Saturday, January 9, 2010

John Jay Myers and Libertarian Jokes

My friend John Jay Myers is running for Congress.
Sometime last night, he sent me a video of Libertarian comedy. Starring himself.

This is good stuff. If you like it and want to give John Jay a wider audience, hit the link above and send John Jay some money to help him get elected.
For those of you who know him..... Can you imagine the media coverage that would be devoted to every single John Jay speech? Can you imagine John Jay getting a chance to address the unbridled whoredom that surrounds every government spending project?


I've been bookmarking various sites as "libertarian jokes" for about two years now. John Jay's video was reason enough for me to go ahead and post some of them. All links go back to the source site; those without links came from Libertarian Reddit.

A DEA agent, together with an ATF and an FBI agent, as part of a task force, arrive at a ranch in western Nebraska. The agents tell the rancher, "We need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs."
The old rancher says, "Okay, but don't go in that field over there."
The DEA agent verbally explodes saying, "Mister, we have the authority of the Federal Government with us." Reaching into his rear pocket and removing his badge, the agent proudly displays it to the farmer. "See this badge, this badge means we are allowed to go wherever we wish on any land. No questions asked nor answers given. Have I made myself clear, do you understand?"
The old rancher nods politely and goes about his chores.
Later, the rancher hears loud screams and spies the three agents running for their lives and close behind is the rancher's notoriously ill-tempered and territorial bull. With every step, the bull is gaining ground on the agents. They are clearly terrified.
The old rancher immediately throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs...
"Your badges! Show him your badges!"

1) A man named Jesus comes along with all the secrets of peace, love, happiness, mercy, and all that good stuff.
2) The people in power take one look at him and see a threat. Jesus is healing the sick without medical certification, creating bread and fish with no food-handler's permit, etc. etc. etc.
3) So they have him killed.
4) On the third day after Jesus's execution, everyone sees a dramatic illustration that the government can screw up anything.
5) Well, almost everybody sees a dramatic illustration. The two government employees at the scene were both sleeping on the job.

Then there's the article in The Onion entitled "Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department". (Hey, when they stop taking my money, I'll stop using their services.)

What did commies use before they had candles?

Little Tony was sitting on a park bench munching on one candy bar after another. After the 6th candy bar, a man on the bench across from him said, "Son, you know eating all that candy isn't good for you. It will give you acne, rot your teeth, and make you fat."
Little Tony replied, "My grandfather lived to be 107 years old."
The man asked, "Did your grandfather eat 6 candy bars at a time?"
Little Tony answered, "No, he minded his own stinking business."


Here's British politician Daniel Hannan, on Noah's difficulties with the European Union:

The modern definition of Fascist is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal. - Peter Brimelow

How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Screw in your own damn lightbulb!

How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. The Invisible Hand does it for you.

How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?
The damn light bulb isn't blown yet ! Why does the government want to hire more people to mess with the damn light bulb ???

How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. Libertarians try and try, but they never can change anything.

The Lord's Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, but government regulations for selling cabbage total 26,911.

"We're from the government and we're here to help."

A libertarian is a conservative who's been busted. A libertarian is a liberal who learned economics.

A performance artist tells his libertarian friend that he is going to perform nude in a city park. When his free market-loving friend seems disturbed the artists asks, "What, are you offended by public nudity?"
The libertarian replies, "No, I'm offended by public parks."

Libertarians favorite salad: Lettuce alone. (Groan....)

A young ardent student joins the communist party.
Party Official: My comrade, do you pledge to give up your riches to help your fellow man?
Student: Of course I do, private capital is the root of all evil.
Party Official: ....and do you promise to give up your home so that party officials can give it to those who need it most?
Student: Of course, the party is the best method to distribute resources to their best use.

Party Official.... and do you promise to give us your car, so that it can be used for the greater good?
Student: Of course. To keep a car for my own use would be selfish.
Party Official: ...and your clothes?
Student: Uhh...I'm not sure what you mean?
Party Official: Say for instance you own multiple tshirts but your comrade is naked?
Student: Well, the problem is....I actually do have two t-shirts.

