Saturday, February 8, 2014

You'll never meet a really good waitress or bartender who is a Socialist

The Tarrant County Libertarian Party has a website, a Meetup page, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and might even have a long-forgotten MySpace account. 

About a week ago, in a desire to restrict all of the above to general announcements, we started something on FB called Cowtown Libertarians.  That's where we can post pics, memes, weird internet statist junk, and Barack Obama speeches sweetened up with a laugh track.  I hope you'll check it out. 

Here's a little taste.  It beautifully explains why you'll never meet a really good server, waitress, or bartender who is a true Socialist. 

Here's what I'm going to throw on there this afternoon, assuming someone else doesn't beat me to it.

Cowtown Libertarians.  Common sense distilled into interesting little pictures. 

On thanking the military for their service

A Facebook friend of mine named David Singhiser threw down this well-written, thoughtful post yesterday. 
Other than the Christian angle that he takes, I've been having a lot of the same thoughts. 

What and how you speak has consequences. Earlier this week I lost my temper and lost most of my cousins and at least the respect, if I ever had any, from my brother and sister.

I regret the loss. I wish I could regret what I said. I suppose I should regret how I said what I said, but it got their attention, even if it was too late: a cousin was cheered and congratulated upon joining the US Marines last month.

Just as what I said has consequences, so do other things that I see constantly posted: nice, kind, patriotic posts, given with the best of intentions.

But I hate and despise them, because they too have consequences.

"Thank you for your service;" "They're fighting for our freedoms."

Or the blasphemous:

"There are two defining forces which have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ, for your soul, the American soldier, for your freedom."

What's wrong with that? What kind of jerk am I that would despise that?

It's a simple thank you, but what else does it say?

Dear soldier, you, who I don't know, and have never met, I assume that everything you have done has been to serve me, my family, and country, my dear hero, I know this, because you wear a uniform.

And what are the consequences? It teaches our children that putting on a uniform and doing nothing else makes one a hero.

We do not know what kind of service the soldier has performed. For all we know he has spent the last years protecting poppy fields in Afghanistan for the drug lords. We do know if he has spent his free time throwing puppies off a cliff for target practice as has been posted on YouTube.

No, we assume they are great heroes, moral and virtuous, because they wear a uniform.

That is one consequence you teach your kids: put on a uniform and you will be a hero.

Repentance, virtue, kindness, love, compassion, courage to go against the grain?

No, that is not encouraged.

Put on a uniform and conform, that is the message you champion.

"Thank You For Your Service" inspires the unthinking into joining the military. They believe it, because they hear and see it repeatedly: "They're fighting for our freedom."

So kids who are not mature enough to buy alcohol, are allowed to join the military thinking that they will be defending freedom, when in fact, they are fighting for what Eisenhower warned against: the military industrial complex, and of course oil.

Every time you thank a soldier for his service, find out just what he or she did, look around and make sure a kid doesn't hear and get the impression that by joining up, he or she becomes a hero.

Realize that though they may think they are protecting freedom, our freedoms are not in danger by tribesmen in Afghanistan or zealots in Iraq, or Libya, or Syria. American soldiers are fighting and dying for someone's greed.

As bad as the Taliban are, can they really keep you from speaking your mind, keep you from going to church, reading or writing a book? Who really threatens your freedom? The threat is not overseas. So why is the military overseas?

There are consequences to what you say. Look beyond the niceties.

Thanking strangers, standing up and applauding at airports, because they wear a uniform only encourages more children to aspire to join, kill, and get killed.

Those whom I know who are still in the military or have been in the military, who have studied the history of this country, love and understand freedom and liberty, hate being thanked.

They feel a range from embarrassment to disgust of the thoughtless idolization of the military. They, more than anyone know the crimes, the stupidity, and the evil that goes on in war and the military. Some are haunted by what they have seen; some are haunted by what they have done.

Thanking them only intensifies their pain.

