More Quotations from EasyChairman Neil

No, thank you. I don’t want to replace a Two-party system with a Tea Party system.

The 9th Circuit Appellate Court just upheld the words “under God” remaining in the Pledge of Allegiance. The ACLU is expected to appeal the case directly to God, since given how things are going in the United States the Almighty is likely to reverse the decision.

There is nothing innocent about any public service — even the public library … not when being late returning a DVD borrowed from the library turns a speeding ticket into being handcuffed and taken to jail. Rip up your library card. Netflix may cost more but it’s a whole lot safer.

Next up on the political horizon: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Exercise, and Fat.

Would someone please tell me when the financiers who fund movie productions decided to turn over the keys to illiterates who can’t tell the difference between an action movie and a Roadrunner-Coyote cartoon?

No, no, no! I’m sick of hearing radio ads for the U.S. Census with the socialist message, “It’s how we get our fair share of funding for the things we need.”

Here’s everything that the Constitution of the United States originally said about the census:

Article I, Section 3: “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall be law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.”

Article 1, Section 9: “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

The Constitution was amended so that slavery was no longer an issue, and that taxes could be laid on incomes without respect to enumeration (though this is still controversial).

So the only remaining purpose of the census is apportionment of Congressional representatives.

Nowhere in the Constitution is anything said about passing out spoils, tax money, bribes, and goodies on the basis of the counting of heads.

You won’t find “funding” in the Constitution.

So whoever is running these ads for the census, you’re lying. Please shut your pie holes.

“The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand…”

Which, if followed today — assuming a U.S. population of around 300 million — would give us a House of Representatives with 10,000 seated Congressmen.

I say, yeah!!!!!!!

I just watched socialist Michael Moore on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, plugging his anti-capitalism DVD, Capitalism: A Love Story. Meanwhile, I’m an avowed capitalist filmmaker who can’t get on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to plug my movie, Lady Magdalene’s, which doesn’t yet have a distributor. Wouldn’t that make Michael Moore precisely equivalent to the character of tobacco publicist Nick Naylor, portrayed by Aaron Eckhart in Christopher Buckley/Jason Reitman’s, Thank You for Smoking?

It’s amazing to me that all the Greens who argue about finite resources never seem to focus on the finite resources that the State sucks up and destroys.

When all is said and done, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a military prep school with a strong emphasis on preparing its students for college studies in hard science, and likely the military.

If I’d lived in the old West and was in the business of selling brands to ranchers to brand cattle, I think I would have called my business Brandy Brand Brands.

According to Wikipedia, ABC — which is broadcasting the Academy Awards as I write this — “first broadcast on television in 1948.” Just another failure of capitalism, since you’d think 62 years later there would be a GHI Network by now.

If only the Eighty-second Annual Academy Awards really lasted only eighty seconds. I just love Hollywood liberals twisting their brains into a pretzel voting for a film that isn’t actually anti-U.S. military just so they can screw the best film of the year — the one that actually revolutionizes making movies as much as the introduction of Sound or Technicolor — out of Best Picture and Best Director so they can have their politically correct “I am Woman” moment giving the award to the Best Picture Director’s ex-wife.

More and more I see my role as a cadmium control rod in that nuclear reactor we call America, trying to prevent a China syndrome, when the meltdown has already started.

Calls I don’t answer or return (1) Recordings; (2) Calls me by my first name; “Law offices of …” I pay for phone service for my convenience. Just because you phone me doesn’t mean I have to take any calls I consider annoying, by my arbitrary rules.

So who’s looking forward to Quentin Tarantino’s next movie being a documentary set at Sea World, San Diego — Kill Willy?

Too many books chasing too few readers.

Can someone start teaching symbolic logic again, starting with the basic Venn Diagram?

A psychiatric patient commits a violent act. Now everyone tries to disown him. Lefties say he’s a righty. Righties say he’s a lefty. Lefties and Righties try to blame him on the unaligned Libertarians.

Whatever John Patrick Bedell read it doesn’t explain his actions. There are accusations aplenty in all ideologies, sufficient to find a guilt-by-association for any faction of which one doesn’t happen to approve.

You draw the Venn Diagram, with circles for any ideological group you don’t like. There will be some inevitable overlaps with the circle of Violent Psychiatric Patients, because they seek out such groups.

The illogic of guilt-by-association of the groups themselves for the overlap with Bad People who do Bad Things has sometimes been called McCarthyism, but everyone does it, from Bill Maher to Glenn Beck.

What everyone here might consider is that setting us at each other’s throats — Caesar’s old scheme of divide and conquer — is something the really bad guys are good at to keep us away from their gates.

In reading the Supreme Court argument in the McDonald case, I wonder whether the liberal justices would be happy if First Amendment rights vanished when one left one’s own home — as they suggest is possible for the Second Amendment?

No argument about the Democratic leadership. But take some spice from Dune and look at the alternative world where John McCain won the 2008 election — and with the support of both parties leadership passed cap and trade (McCain believes in global warming), bail-outs and stimulus packages, government takeover of health insurance (McCain just introduced a bill to give the FDA the power to ban health supplements which are keeping me alive), and a Neocon foreign policy of globalization, US as world policeman, and nation-building.

You ever notice how spaceships use the moon for a “slingshot” effect to get an extra boost? Politics can work the same way.

If I had “held my nose” and voted for McCain in 2008, today we would have had both major parties pushing for increased statism and no opposition party.

