Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Listen To This

Great episode of Free Talk Live from last night. They're broadcasting live from Anarchopulco. I'm not done with the episode yet, but I want to particularly point you toward their visit with Judd Weiss that starts maybe an hour in or a little less.

If you're one of those who's been looking for years for an answer to why the libertarian movement has trouble attracting mass participation/support, and perhaps for months clues as to how the Libertarian Party managed to shit the bed in the 2016 presidential election, Judd has some good answers for you.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Note on Trump's Budget Proposal

Not that you haven't heard me say this before, but it bears repeating given word that Trump plans to ask for a 10% boost to the already bloated US "defense" budget:

If he's not serious about cutting military spending, he's not serious about cutting spending.

Last time I checked, the US government could cut its military spending by 90% and still be the first or second most expensive war machine in the world, depending on what China does in any given year. The DoD is the single largest line in the federal budget.

Again: If you're not serious about cutting that, you're not serious about cutting, period.

Because I'm so moderate and such a compromiser, I think a 75% cut phased in over ten years sounds eminently reasonable, at least as a starting point.

Hey, I Finally Made FEE!

Here (via the Libertarian Institute, btw).

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 118: Why Do You Ask, Two Dogs F***ing?

This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by (via an anonymous sponsor who said I could promote anything I like) the Jaxx cryptocurrency wallet. I personally recommend this wallet and no, Jaxx isn't paying me to say so.

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (Smells Like Oscar; The Three-Tweet Challenge; Buck Naked Electioneering)
  • Watching Sean Spicer Take a Leak.

"Libertarians For Trump" -- A Clarification of My Position

Something I want to get out of the way so that I don't feel a need to discuss it on the next podcast:

Yes, I have been critical of self-described libertarians who supported Donald Trump.

No, contrary to what a couple of them seem to think, I'm not fishing for some kind of apology or whatever from them when I mention it.

What I'm searching for is a reason to trust their judgment again.

Continuing to defend something which did not, does not and never will exist -- a libertarian argument for supporting Trump -- is sort of the opposite of that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Eric Church Screws His Fans, Bites the Hand That Feeds

"Ticket scalping" is a good thing. It's good for fans, it's good for performers, it's good for promoters. It's good, period. Jeffrey Tucker explains why at FEE  and I'll weigh in at the end of this post with a boring personal anecdote on the topic, but just trust me on it for a minute.

As is usually the case with popular performers on tour, "secondary market" sellers, aka "scalpers," bought up a bunch of tickets for Eric Church's "Holdin' My Own Tour."

As is not usually the case, Church canceled 25,000 tickets that he believed to have been purchased by "scalpers." The fans who bought those tickets retail? Well, maybe they'll get their money back, maybe they won't; maybe they'll find a way to attend his concerts, maybe they won't. Quoth a Church spokesperson: "Ticket scalpers got their money back, and we would expect that scalpers would in turn refund their customers. But with ticket scalpers, you never know!"

If they don't, then it's just this simple: Eric Church stole the opportunity to see him perform that his fans paid their hard-earned money for.

Even if they do get refunds, and even if they do manage to find other tickets, he tried to screw them good and hard, in the name of helping them and maybe even in the genuine belief that he was helping them.

Whether he's a low-down dirty thief or just abysmally ignorant of some pretty basic economics, the result is the same. But if the latter, hopefully someone will do him, and his fans, the favor of sitting him down and educating him. Shouldn't take more than 15 minutes if he's teachable.

OK, my scalper anecdote:

Back in 1995, I wanted to see R.E.M. on their Monster tour, at Sandstone (now the Providence Medical Center Amphitheater) in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

This was 1995, long before Internet ticket sales was the usual way of doing things. What you did was:

  1. Find out what day and time tickets were going on sale and what the phone number was to order them over;
  2. Sit at your phone hitting redial for, quite possibly, several hours and hope to get through before the tickets were sold out. Luck of the draw.
Which is what I did, and after three hours or so I got through and got tickets. Two of them. Both "lawn seat," because everything else was sold out. $25 per ticket. But I had planned on buying, and was willing to pay for, much better seats.

