Archive for Civil Disobedience
Dave Killion — April 29, 2013
Better watch out for the Cheese Police.
At Reason.com, Baylen Linnekin writes about “The Government’s Looming Crackdown on Raw Milk Cheese” -
“Earlier this month reports emerged that the FDA had detained a U.S.-bound shipment of mimolette, a French cheese”… “If this FDA crackdown on a set of rather obscure, mitey artisanal cheeses that conform to traditional standards sounds like a small, targeted regulatory intervention involving cheeses you’ve never heard of, consider that this agency crackdown is but one small part of the FDA’s larger, very concerted international and domestic attack on artisanal cheeses—especially those made with raw milk.”
Although the article refers chiefly to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Linnekin also makes it clear that what is happening in the U.S. is also underway in Canada. Anyone surprised?
Not me. There are a bunch of bureaucrats who have budgets to justify and jobs to protect, so they have to find something to do. So, let’s see… shall we target big, corporate food producers? You know, the ones who have lawyers and make donations to the politicians on whom I depend for employment? Or, how about some defenceless small scale artisanal producers and organic farmers? Yeah, that sounds better. Let’s go after the hippies and the Amish.
Coming soon: Black Market cheese. If you’re making any, let me know, because I want to buy it. In fact, I’ve heard of people using Bitcoin to make anonymous purchases of illicit products over the internet. I don’t know if raw-milk cheeses are amongst those goods, but if not, there’s a market opportunity for somebody.
Dave Killion — February 25, 2013
The unblinking eye of the state never rests, and if you are the type who finds this disconcerting enough to defend against, you will be interested to know that there is an easy and cheap way to prevent your face from being captured by video or CCTV -
“Most cameras (especially black and white security cameras) will see low levels of infrared light. This helps them video at dusk/dawn and in lower levels of light. The level of light the camera can see is called the LUX level. To test this theory turn on your video camera and point your TV remote control at it. Change a few channels and you will see a pulse of light flash that the naked eye obviously can’t see. With that said you can easily make an infrared hat with cheap $1 infrared LEDs stitched into the front of the hat, the more the better… Attach a 9 volt battery to the LEDS and bam you are now a giant LED flash light. People will see nothing out of the ordinary, but CCTV cameras will only see a large flash of infrared light coming from your head, hiding your face. “
Cool trick. If you want to see a video on how such a hat can be constructed, then look right here.
Dave Killion — January 28, 2013
The next time I strip down at an airport, I will do so with a little more certainty that I won’t be arrested -
“A Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area won a trial Friday in his lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages for being detained on a disorderly conduct charge.
Aaron Tobey claimed in a civil rights lawsuit that in 2010 he was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes by the Transportation Security Administration at the Richmond International Airport after he began removing his clothing to display on his chest a magic-marker protest of airport security measures.”
The dissenting judge criticizes Tobey for creating a distraction that could potentially have provided a diversion for “nefarious actors”. But the majority judges saw what is obvious – the distraction wasn’t caused by the honest citizen exercising his rights, but rather, by the heavy-handed government agency violating them. Chalk one up for the little guys.
Dave Killion — December 18, 2012
Samizdata regularly posts a Quote of the Day, and Johnathan Pearce recently quoted a post made at Econlog by David Henderson. In said post, Henderson recounts a not-so-unpleasant interaction with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Pearce then shares his own less-than-traumatic interaction with the same agency -
“When I recently flew into San Francisco airport, the queues were long but – and this might just be my being lucky – the guy who checked my passport and details was friendly, helpful and efficient. (He was ex-Air Force and did his military service near where I was brought up, a fact that he told me with great delight). Perhaps someone has told the TSA to improve.”
I hardly ever fly, but I do so enough to know I hate it. Still, despite the numerous horror stories I’ve encountered from reliable sources, my experiences with the TSA have been in keeping with both Henderson and Pearce. On my last trip, I was returning home via the Pittsburgh Airport. As I was passing through security, an agent waved me towards a scanner. Having time to spare, I indicated I would not pass through the device, and the agent called out “Opt out.” He instructed me (civilly) to wait a moment until another agent came to escort me to the pat-down area. The agent who came to escort me chatted with me amiably, and as he pulled on his gloves I advised him (matter-of-factly) that I didn’t want any stranger touching me any more than was absolutely necessary, and that I would be stripping down to my briefs before allowing the pat-down. He told me that I wouldn’t be, but I assured him that I most certainly would be, AND that he had no legal authority to prevent me from doing so, AND that I had no objections to undressing in front of everyone if they didn’t have a private area. The agent was a little taken aback, but not angry. He called for his supervisor, who spoke with his supervisor, who spoke with the airport manager, who said it was just the same thing as if I came through security wearing a Speedo. So we all went off into a private area where the first supervisor went to great pains to explain the procedure to me, both repeatedly and in detail. My clothes were taken away to be scanned (can they only pat them down when they’re on your body?), and my crotch and buttocks got a light pass with the back of gloved hands. No one asked me why I was doing this, or expressed any anger or resentment. They wished me a good trip when all was finished, and the whole process seemed more stressful to them than to me.
