Rand Paul Strip-Mines Libertarianism

While we’re on the subject of Raping the Earth…

INTERVIEWER: What about mountaintop removal?

PAUL: I think whoever owns the property can do with the property as they wish, and if the coal company buys it from a private property owner and they want to do it, fine. The other thing I think is that I think coal gets a bad name, because I think a lot of the land apparently is quite desirable once it’s been flattened out. As I came over here from Harlan, you’ve got quite a few hills. I don’t think anybody’s going to be missing a hill or two here and there.

Hey, no problem. Randy’s patients aren’t going to be missing his lack of board certification, either.

Rand Paul on mountaintop removal: “I don’t think anyone’s going to be missing a hill or two here and there” [Crooks and Liars, via Think Progress]

For utter fucktardedness, Rand should be sentenced to spend the rest of his life trying to live next to a MTR site. I’d worry about the leached iron pyrites having negative effects on cognitive function, but would anybody notice in his case?

There’s nothing *inherently* wrong with the full-blast libertarian argument he’s using – there’s just the small issue of what happens when water running through the property gets so full of toxic shit that it’s unsalvageable. Pollution is always a weak spot of the “mah property is mah property” crowd…

If I lived next door to Randfuck, I know I’d need to set off dynamite every 60 seconds and burn tires 24/7.

What’s one less meal per day? I mean, really, you got three of ’em, that’s a lotta meals, you know? For that matter, have you actually ever tried to count up to twenty thousand? That’s a hell of a lot! People don’t need that many dollars, and we don’t need to have a wasteful government apparatus in place just to count and distribute all those dollars. And air. Lemme tell you about air! They measure that stuff in so-called “scientific notification” for a reason! That’s just billions and billions and billions, to regular folks like you and me. No one needs that much of anything, and if industry needs to use it, they should be free to.

dude is the gift that keeps on giving.
and giving and giving . . .

@Capt Howdy: He really is the small-town Libertarian I’m familiar with, not those Big Thinkers who get the attention. It’s not all anti-war and pro-weed.

Meanwhile, the Doppelgangster checks in…

Will you be voting in the primary election for Mike Lee on June 22?

• Yes, absolutely!

• Maybe, but I need more information.

• No.

Missing option: “Only if he lets me fondle his iPad.”

@nojo: Fuck Mike Lee. Asshole. I don’t need to fondle it but I would like to stroke it. Speaking of which:

IanJ is back from his Big Gay Wedding. Congrats. Did somebody give you the rule book?

I refuse to think about Rand Paul because he is not pretty. Therefore he is not interesting.

Speaking of mounting mountains, I found out a few weeks ago that we only just narrowly escaped having the Catskill Park blown to bits by hydrofracking. I mean WTF? Thank you G W Bush. It was one of his last acts, opening this whole beautiful region to exploitation by natural gas companies only narrowly stopped by a clever ruse by the DEC. I have no doubt the developers will be back.

One thing I will say about Ranch. He and his ilk are forever wittering on about their freedom to blast here, blast there, blast everywhere. But they never seem to consider that they are actually robbing me of my freedom to live without being blasted at, or on. And such as.

I’m having a bewildering time at Raw Story in a relatedish way. There is a ridiculously presented story about lawyers representing record and movie companies going after P2P networks by prosecuting users. I’m astounded that this is perceived as being an assault on our freedom. Am I missing something? You make something new and copyright it so that when others want to view or read or listen or stroke it they pay you a fee as part of a purchase price. So if you don’t pay for it you are essentially stealing it. Now, you can enjoy stealing it and tell everyone to fuck off – fine – but don’t pretend you’re some kind of maverick too cool to be constrained by commerce. Oh. And I also think that authors should be paid a royalty when someone borrows their book from a library. Outrageous that America’s writers, who are poor enough God knows, have to support ‘free libraries’.

Yes, I am a touch wired. How could you tell?

@Benedick: My Agenda seems to be missing some pages.


My objection to the MAFIAA lawsuits is twofold:

– using discovery procedures to discover the identities of thousands of subscribers at a time, then dropping all the suits in preference to shaking each subscriber down for a few k$ of protection money.

