On Public Transportation vs Free Markets

I encountered a “muh roads” argument in the comments section of an article about funding of a local transportation system that’s crumbling under its own inefficiency, with the usual advocates and cronies demanding more taxpayer bailouts and subsidy.

My thoughts on it all:

Folks both Democrat and Republican have been indoctrinated that government is the only way. That’s what happens when government mandated union workers teach k-12 at government run schools with government mandated curriculum.  Hence, collectivization appears to them as the only solution, much like to a cult member, certain concepts seem self evident, no matter how dubious.  Hence, most citizens clamor for price fixing of labor, cronyism in contractors, and laws that prohibited competitive price discovery… on top of socialist redistributionism to help riders cover the cost, especially those who are deemed “in poverty”.   Hence, articles like the one linked above.

In truth, Transportation is no different than any other service or good = not exempt from basic laws of economic gravity.   The only reason government is the only player in these niches is due to a century ++ of government intervention that has both crowded out and prevented / stunted competition from and within the private sector.  In this case, from assisting crony cartel attempts on a local level to the PA Utility Commission (PUC) intervening in mandated price fixing (often to lock out new, lower cost competition), the market was increasingly cronyized and eventually socialized to the point where private interests were glad to sell out to Pittsburgh’s county government  in 1964, with stragglers throwing in towel vs. competing with taxpayers.  Today PAT (Pittsburgh Area Transit) is bloated with operation costs that far exceed the natural market price to provide these same services, as a means to enrich politically-connected labor organizations, crony public transport contractors and the politicians who trade in those favors.   The PUC heavily regulates any attempt to compete with the bloated PAT, making competition impossible against heavy tax-subsidized rides. It personifies your “utterly dysfunctional”.

For perspective, look at what PA and Pittsburgh / Allegeny County Government and the PUC-created cab cartels did to transportation: Pittsburgh was famous for overpriced, pathetic cab service, indifferent to customer demand.  At high demand times, cabs were chronically unavailable. Dispatchers would promise cabs that would arrive late (we’re talking more than an hour) or not at all, which made for interesting trips to catch flights at the airport, etc.  But for Uber and Lyft’s willingness to bypass Pittsburgh’s local cartel’s protectionist rules and go directly to the consumers who embraced them immediately and overwhelmingly, the citizens of the region would still be suffering under PUC mandated BS as they currently suffer with PAT.

One of the commenters chastised a call for ending government cronyism in the comment section as Ayn Rand “every man for himself” evil, a quip that betrayed a horrible misunderstanding of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and Free Markets in general, what to say of a lack of historical perspective.  But this is commonplace. Most have only been exposed to Rand and Free Markets via second or third hand sources, usually  progressive and neo-marxist critiques. Or in the case of free market economics, much through texts authored by modern economists, analysts or pundits out to justify collectivist central planning of money, interest rates and economic cycles.  Hardly unbiased sources for presenting the material credibly.

The Inherent Authoritarianism of Progressives

Progressives like to act all virtuous by citing their objectives, but when you scratch the surface of how they try to implement their preferred solutions, it’s downright ugly stuff.

Progressives like to say government is just a word for things we all do together, but that misses a crucial point. Left to their own devices, a lot of people would choose not to do certain things at all—or would choose to do them less, or differently, or with somebody else. Government actually is the way some people get other people to do things without their consent and even in the face of their strenuous objection. If the non-consenting people object too obstinately, the government will bring physical violence to bear. Government is not in the habit of taking no for an answer.

You can read the rest from the article at Reason Magazine here.

On Hong Kong and Protestors – What Should the U.S. Do?

The U.S. could simply issue a statement:

“The U.S. believes a nations’ primary, if not sole responsibility, is protecting the individual liberty of its citizens. We do not condone actions by governments that violate their citizens’ liberty, nor do we support populist democracy movements whose goal is to seize power only to swap the government with a different set of violations of individual liberty.

We hope those involved in the current problems in Hong Kong consider their ultimate goals in terms of human rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We denounce any and all efforts by any party that are contrary to that sentiment.”

It would be a lie, though, because most all in the U.S. Government don’t believe this in any way whatsoever.

