Smaller Government, Anyone?

I get so tired of Republicans and Conservatives talking about how they’re for “smaller government”; and then when you start talking about actually making government smaller, they marginalize you. Like this person:


While I did like many of the positions of the Libertarian Pres candidate (although not enough to vote for him) most of the local & state candidates were either unknown to me (in many cases the only time you hear of a Libertarian candidate is when you read the ballot in the booth) or they’re so far out in left field in their positions for me to vote for them.


I corrected the mis-statement concerning ‘left field‘ Libertarian candidates, which lead to the statement “Perhaps I should have said bizarre and strange.”

My response of:

bizarre as in the Republican drive to make women into chattel (property. What you are when you don’t have a right to ‘your own body’; the outcome of reversing Roe)

Or Strange as in the Democrat desire to make the healthcare system a government agency, so that we can have the same quality of service that N’Orleans is getting from FEMA?

Didn’t seem to please this person much. In fact, I think I got his/her goat.


As in completely abolishing county payroll – including the sheriffs dept!
As in doing away with all building codes, health codes, traffic laws, well that was where a bug flew in my mouth and broke the spell…
Seriously this guy that was running for County Commissioner was spellbinding in his zeal and fervor and that he was actually serious. This was probably 6 years ago.
Even though I tend to vote for R’s more than D’s I don’t approve of either of the examples or your distorted view of them.
While I believe that abortion is murder; I also believe in God who created man & woman and whose first gift to us was free choice. Since we have free choice it seems illogical to say I know better than God and to take that gift away from someone.


Now, abolishing the county payroll would be a rather extreme first step, but at least that would be a reduction in gov’t. I’ll give him points for being consistent. However, every LP candidate who attempts to ‘incrementalize’ the reduction in gov’t, is vilified by the hard core members of the LP for not being ‘real libertarians’. What you get as a result is a candidate like him, and a reaction like the above.

As for the second point, there isn’t any reason why those codes cannot be handled by the ‘private sector’. Traffic laws would be enforced by the highway owners, building codes by the design professionals in the area. Health codes are the stupidest of all. It’s in the food services interest to visibly comply with common sense health rules. A prime example of a service that could be provided on a pay basis, taking another burden off of the taxpayer.

As someone who votes for ‘R’s, I would expect some sympathy for ideas that reduce the size of gov’t, not ridicule. I’m sure the LP candidate in question was serious. I’m equally serious; something has to give, and the average tax payer is tired of giving. It’s the gov’ts turn to give.

As for the ‘view’ that I presented, It’s wasn’t a viewpoint. What I did was present a logical extrapolation of a stated goal for each of the two ‘major’ parties. That most people don’t recognize the obvious flaws in their favorite political parties stated good intentioned goals is why we are on the road to hell right now.

This also is not a viewpoint:

abortion isn’t murder, because there is no human life without brain activity. Those are just the facts. That many people disagree and say that they know or ‘believe’ otherwise is just an example of them simply denying the known facts in a given situation.

If you believe in free choice, then you are definitely wasting your vote pulling a lever with an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ next to it. There won’t be any choices left to make if things aren’t changed (and that’s even if the Democrat’s return to leadership) There will soon be only that behavior which is compelled by law, and that behavior which is forbidden by law. There will be nothing in between; except perhaps, behavior they are still drafting legislation to ‘control’.

Harry Browne

He was the first presidential candidate that I actually believed in when I cast my vote for him (two times, even) I wish I could say he was “my friend” or that I “knew him well”, but we only met briefly, once during each campaign. He had what was needed in a presidential candidate, that air of confidence and and charisma that makes you want to trust him.

We’ll miss you, Harry.

Here’s a bit of him in his own words (thx to TL Knapp for the link)
I Love America. Do You?

Don’t forget…

Handbrakes are useful items. You should always set the handbrake, espcially when your driveway slopes gently down toward the house, and you’ve left the transmission in neutral, so that you can go back and lock the door that you didn’t remember to lock.

(that should have been the first clue)

Oh well. I was planning on rebuilding that wall anyway.

ALD: Not welcome in Idaho?

Got notice of the Ponderay, Idaho Police issuing a warning concerning the use of ALD in their jurisdiction. Apparently they missed the notice from the Federal Reserve that there is no crime being committed when people offer and accept alternate currencies as payment.