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.
One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Here's one of the best Libertarian jokes ever: Republicans believe in limited government, and Democrats believe in civil rights.

Here's Daniel Hannan's joke about Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee:

Hope you enjoyed these. Good luck, John Jay Myers ! ! !

The list of the mistakes in the list of the mistakes

Go here for the Obama administrations review of the mistakes made that allowed Captain Underpants to get on flight 253 with explosives tucked into his drawers on Christmas Day.

Go here for the preliminary list of the Obama administrations obvious mistakes in the Obama administrations review of the mistakes that allowed Captain Underpants to get on flight 253 with explosives tucked into his drawers on Christmas Day.

This list of mistakes in the list of the mistakes is still being vetted for mistakes by Patterson Management Systems (PMS). Any mistakes in the latest list of corrections to earlier lists of mistakes will be released as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please ask yourself why you want these people running our healthcare system.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Note to Reason magazine: This is not helpful.

But it IS funny.

John Stossel on Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, and Fish Pedicures

What would happen if the most productive members of society went on strike?

Did you set your Tivo to record Stossel last night? No? Even though it was the segment devoted to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged?
You didn't watch it, even though Atlas Shrugged is 50 years old, a thousand pages long, but recently hit #15 on's fiction bestseller list?
You didn't watch John Stossel and a host of guests critique the Washington D.C. Community Theatre production of the novel? The one adapted for the stage by Barney Frank and Tiny Timmy Geithner?

(Heavy sigh that can be heard by regulators in the basement of Bernanke's Federal Reserve building way over in Dallas....)
At great personal sacrifice, I watched Stossel instead of watching Alabama's Crimson Tide defeat the Texas Longhorns.

Here goes: Stossel's first guest was a banker named John Allison. Allison is a Rand fan, to say the least, and is chairman of BT&T, a North Carolina bank that he grew from nothing into something enormous, largely by avoiding financial gimmicks. Here's what the New York Times has to say about Mr. Allison:

....(Allison) also has a résumé befitting a Rand prophet. He started at BB&T, once known as the Branch Banking and Trust Company, in 1971 and became chief executive in 1989, when the bank had $4.7 billion in assets.
By the time he retired as C.E.O. in December, he had overseen 60 bank and savings-institution acquisitions and turned BB&T into the 11th-largest bank in the nation, with $152 billion in assets, according to the bank.
A 60-year-old who speaks in a rapid-fire Southern accent, Mr. Allison says the current financial crisis is primarily the government’s fault. He criticizes the Fed as trying to manipulate normal business cycles and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as facilitating mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them.
The government’s remedies have made matters only worse, he says: “Almost everything that has been done since this crisis started is going to reduce our long-term standard of living.”
Mr. Allison says the government forced BB&T and some other healthy banks to accept TARP money to obscure that they were simply trying to save several large banks like Citigroup.
“Everyone thinks we got some kind of subsidy,” he says, noting that his company paid the money back in June, with interest. “It’s going to cost us about $250 million for money we didn’t want.”
Allison spent some time trying to distinguish between enlightened self-interest and Ayn's preferred "shock value" term, selfishness. He mentioned that one of the ways this manifests itself in his company is their refusal to loan money in eminent domain projects, and "pick a payment" loans (AKA negative amortization gimmicks. Hit the NYT link above for details.) According to Allison, eminent domain is a threat to property rights, and therefore a threat to our economic system. Negative amortization loans are almost guaranteed to fail.
Neither of these is a win/win situation for the bank/client relationship. Allison says it's in his bank's self-interest to avoid either of these situations for a mere short-term profit.
The topic briefly switched over to government-run schools, and the lack of competition in that system. Here's one of my favorite Allison lines:

"We (at the bank) don't really like being innovative. We're forced to be innovative by the market. But if you have a government-run monolith, it is not going to be innovative, it is not going to be creative."
The next guest was C. Bradley Thompson of Clemson University, who drew some parallels between one of Rand's more bizarre scenes and the incident last fall when Hank Paulson called six bankers into his office and demanded that they take TARP money. Then Thompson and Stossel spent a few minutes playing the Stunt Casting game. Who is Dagney Taggart today? Who is Wesley Mouch? Who is John Galt?

