To vote or not to vote, that is the question. What's the answer? What's in the News with stories on the Backpage CEO being arrested, marijuana vs. violent crimes, government secrecy patents, and Julian Assange, and an Ancap App segment on updates to Cell411 and a cool new product that works with it. And be sure to hang out through the end of the show to hear about my November contest that everybody can enter to win a prize pack!

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES 

[1:37]

It's exactly two weeks from election day. I've talked quite a lot about this election on this show, but goddamn it if I won't be glad when it's finally all over. This has been the worst election season in my living memory, with brother against brother, longtime friends not talking to each other, and relationships breaking up, and that's just on the libertarian side.

In all seriousness, it brings up the question that I've received from several of you, my loyal listeners, do we really want to participate in this clown show? Are we somehow obligated to do our civic duty and choose one of these asshats to rule us? Or, does our vote somehow imply that we consent to be ruled?

The question is, as a libertarian, whether it be a minarchist or a full-blown anarchist, who tried their very best to adhere to the non-aggression principle, should we vote? Is voting against the non-aggression principle? Does voting give legitimacy to “the system?”  Is voting force? Or, should we feel free to vote and not be concerned that it is a violation of the non-aggression principle?

Walter Block defending voting in regards to the non-aggression principle

Aaron Ross Powell Libertarianism.org

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS 

[8:22]

In victimless crime spree news, Carl Ferrer, the chief executive officer of Amsterdam-based classified-ad site Backpage, was arrested for the site's alleged role in sex trafficking.

In the war on drugs news, police are arresting more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined.

In some government nonsense news, self-made millionaire Gregory Sancoff has spent a decade and $19 million building a highly unusual stealth boat that he called Ghost, only to be told by the government that not only will they not buy it, but he can't sell it abroad either.

In Wikileaks news, Julian Assange has apparently been cut off from the outside world after having his internet connection but off by the Equador government for his location in their embassy in London, where he has been living for more than three years.

ANCAP APP 

[17:56]

I've talked about this product before, but it's been a while, and there have been some updates that are very noteworthy. I'm talking about the Cell 411 app available on iPhone and Android. The app is a real-time response management app to alert your friends, neighbors, and even emergency service providers when you are in danger, experiencing medical distress, or just need assistance. You can alert your friends when you need help or receive alerts when they need help, with directions to where you should go. Only people you specifically issue alerts to can see them.

Cell 411 has added new features that we talk about on this episode. First is live vide streaming directly from the app. The econd is a Bluetooth panic button that connects directly to the app so you can issue an alert without ever touching your phone.

 

Read Full Transcript

TEASER INTRO

To vote or not to vote, that is the question. What's the answer? What's in the News with stories on the Backpage CEO being arrested, marijuana vs. violent crimes, goverment secrecy patents, and Julian Assange, and an Ancap App segment on updates to Cell411 and a cool new product that works with it. And be sure to hang out through the end of the show to hear about my November contest that everybody can enter to win a prize pack!

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.”

Doing a line of voluntaryism straight to your brain every fortnight! Thank you for joining me this week, coming to you from the state that is the home of the oldest covered bridge in America built in 1829, the Haverhill-Bath Covered Bridge, 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 forty-eight, The To Vote or Not to Vote Edition, and it’s Tuesday, October 25th, 2016, when at least 939 people have been killed by police already this year. What's Rustling My Jimmies this week? You're about to find out! Let’s Do It To It!

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

It's exactly two weeks from election day. I've talked quite a lot about this election on this show, but goddamn it if I won't be glad when it's finally all over. This has been the worst election season in my living memory, with brother against brother, longtime friends not talking to each other, and relationships breaking up, and that's just on the libertarian side.

In all seriousness, it brings up the question that I've received from several of you, my loyal listeners, do we really want to participate in this clown show? Are we somehow obligated to do our civic duty and choose one of these asshats to rule us? Or, does our vote somehow imply that we consent to be ruled?

On the last episode of the Freecoast Freecast, another podcast I participate in, Mike Vine did his philosophy segment on voting. He didn't get into the topic from the perspective I'm going to talk about it today, he discussed whether your vote actually counts or not. I really suggest you going to check that out at freecoast.org. It's well worth your time. You and I are instead going to discuss the morality of voting today.

Before I get started, I want to say I am not passing judgment on anyone for their ideas or beliefs on this subject. I fully believe this to be a legitimate gray area in libertarian thought, and I believe there can be reasonable arguments from reasonable libertarians on all sides of this position.

The question is, as a libertarian, whether it be a minarchist or a full-blown anarchist, who tried their very best to adhere to the non-aggression principle, should we vote? Is voting against the non-aggression principle? Does voting give legitimacy to "the system?" Is voting force? Or, should we feel free to vote and not be concerned that it is a violation of the non-aggression principle?

