Monthly Archives: June 2009

Barbara Boxer is the One Who Needs the Etiquette Lessons

This behavior on the part of Barbara Boxer* would be appalling if the comments were directed at a regular citizen at a town hall meeting much less a decorated general in a Senate hearing! She “worked so hard” to earn this title? What did she have to do to “earn” this title vs. what General Walsh had to do to earn his?

This woman isn’t even worthy of shining the general’s shoes. What a bitch.

» Read more

Liberty Rock Friday: Death Before Dishonor by Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch
“Death Before Dishonor”
The Way of the Fist (2007)

Written by Garamszegi, Zoltan; Greening, Ivan Lewis; Heyde, Jeremy Spencer
5finger
[V1:]
To the haters, the takers, the liars, all the vultures and the bottom feeding scum
The FCC, the FBI and every tin god with a badge and a gun
You talk and talk, you preach and bitch but your words don’t mean a thing
You get what you give, you give what you get
Just the way it’s always been

[Chorus:]
I choose death before dishonor
I’d rather die than live down on my knees
Bury me like a soldier, with my dignity!

[V2:]
You imitate the ostracized, put your head beneath the sand
Your cup it runneth over, must be rough to live so grand
You reap what you sew, you pay what you owe unless you bathe yourself in greed
You rob and you take, your world is fake
There’s no honor amongst the thieves

[Chorus:]
I choose death before dishonor
I’d rather die than live down on my knees
Bury me like a soldier, with my dignity!

[Pre-Chorus:]
Fuck!
You’re self righteous, self pretentious
Your ways are not for me
You’re deluded, so confused
Your world is not for me

[Chorus:]
I choose death before dishonor
I’d rather die than live down on my knees
Bury me like a soldier…

Bury me! (Bury me!)
Bury me! (Bury me!)
Bury me!

With my dignity!

It’s time for ABC News to put a libertarian in the White House

On June 24th, to be specific. And the obvious libertarian’s name is John Stossel.

For those not following the story, ABC News has announced the following:

Next Wednesday June 24 at 10pmET Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer will moderate what ABC News calls “a primetime conversation” with President Obama about the future of U.S. health care.

During the discussion from the East Room, President Obama will answer questions from an audience made up of Americans selected by ABC News. ABC’s medical editor Dr. Timothy Johnson will also take part.

“Good Morning America” and “World News” will originate from the White House next Wednesday and the conversation will continue later on Nightline.

This has prompted criticism from the Republican National Committee.

“Today, the Republican National Committee requested an opportunity to add our Party’s views to those of the President’s to ensure that all sides of the health care reform debate are presented,” responded Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay. “Our request was rejected. I believe that the President should have the ability to speak directly to the America people. However, I find it outrageous that ABC would prohibit our Party’s opposing thoughts and ideas from this national debate, which affects millions of ABC viewers.

A couple of days ago, I made the case that ABC should consider adding John Stossel to the lineup. Today, Michelle Malkin and Allahpundit jumped on board the same bandwagon. Malkin:

ABC News says it welcomes “thoughtful” and “diverse” voices on its White House health care special.

Why not include ABC 20/20 anchor John Stossel? I have confirmed that he has not been asked to be a part of the programming.

Why not?

When it comes to thoughtful and diverse perspectives on freedom, government, and the marketplace, no one matches Stossel.

Allahpundit asked: “Michelle: Will libertarian John Stossel be part of ABC’s Obama infomercial?”  His answer: “Good question, especially given his history of covering the issue. The answer, I’m guessing, is no, since ABC seems intent on excluding representatives of alternative viewpoints even if lip service ends up being paid to those viewpoints in the questions that are asked of The One.”

In addition to McKay, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is having a conniption fit.

“The liberal special interests have clearly learned from their missteps the last time they tried to force Americans into a socialized health care system — the abysmal failure of the Clinton Administration’s ‘HillaryCare,’” Steele wrote. “That’s why their friends at ABC News will be promoting Obamacare at virtually every opportunity, from ‘Good Morning America’ to ‘Nightline,’ and reach from ABC News’ websites all the way to the White House’s East Room.”

In my article, one of the reasons I suggested that a libertarian should be engaged in the debate is that Republican leaders have lost any credibility on the issue.