Next up was Yaron Brook, president of The Ayn Rand Institute, who had a great time ridiculing the idea of the United States Of America having a Compensation Czar and a Regulatory Czar. Brook and Thompson discussed the perverse case of General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, who spends about $20,000,000.00 on lobbying for regulations that will restrict competition within G.E.'s core businesses. Immelt has also seen the light and is a big-time proponent of Cap And Trade.
What's in all this for Immelt and G.E.? They gets millions in federal loan guarantees and grants. It's a beautiful system, and everyone is sure there's no Quid Pro Quo involved.

The questions from the audience began with Rand's personal life, which was, as they say, complicated. (Most of what I know about her personal life comes from watching The Passion Of Ayn Rand on DVD a few months ago. Here's a video from the film set to music by Justin Timberlake. Swear to God. I love the internet.)

I'm not a follower of Objectivism, the name Rand gave her philosophy. But let's indulge in an Et Tu argument for a moment.....
Karl Marx developed what his followers say is the most fair, equitable, and humane economic system ever imagined. But he shamefully neglected his own family, and got the housecleaner pregnant.
Look at the public teachings of Jesus, as compared to the constant rebukes he always gave his closest disciples in private.
Most of us have some serious gaps between our spoken principles vs. how we spend our day. Barack Obama, Lord and Savior of us all, for instance. Compare his soaring rhetoric to how he has thrown Greg Craig, Yosi Sergant, Anita Dunn and Van Jones under the bus.

One audience member brought up the question that Libertarians always have to answer: Don't we need some government? John Allison answered first. Government is important. There has to be a system in place to protect individual rights - i.e., a defense system, and a law enforcement system. I don't think anyone mentioned roads, which usually rounds out the minimalist government trifecta.

This question was followed by a first on the Stossel program. A woman got up and ranted about the negative impact of taxes and regulations on small businesses and entrepreneurs (Doh !). She didn't really ask a question. She didn't challenge anything previously said by the panelists. I hope Stossel avoids this type of interchange in the future, because every question from the audience on previous programs was from someone who disagreed with the guest. There's something to be said for limiting the conversation to hostile questions, not Oprah-style softballs.

The conversation almost, but not quite, got into something that I've never heard discussed on television. You know how Obama/Pelosi/Reid talk about Big Business as if it sprang forth from a gaping hole in the lid of hell? But small business is worthy of tax breaks, regulatory slack, plus flowers and back massages on major holidays?
There is no difference. Businesses don't pay taxes, people do. The money paid via business taxes is money taken from the employees of a business. Giving a tax break to the #3 and #4 guys at a small business, while witholding the tax break from the janitor at a mega-business, doesn't make much sense. But it makes us feel good.

Next up was the editor of Reason magazine, Nick Gillespie, in his trademark black leather jacket. (I'm friends with Nick on Facebook - he only has 1,527 other friends, so I'm understandably proud.) He and Stossel were shown getting something called a Fish Pedicure. You stick your feet in a water tank, and little guppies eat the dead skin off your tootsies. Very popular in Asia. (These fish were provided by Mr. John Ho, a Virginia entrepreneur who has almost been regulated out of existence by Nanny State Munchkins.)

I don't think the Libertarian Party has an official position statement on fish pedicures, so I'd like to propose one. "If I want to pay someone to allow his fish to nibble away my callouses and bunions, it's none of the government's business."

