We won! The government shut down and now it's all over! Ok, not really. What's in the News with stories on tax relief impacts, TSA getting the finger, minimum wage impacts, gas tax profits, separation of marriage and state, and US Border Patrol being evil. And, a new trailer for the latest podcast from Pax Libertas Productions called One Free Family, a new take on peaceful parenting. This episode is brought to you by Heleum, a long-term savings accelerator allowing you to start investing in cryptos, without you having to do the busy work. Also brought to you by NordVPN, the fastest, easiest to use service to protect your online presence that I've ever seen.

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

We won! The government shut down and no one died. Almost no one was even inconvenienced except perhaps some federal employees. Hell, even the Smithsonian and the National Zoo didn't close their doors. The US Legislature didn't even shut down. They will still completely ruling over us and deciding our fates during the supposed shutdown. This was not a shutdown. It was a magic trick.

But here's the fucking kicker. Here's the proof that these supposed government shutdowns are nothing more than window dressing, a huge sham on the people, tugs at heartstrings, and fucking extortion. It actually costs the government more money to shut down that it does to remain open. The shutdown actually costs the government, or in other words you and me as taxpayers, tens of millions of dollars more a day than if they were to stay open. I shit you not. How could that possibly be?

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

In theft news, after Trump's tax plan went through, several companies had good news for their employees.

In security theater news, a Texas Tech student was questioned by the TSA for brandishing the school's iconic “finger gun” salute. 

In minimum wage news, according to Reason.com, Seattle's minimum wage killed Subway's “five-dollar footlong” deal.

In the Democratic People's Republic of California news, the state and federal governments now make 20 times what gas station owners make on a gallon of gasoline after the latest tax hike.

In church and state news, the Alabama Senate has approved a bill that would do away with marriage licenses and the requirement for people to go through a wedding ceremony.

In government is evil news, the United States Border Patrol is being accused of vandalizing lifesaving water aid stations in the desert, essentially giving a death sentence to migrants. According to a report published by No More Deaths, a Tucson-based humanitarian group, this is “widespread and routine.”

In more government is evil news, the US House of Representatives voted to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by a vote of 241-183.

PAX LIBERTAS PRODUCTIONS TRAILER

It's been a while since I released a new show on Pax Libertas Productions, but this is one that you are going to want to check out if you have kids, if you're thinking of having kids, or even if you just talk to other people, because this podcast is going to be a great resource for you to learn effective tools for being more peaceful in your interactions. It's called One Free Family – a new take on peaceful parenting and you can get all the information on it and subscribe to it at OneFreeFamily.com.

This show is being brought to you from James and Taylor Davis earned their traditional teaching certificates in college in the early 2000s but underwent a paradigm shift in 2010 that led them more in the direction of self-directed education. They now live in the Freecoast area of New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project and they use peaceful parenting and radical unschooling to raise wonderful, independent, and free children.

 

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TEASER INTRO
We won! The government shut down and now it's all over! (play record scratch) Ok, not really. What's in the News with stories on tax relief impacts, TSA getting the finger, minimum wage impacts, gas tax profits, separation of marriage and state, and US Border Patrol being evil. And, a new trailer for the latest podcast from Pax Libertas Productions called One Free Family, a new take on peaceful parenting. This episode is brought to you by Heleum, a long-term savings accelerator allowing you to start investing in cryptos, without you having to do the busy work. Also brought to you by NordVPN, the fastest, easiest to use service to protect your online presence that I've ever seen.

INTRO 
“Welcome to The LAVA Flow, channeling the flow of information to the Libertarian, Anarcho-capitalist, Voluntaryist, and Agorist community. Find us at thelavaflow.com. Here’s your host, Rodger Paxton.”

Thank you for joining me this week, from the only state where a foreign war has been formally ended, The Treaty of Portsmouth, signed in 1905, that ended the Russo-Japanese War, this is the show that will bring you the people, places, and events that everyone in the liberty revolution needs to know. You can catch me on Twitter @TheLAVAFlowPod.

