Category Archives: 060 Decentralization

Rebel Farmers And Government Cartels: How The New Deal Cartelized U.S. Agriculture

“Marvin Horne doesn’t look like a man in open rebellion against the United States government, but the 70-year-old raisin farmer and his wife Laura have had enough. If they get their way, they’re not going to let the U.S. Raisin Administrative Committee take their raisins anymore.

Yes, there’s a Raisin Administrative Committee.

This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Horne’s case challenging the Raisin Administrative Committee. It’s the New-Deal case that took 80 years to bring.

Like an agency pulled from the pages of an Ayn Rand novel, the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC) oversees many parts of U.S. raisin production. The 47-member committee consists of different representatives from the raisin industry, including ‘handlers,’ those who pack the raisins and prepare them for sale, and ‘growers,’ those who grow and dry grapes. They meet in an office in Fresno and issue ‘marketing orders,’ which decide, among other things, how many raisins should be diverted into the National Raisin Reserve each year. By taking raisins off the open market, the RAC maintains an artificially high price for raisins and keeps many, but obviously not all, raisin farmers happy. Think of it as a raisin cartel, a raisin OPEC.”

(Via.) Forbes <—Read more here

How a maple syrup rebellion is growing in Quebec

“STE-CLOTILDE-DE-BEAUCE, QC. • On an April morning, Angèle Grenier tramps on snowshoes through her sugar maple forest. Her vest pockets bulge with plastic spouts, tube connectors, clamps, wire ties, a tool for twisting the ties, surveyor’s tape, tube-cutters, and a snack: a molasses cookie in a Ziploc bag.

At each maple Grenier stops and taps a spout with her mallet, securing it in a hole. Maple sap flows from these spouts through pipes, down the hill to a reservoir in her sugar shack. The tap of her mallet and a crow’s call are all that disturb the stillness of the sugar bush.

This diminutive, twinkle-eyed grandmother hardly looks the part of a guerilla. Yet in recent years Grenier and other maple syrup producers in Quebec have sent the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec — the provincial syrup producers’ union — into paroxysms of rage. There is a maple syrup insurgency afoot, and the union is doing everything it can to thwart the subversive activity of Grenier and her fellow insurrectionist syrup producers.

Backed by the Quebec justice system and the provincial police, sheriffs have raided sugar shacks down country roads and seized barrels of maple syrup, using trucks and front-end loaders. The federation’s goal: enforcing a supply management system that controls the sale and proceeds of maple syrup in Quebec. Angèle Grenier taps maple trees in the

‘They have more power than police,’ says Daniel Gaudreau, a syrup producer in Scotstown, Que. ‘They can come into my house anytime they want.’”

(Via.) Financial Post <—Read more here

Uber driver, licensed to carry gun, shoots gunman in Logan Square

“Authorities say no charges will be filed against an Uber driver who shot and wounded a gunman who opened fire on a crowd of people in Logan Square over the weekend.

The driver had a concealed-carry permit and acted in the defense of himself and others, Assistant State’s Attorney Barry Quinn said in court Sunday.

A group of people had been walking in front of the driver around 11:50 p.m. Friday in the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when Everardo Custodio, 22, began firing into the crowd, Quinn said. cComments

The driver pulled out a handgun and fired six shots at Custodio, hitting him several times, according to court records. Responding officers found Custodio lying on the ground, bleeding, Quinn said. No other injuries were reported.”

(Via.) Chicago Tribune <—Read more here

Colorado Campus Carry: 12 Years, No Mass Shootings, No Crimes by Permit Holders

“On April 20, The Washington Post ran a column showing that campus carry has been the law of the land in Colorado since 2003, and the results have not been anything like those currently fighting against campus carry claim it should be.

There have been no mass shootings and, apart from one incident in which a gun was accidentally discharged by a Colorado University employee, there have been no crimes by permit holders.

No one was injured in the accidental discharge, and the employee was fired.

The success of campus carry in Colorado is especially good news for women, who are able to level the playing field by being armed and better able to defend their dignity when under sexual attack.

WaPo explains:

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts in-person interviews with several thousand persons annually, for the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). In 1992-2002, over 2,000 of the persons interviewed disclosed they had been raped or sexually assaulted. Of them, only 26 volunteered that they used a weapon to resist. In none of those 26 cases was the rape completed; in none of the cases did the victim suffer additional injury after she deployed her weapon.

So, in the 26 assaults in which a woman had access to a weapon, she was able to stop the rape and was not further assaulted.”

