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Sunday, June 22, 2014

You are what your record says you are, GOP

According to Elizabeth Sullivan of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, her city's effort to host the 2016 Republican National Convention is "tapping into public and private dollars statewide to reach the $60 million the RNC wants raised."

Once again, the party of free markets and limited governments has no problem using public money to benefit private interests.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Libertarianism 101

Let me explain libertarianism to statephiles of all political persuasions:

Libertarians don't believe in the initiation of force. Ask of us to contribute. Ask us to join. We might. But don't force us to contribute. Don't force us to join. We object to that. Strongly.

If you say we must contribute or join because of the greater good, you are merely declaring you know what is best for the rest of us. That is rather arrogant. Don't you agree?

Don't sugarcoat it or lie to yourself: Own your desire to force society into your vision. Because you think your vision is awesome. Maybe it is.

Ask us. Maybe we'll contribute. Maybe we'll join. But we won't be forced. And we won't force others.

This is a scary notion. It means people get to make their own decisions.

We can live with that.

It is you who can't. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Conservative cognitive dissonance

Too many self-described "conservatives" espouse free markets in one sentence, then decry the federal government for not protecting American jobs from cheap labor.

Conventional wisdom is wrong: Raw data on Libertarians' effect on GOP election results

Why Gary Johnson could cost Obama or Romney a win in 2012  (July 24, 2012)


In Colorado -- which the Obama campaign has been working hard to hold onto in 2012 -- Obama currently leads Romney 49-42 in the latest PPP poll, down from a 53-40 in April.

But add Gary Johnson to the mix, and Johnson’s 7% support in Colorado pulls almost equally from both candidates, dragging Obama down to 47 percent and Romney to 39.
Libertarian Gary Johnson's impact on Colorado likely negligible  (November 1, 2012)


A poll this week from Public Policy Polling showed Johnson at 2 percent. He pulls slightly more support from Obama than Romney, that poll found, but not enough to make a difference.

Libertarian Robert Sarvis Drew Record High Votes in Virginia (November 8, 2013)


The question, which was heavily debated before, during and after the election was where Sarvis pulled his supporters from and whether his campaign drew more votes away from Democratic governor-elect Terry McAuliffe or from the socially conservative Republican, Cuccinelli. Based on the crosstabs of a CNN exit poll, it appears that statewide, Sarvis voters leaned toward McAuliffe as their second choice.

Exit polls: McAuliffe wins in Virginia with strong support among women  (November 6, 2013)


Was the Libertarian candidate Sarvis a spoiler?  In a word: no.  In a straight two-way matchup, voters preferred McAuliffe to Cuccinelli by two points.  That’s almost identical to the final outcome.   In fact, Sarvis drew from independents and moderates, and took at least as many votes from the Democrat as the Republican.

Robert Sarvis didn’t cost Ken Cuccinelli the Virginia governor’s race (November 7, 2013)


Perhaps the most interesting thing is that the vast majority of Sarvis supporters said that if he were not in the race they simply wouldn't have voted. That's evidence of the growing strain of libertarianism in the country and proof that while libertarians often throw in their political lot with Republicans, the two remain decidedly distinct groups.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's an Oligarchy. And you ain't a part of it.

The corporatists that control both wings of the two-party duopoly don't care who is in the White House. Immigration, abortion, marijuana, same-sex marriage are all distractions from what the corporatists really care about: Getting government money and  state protection from competition.

While people protest these distractions, the Ds and Rs keep getting re-elected and keep paying their corporatist masters.

Look behind the curtain. The Rs and Ds are in the same club.

And you ain't.

Advocates of new taxes are neither compassionate nor benevolent.

Proponents of tax increases frequently state that they have no problem paying more in taxes so, of course, they support the increase. They adorn the cloak of compassion and benevolence because they want to pay more. They are so sweet!

No, they are not.  This misses the point entirely. It is a ruse. It is fraud.

These proponents can pay more now. They can write a check to the State or to a charity or to their neighbor. They don't need a tax increase to do so.

They need the tax increase to make OTHERS pay more.

