.5 million or more every four years and beat Ford. It may take awhile, but we think our superior product can eventually out-sell Ford's F-Family if we concentrate on continuing to improve both the product and the marketing."

The man and his supporters among Libertarian Cars sales reform advocates shook their heads sadly. "You guys ... you need to get off this Libertarian Cars purity thing that's been holding us back. You're just not BEING PRACTICAL."

A couple of changes at KN@PPSTER and the Garrison Center


Thanks to Thane Eichenauer for pointing out two problems. Sorry it took so long to actually get them fixed after you took the time/trouble to mention them to me, Thane! They were:

Problem: The "use our image for your Facebook page link" site from which I was using an image to link to KN@PPSTER's Facebook page over in the sidebar went defunct, so there was just one of those error icons where the image used to be.

Solution: I found a suitable image, customized it, uploaded it to my Google/Blogger storage, and linked it up.

Problem: The ad broker I've been using, Qadabra, seems to have some kind of problem. Its ads haven't been showing either at KN@PPSTER or the Garrison Center. The ad SPACE popped up at the bottom of the screen, with a little "close" link, but no actual ad.

My first thought was that the code base had changed or something, so I went over to Qadabra and yes, the code to insert on my end had changed. But the new code didn't work either. The ads haven't been showing, nor have any impressions been recorded by Qadabra, nor have any revenues accrued to me, for some time. It just seems to be a dead stick.

Solution: I thought about examining other ad brokers, and I guess I might do that at some point, but probably not. Frankly, they're not worth the trouble for the low-single-digit revenues they bring in each month, especially if they require bulky scripts that slow down the site for readers. So ...

Over at Rational Review News Digest, part of the revenue split between myself and the other editors is that I get a little piece of ad space that's all mine to use, sell or whatever. For the last few years, an anonymous benefactor (of both myself in particular and the liberty movement in general) has purchased that ad space at a very nice (for me) price, and allowed me to rotate my choice of "cool libertarian stuff" through it. Every couple of months, we discuss cool new things that might fit there.

I've gone ahead and installed the exact same ad code (it's simple HTML that shouldn't slow the site down at all) here at KN@PPSTER and over at Garrison. That gives the aforementioned benefactor a little more bang for his buck, and exposes readers at both sites to cool stuff I think they should see. And the revenue loss is so small that not having to mess around with complicated ad broker stuff is really a net plus as far as I'm concerned.

So, a couple of minor fixes. Enjoy.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Rand Paul Accuses Rubio, Clinton and Schumer of Being Too Libertarian


That's not how the Breitbart headline puts it, of course, but that's the gist of the story.

When I hear someone complaining about those damn libertarians Marco Rubio(!), Hillary Clinton(!) and Chuckie Schumer(!), my off-the-cuff snap opinion has to be that the complainant is probably not a libertarian himself. And given that Paul has publicly stated he's not a libertarian, that off-the-cuff estimate seems to just be confirmation of something we already knew.

And yet I still come across people -- libertarians and non-libertarians alike -- asserting that Paul is 2016's Great White Libertarian Electoral Hope. WTF?

Sunday, November 08, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 11/08/15


This week's episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:






In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (off-year election results in the US -- marijuana legalization loses in Ohio; anti-discrimination ordinance overturned in Houston, Texas; Muslim city council majority elected in Hamtramck, Michigan);
  • Garrison Center update (we made the Dallas Morning News!);
  • Hey, I've been podcasting for more than a year now and just got a hefty bill for NEXT year!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Keystone XL is Dead


Not for the right reasons, but it's still a good outcome. Keystone was an eminent-domain-powered big-government boondoggle of the type that Republicans would have been wailing and gnashing their teeth against if Democrats had backed it. Good riddance.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Things I Used Bitcoin For Today


I got a nice Bitcoin donation the other day.

When it comes to Bitcoin, I'm about half and half, split between "customer" (who wants to USE the stuff in commerce, because duh, that's what it's for) and "speculator" (when I buy, as opposed to receiving as a donation, I do so when it's a low point versus the US dollar; I spend it when it's high). Today was a pretty happy medium; Bitcoin was doing pretty well in terms of USD exchange, and there were some things I wanted that I could spend it on. So I did:


  • I purchased my 2016 Libertarian National Convention package. Thanks to the LNC's director of Operations, Robert Kraus, for explaining to me how to get that done (there isn't a Bitcoin option on the convention package ordering page, but you can make a Bitcoin donation in the appropriate amount, put the name of the package you are ordering in the "employer" blank on the form, and then LPHQ staff will know that's what the money is for).
  • I tested Purse, an online service that lets you order stuff from Amazon at a discount. Yes, that link IS an affiliate link -- if you join through it, you get 10 mBTC to spend and if you spend more than $50 worth of Bitcoin through Purse I get 10 mBTC as well. But since the stuff I ordered (a harmonica holder and a guitar gig bag) hasn't actually arrived yet, don't consider this an endorsement.
  • I donated Bitcoin to Darryl W. Perry's campaign for the Libertarian Party's 2016 presidential nomination.
  • I donated Bitcoin to Antiwar.com.