(Via.) Breitbart <—Read more here

Pew first: Gun rights top gun control in major public opinion shift

“Exactly two years after President Obama’s bid for gun control following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting died in Congress, a new poll has discovered a huge shift in public opinion to backing Second Amendment gun rights and away from controlling gun ownership.

The reason: Americans now believe having a gun is the best way to protect against crime, 63 percent to 30 percent.

Pew Research Center found that while support for gun control once reached 66 percent, it has dropped to 46 percent while support for gun rights has jumped 52 percent, the highest ever in the past 25 years.

‘We are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership – not gun control – makes people safer,’ said the survey.”

(Via.) WashingtonExaminer.com <—Read more here

Is the U.S. Government So Powerful that the Second Amendment is Pointless?

Finger explains why the gun collectivists are wrong and concludes:

“Before I finish, I’d like to make a few things clear. This writing is not a call for revolution. If that has been your take-away, you’ve misunderstood me. I, and most everyone else in this country, have plans for the future which require stability and will never come to fruition in a war zone. I’m simply trying to inform the two people who will ever read this that, once again, the gun debate is not as ‘black and white’ as some believe, and many of the arguments against guns are based entirely in ignorance and hearsay. My only goal is to provide a drop of truth in a sea of fallacy and misinformation. Rest assured, anybody who claims that guns should be further restricted or banned in this country because, ‘You can’t beat the government anyway,’ has no real understanding of the issue.

Those who founded this country were able to do so only after waging war against their own government, which had become irreversibly oppressive and corrupt. Being well aware of the dangers of concentrated power and its detrimental effect on personal freedom, they wanted only to erect a system of government that could be kept in check by limiting its power, and its ability to acquire it. The rights outlined in the Bill of Rights were included because they are the rights that, among others, have the most profound impact on the peoples’ ability to remain free in mind and body. And, indeed, they are the same rights that must first be lost in order for those who seek power and true control to achieve that goal.”

(Via.) GunsAmerica Digest <—Read more here

Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk 4/13/15: You Are the New Enemy

“So who is the real enemy? The Russians?

No, the real enemy is the taxpayer. The real enemy is the middle class and the productive sectors of the economy. We are the victims of this new runaway military spending. Every dollar or euro spent on a contrived threat is a dollar or euro taken out of the real economy and wasted on military Keynesianism. It is a dollar stolen from a small business owner that will not be invested in innovation, spent on research to combat disease, or even donated to charities that help the needy.

One of the most pervasive and dangerous myths of our time is that military spending benefits an economy. This could not be further from the truth. Such spending benefits a thin layer of well-connected and well-paid elites. It diverts scarce resources from meeting the needs and desires of a population and channels them into manufacturing tools of destruction. The costs may be hidden by the money-printing of the central banks, but they are eventually realized in the steady destruction of a currency.

The elites are terrified that peace may finally break out, which will be bad for their profits. That is why they are trying to scuttle the Iran deal, nix the Cuba thaw, and drum up a new ‘Red Scare’ coming from Moscow. We must not be fooled into believing their lies.”

(Via.) Liberty Crier <—Read more/listen to the talk here

Bill for concealed carry in evacuations headed to Gov. Rick Scott

More common sense gun deregulation legislation is looking likely in Florida, as the Tampa Bay Times reports: “TALLAHASSEE — Floridians soon could be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in the first two days of an emergency evacuation, even if they don’t have a concealed license to do so.

The House approved SB 290 by an 86-26 vote Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Rick Scott.

Supporters, backed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, say the legislation is necessary so lawful gun owners can take their weapons with them to avoid looting after a natural disaster.

‘Imagine the thousands and thousands of weapons that are going to be left alone in people’s homes when police are not available and first responders are slow in responding,’ said Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice.”

Of course the proposed legislation has kicked the hyperbole of the gun centralizers and hoplophobes into high gear. Fortunately, more people are seeing through their fear mongering and relegating their message to the trash bin of ideas where it properly resides.  

(Via.) Tampa Bay Times <—Read more here

Penn Jillette Can’t Have His Gay Wedding Cake and Eat It Too

“Popular entertainer and self-described libertarian Penn Jillette disappointed many liberty advocates in this recent CNN Tonight segment. The discussion was nominally about homosexuality and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but the real issue at stake was and will continue to be freedom of association.

The controversy stems from cases where business owners have refused for religious reasons to sell engaged gay couples wedding cakes and flowers. For example the owner of a bakery in Colorado was sued by a gay couple for refusing to bake a wedding cake for them. The court ordered him to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples, give his staff anti-discrimination law training, and submit quarterly reports to the state’s Civil Rights Commission confirming that he is complying with the government’s orders.

