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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why McInnis might ask you to vote for Maes this weekend.

The Colorado GOP State Assembly is this weekend.

Any candidate (that chooses to participate in the assembly) that gets 30% or more of the vote will make the primary ballot.

If a candidate does not participate, the candidate may gather signatures to make the primary ballot. For instance, U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton is not participating in the assembly for strategic reasons. Her primary rival, Ken Buck, is participating. Both will be on the primary ballot.

The Governor's race, however, presents an interesting strategic choice. GOP establishment candidate Scott McInnis is by far the favorite to win the nomination and take on Democrat John Hickenlooper. However, he faces two challengers. Only one, Dan Maes, is participating in the assembly. If Maes doesn't get 30% of the vote, he is done.

Joe Gschwendter, a relative latecomer to the race, will not participate in the assembly but will petition on to the primary ballot. Gschwendter, according to sources, has far more campaign money than Maes and might raise enough to put up a reasonable effort against McInnis.

Both Gschwendter and Maes position themselves as anti-establishment candidates. They hope to ride the current anti-establishment wave to victory over McInnis.

This presents an interesting strategic question for McInnis:

Would he be better off in a head-to-head matchup with Gschwendter or in a three way race that includes Maes?

I submit the answer is clear. In a head-to-head race, all the anti-establishment vote will be consolidated against McInnis. McInnis would still be the favorite, but he will want to avoid consolidated opposition if he can. His chances for success go up if the anti-establishment vote is split between between Gschwendter and Maes.

McInnis WANTS Maes on the primary ballot.

Therefore, what if the McInnis vote counters determine Maes is just shy of 30% at the assembly? Would it not make strategic sense for McInnis to have some of his delegates switch their votes to Maes to insure a three-way race?

Makes sense to me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Scott Brown, Big Government Republicans, third parties and "winning"

Scott Brown is a great example of the lunacy of our two party system.

Brown is the newest GOP hero for winning Ted Kennedy's senate seat. He was nigh on canonized by Republicans for his victory.

Those of us when some sense of perspective realized Brown was a major player in the socialization of Massachusetts health care and did not join in on the canonization.

As a U.S. Senator, he voted for Obama's Keynesian "jobs bill." As of tonight, he has now voted against the "Audit the Fed" bill. You are what your record says you are.

The newest GOP poster boy has demonstrated that he is just another Big Government Republican Statist. He fits right in with the last GOP nominee for President, John McCain. He fits right in with the last GOP governor of Colorado, Ref C cheerleader Bill Owens.

I know, I know, my Republican friends will retort, "but Brown is so much better than any Democrat!"


Driving into a tree at 90 miles per hour is better than running into a tree at 100 miles per hour. The result is the same. There certainly is no sense in cheering the 90 mph collision. There is less sense in hoping for it. There is even less sense in actively praising it.

Our two party duopoly makes otherwise intelligent small-government minded people praise the likes of Scott Brown. It is an absurdity.

My good GOP friends will say that Libertarians have no chance of winning, so they must vote for Republicans, regardless of how statist the Republican is. This is an interesting play on words. Their definition of "winning" includes "losing." For example, Republicans could have "won" the election if McCain defeated Obama. Of course, this "victory" would have been a huge defeat for freedom.

Hence, some Republicans define "winning" to include "losing." It's a neat trick.

Regarding the compulsive desire for Republicans to "win," Michael Bednarik had a great analogy. He said:
If you were in prison and faced a 50% chance of death by lethal injection, a 45% chance of the electric chair, and a 5% chance of escape, would you vote for lethal injection because it meant you where more likely to win?
Winning an election means nothing if it includes losing your principles. Now, I know lots of principled Republicans, including my dad. They exist in no small number. But that number is insufficient to actually elect a significant number of small government candidates under the GOP banner. The GOP is what its record says it is.

A third way, however, is not impossible. Notwithstanding significant differences in the voting system, the recent UK elections have demonstrated it.

While I have no praise for the policies of the United Kingdom's Liberal Democrats, I have tremendous praise for their success as a third party in their most recent national election.

Nick Clegg, the LibDems' leader, did not work within the Labour Party to make change. His principles did not allow it. For that, I admire him and all those Britons that voted for the third party. To quote El Presidente, "supporting party before principle does a disservice to both."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thomas Hobbes is alive and well - the benevolent monarch must control the serfs!

Statists have an incredibly poor view of mankind. They believe that the government must control the people from their basest instincts. They believe that if left to their own devices, they will rob, steal, rape and murder. They believe people must be controlled.

They fear freedom.

Jill Moring, of Pueblo West, demonstrates this belief in her letter to the editor of the Denver Post today.

She writes,

The Colorado State University Board of Governors is now allowing guns on campus. I would not want to be the faculty member who has to tell the student with a gun in his backpack, “No, there is no way you can pass this course, and no, you will not graduate this year.”

Wow. Ms. Moring believes that people are so base, so mean, so nasty and so brutish, that a college student would shoot her professor for bad grades.

It is no wonder statists fear freedom. They believe people are evil and must be controlled.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

At least 250,000 people in the way of progress

According to David Gergen,

"...The Economist estimates that the federal government now employs a quarter of a million people to write and enforce regulations."

We would be better served if we paid those people to stay at home. At least they would not be impeding those actually producing things.