– applying (or threatening to apply) the statutory damage system to individual filesharers. Even if one accepts the “downloading == stealing” idea, I could walk into Wally-Mart and steal an actual, physical DVD and face *far* weaker penalties than the $150,000 per copy allowed for downloading. Those laws are clearly designed to hit serious commercial infringers (ie, the suppliers of all the fakes in your neighborhood flea market and Stop’n’rob) but are instead used to get utterly retarded verdicts of tens or hundreds of millions against individuals.

Finally, I’d find strong enforcement of copyright laws far more palatable if the primary beneficiaries of said laws hadn’t repeatedly demonstrated that they intend to make copyright *eternal*, which is an offense against our shared culture itself. Minus infinity points to the Supremes for splitting the hair and allowing retroactive copyright extension on the premise that it wasn’t *actually* forever if you had to bribe a whole new set of congresscritters every generation to keep it going.

@al2o3cr: My efforts to become a Metallica fan earlier than I did were stymied by the poor quality cassette tapes sold for $4 by swarthy gentlemen at the flea market. I do have the experience of having heard “Master of Puppets” as if were being performed under water, however.

@al2o3cr: That I get.

I’m not talking about abuses, which it seems are many. I’m talking about the basic idea of copyright, which is to let an author make something off his or her work. The Berlin estate, I believe, got the term extended when his earlier songs were coming into public domain while he was still alive. And the demented way they went after any and all infringements has in fact damaged his reputation. And now, of course, Disney wants Mickey etc to never come out of copyright for obvious reasons.

Leaving aside corporations who employ writers for hire and own the copyright I have a question: why should an author’s work ever become public property? If it was a house, for example, the writer could leave it to his or her posterity forever. I’m not sure what’s different apart from custom. If someone has managed to write something that has entered the public consciousness why should the profit of that be taken away? I don’t know.

And yes it is theft if you don’t pay for a record or movie which has been written, produced, performed, packaged, and marketed at great expense and effort; or even just great effort. Because the whole production model rests on sales generating income to those involved whose primary recompense comes not from the initial fee, which is often made low so the damn thing can get produced, but from residuals.

And BTW, you know what makes me go out and bang my head against the wall? When you sign a deal for a play to be produced the agent who happened to negotiate the deal gets a built-in 10% for the life of the copyright. That’s right. You pay your agent after you’re dead. Agents buy and sell agency rights in their authors living and dead and there’s not a thing you can do about it. This happens in no other country but is so ingrained in the business here that theatre lawyers have no conception of why it might be… unreasonable, shall we say?

@Benedick: So who would get Homer’s royalties?

@redmanlaw: Whom must I pay for the privilege of using this language?

Ideas are not property. Copyright and patent are artificial constructs created by government, they are grants of monopoly, for a limited time, and the decision to enact laws providing for this grant of a monopoly to originators was based on a decision to reward and encourage them.

Not because there is or ever has been any thing as a “property right” in or to any idea, ever.

The idea of private property itself is an evil idea, and its spreading and growing, and it inevitably results in Randtardian Paultardian shit ideas.

Once the land was considered to be held in common, with each individual allowed to exclude others only from that portion they were actually occupying. That idea died hard. The sea is still considered common, but its changing. And now ideas themselves, people want to grant “ownership” to ideas themselves, its bad stuff, this “mine mine mine” mindset. Its what 2 year old babies are fond of saying.

@redmanlaw: Steady on, Dad.

But take Mozart. A very interesting man. He had his best year the year he died. He was the first, in a meaningful way, to try to control his work, profit by it, and not be limited by the role of court composer. He made himself be a writer for hire but since copyrights didn’t exist he couldn’t enforce the idea that he should be paid a percentage whenever his work was performed. So he lived off commissions, which introduced a somewhat frenzied aspect to his life.

But why not Shaw? Why should his work be appropriated? Or Mamet? Why shouldn’t he be able to leave his future earnings to whomever he pleases? Often the estate earns far more after the death of the writer. For example, The Rogers & Hammerstein estate is worth millions. Those millions were produced by the sweat of their brow. If a corporation can keep its assets indefinitely, why can’t they own Getting to Know You forever? Tiz a puzzlement.