So my wife and I arrived at Sandstone a couple of hours before the show. We found a scalper and, in exchange for our two lawn seat tickets and $100, got two tickets for the 13th row, not far from center stage.

They were worth every damn penny. And I bet the scalper sold those lawn seats at the very last minute for $5 or $10 a pop, just to unload them, to some of the kids who were hanging out waiting for that moment and who couldn't have afforded to see the show at all unless they got that kind of deal.

Everybody won. The band and the promoter filled the house (and got a lot of their money up front instead of in dribbles) and four people got to see the show from the seats they wanted and/or could afford.

I Approve This Message


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Prediction

Milo Yiannopoulos resigned his position at Breitbart "News" today in the wake of the weekend's fake "supports pedophilia" scandal (for my detailed opinion on that, listen to yesterday's KN@PP Stir Podcast). He claims he wasn't forced out and that the decision was his alone, but the writing seemed to be on the wall there (he lost a speech booking at the Conservative Political Action Conference and a book deal over the matter as well).

Prediction: Yiannopoulos will, in the very near future, launch a new site centered around his own brand. That site will quickly eclipse Breitbart in popularity.

OK, How to Resist?

The Stasi's Main Administration for Struggle Against Suspicious Persons US Department of Homeland Security and its ICE and CBP sub-gangs have formally announced new guidelines for escalating the pace of their mass abduction operations across the country.

If you think this won't affect you, you probably haven't spent much time in the totalitarian Constitution-free zones along the gangs' formal turf lines (e.g. "the US-Mexico border"), which were bad enough 30 years ago and are almost certainly worse now. Expect to start seeing the "immigration enforcement" equivalent of DUI checkpoints, especially in cities with substantial Latino populations.

It seems to me that an absolute minimal response requirement is negative social preferencing. ICE agents and other evil-doers shouldn't be invited to social events by their former friends (who should have stopped calling them as of now anyway). They shouldn't be able to get tables in decent restaurants, and if they walk up to fast food counters or sit down on bar stools in uniform, the employees should just silently point to the places' "we reserve the right to refuse service ..." signs. Their clergy should refuse them communion until and unless they're willing to cease, desist, seek forgiveness and make amends. That kind of thing.

I am going with the assumption that few of us will ever find ourselves in a position to actively intervene in an ICE raid in the moment, but being ready and willing to provide refuge as possible to any fleeing victims would be a righteous activity. If you know someone who's particularly at risk, it might be time to have a talk about bugout/communication/rendezvous procedures.

What else? Ideas?

Thanks For Asking! -- 02/21/17

Last week's AMA thread went up late, so this one's going up early. Yes, I understand that doesn't really make any sense. But I was thinking about needing to remember to put up the thread tomorrow and decided to just put it up today.

This thread and the episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast episode it will feature in are, as of now, unsponsored. If you'd like to reach a few dozen dedicated libertarians with your product, service, web site, cause, whatever, hit the contact form and talk at me. The price per episode ( for which you get audio mentions at the beginning and end of the episode and a text link in the associated Thanks For Asking! post) is $5.99.

Thanks For Asking! works like this:

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

So get with the questions already.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 117: Looks Like Spencer's All Tuckered Out

This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by Antiwar.com, your best source for antiwar news, viewpoints, and activities (actually it's brought to you by an anonymous sponsor who told me to pick something to promote, and Antiwar.com is it).

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking (antiwar sources; time travel; these are a few of my favorite things; LP2020)
  • Why do I have to keep defending Milo Yiannopoulos?
  • Spencer trolls ISFLC 2017.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Thanks For Asking! -- 02/17/17

This week's AMA thread, and the podcast to follow, are sponsored by Antiwar.com -- sort of. An anonymous sponsor picked up the tab for two episodes and left the choice of what to promote up to me ... so why not mention that your best source for antiwar news, viewpoints, and activities is running its quarterly fundraiser and needs your suppport?

So ...

