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Another Presidential Legacy: Several American Presidents Were Also Inventors

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Mount Invent-more

Last Monday was Presidents Day. But that holiday is relatively new – an amalgamation of the birthdays of George Washington (President #1, February 22) and Abraham Lincoln (President #16, February 12). It is now a day set aside to celebrate all American Commanders-in-Chief.

Since yesterday was Washington’s actual day of birth (and he is thus far my favorite president) I think we should look at another, lesser known contribution he and several of his successors made to our nation. They were inventors.

When asked how he wanted to be remembered, Washington replied “As a farmer.” And it was in all things farming that he was constantly tinkering – and inventing. And he understood the vital import of people with the capital to invest – to invest in inventing. “Washington recognized that experimentation was anathema to all but the most forward looking farmers. Instead, Washington believed that it was the responsibility of wealthy farmers to undertake experimentation, as failures would be inevitable and losses would have to be absorbed while new techniques were perfected.”

As my friend John Berlau exquisitely put it, “Washington was less a ‘gentleman farmer’ than an agricultural entrepreneur.” Washington was constantly looking to invent better ways to do things: “He tinkered ceaselessly but never aimlessly. A firm believer in experimentation, he tested tools with a view to their capacity to save labor and boost productivity. Among other cutting-edge technologies, he installed at Mount Vernon an advanced gristmill that allowed him to produce high-quality ‘G. Washington’ brand flour and even market it overseas.” Washington received a trademark for his flour – the better to protect his intellectual property with, both here and abroad. More

Apple (Private Sector) or the FBI (Government): Whom Do You Trust With Your Data?

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Not a Tough Call

Last week the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (i.e. the government) received a court order (i.e. from the government) that would force private computer giant Apple to write a program (a “backdoor”) to break the privacy-protecting encryption of their iPhone.

The court order stems from the FBI’s investigation into the awful murder by two Islamists of fourteen people in San Bernardino, California. Investigators recovered the locked iPhone of one of the gunmen – and they want in.

No one more than me wants to figure out as much as possible about and from these horrible people. But that doesn’t mean I want the government to have a perma-backdoor to every iPhone ever.

Unfortunately, the Feds are using this heinousness as an emotional ploy to get that skeleton key – manufactured for them by Apple at metaphorical gunpoint. Yet again reviving the Big Government maxim – never let a crisis go to waste. More

The EPA Isn’t Handling Its Business – But Insists On Man-Handling Ours

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

But Never Punished

I have a (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) rule for federal government departments, agencies, commissions and boards: Barring a Constitutional amendment, if a bureaucracy was created after 1800 – it shouldn’t exist.

The Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution – were by 1800 thoroughly implementing it. If they didn’t yet have the federal government doing something – the federal government wasn’t to be doing it.   So unless a subsequent amendment added an authority to the federal panoply – it’s been an unConstitutional addition.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 – WAY past our sell-by date. Our nation got along just fine for nearly two centuries without this particular federal usurpation. Was the Constitution first amended to give the federal government the authority to override how fifty individual states each respectively decide how to handle environmental issues? Of course not.

Did Congress pretend to be a unilateral, illegal amendment process and pass legislation creating the EPA? Not even: “Pseudo-Republican Richard Nixon created the mess in 1970 in typical DC fashion. He pretended to be (a one-man Constitutional amendment process) – and signed an executive order. The Democrat-controlled Congress then pretended to be (two-thirds of the states) – and ‘ratified’ the EPA with committee hearings.…”

So the entirety of the EPA is Constitutionally illegitimate. It is through this prism that we should examine its actions. Which are unilateral, authoritarian, bullying and amateurish. Time and again they grab more and more power and authority over our lives – all while failing miserably at the things over which they already lord. More

Does Regulation Kill Private Sector Investment? Is Water Wet? Is Snow Cold?

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Breaking News

We free marketeers repeatedly reassert the obvious – that government abusing the private sector hurts the private sector. Pro-government fetishists try mightily to deny Reality – claiming that bigger government doesn’t damage the sectors over which it lords.

We now have the entire nation of India, filled with nearly one billion mostly Internet-less people, as but the latest visual aide. When government rears its ugly head – private investment heads for the hills. Or, in this case, back to the Silicon Valley.

Just one nasty, hydra-headed regulation – Network Neutrality – has caused a raft of huge investors to bail on the subcontinent. Leaving stranded and unconnected hundreds of millions of poor Indians – who pre-government had hope of tapping into the Internet.

Facebook’s Free Internet App Banned by India’s New Net Neutrality Rule: Because the pro-government fetishists don’t like anyone getting anything free – unless it’s from government. So Facebook and their investing cohorts did what always happens when government grows – they understandably shrink away.

Facebook Pulls the Plug on Free Basics in India: “After month long consultations, triggered by the net neutrality debate, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India earlier this week barred operators from charging different rates for data access, dealing a blow to Free Basics and other such plans like Airtel Zero. While Facebook had promoted Free Basics as a programme aimed at providing basic Internet access to people in partnership with telecom operators, critics slammed the service saying it violated the principle of net neutrality.”

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Inventors Pass Away – Let’s Make Sure Invention Never Does

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

So NOW Patents are Important?

Fame is a distorting and highly overrated quality – as the late, great David Bowie knew so well. Especially now in the Internet Age – when everyone shares publicly every tiny facet of their existence. Especially now in the Omni-Media Age – in which was born the phrase “Famous for being famous” (See: Kardashians).

But the things that allow people to achieve and maintain fame (and wealth, and freedom, and opportunity, and just about everything worth anything) – are for the most part invented by people of whom almost no one has heard. Inventors toil in anonymity – to make the famous possible.

But if you know any Inventors – you know that’s how most of them want it. And even the ones of whom we all have heard – we almost never think of as Inventors. The aforementioned Bowie was world-renowned as a musician, fashion icon and actor. But Bowie was also a really creative, innovative inventor. And lest we forget – he invented his songs and various personas.

Billions of people knew Bowie as an innovator – but didn’t think of him as an Inventor. Which is a shame. Because you can’t innovate – without first inventing.

Artur Fischer just passed away at 96 years of age. He was not famous. But he did more to improve our lives than just about anyone in the 20th Century. Because he was an Inventor – par excellence. He had more patents over the course of his life – than did the famous Thomas Edison.

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When Government Makes Your Choices for You – You End Up with No Choices

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Lining Up for
Government-Only Internet Access

The old politician saw is: “The most dangerous place for you in Washington – is between (fill in name of pol) and a camera.” We’ll coin a government saw: “The most dangerous place for you anywhere on the planet – is government between you and the free market.”

Any and every tax, law and regulation – is government placing itself between you and the free market. And, conversely, between the free market and you. And, of course, it makes the market less free. It’s inherent. The bigger the tax – the less money you have for the market, and the less money marketeers have to operate. The bigger the laws and regulations – the less freedom we and the marketeers have to maneuver.

Think of government as a straight jacket. The bigger government is – the tighter are the arms constricting the marketplace.

We have spent years now warning you of the unbelievably narrowing nature of the ridiculous regulation known as Network Neutrality. Which is an all-encompassing government straight jacket locked onto the Internet. So huge is this regulatory power grab – it makes the government the preemptive decider on all things Internet marketplace.

We Net Neutrality realists warned of a Mother-May-I regulatory regime. Where every once-free marketeer would be reduced to having to ask government for permission before trying anything new – otherwise known as innovating, a crucial component of a free market.

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Government Drags Us Back in Time – Because Cronies and Ideology Tell It To

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Government’s Cinematic Role Models

Government by ideological fantasy – at the expense of actual facts – is a terrible idea. So too is government of, by and for the donors. Far too often government regulators and bureaucrats ignore Reality – to tilt at ideological windmills. And WAY too often government becomes one giant stenographer for contributors – writing laws and regulations to accommodate their check-cutters’ every whim and wildest dream.

Thus does equal protection before the law – become special treatment for Friends of Government (FOG, if you will). Donors and dumb ideas are favored – at inordinate expense to the rest of us.

To wit: “green” “energy” (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, ethanol) is neither green nor energy. It’s far worse for the environment than traditional energy sources – that actually produce, you know, affordable energy. Governments here and all around the world have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on this phony energy. It’s been a titanic failure – for decades.

Why has government continued to throw this copious coin out the window – to keep us locked into an uber-failed yesterday? Because their ideological fantasies trump Reality. Why else? Because donors get government money at dollars-on-the-pennies they donated. To wit: President Barack Obama and his Democrats threw $80 billion more at the fake “green energy” industry in the 2009 “Stimulus.” 80% of that money – went to Obama donors. More