XXVIII – The Liberty and Consent Protection Amendment


The individual liberty of The People (those residing in these United States) shall not in any circumstance be infringed upon by other individuals, groups, or governments of any type whatsoever.

1) The People are, and always shall remain, as a right of humankind from the moment of conception and birth, inherently full owners of their own lives, including their body, their labor, and the fruits derived thereof;

A) As full owners of their selves, The People individually own their present selves, their past selves, and their future selves;

i. As owners of their present selves, The People are the exclusive owners of their personal efforts and labor, to be voluntarily associated and dispensed as each chooses;

ii. As exclusive owners of their past selves, The People are inherently entitled to the exclusive ownership of their accumulated fruits of their present efforts, e.g. property, wealth, etc., to do with as they please, and in perpetuity;

iii. As exclusive owners of their future selves, The People are inherently entitled to remain free from unwanted influence and coercion, threats thereof, as affirmed forthwith;

2) The People shall always be entitled to the right of consent, whereby they reserve the opportunity to consent to, or outright reject, all initiatives of and associations with others;

3) This right to Individual Liberty shall always be reserved by all The People who are of sound mind;

A) The liberty of those medically deemed of unsound mind shall be protected from themselves and/or others by guardians as the law establishes.

B) Children, until the Age of Consent (age 18), being of limited faculty to make sound decisions, shall remain the legal responsibility of their parents or guardians, and shall have limited rights to self-determination until achieving the age of consent; but shall otherwise retain the rights to consent;

i. Laws shall be constructed to protect children from themselves;

ii. Laws shall be constructed to protect children from predators who would avail themselves upon the innocence of a child in order to violate the child’s liberty before the child is capable of sound consent;

C) Belief in the merits and defense of Individual Liberty shall solely never be deemed to be a mental illness, or classify any among The People as being of unsound mind.

4) The People, as heretofore described, shall always reserve the right to make their own informed and voluntary associations, and to consent to activities which they deem appropriate so long as their actions do not violate the Individual Liberty of others among The People.

5) The People shall be free to protect themselves from the unlawful coercion, fraud and force used by others wishing to violate Individual Liberty as a means of achieving their goals, and may associate as they wish to do so.

6) The sole exception where an individual, group, or group organized as a government may violate the consent of another person or group is when that other person or group is in the act of aggressing against the right to consent of others, or has aggressed in such a manner whereby prosecution for such crimes is necessitated as a matter of protecting this Amendment.

7) Individual Liberty shall always remain inalienable regardless of the justification of those who would choose exceptions or exemptions in order to violate it. Under no circumstances, save those exceptions noted in this amendment, may The Peoples’ rights to Individual Liberty and to consent ever be violated.

To David Horowtiz: Is Communism or Authoritarianism the Real Problem

I just read an article over at Breitbart discussing David Horowitz’s recent comments at a Heritage Foundation function where he, in no uncertain terms, labeled the entire Democrat Party a bunch of “communists”.

“My parents called themselves progressives,” Horowitz explained with regard to his communist parents. “The agenda was a Soviet America…the slogan of the communist party in those days was peace, jobs, democracy. Sound familiar?”

He continued:

“The communist party is the Democratic Party.”

Having watched Horowitz come out of the closet as a conservative in the early 1990s, I found Horowitz’s positioning and timing interesting.  The Heritage Foundation is influential among many conservatives who cling onto the GOP because they continue to believe that it somehow will throw them more than bones when it comes to liberty.  And, here we find many democrats and independents joining republicans in questioning the whole idea of Obamacare, with many critics of Obama using the “communism” and “socialism” to describe what Obama and D’s really want / intend.

I also found it to be a GOP-centric attempt at focusing Republicans on a legitimate foe, while avoiding the real issue at hand when it comes to communism.

Lets be clear: You or I really would not care one ounce about communism if communists just went off and bought some property on their own someplace in order to create a voluntary communist enclave that is populated by those who voluntarily choose to join and remain part of such a commune, while leaving the rest of us alone.

The problem is, most all communists want to foist their ideology on the rest of us without giving us a choice in the matter. THAT is the problem with communism, but for the few on the fringe who simply joined communes and were done with it: It is inherently authoritarian. (Authoritarian meaning “The State has the Authority to Do as It Pleases regardless of individual liberty / consent”, keeping in mind that democracy can be fully authoritarian at the expense of minorities.)

