Is it moral to be selfish? Find out in Virtue of Selfishness.What's in the news with stories on hemp lawsuits, the FBI and FDA doing stupid stuff, cryptocurrency updates, lab-grown meat and much more, and a big PorcFest update on who is the keynote speaker. Make sure to hang out until the end of the show to get your chance to win some free swag.

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES 

[2:22]

The Virtue of Selfishness is the title of one of my favorite non-fiction books by Ayn Rand. The title is provocative, purposely so. Ayn chose to use the word selfish for a very specific reason.

I'll let her explain it to us.

“In popular usage, the word ‘selfishness’ is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends . . . and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.

Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word ‘selfishness’ is: concern with one’s own interests.

This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interests is good or evil; nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests. It is the task of ethics to answer such questions.”

And this book is her attempt to answer the ethics of selfishness. She does an amazing job of it in this collection of essays. I was a fan of Rand's fiction books Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, but it wasn't until I read this book that I considered myself an Objectivist, or someone who follows the philosophy of objectivism.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS 

[9:19]

In hiding behind stacks of paper news, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has stopped accepting Freedom of Information Act requests by email. The agency wants requesters to use fax, standard mail, or the agency's online portal.

In it's about time news, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) has filed a motion against the DEA, challenging the agency’s handling of hemp foods as Schedule I drugs.

In Crypto Corner news, Bitcoin and other currencies are seeing record highs. Bitcoin, as of Monday the 12th is worth $1,243, more than an ounce of gold for the first time in history.

In grow me some meat news, the price of lab-grown meat has dramatically reduced, from around $325,000 fro a burger in 2013 to just $11.36 now.

In FDA stands for Fucking Dumb Agency, the FDA has finally approved a several-decades-old product that can stop 80% of cavities.

In software will replace us all news, software from JPMorgan does in seconds what it used to take lawyers 360,000 hours to do.

Topics like this and automated staff at fast food restaurants always reminds me of Frederick Bastiat's famous Candlestick maker's Petition where he satirically wrote an open letter to the French Parliament making the claim that the French government should take protective action against the unfair competition of the sun so that the French lighting industry would have increased profits.

In Libertarian Party news, as my friend Tom Knapp, host of the KnappStir podcast, said, things are looking up for the Libertarian Party! According to a report from the Albuquerque Journal, Gary Johnson has “vowed to never again run for the presidency, citing a deep disillusionment with an American political system that rewarded Donald Trump with the keys to the White House despite his “dishonesty.”

Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur,  recently said, “at heart, I'm a libertarian” while saying in the same panel that he believed that citizens should be guaranteed health care.

In FBI standa for Fucked Beyond Imagination news, the FBI would apparently rather drop a child pornography site case than give up the exploit in TOR that it used to gather the evidence in the case.

In Republicans have lost their damn minds news, House Republicans have introduced an effort to fix Obamacare that has the official title of “World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.” I shit you not.

In beating a dead horse news, a dead horse was left on the side of the road for three days thanks to a government regulation.

NEW HAMPSHIRE, IT'S LIKE THIS TOO 

[28:02]

There's some big news on the Keynote Speaker for PorcFest, John McAfee!

The House passed BH 640, which would decriminalize possession of 1 ounce or less of cannabis for anyone over 21 years of age and makes it a $100 fine.

And, according to the Tenth Amendment Center,  the New Hampshire House passed a bill that would ban the use of “stingrays” to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications without a warrant in most situations.

 

Read Full Transcript

TEASER INTRO

Is it moral to be selfish? What's in the news with stories on hemp lawsuits, the FBI and FDA doing stupid stuff, cryptocurrency updates, lab-grown meat and much more, and a big PorcFest update on who is the keynote speaker. Make sure to hang out until the end of the show to get your chance to win some free swag.