Instead I voted for Obama, and the Republican rank and file are finding that they win support not by supporting bailouts, cap and trade, and more socialization of the economy, but by opposing it.

Sometimes you win by losing first.

The third Shrek sequel, Shrek Forever After, is opening the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Thank you, Robert De Niro, for financing your festival with submission fees from thousands of starving independent filmmakers like me then using our hard-found money to highlight high-budget studio sequels!

I submitted Lady Magdalene’s to all the major film festivals — sometimes more than once — which took submission fees ranging as high as a hundred and twenty bucks — some of them from thousands of filmmakers each year — then turned around and used the money to promote major studio releases.

This year it’s Tribeca opening with a Shrek sequel, but the gone-and-not-missed CineVegas took hundreds of thousands of bucks in submission fees from indie filmmakers like me … and opened its festival a couple of years back with Oceans 13 — the second sequel to a remake.

It’s disgusting.

I submitted for the 2007 and 2008 Tribeca Film Festivals, not 2010. After they took my money twice and sent me emails telling me how many swell submissions they got so they weren’t accepting my movie for festival play I decided not to throw good money after bad.

My point is, these big “indie” film festivals take submission money from thousands of indie filmmakers, pick a few to play at their festivals like they’re lotto winners, then spend the indie filmmakers moneys giving free publicity to major studio releases.

And let’s say more people attend a festival because they get to see a studio release. It does no good for the filmmakers whose money they took and didn’t accept their films. And if they sell extra tickets to fill the theater, the festival keeps all the money — not a dime of festival box office is shared with the filmmakers.

And the chances of an indie film making a sale to a distributor because of festival play are minuscule anyway.

No, there aren’t any refunds if your movie isn’t accepted for play at a festival.

It’s a real sucker play, worthy of Bernie Madoff.

I’ve been thinking a long time about how I’d run a film festival.

First, I would not charge filmmakers a submission fee. If they wanted to buy an ad for their film in the program book — not a requirement for submitting their film — they could do that. But that’s the only thing I’d consider charging a filmmaker for, since they’re providing their film to the festival for free, and the festival is selling tickets and not sharing the receipts with them. Some festivals find all sorts of things to charge filmmakers for — award banquet tickets, press conferences, premium display of posters, etc. This makes the festival concentrate on squeezing revenue out of the very people it should be supporting — the filmmakers who have already struggled with the costs of making the movie which the festival is going to sell tickets to see!.

The festival should make its money off ticket sales, sales of refreshments, sale of memorabilia.

Sponsors and advertisers should pay for the rest, and provide product placements. At the San Diego Black Film Festival all the parties were hosted by Tommy Bahama rum and vodka — which provided both free food and an open bar.

One other thing. I think there should only be one track of film programming. Films at a festival shouldn’t have to compete for audience with other films. Run the festival extra days if necessary.

A movie theater setting isn’t required, but there should be theater quality projection of films — and that means high-definition players and projectors should be used, and nowadays that means Blu-Ray disk — as well as standard-def DVD — should be the main projection formats, in addition to 16 mm and 35 mm film.

Sound is important.

And seating needs to be comfortable, when you have people sitting for entire days.

One big advantage of existing theater seating is that it can be raked — that is, you don’t have a flat floor where people can’t see over the heads of the people in front of them.

Or, the screen can be raised. But that means people will get stiff necks from looking up.

Plenty of bathrooms. Plenty of water.

And decent security, so people don’t steal the filmmakers’ posters.

Publicity, promotion, and advertising is crucial.

And this is the most important thing:

The movies selected for play have to be appealing to the audience. If it’s all depressing movies about how much everything sucks — artsy fartsy, nihilistic, evil-always triumphs stuff — don’t bother inviting me. I like uplifting movies with heroes, great music, great stories, and lots of laughter and pathos.

Prioritizing entries?

1) Every film submitted needs to be watched all the way through by someone with some cred, who will fill out a form on whether it meets the various criteria the festival is setting as its standards for selection, and add up the points in each category for a numerical score. Categories might be quality of writing, acting, directing, editing, cinematography, music — etc. Plus somewhere the viewer can notate that a film was so good it knocked them on their ass.

2) I would eliminate from consideration any film which already has distribution through a studio.

3) A film festival is a convention, and needs some experienced people running it — and probably a lot of volunteer labor.

There’s a start.

Without Facebook and the rest of the Internet I’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere and no one would even know I exist.

The truth is, a book has to be a bestseller before it gets banned. I’m still working on that.

I tried eHarmony, Chemistry.com, and Match.com … but my computer didn’t like the other computers I tried to set it up with.

When I was in seventh grade I could have written a better re-commitment to founding principles than the Mount Vernon Statement. If this list of non-specific, warmed-over clichés is the best the conservative movement can come up with, they can pack it in right now.

I’ve been in long debates making the argument that refusing to recognize property rights in material identity leads to universal identity theft — plagiarism and forgery. In the absence of a theory of property rights in Identity presenting someone else’s informational creations as your own would not be theft because no property rights would have been violated.

If you don’t regard plagiarism as a violation of the author’s property rights, don’t come back at me claiming to be a defender of anyone’s property rights in anything.

@Time.com: Global warming causes blizzards? Tell me how sticking my hand in boiling water causes frostbite. How abstinence causes pregnancy. How I can lose weight by eating 5 pounds of bacon, waffles, and ice cream every day. At a certain point this sort of mendacity becomes criminal, the sheriff is called to remove the public nuisance, the snake-oil salesman is tarred and feathered then driven out of town on a rail.

