I stumbled upon this story earlier. Apparently Chicago’s Department of Finance has a new scheme for raking in other people’s money. They want to tax Netflix usage. Yes, the City of Chicago is hoping to rob its residents of about $12 million a year with a new 9% tax it will begin levying on Netflix. But wait! That’s not even the best part. Here is their explanation for this insidious new theft, as quoted by DSLReports: “The amusement tax applies to charges paid for the privilege to witness, view or participate in an amusement,” states the city’s new ruling (pdf). “This includes not only charges paid for the privilege to witness, view or participate in amusements in person but also charges paid for the privilege to witness, view or participate in amusements that are delivered electronically.” So there you go, ladies and gentleman. You may only partake in amusements when your great benevolent overlords allow it. But of course it will cost you. Such a desirable service – you know, having to get permission – has to come at a cost. I guess you Chicagoans should just be thankful that you were granted this wonderful privilege for free for as […]
With privacy rights being trampled by the government daily, I’ve been on a bit of a mission to secure my digital existence as much as possible against those who would seek to violate my privacy. As a result, I’ve implemented SSL on ConsiderLiberty.com. What does this mean? Basically when you visit the site using the secure URL – https://considerliberty.com your connection with the site will be encrypted; your interactions with the site will be obscured from prying eyes. This is typically a measure reserved for sites that manage financial transactions, or other sensitive information. Is it really necessary for a lowly blog? Probably not. But it’s one more measure against an overly intrusive government and will make your time here a little more secure. Thanks for stopping by! P.S. Check back soon for a new piece investigating how Edward Snowden, Net Neutrality and ISIS may be connected. Unless otherwise expressly stated, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.Based on a work at http://www.considerliberty.com.Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Violence is everywhere. We see it in the news daily, it’s in our TV shows, our movies, our video games and sometimes a part of our lives. Recently we’ve read multiple news stories about police violence against unarmed individuals. In some of these stories the innocence of the alleged victim is dubious. In others, video seems to prove beyond doubt that the police used unnecessary lethal force. As Issac Newton’s Third Law observed in physics, so we are seeing in society; an equal and opposite reaction to ever increasing levels of police violence and brutality. Most recently, two members of the NYPD were shot to death while they sat in a patrol car. Anti-police sentiments and protests are on the rise everywhere. Some of the outcry is the result of perceived racism. Some stems from a recognition that the police – once known as “peace officers”, have become something quite different. This isn’t Mayberry. Today your average hometown police squad has a cache of automatic weapons, body armor, tear gas, grenade launchers, armored military vehicles and perhaps even a weaponized drone. I have yet to meet someone who expressed a feeling of comfort, safety or peace upon seeing one of […]
There, I said it. Despite the hysterical masses who are just eating up this media hype that the human race is on the brink of Ebola-induced extinction, I hold – quite comfortably – that Ebola is not a serious threat to the US. Talk of closing borders is sensationalist over-reaction. Even IF we were in the midst of a true epidemic, my answer to the above posed question would remain a resolute ‘NO’. Here is why… I recognize that everyone has a right to travel anywhere they wish so long as they are not trespassing on another persons property. The government has no authority to curtail this basic natural right – even in the event of a catastrophe. As it is, in the three cases of Ebola in the US, the government has messed up multiple times. The government – as always – is an utterly worthless, blitheringly idiotic monstrosity that fails even the most basic of tasks with the possible exception of hurting and killing people. In the event of a serious Ebola outbreak, should travel restrictions exist? Would they help to slow the spread of the disease? Yes, I believe they should, and would slow the spread. No […]
I like the tea party. It’s probably the most active force for relative political good today. They helped get some true liberty-minded individuals in Congress, like Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, Justin Amash and Ted Cruz among others. They have been going toe-to-toe with the establishment and really taking the fight to DC. A fairly large contingency within the tea party are libertarian, or at least libertarian-leaning. However there is also a faction of traditional Republicans who are in it for little reason other than that the current president is a Democrat. This group supports the typical Republican platform, pro-life, anti-gay marriage, anti-drug, low taxes, and pro-military. The primary push of the tea party is “smaller” government. Murray Rothbard once noted that “the ultimate goal of total liberty must always be upheld”, in other words that a clear goal must be in mind and our eyes must remain fixed upon it if we are to reach it. The tea party’s greatest inherent fault is that it has no clear goal. It is a group marching in the right general direction, but without a final destination plotted out! Without a point around which to concentrate its effort the tea party will eventually […]
