Category Archives: Technology

Me And The Idiocracy

Healthcare, Ilana Mercer, Intelligence, Internet, Media, Politics, Technology

“Dying For Obama’s Deadly Dogma” must be rather good, if a total of four twitter twits saw fit to “un-follow” me, subsequent to its posting.

I’m used to the Idiocracy! To paraphrase Mark Twain, I can live for two months on a good compliment from worthy, literate people like my editor at Quarterly Review. He wrote:

“Intellectuals are fated to be outcasts.”

And this from the gifted, successful, mystery novelist Sibella Giorello:

“In a word: BRILLIANT.”

Thanks to both. You made my day.


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UPDATED: Lite Libertarians & Fracking: ‘Progress’ Over Private Property (The Cornerstone Of Civilization)

Economy, libertarianism, Private Property, Technology

Lite libertarians—who always put “progress” above private property—just love fracking, the colloquial for “hydraulic fracturing” for natural gas. The great John Stossel has extolled the merits of fracking in his columns and broadcasts. Myself, I don’t know enough about “the drilling method that uses water, sand and other additives to expand fissures in underground rocks to free oil or natural gas trapped within them.” But I do know about the natural right to private property.

A legalistic ploy like the “split estate,” whereby “the right to develop oil or gas deposits is severed from the surface”—in other words, you own only the land surface, not the minerals below the surface—amounts to a lien on private property. Unless, of course, the “split estate” arrangement is clearly specified in the property deed of sale. Namely, “A” sells the land to “B,” under the condition, specified in a contract, that “A” retains rights to what’s underground.

Currently, some fracking operations are set up on the private land of hapless owners, who either did not know that “mineral rights had been sold off long before” their acquisition of said land. Or, could “still be forced to allow gas mining [on their land], if a majority of [their] neighbors sign leases with drillers.”

“Thin libertarians” think that generally approving of all technology makes them forward-thinking and ever-so hip. However, contra the angle mined by Mr. Stossel and his philosophical kin, the central problem with fracking is that it is done, for the most, in violation of homesteader, private-property rights.

By granting permits to allow vertical penetration of someone’s land with heavy equipment, state lawmakers are screwing the landowner out of his rightfully owned land and the privacy, peace and tranquility he is entitled to on that parcel of land.

Clearly the problem with grants of mineral rights by state or federal lawmakers is that these grants of privilege by government, local or federal, violate the landowner’s natural rights of private property.

UPDATE: In answer to the Facebook thread:

* Neighborhoods could also form a neighborhood association whereby buying into the community came with either a fracking permit or a ban on the practice.

* Reminder: The post is not about “fracking,” but about property rights, the cornerstone of libertarianism—and civilization itself.


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‘Murder In The Skies’

Asia, Technology, Terrorism

Sadly, it would seem as though the Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai spends his days explaining why the national carrier is so careless. He offered this non sequitur, about the downing of Malaysian Airlines Boeing Co. (BA) 777 over a war zone (Ukraine): “The carrier had followed the same journey plan many times. I think since it’s an approved route it is safe and that’s the reason why we have been using this route.” The many AIDS researchers killed on Malaysian Airlines Boeing Co. (BA) 777, shot down over Ukraine, must have been trusting souls to board a Malaysian plane.

According to The Atlantic, “Nearly three months ago, on the ‘Special Rules’ section of its site, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration put out an order prohibiting American pilots, airlines, charter carriers, and everyone else over whom the FAA has direct jurisdiction, from flying over southern parts of Ukraine. … the FAA ‘Special Rules’ section tells U.S. pilots and aircraft not to fly over trouble spots ranging from North Korea to Yemen to Syria to Iraq. And since last April it has told them not to fly over certain parts of Ukraine.”

Garry Moore: “Murder In The Skies”:


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Surface Pro 3: Perfection

Business, Intelligence, Technology

Surface Pro 3: It is perfection. Congratulation to my pepes on the project—they must remain anonymous as only the Big Dogs get the credit. First and foremost is the spouse, Sean. Next is The Other Oracle, sage of the antenna. Especially ingenious is the Surface Pen, which sports a tiny clip into which an even tinier antenna has been fitted. So spectacular is Surface Pro 3, that one can pardon Mr. Panay’s perversion of the English language to describe its ergonomic functionality: “Lapability.” Speaking of biotechnology: Kudos too to “Tigger” on keyboards.


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Again: ‘Thank You For Your Service, Mr. Snowden’

Constitution, Criminal Injustice, Homeland Security, Technology, Terrorism

“I think patriot is a word that’s — that’s thrown around so much that it can be devalued nowadays. But being a patriot doesn’t mean prioritizing service to government above all else. Being a patriot means knowing when to protect your country, knowing when to protect your Constitution, knowing when to protect your countrymen from the — the violations of an — and encroachments of adversaries.” So said Edward Snowden to “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, to whom he spoke in a hotel in Moscow.

And:

“… there have been times throughout history where what is right is not the same as what is legal. Sometimes to do the right thing, you have to break a law.”

The guy is the real deal. Again: “‘Thank You For Your Service, Mr. Snowden'”


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‘Collect It All’

Homeland Security, Intelligence, Journalism, Technology, Terrorism

It’s his biggest revelation so far. Glenn Greenwald says he has been “saving the best for last”: names of Americans targeted by the National Security Agency. Greenwald’s book, No Place To Hide, is purported to contain scans of the many secret documents he has published. At the top of each document is the NSA’s motto: “Collect It All.” (Via Fox News.)

One question the journos interviewing Greenwald across US studios have failed to ask: The US government had promised to arrest Greenwald if and when he returned to the US. What happened? Why don’t media ask?

To ask a question about why the chronically incurious are chronically incurious is to answer it.


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