@Prommie: Darling, deep breaths. In. Out. Think beautiful thoughts.

Ideas are not property. True. Brideshead Revisited is. It was made by one man in one place at one time as surely as if it were constructed in timber, lathe, and plaster. (BTW, the Oxford stuff? Gorgeous. The Catholic resolution? Not so much. Artistically speaking) Vast amounts of sweat was expended and gin consumed in its making- but that’s a different conversation. Copyright is all that stands between an author and working for commissions: which is the difference between independence and lackeydom. I just turned down something I really really really really wanted to do because I would not own my copyright. Copyright is good. Anyone can have an idea. But not everyone can spend the endless solitary hours making that idea tangible.

It’s not rocket science. It’s infinitely harder.


Mickey is a trademark, so he is the property of the company indefinitely. The cartoons containing Mickey are a different story- but that will never be investigated in a public forum because the company has gone so far as to sue law students investigating the question in papers.



I understand the idea in principle, but why exactly *should* the many-times removed heirs of a long-dead creative person enjoy the fruits of that labor? The architect (let alone the heirs of the architect) of a building has no claim on the future revenues or uses of that work, despite the “sweat of his brow”. This same argument even applies to many of the visual arts – perhaps I’m ill-informed, but I’ve never heard of a sculptor getting residuals on photographs of a work…

Further, it might even make some sense when applied to entire works – but the reality is that copyright has extended itself so far that three NOTES of a sound recording can constitute an infringement.

Finally, living off commissions seems to be the standard mode of action for most creatives – the architect above, visual artists, engineers, etc. As you’ve noted, for most of recorded *history* the same has applied to musicians and authors; only recently has the capability to reproduce content been both inexpensive enough for mass production but costly enough to allow publishers to act as gatekeepers and extract rent via scarcity. We’ve just watch that second bit disappear, and the lawsuits are a manifestation of a desperate attempt to preserve it in spite of reality.

@al2o3cr: I thought it was 5 notes. Time marches on. But again, I’m not talking of entrepreneurial abuse, I’m wondering about the idea of it.

Wasn’t it B Franklin who welcomed creative types to the new country with the promise of a 20 year copyright? Unheard of at the time?

I think we’re talking apples and oranges. I don’t know from architects. I know the theatre and how copyrights work in that dim backwater of our collective lives. Reproducing content has nothing to do with copyright itself but everything to do with the current debate. You say publishers act as gatekeepers: yes and no. One function of the publisher is to maintain the integrity of the text – however that text is expressed. Nothing to do with scarcity, everything to do with someone making something which other people want. And should pay for to satisfy that want.

You don’t get Coke for free. Why should you get Avatar? Or the Capt of Howdy’s game? I get the feeling that the concept of residuals is not well understood – who gets them and why. I also get the feeling that the creation of a written or spoken or filmed or skated work is somehow considered not worth protecting. An architect works for hire because of the nature of his work: someone has to build it. So his copyright must merge with the building. Jerry Herman’s copyright for Song on the Sand is not dependent on its execution. He made it out of air but now it’s as real as a Whopper® Why should big meat retain its rights when Herman can’t?

@al2o3cr: why exactly *should* the many-times removed heirs of a long-dead creative person enjoy the fruits of that labor?

We give you the original rationale for the estate tax.


Well, because “Whopper” is a trademark, which is very different than a copyright. The essential function (and I quote the Wikipedia)…of a trademark is to exclusively identify the commercial source or origin of products or services, such that a trademark, properly called, indicates source or serves as a badge of origin.

In other words, if you could find a way to trademark a song (and people do trademark jingles all the time) or a play then the trademark wouldn’t expire. It would also keep people from mis-approprating the use of the work of art. Again with the wiki: The law in most jurisdictions also allows the owner of a registered trademark to prevent unauthorized use of the mark in relation to products or services which are identical or “colourfully” similar to the “registered” products or services, and in certain cases, prevent use in relation to entirely dissimilar products or services. The test is always whether a consumer of the goods or services will be confused as to the identity of the source or origin.

