Bootlegging DVDs

nytimes.com

As one of the world’s most prolific DVD bootleggers, Hyram “Big Hy” Strachman of New York was responsible for distributing thousands upon thousands of illegally copied movies.

And despite the fact that for years he’d treated U.S. copyright law like so much Charmin scented two-ply, the government never laid a hand on him. Maybe that’s because he was rapidly approaching his 100th birthday.

Or perhaps it was because he never kept a single solitary dime from the potentially lucrative crimes he committed, and instead donated each and every rom-com, action flick, and Rob Schneider vehicle that he burned off to soldiers overseas during the height of our involvement in the Middle East.

“Here’s just the ticket to help some poor young man pass the time in a dusty foreign land; 300 episodes of Father Dowling Mysteries.” Once you factor in all the postage and blank disks, plus the price on that seven-disc duplicator rig seen above, Strachman probably spent somewhere in the area of $30,000 of his own money in the commission of his transgressions. 

So as far as being a commercially successful techno-bandit goes, he was pretty much a wash. But to the men and women stuck out in the middle of hostile territory, where the height of entertainment might be wagering the day’s MRE on how many camel spiders they can shake out of their boots in the morning, the service Big Hy provided was damn near Robin Hood-ish. 

He received numerous accolades from grateful service members, both enlisted and brass, which as you can see resulted in several areas of his home looking like a shrine to Apollo Creed’s fashion sense. “I love the smell of online piracy on a massive scale in the morning.”

Strachman could hardly claim senility or ignorance as an excuse since he always made sure to cover his tracks by quickly destroying the master discs once the replication process was complete, and keeping no copies for himself. 

He also claimed to have never once fabricated anything store-bought and to have begun his bootlegging career by buying knockoffs from the vendors at NYC’s Penn Station. He said that his motivation for all of this came from both a missed sense of camaraderie that developed during his time spent in the Pacific theater during WWII and out of a need for something to occupy his time after his wife passed away. 

So he bought himself some professional-grade equipment, maybe took a class or two at a nearby learning annex, then grew out his fingernails like a sassy receptionist in order to more easily separate the hundreds of discs he began copying each day. 

And again, he knew full well what he was doing, and was crystal clear about the risks involved. But he was also aware that the authorities probably weren’t too thrilled about the PR nightmare that likely would have ensued if they came down too hard on him, as made evident during this interview with Alan Schwarz of the New York Times: “It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it. If I were younger, maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow.”

“Not to say that I wouldn’t know how to shank a bitch.” Big Hy’s son thinks that his dad’s admittedly shady hobby did wonders for his mental well-being, and gave him a reason to get out of bed in the morning. 

Movie industry insiders weren’t nearly as pleased, however, claiming (rightfully) that these activities take money away not just from wealthy actors and directors, but also from the blue-collar types working behind the camera.

But before you start lamenting for all the starving key grips and best boys wandering the wastelands of downtown Burbank, you should realize a couple of things here.

First, it’s not like troops stationed in places like Afghanistan would have been buying movie tickets anyway, unless there’s some hidden IMAX multiplex in a Tora Bora cave that nobody talks about. 

And frankly, Hy did the job that the movie industry should have been doing all along. See, studios actually do donate films to the military, but it’s always in reel-to-reel, projector-only form.

This makes their product more difficult to copy, but also ignores the fact that just about everyone in a war zone nowadays would much rather watch movies on their laptops. 

You know, since a “theatergoing experience” in some places is sometimes just another way of saying “target-rich environment.”

Efrem Jose Cedillo

From Private Cedillo to Commando


How did you become a libertarian, and what kind of libertarian are you?

Well I was an anarchist as s teenager. I learned how insane Marxism is at the University of Wisconsin, today I believe in limited government. I’m libertarian but I’m not sure where my beliefs compare with other libertarians.

I am against all socialism especially socialized healthcare and military. I definitely believe in the Bill Of Rights.