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, coming to you from the state that was the home of the world' larget meatball at 222 pounds 8 ounces in Concord, 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 fifty-seven, The Virtue of Selfishness, and it's Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, when there have already been more than 241 people killed by police 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

The Virtue of Selfishness is the title of one of my favorite non-fiction books by Ayn Rand. The title is provocative, purposely so. Ayn chose to use the word selfish for a very specific reason. I'll let her explain it to us.

“In popular usage, the word ‘selfishness’ is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends . . . and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.

Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word ‘selfishness’ is: concern with one’s own interests.

This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interests is good or evil; nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests. It is the task of ethics to answer such questions.”

And this book is her attempt to answer the ethics of selfishness. She does an amazing job of it in this collection of essays. I was a fan of Rand's fiction books Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, but it wasn't until I read this book that I considered myself an Objectivist, or someone who follows the philosophy of objectivism.

In the introduction to this important book, Rand gives us a fairly clear understanding of her definition of selfishness.

“Since selfishness is ‘concern with one’s own interests,’ the Objectivist ethics uses that concept in its exact and purest sense. It is not a concept that one can surrender to man’s enemies, nor to the unthinking misconceptions, distortions, prejudices and fears of the ignorant and the irrational. The attack on ‘selfishness’ is an attack on man’s self-esteem; to surrender one, is to surrender the other.”

It's commonly believed that morality demands that we choose between sacrificing other people to ourselves (which is deemed “selfish” and immoral) and sacrificing our own values to satisfy the needs of others (which is deemed unselfish and therefore moral). Rand rejects both options as forms of selflessness, and offers a new concept of egoism — an ethic of rational selfishness that rejects sacrifice in all its forms. This can best be summed up in the famous quote of John Galt in Atlas Shrugged:

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

Selfishness, however, does not mean just “doing whatever you please.” Moral principles are not a matter of personal opinion — they are based in the facts of reality, in man’s nature as a rational being, who must think and act successfully in order to live and be happy. Morality’s task is to identify the kinds of action that do actually benefit you. These virtues (productivity, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, pride) are all applications of the basic virtue, rationality. Rand’s moral ideal is a life of reason, purpose, and self-esteem.

Most people take for granted that actions intended to benefit others are good and that actions intended to benefit yourself are bad. One of the book’s themes is that this “beneficiary-criterion of morality” makes it impossible to even conceive of self-interest as moral.

In order to make room for her “new concept of egoism,” Rand identifies the opposite of selfishness as altruism (literally, “otherism”) and argues that making service to others the hallmark of moral action obscures the real issues in ethics: What are values? Why do we need them? How do we decide who should be the beneficiary of our actions?

Only when one answers these questions, Rand argues, is one in a position to evaluate egoism and altruism as good or evil.

One theme of this book is that morality is a matter of principle, not divine revelation or subjective desire. A properly defined principle — one that identifies an actual truth about human action — should be acted upon consistently, never compromised.

Rand writes, “There can be no compromise on basic principles or on fundamental issues. What would you regard as a ‘compromise’ between life and death? Or between truth and falsehood?”

This reminds me of a quote from Thomas Paine:

"'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
I talk a lot about principle on this show, and I learned a lot of what I know about consistently holding my principles from Rand and her writings. Characters such as Howard Roark in The Fountanhead stand by their principles to the point of stubborn obstinance. But, this is a good trait, in my opinion.

Moral principles are indispensable guides to action in real-life situations if one’s goal is to attain individual happiness.

Unfortunately, principles have gotten a bad name because conventional ideals like self-sacrifice cannot be consistently practiced without inviting disaster. As a result, compromise becomes essential to survival, consistency seems dangerous, and philosophers like Rand and even Ron Paul are marginalized as dangerous fanatics.

Egoists are generally assumed to prey on others. In Rand’s view, however, individuals derive indispensable benefit from exchanging values with other people. Rand writes, “A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. He does not treat men as masters or slaves, but as independent equals. He deals with men by means of a free, voluntary, unforced, uncoerced exchange — an exchange which benefits both parties by their own independent judgment.”