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

Side note: Yes, I've been slacking off on the number of blog posts lately. In fact, I've been fighting writer's block and struggling just to get three Garrison Center op-eds out each week. But I can feel the end of the slump coming on.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 116: Don't Look, Ethel! (Too Late)

This episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast is brought to you by an anonymous sponsor who said "promote whatever you like." So I'm promoting Liberty For America, a fantastic site and publication brought to you by Dr. George Phillies and focused on the internal affairs of the Libertarian Party. If you want to know what's going on at the operational level in the LP (for example, how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and what it's being spent on), Liberty For America is indispensable.

In this episode: Thanks For Asking! (Mulvaney, Calabria, and Pence, Oh My!; Rational Review News Digest; Molypew; Nazism; DeVos; JFK assassination) :: A brief rant on fashion and corruption.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Immigration Isn't "Foreign Policy"

I shouldn't have to point that out, but apparently I do, since a number of commentators have defended the "Muslim ban" executive order on the premise that the president has plenary power on foreign policy issues in areas not specifically reserved to Congress.

In his latest column, Andrew Napolitano makes that claim in the title ("Foreign Policy is Not For the Courts to Determine").

Immigration is not about relationships between the US government and other governments ("foreign policy"). It is about the relationship between the US government (or perhaps other governments, for example state governments) and individuals wishing to enter and/or reside in the United States. That's not "foreign policy," it's "domestic policy."

Napolitano uses the mis-classification of immigration as "foreign policy" to question the standing of state governments to sue over Trump's order. But they clearly have exactly such standing. To explain why, we have to examine Napolitano's other big constitutional error in the piece:

A 1952 federal statute permits the president to suspend the immigration status of any person or group whose entry into the United States might impair public health or safety or national security. Trump exercised that authority in accordance with the 1952 law when he signed his Jan. 27 order banning all immigration from the seven named countries.

What's wrong with that claim? Simple: The statute is unconstitutional on its face. Long-time readers of KN@PPSTER know the sections of the Constitution I'm about to cite ...

Article I, Section 9: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Article V: [N]o amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article ...

The Constitution did not include an enumerated federal power to regulate immigration. Therefore no such power exists (see Amendment 10).

Article I, Section 9 specifically reserved such a power to the states until 1808.

Article V forbade any amendment affecting that reservation prior to 1808 -- which, along with the lack of an enumerated federal power, makes it clear that an amendment would be required to remove that reservation of power from the states and/or transfer that power to the feds. And no such amendment has ever been proposed by 2/3 of both houses of Congress and ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures.

This isn't just speculation. The matter was debated. Those provisions were put in the Constitution for a reason and that reason was simple: Without them it would never have been ratified. The slave states refused to ratify a Constitution that didn't protect the slave trade ("importation"). Pennsylvania refused to ratify a Constitution that didn't protect the availability of cheap non-slave labor for its growing manufacturing sector ("migration"). Both factions got what they wanted.

Congress abided by the Constitution's clear and unambiguous prohibition on regulating immigration until 1882 and even then hung the Anti-Chinese Exclusion Act on treaty provisions (co-equal with the Constitution) rather than on an activist Supreme Court's 1875 manufacture, out of thin air, of a federal immigration regulatory authority. And they were fairly cautious in expanding their unconstitutional portfolio for decades after that -- heck, you didn't even need a passport to enter or leave the US until after World War Two!

The statute that Napolitano refers to is clearly unconstitutional and therefore void and of no legal effect -- and the states which are suing against the order Trump tried to hang on that statute obviously have standing to sue against it as a violation of Article I, Section 9.

Note: As occasionally happens, I looked this over and decided the point was important enough to make in a Garrison Center column. So I did.  Some of you have indicated interest in my writing technique, so this is an opportunity to compare quick blogging to considered op-ed, write to rewrite. The KN@PPSTER version ran to about 650 words. I decided to bring the Garrison Center version in at 400 words. Enjoy, if that's your kind of thing. Opinions on whether I managed to condense the argument without hurting it welcome.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Thanks For Asking! -- 02/07/17

Hey, I'm getting the AMA thread up early this week. If you'd like to see your message here (and have your product, service, cause or site talked about at the beginning and end of the next podcast), hit the contact form. The cost to sponsor an episode is $5.99.