Jillette unfortunately fell into the trap of making this issue about religion and homosexuality: ‘You’re not talking about forcing people to engage in gay sex, or even endorse gay sex. We’re asking them that maybe they can treat people the same as other people, and that does not seem unreasonable. It’s okay, I suppose — although goofy – to be against gays, but it’s not okay to be against people who simply want to use your services.’ “

(Via.) Liberty.me <—Click here to read more

Greg Gutfeld: Gun Control Losing Because Americans Refuse to Feel Guilty over Self-Defense

“On April 3, Fox News’ host Greg Gutfeld explained that the media’s gun control arguments increasingly fall on deaf ears because Americans refuse to feel guilty over using guns for self-defense.

Gutfeld said, ‘No matter how hard the establishment media tries, they can’t convince good people how bad guns are when they’re in the right hands.’

He then explained that the American people, while supportive of the police, have simply come to realize that there are long seconds–and frequently, agonizing minutes–between the time they dial 911 and the time police arrive. Moreover, he stressed that Americans understand that in many instances the police will only be coming to count bodies–that any defense that is going to happen has to happen before badges, handcuffs, or sirens are on the scene.

Gutfeld suggested the gun control media’s inability to understand these things has only placed greater distance between their esoteric arguments and the American people. He said:

Perhaps the media misses the big point. They do their theorizing from the fish bowl of a well-protected studio and travel to and from work at reasonable hours through tiny neighborhoods in secure vehicles. The fine people of Detroit don’t have that luxury; they realize that any argument against arming yourself is full of holes, which is not the way they’d like to end up being.

Empirical support for Gutfeld’s claims can be seen in the pro-gun attitude taking hold in Detroit’s heavily black community right now. Breitbart News recently reported that concealed carry is surging in the black community, and no less a prominent figure than Detroit Police Chief James Craig explained that this is a seismic shift from how things have been historically.”

(Via.) Breitbart <— Read more here

For Privacy or Transparency, Bitcoin Benefits Liberty

“Proponents of Bitcoin, myself included, tend to focus on the potential for privacy it offers against increasing government intrusion into our financial affairs. But Bitcoin is not only a tool for those who wish to remain hidden—scofflaws, paranoid conspiracy nuts, crypto-anarchists, and of course the ever-present three-headed bogeyman of terrorists, drug dealers, and child abusers. It is also a tool for those who value transparency. Does that sound like a paradox? Well, it isn’t. A major characteristic of a technology that increases freedom is that it can be used for a widely varying range of choices.

I’ll talk a bit more about how that works in the case of Bitcoin later on, but first I’d like to submit as evidence for the transparency benefits of Bitcoin the recent discovery of extensive corruption on the part of two government agents involved in the Silk Road seizure. The agents—DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV and Shaun W. Bridges of the Secret Service—are allegedly jointly responsible for, amongst other crimes, the misappropriation and laundering of over a million dollars worth of bitcoin (estimated at the price at which they would have sold at the time they were obtained) confiscated from the Silk Road website. Carl Force was also a major investor in, and employee of, Bitcoin exchange CoinMTK while involved in the case, and is accused of having stolen customer funds while there.”

(Via.) Bitcoin Benefits Liberty <— Read the rest of the story here

California Need Prices More Than Rain:

“As Alex Tabarrok points out, California has plenty of water. What it doesn’t have are prices — or rather, market prices. Although a lot of well-meaning people insist that water is a right, I notice that my ‘right to water’ in no way changes the fact I have to pay the government monopoly for it ($44.91 last month). So even if there is a right to water, as Tabarrok quotes Matt Kahn, there is no natural right to always pay half a cent per gallon for it, regardless of supply or demand.

The price controls and subsidies for water use also have behavioral consequences:

As David Zetland points out in an excellent interview with Russ Roberts, people in San Diego county use around 150 gallons of water a day. Meanwhile in Sydney Australia, with a roughly comparable climate and standard of living, people use about half that amount. Trust me, no one in Sydney is going thirsty.”

(Via.) Foundation for Economic Education

Learn How This Family Grows 6,000 Lbs Of Food on Just 1/10th Acre

“Ever thought of growing your own food but didn’t think it was possible? It’s more that possible! It might even be the way of the future. If the Dervaes family can do it while living in Los Angeles, I think you can to.

The Dervaes family live on 1/10th of an acre 15 minutes from downtown L.A.. In itself that’s not strange. What’s crazy is that they manage to maintain a sustainable and independent urban farm. Complete with animals!

In a year they produce around 4,300 pounds of veggies, 900 chicken eggs, 1000 duck eggs, 25 lbs honey, and pounds of seasonal fruit. There are over 400 species of plants. What?! They have everything they need to ‘live off the land.’ From beets to bees. Chickens to chickpeas.

