Saturday, October 12, 2013

Another Failure For Fascism

Every now and then one is assured that yes, there is a God, and yes, she distributes Justice. 
One such moment occurred yesterday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius showed up with about 20 government techno-munchkins to give a seminar on the total freakin' awesomeness of ObamaCare and its website

Sebelius and Steelers (Pittsburgh's pro football team) Chairman Dan Rooney were at an enrollment and education event on Thursday at Heinz Field to promote, but people who showed up encountered problems in signing up for coverage on the website.
Unable to handle heavy online traffic and riddled with technical glitches, the website has been a source of criticism of the Obama administration and the new Affordable Care Act since its start on Oct. 1.
Sebelius, who is making similar trips to cities across the country to spread the word about the website, told the audience of about 100 people that was “open for business.”
“Believe me, we had some early glitches,” said Sebelius, who was introduced by Rooney, a backer of the law. “But it's getting better every day.”
At the back of the room, it was a different story. About 20 people armed with laptops and certified by the government to sign up people for coverage were meeting with uninsured people, answering questions and fruitlessly trying to access the website.
LaKesha Lowry, 41, came to the event to find out about her health insurance options. But the North Side resident said she was not able to access the site, even with the help of a certified application counselor.
“It said, ‘Try again later,' ” Lowry said.
I'm sure there are folks who don't understand why Libertarians rejoice at the total miserable failure of ObamaCare. 
Let me put it this way.  We rejoiced when the Berlin Wall fell.  Many of us were downright giddy when Pol Pot was arrested.  I intend to host a Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup/Party on the night of Fidel Castro's funeral. 
People who forcibly intervene in the lives and choices of adults do more harm than good.  When they fail, society benefits.  It really is that simple. 

I was hoping I could post Sibelius's travel and seminar schedule here, but can't find it online due to the government shutdown (Which brings up the following question:  Why is this twit still flying around the countryside promoting failed websites if the government is supposed to be shut down?) 

And I was hoping to find a funny photoshop of Sibelius to close this post.  I failed.  I did find these incredible ObamaCare postage stamps from the staff and readers of The People's Cube

  Isn't it strange how they've removed the countdown widget from the website error message? 

We're in the best of hands. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

2013 Photo Of The Year

Barack Obama often lies by claiming that he's overseeing "the most transparent administration in history". 

Horsecrap.  His administration isn't even remotely transparent (one of my least favorite buzzwords, BTW).

Thanks to the NSA and Homeland Security, you are the one who is suddenly transparent. 

They know you're reading this.  Log off quickly. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Barack Obama and the 900 Foot Jesus

There's a quote in atheist circles that goes something like "Give me all the reasons that you don't believe in all the other gods, and you'll have the reasons I don't believe in yours." 

In other words, list all the reasons that you don't believe in Anahita, Anat, Anath, Andhrimnir, Andraste, Andvari, or Angrboda - to name just a few gods from the beginning of the alphabet - and you'll have a good list of why some people don't "believe" in the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

You've probably heard of TV evangelist and faith-healer Oral Roberts.  (Please hang with me.  I'm going somewhere with this.)  Here's Roberts' CNN obituary:

In 1977, (Oral) Roberts said he had a vision of a 900-foot-tall Jesus, who told him to found the City of Faith Medical and Research Center. The biography said the center was aimed at "merging the healing power of medicine and prayer."
In 1986, Roberts announced that God would "call him home" unless he raised $8 million to send medical missionaries from the center -- an announcement that was widely publicized.
Are hospitals a good cause?  Yes. 

Do medical missionaries generally do good work and save lives?  Yes. 

Did you, or anyone else with good sense, donate money to Oral Roberts?  No. 

Why not?  Because most of us knew that a lot of the money would not be spent on the hospital.  We suspected that a 900-Foot Jesus didn't really appear to Oral Roberts in a vision, or tell him to send medical missionaries across the globe.  And finally, most of us prefer to give our charitable dollars to other causes. 

Several years ago, Barack Obama decided to radically change America's healthcare system.  He was going to give free (or at least affordable) healthcare to low-income Americans.  He had a plan.  And people on the political left seemed SHOCKED that this compassionate action was opposed by conservatives and libertarians. 

Given a choice, I'd give my dollars to the Oral Roberts City of Faith Medical and Research Center before giving it to Obama and the government (assuming there wasn't a 3rd option of burning the money).  I don't think that the government acts responsibly.  I believe that government spends a massive amount of money on itself.  I think Obama uses tax money to buy votes and keep his faction in power.  Plus, the Oral Roberts City of Faith doesn't operate drones or have an army going all over the place pissing off Arabs. 

Give me all the reasons you didn't donate to Oral Roberts, and you'll have the reasons that I oppose ObamaCare. 

