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"Hilarious." – Daniel Hannan

Archive for January, 2011

Freedom costs a buck oh five

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From Newsweek, on the State of the Union Address:

At the beginning of his State of the Union Adress, President Obama tipped his hat to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who’s now recuperating in a Houston medical facility. But throughout the hour long speech, he never addressed the issue at the core of the Giffords tragedy: gun control and what lawmakers would, or should, do to reform American firearm-access laws.

I’m pretty sure the core issue is homocidal mania.  “Gun control” is peripheral at best, and that’s only if you’re dreaming of a fantasy world where government has the ability to reduce the number of guns in the country to zero.  Murder has been against the law for a very, very long time yet still happens…

In another article Newsweek asks:  Is Gun Violence the Cost of Freedom?

How many people know someone who was wounded or killed by a gun?  I know a couple — all related to my time deployed in Iraq, though.  How many people know someone who have been in a car accident?  There are probably few people who haven’t been in at least a minor traffic accident.  I can even claim to know more than one person injured in car wrecks.
 
So — injury in traffic accidents is not uncommon, yet almost everyone dismisses that risk as an acceptable “cost” of having a car.  The premise that “gun violence” is a “cost” of freedom is so vague a statement on all counts as to be entirely useless, but to play along for argument’s sake:  in exchange for occassional gun-related deaths, few of which anyone has any personal experience with, we get — freedom.  The article is a bit vague about exactly what kind of freedom but still…sounds important, and a fair trade!

Our society is evolving into a strange tyranny of the politically correct, where there is no such thing as an acceptable cost, because every issue, from drunk driving to wildlife preservation, becomes someone’s personal crusade, usually with an accompanying lobbyist in Washington.

A straight-jacketed prisoner in solitary isolation is the only human truly free of risk and the possibility of making bad choices.  Step outside the isolation chamber and it all goes downhill from there.  Life is difficult, risky, and dangerous. If we are unwilling to accept or understand that there is such a thing as an acceptable level of risk, let’s just all crawl back in the womb.

Until then, let’s all pretend we’re adults here, and not take more of each other’s liberties away for our ridiculous pet causes.

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Written by MikeM

January 27th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Goodnight and Good Luck, KO

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“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” is history.

Let’s check in with the Sultan of Smug to see how things are going post-MSNBC…

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Written by Moog Rogue

January 21st, 2011 at 11:26 pm

The Zero-Sum Problem

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This article makes an interesting point about the nature of politics:  it is a zero-sum game.  One side wins, the other loses and the desire of the voting majority is enforced upon the losers with the power of the state.

I would add that sometimes we end up with results that virtually no one wanted due to mis- and under-informed decision making.

The best thing the president and Congress can do to reduce the potential for conflict and violence is reduce the impact of government on our lives. Doing so will not only produce a less-divided country and greater economic efficiency, but bear greater faith and allegiance to the vision of America held by our founders — a country of limited government. Our founders, in the words of Thomas Paine, recognized that, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

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Written by MikeM

January 21st, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Regulating the Regulations

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Whew!  I was getting worried that all these new regulations would start hurting business soon.  No worries — Obama 2.0 is on top of it.

President Barack Obama Tuesday ordered a government-wide review of regulations with the goal of eliminating those that hurt job creation and make the U.S. economy less competitive.

If the president were remotely serious about this, he would probably start with the coal mine that the EPA just regulated out of existence.

Unfortunately for Arch Coal, they were focused on digging coal out of the ground instead of lobbying the government.  General Electric is the new business model — buy some influence with government and have them socialize your losses. They’re now reaping the benefits in a trade deal with China.

UPDATE:  GE posted strong 4th quarter earnings and Jeffrey Immelt has been picked to be chairman of Obama’s “Council on Jobs and Competitiveness”.

Collusion with government is clearly how he has chosen to run his business, and it’s finally working for him after a decade of lackluster, stagnant performance under his management.

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Written by MikeM

January 19th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Insanity

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Jared Lee Loughner was clearly deeply emotionally disturbed. He wasn’t hiding it, and it seems he wouldn’t have been able to.  It is remarkable that his parents evidently took no action to help their son, given that classmates of his on the first day of classes were already intimately aware that there was something wrong with him.  One woman even seemed quite specifically concerned that he was the type of person to go on a shooting rampage.

Guns are like cars, but even safer in the hands of a responsible person. Much like cars, mentally impaired people should not have a loaded weapon in their possession, whether they be drunk, tired, young children, or seriously emotionally disturbed as in the case of the shooter.  This does not mean it’s time for mother government to open the floodgates of regulation.  A kitchen knife, a pistol, a machine gun, an aircraft carrier — none of these things kill by themselves, all require a human operator.  A grenade launcher is perfectly safe in the hands of a responsible user; a pot of boiling water dangerous in the hands of a madman.  Until we can predict criminal behavior and send Tom Cruise out in his hovercraft to arrest the future perpetrators, we have to accept that occassionally, terrible things will happen.