In this broad sense, Rand’s “trader principle” encompasses not only economic transactions but all voluntary human relationships. This is a big part of the voluntaryist ethic. While many voluntaryists, usually those who have never read her works, reject Ayn Rand, I believe that if more of them would spend more time reading and studying her philosophy, many more would understand that she held the same principles they do, unflinchingly so, in many ways.

Although the egoistic individual is perfectly at home in society, he recognizes that other people hold the power to destroy the value of social life by initiating physical force against him — in the form of criminal acts or, more dangerously, improper government coercion.

One of this book’s themes is that morality must identify principles to identify and guard against this threat. In her essay “Man’s Rights,” Rand presents her case for individual rights — moral principles that spell out one’s proper sphere of freedom — and grounds the rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness that were America’s founding principles. Far from being self-evident, these principles need a new moral defense.

However, this is where Rand went a bit off the deep end, in my opinion. In “The Nature of Government,” Rand argues that a constitutional republic on the American model (with certain crucial flaws corrected) is necessary to protect individual rights and that this is the only valid purpose of government. While I understand her here, because I once believed this way, I now believe that Murray Rothbard's adoption and evolution of Rand's non-initiation of force principle that includes all form of government is the logical, and moral, application of Objectivism and selfishness.

My point in this topic is to show that selfishness is important and necessary to understanding true libertarianism and voluntaryism. True selfishness, based on the actual definition of the word and not people's false understanding of the word, is imperative for morality.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

In hiding behind stacks of paper news, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has stopped accepting Freedom of Information Act requests by email. The agency wants requesters to use fax, standard mail, or the agency's online portal. Adam Marshall, an attorney with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said that the goal seems to be "creating a lot of extra burden. Everyone is used to emails. It creates a permanent record. It has a time-stamp on it. Everyone knows how to use it."

The FBI says the move will help the agency expedite its backlog, which was estimated at 2,614 requests in 2015. Agency spokesperson Jillian Stickels told the Daily Caller that using an online portal will automate the processing of requests and "increase efficiency."

But does the FBI really want to make the process more efficient? And its decision to continue accepting faxes and standard mail seems to only create headaches for requesters, who might run out of toner or have their transmission signal interrupted when someone picks up the line.

"Most mail that goes to a federal agency has to go through a screening process," says Marshall. "Sometimes they irradiate it to make sure that there isn't anthrax or other things in it [...] So, it can take a long time for your mail to get from you to the FOIA officer who's going to open it up and read it." Yet the law says that the agency is required to provide a response to a FOIA request within 20 business days.

The online portal system imposes a 3,000-character restriction. Also, the FBI says that not all types of requests can be fulfilled through the portal, though which types the agency won't say.

And it's not just the FBI. Eleven other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Customs and Border Patrol, Department of the Navy, and others have recently followed the FBI with these rules. It's clear the goal of this new rule is to make it as difficult as possible to see how your stolen money is being used by these agencies.

In it's about time news, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) has filed a motion against the DEA, challenging the agency’s handling of hemp foods as Schedule I drugs. The HIA is hoping a court will find the DEA in contempt of court for failing to comply with a 13-year-old court injunction, prohibiting the agency from regulating hemp food products as Schedule I controlled substances. A 2004 ruling, made by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, determined that the DEA had violated the Controlled Substances Act by designating hemp stalk, fiber, sterilized seed, and oil as “marijuana.”

Hemp contains trace amounts of naturally occurring THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The versatile crop be used in a variety of ways, from making rope and fabrics, to food and fuel. In December 2016, the DEA and North Dakota Department of Agriculture halted the export of Healthy Oilseeds’ hemp products grown under the state’s hemp pilot program and Congress’ Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill), claiming it was prohibited “because industrial hemp is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.”

Colleen Keahey, Executive Director of the HIA, said: “We will not stand idly by while the DEA flouts the will of Congress, violates the Ninth Circuit order, and harasses honest hemp producers trying to make a living with this in-demand crop."

