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Comment Re:So Proud of Gun Ownership (Score 1) 1232

I think you misunderstand the constitution.

It outlines how the federal government is organized, delineates certain powers granted to the Federal government, then very obviously switches gears in the Bill of Rights and starts to outline everything the federal government does NOT have the power to do.
And just in case they missed anything out, the 9th and 10th amendments to the bill of rights are abundantly clear:

Amendment IX
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Translation: any other rights held by the people and not enumerated within, shall not be denied just because they're not listed here.

And

Amendment IX
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Translation: The federal government can ONLY do what is specifically listed here.

So just because possession of a car is not listed in the constitution, does not mean that the right to travel is not a basic right. Furthermore I see nowhere in the constitution anything that gives the Federal government any power to oversee travel within the USA; given the 10th amendment then, they do not have this power.

Comment Re:things like these (Score 1) 412

Comment Re:I think you missd a word (Score 2) 412

In this case though, what you think is worth 2 shits and an empty jello shot glass. There's been *plenty* of evidence that these attacks were planned before the video was released, based on much more compelling reasons and in some cases the people at the attacks had never heard of the video. So not to put causality aside, if event A was already set in motion before event B even happened... it's hard to blame A on B.

If I put my tinfoil hat on, there are even people who claim the CIA were distributing anti-video posters for people to take to these things.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 412

Really? I have a challenge for you. Name me one moral act performed by a religious person that could not have been performed by that person without their religion.

Christopher Hitchens, may he rest in peace, used to pose this to any and all religious people of stature that he met, offered money to anyone who could satisfy this challenge for years and never had to pay up.

Now of course the corollary question, name me an immoral act that was performed because of religion and everybody has answers within seconds.

Morality is innate in humans, put there by natural selection. Religion has no claim on morality.

Of course, evil acts do not require religion, however religion discourages critical thinking in a way that can easily justify immoral acts.

Comment Crazy! (Score 1) 510

You call me ignorant of history and then proceed to serve up a perfect example that fits well within the model I've presented.

Standard oil. became a giant because it was more efficient than it's competition. and I quote:

..out competed many of its rivals with lower costs and efficient production and logistics..

Futhermore, they were already down to 64% of market share by the time the government broke them up. That is when you add ALL of their 41 controlling companies at the time. Sounds like a problem that didn't need government intervention and that's way less market share than M$.

Monopoly:

  1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices. Compare duopoly, oligopoly.
  2. an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.
  3. the exclusive possession or control of something.

Clearly a monopoly is something that is A) Government granted. or B) the mythical price manipulation by a private company.

A) happens all the time

B) is a rare beast for which there is no successful evidence of a company actually having profited..

There's a very nice lecture on the topic of competition and monopoly on the Liberty Classroom. I would recommend it to anyone.

Comment Re:Fuck those greedy bastards. (Score 1) 510

I don't think your appeal to authority matters. Let's look at the data instead.

Every single monopoly to in existence today is a government granted monopoly. Let's compare the lists shall we?

Phone companies: Granted Patent monopolization by the Federal Government. Granted local government monopolies. Granted Ginormous subsidies and tax exemptions by the federal government. Granted every eminent domain and right of way by the government. Granted National monopoly status by the federal government .

Railroads: Granted Right-of-way everywhere they wanted by the Federal government. Granted massive subsidies by the federal government, some of which were on a per-mile basis and were exploited by building of railroads in meandering routes looping back and forward. Subsidies were rife with fraud. Granted tax exemptions by several states. Granted patent monopolies by the federal government. Finally taken out when the federal government decided to grant the same monopolies and assistance instead to auto companies and road makers.

Cable companies: Granted patent monopolies by the federal government. Granted tax exemptions at every level, federal, state and local. Granted local monopolies where throughout the majority of the USA you can have no choice in cable provider. Granted right-of-way by eminent domain in many instances.

Media conglomerates/monopolies: Granted perpetual copyright monopolies. Granted patent monopolies. Granted enourmous tax breaks. Granted monopoly over public electromagnetic spectrum.

CIA/NSA/immunized companies: Granted monopoly over drug trafficking. Granted monopoly over spying on your private data and using it for 'leverage'. Granted immunity from prosecution from violating constitution. Granted immunity from prosecution from torturing. Granted immunity from prosecution for war crimes.

Wall street / goldman sachs / investment firms: Granted immunity from prosecution for fraud. Granted immunity from financial regulations. Granted immunity from bad investments. Granted monopoly on front-running. Granted immunity from creditors.

Banks: Granted monopoly in creating money out of thin air through fractional reserve banking. Granted immunity from bad investments and creditors via FDIC.

I could go on and on. In fact every single "service" provided by the government is a de-facto monopoly at the federal or local level. If I'm unhappy with my trash collection, I'm free to pay a private company to do it, but I cannot avoid paying for the government-granted local monopoly company. I'm not allowed to choose who builds my roads, credentials my medical practitioners, provides law enforcement, provides electricity and gas etc etc. If you take the time to look into the price these monopolies are charging you, they are very inefficient. It costs for example on the order of $100k to replace the wooden poles that hold up your power lines. That's $900 for the actual wooden pole, $1000 in components and $98k in "labour" from the police department and electric company. Examples like this are everywhere you look. Think Halliburton. But I have to stop at some point. Let's see the other side. What companies has the government tried to prosecute for being a monopoly?

Microsoft: Granted patent monopolies by the federal government. Granted tax exemptions at every level. Despite this, not actually a monopoly in any other way. There are plenty of alternative operating systems, search engines, office suites, web servers etc. Google: Granted patent monopolies by the federal government. Granted tax exemptions at every level. Despite this also not a monopoly. ATT and Ma Bell: Yes, definitely a monopoly, but admittedly a government-created monopoly. Railroads: Yes, another government-created monopoly.

What is the correct number of companies to have in any market? Nobody can answer this. That's why we have an economy. It may be the case that for some markets, one very efficient company is the best value proposition. However, if it decides to take advantage of it's status as a single provider, in a free market it becomes beneficial to everyone around that company, before and after in the supply chain, to force it back in line or bypass it.

In a free market, monopolistic companies cannot actually leverage their status without creating massive opposition to such moves and generating openings for competitors. That is, unless government intervenes and uses violence to enforce the monopoly status.

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