What is your vision for your country and the world?

I wish it could be against joining the new world order. We should show some support to countries like Brazil and Poland.

What are Brazil and Poland doing about the NWO?

Brazil is turning independent from globalization. Poland seems to remember how life is under tyranny. There are a few nations that want independence from globalization. It’s really not clear what exactly they will do with their independence.

As far as education we are looking at masses of uneducated children because of modern Marxism.

I need to educate my own kids and grandkids.

Yes. My 16-year-old boy knows he needs to be very critical about everything they teach. He’s a Trump supporter though and I prefer the libertarian party. Lol

What can we as individuals do to bring about these changes?

We can become politicians to reverse the danger of tyranny. I thought about it myself.

I would vote for you… What can Self-determination advocates do to help?

Thanks! I’m a mountain-loving man who prefers independence. That’s a good question. I will have to think about an answer to that. But I think we have many core beliefs we can focus on. I think freedom is the only issue for me.

Freedom from government, where weapons are pointed at them and not the other way around.

I think that mountain-loving men who prefer their independence have a big part to play.

I agree. It’s ironic that I’m a proud veteran though. I love America with all my heart. It’s worth loving and dying for.

I love America too

Amen

James Toller

What is your vision of a perfect society?

A society that works only for the people.

For the people?

The society that we are living in today only works in favor of the government. The people must control the government as should society.

How can we change that? What would a society where the people control the government look like to you?

The government putting a “people first” initiative in place would be a good start.

So you advocate a “people first” initiative?

I advocate working only for the people and not the government.

And your vision of the world… where that can happen?

This is my vision for the state. If we want to fix the problems of the country we must work on fixing the states first. I will solely vote with what the constitution states. If it has nothing to do with the constitutional right then the people will tell me how to vote.

So, you follow the constitution, then the people?

Yes. And if there was an amendment to the constitution to come up then I would refer to my constituents. I am going to be transparent about everything that goes through the house. I already have a website put together on my first day so that all Kentuckians can and will know what is going on.

Have you heard about representative bots? you are asked like a hundred questions… then the bot votes for you… so you don’t have to read everything?

I have but I want to be the voice of the people, not a bot.

I understand… so how do you see us getting to where the government puts people first?

By putting in representatives that don’t care to fight against the government. I have fought and protested against the government. I have with the coal miners in eastern Kentucky also with the truck drivers in Washington DC.

So, you think if we get enough anti-government representatives… it could happen?

I do believe that. And I am not completely anti-government. We just need a government that is a lot smaller.

Yes, I agree… let’s work toward less government… and see how far we get

I’m game for that.

New Zealand, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland seem to be about the best we have now…

Yes, Switzerland armed and neutral.

In Liechtenstein, any group can secede, they don’t have a currency or an army…

West Papua

The western part of the island of New Guinea had been a part of the Dutch East Indies. When this became independent as Indonesia, in the late 1940s, Netherlands New Guinea remained in Dutch hands.

While Indonesia laid claim to the territory, the Dutch instead envisaged giving it eventual independence. However, in the face of mounting pressure from Indonesia, in 1962 the Dutch government agreed to hand it over to UN administration with an understanding that this would pave the way for it to be passed to Indonesian rule pending a referendum on its future.

In 1965, following the handover to Indonesia, the Free Papuan Movement was established to secure the territory’s independence. Then, four years later, in 1969, the referendum that had been promised was held.

But rather than allow a popular vote, Indonesia instead hand-picked over a thousand elders, who decided unanimously to keep the territory as part of Indonesia. In the decades since then, the conflict in West Papua has continued.

However, very little is known about the actual situation on the ground as Indonesia forbids foreign journalists from entering the territory. That said, there have been allegations of large numbers of deaths and widespread human rights abuses.

Moreover, there also appears to have been an escalation in fighting in the past few years. Although West Papua has been regularly raised at the UN General Assembly by various Pacific states, Indonesia insists that its sovereignty is not up for debate.