This is episode seventy-nine, Government Shutdown Too Short, and it's Tuesday, January 30th, 2018, when there have already been more than 99 people killed by police this year, and the United States Debt Clock shows us at 20 trillion, 618 billion, 909 million dollars in debt. What's Rustling My Jimmies this week? You're about to find out! Let’s Do It To It!

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES
We won! The government shut down and no one died. Almost no one was even inconvenienced except perhaps some federal employees. Hell, even the Smithsonian and the National Zoo didn't close their doors. The US Legislature didn't even shut down. They will still completely ruling over us and deciding our fates during the supposed shutdown. This was not a shutdown. It was a magic trick.

But here's the fucking kicker. Here's the proof that these supposed government shutdowns are nothing more than window dressing, a huge sham on the people, tugs at heartstrings, and fucking extortion. It actually costs the government more money to shut down that it does to remain open. The shutdown actually costs the government, or in other words you and me as taxpayers, tens of millions of dollars more a day than if they were to stay open. I shit you not. How could that possibly be?

Well, it's simple. Because they don't give a shit about the money and they piss it away since they stole it all from us anyway. Furloughed workers almost always get paid retroactively for the time they were out—which means taxpayers are laying out money without getting any work in return. Museums and national parks can’t collect fees and revenues from other sources like gift shops. Perhaps most importantly, federal workers spend thousands of cumulative work hours preparing for the event and recovering from it, literally shutting down their systems and then restarting them once the government reopens—paid work that is utterly unnecessary to the normal business of running the country, and sucks time away from safety inspections, or reviewing research grants, or whatever their actual responsibilities are.

Quantifying the exact cost to the government is difficult, in part because every shutdown is different. Between November 1995 and January 1996, the government shut down twice for a total of 27 days as Democrats and Republicans clashed over Medicare funding, among other issues. A subsequent analysis conducted by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget estimated that both shutdowns together cost the government $1.4 billion—more than $2 billion today after adjusting for inflation.

Of that $1.4 billion, roughly $1.1 billion was salary paid to federal workers who stayed home and didn't work. The remaining $300 million came from other sources, such as the lost revenue from the closure of national parks and public museums. 

In a report on the consequences of the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, the Obama administration estimated that the payroll cost alone due to retroactive pay was $2 billion, rising to $2.5 billion if you include all forms of compensation, such as workplace benefits. That was a result of 6.6 million combined furlough days among federal workers, more than any previous shutdown.

And this short, three-day shutdown was no different. Federal spending for the fourth Monday in January 2018, the last day of the shutdown, set a record of $16,596,000,000 for that day in January even though the federal government was supposedly shut down, according to the Daily Treasury Statement.

As my friend Tom Knapp wrote in an article for The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism at http://thegarrisoncenter.org:

The second worst thing about federal government “shutdowns” is that they’re almost entirely meaningless theatrical productions  — tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing — from beginning to end.

The worst thing about such “shutdowns” is that they end, usually in a way that undoes most of what little good they accomplished in the first place...

If all those activities that got “shut down” were “non-essential,” why are they government activities in the first place?

The case for government is, usually, that it does things that must be done and that can’t be done by any other organization. Designating an activity “non-essential” is just another way of saying it’s a way of wasting money on something either unnecessary or better left to the market.

This, too, shall pass. Unfortunately.

I am absolutely in love with the way that Tom writes about such topics. And he does great work at The Garrison Center. Basically what they do is work to publish and disseminate libertarian op-eds and letters for publication in mainstream and non-libertarian newspapers, magazines and other media. And he has lots of success with this, with something like a thousand pickups of his articles in mainstream media in 2017 alone. This is the sort of thing we should be supporting more because this is the sort of libertarian activism that changes hearts and minds. Give them a look at thegarrisoncenter.org.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS
In theft news, after Trump's tax plan went through, several companies had good news for their employees.