For starters, I agree with ABC’s position that Republican Party leadership should not be engaged in the debate, albeit for a different reason. The Republican leadership recently lobbied for and supported the largest government intervention into the health care marketplace with Medicare Part D.  They aren’t qualified to act as the spokepersons for the opposition.  Like a pack of hyenas battling over a dead carcass, one could easily argue that GOP leaders — along with the AMA, pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry  — wish to engage in the debate to ensure they get their proper share of the spoils.

In another example, Karl Rove just “used an example of socialized medicine he helped to promote to illustrate why Democratic socialized medicine is bad, but Republican socialized medicine is good.”  Additionally, senior Republicans are more concerned about quibbling over the details and making adjustments to their speaking points than for making arguments based on principles. Senior Republicans seem happy with ObamaCare Lite, so long their preferred benefactors are the ones who get the benefit of the taxpayers’ dollar.

When libertarians take to the stage, they are typically critical of both major parties. Just from recent television appearances of writers on this site, Jason Pye told Neil Cavuto that he rejects the notion that there may be no groundswell of popular support at recent Tea Parties. “I think, honestly, that conservatives and Republicans were thrown out of office because they forgot their values,” said Pye. “They forgot what they believed in.”

“Newt Gingrich could be one of these two tea bags, because he likes his tea bags sweetened, let’s say, with TARP funding,” I recently stated on the Rachel Maddow Show.  “And this other one could be Mike Huckabee.  We call him Tax Hike Mike in my circles because he likes his tea bag with tax increases.

Additionally, Stossel is on top of his game when it comes to health care reform. After I asked Stossel an ObamaCare question on this program, Judge Andrew Napolitano responded: “Your argument is so logical. It’s pure Economics 101.”

The way I see it, ABC News can make one of three choices right now:

  1. They can continue on their current path and receive a considerable amount of just criticism for some time to come.
  2. They can provide a balance of ObamaCare and ObamaCare Lite by including senior GOP leaders.  As their lack of new and alternative ideas has already caused voters to reject them in 2006 and 2008, this seems a fairly moronic idea.
  3. They could throw in the only real and the only principled opposition to ObamaCare by including libertarians in the debate.

On June 25th, we’ll all know just how serious ABC News is about “looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue.”

Quote Of The Day — A Restatement

From QandO, in a full of QandO:

One thing to keep in mind as you listen to all of these proponents tell you that government can do health care better than the private sector – The private sector is a net producer of wealth. The government sector is a net consumer of wealth. That’s why the more of the economy a government takes over the less wealth is available within the economy.

Very good, but too simple. Restate:

The private sector offers services in trade for dollars to earn profit.
The government seizes money to impose services that indenture voters.

It’s not about production/consumption of wealth. It’s competition vs. compulsion. It’s about control.

It’s Time to Impeach Obama

It’s time to impeach Obama; indict him, and his entire administration, for fraud, coercion, extortion, influence peddling, and grand theft under the color of law, amongst hundreds of other charges.

It is not simply the auto issue; but that is currently the most visible.

This is no hyperbole. I am not simply spouting off. I believe, and will from this point forward, work to see, Barack Obama impeached, charged, indicted, tried, and imprisoned, for the crimes he and his cronies have committed against this nation, and its people.

Also, let me make this clear: This is NOT about politics, or at least not about political ideology. I believe that everyone, left, right, libertarian, or indifferent to ideology; should see what Obama and his administration are doing, and understand the damage it is doing, and will do, to this country.

We cannot allow our nation to become a nation of men. We MUST remain a nation of laws.

At this point, Obama, and his administration, aren’t even bothering to PRETEND to obey the law, or the constitution. They have embarked on a campaign of theft and fraud never seen before in the history of man kind; knowing that they had the full cover of the media protecting them, a friendly congress, and a co-operative judiciary.

They are in clear violation of the constitution, and hundreds if not thousands, of state and federal laws; blatantly and knowingly flouting them in fact, because, in Obamas words, “We won”.

Well, I’m sorry sir, for now at least, we are still a nation of laws; and you must be brought to account.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Quote Of The Day

Krugman, in 2002:

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble.

Krugman said then that we needed to reinflate the bubble to save ourselves. We did, and we didn’t.

Now he says it’s time for Keynesian stimulus far bigger than what we’ve already done. He’s just as wrong as he was then.