The desire to make others pay more is neither compassionate nor benevolent.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Solve for "X"

A. Harry Reid, President of the United States Senate, "Calls Backers Of Nevada Ranchers 'Domestic Terrorists.'"


B. Barack Obama, President of the United States, asserts the authority to unilaterally execute a U.S. citizen whom he deems "an imminent threat."



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Force. It's bad policy.

Bastiat, taxes and "legal plunder"

On a Facebook thread I asked if taxes were theft. Hardly anyone answered the question. (Though some did). 

Apparently the notion that the state is benevolent and that taxes are therefore a good thing is so ingrained in in so many, that the question can not be honestly faced by most. Many of the responses to my question were a mere variant on the idea that taxes are necessary. OK. That is irrelevant to my question.

You may ultimately determine that theft is necessary. If that is the conclusion, so be it. Bet let's be honest with ourselves. Let's not pretend are actions are something they are not.

Let me restate:

I only ask if Frederic Bastiat was correct when he wrote:

"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."

I will take state pay. But I will not pretend it was voluntarily given to me. I will acknowledge, without sugarcoating it via the fiction of a "social contract" or some other nonsense intended to soothe the conscience of the robbers, that it was taken involuntarily from those providing it.

I am merely honest. That's the first step. It seems a step too far for most statephiles to take.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

My thoughts on Jesus and Congress

I am a Christian and believe that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior.

Unlike some of my fellow believers, however, I do not think Jesus needs the help of the whoremongers, drunks and thieves in Congress to advance Christianity.

I don't see where Jesus said to lobby the government to implement Christian beliefs via statute. I do see where he said to love your neighbor and to strive to live life as he did so that others would come to Christ. I see where he said to feed the poor, but not where he said to use the force of the government to make others feed the poor.

But, that's just me and my understanding. I don't begrudge differing views.

You can make a man kneel by pointing a gun at his head. You can not make him pray.

Only the Holy Spirit can move him to pray.

Any notion that the Holy Spirit needs the help of man's statute books, as far as I can tell, misses the point.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Why I vote third party

I refuse to vote for a big-government candidate solely because he is less big-government than the other major party alternative.

Big Government Republican apologists cannot grasp this. They ask me, incredulous: “Don’t you believe things would be different if Mitt had won instead of Obama?”

They have played their trump card. They are satisfied that if I admit a smidgen of difference, then they have won and they can rest easy in their support of the Big Government Republican, because, you know, they believe in limited government.

I readily concede the point, however. Things would be different. And running into a tree with your car at 90 miles per hour is different than running into it at 100. I love the passion with which the Big Government Republican apologists are committed to hitting it at 90 instead of 100.

I, however, refuse to agree to hit the tree at all.

And if I'm the only one refusing, so damned be it.

Let’s look at another illustration: If one major party candidate was "Lose a Thumb" and the other major party candidate was "Lose an Eye," is there a difference? Sure there is!

So what? I still refuse to vote for either. Voting for one over the other because it is “not as bad” is consenting to losing a body part. I simply will not consent. If the government ends up taking it anyway, it will be against my will.

Why is that so hard a concept to grasp?

Even if it is rational to pick one over the other, why play the game? Why agree to the terms?

The terms of the game are absurd. Playing it voluntarily is our fault.

It's a con game, people. And we are being played like rubes.

I vote third-party because I refuse to play the game. If the choices are limited to 1) hitting a tree at 100 miles per hour, or 2) hitting a tree at 90 miles per hour, I will not vote. 

There is another choice, however.

The third option is not hitting the tree at all. That’s how I will vote. “But Dave!,” you exclaim, “Not hitting the tree at all has no chance of winning!”

Even if true, that is really no reason to vote for running into the tree. That is really kind of a silly reason to vote for your own demise, when you stop and think about it. “All your friends are doing it, Dave! Woot! Hit the tree with us, Dave!” No, thanks, if we hit the tree it will be because I am locked in the trunk.

