Archive for technology
One of the projects I’ve had going for the past few weeks is designing a new website informing people about the dangers of full-body scanners in airports, and in particular to organize Texans to oppose them to their representatives. It’s called StopAustinScanners.org. Check it out, I bet you’ll learn something!
We are working on a series of forms that you can use to email representatives directly and express your concerns. The way we are doing it is pretty cool, I cannot say that I have seen it done this way before.
I’ll probably post more about the scanner/pat-down issue in the next few weeks. There is a ton of activist effort going on here in Austin, and I’ve been involved in a lot of it. It is, quite seriously, a watershed moment for the liberty movement, because it represents people from all sides coming to grips with “enough is enough.” And that, my friends, is when liberty provides the answer for how to get rid of the “enough.”
Here’s a special message from www.tsatyranny.com. Even if you don’t live in Texas, you can have an effect – you can tell the City Council that you are more likely to travel to or through Austin if they can be assured that their rights will not be violated by the TSA. Or, take the example of Texas an run with this in your own state.
‘Keep Austin Free’ of TSA Scanners and Groping Pat-Downs
Austin, Texas has an historic opportunity to keep TSA tyranny out of the city’s airport—and it’s time to lend your voice in support of this critical effort!
Unlike many major US cities, Austin has yet to have the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) full-body scanners installed in their commercial airport, and if Texas’ capital city were to forbid the TSA from installing these invasive machines at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), it could spark a national movement for liberty.
The good news is this: On December 14, the Austin Airport Advisory Commission (AAAC)—the official body tasked with giving Austin City Council input on airport policy—passed a unanimous resolution calling upon the Council to “oppose the installation of AIT’s at ABIA and further oppose the practice of invasive body searching.”
What’s more, a broad coalition of diverse groups has risen up in support of the AAAC’s resolution to check TSA tyranny in Austin, including the Travis County Republican Party, the ACLU of Texas, the Travis County Libertarian Party, Texans for Accountable Government (TAG), the Central Texas Republican Liberty Caucus, and We Are Change Austin.
Contact Austin City Council
The Austin City Council needs to hear your voice!
All those who use Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as their primary airport or would be inclined to make ABIA their airport of choice when coming to and from Texas —if Austin’s airport becomes a tyranny-free zone—should contact the Austin City Council and let them know you stand behind their Advisory Commission’s call to keep ABIA free of the full-body scanners and groping pat-downs.
We have prepared a one-page Sample Letter that you can personalize and send to Austin’s Mayor and City Council with the click of a single button.
Don’t delay—send your letter this week as part of our coordinated campaign.
Join the Effort, Spread the Word
Please forward this note to all your friends who love liberty and who desire to travel freely to and from Texas without having their rights violated by the TSA.
Spread the word about this historic opportunity to “Keep Austin Free”!
Keep Austin Free.org will be sending out e-mail updates related to the Austin TSA battle, call-to action alerts, and more. Click here to sign up, and be on call to oppose TSA tyranny in Austin.
For some unknown reason, a few months ago the special LCC podcast feed broke down. The issue probably had something to do with settings in the WordPress plugin I use. It got so bad that iTunes even redirected the podcast feed to a single post rather than the feed itself.
The problem has been solved, and the podcast feed now works. If you unsubscribed, you can now re-subscribe in a normal feed reader or your podcast software just like normal. If you left your subscription intact, it will now work again! I have re-submitted the feed to the iTunes store, so eventually you will be able to add it directly to iTunes as well.
This has taken far too long to fix, but now that it’s done I’m looking forward to doing more podcasts again. So many things to do!
Yesterday, the FCC voted 3-2 for new measures regulating how content is transferred over the internet. Stephan Kinsella’s blog post at Mises.org the day before is a good summary with lots of links showing how this new power grab by the government technocracy is both immoral and completely stupid. The internet is one the last bastions of freedom in the world, and it would be terrible for regulation to ruin it.
Quoting Stephan in full:
As a recent column in the Wall Street Journal reminds us, online freedom is jeopardized in the name of “net neutrality” (The FCC’s Threat to Internet Freedom). This is just another case of the state re-labeling things to sound benign but that are really invasions of liberty and property rights–another good example being use of the term “intellectual property” to masque the true nature of state-granted monopoly privilege rights (patent and copyright) (see my post Intellectual Properganda).
It is true that some corporations probably have extra-market power to control aspects of the Internet, as the result of state interventions such as IP, FCC licensing, antitrust law, big business favoritism, and so on. But the solution is not to grant the state even more power to regulate private companies.This is the criminal gang that has fouled things up in the first place. Another recent example of federal Chutzpah is the Obama administration’s proposal to provide a “Web Privacy ‘Bill of Rights’“–how obscene. The mob that is the greatest threat to online privacy freedom, and rights will protect us? I’m reminded of the phrase, “We’re from the government. And we’re here to help.” Thanks, but no thanks, guys.
These are the same parasites who do everything they can to hobble and destroy business and innovation–they impose costly regulations; tax individuals, making employees more costly; inflate the money supply and cause destructive business cycles; impose insane, murderous policies on pharmaceutical and medical innovations via the FDA; and then impose double tax by taxing corporations too, after imposing Sarbannes Oxley on them for the “privilege” to exist as a corporation (a privilege that is not a privilege; corporations do not need state privileges to exist–see Legitimizing the Corporation and Other Posts; Richman and Carson on the BP Oil Spill; Should Libertarians Oppose “Capitalism”?; Rothbard on Corporations and Limited Liability for Tort; Comment on Knapp’s Big Government, Big Business — Conjoined Twins; Pilon on Corporations: A Discussion with Kevin Carson; Defending Corporations: Block and Huebert).
And then, as a solution to the damage done to innovation by the state’s malicious hobbbling, the maniacal intellectual properteers urge giving the state more power to grant intellectual monopoly privilege grants to companies. (But then, if the companies use these monopoly grants “too much”, it’s called “abuse” and the state persecutes them under its evil antitrust laws.) (See State Antitrust (anti-monopoly) law versus state IP (pro-monopoly) law.)
Likewise, net neutrality is an attempt by the state to see more power to control private property rights as an ostensible response to various “market failures” that are really themselves caused by state intervention. In this, it is anohter example of the state’s creating a crisis and using this as a justification to seize more power under the pretense of saving the people from the crisis that it caused. (See Robert Higgs, Crisis & Leviathan.)
Libertarians should oppose net neutrality–and the state interventions that gives rise to the problems net neutrality pretends to address. (See my posts Net Neutrality Developments and Libertarian Take on Net Neutrality (both reposted below); also Harvard’s Yochai Benkler on Net Neutrality and Innovation.) Don’t trust the state to “protect” you. Ever.
Recapping the interesting and significant news of this past week.
Lifehacker has a cool article about getting answers online (without using Google).
And finally, my favorite comic of the week.
Just FYI, there will not be a “News of the Week” post on Christmas Day next week.