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Monday, September 28, 2009

Charging for online content?

From the InDenverTimes, "Post's owner to charge for some content at Salt Lake City and others."

Charging for content only insures ain’t nobody gonna read it.

Brilliant.

“We can’t continue to give everything away for free,” says (Dean) Singleton (CEO of MediaNews Group). “When you give it away for free, it has no value. When you begin charging for it, it has some value.”

Patty Calhoun over at Westword might disagree with you. Broadcast networks might disagree with you.

It’s called “advertising.” Sell some.

Bernanke was wrong while Peter Schiff was right

Listen to the Austrian economists ... http://www.mises.org ... self-righteous Keynesians and sanctimonious social engineers are not just wrong, they are counter-productive to what they assert they want: prosperity.

Redpath on the German election and election reform

William Redpath, National Chairman of the Libertarian Party, wrote:

As many of you know, electoral reform is a topic on which I have been working for the last fifteen years.

There was an election in Germany yesterday for the German national legislature, The Bundestag. In Germany, a Mixed Member Proportional system is used to seat the legislature. In a mixed member proportional system, each voter casts two ballots, one for a single winner district (a/k/a “Constituency”) election like we have in the United States, and on the other ballot, they cast a vote for their favorite political party. The results from both elections are used to fill the legislature’s seats.

Among the parties that ran for seats in The Bundestag yesterday was the Free Democratic Party (FDP), which is the most libertarian of Germany’s political parties. The results of the election are in the link to the German Federal Election 2009 below. In the single winner district elections, the FDP received 9.4% of the total vote cast but won zero single winner district elections. Sound familiar?

In the Party List vote, the FDP was selected by 14.6% of voters as their favorite political party. As a result, the FDP will have 93 seats in the next legislative session, which is 15.0% of seats in The Bundestag. This is an increase from 61 seats in the last session. The seat percentage is higher than the vote percentage because, in Germany, parties that receive less than 2% of the Party List vote receive no seats in the legislature. The actual individuals to fill the FDP’s seats will be appointed by the FDP.

Instead of having zero seats in the legislature, which is what the FDP would have received using the voting system we use in the United States, the FDP will be the third most powerful party in The Bundestag, among the six parties that will have seats.

Bill Redpath

LNC Chair


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Democratic_Party_(Germany)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_member_proportional_representation

http://www.fairvote.org/?page=2046

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prominent State Democrat endorses Romanoff for Senate

State Senator Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) just sent an email out to her subscribers endorsing former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff in his primary bid for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet.

Bennet may have the national support (and money), but Romanoff's local support is impressive.

Senator Carroll's email:

============================================


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr.


I am writing to you today to let you know that I am proud to endorse Andrew Romanoff in the race for United States Senate. Some of you know that I had the honor of serving with Speaker Andrew Romanoff for 4 years in the Colorado House.

Andrew has worked tirelessly to deliver our state from the brink of bankruptcy (Ref C), to repair and replace aging school buildings in Colorado (BEST), to give remedy to patients who have had health care claims wrongly delayed or denied. He has been firm on the side of civil, constitutional and human rights at every turn.

Even in some of the hardest and most controversial times, Andrew insisted on human decency and courtesy and could diffuse even the most explosive situations with his wit and focus on substance.

Andrew is a dedicated public servant who has an exceptional grasp of a wide range of public policy issues and an unparalleled ability to work with others to get important problems solved. I think he has the right vision for the future of Colorado and the right leadership skills to get us there.

Primaries can be difficult. Sen. Michael Bennet is also a very smart and committed public servant. Colorado would be well represented with either of these men in the Senate.

To serve with Andrew is to see him in action. I feel honored to have served with someone who is so capable of putting the public interest above all else. We need those skills now more than ever.

If you feel as I do, please consider donating to or volunteering for Andrew by visiting: http://www.andrewromanoff.com/.

Yours truly,

Morgan Carroll

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Soulless functionaries" and your health.

In her Sunday Denver Post column, "Uncool to ticket a dead man," Susan Greene bemoans the "soulless functionaries" in the bureaucracy that have harassed a widow over her deceased husband's failure to renew his car registration. Ms. Greene is absolutely correct to bemoan the state's conduct.