Anne Lambert

I became a Libertarian back in 2015. I had met a man who had been taking care of his Grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. As we grew our friendship he would point out things in my belief system that were not Republican as I was raised and had voted. 

I never felt like I belonged to the party. Yet in 2012 I had turned 18 and voted Republican because I never believed in socialism. I didn’t even know other parties existed. So my friend kept informing me I was Libertarian. 

I was confused and blew it off. After a while, he asked me to take the political compass test. I eventually did and when the results suggested I was Libertarian I began to ask questions about the party and investigate it. 

I wasn’t about to just assume an online test was correct. I quickly realized I was Libertarian as we discussed it. I became excited realizing how it was so common sense and could be applied to everything successfully, even my religion. 

Thanks to my friend who is now my fiance I found a passion for freedom and the party that offers it. I don’t know how exactly I would label my Libertarianism.

I’m a Christian Libertarian but I feel that both go so naturally together with each other. I believe the core to Libertarianism isn’t as purist’s see it. I believe it is simply the belief that we are all different in beliefs and desires which makes no difference as long as we don’t hurt one another. 

The way there are Democrats and Republicans who happen to also be libertarian. There are people from a broad spectrum of political beliefs and religious beliefs that are libertarian.

Their beliefs are not in conflict with being libertarian as long as they are allowing other individuals to live freely and not forcing their own beliefs on them. 

If a group of people wants to live similarly and contribute to the idea then they should be allowed to, but that does not mean that anyone should be forced to. 

Honestly, if more people realize that then the Libertarian Party would grow much quicker. Republicans and Democrats constantly vote out of fear that their ideas will be taken away if the other party wins.

The truth is though, we could all just live how we want to live. We don’t have to do anything that we don’t want to and we can contribute to the things we want to contribute to. 

Freedom isn’t a matter of everyone saying no to government; it’s a matter of everyone doing what they want to, freely without any others forcing them. I would like to see a national media geared toward libertarianism. 

Both televised and on the radio. We are locally growing our elective officials but we need a way to stop the duopoly from locking us out. The only way I see this happening is if we have our own media.

Well, for the country I would like to see a truly free market take place. I believe that individuals should have a chance to get goods and services from the free market if they want.

However, I understand that there are individuals that want government and a ruling class. If they want to pay taxes and live under the rules of a separate society I believe they should be allowed to.

However, it should be a choice and only those who voluntarily want to be a part of that system should participate. Everyone else should live the way they see fit as long as they’re not causing harm.

I have written multiple papers on switching social programs, police, the medical system, infrastructure, and more to a free market society without taxes. 

I strongly stand by that. With that said, I understand that some individuals are just simply more comfortable having a system that they pay into and receive goods and services for.

I personally know that it’s not effective and efficient but I would never tell anyone that they could not live that way.  However, I cannot stress enough; they cannot tell anyone that they have to live that way either.

Once the world sees that the United States can thrive off libertarianism and multiple belief systems and religion and politics come together to make this country stronger, they will want to follow our example. 

However, we have to show them how freedom works so that they will voluntarily work towards it themselves. These changes are going to come from the grass-root movements.

It’s going to come from small parties coming together so that they can actually be on the stage and be heard nationally. It’s going to come from people donating and working to make a national media for Libertarians.

It’s going to come from pushing ballot initiatives that promote freedom. Therefore even if our candidate doesn’t win we are still making a change. A huge thing is stopping straight-ticket voting.

Another large part is ensuring that everyone has the right to debate and that the public is educated. I believe that to be on the ballot every nominee should be debating nationally.

If you have enough ballot access to win the presidency then you automatically should be allowed to debate. If you refuse to debate because you do not want to have an educated population you should not be on the ballot as you do not have the country’s best interest in mind. 

Americans should be educated. Our system should make it easy for people to be educated. The duopoly has clearly taken over the debates when they stole it from the League of Women Voters. 