A Couple Numbers For Ya ...


The two numbers I have in mind are 12 and 18.

The Dallas, Texas Morning News is the 12th-ranked newspaper in the US by circulation and the 18th-ranked newspaper in the US by digital traffic.

Guess where the William Lloyd Garrison Center's latest media pickup happened today?

That's the second time in just over two weeks that I've placed a libertarian op-ed in a top-50 US newspaper (on October 21st, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel -- 41st-ranked in the US by circulation -- ran my Garrison op-ed on Julian Assange).

Just a little evidence that when I tell you I do cost-effective libertarian outreach and that you should support my efforts, I'm not just blowing smoke up your keister.

If I make as much money as I'm asking you for, I'll still be making less than I would make serving up burgers at a fast food joint. Which is something I've also done, and which is an entirely honorable and necessary profession, but I think I'm ... not uniquely, but quite ... good at this other thing. Think it over. If this is the kind of thing you want done, I'm your guy for getting it done.

Thanks For Asking! -- 11/05/15


Yeah, I'm running a day late. Sorry about that. This week's AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:


How it works:


  • Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post; and
  • I'll answer in comments, on the podcast, or both.


Tuesday, November 03, 2015

What's Going on at the Garrison Center?


Well, in some ways a lot, and in other ways not much.

My count for pickups of Garrison Center op-eds by "mainstream" and "non-libertarian political" media in October comes to 53. Except for one kind of slow month with 40-something, we've been beating the 50 mark since last spring. Hold on to that number. I'll be coming back to it.

Over on the financial end, things are somewhat less peachy.

I'M ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT, RIGHT NOW, TO KEEP THE GARRISON CENTER AND MY OTHER PROJECTS GOING. OVER IN THE RIGHT SIDEBAR YOU'LL FIND BUTTONS TO CONTRIBUTE -- ONE TIME OR MONTHLY -- USING PATREON, PAYPAL, BITCOIN OR LITECOIN. PLEASE USE THEM. I'LL MAKE THE CASE FOR DOING SO BELOW.

The Garrison Center's "nut" -- the minimum amount of money it needs to bring in to be worth the work that I put into it -- is $250 a month. Actually, that's the goal I've set for several projects -- Garrison, this blog, my weekly podcast -- combined. "The Garrison Center" is not an organization, really. It's just me, and occasionally someone I'll pay out of my own pocket to write an op-ed instead of writing it myself.

Let's just say that ALL you get for $250 a month is the Garrison Center material (no KN@PPSTER, no podcast, just Garrison). How does that break down as price for value?

If I'm able to make 50 op-ed placements per month for $250, that comes to $5 per placement.

IS IT WORTH $5 TO PUT A LIBERTARIAN OP-ED IN A "MAINSTREAM" NEWSPAPER OR "NON-LIBERTARIAN POLITICAL" PUBLICATION?

I think it is. Other people and organizations do this too. For example, the Cato Institute puts a lot of material in a lot of publications. The quality of their material versus mine is, of course, a matter of opinion, but I think I do a pretty good job. I'm asking my supporters for $250 a month. Cato runs, last time I noticed, an annual budget of $18 million. Nothing against Cato or Cato's budget, of course, but I think I'm pretty damn cost-effective by comparison.

An angel donor who prefers to remain anonymous committed $250 for the first six months,  then extended his or her commitment by three more months. Two other donors who aren't anonymous (Jake Parker and Chris Lempa) are in for a total of $27 per month.

The gap should be kind of obvious there. When the angle stops showering money on me, I'm going to be coming up $223 per month short.

I don't expect to miss any meals if that happens. Civilization will not collapse. Jesus will not strangle a puppy. Your love life will not tank (OK, maybe it will, but not because you didn't rescue my project ... probably). What I do expect will happen is that I'll shut down Garrison and find other things to do with my time -- things that will probably bring in more than the $250 per month that I'm seeking, but that I'll personally find less satisfying and that I believe you, if you value cost-effective libertarian outreach, won't find quite as cool.

FOR FIVE BUCKS, YOU CAN PUT A LIBERTARIAN OP-ED IN FRONT OF NON-LIBERTARIAN READERS. IS IT WORTH FIVE BUCKS A MONTH TO YOU TO DO THAT EVERY MONTH? IF SO, GET THEE TO THE RIGHT SIDE BAR AND HELP ME MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 11/01/15


This week's episode is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:



In this episode:


  • Thanks For Asking! (my Big Head Press favorites and my Halloween reminiscences);
  • Some musings -- are we in Phase II of the revolution described in SEK3's New Libertarian Manifesto?;
  • Quick updates of the usual sort.

Three Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide
Some graphics and styles ported from a previous theme by Jenny Giannopoulou