The very existence of a growing fish pedicure industry is enough to drive the cosmetology regulators totally apeshit. Stossel brought in a New York state legislator Jeffrey Klein (shown via satellite, because he was in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a conference). Mr. Klein says that fish pedicures are "dirty, dangerous, and mean to the fish", and he wants to outlaw the practice. Under intense cross-examination, Klein admitted that no one has ever been harmed by a fish pedicure. Klein tried to say that there had been a lot of complaints. Stossel claimed that he'd looked for evidence of complaints and couldn't find any.

And then, it happened. After decades of TV studio audiences mindlessly applauding every regulatory bureaucrat, politician, troll, and hobbit who wants to regulate the _____ industry, Stossel said "Aren't you just a busybody, taking away other people's freedom?"

The audience started applauding. They cheered. They made the same noises that idiots used to make when Bill Clinton said he was going to do something FOR THE CHILDREN® . A living, breathing group of people, on television, actually got the point. They weren't huddled in a dark corner of a bar for a libertarian meetup. They weren't in Ayn Rand Objectivist chatrooms. They were on my television, with a viewing audience that probably numbered in the high 5 digits, and they almost hooted Jeffrey Klein off the screen.

Gillespie: "We're at a point in history where people are wealthier, relatively speaking, and more educated and more in charge of their lives across more different dimensions, and now we're having government come in, and people like New York state legislators, who cannot balance their budgets, who are billions of dollars in debt, who are telling us 'leave the little fish alone'. This is wrong. It's not their business. And it shouldn't be their business to regulate other businesses. Especially now."

It was a great conversation between Gillespie and Stossel, made slightly ridiculous by the cameraman occasionally pulling back and showing that they both had their feet in a fish tank with minnows nibbling their toenails.

There were more questions for Gillespie about motorcycle helmets. cell phone use while driving, and a few other topics. FoxBusiness will probably run this feature 3 or 4 more times before next week. You still have time to catch it. Here's the closing monologue. If the Lou Dobbs clip doesn't make you want to smash your fist through your computer screen, you need to cut back your valium dosage.

John Stossel. Ayn Rand. Capitalism. Atlas Shrugged. Nick Gillespie. A government regulator getting hammered. It was some great television. Better than watching the U.T. Longhorns get hammered, anyway.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

NIckM of "Counting Cats" has seen Avatar

NickM has a blog called Counting Cats.

They're having unseasonably cold weather in England. I think Nick's car is snowed in, and he can't make it to work. The boy has time on his hands.

The Times has published a silly review of "Avatar". The review shrugs off the cold weather, laments the death of superstition about Global Warming, then tries to explain why James Cameron's film will do more for the planet than the failed Copenhagen travel junket.

Captain Oates was an English Antarctic explorer, known for the manner of his death, when he walked from a tent into a blizzard, with the words "I am just going outside and may be some time".

That's all you need to know. Go here.

I'm in the Starbucks at I-30 and Hulen, laughing out loud. Well done, sir. Very well done.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Obama promises to broadcast the healthcare debate on C-SPAN. Unless, of course, he's in a hurry.

Where's Joe "You Lie !" Wilson now that we need him?

Go here to watch the press torture Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (warning: it's brutal) about why The Teleprompter Jesus just wants to get the Healthcare Abortion to his desk as quickly as possible. After all, the law is going to go into effect in 2013, which is coming soon and there's not much time left to act.

Note to self: Write a post about "The fierce urgency of 2013".

Do we need to inspire the village to shame Thomas Friedman?

This is an excerpt from an article by Thomas Friedman in today's New York Times, in some sort of failed effort to compare Fat Cat bankers to suicide bombers:

“When you want to foster more responsible behavior in people, you can’t just legislate more rules and regulations,” said Dov Seidman, the C.E.O. of LRN, which helps companies build ethical cultures, and the author of the book “How.” “You have to enlist and inspire people in a set of values....."
".....That is why shame is so important. When we call a banker ‘a fat cat’ for taking too big a bonus, we’re actually being inspirational leaders because we are telling them, ‘You are behaving beneath how a responsible human being should behave.’ We need to inspire the village to shame those who betray our common values.”

This is Thomas Friedman's house.