Hat Tip: TJIC

In defense of rhetoric…

In response to Brad’s post below, he fails to point out that the Obama Administration and Congress, with its seemingly (though not literally) infinite wealth, pushed the stimulus bill through with the explicit purpose of creating jobs and even presented the public with a graph showing unemployment with and without (pg. 5) the passage of the bill. Of course, those of us here at TLP and other likeminded blogs knew that the stimulus bill would be a failure and could possibly lead to more unemployment, if not immediately then definitely over the long term.

This isn’t a corporation building a skyscraper, it is the government errantly pouring $700+ billion into the economy, ostensibly taking money away from future generations to invest and create jobs. There is a difference between actual investment, such as a private corporation expanding, and waste, which is the very definition of government spending.

The Obama Administration absurdly claims that the stimulus bill has created 150,000 jobs. They offer no evidence to back up the claim, when in fact the economy has lost around 2.8 million jobs since the beginning of the year. It’s a win-win for Obama because, as Steve Chapman recently pointed out at Reason, the administration and majority in Congress can claim that the stimulus wasn’t big enough if the economy fails to recover or he can take credit for any rebound we may see.

I’m tired of Obama pulling everything he says out of thin air with absolutely nothing to show for it. Whatever the amount spent per job, and of course the costs of raw materials are included, it’s much more substantive that anything the Obama Administration has used a talking point for pissing away our future.

Was it a rhetorical point? Absolutely. I make no apologies for it.

$3 Bazillion Spent & 3 Jobs Created. That’s A Bazillion Per Job! OMG!!

First, let me state categorically that I don’t believe government statistics. When they talk about $X Billions of dollars spent and Y00,000 numbers of jobs created, it’s clearly BS. The government rarely knows (or cares) how much of allocated money is actually spent until they’ve run out, and I think we all know that the job count is inflated in any statistically possible way to make themselves look better.

But I just can’t get over the analysis (and sorry Jason, such as this post) that simply divide the number of billions of dollars of stimulus money spent by the number of jobs to come up with a “per job” cost. In this case it was $746K “per job”.

There’s an implicit charge there, suggesting that if you spend $746K “per job”, it’s a complete and total waste of money. The charge, of course, is that the labor cost is the “per job” amount — or should be if it weren’t “squandered”.

And let’s also be clear. I’m not suggesting this money was spent well or efficiently. But that’s not the point.

Let’s say, for example, that a multinational company wants to build a skyscraper. And building that bridge required hiring a general contractor who farms work out to a bunch of subcontractors who employ in total 1,000 workers on the building. The construction cost of the building was $1 Billion. You could easily suggest that the cost of the project was $1 Million per job. But would that matter in any way, shape, or form? Not only does it not really account for the capital costs of all the equipment — cranes, trucks, tools, etc that those workers must use, it doesn’t account for the capital costs of the building materials themselves!

If I want to build a skyscraper, the vast majority of the cost is for the steel, drywall, wiring, piping, elevators, etc — materials. The cost of the workers is a slight fraction of the total. Likewise, if the government wants to build a bridge, or construct 15 miles of freeway, or engage in pretty much any other infrastructure spending, far more money will be spent on materials than on actual workers.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to defend the stimulus. I’m not trying to defend the government’s numbers on job creation (because, of course, borrowing the money they needed to pay for the project may have crowded out actual productive enterprises that could offset those “created” jobs). But simply dividing spending by # of jobs to come up with some arbitrary (and absurdly high) “per job” cost is a cheap rhetorical device. It might sound great on Rush Limbaugh’s show or whip up outrage amongst people who don’t know better, but it certainly isn’t a serious analysis of the policy.

Obama’s disdain for free speech

According to Drudge, President Obama plans to take a bigger step closer to totalitarianism regarding the separation of the media and the state.

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care — a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special — ‘Prescription for America’ — originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

Of course, ABC promises to keep the coverage fair and balanced.

I sort of welcome this move, as it provides some the transparency Obama promised. If the mainstream media is to be Obama’s propaganda team, why not move their offices over to the White House?

However, Obama doesn’t treat the free speech rights of those he doesn’t like in the same manner.  Obama seems poised to sign a bill which will further erode the rights of tobacco companies to advertise:

The marketing and advertising restrictions in the tobacco law that Congress passed last week are likely to be challenged in court on free-speech grounds, but supporters of the legislation say they carefully drafted the law to comply with the First Amendment.