That said, I don’t care about communism per say, but I do care about the means people choose to implement it.

That in mind, we need to run ALL politicians through the lens of individual LIBERTY. There we quickly discover that Communism itself is not a danger, but rather AUTHORITARIAN communism (albeit a redundant phrase in practice, since 99.5% of communists wish to force their fellow humans into their ideology, even if it means nearly 100 million deaths, as we have previously witnessed in the 20th century).

In other words, we would have rooted-out / exposed Obama’s true problem — he’s an authoritarian at heart – and not gotten gummed up in the debate over if he’s a communist (socialist, etc) or not, a debate many still find themselves sucked into today.

That said, when we use the Lens of INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY, we can most assuredly discover that all progressives and most all democrats a quasi-authoritarian to full-blown authoritarian types, believing that, while some liberty should be protected,  Government should ultimately decide and may, when convenient, void whatever liberties it so chooses — ala, once again, Obamacare.    (Notice now how the whole “is Obamacare Socialist or not” debate similarly distracts from the real point: We’re all chained to it!)

However, we also discover the hypocrisy of many of those who shout loudly about the bogeyman of communism. While they have fingered a dangerous foe, they often promote a different, authoritarian-method-enforced philosophy or set of priorities which is similarly dismissive or dangerous to Individual liberty. In this we find most all progressives and a ton of liberty-lip-service GOPers.

What we will find, if we are honest and not hypocritical, is that most elections argue over various shades of authoritarian behaviors laundered through the ballot box,

Assange and the Politics of Rape and Reputation Asssassination

I’ve run into a lengthy conversation with some folks who claim, outright, that Assagne is a rapist.  Yet, this appears to be the story of two women, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen, collaborating after discovering that Assange had been sleeping with both of them over a number of days. Yet the Western Media largely promotes this as a case of clear cut Rape, while their Governments certainly don’t mind that the founder of Wikileaks is getting a dose of prosecution, and may even be pressuring the charges along to fulfillment.  Meanwhile, the Swedish prosecutors, while perhaps assisting those who would like Assange jailed for the mere act of exposing secrets, seems also to be happy to tread deeply into highly dubious, extremist-feminist theory about rape and consent.   All and all, an intriguing tale!

But before I go any further, I must be clear:   rape is rape.  There is no in-between.  The difference between rape and sex is the word “consent”.

The Two

Many out there refuse to publish the names of the two women involved in the Assange case, lumping it in as a simple case of hiding the identity of rape victims.  But that’s in total denial of the reality of this case. Neither woman claimed rape originally, and many of the details of this case would be lost by hiding the identities of who these woman are — and if they were even initially seeking prosecution, or if the prosecution was the outgrowth of another agenda.

Anna Ardin is a leftist, feminist and animal rights activist in Sweden, and the Press Secretary of “The Brotherhood Movement”, a fringe, left-wing Christian faction of Sweden’s Social Democratic party. She is a former Swedish embassy official who served in Buenos Aires, and Havana: she was reportedly asked to leave Cuba after her interactions with Cuban exile groups linked to the CIA (although suggestions that she is a CIA operative are dubious at best, as her associations appear purely incidental). Ardin also interned for the editorial page of GT, the Gothenburg edition of Expressen (relevant later). She also previously worked at the Uppsala University, handling equality issues for the students’ union as the “gender equity” officer. She is the author of “Seven Steps to Legal Revenge”, which details how to maximize revenge / inflict pain on enemies by getting people to stalk them and by using other nefarious tricks.

Sophia Wilen was self described Assange fan and an aspiring photographer. An employee of the local Social Democratic-controlled council in the northern town of Enkoping, Wilen later told police that she had seen Assange on television and had become “obsessed” by him.

The Story

The story begins with Ardin having invited Assange to Stockholm, Sweeden to speak at a Brotherhood Movement event. Assang accepted Ardin’s offer to stay at her home, which she said would be unoccupied because she would be with her family for a few days. Assange arrived on 8/11/2010, but Ardin returned early on 8/13, and they cohabitated on a temporary basis while Assang was in town for the event. On the evening of 8/13 they had sex, both admitting that a condom was used but had broken.