Friday, December 15, 2006

Welcome to the Darkside

I guess the LP will take all the press it can get. To be sure, Barr is pretty strong on privacy and abuse of power, as evident by his recent ACLU doings; but his moralist tendencies tend to make me cringe. That and the creepy lip-worm he sports.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


We can only hope that this optimism translates into law. Honestly, my love of beer aside, the issue is about much more than my self-interested desire to buy booze on Sunday. Fundamentally, the issue is whether or not the state should have the authority to forcibly prevent a business owner from selling a legal product during certain specified periods of time (in this case, on Sunday). Interestingly, the most vocal opponents of lifting the restriction are liquor store owners who fear the competition posed by convenience store and grocery store owners, most of whom don't mind working 7-days a week. Yet another example of vested interests, propped up and protected by governmental regulations, employing the state to do their dirty work. Why compete when you can just petition the state to crush the competition for you?
An aside: before this chapter is all over, I'm certain that the blue-law crazies will throw a tantrum or two as well, an event that never fails to generate arguments and ideas of highest intellect and order -- kinda like the value of building multi-million dollar gambling barges 6-inches off shore in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Somethin's Shakin on Shakedown Street

It looks like some U.S. Senators have been catching up on the Soprano's of late. Check out this letter from Senators Rockefeller and Snowe. Geez, extortion anyone? The WSJ had a nice response in yesterday's edition. Here's an excerpt:

This is amazing stuff. On the one hand, the Senators say that everyone agrees on the facts and consequences of climate change. But at the same time they are so afraid of debate that they want Exxon to stop financing a doughty band of dissenters who can barely get their name in the paper...

Let's compare the balance of forces: on one side, CEI; on the other, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense, the U.N. and EU, Hollywood, Al Gore, and every politically correct journalist in the country. We'll grant that's a fair intellectual fight. But if the Senators are so afraid that a handful of policy wonks at a single small think-tank are in danger of winning this debate, they must not have much confidence in the merits of their own case...

The letter is of a piece with what has become a campaign of intimidation against any global warming dissent. Not only is everyone supposed to concede that the planet has been warming--as it has--but we are all supposed to salute and agree that human beings are the definitive cause, that the magnitude of the warming will be disastrous and its effects catastrophic, that such problems as AIDS and poverty are less urgent, and that economic planners must therefore impose vast new regulatory burdens on everyone around the world. Exxon is being targeted in this letter and other ways because it is one of the few companies that still thinks some debate on these questions is valuable.

Nice work, Mr. and Madame Senator. Do show us your compassion and empathy for the common man by spanking that old, ugly, all-too-powerful, profit-generating, job-creating, commodity-producing corporate-conglomerate back down in statute where it belongs, subservient to the anti-capitalist, collectivist, stone-age-longing eco-interests; the ethanol-preaching, rent-seeking, agri-business subsidy whores; the ivory tower, grant-needing, alarmist court-intellectuals; and, of course, the immortal, incomparable, man-of-the-people, Al Gore. Doth, thou shalt never question the existence of the Man-Bear-Pig.

Drain the Brains

At the risk of stoking the emotions of the anti-immigration zealots out there, I really like David Bernstein's proposal over what to do about Venezuela in light of the Chavez re-election:

Chavez claims that his brand of populist socialism is superior to Yankee capitalism. Well, let the people vote with their feet. Venezuela has a population of approximately 25 million. How about letting any Venezuelan who can pass a basic English test and get ahold of, say, twenty thousand dollars, emigrate to the U.S.? As more and more productive Venezuelans move to the U.S., and Chavez ceases to benefit from thespike in oil prices (which can only work in the long term so long as oil prices climb), Venezuela will inevitably sink into economic straits of Chavez's model, Cuba, and become about as much of a strategic threat to the U.S. as Cuba currently is. And the U.S. will gain a few million productive and grateful citizens, happy to escape Venezuela before it becomes another Cuba. And wouldn't it be fun to watch Venezuelans line up for English classes for the chance to emigrate to The Great Imperalist Enemy?


Red State Porkers

Matthew Yglesias on supposed "small government" Red-States:
It's not just the values of the South that pose a problem. It is the region's appetite for government. In particular, The most solidly red states in the nation tend also to be the most reliant on federal handouts -- farm subsidies, water projects and sundry other earmarks. It's hard to be the party of small government when you represent the communities that benefit most from big government.
Preaching to choir, my brother. Here is the 2006 Pork List, ranking the states according to the amount of pork received per capita. Out of the top 10, 9 states went for Bush in '04 and 2 of the states (Alaska and Mississippi) each have 2 Republican Senators in D.C. Heh.