If you're listening to this show then chances are you at least know what the non-aggression principle is, and more than likely you see it as a moral position that you live by. For those of you who may be unsure about the NAP, you can listen to episode 16 of this show, The It's Past My NAP Time Edition at thelavaflow.com/16 where I break the NAP down as a moral principle we should all adhere to. Quickly, though, the non-aggression principle states that the initiation of force or violence is immoral.

There are plenty of schools of thought on this from many libertarians who are smarter than I am, so let me try to break down the options here.

People I look up to a great deal were all pro-voting as a form of self-defense, and I have been the same way for several election cycles now. Tom Woods, Murray Rothbard, Lysander Spooner, Ron Paul, and Walter Block are just a few of the names that come to mind. As a matter of a fact, there's a great YouTube video I will link to in the show notes of Walter Block defending voting in regards to the non-aggression principle. He makes the case that if you were a slave and you were given the right to vote for who will be your slave overseer between overseer goody who would only beat you once a week or overseer baddy, who would beat you every day and twice on Sunday, that it would be perfectly legitimate to vote for overseer goody. And, if you think about it, that's not much different that our current reality of choosing our rulers. I will say, though, that Walter Block support Trump, so maybe his decision-making process could be a little suspect? hahaha

There are, however, many libertarians who feel that voting is an act of force or violence. They believe that forcing the person you voted for on someone else is a violation of the NAP. They also believe that forcing someone to live under the policies you vote for is an act of force. This is hard to disagree with as well.

As Aaron Ross Powell said on Libertarianism.org:

Imagine you and some friends corner an old man on the street with the intent to take his money. You’ve got an opinion about what’s best for that money, and it isn’t staying in that guy’s wallet. But beyond that shared interest in taking his cash, you can’t settle on what you’ll use it for. So you put it to a vote. To be nice, you let him participate. “You can vote what we’ll use the money for,” you tell him, “and if you want to, you can even vote to keep it.” Still, there are ten of you and one of him, and you all want to take the money.

In this case, clearly we wouldn’t applaud your participation in the vote, because no matter what you and your friends decide to do with the man’s money, you’ll commit a moral wrong. Whatever your opinion of its best use, it’s not your money to begin with. Nor would we view the harm as ameliorated by the victim’s participation in the vote. What choice did he have? At best, he’ll find enough allies that he gets to keep the contents of his wallet, which is exactly where he’d be if you and your friends had exercised even the most minimal virtue.

There's a lot to be said for this argument. We have no moral ability to vote for what someone does with their own money. Can we vote for what is done with our money? Sure, but that's not what we're doing at the polls. We are voting for what's being done with everyone's money. We're saying that their money should be used to build a wall, or to provide single payer healthcare, or to force people to bake cakes, or to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour based on who we're voting for. No matter which candidate you vote for, there is something that person will do that will use force against others or to use their tax money for things they would not agree to.

And, as Mike Vine mentioned on the Freecoast Freecast, your vote, literally, does not count.

But, should you vote? Sure, if you have someone who agrees with you on everything, vote for that person. I don't have a person like that to vote for in this election since I'm not running for office this time around. I have made the comment that I would likely go and vote for Darryl W. Perry for president as a write-in candidate because he represents my morals and values the closest, but that is becoming less and less likely. Frankly, I belong to the group of people who have given up and who don't give enough fucks to vote anymore. Not for a moral reason, just because it is a waste of my time, and your time. As someone who values his time a great deal, I can't be bothered to go register to vote and go wait in line to vote. My time would be better spent washing my hair than voting in this election. And, I am someone who has never skipped a vote in my life. Until now.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

In victimless crime spree news, Carl Ferrer, the chief executive officer of Amsterdam-based classified-ad site Backpage, was arrested for the site's alleged role in sex trafficking. The charges against him include pimping, conspiracy, pimping of a minor, and attempted pimping of a minor. None stem from things Ferrer is alleged to have done personally. Rather, it's asserted that because he owns a classified-ad website—the second largest in the world, after Craigslist—where these activities may have happened, Ferrer himself is guilty of the charges.

But, it's not that simple, even though the Texas Attorney General would like it to be. According to Reason:

Backpage is protected by Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act. It says that user-generated content sites cannot be held strictly liable for things members or users post. Without Section 230, Twitter could be taken down over terrorism threats from anonymous ISIS members, Facebook could be destroyed because some users have been found to solicit sex from underage individuals in its messaging section, Reason could be liable for anything its commenters post, and Craigslist could be killed over someone selling a stolen TV there.