The retailer in question also apparently neglected to look at the currency itself, or they might have noticed the very obvious contact information on the reverse that would have allowed them to contact a local resource and redeem the silver for FRN’s if they mistakenly accepted the silver in payment.

Once again, a furor over being given something of value when what the business wanted was a worthless piece of paper. I remain baffled.

It’s not about Abortion

But the abortion issue plays so well.

Had a yellow dog reply to me the other day “I hope Roe is overturned before 2008!” In response to my entry on the impending Democratic Victory at the polls.

The elections that will be impacted are the 2006 elections (2008’s will probably also go against the Reps, but that’s still 2 years off) The complete lack of focus on the part of the sitting government is what is going to cost the Republican’s plenty, not the reversal of Roe. On the subject of what is important to Americans right now, Roe and Abortion isn’t even on the map. Nor do I think it will be reversed or even severely impacted.

Oh, they could change the “on demand” status, and the Religious Reich would crow to the heavens about the “victory” they’d achieved. But science and precedent aren’t behind a reversal of the current ruling. I don’t see how the SCOTUS can see it’s way to a ‘reversal’. Which means that Abortion stays legal and will be privately funded (in fewer places) and that the more logical chemical approaches to ‘family planning’ will take the front seat.

The issue should die there. Why? I made this argument a long time ago, you can’t have a murder if you don’t have a body. There is no body with a morning after pill (the method of choice these days) or one of the other early use chemicals. So attempting to inflict the morality of “life at conception” through the use of law is just another downward spiral. Just brings on the major societal change that much sooner.

The fact is that what people do find important isn’t being addressed. The war, the lackluster economy, etc. The fact that, even with half the income of America at the gov’ts disposal, it still takes years to get a city rebuilt. (N’Orleans)

There is some serious dissatisfaction out there, and I don’t see the Republicans addressing it. Come to think of it, I don’t see mainstream Democrats addressing it either.

Da Vinci Court & Opus Dei

Noticed on news today that the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail are looking for a slice of Dan Brown‘s Da Vinci Code pie.

Maybe they should have written a fiction novel instead of trying for the non-fiction label themselves. They would have needed more of a plot, though.


Read this defense of the antagonists faith from the novel, Opus Dei the other day. I gotta tell you, he doesn’t convince me that the behavior makes sense, or that I would want to sign up for that kind of self abuse. What he does convince me of is why the church is so desperate to retain membership that they would do some of the things that they’ve been accused of doing of late.

“You want me to inflict pain on myself so that I can experience some spiritual growth? Uh, no thanks, dude.”

I would suspect that, if you believed that inflicting pain on yourself lead to your long term benefit, you might come to believe that inflicting pain on others might be to their long term benefit. Sounds pretty sick to me.


Looking forward to watching the movie. Don’t know if I can quite picture Tom Hanks in the lead role, but the clips I saw on the news story seemed pretty interesting.

Boston Legal, Jury Nullification, Euthanasia

Speaking of Boston Legal (I was) the episode “Live Big” (that aired on the 21st) features Alan Shore once again on the horns of an ethical dilemma. His client granted his Alzheimer’s afflicted wife’s request to have her life terminated.

I love watching James Spader’s characterization of Alan Shore. He’s so wonderfully dry. The contrasting relationship with bombastic ‘Denny Crane’ (William Shatner) makes an excellent sounding board (and vice versa) for discussion points within the episode.

Denny Crane: That’s how dad went. Morphine drip.
Alan Shore: How did you get the doctor to do it?
Denny Crane: “Denny Crane”. It was the real thing then.

Spader’s ‘Shore’ is clearly uncomfortable with the whole subject, but he believes that his client should not be labeled a criminal, and bases his closing argument on that very basic fact.

The A.D.A.’s argument amounts to: he broke the law, he’s a criminal, and we can’t afford to start down the slippery slope of allowing assisted suicide, what happens when people start getting rid of the old, sick people they just don’t want around anymore.

Shore’s argument goes like this:

The dirty little secret is; we went down that slope, years ago. Officially we say we’re against assisted suicide; but it goes on, all the time. 70% of all deaths in hospitals are due to decisions to let patients die. Whether it’s morphine drips or respirators, hydration tubes. With all due respect to the Terry Schiavo fanfare, patients are assisted with death, all across the country, all the time.