None of this is to excuse the TSA or its practices. In order to return to my family, I had to submit to being either fondled or irradiated. Even taking the steps I did, I still had to suffer the indignity of having my genitals touched by a stranger. This is entirely unsatisfactory, and I’m sorry to find from the reaction of the TSA agents that very few people are putting up even the minimum level of fuss that I did. Like Henderson and Pearce, I find the TSA agents to be, at least on a personal level, pleasant people. All the same, the next time I fly, I plan on wearing a T-shirt and sweatpants over some Speedos, and there’s not going to be so much discussion before I drop my drawers.
Dave Killion — August 22, 2012
I used to enjoy science fiction a great deal, but it’s difficult to become libertarian without learning a fair bit about economics, and once you learn a fair bit about economics, most science fiction becomes too implausible to enjoy (Star Trek, I’m looking at you). However, there is some great libertarian sci-fi, and if you like that sort of thing, you will enjoy Eric Frank Russell’s “And Then There Were None”. Four hundred years after faster-than-light drive has enabled Earthlings to populate the galaxy, a spaceship sets out to visit some of the populated planets with en eye towards unifying the galaxy under a new empire. Attempts to subjugate the population of the final planet prove challenging in ways they could hardly have anticipated. Here’s a taste -
“Edging ponderously around on his stool, Jeff reached to the wall, removed a small, shiny plaque from its hook and passed it across the counter.
‘You may keep it,’ he said. ‘And much good may it do you.’
Gleed examined it, turning it over and over between his fingers. It was nothing more than an oblong strip of substance resembling ivory. One side was polished and bare. The other bore three letters deeply engraved in bold style:
Glancing up at Baines, his features puzzled, he said, ‘You call this a weapon?’
‘Then I don’t get it.’ He passed the plaque to Harrison. ‘Do you?’
‘No.’ Harrison examined it with care. ‘What does this F.—I.W. mean?’
‘Initial-slang,’ informed Baines. ‘Made correct by common usage. It has become a worldwide motto. You’ll see it all over the place if you haven’t noticed it already.’
‘I have seen it here and there but attached no importance to it and thought nothing more about it. I remember now that it was inscribed in several places including Seth’s and the fire depot.’
‘It was on the sides of that bus we couldn’t empty,’ put in Gleed. ‘It didn’t mean anything to me.’
It means plenty,’ said Jeff, ‘Freedom-I won’t!’
‘That kills me,’ Gleed responded. ‘I’m stone dead already. I’ve dropped in my tracks.’ He watched Harrison thoughtfully pocketing the plaque. ‘A piece of abracadabra. What a weapon!’
‘Ignorance is bliss,’ asserted Baines, strangely sure of himself. ‘Especially when you don’t know that what you’re playing with is the safety catch of something that goes bang.’
‘All right ’challenged Gleed, taking him up on that. ‘Tell us how it works.’
‘I won’t.’ Baines’ grin reappeared. He seemed to be highly satisfied about something.
‘That’s a fat lot of help.’ Gleed felt let down, especially over that momentary hoped-for reward. ‘You brag and boast about a one-way weapon, toss across a slip of stuff with three letters on it and then go dumb. Any folly will do for braggarts and any braggart can talk through the seat of his pants. How about backing up your talk?’
‘I won’t,’ repeated Baines, his grin broader than ever. He gave the onlooking Harrison a fat, significant wink.
It made something spark vividly within Harrison’s mind. His jaw dropped, he dragged the plaque from his pocket and stared at it as if seeing it for the first time.
‘Give it me back,’ requested Baines, watching him.
Replacing it in his pocket, Harrison said very firmly. ‘I won’t.’
Baines chuckled.’ some people catch on quicker than others.’
Resenting that, Gleed held his hand out to Harrison. ‘Let me have another look at that thing.’
‘I won’t,’ said Harrison, meeting him eye to eye.
‘Hey, don’t start being awkard with me. That’s not the way—’ Gleed’s protesting voice petered out. He stood there a moment, his optics slightly glassy, while his brain performed several loops. Then in hushed tones he said, ‘Good grief!’