It all started with WalMart, saying they were raising their starting wages from $9 an hour to $11 an hour and giving employees bonuses ranging from $200 to $1,000. Walmart’s Chief Executive Douglas McMillon said, “Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S."

Starbucks said they will give out $250 million in benefits to their hourly and salaried employees in April due to the new tax law. American Family Insurance said it will give 11,000 workers a one-time bonus of $1,000. J.P. Morgan Chase announced that the bank will spend $20 billion to increase hourly pay as part of a “long-term, sustainable investment” in the economy. But that's just a drop in the bucket.

Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform is keeping a running tally, which currently includes more than 270 and climbing, including many small and mid-sized companies, that announced bonuses, raises or better benefits for workers since the tax bill was signed into law. According to ATR, more than 3 million Americans will receive some form of pay increase or bonus due to the tax changes.

Look, you guys know I'm no fan of Trump, and this tax plan, while increasing my paycheck a very small amount, is barely a tax change. But, it made enough of a difference that companies all over have more money to spend on their most precious commodity, staff. Can you imagine what would happen if employers could keep 100% of the money they made? Can you image what would then happen if employees were able to keep 100% of their pay? The economy would explode instantaneously.

In security theater news, a Texas Tech student was questioned by the TSA for brandishing the school's iconic "finger gun" salute. 

In a nod to TTU’s mascot, the Masked Rider, 19-year-old Diana Durkin said that Texas Tech fans often salute each other with a finger gun and a “Wreck ‘em” slogan when they see each other — which is exactly what got her flagged by the TSA. Waiting in line for security, Durkin spotted a man in a Texas Tech hoodie, and reflexively threw up a finger gun, to which he gave an odd look. Moments after, a TSA agent led her out of line to question the gesture. Taking to Twitter in a panic to detail the incident, Durkin’s well-intentioned mishap soon went viral.

She tweeted during the issue, “In the airport security line and I see someone wearing a Texas Tech hoodie and I look at them and do the gun hand signal because wreck em amiright [sic]. tsa is now pulling me aside to talk to me."  

"'What are you doing? You can't do that in an airport,’” Durkin remembered the agent telling her. She added that the agent followed up by giving her a full screening and pat down, nearly sending Durkin to tears.

Durkin remembered thinking, "Oh my gosh, they think I'm a terrorist… Oh my gosh I'm going to jail. I'm just sitting there, almost in tears, like, 'No, I'm just really dumb, I'm not a terrorist!'”

Wait a goddamned second. You can't do that in an airport? What law says that bullshit? Last time I checked, finger positions are covered under the First Amendment. Ah, I forgot, that no longer matters at borders, airports, schools, or many other places. And people wonder why I say the Constitution is a useless document that no longer matters, if it ever did. But, thank Rothbard these heroic TSA agents kept us safe from this pretty little coed who pointed a finger gun in the air. That could have been a fucking disaster.

In minimum wage news, according to Reason.com, Seattle's minimum wage killed Subway's "five-dollar footlong" deal.

The sandwich chain recently resurrected the promotion in a national advertising campaign promising foot-long subs for just $4.99—but the special deal won't fly at one Subway restaurant in Seattle, where owner David Jones posted a sign this week giving customers the bad news. The sign says:

Dear Seattle Subway Patrons, Unfortunately, we are not participating in the $4.99 footlong promotion. The cost of doing business in the city of Seattle is very high. We are balancing the highest minimum wage in the nation, paid sick leave, ACA, secure scheduling, soda     tax, and much more. David Jones, Franchise Owner

The biggest cost driver, as Jones' sign mentions, is Seattle's highest-in-the-nation minimum wage. It went from $9.47 to $11 per hour in 2015, then to $13 per hour in 2016, and to $15 per hour in 2017 or 2018 for most businesses, depending on how many employees they have.