The motion comes nearly two months after the DEA added a new code to its Federal Register that reclassifies CBD oil and other marijuana extracts, like hemp oil, as Schedule 1 drugs.

This is a no brainer. Hemp is not a drug, period. It can best be described as a super food, full of Omegas 3 and 6, protein, fiber, and all 10 essential amino acids. Not to mention the other uses for hemp such as paper, rope, clothing, building materials, and many more. Maybe we should make ropes for the DEA out of hemp.

In Crypto Corner news, Bitcoin and other currencies are seeing record highs. Bitcoin, as of Monday the 12th is worth $1,243, more than an ounce of gold for the first time in history. One year ago, Bitcoin was worth $421. Three months ago Bitcoin was worth about $780. Many people were assuming Bitcoin was going up and up because of the upcoming decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission on whether to approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). That decision came and it was denied. This had an immediate impact on lowering the price of Bitcoin, but only for a few hours. The price quickly came back up and has been steady since.

Bloomberg speculates that the surge in price id for a different reason. "The latest surge in bitcoin’s value has been attributed to tighter currency restrictions in countries such as China, India and Venezuela, as well as speculation about prospects under the Trump administration."

Dash has had an even more impressive increase in price. In the last three months, the price of Dash has increased from around $9 to around $80, a huge increase that has been very profitable for me personally. Dash keeps going up because it is considered one of the best contenders for replacing Bitcoin as a true, easy to use virtual currency. The goal of the Dash team is to make it a virtual currency that even your grandmother can use. Can you even begin trying to explain Bitcoin to your grandmother?

In grow me some meat news, the price of lab-grown meat has dramatically reduced, from around $325,000 fro a burger in 2013 to just $11.36 now.

Peter Verstrate, head of Mosa Meat, said, "I am confident that when it is offered as an alternative to meat that increasing numbers of people will find it hard not to buy our product for ethical reasons." I can't disagree with this. I know a lot of people who go out of their way to find food that is more ethical, but most people won't do that, including me. However, if the choice were this simple and the price was very competitive, of course, most people would choose a more ethical option.

Verstrate is confident consumers will have no choice but to give in and purchase lab-grown meat. There may be some who go out of their way to get the "real stuff," but that trend may only last so long as the prices stay competitive. But if the cost to manufacture test-tube meat continues to fall and there's enough demand, science may edge out factory farms.

This brings up another issue, the implications of what would happen to cows and other farmed animals once lab meat is cheaper than the real thing.

In FDA stands for Fucking Dumb Agency, the FDA has finally approved a several-decades-old product that can stop 80% of cavities. The product is a simple, paint on antimicrobial liquid that painlessly stops tooth decay and prevents further cavities.

The liquid is called silver diamine fluoride, or S.D.F. It’s been used for decades in Japan, but it’s been available in the United States, under the brand name Advantage Arrest, for just about a year.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared silver diamine fluoride for use as a tooth desensitizer for adults 21 and older. But studies show it can halt the progression of cavities and prevent them, and dentists are increasingly using it off-label for those purposes.

In software will replace us all news, software from JPMorgan does in seconds what it used to take lawyers 360,000 hours to do. The program, called COIN, for Contract Intelligence, does the mind-numbing job of interpreting commercial loan agreements that, until the project went online in June, consumed 360,000 hours of lawyers’ time annually. The software reviews documents in seconds is less error-prone and never asks for vacation.

Made possible by investments in machine learning and a new private cloud network, COIN is just the start for the biggest U.S. bank. The firm recently set up technology hubs for teams specializing in big data, robotics and cloud infrastructure to find new sources of revenue, while reducing expenses and risks.

COIN has helped JPMorgan cut down on loan-servicing mistakes, most of which stemmed from human error in interpreting 12,000 new wholesale contracts per year, according to its designers.

