Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This is Why You Want a "Do Nothing Congress"

Punk Rock Libertarians nail it with this realistic perspective on the nature of the state, that whatever the stated goal may be, the opposite tends to be the result. Rockwell's Law in action:

"So as per usual a bill has been passed that accomplishes the polar opposite of what one would expect by name.  The USA Freedom Act means less freedom as the Patriot Act would never be condoned by a true patriot, as the Affordable Care Act makes healthcare everything but affordable.  This my friends is why you want a “do nothing Congress.”"


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Why Wall Street Loves Hillary

"An odd thing happened last month when, stumping just before the midterms, Hillary Clinton came in close proximity to the woman who has sometimes been described as the conscience of the Democratic Party."

It would be interesting if Clinton became president. We've seen a man elected president primarily because of his race, would it be far-fetched to think that a woman could be elected simply on the basis of gender. Politics have become so dumbed down, along with the voters, that these sort of factors become more important than policy and candidate history. Obama had little to no political history, and Clinton leave corruption and scandal in her wake. Stranger things have happened.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Laying out a Picnic for Vultures

In Greg Palast's expose on state-corporatist system of the contemporary US, Vulture's Picnic, he focuses near the source of so many social, economic, and political problems:

Regulation, the rules they tell you to hate, are the way we apply democracy to the economy. Votes versus dollars. I think you can understand that.

  Yes, I know, the government is deeply fucked up. That’s the U.S. government, the UK government, and let’s not even talk about the Chinese, Malaysian, and Tanzanian governments. People have been belly-aching about rules and regulations ever since Moses schlepped the first ten down from Mount Sinai.

  But the Big Problem with government is that we don’t have enough of it; the rules aren’t tough enough to stop BP from blowing Cajuns to Kingdom Come. Or the rules are corrupted, made by politicians who are greased to make Steve Cohen’s monkey jump.

  If you’re screaming for the “guvmint to git off” your back, I see your point. But you’re still a loser, a cheap mark, a decoy duck, a dim, unwitting stooge for forces even more powerful than that ugly guvmint, a toy for powers who are shitting on you while telling you it’s raining chocolate.

While he does a service by doing the hard work, the research and investigation that uncovers so much of the corruption in government today, he does focus a bit much on the corporate problems, which are a result and creation of an oppressive regime. Political school has little to do with it, and believing that more government can resolve the problems created by too much government is hardly a rational solution.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Michael Brown's Grandfather to Obama: 'I Voted for You,' So Come Meet Me

President Obama has become notorious among his Missouri supporters for not visiting the embattled city, and the grandfather of the teen shot by police there a week ago is perturbed over the President's distance. This week he went on TV to remind Obama he voted for him and urge the President to make his way to Ferguson to stand with his family.
Perhaps Obama has learned his lesson from jumping to conclusions in racially-charged cases, such as the Martin-Zimmerman tragedy, and is instead waiting for all of the facts to come in before taking any position or wasting any political capital on something that might come back to haunt him later. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Damascus Goes up in Smoke

Pro-war Americans: this is what an aggressive foreign policy gets you; more violence and bloodshed. Stop trying to choose winners and loosers in foreign conflicts. It has nothing to do with America and we have no legitimate business there. Supporting militants known for unabashed violence will only make a bad situation worse, further destabilizing a nation in turmoil. 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Strength, and Weakness, of the State

"A government strong enough to act in defiance of public feeling may disregard the plausible heresy that prevention is better than punishment, for it is able to punish. But a government entirely dependent on opinion looks for some security what that opinion shall be, strives for the control of the forces that shape it, and is fearful of suffering the people to be educated in sentiments hostile to its institutions."

Lord Acton, Freedom and Power

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mexican lawmakers present medical marijuana bill

If Mexican lawmakers proceed with medical usage for marijuana or even legalization before the US gets it's act together, they could effectively end the violent monopoly that the narco-cartels have enjoyed for decades. Prohibition creates large profit potential for those willing to accept the risks, and violence is the only way to defend an illicit industry that works outside of the legal system. Legal industries have much lower violence rates than illegal ones, such as the illegal drug trade. Prohibition fails to alleviate any of the perceiced social ills of drug use, while creating a variety of additional unintended consequences.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Don't Get Out the Vote, It Makes You Look Ignorant

Stop voting, it doesn't show you can think rationally, but only through groupthink. Sheldon Richman says it shows a lack of individual responsibility:

"A mass democratic system encourages voter irresponsibility, says Sheldon Richman. Because the consequence of any single vote is negligible, individuals have an incentive to vote on some basis other than an understanding of current issues — which would require, among other things, the costly acquisition of a grasp of basic economics. Voters, then, are free to vote their biases. This voter mentality is known as rational ignorance."


