Saturday, September 19, 2009

A hypothetical question about appropriate levels of retaliation within the nuclear family

Another hypothetical question, from our school system. You gotta read it to believe it.

A follow-up to yesterday's hypothetical question

Well, yesterday's hypothetical question about "would you vote for a presidential candidate who had once been arrested for shoplifting?" generated lots of traffic, and even got Twittered/Tweeted by someone who felt a vague hypothetical question was worthy of a wide audience.

But it only got one response. Uncle Fester, who I think is affiliated with the LP of Colorado, said that he wouldn't/didn't vote for Clinton, Bush, or Obama.

So lemme back up a minute.

I don't remember where I first read this, and I can't find it with Google, but most voters wouldn't support a candidate who had shoplifted something during his young adulthood. A shoplifting conviction, in effect, bars someone from the presidency. And perhaps it should.

So here's the kicker. Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama have all smoked marijuana. Bush and Obama admit inhaling. Al Gore and John Kerry have smoked marijuana. Obama has even admitted to a youthful experimentation with Bolivian Marching Powder.

Think of what this implies about some of the recent elections.... If you voted for a Republicrat of a Demoblican in 2000 or 2004, you voted for a recreational drug user.

Chances are, you wouldn't elect a shoplifter to the Oval Office. But you probably gave your enthusiastic support to someone who once did some serious tokin' Back In The Day.
So why, in most cases, does marijuana possession merit a legal penalty that is ten times worse than that of shoplifting?
Presidential Party Pics came from here and here and here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Hypothetical Question About Shoplifting. And Something Else.

All other things being equal, if Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama had ever been arrested for a shoplifting offense, would that crime have been enough to make them lose your support and vote for one of their opponents? Or make you stay home on election day? (I'm assuming you're bound to have supported at least one of them in the last 5 presidential elections.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Libertarian Reddit

Here's a resource for small and large "L" libertarians. Libertarian Reddit.

They've got around a thousand other sub-categories at Reddit, most of which help the best o' the Web to bubble to the top.

No account is necessary to use Reddit, but you'll need one to vote links up or down, or to comment. If you set up an account, you can then select which topic's most popular articles appear on your front page when you sign in.

For bloggers....if you ever write something that makes it to Reddit's main page, you'll be very, very happy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Don Boudreaux on Free Trade

In our latest effort at re-enacting every single insane move that led to The Great Depression, we've slapped a high tariff on Chinese tires. Perhaps we believe that prosperity comes from protecting manufacturers instead of the rights of consumers.
This is from George Mason University's Don Boudreaux:

Free trade is justified regardless of the trade policies followed by other governments. A foreign-government’s restrictive trade policies or subsidies or high taxes or low taxes or screechy national anthem does not justify your home government restricting the freedom of you and your fellow citizens to trade as you choose.
Your government should take other governments’ trade and economic policies as given, much as we take consumer tastes and preferences as given.
If your neighbor offers to mow your lawn for free because his psychiatrist recommends such mowing as a sure cure for his depression, should you refuse his offer? If your neighbor offers to mow your lawn for free because he is convinced by some silly book of the wacky notion that exports are good and imports are bad, should you refuse his offer?
If your neighbor chooses to become utterly self-sufficient, refusing to consume anything produced outside of his own household, you might properly regret (1) that he and his family will likely become much more materially impoverished than your neighbor realizes, and (2) that you and other people in the economy will be deprived of the additions to total output that your neighbor would have added had he chosen not to cut himself off from the larger economy.
Ok, here comes the Karate Kid Crane Kick....

But ultimately it’s none of your business. You have no right to insist that, in the interest of a larger GDP, your neighbor must integrate himself more fully with the outside economy.

Now suppose that your self-sufficient neighbor, still refusing to consume anything not produced by his own household, offers to sell to you — say, in exchange only for a friendly smile from you — some tomatoes from his garden. You examine his tomatoes and determine them to be first-rate. Should you refuse to accept your neighbor’s tomatoes in exchange for a quick smile, on grounds that your neighbor will not, in exchange for his tomatoes, really purchase anything from you or from the outside economy? Would you make yourself richer by refusing his offer?