The ability of them to keep third parties from debating is what made the league leave the debate mission. They warned of the radical two-party system if third parties were not allowed to debate.

With that said you can actually see that before the duopoly took over the debate commission that it was common for Independence and third-party nominees to get 20% plus during an election. 

The only reason we don’t get that now is because of the media blackout and we lost our rights to debate. So by ensuring that everyone who can win the election by ballot access will be able to debate and must debate or be stripped from the state’s ballot we will ensure Fair elections. 

We can pass such a law state by state to ensure this. Another initiative I think needs to be done is individuals need access to their ballots after they vote.

An official copy should be given to the voter so that if any party believes there is an issue they can freely do their own count and prove fraud or if there needs to be a recount. 

If there is something wrong with the count then the official valid copies will prove it. Self-determination Advocates, you can help in a few ways. The first and probably the most obvious is educating voters. 

Secondly is fundraising to work on producing our own media sources across the Nation. Thirdly helping people set forth ballot initiatives that promote freedom, Fair debates, and fair elections.

Each state has a different complex set of rules to get an issue on the ballot. So even when individuals want to, it can be complicated and discouraging.

However, if we were able to help individuals state by state get these initiatives set up we can make a lot of change even if we don’t get libertarian nominees elected.

Sean Leal

ConsentIsMorality.com

JE: Thanks for the add! I was wondering if you’d be willing to like my page Self-determination Advocates. We’re eager to help everyone achieve self-ownership, Does that sound like something you would be interested in? https://www.facebook.com/SelfDeterminationAdvocates/

SL: “Achieve” self-ownership? That makes no sense to me because I believe self-ownership is an innate human quality. My whole philosophy can be found in my book Consent Is Morality.

JE: What is your book about, Sean?

SL: Using fundamental logic, it proposes that consent is a universal human concept, and that respect for consent choices is the basis for all moral actions.

JE: Have you read, “Your Next Government: From Nation-States to Stateless Nations” by Tom W Bell? He goes into detail about the different levels of consent.

SL: No, I haven’t. But I would disagree that there even are “levels” of consent, and I argue as such in my book. Consent is purely individual (cannot be granted by others without previous agreement) and binary — it has either been given or it has not.

JE: His argument is similar… This chart is based on common law tradition.

Are you a libertarian or classical liberal? I think I saw you identified as a voluntaryist?

SL: Interesting chart. I argue that implied consent is not possible, as it either makes assertions or assumptions, neither of which speak to an individual’s consent choice.

Yes, I’m a voluntaryist. I believe in the primacy of property rights. 

JE: The charter city movement is working to make consent more explicit. How did you become a voluntaryist? and what does that mean to you?

SL: It was a slow process. I was a Reagan Republican in the 80s, but after Bush Jr’s lies, I started reading a wider variety of material, including Radley Balko and the Cato Institute.

It occurred to me that there were still inconsistencies in their philosophy. Roger Pilon put it best — you can’t give away [rights or powers] which you first don’t possess. But I wondered how someone who believed that could also believe in the validity of the Constitution.

Voluntaryism — the simple view that only mutually voluntary acts are moral — is the most consistent viewpoint.

JE: So why did you write this book, Sean?

SL: It’s all in the preface. 😉 Ultimately I got sick of the “subjective morality” arguments. They didn’t sit well with me. So I sat down to think about WHY one act was “good” and another act was “bad.”

I came up with a way to equate consent with morality which I don’t think anyone else has used.

JE: Where can people buy your book?

SL: People can get it at ConsentIsMorality.com. And for your readers, the first 10 people to use the code SDA30 will get 30% off an autographed copy.

Billy Zigouras

Billy Zigouras

Author of The Elusive Curve

https://elusivecurve.com/

JE: What is your book about?

BZ: My book is novel about a guy who questions the shape of the earth, and in particular whether it is flat and stationary or spinning as the heliocentric model suggests.