The law’s ban on outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds would effectively outlaw legal advertising in many cities, critics of the prohibition said. And restricting stores and many forms of print advertising to black-and-white text, as the law specifies, would interfere with legitimate communication to adults, tobacco companies and advertising groups said in letters to Congress. [snip]

Opponents of the new strictures, including the Association of National Advertisers and the American Civil Liberties Union, predict that federal courts will throw out the new marketing restrictions. They point to a 2001 Supreme Court decision that struck down a Massachusetts rule imposing a similar ban on advertising within 1,000 feet of schools.

“Anybody looking at this in a fair way would say the effort here is not just to protect kids, which is a substantial interest of the country, but to make it virtually impossible to communicate with anybody,” said Daniel Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers. “We think this creates very serious problems for the First Amendment.” [snip]

“The bill has been carefully drafted, and I am confident that the provisions will be upheld,” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a sponsor of the legislation, said in a statement Monday.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an advocacy group that pushed for the law, said: “Frankly, the tobacco industry and the advertising industry have never heard of an advertising restriction that they thought was constitutional. In this case, great care was taken to permit black-and-white text advertising that permits them to communicate whatever truthful information they have.”

While Obama continues to destroy our economy, wreck the automobile industry and put our health care system on life support, he’s now taking swipes at the First Amendment.

Obamacare roundup

As I’m in the middle of writing an article regarding President Obama’s health care scheme, I thought I’d check around and see what other folks are saying about it.  I started with my wife, as she’s not only smarter than me, but also a practicing physician.  Obama told members of the AMA the following:

That is why I will listen to you and work with you to pursue reform that works for you. And together, if we take all these steps, we can bring spending down, bring quality up, and save hundreds of billions of dollars on health care costs while making our health care system work better for patients and doctors alike.

My wife’s response: “If Obama is truly serious about listening to doctors, this one says that he needs to leave my patients and me alone.”

Megan McArdle: “And what about the government’s infamous ability to wrestle new savings out of ‘providers’?  They are large, but they are not unlimited.  Medicaid patients find it very difficult to get doctors to take them, since the doctors tend to lose money on their care.  (I’ve heard persuasive arguments that ‘Medicaid mills’ adept at fraud are integral to providing care to the poor–without the fraud, Medicaid doesn’t reimbursements won’t cover the bill.)  Medicare patients are starting to have the same problem.”

Jason Pye:  “President Obama says that the country will go broke unless he can borrow and spend up to $2 trillion to ‘reform’ our health care system, comparing the future of the country to Government General Motors. You’re reading that right, our president claims that unless we spend more money and effectively run private insurers out of business over the course of time, the country will go bankrupt. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?”

Ronald Bailey: After parsing the numbers, it looks as though most the ‘savings’ that President Obama wants to use to finance his health care reforms are achieved by imposing price controls.

David McKalip: “In these circumstances, patients will be subject to a ‘mill’ mentality and treated like numbers that must be entered in a computer to satisfy a functionary sitting in a cubicle somewhere in Washington D.C. A better solution is to empower patients financially to pay doctors for their time. I find that when I look my patient in the eyes and spend 45 minutes with them, they are getting my best care.”

Stephen Green: “The President is promising to save money by eliminating a lot of those seemingly pointless end-of-life treatments. But that’s also going to mean an end to end-of-life profits. And, well, you can bet our life expectancy will get frozen in place as a result.”

Skip Oliva: “You can see why government-controlled health care is so appealing to the Obama regime. It’s hard to resist giving yourself even more power to decide who lives and who dies. There’s nothing more fun than playing God, right?”

NTU blog: “The only effects of nationalizing health care, it seems, would be to raise the age of a woman’s first mammogram, reduce the number of routine screenings she receives throughout her life, and delay the detection of breast cancer beyond the point of easy treatment. How do you justify jeopardizing the health of over 50 percent of the population to expand coverage to the 9 million or so that, according to The Spectator, are those truly uninsured for the long haul? Apparently women’s health doesn’t fall under the category of ‘universal coverage’.”

Ron Paul: “I started medicine when there was no Medicare and no Medicaid. And let me tell you, I don’t remember one time where I saw people out in the streets begging for medical care. Now we do. With managed care and now with socialized medicine coming, believe me, quality will go down. Costs will go up.  There will be shortages, there will be lines — and nobody is going to be happy.”

Grant Babcock: “Underlying the Obama plan is the same hubris that underlies all schemes to take decisions out of the hands of everyday people and instead entrust them to central planners: the belief that the government knows what you need better than you do.”