Three coats of Whitening (and decorative trim) to the Future Of Capitalism blog for the link. You can go here for my theory on why Friedman has gone from being a rational journalist to a P.C. sock puppet.

193 Libertarian candidates will be on the ballot in Texas

Go here ! ! !

We have 5 people running for governor !


Hell, let's put tariffs in place between Fort Worth and Dallas

Don Boudreaux, economics professor at George Mason University, reminds me of an abusive husband.
Every morning of his life, he gets out of bed, takes a shower, eats some breakfast, brushes his teeth, and then
kicks the living snot out of New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman.

In his New Year’s Day column, Paul Krugman argues that protectionism can create jobs in times of unemployment. (Lots of other problems plague this column, by the way.)

If Krugman is correct, why stop at national borders? Just think how many jobs Congress could create by encouraging states to erect their own tariff walls? High-taxing and heavily regulating states would then be able to protect their workers from states with lower taxes and less-burdensome regulations. California wineries would never again lose market share to rivals in Oregon and Washington state. Michigan autoworkers would never again be displaced from their jobs by workers in Tennessee and South Carolina.

Here comes Boudreaux's Karate Kid Crane Kick:

Given Krugman’s assumption that restricting consumers’ freedom to make cross-border purchases increases the total number of jobs in economies suffering unemployment, why let all those borders between Maine and California go to waste? Turn those borders, too, into barriers to trade and watch American employment skyrocket!

Go here for another excellent post called "Nation's Don't Trade With Each Other: Individuals Do".

If that's not enough, go here, and read Fabulous Freddy Bastiat's idea for an un-railroad. (First published in 1845, BTW.) This is a railroad that would allow cheap and easy transportation between countries, so they could enjoy the benefits of each other's strengths. But the railroad would be closed in all places where it would hurt local inefficient producers. (This would create and save jobs ! ! ! !) In other words, the railroad would be closed in all the places where it was most needed.

Tariffs serve no purpose but to negate the gains provided to society by technology, labor, ingenuity, determination and progress.

You read something like this, and wonder how Paul Krugman ever won a Nobel Prize.
Oh.... Never mind.

John Stossel this Thursday night. Set your Tivo NOW.

Go to your Tivo.
Go to FoxBusiness.
Go to Thursday night at 8:00 p.m.
Set yer machine to record "Stossel".
It will be the long-awaited Ayn Rand hour.

I suspect that a good portion of the show will be spent treating "Atlas Shrugged" as if it were one of the prophetic works of Nostradamus. Go here for some preliminaries and a poll on who represents whom.

IMAO, if we're going to cast the novel with contemporary characters, Wesley Mouch is a good stand-in for Comrade Barney Frank.
As of January 2010, Orren Boyle represents the United States insurance industry, which is about to get a huge boost to its client base.
Dr. Robert Stadler, the man with great promise who became a sellout? Let's go with former Rand disciple Alan Greenspan.
For John Galt, let's go with my own Texas-based employer, who recently decided to open another warehouse someplace in the U.S., took a long, long look at the Statist mayhem in California, said Screw That, and opened up a warehouse on the North Carolina/Virginia border. That's not quite "Going Galt", but it does send the message that Elections Have Consequences.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It Takes A Village

From the New York Post:

The number of young Americans without a job has exploded to 53.4 percent — a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. — meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.

The number represents the flip-side to the Labor Dept.'s report that the employment rate of 16-to-24 year olds has eroded to 46.6 percent -- the lowest ratio of working young Americans in that age group, including all but those in the military, since WWII.

I think these dismal numbers are a direct result of this. The Minimum Wage was increased last year. If you want to hire a totally inexperienced kid, you have to pay him what Congress thinks he's worth, not what you are willing to exchange for his labor.
Raise the price of something, relative to everything else, and demand drops.

Here's a chart from Gateway Pundit, showing what the electoral map would've looked like if no one had voted in 2008 except 18 and 19 year olds.

Thank you, Congress and President Obama for teaching our kids a valuable lesson: Elections Have Consequences.