And what about the threat to the souls of your children? Listening to some of you, I'd think they've joined a church choir. Christ taught us to love our enemies. The military teaches soldiers to dehumanize the enemy, calling them: Krauts, Japs, Gooks, Sand Niggers. It begins in training. It makes it easier to kill, because you see, there once was a time when most soldiers just shot above the heads of the enemy troops. The military had to put a stop to that.


What exactly follows the military? Where do they go for R&R? Monasteries or brothels? You've encouraged children to dive in to a den of vipers, you thank them, idolize them, and damn them because you refuse to think, you repeat the clichés, you follow the mob, believe the propaganda, all the while insisting you're free.

Instead of supporting the troops, keep your loved ones from joining. Don't feed the beast with your children. Have you not read in the Old Testament how the ungodly threw their children into the fire? What are you doing, if not that?

Discourage anyone from joining. Encourage them to be true heroes, fighting for freedom with their minds and their words. Instead of killing and getting killed, teach them to be peace makers.

Brutes and slaves, blind followers, obeying masters, killing and getting killed for glory! heroism! honor!

Free people are better than that.

Christians follow, honor, and obey the Prince of Peace.

I stand my what I said. I am sickened by parents, family members, teachers, counselors, pastors, or friends who encourage young men and women into joining the US military. They failed them. They believed lies, followed the herd, and sent children marching into the fire.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Worst Thing Ever Written

This is the worst thing ever written. 

Go here. 

It required a horrifying ignorance of history to write this.  Also present are depressing levels of dumbassedness about art, economics, math, psychology, management, cause and effect, music, political science, human motivation, human rights, climate, agriculture, science, culture, and individualism. 

If I have the time, I'm going to Fisk every sentence.  The Communists made the Nazis look like amateurs. 

In the meantime, check out this book. 

The Black Book Of Communism.  If I can get contact for Jesse Myerson, I'm going to mail him a copy.  For the good of the human race. 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Socratic Dialogue on The Minimum Wage

Lawrence W. Reed of the Foundation For Economic Education (God, wouldn't the world be better if Obama had taken some online courses there) has reared back and thrown out a gem of a post about the minimum wage. 

It's in the form of a Socratic Dialogue. 

I try to do this on Facebook all the time, with varying degrees of success, mostly because my FB friends get pissed and declare that I don't care about poor people and then the dialogue ends when I point out that they don't pay people a freakin' dime more than they have to because I've watched how they tip their bartenders and then we all unfriend each other. 

I'm scraping the whole thing here, just in case the FEE website goes bankrupt or something.  This thing mirrors so many conversations and blog entries I've written on this dismal subject, but does it so much better. 

Socrates: So you want to raise the minimum wage. Why?

Congressman: Because as President Obama says, minimum wage workers haven’t had a raise in five years.

Socrates: Can you name one single worker who was making $7.25 five years ago who is still making $7.25 today? And if you can’t, then please tell me what caused their wage to rise if Congress didn’t do it. Come on, can you name just one?

Congressman: I don’t happen to have a name on me, but they must be out there somewhere.

Socrates: Well, we’ve just been through a deep recession because successive administrations from both parties, plus you lawmakers and your friends at the Fed, created a massive bubble and jawboned banks to extend easy credit. The bust forced many businesses to cut back or close. Now we have the weakest recovery in decades as ever-higher taxes, regulations, and Obamacare stifle growth. No wonder people are hurting! Do you take any responsibility for that, or do you just issue decrees that salve your guilty conscience?

Congressman: That’s water over the dam. I’m looking to the future.

Socrates: But how can you see even six months into a murky future when you refuse to look into the much clearer and more recent past? You guys think the world starts when a problem arises, as if you’re incapable of analyzing the problem’s origin. Maybe that’s why you rarely solve a problem; you just set everybody up to repeat it. If you really look to the future, then why didn’t you see this situation coming?

Congressman: Look, in any event, $7.25 just isn’t enough for anybody to live on. Workers must have more to meet their basic needs.