Robert Stacy McCain: “The MSM is asleep at the switch as Barack Obama fields ‘spontaneous’ health-care questions from . . . a former Democratic Party candidate for Congress…”

Donny Ferguson: “In a move that would have made Ken Lay proud, Democrat congressional leaders are expected to deal with the huge price tag of Barack Obama’s government takeover of health care in a unique way — ditching the estimates prepared by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and replacing them with the nunbers prepared by the politically-appointed White House Office of Management and Budget.”

Preston Mui: “Reality is setting in with President Obama and the Democrats: No matter how well-intended a policy is, it cannot evade the economic facts of reality.”

Michael Tanner: “But the problems with Obamacare go well beyond the Public Option, which the AMA opposes. The mandates on businesses and individuals, taxpayer subsidies, insurance regulation, and government interference in private medical decisions pose serious threats to American businesses, taxpayers, and most importantly patients. That’s bad medicine, no matter what you call it.”

Chris Moody: “Okay doctors, architects, and farmers. Your work is now my right. Feed me, house me and care for me. I don’t have to pay for it. I was born with the right to your labor.”

Steve Chapman: “There are only three ways to pay for this expansion of health insurance coverage: increased taxes, reduced benefits, or shiny gold ingots falling out of the sky. Voters emphatically prefer the latter option, so that is the one most likely to be embraced by Congress and the administration.”

Bruce McQuain: “This is not your grandfather’s America. Pay czars who arbitrarily set arbitrary pay limits based on what they ‘think’ (according to presidential spokesperson Robert Gibbs) is ‘fair’, a government appointed CEO for an auto company who admits he knows nothing about cars and the government hijacking of health care. If you’re not concerned, you’re not paying attention.”

Glenn Reynolds: “ANOTHER NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM THAT DOESN’T WORK: PROMISES, PROMISES: Indian health care needs unmet.

CROW AGENCY, Mont. – Ta’Shon Rain Little Light, a happy little girl who loved to dance and dress up in traditional American Indian clothes, had stopped eating and walking. She complained constantly to her mother that her stomach hurt.

When Stephanie Little Light took her daughter to the Indian Health Service clinic in this wind-swept and remote corner of Montana, they told her the 5-year-old was depressed.

Ta’Shon’s pain rapidly worsened and she visited the clinic about 10 more times over several months before her lung collapsed and she was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Denver. There she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, confirming the suspicions of family members. . . . On some reservations, the oft-quoted refrain is “don’t get sick after June,” when the federal dollars run out.

“This is what Obama wants for your family — or, at least, it’s what he’ll deliver in the end. Fix this — and Medicare — first!”

My prediction: Obama and the AMA will make make some cooing noises as they banter a bit about capping malpractice awards.  Then the AMA will give Obama a standing ovation as he creates his national insurance company.  AMA members won’t understand that they’ve been taken to the cleaners until they realize that their nurses are making more than they are.

Some Thoughts About the Iranian Demonstrations

Christopher Hitchens has a must read article about the Iranian “elections” that saw the “reelection” of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as “President”.

Iran and its citizens are considered by the Shiite theocracy to be the private property of the anointed mullahs. This totalitarian idea was originally based on a piece of religious quackery promulgated by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and known as velayat-e faqui. Under the terms of this edict—which originally placed the clerics in charge of the lives and property of orphans, the indigent, and the insane—the entire population is now declared to be a childlike ward of the black-robed state. Thus any voting exercise is, by definition, over before it has begun, because the all-powerful Islamic Guardian Council determines well in advance who may or may not “run.” Any newspaper referring to the subsequent proceedings as an election, sometimes complete with rallies, polls, counts, and all the rest of it, is the cause of helpless laughter among the ayatollahs. (“They fell for it? But it’s too easy!”) Shame on all those media outlets that have been complicit in this dirty lie all last week. And shame also on our pathetic secretary of state, who said that she hoped that “the genuine will and desire” of the people of Iran would be reflected in the outcome. Surely she knows that any such contingency was deliberately forestalled to begin with.