The result? According to researchers at the University of Washington's School of Public Policy and Governance, the number of hours worked in low-wage jobs has declined by around 9 percent since the start of 2016 "while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent." The net outcome: In 2016, the "higher" minimum wage actually lowered low-wage workers' earnings by an average of $125 a month.

Come on, Seattle. This is just common sense. If you increase the cost of most company's most expensive asset, labor, then you are going to necessarily increase the cost of everything that company does. There are few ways around this, even if you try to cut other expenses to the bone. The five-dollar footlong is the first, but definitely not the last, victim of this government-mandated exercise in futility. 

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Play Heleum Ad

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In the Democratic People's Republic of California news, the state and federal governments now make 20 times what gas station owners make on a gallon of gasoline after the latest tax hike.

California drivers experienced sticker shock at the gas pump on Nov. 1. The state’s gasoline tax rose by 12 cents per gallon that day, bringing the total to 39.8 cents. Along with the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents, Californians now pay 58.2 cents in excise taxes per gallon. Like all other states with sales taxes, California “taxes the tax” by applying the combined local and state sales tax, which ranges from 7.25 to 9.75 percent, on top of the gasoline tax.

The average price of regular unleaded gas is now $3.02 per gallon, meaning that federal and state taxes represent about 20 percent of the retail price. That’s considerably more than gas-station owners’ 2-cents-per-gallon gross profit.

It only gets worse: on July 1, 2019, the state tax will go up another 7.5 cents, bringing the combined state and federal excise tax to 65.7 cents per gallon.

What do Californians get in return? From the beginning in 1923, the stated purpose of the gasoline tax was to build and maintain Muh Roads. The revenue, along with a “transportation improvement fee” and taxes on diesel fuel, is earmarked for California’s Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program, which is equivalent to the highway trust funds of other states and the federal government.

In reality, motor-fuel taxes have been looking less and less like user fees in California and elsewhere because state legislatures (and the U.S. Congress) periodically raid highway trust funds to pay for unrelated programs. A decade ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to use $1.1 billion in Public Transportation Account money to offset huge shortfalls in general-fund revenue caused by excessive government spending. The legislature responded by creating the Mass Transportation Fund, allowing $637 million to be moved out of the PTA. From 2007 to 2010, $1.3 billion in transportation funds was spent not to build or repair state roads but to finance other programs that were apparently more politically rewarding (i.e., generated more votes) than fixing bridges and filling potholes.

So, even when they're stealing from you ostensibly for Muh Roads, it is mostly a fucking lie and a sham to steal more money from you to be used as they see politically expedient. 

In church and state news, the Alabama Senate has approved a bill that would do away with marriage licenses and the requirement for people to go through a wedding ceremony.

The bill comes as a few Alabama probate judges refuse to issue marriage licenses to anyone so they do not have to give them to gay couples. Senators on Tuesday voted 19-1 for the bill, which moves to the House of Representatives. Instead of a license issued by probate judge, couples would sign and submit a form. Couples would no longer need a wedding ceremony. Sen. Greg Albritton said his bill “truly separates the church and the state.”

The proposed law would maintain a few state requirements governing marriage. Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 would have to obtain parental permission before marrying, the state would not record a marriage if either party was already married, and the parties could not be related by blood or adoption as already stipulated in state law.

SB13 will now move to the House for consideration. A similar bill passed the Senate last year but never received a House vote.

Sen. Phil Williams, the lone no vote, said he feared the change would water down the meaning of marriage.

Wait... let me get this right. The meaning of marriage includes the state being involved and regulating the fuck out of it? Clearly, this asshat has no sense at all. Marriage existed before government and it will exist after government. Government only fucks up marriage, like they do with everything government touches.

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Play Nord Ad

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In government is evil news, the United States Border Patrol is being accused of vandalizing lifesaving water aid stations in the desert, essentially giving a death sentence to migrants. According to a report published by No More Deaths, a Tucson-based humanitarian group, this is "widespread and routine."

