WLO banner ad

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Invasive Asian carp, "balancing nature," and making money.

Maybe it's just me.

Maybe I'm overly sensitive.

But one two-sentence paragraph in a recent article in the Associated Press about the invasive Asian carp in domestic waters struck me.

You see, the Asian carp (somehow) made its way into American water. This by itself, perhaps, would not be an issue. However, the Asian carp are not tasty, and they are crowding out tasty domestic fish. The non-delicious and bony carp are eating food and taking up natural resources to the detriment of delicious and meaty domestic fish.

Some private companies are trying to help. The AP article is about one such company.

The AP says:

"For plant workers, purging the nation's waterways of carp that muscle out native fish for food and habitat isn't about balancing nature. It's strictly about making money."

OK, I see that as a derogatory judgment. Am I the only one?

It appears to my jaundiced eye that the AP would rather the plant workers "balanced nature" out of the goodness of their hearts, without having to dirty the process by "making money."

"Making money" in a voluntary transaction is a good thing. It means you are providing a service or product to someone. It means someone would rather give you money for something than keep that money. It means both parties to the transaction are better off after the transaction than before it.

"Making money" via mutually agreeable transactions should never be mocked or belittled. It should be praised and exalted.

... and the balance of nature will return.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Random notes on the Broncos' first practice game of 2014

The Broncos are having a practice game tonight at The Field Formerly Known as Invesco. In high school and college, these events are called “scrimmages.” They usually do not require admission. The NFL, however, charges full price for practice games.

This, however, gives season ticket holders an opportunity to give their friends and associates free tickets without having to give up a ticket for a game that matters.

===
Warren Moon, former Seahawk QB and current broadcaster, noted that the last time these two teams played was in the Super Bowl. He noted this game isn’t as important.

Thank you, Warren.

This game is meaningless.
======

Watching the players in pregame warmups, some of them have long hair. I have to ask: When do braids turn into dreadlocks? That hair looks very high maintenance.

===

Ron Zappolo and John Lynch will be providing the game coverage.

As Peyton Manning took the field, Zappolo said “Peyton, as always, takes the field as the quarterback.”

As always? I don’t think he’s always been the QB. I’m pretty sure his boss, John Elway, played the position for a bit.

====

The backups play like the game matters, because for their career it does.

The same goes for the television crew. They discuss the “Keys to the Game” for each team as if winning matters in a practice game. The real “Keys to the Game” are 1) Keeping Peyton’s jersey clean during the ten minutes he plays. Well, there isn’t really another key.

=====
Bronco running back Ronnie Hillman has touched the ball 4 times. He has not fumbled yet. This is a good sign.

There have been more flags on the field than at a high school semaphore practice.

====

Beaujo’s is advertising “gluten free pizza.” Is that like fat free bacon? Joyless sex? Loveless marriage? Sure they exist, but why do want to advertise it?

=======

Hillman scores the first touchdown of the game, a one yard blast up the middle. Most importantly, he still hasn’t dropped the ball. This is good.

======
Little known fact: the two guys in the Sonic commercials are in a civil union.

======
….and with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter, Peyton’s work is done here.

Now we have a lightning delay. Players go to the locker room. The fans don't move. Do coastal teams hide in the locker room when a shark is sighted off the beach? Because the risk is similar.

=======

Instead of asking Ron and John to kill time for half an hour or so, lets go to an Andy Griffith rerun.

John said said something to the effect that as much as Seattle dominated Denver in the Super Bowl, Denver is dominating this game. Ouch. I know you are killing time but that’s just embarrassing, John. Please, send us to Mayberry

====
At least the director is pointing out hot chicks in stands during the delay. That is better than Aunt Bea.

====
This delay is a transparent ploy to sell more gluten free pizza. And meatless sausage. And non-alcoholic beer.

===
Now we have a commercial for the state run lottery. Ah, the state run lottery: Instead of putting folks in jail for running numbers, the state figured out it could take over the racket and force the private business out and run it as monopoly. You know, like good gangsters.

====
Much to the relief of Ron and John, they will not have to kill 30 any more time. Instead, we get a weather report from Kathy Sabine back in the studio.

======

After a 45 minute delay because we are scared of our shadows, the practice game resumes.

The first quarter comes to an end with the Broncos leading 7-0. The lightning, however, is the real winner. And beer sales. Surely beer sales spiked.

At some point after the lightning delay but before halftime, and after about 37 penalties, the Seahawks scored to tie the game.

=====
The NFL thinks extra point kicks are too easy. They are experimenting with moving them back and making them longer. I say leave them where they are and don’t allow a holder. Make the kicker dropkick it. That will add some doubt and excitement to the situation.

=======

Since we had a 45 minute delay for baseless fear already, can we just forgo the halftime?

Seattle takes a 10-7 lead just before the half, because their kicker is wearing two different shoes.

=========
For the second half, we’ll be entertained by gentlemen who will return to stocking shelves next weekend.
========
On the final play of the third quarter, backup QB Brock Osweiler throws a horrendous interception deep in Broncos territory. Denver fans pray Peyton Manning never gets hurt. Broncos backup defense holds the ‘hawks to three. Seattle takes 16-14 lead.

With 7:22 remaining, Osweiler redeems himself with a nice 35 yard TD pass. Denver retakes the lead 21-16.

=======
With just over 2:30 left in the game, Seattle faces a 3rd and goal for the go-ahead score. Bronco linebacker Steven Johnson intercepts a pass in the end zone and takes it out past the 20. If this game had any significance, that would have been exciting.

=======

And practice is over. The Broncos avenge their butt whipping in the Super Bowl. Except that was the Super Bowl and this was a practice.

====

The Broncos have another practice game on August 17 at San Francisco.

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)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/24/why-gary-johnson-could-cost-obama-or-romney-win-in-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)

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_21900420/libertarian-gary-johnsons-impact-colorado-likely-negligible

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)

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/08/libertarian-robert-sarvis-drew-record-high-votes-in-virginia.html


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)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/06/mcauliffe-wins-virginia-governor-race/

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)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/11/07/robert-sarvis-didnt-cost-ken-cuccinelli-the-virginia-governors-race/

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."

=

X


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.