In theory, the first choice of the ayatollahs might not actually “win,” and there could even be divisions among the Islamic Guardian Council as to who constitutes the best nominee. Secondary as that is, it can still lead to rancor. After all, corrupt systems are still subject to fraud. This, like hypocrisy, is the compliment that vice pays to virtue. With near-incredible brutishness and cruelty, then, the guardians moved to cut off cell-phone and text-message networks that might give even an impression of fairness and announced though their storm-troop “revolutionary guards” that only one form of voting had divine sanction. (“The miraculous hand of God,” announced Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, had been present in the polling places and had announced a result before many people had even finished voting. He says that sort of thing all the time.)

The whole election process in Iran is a farce. The President of Iran has little power, instead the “Supreme Leader” has most of the power in the country.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has proven throughout its existence to be the enemy of the civilized world with its repression of women, religious minorities, homosexuals, among others at home; and its support for international terrorism and warmongering abroad.

These demonstrations we’re seeing, which began in an attempt to “reform” this vile and inherently evil form of government, may instead see what the demonstrations that returned Gorbachev to power in 1991 in the Soviet Union started as an attempt to “reform” Soviet Communism. Instead, the 1991 coup and its aftermath led the final destruction of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, some of the best coverage of the “Green Revolution” is right now on Andrew Sullivan and enjoy a roundup from Michael Moynihan at Hit and Run.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Quote Of The Day

TJIC, as he notes that June temps in both Boston and Chicago are WAY below normal:

Here’s a question: should we demand that world leaders start comissioning more iron foundries to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, or have we already crossed “the tipping point”, where it’s already fated that in 30 years our shivering descendents will cross and recross the glaciers, cursing us for not driving bigger cars?

I, for one, welcome our new abominable snowman overlords.

Oklahoma State Trooper vs. EMT Follow-up

As promised, here is some additional video from News Channel 8. This video is a side-by-side of the cell phone cam and dashboard cam.The second video, from Fox News shows the dashboard cam video by itself. It seems to end about where the cell phone cam begins.

In all honesty, I will need to review this video a few more times because I cannot immediately tell which party got physical first. I would like to find a video that shows the whole event from start to finish. The Channel 8 website has the dashboard cam video, but I haven’t had any luck getting it to play. If I find a video that will play and show the event from start to finish, I’ll post it here.

UPDATE:
Here is the link to the dashboard cam video which shows the event in its entirety (thank you “Informer,” for posting the link and “informing” me).

Something about the video really stood out from my last viewing: the length of time it took the ambulance to actually move to the right to allow the State Trooper to pass. As the patrol car catches up to the ambulance, the ambulance swerves left as the car in front of it pulls off the road to the right. From the time the ambulance gets back into the lane it takes approximately 8 seconds for the ambulance to move over to the right for the patrol car to pass. Was this 8 second “violation” really an arrest worthy offense?

The Bankrupcy of the Republican Party

The Democrats are steamrolling over all opposition, putting bad idea after bad idea into practice. The Republican Party is in no position to stop them, and their impotence has everything to do with their ideological bankruptcy during the Bush years.

At its heart, the  Republican Party was dominated by mercantilists, people who believe in big business supported by big government.  This philosophy was at its heart, Henry Clay’s American System, which had the following elements:

  • High, protectionist, tarrifs to support American industry.
  • Infrastructure to support big business such as canals, railroads, and later an interstate highway system.
  • A central bank to bail out insolvent banks.
  • Federal bailouts of indebted states.
  • A strong army and navy to force open foreign markets via gun-boat diplomacy.
  • Federal control of state militias.

This philosophy has consistently been advocated for by the Republican Party.  » Read more

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.

Administrivia

If you’ve clicked through to any comment threads, you’ll have noticed that we’ve added a comment notification box. You can subscribe to comments whether you leave one or not, so it should be a good way to keep up on comment threads without having to manually check back to the site.

I’m planning on being more active on our twitter feed, which currently only feeds updates to our post. I say “planning”, because I’m still trying to decide which BlackBerry app will best do Twitter… Any suggestions would be welcome.

Our Kindle version price was recently reduced from $1.99 to $0.99. As I’ve said before, I’d prefer it come free, but Amazon sets the prices. I suspect nobody was signing up, so they reduced it. But if TLP-Kindle Edition wasn’t worth it to you at $1.99 and is worth it at $0.99, feel free to sign up. This isn’t a for-profit blog, but a little bit to offset hosting costs wouldn’t hurt.