This whole climate change business is a bunch of retards trying to figure out climate using an Etch-a-Sketch.

A question for my skeptical anarchist friends. Is there anything in our worldview that makes it at all unlikely that if an extraterrestrial craft had crashed outside Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947 that the United States Army wouldn’t have been ordered to collect all crash debris and bodies, and in the name of national security threaten and discredit all witnesses into a six-decade-long ongoing cover-up?

It’s not a secret. There’s a movie about it titled Roswell. It’s part of the pop culture. But any hard evidence of an ET crash landing at Roswell — the debris and bodies that Isaac Asimov said he’d need to be convinced — is, if it happened, still being kept secret by the government, along with a new “explanation” every decade or so. The last one was a spy balloon. The trouble is, I’ve met Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr., and he knows what his dad Major Marcel showed him debris from in July 1947 — and it wasn’t any sort of balloon.

Jews don’t expect anyone to be perfect. Not even God.

Precisely how do Christians expect Jesus to perfect their character? Neurosurgery? Brainwashing? Zapping with Gamma Rays? Or simply a continuation into the Afterlife of what we’re already doing here on earth: working on ourselves, trial and error, and — well — living?

Not once did God ever ask me to call him Master. Why then, in the name of God, would I ever call another mortal man Master?

If you catch me staring blankly, ignoring everything around me, for minutes at a time, don’t worry, I’m probably not dead or just had a stroke — I’m just writing.

Why was a Bobble-Head Doll placed behind President Obama during his State of the Union address yesterday? It was very distracting. Oh, wait a second. That was Vice President Biden, wasn’t it?

Aslan, in the Narnia books, tells Lucy Pevensie that one can never know what would have happened. In Frank Herbert’s Dune, one needs to be mainlining spice to see alternative timelines. Yet, Timothy Geithner has the chutzpah to tell Congress that he knows the economy would have been worse without the AIG bailout?

I’m thinking of starting a club that gets us down to one meeting a month: libertarian-science-fiction-anti-War-pro-Second-Amendment-Toastmasters-Weight-Watchers-Speed-Dating. Who’s in?

If there is life after death then there is economic life after death, because the axioms of praxeology apply to immortals equally well as they apply to mortals. Volitional consciousness, itself, necessitates the desire to act, thus Nirvana is only achievable if death is real.

Would someone tell Fox News that George Washington was the father of the country, and that you don’t get to be father of the country by being elected president? Geez. These people really do literally believe in paternalistic government, don’t they?

I just saw Hannah Montana: The Movie on Starz. It’s a cute, funny movie and Miley Cyrus has one of the best singing voices I’ve ever heard. Before anyone calls me a pervert for liking a Disney movie starring a 16-year-old girl, am I also no longer allowed to like The Jackson Five or Stand By Me?

Should Ben Bernanke be fired for looting the economy of the United States of America? Absolutely. Preceded by a blindfold, a last cigarette, and “Ready … Aim …”

The purpose for SETI is to discover life on other planets … so we can sell them shit.

My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Amazon.com Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

Bookmark and Share

The Campaign to Retard Free Speech

Let’s speak the English language, for a moment.

The word “retard” — as a verb — means to slow down, or obstruct.

As a noun, “retard” means that which is slowed down or obstructed.

In music, a retard is a slowing of tempo.

In an automobile engine, a retard is a setting in the distributor to slow down the ignition spark in a cylinder.

For many years, the word “retarded” was used by both the medical and teaching professions to describe persons whose cognitive functions were slow, who were slow to learn, who were slow to catch on.

Now the Special Olympics — and Sarah Palin — want to eliminate the word “retarded” from common usage because it offends their egalitarian premise that we shouldn’t take notice that some people are less cognitively functional than others.

Well, let’s look at this premise, a few weeks before the real Winter Olympics.

Athletes will be competing for speed. Are the fastest athletes — the ones who win the gold — not “special” because they’re in any way superior to other people? Or is the word “special” only allowable to those who are in any way inferior?

When I was in seventh grade at Coolidge Junior High School in Natick, Massachusetts, a reading comprehension test was given to the entire Natick school system, through grade 12.

In grade seven, I outscored everyone in the entire Natick school system. My test was scored as a “22nd Grade” reader.

Yet, it was so common, I can’t tell you how many times I was called a “retard” by other students because in athletic competition — the measure important to them — I was slow.

I am mentally quick. I am physically retarded.

And here’s a concept for Sarah Palin and the mentally-gifted organizers of the Special Olympics:

Speech consists of words. Free speech requires the free use of words. There can be no free speech if you continue to punish the free use of words.

If you can’t understand this simple a prerequisite for freedom of speech, you are learning impaired.

My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Amazon.com Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

Bookmark and Share

Quotations from EasyChairman Neil

There Is Such A Thing As A Cheap Lunch. (TISATAACL)

Schulman’s Law: Books > Bookshelves.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to go into politics.

Always look a gift horse in the mouth. If the Trojans had they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble.

The right to be funny is the most basic human right.
(Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke!)

It’s the job of the novelist to reflect life — with a parabolic mirror. We storytellers are in a messianic competition to see which one of us can save the world first.

Sometimes I feel like a projectionist in a movie theater for the blind.

Thoreau talked about marching to the beat of a different drummer. I had my own dance band.

Always clean before guests come over. Then apologize profusely for how much of a mess you’ve left the place. This puts even the white-glove housekeepers off their game.

Those who live by the sword die by the sword.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Those who live by the pen die by the pen.