This is very reminiscent of the trial of alleged Dread Pirate Roberts, Ross Ulbricht, and his website in the deep web, Silk Road. Ross was sentenced to life in prison for running the site where drugs were sold by other people, not Ross himself, in a very similar fashion to Backpage and sex.

Holding people responsible for the actions of others is immoral. This would be like holding megaphone manufacturers responsible for the diarrhea that comes out of the mouth of Alex Jones or microphone manufacturers for the shit that comes out of my mouth, or gun owners for the murders of gang members by gang members. Oh wait, they tried that one before. I forgot.

Another interesting note from Reason:

While Backpage doesn't screen all its ads, it does employ people to monitor the adult section. And any ads suspected of containing anyone under 18 are reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Countless investigations into child sex-trafficking in the U.S. have been solved with Backpage's help, as investigators all over the country have openly attested.

So, Ferrer's arrest may actual be a step backward for US sex-trafficking investigations, forcing sex-trafficking even more into the underground.

In the war on drugs news, police are arresting more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined. Yes, I said use, not selling, not distribution, just for possessing it taking a few puffs of the devil's weed. Nearly 137,000 people sit behind bars daily on simple possession of marijuana charges.

Arrests have skyrocketed according to federal figures. In 1979 for example, there were fewer than 200 arrests for possession for every 100,000 people arrested. That shot up to more than 500 in the mid-2000s and now hovers right around 400 per 100,000, more than twice the rate in 1979.

"Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime," the report finds, citing FBI data. "More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year." In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.

The very best way to fuck up someone's life forever is to give then a rap sheet for drugs. This is not helping anyone except the lawmakers so they can look tough on crime and police so they can ask for more money for cool toys. The drug war is nothing more than a drain on resources and people.

In some government nonsense news, self-made millionaire Gregory Sancoff has spent a decade and $19 million building a highly unusual stealth boat that he called Ghost, only to be told by the government that not only will they not buy it, but he can't sell it abroad either. Built right here in the Seacoast of New Hampshire, the Ghost is designed to be faster, more stable, and more fuel-efficient than anything currently in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. Early on in the development, Sancoff was served with secrecy orders blocking him from showing the patents or technology to anyone, and last year, the government placed the company under the watch of International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR.

This has caused the startup, called Juliet Marine Systems Inc, to lay off 17 of its 20 staff, and Sancoff is suing the government to recoup damages.

“We’ve fallen into a very weird place,” he says. “If the U.S. doesn’t want this, fine. But why not let us sell to friendly nations? We’ve had so much interest from countries like Japan, Korea, Qatar.”

The outlook for Juliet isn't great. Last year, the U.S. patent office issued 95 secrecy orders—one for every 6,628 applications. Most of those inventions were developed by large companies, specifically for the military or other government agencies. But as Joshua Brustein points out, the orders "are a different sort of ordeal for private inventors, about a dozen of whom file patent applications that are made secret by government mandate each year." Inventors who break gag orders can lose their patent rights, or face fines or incarceration. And while some secrecy orders are reversed each year, others date back as far as the 1940s.

As for recouping funds? “There is a legal process to ask the government for compensation," says Brustein, "but it takes years and almost never pays out.”

For now, Sancoff has decided to stop filing patent applications altogether. "We're afraid the government will come in and put more secrecy orders on us," he says.

And he should be afraid. This certainly isn't the first company to find itself on the wrong side of a government secrecy order. In fact, as of 2013, there were more than 5,000 such orders on patents, completely restricting innovation and development of a profitable product. These secrecy orders have been used since 1951 to allow the government to decide what information should be out there. This is yet another reason patents are a terrible idea. If you have a patent, the government can tell you what to do with it, or you lose that protection. When you ask for the government's protection, you may just get more than you bargain for.

In Wikileaks news, Julian Assange has apparently been cut off from the outside world after having his internet connection but off by the Equador government for his location in their embassy in London, where he has been living for more than three years. Many sources say that John Kerry put pressure on Equador to restrict Assange's access, although Equador denies this. They say they did it to stop Assange from interfering in the US election.

Equador is saying that it intends to protect Assange's asylum rights as well, which is a relief to many who were concerned they would not allow him to stay there, opening him up for arrest.

The funny part about this is that Assange himself likely doesn't even do the releases of information, and if he does, he is surely not the only person to have access, so this will not stop anything at all. This just goes to show how desperate the Democrats are to protect their control and power. As I've said in the past, they are much more concerned about the people doing the leaking instead of being concerned about the people committing illegal or fraudulent acts. But, is anyone really surprised by that, in this day and age? I imagine the Republicans would do the exact same thing.