Charles Lynch Sentenced to 1 Year and 1 Day in Prison

Read the news story here and reason‘s coverage here. The video below is Lynch’s response:

While I’m not happy that Mr. Lynch is doing time for legally dispensing marijuana under California’s compassionate use law, he certainly could have received a much harsher sentence (up to 100 years). U.S. District Judge George Wu should be commended for finding an exception to the 5 year mandatory minimum sentence and reducing it to a relatively reasonable sentence of 1 year. That’s probably the best he could do under the circumstances.

There is however, one person who can correct this injustice perpetrated by the Bush Justice Department: President Obama. I urge all those who support the Tenth Amendment to join me in calling on President Obama to pardon Charles Lynch. Federalism is a much larger principle in this case than medical marijuana or even the war on (some) drugs. The State of California (whether one agrees or not with using marijuana for medicinal purposes), passed a law the federal government did not like. This law does not violate the U.S. Constitution and is, therefore, beyond the reach of the federal government according to the Tenth Amendment.*

Furthermore, President Obama and his Attorney General Holder have both said on several occasions that the federal raids on these dispensaries would end provided the operators are not violating both state and federal law. A full pardon of Charles Lynch would go a long way toward reversing a bad policy from the previous administration.

» Read more

Liberty Rock Friday: Freewill by Rush

waves

Rush
“Freewill”
Permanent Waves (1980)

Words by Neil Peart, music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

There are those who think that life
Has nothing left to chance
With a host of holy horrors
To direct our aimless dance

A planet of playthings
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
The stars aren’t aligned —
Or the gods are malign
Blame is better to give than receive

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path thats clear
I will choose free will

There are those who think that theyve been dealt a losing hand
The cards were stacked against them —
They weren’t born in lotus-land

All preordained
A prisoner in chains
A victim of venomous fate
Kicked in the face
You can’t pray for a place
In heavens unearthly estate

Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt
That’s far too fleet…

Lame Idea of the Day: Masters in Social Media

From TechRadar:

Students will now be able to take a Masters degree in ‘Social Media’, with the University of Salford insisting that the course can give real-world skills and experience.

Although it should come as little surprise that people will now have the option to have an MA in Facebook and Twitter, the course is apparently aimed to produce the next generation of PRs and marketers.

They add:

TechRadar will probably not be attending the course as we are too fully focused on our Doctorate in YouTube for such frivolities. But we do like the idea of doing a 140-character dissertation.

What’s next — a grad school program for the next aspiring Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron? A Doctorate in becoming a Playboy model can’t be far behind.  I’d also suggest a degree program in being stupid, but they already do that.

The upside of this is that government and corporate bureaucrats will start hiring folks with the correct box on their job application checked, as opposed to some sort of merit-based system.  All those social media experts at Whitehouse.gov may soon have to look for a new job.

Leadership on the right still has no freaking clue

Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove offered some advice about how to defeat the anticipated onslaught of socialized medicine.  In the column, he used an example of socialized medicine he helped to promote to illustrate why Democratic socialized medicine is bad, but Republican socialized medicine is good:

Advocates say a government-run insurance program is needed to provide competition for private health insurance. But 1,300 companies sell health insurance plans. That’s competition enough. The results of robust private competition to provide the Medicare drug benefit underscore this. When it was approved, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost $74 billion a year by 2008. Nearly 100 providers deliver the drug benefit, competing on better benefits, more choices, and lower prices. So the actual cost was $44 billion in 2008 — nearly 41% less than predicted. No government plan was needed to guarantee competition’s benefits.

The last time I checked, Medicare Part D is all about redistributionism.  One can’t even make the flimsy argument that current beneficiaries have paid into the system.  I work and they take money from me to offset the price of medicine for seniors.  What’s worse, they don’t have enough money to pay the bills.  As a result, my children will end up picking up most of the tab, along with the interest charges.

I was beginning to have some hope that the GOP would at least take on the Obama administration regarding socialized medicine, but it appears they don’t even understand the rhetoric of free-market economics anymore.  What’s next in the GOP playbook? Directly quoting Karl Marx?

Quote Of The Day

Absurd:

In a ground-breaking ruling, the supreme court in France awarded three contestants on the French version of the programme Temptation Island compensation of about €11,000 (£9,500) each. The judges ruled that the trio were entitled to full employment contracts — including overtime, holidays and even damages for wrongful dismissal upon elimination from the show.

What’s next? The supreme court declaring that World Poker Tour participants who don’t make the final table are entitled to restitution for unfair losing? Call it unemployment for bad beats?

Hat Tip: Reason

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