Red states? Red has always been the color of revolution. Do they know something I don’t know?

Each of us has the right to defend the rights of life, liberty, and private property, if necessary applying violence against those who threaten or first use violence to violate those rights. A right that cannot be exercised is no right at all. A right which is not yours to defend belongs to no one.

It’s just me, but I don’t trust Christians who dislike C.S. Lewis; I don’t trust science-fiction fans who dislike Robert A. Heinlein; and I don’t trust libertarians who dislike Ayn Rand.

Unintended consequences of being a lazy slob: I just found a bag of grapes I’d forgotten in the back of my refrigerator for about six months. It’s now a perfectly fine bag of raisins!

You do better as a businessman reading Gandhi than reading Sun Tzu.

You know the world is getting just plain weird when you get an email that starts, “Dear NRA Wine Lover …”

If you’re upbeat and busy all the time, you’re hyperactive — and there’s a prescription pharmaceutical for that. If you’re melancholy or grieving, there’s a prescription pharmaceutical for that. And if you are sometimes upbeat and sometimes melancholy, you’re bipolar — there’s a prescription drug for that. Heads they win, tails you lose. No matter what your mood is, you’re sick and need their drugs. What a racket!

Once you understand that all moral defense of property rights begins with self-ownership, the case for libertarianism is that everything that exists can be owned. Every thing. Once one has made the identification that it is a thing, the moral case for ownership in it has been made. Any exception to this is a corruption of the case and inevitably leads to the case for communism.

There are those who think there are already too many people and wish to reduce the human population by discouraging human fecundity. They think the earth has limited resources and if human population growth continues unabated our species will use them up. But they have it just backwards. The only actual resource is intelligence, and every human body comes with the potential of being that mind which solves the problem of satisfying a need. So I say: the more minds the merrier. Be fruitful and both multiply and divide.

The solution for poverty is the creation of new and plentiful wealth. But as every indie filmmaker like me quickly learns, there’s nothing to distribute if you don’t first produce it.

Today I know that even for an immortal, all things end. Even if you go on forever, you die every moment and are reborn as something else. Every thought you have — every act you take – makes you into something different — and that which you were is left behind, dead. The child who grows into an adult has died: that adult takes over the body and continues. When we leave our bodies, we die as human beings. The human is dead while a new god is born. The friend or loved one we see tomorrow has continuity only with our friend or loved one of yesterday: they are different, even if only incrementally different. If we are lucky, we find that which we love still alive in the new; but the old is surely dead by virtue of having been changed out of existence.

If all one portrays in movies is that powerful officials are heartless, conscienceless monsters, that’s the behavior we’ll get from them.

People who refuse to see this planet as capital for the human race have no alternative than to see the human race as slaves to the planet. Are you a human being or an imperialist rock? Find your class interest and decide.

Senate — lit. “council of elders,” from senex (gen. senis) “old man, old” (see senile). Well, that explains everything!

I am continually astonished that libertarians and propertarian, free-market anarchists accept at face value Marxist and communist spin as their own view of history.

Nowhere in the Constitution of the United States is there authority for paper currency issued by a cartel of private banks to carry the signature of the Treasurer of the United States and the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States — a cartel that the Treasurer of the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Congress, the Courts, and even the President are forbidden to audit. Yet if any private bank were to issue gold and silver coins to be circulated as money in the United States, the bankers would be imprisoned, their bank shut down, their gold and silver stocks confiscated, and their customers left as helpless as Bernard Madoff’s victims. And we’re supposed to believe that it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil?

To the civilian airline passengers of Northwest Airlines Flight 253: Thank you for your service.

Zuzu Bailey: “Look, Daddy! Teacher says, ‘Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings!'” George Bailey: “Shhhh! Zuzu. You trying to get your teacher fired?”

Objecting to any State’s military is consistent with anarchism. But to regard the United States projecting military power against totalitarian regimes as more evil than the continuation of dictatorships in Venezuela or Iran is a moral travesty. The objections to the U.S. going to war are doing so without civilian collateral damage, or cost to Americans, not because liberating those countries wouldn’t be a good thing.

If you believe in God because you read about him in a book and accept the existence of God on faith, you’re legally sane. If I believe in God because I had direct mind-to-mind conduct with the Almighty, I’m crazy. No wonder atheists don’t take religious people seriously.

If PETA were consistent they would oppose sterilization of animals as a violation of the animal’s right to reproduce.

A Jew goes into a bar in Tel Aviv and orders an alcohol-free beer. An Arab comes up to him and says, “This is a Sunni bar. Are you a Sunni or a Shia?” “I’m a Jew,” he replies. The Arab thinks a moment then says, “Are you a Sunni Jew or a Shia Jew?”

Anyone claiming to be a Know-It-All on any subject is no scientist.

I just saw a teenage girl on TV hoping a snow day will close down her school. As far as I’m concerned, any school with as many as 25% of students who wish it were closed — even for a day — is a failure and should be closed until it’s good enough at teaching to find a clientele of students who consider a snow day a tragedy.

Without Choice existing first, one can’t choose the Right to Life.

I’m the Ultimate Minority. There are 6.7 billion of you and only one of me.

That the snake-oil security of gun control has become so dominant that our own army can’t ordinarily be trusted with a gun — that soldiers on an American army base need to dial 911 to call civilian cops for rescue from a lone gunman on an unabated rampage — is the single-most humiliating, despicable, evil, dishonorable, and disheartening loss of face in the entire history of the United States military … That’s far, far worse than the insanity of continuing a broken policy that none of the people who speak from the American heart even notice that it’s broken.