You may legitimately question the wisdom of your neighbor’s policies. But regardless of what you conclude, your best course of action will always be to trade freely with him, and with everyone else.
I've forgotten where I found the picture of the Karate Kid's Crane Kick, but I gave credit the previous times that I've posted it. I'm grateful that I'm not restricted to pictures produced "by my own household".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No more funding for ACORN. It just isn't fair.

It just isn't fair.
The U.S. Senate has voted to cutoff funding for Acorn, the notorious community organizing outfit that was caught on tape (multiple times) giving tax advice on how to set up whorehouses.

I almost caught myself leading with the following sentence..... Acorn has voted to cutoff get-out-the-vote assistance to the U.S. Senate, a notorious whorehouse.

I love Acorn, and was going to have a great time writing about them throughout the census. (Acorn funding for various projects was in the Porkulus Bill, and they had already been chosen to help inflate Democratic Party head counts in the census.)

I woulda had multiple posts about Tony Romo and Emmitt Smith living in my garage, and posts about going in with Acorn to open up Big Al's House Of Pleasure And Voter Registration in my attic.
My favorite Acorn stunt was when they were campaigning for a minimum wage increase, shortly after suing for a minimum wage exemption. (They were arguing that, with such a high minimum wage, they wouldn't be able to hire enough people to accomplish their holy, godly mission. Duh.)

It just isn't fair. I had already mentally composed my Acorn census posts. They were great.
Picture of the former Acorn "Leadership Trainer" came from here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I don't know what it is, but it isn't "Lying"

Ok, Joe Wilson shouldn't have said "You Lie" during the ceremonial reading from The Teleprompter.
I don't know what he should've said, but there's a time and place for interrupting people, and during joint sessions of Congress isn't it.

There. That's out of the way.

So, how should someone respond when an elected official stands up in front of the nation and says things that just aren't so?
Let's get real here. Is there anyone out there, anyone at all, who believes that our government can take over 1/6th of the economy and have it be "deficit neutral" ? We're ELEVEN TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT, fer heaven's sake, and every program they've ever started was supposed to be deficit neutral.
Could our government take over a car wash and have it be deficit neutral, with all the unions, rent-seekers, protectionists, subsidies, and other inevitable burdens of a government-run enterprise?
Does anyone believe that whatever passes for healthcare will cost only $900 billion over ten years?
Does anyone believe that "most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system, a system that is currently full of waste and abuse" ?

Ok, how about "there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize" ??
If anyone actually enforces a provision that requires Washington to enact spending cuts equaling the healthcare savings that don't materialize, I'll give you 30 minutes to draw a crowd and then kiss your rear end on the courthouse steps. Unless, of course, they just print new money to pay for everything.

You see, we've already been promised that all new legislation will be posted on the internet for 5 days for citizen review prior to votes. We've been promised the most transparent administration ever. We were promised that Joe Biden (Nobody Messes With Joe !!) would ensure that there would be no misappropriated stimulus. (Yes, I'm aware that the phrase "misappropriated stimulus" is redundant.)

But that was then, this is now. Back to the healthcare speech.... Despite all this, the insurance companies and their allies don't like this idea. They argue that these private companies can't fairly compete with the government. And they'd be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won't be. I've insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects.

Does anyone out there believe that a government program will be self-sufficient?

(Update from 9-14-09, 7:30 a.m. You can go to The Wall Street Journal for a list of other ummm.... misrepresentations..... in the President's speech.)

Back before the November election, I noticed that Hillary was wildly spouting anything she felt the crowd would like. I thought she was lying when she produced her whoppers about running across runways because of Bosnian sniper fire. She wasn't lying. I don't know what she was doing, but it wasn't lying.

We need a new name for what she did (along with Obama and Bush and Clinton and Bush and Reagan, etc.) when producing inaccurate words for political consumption.

Why do they do it? Well, how many falsehoods would you be willing to lay out on the table for a chance to control half the economy?
Our politicians simply have to lie. They have so many conflicting constituencies, so many opportunities to dip their hands into the till for their supporters, so many ridiculous notions to affirm, that they need to be held to a lower standard than say, car salesmen.

This is why we need smaller government. It's a ridiculous situation when these people's words actually matter.

Here's some Johnny Lang: