Archive for February 2005

Yes, Social Security is Like Slavery

La Shawn Barber asks:

Where the state’s power is most effective for itself but least effective for us is in exerting control over our ownership rights in the form of excessive regulation (land use, for example), burdensome taxes and gun control. An argument can be made that the social security system is burdensome and broken and infringes on our freedom and ownership rights. Slavery was burdensome (to the slave) and broken and infringed on people’s freedom and “self-owernship” rights. Just as slavery was abolished, we need to abolish social security. Is that line of reasoning a stretch?

I think that the comparison is particularly apt. First off, let me make this clear — I do not think that the burden placed on Negro slaves and the burden placed on people by Social Security are equivalent. I do think that they are parts of the same thing, the same way that slapping someone in the face is part of the same thing as smashing someone’s head in with a steel pipe.

There is an old story that goes like this (I want to say it is attributable to Churchill, but I can’t verify that):

A man is talking with a woman. He asks her, “would you sleep with me for a million dollars?”

She thinks about it a bit and says, “well, that is so much money… I suppose I would.”

He then asks, “Well, will you sleep with me for five dollars?”

She gets angry and exclaims, “What kind of woman do you think I am?!?”

He replies, “I think we’ve established what kind of woman you are; now we are just haggling over the price.”

That is the way I feel about Social Security (and all taxes on labor.) This is the deal. If you work, you have to pay a fee. That means that to get the economic use of yourself, you have to buy a license from the state (with the purchase price being the Social Security tax.) Later on, when you are no longer productive, the state picks up the expense of maintaining you. That means that you are property of the state.

As it stands now, as long as you have to pay Social Security tax on your labor, the state is telling you that you don’t own yourself. All you can do is rent yourself from the state.

PM Gets It

The puppy blender notes:

HEY, THIS IS KIND OF COOL: If you go to the Popular Mechanics 9/11 rumor-debunking article that I mentioned earlier, it says: “Welcome InstaPundit, Austin Bay, and Tim Blair readers.”

Reader Clay Ranck, who pointed this out to me, observes: “I’ve seen these things a million times on blogs, but I don’t recall ever seeing one on a ‘mainstream media’ article.” I don’t, either.

The Popular family of magazines get blogs. If you had been reading Popular Science, you might have noticed a section called, “_From the Blogs”. The February 2005 issue noted Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant and The Esoteric Science Resource Center, and proud we are of all of them. PM Zone has long been an active, daily updated news center. It is absolutely no surprise to me that PopMech and PopSci are keeping up with the blogs.

Speaking of keeping up with the blogs, there is a PM Blog — and the top story right now (no permalink — worse than blogger — but it is there) is about this very issue.

“Why didn’t you tell the world?”

The Monkey’s Uncle thinks North Korea has the bomb. I don’t, and I’ll tell you why — they haven’t tested it.

An untested weapon is suicide to deploy against the enemy. If they haven’t tested it, it is because they don’t have it. What is the downside of testing? Once you have tested, you are in the club. There isn’t any doubt about whether or not you are a nuclear power, and once you are, the rules change. If you are just talking about having nukes and not testing them, then you are wasting your time.

Anyone that can make one bomb can make two. The value of the second bomb goes up by several magnitudes as soon as the first one blows up. Until the design is proven, all they are is expensive radioactive hunks of metal. The signature of a nuclear test is detectable worldwide and too distinctive to hide. They couldn’t have tested it in secret — and wouldn’t have wanted to in the first place.

History bears this out — the best thing Pakistan ever did in its war with India was test a nuke. It is sad but true. Once it was tested, India had to deal with them as a peer. This is the status that North Korea wants to have, and they can’t get there. They are trying to get the next best thing right now, and I don’t buy it. That is why we assumed that Saddam was going for chemical and biological weapons. Those can be tested and developed in secret. You can’t finish development of a nuke in secret because you can’t test it in secret.

This is pure bluster, because doing something would have a thousand times the impact of talking about doing something. They are playing the same old brinkmanship, and our best bet would be to do exactly what we are doing: ignore it. Treat them like a child threatening to hold his breath until he dies.

Even sitting all of that aside, this is still a stupid thing for North Korea to do. Our policy is clear — treat all nuclear blackmail as nuclear attacks. It has been our policy since the end of WW2 that if anyone ever told us “Do A or we will nuke you” that we nuke them first. That is the policy that North Korea is edging towards testing, and that is a test that I think will be successful.

The Airport Ad

Remember the Busch Ad from the Superbowl?:

Pass the sick bag, Alice. I was too stunned by the spot to really take in the full import of a beer company waving off “our boys” (and girls) to battle. But battle? Where? The war in Iraq’s over, isn’t it or so they keep telling us? With Rice’s thinly veiled threats towards Iran everywhere, it is hard not to see the spot as anything other than hailing the troops off to war. Pure propaganda, and it picked up on one of the themes of the night: patriotism.

Uhhh… I watched the ad, and assumed they were coming home from battle. Where did you get the “waving off to battle” part from?

It is inconceivable for me for someone to go through life with that filter on reality. I’ve talked about this killer soldier/cop philosophy before. I would be worried about the damage to my psyche having such a pessimistic outlook would have. Stefano seems to be another one of these people soaking his mind in poison.

(Via Taranto’s Best of the Web Today)

800 Lbs Gorilla

It is being reported that Google lost a trademark case in France:

A French court on Friday ruled against Google in a trademark infringement case brought by Louis Vuitton Malletier, in the latest legal setback to the search giant overseas.

The Paris District Court has sanctioned Google and its French subsidiary from selling search-related advertisements against trademarks owned by the luxury fashion designer, which sued the search giant in early 2004. The court charged Google with trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and misleading advertising. Google was ordered to pay $257,430 (200,000 euros).

I think it is time for the notion of the extra-national corporation. If I was the CEO of Google, this is where I would make my stand. Give the frogs two fingers up and a raspberry, and tell them to collect that judgment from their ass. Liquidate that French subsidiary and then tell all the French businesses that want to buy from Google that they can do it from the American parent.

What is France going to do about it? Prevent them from running servers in France? Fine. Run the servers from wherever. Are they going to try to “ban” Google from the internet in France? Fat chance — the internet senses censorship as an error and routes around it. The only way this judgment is enforceable is with the consent of Google, and if I was Google, there is no way in hell I would cooperate. If France decided to do anything to try to collect it, they would be cutting off their nose to spite their face.


Professor Bainbridge:

So Donald Rumsfeld is afraid to go to Germany because he might get arrested on war crimes charges. So much for the NATO alliance, eh?

I know what I’m about to say is incredibly silly and immature, but the my inner provocateur can’t help thinking it would be remarkably droll if Rumsfeld got dragged before the ICC and the President ended up sending the 82nd Airborne to the Hague to break him out.

I think Rumsfield needs to take one for the team. Pissants like Germany are going to keep coming up with this crap until we call thier bluff. Please arrest Rumsfield. Use force on an American diplomat. It is about time civis Americanus sum meant something again.

And we wouldn’t need the 82nd Airborne. We have lots of tanks already sitting in thier country.

This is Familiar

Schadenfreude: Soapbox Time

You attempt to make judgements on me and my fellows from a position of ignorance. The amount of truth you actually know is so insignificant as to be ridiculous. We are all a little more stupid for listening to you.

Hehehe… BURN.

It reminds me of this.

(Via Michelle Malkin. Check out the followup she links to.)