Libertarian Thursday: Oakland’s Pothole Vigilantes

‘Pothole Vigilantes’ are covertly fixing Oakland roads in the middle of the night

You know you’re reading a P.K. Dick or Rudy Rucker dystopian Sci Fi novel when the author mentions Oakland burning in the background.

Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

The city’s response is not unexpected: “With finite resources the City cannot always respond immediately to every request – but every complaint is tracked, and the more data City leaders have about where residents’ issues are located, the better they can organize City resources to tackle long-term issues,” says a press release by Oakland Public Works.  For those who feel like they’re not getting through, the city asks you keep trying and report problems multiple times.

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Welcome to America’s Latest Co-Religionists

Satanic Temple Recognize as Church with Tax Exempt Status

Technically not a religion, but now acknowledged by the US Government as a “church or convention of churches.”

Ratburghers who may be members of more traditional institutions, what do you think?  Ratburghers with no particular affiliation, how about you? I’ll follow up later with my own thoughts.

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The Byron York Show

Anybody listening to Byron York’s new podcast? He’s always been an amazing reporter, and he is masterful with his podcast.

https://ricochet.com/series/byron-york-show

Americans, want to fear your government? Listen to the three latest episodes and admire the efforts they went to to set up three innocent citizens.

Hey, Was That Russian With The FBI?
With guest Michael Caputo
The former Trump campaign aide got mixed up in one of the weirdest episodes of the Trump-Russia affair. He talks about it all, from his brief run-in with the mysterious Russian Henry Oknyansky to the FBI agent who showed up in a muscle car to whisk him to Mueller’s lair.

Inside The Grand Jury With Carter Page
With guest Carter Page
Carter Page, the only man wiretapped — that we know of — in the Trump-Russia probe describes what it was like in the grand jury with Robert Mueller’s prosecutors. Also, what did the FBI ask in five, count ’em five, interviews? And then the question: Can you tell if you’re under surveillance?

Papadopoulos: Spying Did Occur
With guest George Papadopoulos
In this interview, George Papadopoulos describes —in crazy detail— why he believes a series of shady figures recorded him when he was he was working for the Trump campaign. Plus, why did so many foreign spooks want to buy him a drink? The answers to this and more in this episode of the Byron York show.

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Going to 11 on the Lileks/Trump scale

Nothing about NeverTrump broke my heart more than finding myself in frequent opposition to one of my favorite writers ever, James Lileks.  I have all his books and listened to the Diner every week as he fired up his trusty Cray-1.

Here’s an update to his excellent survey of Republican support for Trump.

11.  I see him on Fifth Avenue surrounded by enemies both D and R, both deep-state and shallow, returning fire furiously.  I’m phoning for whiskey (he’s got the lawyers covered I think), guns and money and calling in shots to him as well!

PS, if anybody knows the current Trumpitude of J. Lileks I would love to hear about it!

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When guns are outlawed…

…who will have the guns?

New Zealand Mongrel Mob leader says members won’t hand in their guns

Sonny Fatu, president of the Waikato branch of the Mongrel Mob, said that, while some members of the gang may have illegal guns, they will not be handing them in as they are necessary to their protection.

“Will gangs get rid of their weapons? No. Because of who we are, we can’t guarantee our own safety,” he said.

(paranoia bonus: note the Facebook tracking ID in the link.  Help Facebook know you’re interested in guns, gangs, and right wing terror!)

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Will Facebook rules for electioneering and hate speech apply to Ratburger?

Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement calling for more government regulation for Internet speech.  The entire statement is at the link below, and begins:

I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms.

As far as I can tell, it’s a proposal to move the Facebook Trust and Safety council work to a globally coordinated set of government agencies. Internet “providers” would be responsible for enforcing the speech policies specified by this group.  He has promised to support these agencies with Facebook’s current filtering software.

Am I wrong in thinking that, if this proposal is accepted as it seems to be intended, that the speech restrictions would apply not just to Facebook but to other Internet “providers” such as Ratburger?

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/8756876/mark-zuckerberg-social-network-regulation-christchurch-watchdog/

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Libertarian Thursday: Nobody knows how to make a pencil!

“And wonder, most of all, at the everyday miracles
made possible by a political and economic system that dares to have faith in free men.”

Do you think you know how to make a pencil?  This libertarian classic explains why you probably don’t, and why you don’t need to in order to buy a nice writing instrument for a few cents.

https://www.disciplenations.org/media/I-Pencil_Read1.pdf

And as always, no better explicator than Ronaldus Magus’ favorite economist, libertarian Milton Friedman.

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Born Rich

Apropos 10 Cent’s post about people bribing their way into school, the 2001 film Born Rich is a fascinating look at some of the people who grew up in the richest families in America.

It started as a school project by Jamie Johnson, an heir to the J&J fortune and was eventually released at Sundance and shown on HBO.

It’s conveniently online, so I won’t say a lot about it except for a few takeaways I had from watching it.

  • I felt a surprising amount of sympathy for Jamie Johnson.  He talked about how hard it was to get credit for anything he did:  If he succeeded, people would say “obviously, with your family money” and if he failed, “how can you be so stupid to lose even with your family money?”  The scene where his uncle(?) sends him to a antique map dealer(!!) so that he can consider a career as a “map collector” borders on the surreal.
  • Ivanka Trump is featured.  One reason I was an early Trump supporter was seeing how amazing his 19 year old (at the time)  daughter was.
  • There were one or two characters who might be the first against the wall when the revolution comes, and nobody’s going to feel very bad about it.

Here’s the video on Youtube; there’s interesting background on Wiki, but I would read that after viewing for best effect.

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