akaihyo: (politics)
In the end, we are each a minority of one. While I support a few of the ideas of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, I find their devotion to group-think, group identity and equality of outcomes worrying.

I am 00.0000000003% of the United States population and I am an individual.
akaihyo: (politics)
Just got back from voting, early voting available in Georgia until Friday, take advantage of it if you can. Pleased to see a full slate of Libertarians for all of the state-wide posts.

As usual, I encourage people to vote for the party that best represents their views, especially if it is a 3rd party!

And to anyone out there in California, Just Say Now, vote yes on Prop 19.
akaihyo: (Default)
Interesting for word buffs, political theorists and others:

Experimental Economist Bart Wilson on the Meaning of "Fair"
akaihyo: (Default)
As we move into the next stage of the Health Care Saga, some things to think about:

Health Care, Chaos, and the Challenge of Chickens in New York, looking at how self-organizing systems cope with complexity much more efficiently that top-down ones.

The Chemist's War, Slate looks at the little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences. Remember, there are good reason not to trust the government to control morality and livelihoods.

A good discussion of the three types of knowledge, probably NSFW due to language, No One Knows What the F*** They're Doing. Again, important when looking at attempts to impose top-down 'solutions' on complex systems.

Business and free markets do good for the world, but the silence of Mammon in defending itself is deafening.

Have a good weekend all.
akaihyo: (Default)
President Obama says we cannot have another yearlong debate on health care but must move forward now. For a matter that effects peoples' lives, one sixth of the economy and is (as currently envisioned) fiendishly complex, should we not have a full and complete public debate?

What we have had so far has been a lot of political theatre that has generated more heat than light. We need more data, more information on what these plans will achieve not just political sound bites. This is a massive issue, we should take time to do it right.
akaihyo: (Default)
Spiegel online has an excellent article on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, read it and despair of change coming peacefully to that land.
akaihyo: (Default)
Yes, I know that the entire universe is crying how suddenly the corporations will rule everything because of their vast amount of money they can spend without restriction on buying political adds, in their own name, at any time (as opposed to not within 30 days -60 days for Federal- of an election). As opposed to having to funneling that money through a PAC (Political Action Committee) as they do now. In other words, no significant change except that now small groups can organize without getting hammered by insanely complex laws.

Under McCain-Feingold and similar Federal laws (from the majority opinion):
Campaign finance regulations now impose "unique and complex rules" on "71 distinct entities." These entities are subject to separate rules for 33 different types of political speech. The FEC has adopted 568 pages of regulations, 1,278 pages of explanations and justifications for those regulations, and 1,771 advisory opinions since 1975. In fact, after this Court in WRTL [the 2007 Wisconsin Right to Life case] adopted an objective "appeal to vote" test for determining whether a communication was the functional equivalent of express advocacy, the FEC adopted a two-part, 11-factor balancing test to implement WRTL's ruling.

This regulatory scheme may not be a prior restraint on speech in the strict sense of that term, for prospective speakers are not compelled by law to seek an advisory opinion from the FEC before the speech takes place. As a practical matter, however, given the complexity of the regulations and the deference courts show to administrative determinations, a speaker who wants to avoid threats of criminal liability and the heavy costs of defending against FEC enforcement must ask a governmental agency for prior permission to speak.

The ruling says that we will now have more political speech and surely that is good. I, unlike so many, trust that voters can actually judge political ads on their content and vote for what they think is right. After all, if money was all you needed to win election, why are we not speaking of President Ross Perot? Or Steve Forbes? Have some faith in the American people and move on.
akaihyo: (Default)
Good thing to remember given the last year of government expansion:

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue. ... To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

-Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first individual to call himself an anarchist.
akaihyo: (Default)
Congratulations to Rio and Brazil to winning the right to host the first Olympic Games held in South America. But be careful with your spending, holding Olympic events is a costly endeavor.

In the US, there has been much discussion of this round of Olympic bids and if it reflects poorly on President Obama. I think the BBC's Mark Mardell has a very clear view of it.

This, I think, is a particularly astute observation:

You could argue the president has a history of relying too much on his own personal intervention to solve problems, rather than using it as the final touch on top of a detailed political strategy.
akaihyo: (Default)
I am fascinated that the progressive left has suddenly rediscovered a deep, irrational fear of Fascism (as exampled by this inaccuracy filled article). While I could see some argument for the fear of fascism during the Bush years when the right controlled multiple levers of government power. But now that the Democrats control both the House and the Senate and the Presidency, have mobilized an army of supporters, and has a supportive press. Now there is a threat of fascism from the right? Really?

If they were really fascist, they would want government control of health care through the corporations, not be opposing it.
akaihyo: (Default)
How can I not like this idea? It is transparency and an attempt to inject some measure of appreciation of the real world into the Congress. They are trying to get HR 554 passed which would require that legislation be posted in a public forum for at least 72-hour before being voted on. Can we have your support too?

Read the Bill Website
akaihyo: (Default)
Such an odd choice of milestones, blame FDR I guess, but there you go:

From the German perspective.

And the Libertarian(ish) perspective.
akaihyo: (Default)
Go plant a nice tree and enjoy Arbor Day not this silly Earth Day nonsense.
akaihyo: (Default)
I am generally pro-vouchers for school choice, as I am pro-choice in most things, but it turns out most Democrats at the federal level, including President Obama, are not. Shikha Dalmia takes Obama to task for his hypocrisy in this matter and, wow, does she do it effectively.
akaihyo: (Default)
US Politicians keep yammering on about how 90% of the gun used by the Mexican criminal cartels are from the US (implying they are purchased in the US and transported down to Mexico). This just seemed unlikely but I had not found anything to debunk it. And, indeed it turns out that the 90% claim is just not true, the true figure is more like 17% and that may include weapons supplied by the US Government to the Mexican Government(‽). Additional commentary at Reason
akaihyo: (Default)
No, really . . . David T. Beito writes In Defense of the (Relatively) Great Warren G. Harding. A good, and short, read. Listen to Harding's speech if you have time, it resonates with our current situation.
akaihyo: (Default)
Economists have differing views on it, be here is one who frankly says "You would think economists could answer these questions." His advice? Do not toss money we do not have at the problem, streamline and reform the government instead.

And for something more cheerful, a tiger playing with a snowball.

January 2015

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