Socrates: An employer doesn’t have anything to pay an employee except what he first gets from paying customers. I wonder, whose "needs" do you consider when you decide to buy or not to buy: the workers’ or your own? Have you ever offered to pay more than the asking price just to help out the guy who made the product? And if customers like you won’t do that, where do you expect the employer to get the money?

Congressman: That’s not a fair question. My intent here is purely to help.

Socrates: Sounds to me like the answer is "no," but let’s move on. Why do you assume your intentions mean more to a worker than those of his employer? It’s the employer who’s taking the risk to offer him a job, not you. You’re only making speeches about it. Don’t you see a little hypocrisy here—you, who are personally offering no one a job, self-righteously criticizing others who are actually creating jobs and paying wages even if they’re not all at a wage you like?

Congressman: Employers are interested only in profits.

Socrates: Are you saying employees are not? Are they more interested in working for companies that lose money, and if so, then why don’t they all line up for government jobs?

Congressman: Well, we lose money here in government every year and there are plenty of people who are happy to work for us.

Socrates: You have a printing press. You also have a legal monopoly on force. When you borrow in the capital markets, you shove yourself to the head of the line at everybody else’s expense. Are you saying these are good things and that we’d be better off if the private sector could do these things too? Try to keep up with me here.

Congressman: I repeat, employers are interested only in profits. People before profits, I say! I even have a bumper sticker on my car that says that.

Socrates: So are you saying that employers would be better people if, instead of seeking profits, they tried to break even or run at a loss? How does that add value to the economy or encourage risk-takers to start a business in the first place?

Congressman: You’re trying to belittle me but I went to a state university. All of my sociology, political science and gender studies professors told us that raising the minimum wage is good.

Socrates: Were any of those tenured, insulated, and government-funded pontificators actual job-creating, payroll tax-paying entrepreneurs themselves, ever?

Congressman: That’s beside the point.

Socrates: (Sigh.) Figures.

Congressman: Look, $10.10 isn’t much. I think you must be mean-spirited and greedy if you don’t want people to be paid at least $10.10.

Socrates: Yeah, like you guys in government check your personal ambitions at the door when you take office. I’d like to know how you arrived at that number. Was it some sophisticated equation, divine revelation or toss of the dice? Why didn’t you choose $20.00, which is not only a nice round number but also a lot more generous?

Congressman: Well, $20.00 would be too high, for sure. Too much of a jump at once.

Socrates: It sounds like you think the cost of labor might indeed affect the demand for it. Good! That’s progress. You’re not as oblivious about market forces as I thought. What I want to know is why you apparently don’t think higher labor costs matter when you raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. Do you think everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, is automatically worth what Congress decrees? Do you believe in magic, too? How about tooth fairies?

Congressman: Now hold on a minute. I’m for the worker here.

Socrates: Then why on earth would you favor a law that says if a worker can’t find a job that pays at least $10.10 per hour, he’s not allowed to work?

Congressman: I’m not saying he can’t work! I’m saying he can’t be paid less than $10.10!

Socrates: I thought we were making progress, but perhaps not. Can you tell me, if your scheme becomes law, what happens to a worker whose labor is worth only, say, $8.10 because of his low skills, lack of education, scant experience, or a low demand for the work itself? Will employers happily employ him anyway and take a $2.00 loss for every hour he’s on the job?

Congressman: Businesses need workers and $2.00 isn’t much, so common sense and decency would suggest that of course they would.

Socrates: So employers who employ people are too greedy to pay $10.10 unless they’re ordered to, but then when Congress acts, they suddenly become generous enough to hire people at a loss. Who was your logic instructor?

Congressman: Can we hurry this up? I’ve got other plans for other people I have to think about.

Socrates: I give up. You congressmen are incorrigible. You’re the only people on whom my teaching method has no discernible impact.

Congressman: You ask too many questions.

At this point, in utter frustration, Socrates drinks the hemlock. The congressman votes to price many of the nation’s most vulnerable employees out of work and gets reelected.
Whoever warned us to beware of Greeks bearing gifts apparently never met a congressman.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Carnival Of The Libertarians - Resurrected

I'm the proprietor of the "Carnival Of The Libertarians" franchise. 