The "soulless functionaries" of the state are not supposed to think critically. They follow the rules. They enforce the regulations. They shuffle the paper. They are not required to think about it. Indeed, they are discouraged from thinking about it. If they thought about their conduct, they would apply the rules one way under one set of circumstances and another way under a different set. They would have discretion.

"Soulless functionaries" with discretion would result in disparate treatment. For instance, a dead man's widow would be treated differently than a scofflaw deliberately ignoring the requirement to keep his car registration current. The state can not have that. It requires thinking.

Greene's "soulless functionaries" are not limited to just one area of government. They permeate it. Many, however, fail to understand this.

Those that believe the government should take over health care fail to make the connection that it is these same "soulless functionaries" that will be shuffling the paper for your medical needs. They will have no discretion. They will not be allowed to think.

They will follow the rules. They will enforce the regulations. They will shuffle the paper. They will function without souls. And they will do it in triplicate.

Does it not defy logic to think that these "soulless functionaries" will be kept out of the health care bureauracy? That somehow benevolent angels will replace them? Where will these angels come from and why are not they already in government?

How is it that some have the ability to recognize that the inherent culture of government necessarily creates soulless functionaries, but somehow think it possible that the culture will be different in a separate wing of the same government building?

"Does Obama lie?"

An excellent column by the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer

An excerpt:

Obama said he would largely solve the insoluble cost problem of Obamacare by eliminating "hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud" from Medicare.


That's not a lie. Th
at's not even deception. That's just an insult to our intelligence.

.

From our friends at Downsize DC

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h


Share this message with friends: http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/another-success-milestone-for-audit-the-fed

Quote of the Day: "Economists used to worry about government using up the nation’s savings. But now Americans have no more savings to use. Still, the nation that can’t save a dime sets out to save the entire planet." -- Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin, Empire of Debt, pg 35.

Subject: Another success milestone for Audit the Fed

DC Downsizers have joined with many thousands of Americans to ask members of Congress to co-sponsor Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill. Your pressure worked! The legislation now has 27 co-sponsors in the Senate and 290 in the House (that's 2/3rds of the House!).

That should have been enough to spark committee hearings, and perhaps even an expedited vote, but Congressional leaders didn't want either thing to happen, so . . .

In early August we asked DC Downsizers to call the House Finance Committee Chair, Barney Frank (D-MA), and its Ranking Member, Spencer Bachus (R-AL) to ask for hearings on the Audit the Fed bill. Many of you did that, and guess what?

The House Finance Committee will hold hearings on the Audit the Fed bill this Friday at 9AM. You'll be able to monitor the proceedings here.

Once we know what happens at these hearings we can decide what to do next. Meanwhile . . .

President Obama is seeking expanded regulatory power for the Fed.

This must not be permitted.

It's bad enough when Congress allows the Executive Branch bureaucracy to write regulations that have the force of law, but at least we can hold both the President and the Congress accountable for what the bureaucracy does. However . . .

The Fed is an independent institution accountable to no one. In fact, without an audit, we're not even allowed to know what the Fed is doing with many of the powers and resources it already has.

* Let's use our "Tell Congress to Cut Red Tape" campaign to fight expanded regulatory powers for the Fed.
* Send a letter to Congress using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.
* Use your personal comments to say you oppose President Obama's plan to give the Federal Reserve expanded regulatory powers.
* You can send your letter here.

Congratulations. Your pressure keeps working, so keep doing it!

Thanks for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. To see how fast your Army is growing please check out the Keeping Score report below my signature.

Jim Babka, President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

KEEPING SCORE REPORT

Your Downsize DC Army grew by 32 net new members yesterday. This brings our total growth for the year to 3,883. The Downsize DC Army now stands at 28,229, nearly 23% of the way between 28,000 and 29,000.

YOU can make the army KEEP GROWING by following our quick and easy instructions for personalized recruiting.

We can also grow faster by spreading the word through the media. Please help us do this by starting a monthly credit card pledge -- it can be as low as $5 a month (which is just 17 cents per day). You can start your pledge using our secure online contribution form.