And even if it is true, it is only true because people declare it so.  Let’s keep the sample size small: There are three of us deciding where to eat for dinner. I want Mexican food. The third person wants Chinese. You tell me you are voting for Chinese so there is no way I can win the vote so I should quit trying to convince you to vote for Mexican. (Think about it).

No, I will keep trying to convince you. And if I do, when we drive to the Mexican restaurant, we won't even hit any trees.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Anti-gun fear mongers don't think much of their fellow man.

Anti-gun advocates think you are an ignorant, violent rube, just looking for an excuse to put a bullet in someone’s brain.

The Sunday, December 29, 2013, edition of the Denver Post illustrates this irrational fear.

Craig Marshall Smith, in a letter to the editor, laments:

“I was a college professor for more than 30 years. If I had been required to pack [a gun], I would have quit overnight. I wouldn't have felt safe in our highly volatile faculty meetings, much less in classrooms and hallways.”

Putting aside his absurd assertion that any reasonable person anywhere has suggested mandatory packing of heat for professors, this man’s distrust and contempt for his fellow man is palpable. He wouldn't have felt safe among his fellow professors? He thinks his colleagues would have shot someone over a policy disagreement? He thinks the only thing preventing violence among his fellow academicians is the absence of readily available firearm?

The Professor has shown himself to be a sad, pathetic scared man who thinks his fellow professionals are mere reservoir dogs on the very verge of snapping and killing anyone who crosses their path.

And the students? He holds them in even lower regard.

On the next page, columnist Rich Tosches writes:

“I play golf. And frankly, it’s scary enough without a guy having a .44 hanging from his golf trousers when he misses a $20, 3-foot putt.”

With whom does Tosches play golf? Since he holds his golf-buddies in such low regard, what must he think of strangers?

The anti-gun movement thinks you - the public - is ignorant, mean and base. The anti-gun movement believes you can’t be trusted. The very idea of trusting you frightens them.

This fear is the underlying foundation of their philosophy: Government control of the masses is an absolute necessity.

You can’t be trusted with a gun. You don’t need a gun. Hand them over. The professors and the columnists will feel so much better if you do.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Simple economics drug warriors ignore.

The State loves photo ops. The one pictured is from a Cleveland area drug bust in 2009. (See "Drug bust is largest in Cleveland history").

You've seen these before. The State always has a large stack of confiscated drugs to stand behind. They congratulate themselves and do their best to position themselves for the next election or next opening above them in the bureaucratic flow chart.

They smile for the cameras. They talk about dealing a blow to the drug industry.

And they know it is all a lie.

Play along with me and picture this: For some reason, the State confiscates the entire Denver metro-area supply of Diet Coca-Cola and arrests 32 high ranking Diet Coke officials. Who benefits from this confiscation and these arrests?

Diet Pepsi, that's who. Pepsi fills the void left by Coke. Pepsi's prices go up. And Pepsi's profit goes up. The very industry the State pretends to fight makes more money.

Diet soda is still being sold. It is still being consumed. Absolutely zero has been done to end the scourge of diet soda.

Market forces, for marijuana and for diet soda, are just as real as physical forces, like gravity and chemistry. Legislation does not stop these forces. The State can not stop market forces anymore than it can stop gravity.

Drug warriors usually pretend to be "conservative." Conservatives are supposed to understand economics. Drug warriors don't.

Upton Sinclair explained this phenomena when he said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

Sinclair, of course, while correct, was no conservative.

Perhaps Milton Friedman can explain it better to conservatives, “See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That's literally true.” Yes, it is.

Drug warriors, however, have a retort! They begin and end their argument by unintentionally quoting Mr. Mackey from South Park, "Drugs are bad, mmkay?"

Well, OK.

Let's grant that premise, drug warriors! If you want fewer drugs on the street, your current drug war is making the problem worse.

Rethink it.

Conservatives frequently criticize "progressives" for being more focused on intentions than on results. (See "American Progressives and the Tragedy of Good Intentions.")

There is no better example of intentions trumping results than the Drug War.

The Drug War is just another failed big government program that exacerbates the problem it was intended to correct. You'd think "conservatives" would oppose such a thing.

Too many don't. Because drugs are bad, mmkay?