  • Ask Me Anything in the comment thread below this post.
  • I'll answer in comments, on the podcast, or both.

Three Random Thoughts on the Current Situation

Random Thought #1: Comparing Trump to Obama

Trump and Obama are very similar. They both have large groups of followers who have convinced themselves to believe what they want to believe about their God instead of paying attenotion to what their God um, ACTUALLY SAYS AND DOES. "Make America Great Again" is not substantially different from "Si se puede, hope and change." They're both contentless appeals to patriotic emotion. And the people who buy them turn around and fill them with their own fantasies, regardless of the real actions of the guy who sold that shit to them.

Random Thought #2: Comparing Trump to Clinton

Here's the difference between Clinton and Trump:

Clinton was clearly a "more of the same thing as the last 25 years" interventionist. Everyone knew what to expect if she won.

Trump is also a "more of the same thing as the last 25 years" interventionist but one who conned non-interventionists into believing otherwise.

Same policies, but with Trump the War Party gets its wars AND gets to discredit the non-interventionist cause.

Random Thought #3: What the Trump regime portends

Trump is the kind of guy who is going to brew up a "constitutional crisis" every week. And the country can't stand more than one of those every few years. At some point all three branches of government go in different directions and we do what every other country ends up doing eventually -- wake up one morning and learn that the military took charge overnight.

Hey, Look at That. Pretty Cool, Huh?

Long-time readers know that I've sometimes been rough on Ron Paul (on e.g. "states' rights," the "paleo strategy," etc.). No apologies, all that is what it is, but it's also enormously flattering that Paul (and host Daniel McAdams) chose my latest Garrison Center column to riff on in yesterday's episode of The Ron Paul Liberty Report.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 115: It Burns When IP

Nope, no sponsor this week -- hit the contact form if you'd like to promote your product, service, web site, cause, etc. to a small but enthusiastic libertarian audience next week for only $5.99!

In this episode: Thanks For Asking! (Sports, Religion and Banana Republics :: Intellectual "Property"

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Fitness Goals -- January Wrap-Up

My 2017 fitness goals as I blogged in January:

Unfortunately, the Charity Miles app crapped out on me last Friday and is still crashing every time I try to run it (yes, I've rebooted my phone; yes, I've uninstalled and reinstalled the app; yes, I have a support request in).

So, for the moment at least I have switched to an app called Strava to log my activities. And it's a fine app, superior to Charity Miles in virtually every way except that my activities don't earn corporate donations to charities. Which sucks. Strava logs my miles, keeps track of my average speed, presents me with challenges and compares how I do on them versus other riders/runners, etc.

Anyway, for January, between Charity Miles, manual logging while I found a new app, and Strava, I logged 230 miles.

Which was my goal. Why was it my goal? Because I logged a total of 229 miles in 206 and wanted to beat that in one month. I didn't just walk or ride 229 miles in 2016. That's what I carefully logged (I didn't even find the Charity Miles app until mid-year and wasn't especially regular about using it).

One thing Charity Miles did not do is distinguish in its long-term record-keeping between riding and walking/running. So I have to guesstimate, and my guesstimation is one mile walked for every six miles biked. So call it 33 miles on foot, 197 on the bike.

Assuming the weather is nice in February, I my goal is to do at least 330 miles -- averaging a mile a day on foot, ten miles a day on the bike minimum.

Thanks For Asking! -- 02/01/17

There's no sponsor for this week's podcast yet ... hit the contact form if you'd like to reach a few dozen libertarians with your product, service, organization, etc. for the rock bottom price of $5.99.

The Thanks For Asking! protocol ...

  • Ask me a question in the comment thread below this post;
  • I'll answer in comments, on the podcast, or both;
  • Optionally, we should both have a good strong drink during this process. After all, today is Vasant Panchami and Imbolc (the first day of spring in the Vedic and Celtic calendars respectively).