Please let us know if its okay to advertise your support here:

NEW MONTHLY PLEDGERS IN SEPTEMBER: James Spaller, John Houghton, Poul Petersen, Mark Wilczek, Mann Page Ciesemier, Leslie Thomas-Rieser, Jim Lorenz, Chelsea Moller, 3 unlisted -- (11 new pledgers total) PLEDGERS FROM AUGUST: Glen Ihrig, Gary J Leidy, David Bergland, Gary T Gorski, Don J Crites, 8 unlisted -- (13 new pledgers total)

Or, you could make a one-time donation. Please let us know on our secure contribution form if its okay to advertise your support here:

NEW ONE TIME DONORS IN SEPTEMBER: Pamela Sanderson, Brad Peters, Michael Lord, David D Segesta, John O'Donnell, Robert C. Jones, Jr., A.J. Stukenborg, Nathan Bailey, 3 unlisted -- (11 new donations total) DONORS FROM AUGUST: Sharon Mears, John Matthews, Patricia Barnum, Brian Travis, Sarah Franke, Dirk Doebereiner, James Wahler, Meredith Weaver, Stephen Moffett, Matthew Whitlock, Dan Litwin, Russell Kominski, Veronica Arnold, Michael Bayback, Ann & Todd Secoy (in memory of Julia Bitner), James Marranca, Kay Samalin, David Hyatt, Douglas Steinschneider, Lily Riker, Nicholas C. Beason, Mr. Marlin, Edward J. Krieger, Lynnette Thompson, 17 unlisted -- (41 total)

If a tax deduction is important you can get one by contributing to the educational outreach efforts of the Downsize DC Foundation. Contribute at the Foundation's secure contribution form.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Moral obligation?

According to the Denver Daily News, Denver City Councilwoman Judy Montero does not want to see a library in her district close. Mayor John Hickenlooper plans on closing the library in response to the city's budget shortfall.

Montero, however, believes that “It’s our moral obligation as a city to keep the library open. It’s the heart and soul of the community.”

I suggest Ms. Montero start taking up a collection if she wishes to keep the library open. Of course, politely asking for funds is so much more difficult than just spending taxpayer money.

If one has to ask, the answer might be "no." Taxpayers do not have that option. When one is pursuing a "moral obligation," one can not be bothered to ask permission for funding. Asking is such a nuisance.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Movie critic slam of the day...

"Drinking massive amounts of coffee before seeing Jennifer's Body might make it more bearable since frequent trips to the bathroom will break up the monotony."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Republicans do not believe in free markets, either.

Libertarian Party

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 10, 2009

Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
E-mail: wes.benedict@lp.org
Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222


Libertarians respond to President Obama's health care speech
Remind voters about Republican-initiated government-run health care plans

WASHINGTON - In the wake of President Obama's speech to Congress, America's third-largest party wants to remind voters about Republican support for government-run health care plans.

William Redpath, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) commented, "Make no mistake, the Libertarian Party is opposed to President Obama's health care plans, and his speech last night has not budged us. But we also opposed Republican plans for big-government health care, many of which have been implemented in recent years."

In 2003, President Bush and the Republican Congress enacted a Medicare prescription drug expansion. It was originally expected to cost $400 billion, but just two years later the cost was revised upward to $1.2 trillion.

In 2006, Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney supported and signed a bill that required all residents to purchase health insurance, and increased state health insurance funding.

In 2007, Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order to force sixth-grade schoolgirls to receive HPV vaccinations.

This year, congressional Republicans put forward the "Patients' Choice Act of 2009," which would increase federal government spending and control of health care in a variety of ways.

The Libertarian Party has put a poll on on its home page to allow voters to choose which Republican plan is the most hypocritical.

Redpath said, "Republicans are living in glass houses when they complain about the President's health care plans and the bills in the Democratic-controlled Congress."

Redpath continued, "It's time for President Obama to be intellectually honest, himself, and to stop inferring that his ideas of health care reform are the only ones out there. With neither of the major parties is there any serious discussion about letting individuals control their own health care dollars, moving away from employer-provided health insurance, and increasing competition among insurance companies by letting people purchase health insurance across state lines and among providers by taking a good, long look at medical education and licensure laws to allow potential providers to freely respond to health consumers' needs."

Redpath continued, "But, before the President and the Gang of 535 even do that, it would be refreshing to at least hear them debate whether the federal government is empowered to be in the middle of all of this. An honest reading of the Constitution might stimulate the right move -- punting this to the states and the people."

The Libertarian Party favors a free market health care system. The party's platform states, "We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions."

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LNC executive director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

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