Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pandering Fool

Forgive me for calling out our economically-challenged President as such... I mean, it's not as if he has a business background, right?? This is sad and pathetic. Now, of course I expect to hear such war-chants bellowing from the hallowed halls of demagoguery, er..., I mean, Congress, calling for the heads of oil executives and demanding tax-subsidized hearings to display their outrage before the t.v. cameras. After all, the MOC's still have to go home and convince their intellectually-bereft constituents that they are fighting the good fight. But, Dubya has no one left to impress. For god's sake, stop pandering and show some principles. Or, at least, as in this case, some actual cerebral fortitude.

Friday, April 21, 2006

American Political Prisoners

6 Branch Davidians are scheduled for release after serving 12+ years for weapons offenses and manslaughter. As you may recall, all of the surviving Davidians were acquitted of murder and related conspiracy charges. Nonetheless, the Feds still hit them with hefty sentences for the crime of attempting to rebuke American state and society. Moral of the story: in the event that militarized federal agents establish a de facto embargo/blockade of your property, begin shelling your home with chemical agents and pyrotechnic devices, and ultimately invade the confines, smashing the structure with armored tanks, all the while publicly slandering you (wrongly) as an abusive-polygamist-pedophile, what ever you do - don't defend yourself. Just let it happen. Om... Better yet, if there is any remote chance that the state might deem your lifestyle "weird," "reactionary," or out of the "main-stream," you probably should not own a gun in the first place. Home of free, indeed.
Here is nice compilation of Waco materials via Reason.

Encino Man Does Good

From CATO:

WASHINGTON -- The Cato Institute today announced that the recipient of the 2006 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty is Mart Laar, the former prime minister of Estonia and main architect of his country's remarkable economic transformation into one of the world's freest and most dynamic economies.

The prize and its accompanying $500,000 cash award will be presented to Laar on May 18 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Named after Nobel laureate Milton Friedman,
the prize is awarded every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing human freedom. The Friedman Prize went to the late British economist Peter Bauer in 2002 and to the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto in 2004.

Upon hearing that he had been chosen as the third recipient of the prize, Laar said: "I am very happy and proud to receive such an important prize. The Milton Friedman Prize is especially important to me as I am such an admirer of Milton Freidman's works and I am proud that we succeeded to prove in Estonia that Milton Friedman's ideas really work. This is not a prize for me but to all my fellow Estonians, who have made the Estonian miracle possible."

Throughout his public life, Laar has embodied the values of liberty and free choice recognized by the prize, and his dedication to these ideals helped him to lead his country to economic prosperity through a radical free market program.

Today, Estonia is hailed as a model for emerging democracies and is cited as an example that ailing Western European economies should follow too. Consistently near the top of the Economic Freedom of the World Index, Estonia is now a member of NATO, the EU and the WTO, with well over 90 percent of its formerly state-run economy privatized.

When Laar took the reins of power of the newly independent country in 1992, he was only 32 years old, and Estonia was struggling to heal from the wounds of Soviet occupation. Laar believed that the way to ensure success for Estonia was to cultivate
freedom and self-determination. In only two years in office, he negotiated the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonian soil and introduced the kroon, one of Eastern Europe's most stable currencies. He also instituted a flat tax rate, a move, which has been widely copied — even in Russia. Under Laar, Estonia removed price controls, discounted useless regulations, and saw the largest real per capita income of any of the former Communist states.

But as Laar, who served two terms as prime minister, has pointed out, he is not an economist: "I had read only one book on economics — Milton Friedman's Free to Choose. I was so ignorant at the time that I thought that what Friedman wrote about the benefits of privatization, the flat tax and the abolition of all customs rights, was the result of economic reforms that had been put into practice in the West. It seemed common sense to me and, as I thought it had already been doneeverywhere, I simply introduced it in Estonia, despite warnings from Estonian economists that it could not be done. They said it was as impossible as walking on water. We did it: we just walked on the water because we did not know that it was impossible."

"Mart Laar, who was inspired by Milton Friedman, is the perfect Friedman Prize winner," said Ed Crane, president and CEO of the Cato Institute. "His courageous program as Estonia's prime minister created the 'Baltic Tiger,' a free and prosperous nation that is a model for the world to emulate. Laar's selection again underscores the international nature of the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty."