Seriously. Thank you. We couldn't have taught them this without your help. "It Takes A Village. "

A 572nd coat of Whitening to Instapundit for the links.

No Smoking. Or lots of other things

Monday, January 4, 2010

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Go here.

How to know if you're shopping in Texas

Texas: Proudly promoting "Safe Shopping" since 1845 ! !

A fresh coat of Whitening to VampE for the link.

Danish Cartoons, Irish Blasphemy Laws, Christ In Urine, and Obama As A Lawn Jockey

Last Friday night, a 28-year old Somali man armed with a knife and an axe entered the home of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Because of having drawn this particular cartoon....

.....and death threats against the artist, Westergaard's home was equipped with a safe room, or "panic room", for those who've seen the Jodie Foster movie.

From the D.C. Examiner: Westergaard was at home with his visiting 5-year-old granddaughter when he heard the suspect trying to break in. "I locked myself in our safe room and alerted the police.”

Unable to smash the front door with his ax, the suspect was shot once in the knee and once in the hand by police. The wounds are not life-threatening.

What's to be done about this situation, where Muslims those adhering to certain belief system want to destroy airliners, cartoonists, themselves, and others?

Ireland has responded by tightening up their Blasphemy laws. These regulations went into effect on January 1st. Here's The Guardian:

The new law, which was passed in July, means that blasphemy in Ireland is now a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 (£22,000).

It defines blasphemy as "publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted".

The justice minister, Dermot Ahern, said that the law was necessary because while immigration had brought a growing diversity of religious faiths, the 1936 constitution extended the protection of belief only to Christians.

In other words, the current version of the Irish Blasphemy statues are no less silly, but a lot more fair. If you want to watch the virus spread, and if you have a strong stomach, you can go here for a USA Today editorial about the U.N. and the Obama Administration supporting an International Law Against Blasphemy.

A group of Irish Freethinkers instantly responded by posting a list of quotations from Jesus, Mark Twain, Tom Lehrer (hello Shuey !), Randy Newman, Salman Rushdie, George Carlin, Richard Dawkins, Pope Benedict, and a few Irish politicians. Any of these quotations would be fair game for anyone wanting to earn some money or notoriety through a blasphemy complaint. Organized sensitivity is becoming more and more profitable.

Speaking of Blasphemy, let's change gears and continents for a moment. This is Andres Serrano's masterpiece, "Piss Christ". It's a photograph of a crucifix submerged in Serrano's urine. It was a big deal back in the late 1980's.

I can take it or leave it. If Andres Serrano wants photograph The Last Supper in purple pelican poop, it doesn't harm me in the least. It wouldn't harm you, either, unless you were forced to pay for it. (In the case of Piss Christ, you may have paid for it, but that's another story. Go here for more than you'll ever want to know about the incident.)

Speaking of Transgressive Art.... Here's a work that I might commission, if I ever get the proper Photoshop skills.

I want to do a multimedia installation showing Barack Obama dressed as a lawn jockey, parking cars at a Goldman Sachs Christmas party. It would be controversial, but it would illustrate the power relationship between Goldman Sachs and our government, and depict the level at which Obama truly is their little bitch.

I want to photograph a sterotypical Welfare Queen in her Cadillac, the stereotype so often derided during the Reagan era. I want to paste (juxtapose, in artspeak) the face of the Archer Daniels Midland CEO onto the body of the Welfare Queen, and call the piece "Welfare Brood Sow", and challenge preconceptions of government dependency.

The final work will be something called "U O Me", and I intend to hire a troupe of performance artists to infest the maternity ward of Arlington Memorial Hospital. The artists will give each infant a bill for $375,000.00, representing each child's share of the unfunded government liabilities voted into place by their grandparents. The artists will threaten to withold milk until all debts are paid.

If you're wanting to help fund any of these projects, don't bother. I'm going to apply for an NEA grant.