‘Precisely,’ approved Baines. ‘Grief and plenty of it.’ “
You can finish the whole thing in less than half an hour, starting right here.
Dave Killion — May 10, 2012
The provincial government of Quebec has responded to the elimination of the long gun registry by obtaining an injunction preventing the federal government from destroying existing gun registry data, which it wishes to use in order to establish a provincial registry. However, some Quebec firearms owners aim to dodge this attempted infringement by selling their long guns outside of Quebec. Here’s how -
- Call CFC 1-800-731-4000 and follow prompts to initiate a transfer.
- Tell the agent that you have sold X number of non-restricted firearms “OUT OF PROVINCE”. State that the buyer showed proof of a valid PAL.
- The agent will then ask for Certificate and Serial numbers of long guns.
- Agent will then advise that they will de-register the long guns from your Possession and Acquisition License. In other words, you are NO LONGER IN POSSESSION of said firearms.
It appears that there is nothing in the law stating a Quebec resident can not “borrow” any un-registered firearm for an indefinite amount of time. Just to be safe, I think it might be best to have someone with a PAL from outside of Quebec who is willing to attest to ownership of the firearms.
Also, there are reports that firearms retailers in some provinces have been ordered by the Chief Firearms Officers of said provinces to collect and keep records of personal data for firearms purchases. Private sales are exempt from this, so if you want to purchase a non-restricted firearm, give your money to a friend who has a PAL. He can buy the piece, and then sell it to you for $1, so there is no record that you own the piece, and your friend can honestly say he sold the gun shortly after he brought it. You can do him the same favour, as well. So long as these nasty bureaucrats and politicians keep trying to subvert the will of the people, we have a duty to try to outmaneuver them. Don’t miss an opportunity.
Dave Killion — April 3, 2012
If it becomes possible to one day ride a triceratops, and the government prohibits the riding of triceratops, that will surely be the last straw. After all, if it was good enough for the US founding fathers, it is good enough for us.
Seriously though, I was on a triceratops when I was a child visiting the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History in the early 70s. Sadly, the US government deprives today’s children of the same joy.
Dave Killion — February 10, 2012
”I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.” -Étienne de La Boétie
The image and quote above both come to us via the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which recently had another item concerning withholding consent -
“Rather than utilize the suspicious paper chits issued by the Khan’s local governor, Tabrizians either fled the city or remained and subsisted on emergency food stores, sometimes raiding the gardens of neighbors who had left. Merchants refused to transact or trade; tents in bazaars stood empty.”
Withholding consent is a potentially dangerous activity, in that it involves ignoring regulations, an act which can have severe consequences in some circumstances. In order to minimize the risk, it would probably be safest to do so on a small scale. If a regulation is being widely violated on a small scale, the state has a difficult time catching and punishing all the little rebels, and loses some respect and power as a result. Perhaps growing just enough cannabis or distilling enough spirits for personal consumption. Even easier would be to enter the black market, by providing and/or purchasing goods and services on a cash basis. Keep your day job, and operate a cash business on nights and weekends. At the very least it’s fun to daydream about.
GBotten — November 26, 2011
Reflecting recently on the polygamy case decision, it startles me how many laws are actually out there that don’t go enforced. If a given act truly is a ‘crime’, shouldn’t then all acts of that type be prosecuted across the board? In the recent polygamy ruling, this will likely not be the case. People in polygamous relationships will likely not be affected at all by this ruling except for those in Bountiful, for which this ruling is specifically targeted. I can say this with confidence because if harm to women or children were truly the issue, then those involved in harming women or children would be prosecuted now, without the need for this trial. I am not advocating enforcement of violent laws, of course, but I am saying that if the crimes on the books were truly enforced consistently across the board based on the rationale and guise for which they are created, people would quickly see how authoritarian our laws have become and how selective and punitive they were in the past (aka ‘prosecutor discretion’).
Either it is a crime across the board based on the rationale for which it is created, or it is not.
To have a weapon for which to pick and choose a crime to fit those you wish to attack, that is not justice, that is totalitarianism.
Dave Killion — November 15, 2011
I recently heard someone say something to the effect that the poor will always be with us, which I don’t think is true, but I’ve heard variations on the sentiment many times in my life and remember it as a bible quote from my Catholic upbringing. I went to search for the verse, and I was surprised to find two versions. The one I remember best is Mark 14:7 -
“The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.”
The other verse is Deuteronomy 15:11 -
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”
While I was researching these verses, a nearby TV broadcast something about Occupy Wall Street. I was amused to think how annoyed the 99% would be to realize that while a day may come that there are no poor people in any meaningful sense of the word, the 1% will always be with us.