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Violent Drug Warrants – Explained

November 24th, 2008

Radley Balko does a good job of putting to words my personal view of how to serve nonviolent warrants. Here is the link.

Boy Arrested for Flatulence

November 24th, 2008

Seriously. Here is the link. Why would you want to send your kids to school? Insane rules and piss poor performance… gee, where do we sign up?

Posted in education | 1 Comment »

Interesting Civics Survey

November 24th, 2008

I took a survey on what should be taught in high school civics class. The results mean nothing more than you know the answer to those questions. I got 28/33. I missed 7, 8, 15, 19, and 33 (didn’t read the answers well).

Posted in civics | No Comments »

Whoopee Cushion Economics

November 21st, 2008

I finally came up with a term to describe the Bailouts, the Government Debt Spending, the Federal Reserve, and all other market distorting roles the government plays so well: Whoopee Cushion Economics. I’ve heard the reference the the economy being a house of cards. The problem is that for this particular house of cards, the government is still building as the house if falling. I prefer my term. The economy is capable of growing in certain areas where talent and resources are applied to the needs of the market, and other areas are pealed away as lack of talent and poor resource allocation cost those areas market share. But, if you place a whoopee cushion underneath that economy and slowly inflate it, it will give the impression of growth. “Hey everyone, we growing. See how high we are?”

But the growth is fake, imaginary. Then suddenly the economy gets too heavy and the hysterical farting sound is emitted from the whoopee cushion. As with most whoopee cushion episodes, some one always gets up and tries to deny it, “That wasn’t me,” but everyone knows who let one slip. Then, the prankster fills it up again and again, enjoying his role at the wedding.

In summary, bailouts, debt spending, and other market distorting laws inflate the economy. Unfortunately, its fake. And nobody likes flatulence at a wedding.

Why Race Matters

November 5th, 2008

Many commentators are discussing the amazing ability of a nation to swing from Jim Crow laws to a black president in one generation. While that is an amazing fact, and Obama should be proud, is that what really got Obama elected? Has our nation allowed our policies, economics, and personal life be dictated by the skin color of a candidate? I really hope Obama was elected for his policies (although I strongly disagree with most of them), not for his skin. Because we have to tolerate those policies for four potentially painful years.

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Lesser of Two Evils

November 5th, 2008

I hope your “lesser of two evils” vote helps you sleep at night. I was discussing (who am I kidding, arguing) with my father regarding the effectiveness of the “lesser of two evils” vote. Our individual votes are infinitely irrelevant. However, as they collect, they become powerful. Unfortunately, we, as a society, have fallen into this trap of the two party system. This system has lead us to a 31% president approval and a 19% Congress approval. Voting for the lesser of two evils delivers these types of approval numbers. By voting for the lesser of two evils, you are not voting for your ideals. Instead of placing someone in office that reflects your ideals, you (try to) prevent someone else’s ideals, resulting in no one’s ideals being placed in office, screwing everyone.

Last election, I voted for the lesser of two evils, and regretted it as soon as the bubble was filled. I promised myself I would never do it again. This year, I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries, converting to Republican to do so, and Bob Barr in the general election. I voted for my ideals. Can you say the same about your candidate?

Just in case you were wondering, its a little blurry, camera phones suck…

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13 Year Old Stoned to Death

November 4th, 2008

for being raped. The BBC has the article. The Islamic court demanded they girl was 23 and had committed adultery. Under Sheria law, a 23 year old adulterist must be stoned. Additionally, a 13 year old girl raped must not. But, if you fudge the numbers, no one is willing to contest because you have automatic weapons and they don’t.

I pose the question, does a society that enforces laws such as these deserve liberty? Especially to have it handed to them via some global babysitter?

Voting Day

November 4th, 2008

May the best man lose to the lesser of two evils. That reminds me of a Simpsons Episode (the video). Kang and Kodos impersonate Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. They are revealed the day before the elections at a debate. The crowd is afraid of voting for the aliens. Someone in the crowd shouts, “I’m voting for a third party candidate.”

Kang responds, “go ahead, throw your vote away! Ha, Ha, Ha.”

So who are you going to vote for, Kang or Kodos?

Posted in politics | 2 Comments »

Handling Oil Supply Reductions: 1970s vs. 2000s

November 4th, 2008

Some of you may be old enough to recall the oil crisis of the 1970s, while others may need to ask their parents or read about it in a book or Wikipedia. Comparing the 1970s with the 2000s provides an excellent example of the different ways to decide who gets to buy what, in this case, gasoline.

Parameter 1970s 2000s
Prices Remained Low Rose 70-100%
Time To Obtain Product Hours – Days Rose 70-100%
Government Intervention Price Ceilings Supply Additions

My dad told me a story about how he managed the lines for gasoline. He had a friend that worked at a gasoline station. His friend would let him park his car over night at the pump. Then, before the station would open, he would walk down to the station and wait for it to open and buy his gas. Isn’t that a great way to decide who gets to buy what?

In the 2000s, instead of government price ceilings, the prices rose as supply shrunk. Those who were willing to pay for gas did, and everyone else stopped driving, took the bus, rode a bike or carpooled. Then, when you really did need gas, like to drive your laboring wife to the hospital, you did not have to wait in a 3-day line to get gas. An interesting side note is that oil volume during the 1970′s crisis was the same as it was the year after and the year before. The reason for the crisis was hoarding. People were topping off their cars every day. They were storing it in their back yards just in case they needed it. Had prices risen as the free market wanted them to, hoarding would have been too expensive, as it was too expensive to hoard 6 months ago.

Economics are not only easy to predict because they are simple, its amazing how many people are ignorant of them. Ignoring the facts is far too common in our society. What are you doing to quit ignoring the facts?

Posted in economics | 1 Comment »