ANCAP APP

I've talked about this product before, but it's been a while, and there have been some updates that are very noteworthy. I'm talking about the Cell 411 app available on iPhone and Android. The app is a real-time response management app to alert your friends, neighbors, and even emergency service providers when you are in danger, experiencing medical distress, or just need assistance. You can alert your friends when you need help or receive alerts when they need help, with directions to where you should go. Only people you specifically issue alerts to can see them.

Well, now, Cell 411 has added live video streaming to the app, an option that was very much needed. There is no more need to use a separate app such as Bambuser to record your video after you have issues a Cell 411 alert. Now it can all be done in the same app, very simply. When you click on the button in the app to issue an alert, there is an option for Live Video. Just click that and get started with the video. You can choose what group to send video to so you control who sees what. This is a great way to make sure there is an accurate record of what's going on.

You can also set the Cell 411 app to automatically start streaming your video to your Facebook and YouTube channels on top of the live stream going out to your contacts in Cell 411. One really cool feature is a fake "erase" button that allows you to simulate erasing the video if you are under duress or being forced to erase the video. It will also take a picture at the time to hopefully capture who is pushing the fake erase button, in case an unauthorized user is trying to remove the video. You can go back and watch and download the video anytime you want.

Another really cool feature that Cell 411 has released is the new Panic Button. This Bluetooth device allows you to issue emergency alerts via Cell 411 to your friends, neighbors, and family members without having to unlock your phone or even physically touch the device.

After pressing the Cell 411 panic button, an emergency alert will be sent out to the chosen cell or group of friends you configured. Your GPS location will be sent to your Cell 411 friends in real time, so they can come and assist you with turn by turn direction.

This button has lots of different accessories you can buy for various ways of wearing the device. You can get a lanyard to wear it around your neck, a belt clip that will allow you to attach it to your belt, your purse, or many other items, and a wrist band. The button is $24.95 at getcell411.com/shop and I highly recommend this for people who are involved in activism or who are in a place where there is a lot of crime or police activity, but I repeat myself.

Full disclosure, I was sent a free panic button to test and to review, but you can rest assured that if it didn't do what it was supposed to, I'd tell you. It's a very simple device and very easy to set up.

So, go check out Cell 411 today at getcell411.com and make sure to download the app at the very least. You need this app on your phone.

OUTRO

Thank you for listening to the show this week. As always, I need to thank my favorite Pax Libertas unpaid intern, 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/48.

I have a new iTunes reviews this week! Intrathecal had this to say:

One of the best Libertarian podcasts! One of my favorites.

Short and very sweet! Thanks, Intra! Very much appreciated.

And keep giving me those reviews, guys. iTunes steers people to this podcast based on the number of subscribers and the number of positive reviews, so every positive review you give me helps get the show in front of more people. Go to thelavaflow.com/itunes today to give me a rating and a review!

And, for the second time in a row, I've gone backward a bit on my donations. I had another donor lower their per-episode donation a little bit, but, I also had a new supporter for the show! Kathleen added a new $2.50 per episode donation using Patreon! I'm now at $123.50 per episode in donations, or 49.4% towards my next goal to bring you a 30-minute The LAVA Flow episode every week. Thanks so much, Kathleen!

Also, Jacob used my affiliate link for Coinbase and got both he and I a free $10 in Bitcoin! Thanks, Jacob! If you want $10 in free Bitcoin and you want to help the show, go to thelavaflow.com/coinbase today and sign up for a new account and buy at least $100 in Bitcoin.

And now it's time to talk about my November contest! This is one that everyone can get into. I need more reviews on Stitcher, since very few people actually review on Stitcher it seems. Currently, I only have two reviews on that platform. The best part is that anyone with an internet browser can review on Stitcher, there is no need to create an account or anything. So, if you go to thelavaflow.com/stitcher today, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Write a Review" and leave me one. Since there are so few reviews already on Stitcher, I'm only going to have a single prize pack this time. The prize pack is the same as last time, an exclusive The LAVA Flow contest winner t-shirt, a The LAVA Flow tote bag, and a copy of one of my favorite libertarian books signed by the author. So, go to thelavaflow.com/stitcher today and leave me a rating and a review. All reviews on Stitcher that are in before November 30th will be entered to win the prize pack. The winners will be announced on this show on December 6th. Good luck!

And, finally, if you want more of the LAVA Flow, exercise your free-market muscles by going to http://thelavaflow.com/support and giving a per-episode donation of as little as a buck an episode using Federal Reserve Notes through Patreon or Bitcoin through Coinbase. I want to be able to bring you more content soon, so make sure to add your donation today to help make that happen!

Until next time... keep striking the root.

This has been a Pax Libertas Productions Podcast.

 

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