They do trademark the names of shows (like “Cats”, for example) . Unfortunately wiki says trademark only: includes any device, brand, label, name, signature, word, letter, numerical, shape of goods, packaging, colour or combination of colours, smell, sound, movement or any combination thereof which is capable of distinguishing goods and services of one business from those of others.

So a play or a song is a bit long for that. Also, what business would a play or a song represent?

I think the 50-year rule is a fair one (does that rule still exist)? It keeps the artwork in question the property of the artist for their lifetime (most likely), but allows greatness to eventually belong to everyone.

@nojo: The ongoing earnings of Carousel are taxed every time it’s performed. The tax levied at the handing over of Castle Overbight happens once. I don’t think it’s comparable.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: You can’t trademark a work. You can a thing. Eg. The Star Wars title plus its logo treatment becomes a trademark. I tried my best not ever to look at anything to do with Cats so I can’t speak to that. A title cannot be trademarked. You could write an account of your times in the leather bars of NYC till you were redeemed by the love of a hot man (is IanJ reading this?) and call it Gone With The Wind and no one could stop you though Margaret Mitchell’s lawyers might try.

My question, and it really is a question, is why this online debate about the theft – in my estimation – of property has become a tirade about freedom and it was sparked by this ref to Wrong Paul. So if noje didn’t spend quite so much time playing with his thing none of this would have happened.

(gay sidebar: You like how I’m recruiting the str8s? I’m going after bloggie next)

@ManchuCandidate: I don’t think that’s right. There’s a whole deal about renewing and when that can happen and for how long. Time was it was from date of creation. Then death of creator. That’s where I think it is now and I think it’s a max of 75 years. It’s all very confusing.

BTW. Rand Paul Strip Mines? How gay is that?

@Benedick: There is a move afoot on the Navajo Nation to declare that traditional tribal songs, dances, prayers, stories, etc. are the property of the Navajo people and that such material is not to be packaged and sold by non-Navajos. Such recordings have been available for years, however, and I don’t know how they would enforce a law protecting non-material tribal cultural works outside of the reservation.


Bloggie won’t be that hard, I have it on good authority that he is fashionable.


If more than one person wrote any of that down and published it then you are screwed. On that point I know whereof I speak, as trademarks and copyrights are part of my day-to-day business.

The Sonny Bono amendment states:
70 years for individual copyright
120 for corp
95 for works done before 1978 (and tree proof.)

source wiki

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: You mean Dockers fashionable or… fashionable!!

@redmanlaw: Catt is right there. Even some old libtard crooning in a tape recorder umpteen years ago will screw you.

@ManchuCandidate: Before 78 I think you have to renew and it can total that. But I’m no lawyer. Though I did play one once at the Kennedy Center. No one was fooled.

But for God’s sake, why is the corp length longer than individual? Don’t bother. I know why.

@Benedick: The agent makes out even better when the original deal includes rights to prequels, sequels, etc and some of those get made. 10% of something that doesn’t exist at the time the deal is made — sweet!

If this topic is of interest to any of you, I implore you to read this, its Courtney Love’s testimony before a congressional committee back in 2000, on the subject, its so fucking brilliant: http://www.salon.com/technology/feature/2000/06/14/love

@Dodgerblue: I made a concrete point about agency as regards the theatre. You’re talking about the movies which is an entirely different animal. For a creative person an agent is an absolute necessity. Or you use a lawyer who does the same thing. Agents are not scum-sucking parasites. At their best they make a huge contribution to the life of a piece. And again, a writer does not own copyright in a movie. He or she is a writer for hire. So it’s quite proper for an agent to try to anticipate any future earnings since once the deal is signed that’s it. The most pissant Twilight fucktard actor will have a clause that boosts earnings if said fucktard is nominated for an Oscar. If a sequel is made from a movie then the agent has done his or her job well. But most movies are packaged by the top agencies. Heloo, Ari.