In 2001, Friedman agreed to lend his name to the award. He said in a statement about the award: "Those of us who were fortunate enough to live and be raised in a reasonably free society tend to underestimate the importance of freedom. We tend to take it for granted. It has made us in the West more complacent, so having a prize emphasizing liberty is extremely important."


Sinking Like an Unprincipled Statist

33% and taking on water.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Quote of the Day

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
– H.L. Mencken

No Hablo Ingles...

Nick Gillespie at Reason hilariously takes a shot or ten at the linguistic ethno-centrists:
It's embarrassing enough—humiliating really—that the United States doesn't have a state religion, which would facilitate community and national identity. We can at least have an official language, and it's a damn good thing that everyone agrees it ought to be English, since most of us speak it already, and it's probably pretty close to what "American" would sound like if we hadn't been British colonies originally.
Good stuff.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

How can you hear with your head in the sand??

2008 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is calling for a massive expansion of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, saying that an updated version should offer time off from work for parental participation in children's school activities and health care, as well as personal time to care for aging parents.

Well, la-di-da.... In light of Shillary's obvious '08 ambitions, perhaps she should pay closer attention to world events - such as, uh, i dunno, let's say, FRANCE -- where similarly designed busy-body-state-intervention into the employer/employee relationship has caused some rather large problems of late. Good one, genius. Guess what? Employers don't like to hire people with state-sponsored baggage.

One Flew Over the Tom Cruise Nest

Keeps getting weirder.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Quote of the Day

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.
-H. L. Mencken

Friday, April 14, 2006

Queen of the Busybodies

Michele Malkin is the epitome of a party-pooper. Why is it so hard for her and her moralist-ilk to understand that human beings are individuals with varying ideas, interests, m.o.'s, dreams, pursuits and, particularly, I.Q.'s? Even more puzzling is the moralist-sheeple herd's seemingly tireless attention to what other people are doing with their lives and their desire to put a stop to it... Hey Michele, butt out!

Quote of the Day

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
– Mark Twain (1866)

Republicanism and the American System

It is easy to get confused when tracing the genealogy of American political parties. For example, "Jeffersonian-Republicans" became "Jacksonian-Democrats" and were, without a doubt, small-government, quasi-libertarian-conservatives. By that same token, the pro-centralization, protectionist-leaning Federalist Party, ultimately reorganized into the Whigs and then the Republicans. Thus, to some, it seems that the two major parties have switched places in the modern era. To be sure, the Wilson/Roosevelt/Johnson Democrats were light years away, ideologically-speaking, from the Andrew Jackson's and, even, Grover Cleveland's of the nineteenth century. However, while the Dems seem to have degenerated from their largely free trade and non-interventionist roots, the Republican Party has changed very little in the last two-and-one-half centuries. Of course, there have been some exceptions along the way: Coolidge was a minimalist and Goldwater and Reagan tried to change the focus of the party by promoting conservative, Jeffersonian goals in opposition to the New Deal and Great Society. Nonetheless, the party of Lincoln and TR was the party of centralization, protectionism and, most importantly, corporatism (e.g, vote buying). Here is an interesting piece linking the Republican Party to Henry Clay's Whigs and the favor-doling-system that was, somewhat ironically, named, the "American System." Unfortunately, it certainly seems as though the contemporary Republican Party it making enormous strides these days to get into touch with its roots - - much to the chagrin of libertarians and Reagan conservatives.

Run Newt, Run

Well this is certainly a step:
Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House, told students and faculty at the University of South Dakota Monday that the United States should pull out of Iraq and leave a small force there, just as it did post-war in Korea and Germany.
I am happy to hear that at least one Republican out there still believes in "conservative" principles. It appears that Newt is positioning himself for a run at the Presidency; and although I have to admit that he does not have much chance of getting much traction, he will contribute greatly to the dialogue and we will all be better off for it.

Running to the Left

It looks like someone is starting to look at the competition... Obviously aware of Johnny Kerry's recent attempts to flank her, Shillary is breaking out the class-envy rhetoric. Will somebody please take this woman to Cuba or, say, almost any country in Africa so that she can soak in the real-life effects of state implemented equalization-by-socialism?
On a side note, when I think that this woman might very well be the next President of our nation thanks to the current administration, it occurs to me: the worst part of such event will be the fact that we will undoubtedly be bombarded with that nagging, screeching, excrutiatingly shrill voice for four years or so. Somebody shoot me.