Give me all the reasons that you wouldn't let Bernie Madoff do your investing in stocks, bonds, and commodities, and I'll give you the reasons that I get downright giggly when some Congressman starts blathering about "investing" in education, infrastructure, or the future. 

Carefully list all the reasons that you don't want Mexico or Brazil raising huge armies and navies and going around the world, making the planet safe for democracy.  You'll have the reasons that many libertarians don't want America doing that either. 

And on and on.....

Government isn't society.  Society can accomplish wonderful, wonderful things without government intervening.    Here's some Frederic Bastiat:
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

           We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
With that said, here's some MC 900 Ft Jesus.  Enjoy. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Be sure to thank the people who didn't try to make it happen

If you're a tech geek, you've seen this picture.  Let's start at the top left and go clockwise.  There's a videocam, a primitive jam box, a radio, an electric typewriter, a calculator, some VHS tapes, a VCR, some things I don't recognize, a digital recorder, a pager, and a camera. 

We now have this.  It'll do everything shown above, will fit in your pocket, will probably last longer, and it costs a fraction of the gizmos shown above.  I'm not a techno-geek, and I've given up on going after the best stuff, so the phone I arbitrarily posted below is probably out-of-date already. 

I've got a 3 or 4 year old Blackberry knockoff, and I'm still getting accustomed to the joy of pulling up "Map" and typing in "Haircut" or "bar" or "bourbon" and being directed to the nearest supplier. 

Here's something from Gizmodo:
A company called Ampex put out the first "home entertainment" VTR in 1963, only it cost $30,000 in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, and was nicknamed Grant's Tomb because the product manager who thought it up was going to be shoved inside by the company's accountants. (He would have fit, too, the thing was so big.) Sony comes along in the middle of that decade and puts out a $1,200 "portable" VTR that came with a leatherette case and its own TV. It still weighed 65 pounds.
No one intended the glorious destruction of the VCR/VHS/tape recorder/typewriter industry.  It just kinda happened.  People wanted to make money.  Others were just tinkerers.  And for the most part, they were left alone.  There was no Central Planner in Washington, overseeing the evolution of what you probably have in your pocket or purse.  No Technology Czar carefully planning each step of the demolition of BetaMax.   (Had there been a Technology Czar, you would still be watching  Betamax or VHS tapes, at best.  Do some reading on Regulatory Capture.  Regulators and Czars almost always wind up protecting the status quo.) 

Here's a good summary of the undersigned, unplanned and spontaneous social order that many of us are still fortunate enough to live in.  Don Boudreaux at his best:

"....many people simply cannot conceive of social order that isn’t consciously designed and enforced by some secular creator (that is, by the state).  Most people are secular theists regarding social order.  Order must, for secular theists, be the result of a some higher power that designs, intends, imposes, and guides willfully the order that we see about us.  Without a higher secular power designing and keeping control of things, chaos or near-chaos would necessarily reign.

Get rid of this secular deity – or suffer it to fall under the influence of secular devils (for American “Progressives,” those devils today are tea-partiers) – and society must deteriorate.  Rules of the road would wither away, or certainly not be enforced; roads themselves would never be built; the electromagnetic spectrum would become a commons tragically overused (and, hence, rendered useless) by countless broadcasters scrambling for airtime; and automobiles – were they to exist at all – would be horrible death traps.

The great insight of the social sciences – which too few social scientists themselves get – is that society, to the extent that it is complex and functional, is necessarily the result of human action but not of human design.

Reasonable people can and do dispute how much sovereign intention and design are necessary or worthwhile to tweak, modify, polish, protect, top-off the emergent social order that not only did government not design but couldn’t possibly have even begun to design.*  But it is totally false and wrongheaded – yet it is the dominant view of almost everyone – that most of the economic and social order that we experience about us is the result of government and, hence, would necessarily disappear or collapse into disarray were government to disappear or fail to perform its duty well.

Sadly, most people are apparently just incapable of understanding that almost all social order emerges undesigned and unplanned.  Most people are and seemingly will remain naive secular creationists, ignorant that the forces of natural selection and evolution are constantly at play in society, and that these force are usually only thwarted or distorted by attempts to engineer society from on high.  And (here’s an irony) this sad ignorance of the nature of society afflicts even – perhaps especially – those people who have no difficulty understanding that very complex, beautiful, and highly functional non-social orders (such as biological order and the order of the cosmos) emerge unplanned and undesigned."
So next time you make a phone call, record a video, post a FB photo, send a text, snap a picture, get directions, post a blog rant, or watch a DVD, be sure to thank the person in Washington D.C. who didn't try to make it all happen. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

James B. Stewart, of the New York Times, is confused

James B. Stewart, a writer for the New York Holy Times who is often fairly sensible, is confused.  I don't ordinarily read the NYT, since I prefer to read Obama's press releases without editorial reworking, spell-checks, and other modifications, but I saw this article in Starbucks and it jumped out at me. 