How can Al Gore expect me to accept that the scientific debate on man-made global warming is over when scientists had to take a vote to decide how many planets there are in this solar system?

What is most holy on planet earth? Love, wit, orgasms, and music.

God has earned a place in my heart. Not churches built by men. Not religions organized by men. Not scriptures written by men. Not traditions and customs practiced by men. Men are untrustworthy and corrupted — often enough when they wear funny robes and hats. Demand I treat those artifacts of human existence as holy — demand piety for my fellow men from me — and you make me as much your enemy as if I was still an atheist.

If there is life after death then there is economic life after death, because the axioms of praxeology apply to immortals equally well as they apply to mortals. Volitional consciousness, itself, necessitates the desire to act, thus Nirvana is only achievable if death is real. By the way, “Nirvana” is just a code-word for “death.”

I love capitalism. Think there’s a chance we’ll get it in America?

Here’s a “what if” — and my anarchist friends need not answer. What do you think would happen to the general education level in the U.S. if compulsory schooling after grade 6 were abolished and every dime of taxpayer money currently spent on public schools from grades 7 through 12 were diverted to public libraries?

It is so damned hard sometimes to be a law-and-order anarchist.

A question for the student of history: what’s it called when the people give an order to the police to disperse?

If sending messages on Twitter to protesters from a motel room can be the basis for a federal raid on your home and a federal Grand Jury investigation, wrap it up for liberty in the United States — we’re done.

Oh, while we’re giving warnings, a word to the wise: protesters who want to keep this libertarian on their side better remember that smashing store windows and overturning cars is a good way to get me to dial 911.

I am so sick of political partisans tossing recent history into an Orwellian memory hole to advance their narrow agendas. To attack President Obama’s plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and relocate the prisoners to Supermax prisons on the U.S. mainland, they make the silly argument that “prisoners of war” can’t be held safety on the U.S. mainland. Oh, really? The highest number of prisoners I’ve seen held at Gitmo is 558. According to Wikipedia, “In the United States, at the end of World War II there were 175 Branch Camps serving 511 Area Camps containing over 425,000 prisoners of war. The camps were located all over the US but were mostly in the South because of the expense of heating the barracks. Eventually, every state with the exception of Nevada, North Dakota, and Vermont had POW camps.” Were 425,000 Nazis and Kamikaze Japanese less dangerous than 558 Jihadis? I don’t think so.

I don’t care if this will make it impossible for me to buy an NFL team, but it’s got to be said: Barack Obama dances like a white guy.

Why do neocons like Sean Hannity constantly defame Neville Chamberlain as an appeaser? On 9/30/1938 Chamberlain drew a line in the sand when he signed two treaties with Hitler. On 9/1/1939, ignoring those treaties, Hitler invaded Poland. Two days later Chamberlain became the first world leader to declare war on Hitler. That doesn’t seem like some wimpy appeaser to me — nor to Winston Churchill, by the way.

Why is it that “gun-toting” sounds dangerous but “gun tote” sounds like something Carrie Bradshaw might have bought from Prada?

Even if not an intended part of government health care, any sort of universal health care does inevitably grant the government the power to define risky behavior and punish people for engaging in it — whether it’s owning a gun, or eating a supersized Big Mac, or driving over 55. Once the government has seized the power to regulate your personal life choices freedom is ended and totalitarianism is the way of life. Is there any subsidy for your health insurance that’s worth this total loss of personal liberty?

Iraq and Afghanistan have earned the right to be called democracies the same way Barack Obama has earned a Nobel Prize for achieving peace. That is — not at all, not yet, and maybe never.

Some libertarians are right-wing. Some libertarians are left-wing. This libertarian is spicy-Buffalo-wing.

It’s very simple. If the money is bogus, whatever issues the money is bogus. The day the Fed is audited will be the day the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and all the Federal Reserve members join Bernard Madoff behind bars.

The paradox of the 24-hour news cycle is that with virtually unlimited time to examine the subtleties and nuances of a story the coverage is so dumbed down that even Geico’s cave men should feel they’re being patronized. “Heisman Trophy Winner stabs ex-wife and frend” never explained why forensic evidence actually points more to O.J. Simpson’s son, Jason, and “Hollywood Director drugs and rapes child” can’t explain why the survivor of both the Holocaust and the Manson family would crave a barely-post-pubescent model who now, unquestionably as an adult, wants him left alone. But that doesn’t lend itself well to a smug “End of story!” — does it?

Whenever someone argues the State has a compelling interest to limit individual rights, you’ve identified an enemy of your liberty.

In the name of Darwin, would someone please explain to Bill Maher that his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell doesn’t give him any science credentials to call out the climatologists who don’t buy into the religion of global warming?

Your life doesn’t start when you’re born and your adulthood doesn’t start when you pass through puberty? Such is the progressive thinking that passes for conservativism, ignoring the true conservatism of remembering thousands of years of human culture before our own.

The entire criminal justice system is a one-sided con game if “victims’ rights” is justification for harsher punishment when the victim comes into court to make an impact statement but the victim is told her statement will be trash-canned if she favors excusing her perp. Just one more data point on the destruction of the premise that the individual matters in the United States of America.

The Democratic Party’s attempt to universalize health care falls into the category of the War of All Against All. It is purely Marxist in that it places every individual’s need as a legal claim upon every other individual’s labor and property. If the government can make it a crime to refuse to be a customer for their favored clients, Marxist premises in theory are Fascism in practice.