The agents apparently kick, slash, and dump plastic gallon containers of water that the humanitarian organization leaves for migrants trekking through the desert attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

Kate Morgan, abuse document coordinator for No More Deaths, said, "We've had video footage, and still people were saying, 'Maybe it's just a few rogue agents. We really wanted to show that this is systemic, that this is part of a larger policy, and we wanted to offer people raw numbers to show that."

According to the report, from 2012 to 2015, No More Deaths placed more than 31,500 gallons of water at 139 aid stations on trails used by unauthorized migrants in and around Arivaca — a swath of land between Interstate 19 on the east and the Tohono O'odham Nation to the west. By the group's measure, during that period, about 86% of the water was used. That's proof, they claim, of the need for their work. Meanwhile, roughly 10% of the stashed water, some 3,500 gallons, was destroyed during that period.

Volunteers said the destruction of water at aid stations continues. Two trail camera videos from 2017 that the group released Wednesday show an agent puncturing water containers and another taking a blanket from an aid station during winter.

The government does lots of horrible, evil things. They steal from all of us on the regular. They kidnap and abuse many of us. They spy on all of us. However, next to out-right killing us like they do in police shootings and death penalty cases, this is about as evil as it fucking gets. The agents who did this knew that they were creating an atmosphere that made it much more likely for a human being to die in the desert.

In more government is evil news, the US House of Representatives voted to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by a vote of 241-183.   

The bill mandates that any child born alive be transported to a hospital instead of remaining in the care of the abortionist. It requires that health-care practitioners and hospital employees report violations of the law, and it institutes penalties for the intentional killing of a born-alive child, including fines and up to five years imprisonment. The bill would also grant the woman on whom the abortion is performed civil cause of action and protection from prosecution if her child is not cared for after birth.

This is a law that is intended to do one thing, stop the murder of babies who have been completely born alive from being killed after birth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2003 and 2014, 588 infant deaths reported included a code indicating that a cause of death was “termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn.” At least 143 of these deaths could definitively be classified as having involved an induced abortion; the CDC acknowledges that this could be an underestimate.

While it is a relief that the House passed this bill, what is evil is that 183 members of that body, representatives of the United States Government, voted against a bill that would protect the lives of innocent human beings because of political expediency. This is disgusting. Not only is it disgusting, it is immoral. Every member who voted against this bill was a Democrat. All but 5 Democrats in the House voted against this bill. 

PAX LIBERTAS PRODUCTIONS TRAILER
It's been a while since I released a new show on Pax Libertas Productions, but this is one that you are going to want to check out if you have kids, if you're thinking of having kids, or even if you just talk to other people, because this podcast is going to be a great resource for you to learn effective tools for being more peaceful in your interactions. It's called One Free Family - a new take on peaceful parenting and you can get all the information on it and subscribe to it at OneFreeFamily.com.

This show is being brought to you from James and Taylor Davis earned their traditional teaching certificates in college in the early 2000s but underwent a paradigm shift in 2010 that led them more in the direction of self-directed education. They now live in the Freecoast area of New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project and they use peaceful parenting and radical unschooling to raise wonderful, independent, and free children.

I've learned a lot since moving to New Hampshire, especially about raising my kids in a more peaceful manner, and there are no two people more responsible for helping me learn that than James and Taylor. Watching how they interact not only with their kids but also my kids have helped me to develop tools I need to interact better with my kids every day. I am stoked that they are now putting that information in a podcast so it can be shared all over the world.

Here's the trailer for One Free Family.

PLAY TRAILER

Make sure to check this show out and subscribe at OneFreeFamily.com so you don't miss an episode! The first three episodes are already out and these are chock full of some amazing content.

OUTRO

Thank you for listening to the show this week. As always, I need to thank my favorite snowblower installation helper, Jessica, for her help with this show. For the show notes to this episode, where I put links and other information that has been on this show, go to thelavaflow.com/79. 

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Until next time... keep striking the root. 

This has been a Pax Libertas Productions Podcast.

 

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