David Gergen perpetuates a big lie

In today's version of Parade Magazine, presidential advisor David Gergen tells an outright lie. In the article "How much government?" he describes the creation of Social Security thusly:

FDR, ever the master, came up with an ingenious solution: create a program in which Americans would be asked to contribute to a social savings account that government would manage on their behalf and would be there for retirement. Instead of big government, it was to be a partnership that would encourage individual thrift and responsibility. Thus was born Social Security.

Gergen knows there is no "savings account." Gergen knows the government does not "manage" the money. These are outright lies that have sold to the American people since FDR made the proposal. Social Security is a tax that redistributes money from the working young to the retired elderly. To pretend otherwise is a fantasy.

The newspeak alone is amazing. He says that "Americans would be asked to contribute." No one has ever been asked to contribute. Ever. Government forcibly takes the money out of paychecks. You are not asked.

He refers to social security as a "partnership." Partnerships, by law, are voluntary. Social security does not qualify.

He says social security "would encourage individual thrift and responsibility." It has done the opposite. It discourages thrift and responsibility because the government promises to take care of those that "contribute."No need to be thrifty. The government is "managing" your money in an "account" somewhere.

Social security is a Ponzi scheme, with current "contributors" being taxed more and more to pay off the older "contributors." Like all such schemes, it will collapse.

We have been suckered. We have been - and are - being lied to. The sooner the collapse comes, the better off we will all be. The sooner the collapse comes, the sooner we can start rebuilding.

I heart the UK's Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats

The U.K., like the U.S., has been dominated by a two party political system. The U.K., like the U.S., is in an economic mess created by the two parties.

The U.K.'s two traditional parties are the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. (The Brits like to use the letter "u" superfluously.) Out of the wreckage caused by the two parties, a third party has emerged: The Liberal Democrats.

In the recent election over there, the Liberal Democrats obtained sufficient support to keep either of the two major parties from a majority. A coalition must be formed.

Nick Clegg, the leader of the insurgent Liberal Democrats, has a crucial demand to join such a coalition: " a change in the voting system to help smaller parties gain more seats in future parliamentary elections." (See "Electoral Demand Stalls Coalition Deal in Britain.")

Of course, the two traditional major parties oppose any such change. It would loosen their grip on power. And, like in the U.S., the two major U.K. parties are more interested in keeping power than they are in good governance. If there are those in the power parties that actually believe in good governance, they have failed miserably. They present all the more reason for structural change.

Don't let us down, Nick. Fight for structural change.

Is that yellow newsprint?

In the print edition of today's Sunday Denver Post, a front page headline declares:

Plunge washes markets in fear

Methinks this a bit sensationalized. William Randolph Hearst would have been proud. Apparently the online editor agreed, because the electronic version of the same story has a less hysterical headline: "Fear of market instability may aid financial regulation bill."

The thought of politicians and bureaucrats devising financial regulations brings forth an image of cavemen offering sacrifices to the weather gods so the frightening lightning will cease. They don't understand the causes, but that doesn't stop them from doing something.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Mike Rosen v. Ben Franklin on the Arizona immigration law

"I've been asked to show my 'papers' when traveling in foreign countries. Big deal. The upside is that by cracking down on illegals in their state, Arizonans . . . will be protected from trespass and violent crime, and save hundreds of millions of dollars in education, medical, social services and criminal justice spending associated with illegal immigrants. I'd take that tradeoff."

--Mike Rosen, "Arizona is just taking a stand," Denver Post 5/6/10.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

--Ben Franklin.

Part A

Rosen also states in the column that the Arizona law requires that "[t]here must first be behavior and a legitimate law-enforcement incident justifying a stop, detention or arrest." If it did, the law would not be quite as bad.

It does not.

The law requires "a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person" merely upon "any lawful contact by a law enforcement official." Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 11-1051.

If Rosen were correct, the law would require the inquiry to be made "incident to a lawful stop." There is a world of difference between a lawful "stop" and lawful "contact."

The police must have a valid reason to stop someone. The police no need reason to contact you. The Arizona law would kick in upon an officer saying "hello" to you. That is lawful contact.

This may seem like silly word games, but that's what lawyers and judges do: they define words. The words "stop" and "contact" have definitions. Words are chosen based upon those definitions. The Arizona legislature could have required law enforcement to inquire about immigration status "incident to a lawful stop." They deliberately did not. They require it upon any "lawful contact."

That is objectionable.

Part B

At least Rosen hints at the real problem when he notes that illegal immigrants cost "hundreds of millions of dollars in education, medical [and] social services." He is correct.

But this demonstrates that we have less of an illegal immigration problem than we do a giving-away-free-stuff problem. Less free stuff = fewer undocumented aliens. Our government incentivizes illegal immigration by giving away resources to illegal immigrants. The illegal immigrants are the symptom. Free stuff is the problem.

The U.S. must have laws regulating immigration. We cannot allow criminals or terrorists into our country. But every dollar we spend on trying to keep out someone that is simply willing to work and meet American demand for goods and services is a wasted dollar. Not only is the law enforcement dollar wasted, the cost of the good or service the immigrant wishes to provide goes up.

Some of us believe in free markets - including the labor market. A large portion of a our immigration laws exist merely to protect American labor unions from competition - at the expense of the American consumer.

What is the answer to this difficult policy problem? Helen Krieble's Red Card Solution is a good place to start. It is worthy of discussion.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010

This is not a parody.

The State knows where you live. They think you have a nice car and a house. You are its subject. And they will find you if you do not comply.