Property boundaries exist to define the limits of who may protect or utilize what. If everyone has standing to regulate everyone else’s body and property then we are in Hobbes’s war of all against all and that is as good a definition of Democracy as there is.

What distinguishes libertarian legal theory from all others is the premise that only individual moral actors who can be held accountable for their actions have the right to act without the permission of others. Anything else may be protected by the creation of a guardianship but if they are not capable of being held accountable for their actions they do not have the right to act without their guardian’s permission.

Applying the libertarian premise that things that cannot be held morally accountable for their actions do not have rights but may be protected anyway, the question arises: who has standing to protect them? Just anyone? Or only those whose dominion they naturally exist within?

In granting the unborn legal rights “Pro Lifers” use identical logic to environmentalists who grant rights to trees and PETA that grants rights to fish and microbes. All wish to deny human rights to undeniable human beings on behalf of a speculation that something else deserves rights — and assume Godlike legal standing to invade another’s sovereign realm to do it. This is the very definition of imperialism.

Libertarians who choose sides between left and right can do well. Play up free-market capitalism and shut up about being pro-choice, you can mix with conservatives. Play up anti-imperialism and shut up about the Second Amendment you can function on the left. But if you’re a pure out-of-the-closet libertarian, you are so screwed.

The problem with someone like Michael Moore isn’t that he attacks capitalism for having devolved into a corrupt Ponzi scheme. The problem is that the Democracy Michael Moore wants to replace it with is an even more centralized and all-encompassing Ponzi scheme.

Love-Me Tender makes better money than Legal Tender.

Sports. I get it now. You get to see the whole picture. Brilliant!

For my left-libertarian friends: Let’s call an intellectual-property-free market what it really is: Universal Identity Theft.

Remember the posters “Obama’s the One”? I still remember the buttons from 1968 — “Nixon’s the One.” And with the Humana gag order the Obama administration is outdoing Nixon in trying to silence the opposition. Gee whiz, I know the major health-care providers are running a fed-protected racket, so why work overtime to make them sympathetic?

Wait a second, wait a second! For 222 years — since the Constitution was ratified — an excise tax is a tax paid when you buy a product — like liquor or cigarettes — which you can buy tax-free in duty-free shops at airports. Now Max Baucus writes a bill which imposes an excise tax when you DON’T buy something. Er, isn’t that the kind of extortion prosecuted as a protection racket? So let’s follow Max Baucus’s logic about paying an excise tax if you don’t buy acceptable health insurance. Can I avoid paying the excise tax by not buying health insurance in a duty-free shop?

I’m sorry but it comes down to this. The destruction of the World Trade Center was nine decades of New York gun-control — starting with the Sullivan Act in 1911 — coming home to roost. If the cockpit crew or flight crew or passengers on Flights 11 and 175 had been armed on 9/11/2001 the Twin Towers would be standing tall today. In this case, 1911 minus the 1 = 9/11.

TANSTAAFL move over. TANSTAFHC. There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Health Care.

I’m sorry but there is no vocabulary that can justify the Orwellian notion that forcing healthy people who are not using medical services to purchase health insurance is ending a policy of giving them a free ride. The opposite is the truth: it is indeed taxing the healthy to pay for the sick. Obama is not only lying but he is expecting anyone with a logical mind to implode.

In the name of God, would somebody please send President Obama a DVD of Jurassic Park so he can listen to Jeff Goldblum’s explanation of unpredictability in complex systems? Does the President think he can reliably predict what 300 million Americans will do when forced to buy health insurance better than John Hammond could predict what a T-Rex would do when faced with a Jeep and a couple of tasty-looking kids?

I’m obese and Type II diabetic — a classic “preexisting condition.” Anything President Obama is proposing would benefit me personally because it ropes in healthy and younger people to pay for me. But with that subsidy comes a loss of independence: by assuming the costs of my health care the government claims the right to tell me what I can and can’t eat, force me to perform calisthenics, and become their lab rat.

Blame me — I voted for Obama.

President Carter is absolutely right about me. I am a racist. I would not have voted for someone with his policies if Barack Obama were not black.

It’s not that I want to im-peach President Obama. It’s that I think his higher education has left him learning im-pear’d.

President Obama’s Declaration of Interdependence ends with his pledge of your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor.

When the Founding Fathers set up the federal government with three co-equal branches so we’d have checks and balances, I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean the federal government would be able to write checks when they couldn’t figure balances.

The question is not how to make our country more fuel efficient but less fool efficient.

Would you bring back Cash for Clunkers for another few days, please? I want to turn in Congress.

Grand Theft Autocracy.

Bernie Madoff must be sitting in prison and thinking, “If only I was named Obama I could have kept the Ponzi scheme going forever!”

Am I Big Brother’s keeper?

The historical strength of America does not come from its government but in spite of it. It is not the spy & dominate machine that is powerful. America’s power comes from America’s people: proud, innovative, ornery, sneaky, contrary … and armed to the teeth!

Tyranny stops when you just say no.

All statist propaganda comes down to this: You must comply because we are all-powerful and know everything about you, and you are small, weak … and alone.

Everyone loves President Santa Claus. Only what he’s doing is re-gifting!

Socialism is like a convoy. You put the slowest clunkers up front. So what’s wrong with a convoy? The clunkers keep breaking down and everything keeps coming to a halt. So if you want to spend your life never getting out of first gear, demand that we all travel together in lock step. Or, you could break out of the convoy, pass, and take off!