I tried to keep it going for a year or so, but got so much non-Libertarian blogspam that I gave up on the project. 

Here's an attempted resurrection of Carnival Of The Libertarians.  If this gets any significant traffic, every few weeks I'll repost what I think are the best liberty-minded blogs, articles, essays and rants. 


Brian Micklethewaite of Samizdata has an excellent idea about how to ensure that our governments have read the constitution

Guess who is the nation's largest drug smuggler?  The DEA.  
An investigation conducted in Mexico found the American government allowed that country’s largest drug cartel, Sinaloa, to operate without fear of persecution. That groups is estimated to be responsible for 80 percent of the cocaine coming into the country through Chicago. In exchange, the leaders of Sinaloa provided the DEA information on rival gangs.
 "But in a Libertarian society, who would decide which cartel gets to be the favorite?"

The Verge has a great piece on the irony of one Nobel Peace Prize winner hunting down another Nobel Peace Price nominee

If you've ever wondered about the ratio of legitimate constitutional legislation vs. bureaucratic "guidance" that you can be fined or jailed for not following, just go here

If you are a Libertarian, you are probably tired of hearing about the greatness of Sweden's healthcare system.  Well, Sweden's healthcare system is now moving toward what the U.S. system just abandoned, while the U.S. is moving towards what Sweden has given up on trying to make work.  Or something.
The main problem is naturally due to the central planning of health care, whether or not it is planned by regional “competing” governments. While access and quality are guaranteed by national law, Swedes usually have to line up for care. As noted above, wait times may be days or weeks for appointments with GPs while several (or many, and increasing) hours for ER care, but the real problem is apparent in specialist care such as surgery where wait times are not uncommonly several months, or even years.

Reason Magazine displays Hillary Clinton's abysmal ignorance on The Drug Trade, The Drug War, and therefore, just about everything else

Holy Nullification, Batman !!!  The New Hampshire Legislature is considering a bill that would mandate that juries be instructed that they could vote to acquit if they disagreed with a law. 

What's the difference in a Statist and a Libertarian?  Just 30 days of reading. 

I love me some NFL, and I look forward to the day when I can legally bet on some NFL.  But according to Reason Magazine, no city should ever do anything to attract the NFL
Sports stadiums not only appear to be a bad deal for tax payers, but having a franchise could also hurt loyal fans by making it difficult to watch their hometown team play thanks to the expansion of sports broadcasts and the complexities of NFL blackout rules. 

“If you have a team in Los Angeles and it doesn’t sell out, they can blackout the game in Los Angeles which means you often lose games…and as a fan there’s no payback in that,” says Daniel Durbin, Director of the University of Southern California’s Institute of Sports Media and Society. 

Though local boosters like LaBonge may continue to dream of having the NFL in the city, it’s becoming increasingly clear that not having a team may be the best deal for tax payers and fans alike. 
Go here and you'll learn that our government has spent $3,000 per American (i.e. $6,000 per taxpayer) to rebuild Afghanistan.  The article doesn't mention how much we spent to tear it down prior to the rebuilding. 

Here's something else on the NFL Cronyism Trifecta - tax exemptions on earnings, free stadiums, and to put some icing on the cake, the city and state provide them with free security guards. 

My father used to tell me that "even a blind hog can find an acorn every now and then".  That bit of wisdom even applies to Paul Krugman, the New York Times Obama apologist.  Go here to see him actually get something right. 

Colbert nails it on U.S. foreign policy. 

A professional drug warrior goes batshit crazy over the mere idea that he might no longer be paid to interfere in the lives of other people. 

Here's Barack Obama's best debate performance.  Ever.  He's debating some dude named Barack Obama. 

Finally (and yes, this is bait for an Instalanche) here's Glenn Reynolds comparing marijuana legalization and the dismal failure of Obamacare

That's all, folks !!