I've Had Enough

I am done. I cannot take it anymore. The era of single party rule must end. Please, for the sake of the country and the next half-dozen generations, VOTE DEMOCRAT in the fall. Hold your nose. Suck down a single malt or two. Whatever it takes to pull the lever, punch the chad, or party with those whacky machines everyone was so obsessed with the last time around. These spendthrifts have no principles and Dubya has, apparently, never seen a piece of legislation that he would not stroke and coddle. Nice little bill...
Bring on the gridlock!

Longing for a Davidian...

It seems our esteemed federal gun slingers are bored these days. Meathead, trigger-happy, bully's.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Quote of the Day

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.
– Jacob Hornberger

Time for a New Lawyer

Or at last one that has read the Constitution.

I cannot find the transcript from Hannity and Colmes last night, so I'll do my best to paraphrase. In between his characterizations of Tom Delay as a, "rich white boy," McKinney's ever-astute lawyer (as far as I can tell, she has more than 2) dropped this little gem:

If [McKinney] did something wrong, why wasn't she arrested on the spot?
Ughh. Try Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution:
[Senators and Representatives] shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same...
We may quibble as to what constitutes a "breach of the peace;" but, I would venture to guess that the U.S. Capitol Police are instructed that Congressmen are untouchable while in the building. Apparently McKinney's lawyer never went through such training. What an embarrassment.

Have You Seen the Little Piggies in Their Starched White Shirts?

They look awful lot like Republicans. Take a look at the Citizens Against Government Waste’s latest installment of the Pig Book - always enlightening and, of course, uber-depressing. Party of small government, my Scotch-Irish arse. Why is this tolerated? Why are Republican voters so passive? If this was a Clinton-led government with a Gephardt-Congress, Limbaugh et. al. would bust a valve. But alas, GW and Big Denny bleed patriotic red and wear cowboy boots. Surely they would not lead us astray...

Anyway, the list is far too long to post, so I just pulled some examples. Here are some highlights from the biggest scumbag in D.C., Alaska’s own, Mr. Ted “Porky” Stevens, with whom I am perpetually amazed by his ability to spend our money on his buddies – at least he's creative:

$25,000,000 for rural and native villages;
$12,733,000 for Western Arctic Parklands;
$7,000,000 for Alaska conveyance
4,000,000 for a visitors center at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge;
$2,000,000 for a track relocation study at Fort Wainwright;
$1,300,000 for berry research;
$1,099,000 for alternative salmon products;
$1,100,000 for the Matunuska-Susitna Borough;
$750,000 for the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park;
$500,000 for fruit and berry crop trials for rural villages;
$500,000 for the Arctic Winter Games (BTW – this appropriation is granted under the auspices of defense spending…)
$450,000 for the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association;
$443,000 for new crop opportunities; $331,000 for food preparation and marketing research; $300,000 for commercialization of native plant materials;
$400,000 for the Ketchikan Wood Technology Center;
$250,000 for ethnobotany research;
$166,000 for salmon quality standards; and $75,000 for seafood waste research. $150,000 for the Alaska Whaling Commission;
$98,000 for the Alaska Sea Otter Commission.

And this is nice too:
$6,435,000 for wood utilization research in Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Mich., Minn., Miss., N.C., Ore., Tenn., Wash., and W.Va. Since 1985, $86 million has been sapped from the taxpayers for this purpose.
Wood utilization?? Arctic Winter Games?? I feel sick.

Fair-weather Free Speecher’s

Despite their occasional lip service to the sanctity of free speech in the form of campaign donations, it seems that the Republicans have once again waffled when such speech is/has been directed against them. Incredibly pathetic and corrupt. It appears that only 18 Republicans care to be consistent – so, cheers, as always, to Mike Pence, Ron Paul and their brethren. Do the rest of those self-interested, power-junkies honestly think that we do not notice this garbage??

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Quote of the Day

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul."

– George Bernard Shaw

Blackjack and Abortion

This is very interesting. Since Roe controls, from the standpoint of the tribe, it also appears legit as a legal matter. I must admit, putting the issue itself aside, I very much admire the ever-evolving capitalist spirit displayed by of our Native-American brethren. Indeed, the tribes continue find lucrative niches by providing services and products that people want, in spite of state legislative attempts to preclude such activities.