JE: Interesting…

BZ: He thinks there is hidden land on earth that is being hidden from society so he plans a modern-day mission to find out one way or another.

JE: I have seen the flat map… and wanted to talk to sailors about following the ice around.

BZ: It is fascinating especially that I was never shown that map as a child at school, nor had I even considered that the earth could be anything other than a spinning ball.

JE: When did you first consider that the earth was flat?

BZ: I have debated flat earth and globe earth for about 6-years now, and moderate some very large groups that discuss the topic; one of them has over 130,000 members.

JE: Sounds like you have an opinion.

BZ: So, first tried to prove that the earth is a spinning ball and combed through everything available to us.

JE: Everything available to us?

BZ: Sorry, I should have said through all the modern research that is available to us, including real photos of earth from space. The moon missions, and attempting to measure the curvature of the earth as per the current earth curvature math.

JE: Just how much is available to us, and how long did it take you to “go through” it? This is all above my understanding.

BZ: Six years of vigorous research.

JE: How can I help you?

BZ: Would you agree that water is level in a glass?

JE: Not any glass I know of…

BZ: Do you know how a water level works?

JE: I have used a water level.

BZ: Awesome.

JE: So, why did you write this book? I was a big fan of Bill Kaysing…

BZ: Fluid statics or hydrostatics states that water is level at rest in stable equilibrium. We have conducted laser tests over 40 miles that proves that water is at level.

JE: Then why is it a bubble in a water level?

BZ: These experiments have been conducted across lakes and oceans and debunk the earth curvature math, which states that the earth curves at 8 inches per mile squared.

JE: I can put pennies in a glass until the water is above the edge of the glass.

BZ: That’s called meniscus as it due to surface tension; you can also create the same effect on a coin.

JE: The curved upper surface of a liquid in a tube. A lens that is convex on one side and concave on the other. “a meniscus lens.” You are right. What can I do to help you market your book? Why did you write it? What is the end game? Is there some conspiracy?

BZ: The end game is to awaken people about the true nature of reality

JE: What is the “true nature of reality?”

BZ: For one, we do not live on a spinning ball that spins at 1000 miles per hour, whilst also orbiting the Sun at 66,600 miles per hour.

JE: Is that the “true nature of reality?”

BZ: There is more.

JE: More?

Where can they buy your book?

BZ: The book is available on Amazon and also via my website https://elusivecurve.com/

I just ask that people question things including the world where they live. This is probably one of the best videos I’ve seen on the topic.

Anna Martirosyan

Anna asked me to delete her message to me. Instead she asked me to speak about the situation in Nagorno-Karabagh so international attention can be paid, so countries at the governmental level can ask Turkey to stop it’s participation in the conflict by bringing terrorists to the region.

Armenians in the area fear a second Armenian genocide. The first was in 1915 when 1.5 million Armenians were killed and their ancient lands were taken.

She asks me to speak about their struggle, to say that Turkey brings terrorism to Caucasus region. For more information: https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/10/second-armenian-genocide-siobhan-nash-marshall.html

Ken A. Tucker

I’m a stay at home parent running for Congress as a Libertarian.

Studied at Purdue University

Lives in Westfield, Indiana

I became a Libertarian after realizing that we need a third political party. Last weekend I took the world’s smallest political quiz while campaigning and I scored an 80 on the personal side and a 70 on the economic side. 

I’m a new L for sure. I decided to run for office because I want to be the change I want to see in government. Less Government. Less Spending. More Freedom.

Outside of protecting our freedoms, I’m running on equality, education, and the environment. I hope to legalize marijuana. Use that taxable money to help fund education and transportation.

I want to preserve, protect, and restore our environment. I will fight for equality for all of thee regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and any other way we categorize ourselves. 

I hope to open up new agricultural, industrial, distribution, and commerce markets to increase our self-sustainability and the future for our shared pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

The only thing I have asked anyone is to share my story if you like it or think the voters of Indiana’s 5th District deserve to know about me.