Let's review the topics covered so far:

1) Danish cartoons portraying Muhammed.
2) Quotes from Jesus, Twain, and Pope Benedict.
3) Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ".
4) Some proposed artwork of my own, designed to illustrate the corrupt nature of our government.

A few questions on each:

1) Have any of these caused you, or anyone else, physical harm?
2) Would you censor, or prosecute the producers of any of these forms of speech?
3) All of them, or just some of them? Why?
4) Do you think any of these are actually beneficial to society and represent a valid point of view?
5) And finally, do you think it's possible for a government to prohibit one category without endangering all the others?

Just wondering.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. (Especially if you're a god.)

Ohio households now restricted to 288 bottles of wine per year

For reasons totally unrelated to alcoholism, scarcity, morality, or a higher purpose, it is now illegal for Ohio households to purchase more than 288 bottles of wine in one year.

It's all about taxes, and the insane efforts of regulatory munchkins to wring every last penny from independent wineries.

The battle against red tape continues.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Dallas Cowboys' Debt Star Claims Another Casualty

This is the house that the City Of Arlington Texas built with other peoples' money and land. Cowboys Stadium.
When Jerry Jones and the City Of Arlington were conning the taxpayers into building Jerry a new stadium, one of the arguments they used went something like this:

The stadium will increase business in the area around the stadium. There will be a retail and restaurant boom. It will create jobs in Arlington, so many that we'll be justified in taking people's homes by force and bulldozing them for parking space.

People bought the argument.

Well, the new Cowboys Stadium has started claiming casualties.

About a dozen years ago, I was the manager of this Barnes & Noble store near the stadium in North Arlington. It was one of the last ones B&N built with a full book, CD, and software selection, plus a Starbucks coffee bar.

The store closed on New Years Eve.
Guess what killed it? On game days and concert days, customers avoided the neighborhood. On all other days, the city was working on the roads to improve access to The Boss Hawg Bowl, and customers avoided the neighborhood.
As a life-long Mark Twainiac, I loved, loved, loved this mural in the coffee bar:

Ok, so Amazon, file-sharing, and the internet are cutting into book and retail music sales.
The stadium was still supposed to be a godsend for restaurants and bars.
This bar/restaurant (in the picture below) was in the front parking lot of the B&N. It was one of those Hooters/Twin Peaks/Bone Daddy's - type places.
The stadium killed it. There are lots of places in DFW to watch the Cowboys, but one place you don't want to be anywhere near on game day, unless you have a ticket, is within 10 miles of that stadium.
Look at the restaurant/retail wasteland around the old Cowboys Stadium in Irving. Was it ever possible to buy a hamburger within 3 miles of that place?

Here's some empty retail to the west of the Barnes & Noble. I remember it being fully occupied, or close to it. I wish I'd gotten photos a couple of years ago.

I don't think this is what the Arlington City Council had in mind....

Like most libertarians, I have an appreciation for what Joseph Schumpeter called "Creative Destruction". We can't make progress with new ideas if old ideas have to be preserved at all costs. The B&N would've eventually died, but in this case, Dr. Jerry Kevorkian sped things along.
A funny thing happens when government forces a new idea. Jerry Jones didn't have to pay the price that businesses and families were asking for this land in Arlington. The Government determined the price, via an abuse of Eminent Domain. The free market didn't determine if a Debt Star Stadium would ever be profitable in the middle of North Arlington. It was theft by plebiscite. The typical voter probably spent less than two minutes seriously considering the secondary and tertiary effects of buying Jerry Jones a new toy in Arlington.
I'm predicting that the B&N retail site will soon be some variation on a parking lot. Guess which two entities will get the lion's share of the proceeds?
Maybe this store is a poor example. Granted, the retail book business is struggling. Ditto for retail music.
Another business (that operates in the shadow of the new stadium) is one of the few that has done well through the current recession.
In spite of their increased nationwide sales, the Arlington Wal-Mart will be closed by the end of 2011. The stadium is going to kill it.
Hide and watch.

Picture of the Wal-Mart on Death Row came from here.