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Voting is a Lousy Excuse to Inflict your Will over Others

Reason from, well, Reason:

"It matters not at all what any individual voter does. The odds are that no election in your lifetime would have been different had you done something other than what you did that day — including staying home. One vote is like one drop in the ocean: inconsequential."

The act of voting and the system it enables is simply one of mob rule. Whether that is what democracy is, or has devolved into, is aside the point. It is the system in place today. Seeking to inflict one's will over others through government is an immoral attempt to remove oneself from acting through aggression over others, but the act is nonetheless the same. If you would not force others directly, why rely on government for the same effort?

"Some will say in response, But what if everyone thinks like that? This misses the point. No one is waiting to see what you do on election day. The rest of the country will do whatever it’s going to do — no matter what you do. (But if everyone did stay home on election day, think of the message that would send!) You control only yourself, and you undertake actions only when you believe they have a good chance of effecting consequences that matter. Otherwise you don’t act."


Like they say, if voting changed anything, it would be illegal. I am more encouraged by low voter turnout, a sign that the population is starting to see the futility of electoral politics and government in general.

Keep voting. I'll keep laughing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Problem with Public Spending and Debt

Public debt has been a growing problem for decades, but the gap between funded (+$17 trillion and predicted to rise to $20 by 2018) and unfunded (most estimates are well over $100 trillion) liabilities should draw more attention than it does. Revenues are simply not keeping up with the increases in public liabilities, though federal spending far outstrips state and local levels. The debt to GDP ratio is rising to unsustainable levels. The efforts to close that gap will be through such avenues as you as you mention, but those austerity-like measures will hit the public sector hardest. Many public sector jobs are just not as economically-productive as the private sector. Regulation hinders profits more than it encourages them. 

Whether anyone agrees with the pension schemes of states and municipalities, the worry should be recognized. In the short term (the only way politicians seem to think), we are getting by, but it just takes a critical view to recognize what happens when those liabilities overload a system like Detroit when a recession hits hard, a trend that also seems to be slowly becoming more common. Some go down for obvious reasons, others seem unsinkable until they start to show signs of weakness. The rate of increase of the public debt unfortunately has increased, making tough economic times even moreso on the average taxpayer. Naturally, the rate of municipal bankruptcy filings has increased as well since 2008, to 8 cities or counties and 38 total municipalities by December 2013.

The positive side of all of this gloom is that we have numerous examples of the results of poor public policy that enables such out of control public spending and debt levels, which should encourage most municipalities to refrain from irresponsible levels of spending and debt. I try to be optimistic, but what I see in the news doesn't seem to be as encouraging. Perhaps it is time to consider something different, like Repudiating the National Debt?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Defending Cannabis by Blaming Racism

"Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells Remnick that in 2007, Obama explained, “I have no desire to be one of those presidents who are just on the list—you see their pictures lined up on the wall. … I really want to be a President who makes a difference.” But Obama’s approval ratings are mired in the low 40s, a reality he partially—and unconvincingly—attributes to racism: “There’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.” As HotAir’s Ed Morrissey notes, the existence of rump racists completely fail to explain Obama’s two electoral victories and his 60 percent-plus approval ratings at the start of his presidency. A far better explanation is simply that he’s failed to accomplish much of anything the public likes."

More: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/21/ending-the-war-on-pot-is-obama-s-last-chance-for-a-legacy.html

What a poor excuse from a lame duck president, that racism, when a large portion of minorities now disapprove of Obama, could be the problem, and ending another example of the inherent failure of prohibition by legalizing cannabis could be nothing more than a token (tokin?) gesture to appease those who have been most harmed by his partisan policies. Given the progress of the legalization movement, which effectively nullifies federal law under the Tenth Amendment and has been used since the northern war of aggression to end slavery on a state level without violence, institutionalized or otherwise. The president would do better to simply recognize reality instead of resisting it. Good ideas do not require force, nor do they need defending. But they do require indefatigable recognition. And is on us as individuals to promote the conscious solutions to predative, collectivist problems that a free society so greatly requires.