One of the bright spots in the conflagration of calls for gun control and even limits on free speech, was the judgement and discretion showed by an armed citizen who arrived late to the scene of the shooting.  This man, who has a concealed carry license, was across the street when the shooting began, and ran towards the scene to see if he could help.  Evidently he saw a man with a gun (who turned out to be the man who wrested the gun away from the shooter) and elected not to fire because of the uncertainty of the situation and the proximity of the crowd.  Contrary to opinion and speculation in liberal circles, this situation didn’t lead to a Hollywood style Wild West shootout, even in a state where you can openly carry even the really big, liberal-scaring death machines (rifles).  I think this armed citizen showed a good sense of judgement and responsibility typical to people who are familiar with firearms and gun safety.

Of course this doesn’t stop one liberal website from decrying the “tragedy that almost happened“. So, add near-tragedies to the list of things that government should protect us from. No thanks.

I would perhaps support the federal government banning Lee as a middle name. JFK would still be alive…or something.

Don’t think we could lose freedom of speech here in America? In Canada they already have. Of course, it’s only the most vile hate speech…they wont miss it, right?

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Written by MikeM

January 14th, 2011 at 1:11 am

Propagandizing For Obama

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From a recent Organizing For America email (do they even know they’re lying anymore?):
Behind the scenes, insurance-industry lobbyists are working overtime with Republicans to take us back to the days when their clients were able to do whatever they wanted.
But this movement is different. We don’t take our cues from special interests or lobbyists, and we never will. We don’t take their money either, relying solely on support from folks like you — and it only makes us stronger.
 
I’m not going to bother listing the lobbyists that have influenced the Obama administration.  It’s just ridiculous at this point to even allow them to frame the argument, a lesson Republicans need to learn before they become irrelevant.
Once again — you don’t limit the power of lobbyists by constraining lobbyists.  You limit the power of lobbyists by constraining the power of the politicians they buy.
 

What's at the end of this rainbow?

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Written by MikeM

January 7th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

MSNBC Now Targeting 3-7 Year Old Demographic

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In this clip, MSNBC’s Richard Lui explains the debt ceiling in a physical demonstration that would offend the intellect of a toddler.

Lui remarks,

The so-called “debt ceiling” are words that sound like Greek to a lot of people.

Are you sure? I think the meaning of “debt ceiling” is fairly self-evident. Perhaps it sounds like Greek to Richard Lui because, as one of the commenters on this YouTube clip points out, Lui misunderstands the very concept he means to explain:

  1. The debt ceiling is not like “the government’s credit card.” The borrowing limit of the U.S.A. is not determined by creditors, at least not in any direct sense. It is self-imposed.
  2. “Spending” does not equal debt. Spending in excess of revenue may incur debt, but spending is not debt.

Simultaneously condescending, silly and wrong. I would expect nothing less from MSNBC.

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Written by Moog Rogue

January 7th, 2011 at 7:50 am

Princess Boy

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The liberal media is giddy that some woman is dressing her four year old son up as a princess.  It’s raising some kind of awareness, or acceptance, or something.  I’m not sure whether society needed more awareness about young crossdressers, or the value of indulging your young child’s every whim, but evidently we have now been gifted with it.

Putting aside for the moment the fact that this mother’s campaign of “raising awareness” happens to coincide with the exploitation of her young son’s story for financial gain, one thing that any amount of awareness isn’t going to change, is human nature.  Human beings inherently create social groups and find a sense of identity by rejecting those outside their group, to one degree or another.  What this woman is evidently not imparting to her son is an understanding of the possible consequences of his actions. While she is undeniably giving him the chance to express himself however he wants, she is denying him the chance to make that choice informed by an awareness of the possible consequences.

Wouldn’t it be better to take the opportunity to teach her son a lesson in the value of restraint, and let him choose for himself later on when he has some knowledge of what it means to be a “princess boy”?  Is the concept of restraint really so anathema to certain elements in our society?

Perhaps everything will work out just fine for the boy, and he’ll grow up to be a star in the women’s fashion industry, or perhaps in a couple years he’ll grow out of his desire to be a princess.  But indulging this four year old’s every whim is going to limit his horizons more than broaden them.

When informed adults have the freedom to express themselves however they want, it is a testament to our society. When a very young child is allowed to indulge his every whim, it is bad parenting.  But, giddy liberal media aside, this mother’s choices are really only going to affect her and her son. Awareness has been raised, but human nature isn’t going to change.  Hopefully this isn’t as exploitative as it seems. One young boy might have a difficult path ahead of him. Best of luck, princess boy.

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Written by MikeM

January 5th, 2011 at 5:09 pm