They want to burden the better to pay for the worse. Obama’s health plan burdens the healthy to pay for the sick. Bush’s bail-out burdened healthy banks to pay for failing banks. Social Security burdens the young and fit to support the old and frail. Nothing’s wrong with any of this if you ask. A strong healthy person can act out of empathy and pity. But let the government take it by force and the human heart dies.

I honestly believe Barack Obama to be both brilliant and decent. If only he understood America.

What’s the enforcement tipping point? How many people have to not register their cars, smoke where it’s forbidden, not collect sales taxes, fail to file tax forms, don’t pay property taxes, don’t pay tickets, fail to make court appearances — before the system loses the voluntary compliance of most of the public needed for it to work? When police cruisers pull a motorist over, the vast majority meekly offer up their documents. Even so, often enough to make traffic cops nervous, a motorist takes a pot shot at the officer. What percent of driver armed confrontations breaks the system to the point cops regard highways like the Green Zone and refuse to do it?

To Glenn Beck: Let me make it easy. I voted for Obama and Bush. I have both socialized and done business with revolutionary anarchists, gun nuts, Hollywood liberals, Communists, Democrats, Republicans, Jews, Muslims, Christians, blacks, atheists, Scientologists, Mormons, sexual deviants, lawbreakers, cops, Congressmen, lobbyists, outside agitators, and propagandists of every stripe. My associations don’t define me.

I get it. Bad people working for the State do bad things. But if you fail to understand that many holding government office are just as concerned with liberty as you are you fail to understand that when tyranny comes they will be resisters on the inside who may turn the tide in the defense of freedom. Yes, there were even good Nazis and good Communists. Is it so hard to believe in good Democrats and good Republicans?

I propose a Nobel Prize in Science for the dude who figures out that every TV remote control should have a “half mute” button to take down the volume by half because the commercials are twice as loud as the program.

Since its founding in 1972, the Libertarian Party has offered the American people an alternative to the Democratic and Republican Parties. The American people have largely said, no thanks. Could the failure of the LP have something to do with the American people using government checks and services to pay for their family’s food, education, medicine, transportation, and often everything else?

Forget ideology. Forget high flying rhetoric. What does anyone proposing real freedom have to offer in a purely practical sense to a man or woman whose ability to pay their rent or mortgage, their food, their utility bills, their doctor bills and medicine, and their ability to get to work or school is entirely dependent on one level or another of the government? If you can’t provide a practical alternative, you lose.

The basic principle of any agreement is if one party violates its terms, the other parties are freed from its obligations. Examples: If spouses pledge fidelity and one cheats, the injured spouse is entitled to a divorce. If two nations sign a peace treaty and one invades, peace is off. And if none of the three branches of government abide by the limits the People have set in agreeing to the Constitution …

Oh, by the way? The deal works both ways. You can’t, on the one hand, complain that the federal government is operating outside the limits set by the Constitution, and, on the other hand, still demand Social Security, Medicare, student loans, Cash for Clunkers, etc. You can have freedom or a check … but not both.

Today, a new Declaration of Independence would have to read like a 12-Step Program.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the movie Jurassic Park over the years, which I recently watched again on HBO. I love this movie. But you know what? It’s worth losing a few people for the magnificent scientific breakthrough of bringing back dinosaurs and putting them in a zoo. Hell, we lose more people than that each year driving to zoos. The success of the movie itself proves it’s worth the effort.

First when cigarette smokers defended their freedom to smoke, statists said all we were hearing from was the tobacco lobby. When gun owners stood up for the Second Amendment, statists said it was the gun-manufacturers’ lobby. Now Americans who stand up against proposals for nationalizing health care are accused of being a mob organized by pharmaceutical firms. Get the pattern? Same old trick, new rabbit.

Don’t you get it? By allowing them to define the health-care debate as being between private insurance and single payer, they’ve already won. The real debate should be over medical freedom versus single standard. When government defines what is allowable health care and who may provide it, who pays for it is actually beside the point.

Okay, can anyone think of a single reason why Priceline should not be letting people bid on unused hospital beds the same way they bid for unused hotel rooms?

Here’s an idea for reducing health-care costs. Reduce the bureaucratic cost of bringing new drugs intended for adult usage to the market by allowing pharmaceutical manufacturers to label them “X” for experimental then allow manufacturers to put a skull and crossbones on all X-drugs and require prescribing physicians and patients to sign an informed consent form waiving legal liability for all adverse reactions.

How often do we hear the question “Am I my brother’s keeper?” as a moral imperative justifying forced labor or confiscating its fruits? Does anyone remember that the phrase comes from a Bible story about the very first murderer, who had just killed his brother, mouthing off to God when he was interrogated about it?

Love of money may be the root of all evil but not liking money is just stupid.

And while we’re at it, if Casablanca proves anything, it’s that the problems of three little people do amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world!

My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Amazon.com Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

Bookmark and Share

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Poverty of Nations

I write this on a day when three million of the poorest people on planet Earth — living in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere — just had a natural disaster take from them even the little they had.

Twenty-three decades ago the Scottish moral philosopher, Adam Smith, published his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, and in doing so offered the first principles on which to found what may someday become a science of economics. It’s obvious from our current condition that economics is not yet a science, otherwise engineers could produce as predictable practical results for economics as they can for chemistry and physics.