Another program called X-Connect, which went into use in January, examines e-mails to help employees find colleagues who have the closest relationships with potential prospects and can arrange introductions. For simpler tasks, the bank has created bots to perform functions like granting access to software systems and responding to IT requests, such as resetting an employee’s password. Bots are expected to handle 1.7 million access requests this year, doing the work of 140 people.

While growing numbers of people in the industry worry such advancements might someday take their jobs, many Wall Street personnel are more focused on benefits. A survey of more than 3,200 financial professionals by recruiting firm Options Group last year found a majority expect new technology will improve their careers, for example by improving workplace performance.

Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy responded to this, saying, “Anything where you have back-office operations and humans kind of moving information from point A to point B that’s not automated is ripe for that. People always talk about this stuff as displacement. I talk about it as freeing people to work on higher-value things, which is why it’s such a terrific opportunity for the firm.”

Topics like this and automated staff at fast food restaurants always reminds me of Frederick Bastiat's famous Candlestick maker's Petition where he satirically wrote an open letter to the French Parliament making the claim that the French government should take protective action against the unfair competition of the sun so that the French lighting industry would have increased profits. Bastiat argued that forcing people to close "all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull's-eyes, deadlights, and blinds - in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses" will lead to a higher consumption of candles and related products.

You definitely want to check out the Candlestick maker's Petition. It is available free online and, of course, I have a link to it in the show notes to this episode at thelavaflow.com/57.

In Libertarian Party news, as my friend Tom Knapp, host of the KnappStir podcast, said, things are looking up for the Libertarian Party! According to a report from the Albuquerque Journal, Gary Johnson has "vowed to never again run for the presidency, citing a deep disillusionment with an American political system that rewarded Donald Trump with the keys to the White House despite his “dishonesty."

This is great news, to be sure. But, there will always be something for the shiny object caucus of the LP to latch onto. Hell, Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur, recently said, "at heart, I'm a libertarian" while saying in the same panel that he believed that citizens should be guaranteed health care. He also apparently made the case that he wants to be convinced to run for president in 2020. Here's to hoping he stays the hell away from the Libertarian Party, because that he is exactly the type of person the shiny object caucus latches onto. As a matter of a fact, just this morning I received an invitation from a former officer of the Libertarian Party of Nevada to like the Facebook page "Draft Mark Cuban for President 2020." And, the page is not satirical. This should tell you a lot about the Libertarian Party and why I have such a disdain for the national party.

In FBI standa for Fucked Beyond Imagination news, the FBI would apparently rather drop a child pornography site case than give up the exploit in TOR that it used to gather the evidence in the case.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Justice filed a motion in Washington State federal court to dismiss its indictment against a child porn site. It wasn’t for lack of evidence; it was because the FBI didn’t want to disclose details of a hacking tool to the defense as part of discovery. Evidence in United States v. Jay Michaud hinged at least in part on information federal investigators had gathered by exploiting a vulnerability in the Tor anonymity network.

Federal prosecutor Annette Hayes wrote in the court filing, “Because the government remains unwilling to disclose certain discovery related to the FBI’s deployment of a ‘Network Investigative Technique’ (‘NIT’) as part of its investigation into the Playpen child pornography site, the government has no choice but to seek dismissal of the indictment,” She noted that the DoJ’s work to resist disclosing the NIT was part of “an effort to balance the many competing interests that are at play when sensitive law enforcement technology becomes the subject of a request for criminal discovery.”

In other words, the feds are letting an alleged child pornographer free so that officials can potentially catch other dark-web using criminals in the future.

In Republicans have lost their damn minds news, House Republicans have introduced an effort to fix Obamacare that has the official title of "World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017." I shit you not.

This particular bill is one of several that Republicans have introduced, including one by Rand Paul that I talked about in episode 29 of The LAVA Spurt that you can listen to at thelavaflow.com/tls029. While Rand's version is not a true liberty bill and does keep some elements of Obamacare, it is much better than this bill.