As for regulating motive, here’s a thought, investigate it. if we suspect foul play have the police ask questions, if it smells funny, prosecute.

But here, there is no suggestion that Mr. Myerson’s motive was anything other than to satisfy his wifes wishes and spare her the extreme indignity of the rotting of her brain. Can you imagine? Would you want to live like that?

I had a dog for 12 years. His name was Allen. That was his name when I got him. He had cancer in the end. That, in conjunction with severe hip dysplasia, and he was in unbearable pain. My vet recommended, and I agreed, to euthanize him. It was ‘humane’ which we as society endeavor to be, for animals.

My client’s act was a humane one. It was a sorrowful one. Mrs. Myerson’s nurse testified as to the profound love that Ryan Myerson had for his wife. Sometimes the ultimate act of love and kindness…

If you think this man is a criminal send him to jail. If you don’t, don’t.

His client is, of course, acquitted. A classic case of jury nullification, a legitimate finding by the jury that the law was wrongly applied in this instance.

Another example of why I love the show evolves afterwards. Once again in a conversation between Denny and Alan, the nature of “who’s life is it anyway” is explored. An excellent conclusion to the episode, and what I’ve come to expect from the show.

Looking forward to tonight’s episode.

When are Taxes not Theft?

Heard on the radio today that Austin is going to give 3 million dollars as an incentive to HP so that they’ll graciously relocate here. Oh, I know, they aren’t actually ‘giving’ anything. They’re offering incentives (rebates on taxes) and I’m sure you and I won’t even notice that HP (the multi-national corporation) isn’t paying the same property taxes that us working stiffs are.

Why should we care when we as living, existing entities with limited time in this world are stolen from on a daily basis while a corporation with no real existence and no limit on their lifespan (profitable or not) gets a free pass for 10 years (about a quarter of the average persons working life) and has potentially centuries to make however many millions it is destined to make.

So, to get to the point, when are Taxes not Theft?

When the tax is levied on an legal entity that has no physical being to maintain. When the tax is levied on creatures of law that have no existence outside of law; if the cost of maintaining it’s existence is the maintenance of gov’t and law, can any cost be considered ‘unreasonable’? Can any cost short of self destruction be considered theft, since the alternative is for them to cease to exist?

Taxes levied on creatures of the state cannot be ruled theft. Corporations and other creatures of law, government sheltered businesses of any kind, should carry the burden of gov’t since they owe their very existence to government in the first place, and would have no ability to continue in existence without it.

In my opinion, this is the answer to the age old question of how to fund government. Let those who profit from it, those who would have no existence with out it, pay for it. Starting with corporations like HP.

Might *doesn’t* Make Right

Got into one of those discussions this weekend (I don’t know how I manage to do this so often) someone insisting that the use, or threat of use of force, is required routinely to provide a ‘safe and secure’ society.

When I offered the counter observation that it was hardly the case, and that most poeple would rather do anything to avoid a fight, it was scoffed at; never mind that day after day, time after time, events transpire to prove that people will tend to avoid confrontation if they can.

(one might even argue that it would be a better world if only more people felt there were things worth fighting for, but don’t get me started)

That there are people who only respect force is a given, in my book. That is one of the core reasons that some form of government will always be necessary. Self government only works if you are intelligent enough to modify your own behavior when your desires drive you to take what isn’t yours or in some way transgress the ‘normal’ code of conduct that is currently enforced as law. That there isn’t daily killings on the highway for transgressions of driving ettiquette is all the proof that I need that most people are capable of self government.

If Might made Right, then anything achieved by force would be acceptable to the sensibilities of people in general. Logically, if the use of force “made right”, then I’m not sure what business anyone has objecting to anything that is done to him. Obviously it’s ‘right’ if it can be done, given that force is the only measurement of ‘right’ (being what the word ‘makes’ means) if you accept the statement as true. That people object, and that some people will respond with force (also known as self defense; a concept near and dear to my heart) proves that Might Doesn’t make Right. Not even ‘Right now’.

Lucky for the rest of us. I guess I’ll have to add a few more names to the book, though. The record of people that I will need to apply force to if I ever want anything out of them…