Thus the production and delivery of plentiful goods to the Haitians would have been a done deal years ago. Their buildings would have been built to Tokyo standards and even a 7.0 earthquake on the Richter scale would not have devastated their country.

Or maybe that’s unfair. Maybe the principles of economics are sufficiently developed for practical applications and were simply ignored. In that way any rational analysis of the devastation in Haiti would in some sense be “blaming the victims” for their failure to apply the science needed to escape from their nation’s poverty.

It’s easy to do that as an intellectual exercise. That’s a lot of what you’ll be hearing from right-wing pundits today.

It’s heartless and inhuman to make that one’s first response to the pain anyone not psychically armored against empathy will feel.

But, as a practical matter — not being wealthy enough to pay even all of my own creditors — I am unable to add very much of my own to that Haitian relief effort which wealthier human beings than I will make.

The second emotion I experience following any disaster I see on the news is a feeling of dismal futility. I can contribute little but if I did not do even this the lack of my contribution would be submarginal.

You may call this the principle of Marginal Futility, and I am being only mordantly funny.

That’s why I now supplement my marginal futility to help the Haitians with the intellectual futility of examining why this is still a problem.

The first axiom of just about any school of economics is scarcity.

The Austrian School of Economics — the school of thought to which most current-day libertarians subscribe — treats anything less than instantaneous gratification of any desire as an object of scarcity. The way writers like Murray Rothbard put it is that if you desire a Coca Cola, it would have to be trickling down your throat at the instant you desire it otherwise you would need to take some action — even it’s only lifting the bottle to chug it — to satisfy the scarcity of Coca Cola in your throat.

Both by the first premise of Austrian economics — “Human beings act to remove felt unease” — and by empirical observation of the universe around me, I’ve concluded that everything — every thing — that exists is scarce.

There is only one of two conditions to escape economics, then.

The first condition is to desire nothing. That’s the teleology offered by Zen Buddhism, whose adherents desire a state of non-desiring they call Nirvana. This logically requires total unconsciousness because the conscious mind — being active — can still perceive something new to it and desire that new thing. Arriving in Heaven would be a disastrous outcome for the Zen Buddhists, since they’d still be conscious and thus capable of desires and actions to pursue them.

The second condition is to be conscious within a reality in which the moment any desire is detected it’s instantly gratified. Lust is instantly gratified by sex and orgasm. Hunger is instantly satisfied by taste. Thirst is instantly quenched. Every itch is instantly scratched. I believe a lot of Christians think that’s what Heaven would be.

Both Zen Buddhists and many fundamentalist Christians appear to idealize the condition of the fetus in the womb. It exists and — if it desires anything — that desire is instantly satiated.

Birth just ruins everything.

The conscious, active mind is incapable of existing in either of these conditions permanently. The mind stuck in either of these conditions will eventually atrophy and die from boredom.

Thus, economic scarcity is a fundamental condition of being sapient, whether as a mortal or immortal.

Heaven, itself, must have an economic life.

The pursuit of happiness is therefore an economic study as much as a spiritual study, and that is a universal truth.

I am a creative person by activity and profession. My professional life has been devoted to bringing into existence — or trying to — information objects — stories, scripts, novels, movies, and even inventions — that have not previously existed.

Three novels would not have existed if I had not written them.

One feature film would not have existed if I did not write, produce, and direct it.

There is at least one invention I have “on the drawing board” that will not exist unless I manage to get it produced, tested, and — if market-worthy — manufactured and offered for sale.

I do not believe in the concept of creation ex nihilo — out of nothingness. Therefore, all creation is working with the stuff you find around you and recombining what you find into new things.

As a practical matter, as well as in economic theory, nothing is so plentiful as not to be an object of desire.

Even the ocean is scarce if you live in the desert … or on a planet that doesn’t have one.

There are those who think there are already too many people and wish to reduce the human population by discouraging human fecundity. They think the earth has limited resources and if human population growth continues unabated our species will use them up.

But they have it just backwards. The only actual resource is intelligence, and every human body comes with the potential of being that mind which solves the problem of satisfying a need. So I say: the more minds the merrier. Be fruitful and both multiply and divide.

The solution for poverty is the creation of new and plentiful wealth. But as every indie filmmaker like me quickly learns, there’s nothing to distribute if you don’t first produce it.

That principle could have saved Haiti. And I hope it will before Haiti needs saving from some new disaster.

The wealth of this planet is the fruits produced by the free and individual human mind. That requires a society which values the free and individual human mind, and offers the protection of property rights in what they create.

The libertarian movement is now made up largely of intellectuals who do not believe that. They think because something can be copied that it’s not scarce and therefore the rules of economics state that it can’t be claimed by its creator as property.

They haven’t understood the first principles of economics. They don’t “grok” the pyramid of premises — from the “is” to the “ought” — which necessitates the recognition of property rights as the source of all progressive capitalism leading to human wealth. They left their common sense in their rear-view mirrors.

That’s one big reason I no longer consider myself part of the libertarian movement.

I just wrote a book called Unchaining the Human Heart — A Revolutionary Manifesto. It’s about the same length as The Communist Manifesto and Quotations from Chairman Mao (“The Little Red Book.”)

Feel free to start a new revolutionary libertarian movement around it.

But don’t expect me to be hanging around when it finally gets going.

Meanwhile, if you have a spare buck or two, find a way to get it to someone who might actually help the Haitians, rather than the usual thieves who will ask for your money then pocket it themselves.

It might be futile but then, what isn’t on this darned planet?

Bookmark and Share