The best way to fix Obamacare is to completely remove it, 100%. But that will never happen because no one in Congress has balls.

In beating a dead horse news, a dead horse was left on the side of the road for three days thanks to a government regulation. Syed Jafri's horse died after being taken to the vet to try and save his life. Jafri left the carcass in a trailer behind the gate of his business until the city could come and pick up the remains, but when he called the city, they said that they would not pick it up if it was in a trailer. They said that Jafri would have to put it on the road.

So, doing what was required by Houston City regulations, he laid the horse beside the road and called the city to let them know. The city finally got around to picking up the dead horse three days later.

In some news about the show, I have a new incentive that I can start offering you for supporting The LAVA Flow through Patreon or Bitcoin at thelavaflow.com/support. A listener of the show is offering to anyone who donates $200 or more to The LAVA Flow a free lifetime subscription to Listen and Think Audio! What is Listen and Think Audio? It is a website that offers access to libertarian audio books through Audible. Currently, there are 35 books on the site with a new book added at least once a month. Once you have donated $200 to this show, your membership begins, and you can choose any or all of the existing 35 books to download for free! That is a ton of material! Then, each time a new book is released, you will receive an email and you can choose to get that new book for free, or any other book in the list that you don't already have.

I know what you're thinking, this sounds way too good to be true. And when Listen and Think approached me about this, that was exactly what I thought as well. But I have vetted them very closely and spoken with other groups who use them as an incentive, such as The Libertarian Institute, and it is 100% on the up and up.

The current books include a lot of great stuff like Short Answers to Tough Questions and Healing our World by Mary Ruwart, Money, Sounds and Unsound by Joseph Salerno, Fascism Versus Capitalism by Lew Rockwell, Bit by Bit by Jeffrey Tucker, The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War by Jacob Hornberger, The War on Drug is a War on Freedom by Lawrence Vance, Everything Voluntary From Politics to Parenting by Skyler Collins and Chris Brown, Bitcoin Explained Simply by Mark Jeffrey, and many more books. And, there are some awesome books coming up in the next few months, including The Art of Peace by Robert Moriarty, Dear Reader, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il but Michale Malice, and Government Schools are Bad for Your Kids by James Ostrowski.

You don't want to miss this awesome deal. All you have to do is sign up to be a supporter of this show today and donate at least $200. This does not have to be a one-time payment. You can support the show at any monetary level. Starting now, when your donations equal $200, then you will get this incentive. For all of my existing supporters, this goes for you as well. Starting now, your donations will also count towards this incentive. Once you reach the $200 level, I will send your contact information to Listen and Think so they can get you signed up!

You can check out all of the audio books available with Listen and Think Audio by going to thelavaflow.com/listenandthink.

So, go to thelavaflow.com/support today and begin your support of the show using Federal Reserve Notes through Patreon or Bitcoin!

NH IT'S LIKE THIS TOO

We were finally able to reveal our keynote speaker for Porc Fest 2017. It will be none other than the world-class bad ass himself, John McAfee, 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, cyber security expert, and MGT Capital Investments CEO. You do not want to miss your chance to hang out with this awesome guy. It's going to be one hell of a time this year, so if you've never made it to PorcFest before, go get your tickets now at porcfest.com!

Also, this was a huge couple of weeks for liberty in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

The House passed BH 640, which would decriminalize possession of 1 ounce or less of cannabis for anyone over 21 years of age and makes it a $100 fine. The House has passed this several times only for it to not pass in the Senate. However, the political climate in New Hampshire is different now with a governor who has vowed to sign a decrim bill if it were to cross his desk. We will see what the Senate does, but I will be very surprised if it doesn't pass this time.

Speaking of cannabis, PTSD and chronic pain were passed by the House to be added to the list of qualifying conditions. Again, I expect this to pass the Senate and be signed by the governor. Also, the House passed a bill allowing for some home-grow of cannabis for qualified patients. This one may have a tougher time getting through the Senate.