@Promnight: I don’t know from record companies. Is she really a reliable source? The same is said about movie companies. Which is why you never get a split of the gross but only the net. All I can say is that the theatre is scrupulously honest as regards money. And when a theatre tried to violate my copyright the publishers slammed them up against the wall and reamed them a new asshole.

Which is why I say that copyright is our friend. And that downloading crap without paying for it is theft.

@Benedick: I am not hyperventilating, my dear Benedick, who I truly sincerely admire, and I understand your feelings, but I just feel that understanding it all the way I put it is important. The rules we created, that “artificial monopoly,” it does protect the artist, for far longer than any artist will live, and the artist, I do believe, should be protected and rewarded for his invention, art, work, blood, sweat, tears, creation, miraculous spark that is art. But whats happening is the corporations are pushing that protection for the artist into a perpetual property right of the corporation, and this will diminish, with time, the “intellectual common” that we all benefit from.

The scariest part of our selfish society’s current and growing notion of this sacrosanct, absolute right of private property, is that in the end, the way it is right now, human beings have nowhere that they can even sit, stand, or sleep, unless they own or rent it. The government excludes the vagrants from the public spaces, which are growing fewer. A person who does not own a dwelling, or rent a dwelling space, has no right to even so much as “be” anywhere in our society. No right to exist.

@Benedick: This is why I am fascinated by the idea of the Ark, my dream of our communal, floating community, it would exist in the last “commons” that is left, the sea.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: @Benedick: So are you guys always so chatty like this behind our backs? I’m going to have to tell Flippin’ that somebody else needs to be called out for their randiness.

@Nabisco: My posts on “randiness” the other night have been disappeared, I hope because Nojo is protecting me from myself, not because they caused ire.

@Promnight: I seek the return of Stinque After Dark, in part because it would be Nabisco At Daylight when I am perfectly able to keep pace with you crazy diamonds. Back in the days of My xion you will dire*, I was always sound asleep.

*The Gold Standard in W/CP/Stinque drinquey talk.

@Nabisco: Darling, have you not noticed that all of my World Cup Hotties (apparently I need to “TM” the phrase) have been tagged with Stinque After Dark?

@Promnight: The only things I’ve zapped recently are the very occasional spam comments that make it past the electric fence.

@Nabisco: Classic After Dark remains on long-term hiatus, since folks got tired of it, and I got tired of wading through thirty pages of really creepy “sex” links at Google News.

@nojo: I seem to remember writing some long posts of a randy nature last friday, something about boobs, and boobs, and boobs, and I looked for them yesterday, but probably just forgot where I posted them. And I totally appreciate, and thank you, for those occasions, when you have deleted things that you know were indiscreet and unwisely made public by some of us, in our cups, late at night, I meant no criticism of you when I said maybe you deleted them to protect me. I am grateful that you sometimes do that.

@Promnight: I found the Courtney Love piece awfully hard to read: some striking ideas but everything pitched so high and coming at you from all directions. Apart from the money I’m not sure what else she’s talking about. One thing that surprised me is that she says musicians don’t own their copyrights. I thought they did and that publishers leased the rights but didn’t acquire them apart from those times someone was foolish enough to sell the underlying rights in a piece. And can it really be true that the musicians are charged for production costs? I never heard of such a thing. She also seems to be up in arms about advances having to be recouped. That’s why they’re advances and not fees.

However, I have no kind of mind for understanding matters of law. I think emotionally. I was sparked by the Randian topic because this discussion seems to have overtones of the big govt/free-to-be-me discussion that makes me itch with impatience.

The music business has always been notorious for exploiting artists. Ditto the movies. John Kander is suing whoever produced Chicago for, I think, $12m in unpaid royalties.

Considering she’s a bit of a nut and sometimes whacked out on drugs, that article is as good as it gets.

My mind is blown by the very strange intersection of Randian/randiness thought on this thread.

@Benedick: I’m catching up, but my experience in NYC leather bars is far from complete enough to be whipped into shape for publication as Gone With The Wind. Honestly, the way my love life is going right now, it hardly makes a difference what category you place it in — “nonexistent” remains “nonexistent” regardless.

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