What the family doesn’t eat they sell from their porch, making around $20,000 a year. Local organic food is so popular that they don’t have any problems finding customs. Even chefs from restaurants seek them out.”

(Via.) DIY Cozy Home <—Video here! H/T The Liberty Crier

Push for Concealed Carry on Campuses is Gaining Ground

“At least 11 states are considering whether to allow concealed weapons on college campuses this year, the latest chapter in a now seemingly annual legislative debate between gun control advocates and gun rights supporters.

Bills have been introduced, at least once, in almost half of the 50 states in the past few years. Despite slow success thus far — just seven states have adopted versions of campus carry laws — gun rights advocates have their eyes on two very large prizes this year: Florida and Texas.

Right now, the odds are starting to stack up in their favor. The Texas bill has passed the Senate and is on its way to House. The version in Florida has passed through two Senate committees and is headed to the Judiciary Committee.”

(Via.) Inside Higher Ed

Tunisia Bardo Museum tourist massacre: 17 Italian, Polish, German and Spanish killed

“Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid has said that 19 people were killed in the Tunis museum attack, including 17 tourists from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain and Tunisians.

Two gunmen, who were wearing military fatigues, were also killed in the attack at the Bardo Museum, which shares its grounds with the country’s parliament buildings. Essid also reported 24 wounded and said that two or three gunmen involved in the attack may still be at large.

The casualties also include a Tunisian policeman and cleaning lady.

‘This is the work of cowards. We are have to join the efforts to fight terrorism. These wanted to harm,’ the country’s prime minister said. ‘It is a critical moment in our history, and a defining moment for our future.’

Parliament has been evacuated and the operation was reported to be over.”

(Via.) International Business Times

Beartooth: Stay Connected (Even Without Cell Service) With: Secure Voice, Text, and Even Offline Maps

Screen Shot 2015 03 13 at 8 31 10 AM

“Beartooth’s patent pending technology allows iOS and Android devices to communicate even if the cellular network is unavailable, failed, or congested. Whether you are skiing fresh powder in the backcountry or dancing at Coachella, you can now reliably stay in contact with your group in ways that were previously unavailable. Beartooth allows for true peer-to-peer communication between the devices, completely bypassing the Wi-Fi and cellular network.”

(Via.) Beartooth

iSpy: The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets

“The revelations that the CIA has waged a secret campaign to defeat the security mechanisms built into Apple’s devices come as Apple and other tech giants are loudly resisting pressure from senior U.S. and U.K. government officials to weaken the security of their products. Law enforcement agencies want the companies to maintain the government’s ability to bypass security tools built into wireless devices. Perhaps more than any other corporate leader, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has taken a stand for privacy as a core value, while sharply criticizing the actions of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”

(Via.) Firstollok.org: The Intersept

How Obama Made Me an Anarchist – By Winter Trabex

“I followed the story of the (indefinite detention clause in the) NDAA with great interest through December of 2011. This was Obama’s defining moment. Perhaps he had given in to political expediency at times. Perhaps he had been an imperfect man for the first three years of his presidency. This was not outside the realm of expectation. He was, and is, an imperfect human being. To expect perfect governance for an imperfect man is to engage in fantasy. But here, with the NDAA on his desk, he had a chance to emphatically say no to the same methods that FDR had used against Japanese American citizens during World War II, and which had been used by Joseph McCarthy camp during the so-called ‘red scare.’ He had a chance to say, you know what, we don’t always do everything right, but this one time I’m going to stand on principle. He had a chance to say that locking people up without due process was not okay.

He signed the bill.”

(Via.) LibertyMe – Stuff, Things, and Unspecified Unmentionables

Underdogs and Overlords

A little less than a year ago, Michael Vickers shot and seriously wounded a 10-year-old boy in Broxton, Georgia under circumstances that remain unclear. The victim, Dakota Corbitt, suffered serious and potentially permanent injury to his leg.

Despite the fact that this was an act of firearms-related violence involving a child, no charges were filed against Vickers. Although the public record is barren of a comment from Coffee County Sheriff Doyle Wooten expressing sympathy for Dakota and his mother, Amy, the sheriff pointedly commiserated with the shooter, telling a local NBC affiliate that Vickers is the father of three young children and that the shooting ‘is really preying on his mind.

Many people bearing such burdens would make a point of meeting with the injured child and expressing contrition in person. Vickers didn’t have time for such a gesture, however, because immediately after the shooting he went on what was described as a “pre-approved vacation” from his job…’”

(Via.) Pro Libertate

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