HB 436, which exempts persons using virtual currency from registering as money transmitters, passed the House as well. I have no read on whether this will pass in the Senate, but it barely passed in the House, by a margin of 185-170.

And, according to the Tenth Amendment Center, the New Hampshire House passed a bill that would ban the use of “stingrays” to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications without a warrant in most situations. The proposed law would not only protect privacy in New Hampshire but would also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.

The bill also includes provisions requiring police to limit the collection of data or metadata to the person named in the warrant and to immediately permanently delete any information gathered on anyone not so named. Police would also have to delete any data or meta-data relating to the person named in the court order within 30 days if there is no longer reason to believe the information is evidence of a crime.

This bill passed the House by a unanimous voice vote.

The federal government encourages and funds stingrays at the state and local level across the U.S., thereby undoubtedly gaining access to a massive data pool on Americans without having to expend the resources to collect the information itself. By placing restrictions on stingray use, state and local governments limit the data available that the feds can access.

In a nutshell, without state and local cooperation, the feds have a much more difficult time gathering information. Passage of both HB474 would represent a major blow to the surveillance state and a win for privacy.

OUTRO

Thank you for listening to the show this week. As always, I need to thank my wife of 11 years, 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/57.

I have three new iTunes reviews this week! 1supercoach had this to say:

Keep the LAVA flowing! Great perspective on all the relevant issues of today! Rodger does a great job breaking down the issues and answering most of the questions I have about any given topic.... saving me loads of research time every week that I just don't have! I started donating this month because the value I have received is just too great not to! Looking forward to more from Rodger and the Pax Libertas team.

Thanks, coach! I'm glad you're finding the show informative. That's my goal!

And, another review from across the pond from Sylvarwolf2017 in the UK:

Some fantastic information, research and resources! Rodger's superb voice brings strength and determination to hsi message in this podcast about Libertarian philosophy. His explanations and examples are great and I found myself agreeing with him many times. Not being based in th US made it sometimes hard to follow the basis of an issue and Rodger's speed of delivery meant I needed to rewind occasionally to pick up everything he was saying (hence only 4 stars not 5). Other than that, his segments, content, presentation and overall production make for a very, enjoyable and informative show.

Wolf, thanks for that great review! I try to pack a lot of information into a short format so I don't waste your time, and sometimes that means I deliver things a bit fast. I'll see if I can work on that a bit.

And, from Senator Meatball:

Great listen! I'm not a Libertarian, but this has been an educational podcast to listen to on a regular basis. Keep up the great work!

Meatball, thanks for the great review. I take it as a challenge to help you see the benefits and logic of libertarianism. Keep listening! 🙂

I also have a new supporter this week. BJ, who is also 1SuperCoach from the above review, started a $2.50 per episode pledge through Patreon! BJ, thanks so much for your support. It's so much appreciated.

And, thanks to BJ and all of my other donors, this puts me at an incredible per episode total of $202 or 80.8% of the way towards my next level where I will be bringing you a full 30-minute episode of The LAVA Flow every week!

And, 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!

And, don't forget about the new contest running through the month of March! The prize pack is a Pax Libertas Productions t-shit from the PLP show of your choice, including this show, the Ancap Barber Shop, Freecoast Freecoast, or even Resist the Empire! You'll also receive a The LAVA Flow tote bag and a copy of one of my favorite libertarian books signed by the author.

All you have to do to be entered in the contest is fill out a simple short survey with 17 questions. It will take about five minutes of your time and it will really help me out. And, if you want to be entered into the contest, just put your email address in the last question. You can fill out the survey and get your chance to win this prize pack by going to thelavaflow.com/survey!

You'll only hear about this contest on the Pax Libertas Productions podcast episodes because I want to restrict it only people who actually listen to the show, so don't expect reminders on Facebook or other social media for this contest. Go do it now before you forget!

Until next time... keep striking the root.

This has been a Pax Libertas Productions Podcast.

 

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