Here's how it begins....

The Republican Party has long claimed to be the champion of business, large and small, and an advocate for fiscal responsibility. Yet now Republicans in Congress have precipitated a shutdown of the federal government and are threatening to let the nation default on its once Triple-A-rated debt.
How could this be?

Let's disregard the unfortunate likelihood that this is all Performance Art, and that all of the useless and/or redundant Federal employees will be retroactively paid for their inconvenience.  Let's pretend that the Republicans are serious, and that they really will shut down the government, and default on some of the USA's bills. 

I know it's a stretch, but let's pretend that there are some adults in those rooms. 

We are broke.  The Federal debt per taxpayer is about to hit $150,000.00.  (It's $50K per citizen, if that tells you anything about the maker vs taker problem.) 

The debt is increasing by 1.75 billion per day.  As long as the Republicans and Democrats can keep borrowing, some foolish countries and businesses will keep lending.  (In reality, we're buying a lot of our own debt at the Fed, just to keep the bubble going for a few years longer.)  And the Fed is printing an extra 85 billion a month.  When the inflation hits, it's gonna be ugly, ugly, ugly. 

Mississippi novelist William Faulkner once put an ad in the Oxford Eagle newspaper stating that he would no longer be responsible for his wife's spending and debts. 

I wish I could do the same, and put an ad in the New York Holy Times for the benefit of James B. Stewart, explaining that I no longer wish to be held accountable for Washington's debts.  Let me pull out what I've paid into Social Security, without interest, and I'll be happy.

Please, please, please.... Do not give my government any money.  They are not me.  They are not you.  Government is not "society".  We will not fail if they do. 

Please, do not voluntarily give them any money. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Tarrant County Libertarian Party goes to the Fort Worth Gay Pride Parade AND WINS !!


The Tarrant County Libertarian Party has long advocated something that I call the Spivey Doctrine.  My friend, and predecessor as county chair, John Spivey, believes that we should go after some of society's sub-groups called "The Four G's".  They would be the Gold, Grass, Guns, and Gays.  (Federal Reserve enemies, marijuana legalizers, 2nd Amendment devotees and Gays/Lesbians.)

I prefer "The 5 B's" - Stay away from my bed, beer, bourbon, babies, bullets and bongs.  But that's quibbling. 

About two months ago, we decided to participate in the Fort Worth Gay Pride parade, to help improve our relationship with that fourth G.  We've been in the Dallas equivalent for years, and thought it time to bring it home.  (Hit this link and this link for some of our better experiences.) 

We worked really hard on this thing, within the constraints of a relatively small budget, of course. 

And we won.  We won Best Not-For-Profit entry.

 Lockheed-Martin, the military contractor, won for Best Business/For-Profit entry.  They had a float with little jets that looked like they were hand made by Obama's Drone-Makers. 

It was an amazing day for us.  We pushed the envelope just a bit by having Dez Lehman, a Dallas Libertarian and cabaret singer/performer, entertain from the top of our float.  That guy worked that crowd like you cannot imagine.  Dez owned that parade. 

In case you're wondering, I'm the guy on the left.  I don't look good in feathers. 

Here's Dez with long-time Libertarian and Gary Johnson Texas campaign manager, Elizabeth Miller.  

Here's what we did with the front of Richard Forscythe's pickup.  Two brides and two marriage equality signs. 

Ken Stanford, flying the colors. 

That's one big fat honking Marriage Equality sign. 

And we're off.  You really don't get the flavor of this thing without hearing all the attendees screaming "LIBERTARIANS!  HELL YEAH!!!" and "THE LIBERTARIAN ARE HERE!  HOLY F**K!!" 
Plus Dez singing like the world was gonna end.  We had the only genuine music system in the parade.  That always helps.  That's Mike and Shayna Coyne walking beside the float. 

We had kids, politicians, moms, you name it.  All on the float, and dancing. 

More than one obsessive-compulsive person commented that our letters weren't "straight".  I just told them that it was a gay parade. 

That's the lovely Teresa Rushing, Tarrant LP Exec Committee Member-at-large. 

You cannot imagine the sheer, undiluted joy that this contraption brought to the crowd in downtown Cowtown.  I wish I could do this again today. 

Here's what the Democrat Party had to offer.  Gays and Lesbians, I think someone is taking your loyalty for granted....

Here are the Stonewall Democrats. 

Here's John Spivey with Dez.  Both of 'em looking good, don't you think?

We're definitely doing this again next year, and we'll have the float led and followed by our candidates with campaign signs. 
Lord have mercy, this was a fun day.