This week the Ludwig von Mises Institute is holding its annual Mises University. For any who are unfamiliar, the Ludwig von Mises Institute is the heart of the Austrian Economic tradition. Each year they hold Mises U for a select group of student applicants. The week of learning is funded by donations and sponsorships. Thankfully, the Institute allows us all to benefit from the lectures by posting them for free, to the Mises Institute website. I highly recommend you hop over to Mises.org and check out the Mises U lectures that are posted and will continue to be posted throughout the week. Beyond that, check out all of the other invaluable resources available – lectures, videos, free books (often available in ebook formats), classes and so much more. Unless otherwise expressly stated, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.Based on a work at http://www.considerliberty.com.Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Oh boy… Matt Zwolinski, founder of “Bleeding Heart Libertarians” (google it if you’d like – I can’t bring myself to benefit them with a link), recently wrote an article posted to libertarianism.org presenting “the libertarian case for a basic income”. This idea is so absurdly un-libertarian that at first I wasn’t sure it even warranted the time necessary to expose what should be obvious. I decided that it was worth the time because as someone who identifies as libertarian, I’m none too pleased to see the word used in association with this ridiculous concept. For those unfamiliar, the idea of a guaranteed basic income goes like this: each month the government writes a check to all citizens. This check is the same amount regardless of other income, wealth, or any other conditions. It is issued without regard to any requirements or stipulations – it is unconditional. Zwolinski argues that this is a justifiable program for libertarians to support because he claims it would, 1. be better than the current welfare system, 2. serve as approximate reparations for past injustices, and 3. it would meet the basic needs of the poor. If you’ve read anything about the “thick vs. thin” libertarian […]
Tuesday night, June 10th, 2014 residents of Virginia’s 7th district made history by voting out Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the GOP primary election. Cantor, a career politician and neo-conservative was ousted in favor of newcomer David Brat, a local university economics professor. Brat is being hailed as a “tea party” candidate, and while his views seem to align well with those generally held by tea party affiliates he actually received no backing from the major tea party organizations, due to the evidently misled belief that Cantor was untouchable. Brat’s win truly is a history making event, and one that sends a shock wave through the GOP establishment. Late night’s victory marks the first time in US history that a House Majority Leader has been unseated in a primary election. The implications of this win are far reaching. Cantor has been a vocal supporter of amnesty measures for so-called illegal immigrants – an issue that has been coming to a head recently with immigrant children currently flooding over the US-Mexico border as an unforeseen ramification of President Obama’s recent declaration that children would not be deported. Mr. Brat was able to use this to his full advantage to […]
It’s funny how life works. The daily interactions and experiences we have seem trivial at the time but can have profound ramification on our futures. Here I sit, trying to strategize how best to proceed with the writing of this post, the future of this site, my reading list, my son’s education, financial planning, dinner tonight… It’s an unceasing string of seemingly random thoughts that are all interconnected, at least for me. Everything fits into a web and has varying degrees of influence on the other nodes of the web. It was this web that brought me to the political opinions I hold now, which in turn changed my views, or at the least enlightened my views on many other topics. My political journey so far is what I’d like to talk about in this post. I was brought up in a conservative, Republican household. I don’t recall the issue-specific positions my parents took on most things. It was the typical Republican platform, patriotic, lower taxes, anti-gay marriage, pro-life… While I took on many of those view as a child and teenager something about them – something I can’t pinpoint – didn’t agree with me. I missed the age cutoff […]
The protests and ultimate governmental overthrow in Ukraine has been in the headlines for a few weeks now. In the last few days the situation has been heating up and a good time is being had by all in politics and media. You see, as it’s being reported by the mainstream, Russian President Vladimir Putin is aggressively invading the destabilized Ukraine – particularly the Crimean Peninsula. Politicians and talking heads are making this sound like a global catastrophe in the making perpetrated by a belligerent leader in an attempt to establish the dominance of his country on the world stage. The United Nations is holding an emergency meeting of its Security Council in the coming days to assess the situation. The United States is threatening consequences for Russia if she doesn’t back down. Lots of dogs are barking and many sabers are rattling. At it’s face, it sounds like Putin is overstepping, and perhaps he is. As with every story, there is another side. To get a better grip on the situation we need a little prospective from the history books. First of all, Crimea itself can be divided into two parts. The first being the Autonomous Republic of Crimea […]