Archive for April, 2011

Just Kidding

Dave Killion — April 21, 2011

At first, I thought the US government was going too far –

But then I read “Child, 6, Brings Gun to School“, and I wonder if those little rascals really aren’t the threat the TSA seems to think they are!

More On Mainstream Disconnection

Dave Killion — April 21, 2011

G, I see  the phenomenon about which you posted yesterday is mirrored over at Metacritic, where the critics give 27% while the viewers give 67%. Even if I was someone who didn’t have an opinion one way or another about Rand, I would certainly see this movie, if only to discover what is so polarizing about her views!

Site Recommendation

Dave Killion — April 20, 2011

If I was stranded on a desert island that had such bad internet availability I could only access three websites, I would like one of them to be the Reason blog. Easily one of the most informative and entertaining libertarian sites there is. Here they are celebrating 4/20 with “Three reasons to legalize pot now!” –

And since Reason strives to stay ahead of the curve, they begin warming us up for Friday’s ‘Earth Day’ with “The Top Five Environmental Disasters That Didn’t Happen” –

I know, I know… this blog already provides you with your recommended daily allowance of libertarian awesomeness. Go check ’em out anyway!

Mainstream Disconnect?

G — April 19, 2011

Moseying on over to rotten tomatoes to see the latest movie review ratings for Atlas Shrugged Part I, one will notice an interesting spectacle.

At time of visiting, only seven percent of newspaper and mainstream film reviewers (of 28) ‘liked’ the new movie.  Now, it may be that it is an exceptionally bad movie except for the startling fact that eighty-five percent of regular movie-goers (of 7,431) ‘liked’ the movie.

This is a huge disconnect.

The question is, who is showing their feathers of bias?  Audience film goers or film critics from ‘accepted’ sources?

 

420

Dave Killion — April 19, 2011

My goodness, April 20th (4/20) is here already! It hardly seems a year has passed since citizens were taking to the streets to protest the criminalization of marijuana –

Well, it’s that time again. And even though regulations that criminalize marijuana have led to a greater destruction of life and property than the plant itself ever could have doesn’t mean we can’t have  a laugh about it now and then –

On the Wrong Road

Dave Killion — April 18, 2011

James Legh, who I am pleased to say is a friendly acquaintance of mine, has a new post up at his blog ‘Amalgamate Greater Victoria‘. Unfortunately for him, those who are opposed to amalgamation (like me) aren’t going to be swayed by his latest argument –

“In the case of one road between Central Saanich and Saanich, trucks over 5500 kilograms can drive up to the boarder in Central Saanich, but cannot drive along the same road once it reaches Saanich…

Why should Saanich care? It will cost money to make any changes and simply benefit a neighboring municipality.”

What the pro-amalgamation bunch overlooks here is very much what they always overlook – the problem exists not just because the road runs through more than one municipality, but also because the municipalities own the road! True, amalgamation would likely create a uniform regulation of the road, but it would do nothing to correct the more serious problem of benefits accruing principally to the road users while the costs are borne by taxpayers. If the road was privately owned, neither problem would exist. So why endorse a half-solution like amalgamation?

U.N. Integrity

Dave Killion — April 17, 2011

On the matter of climate change, my position is this: statistics are hard. There is so much data coming from so many different places, and it is far beyond my abilities to filter out what predictions are likely to prove true. What I can say for certain is that during the half-century that makes up my life, global population has doubled. I have been told, incessantly and almost without exception, that we are on the brink of disaster in the form of disease, pollution, resource scarcity, overpopulation, and of course, global warming climate change. All of which, needless to say, has failed to materialize. It seems that markets, shackled even as they are, enable humanity to grow and prosper no matter the challenges we face. Of course, one of the benefits of constantly predicting disaster is that sooner or later you will be right, and can enjoy telling everyone, “I told you so”. Doomsayers also enjoy special status as Very Serious People who know a great deal more than the rest us, and deserve extra attention and generous access to our money. To that end, they work very hard to dismiss and even conceal their failed predictions.

Witness this recent UN scandal, in which a reporter notes that in 2005 a UN organization predicted climate change would create 50 million refugees by 2010. Soon after the article, the map showing the prediction was ‘disappeared’ from the internet. Too bad. If only there was something like Google Cache, then we could still see the map. Oh, wait! There is, and we can! It seems the UN is no better at cover-ups than it is at disaster prediction. So why is anyone listening to these folks, much less giving them money?

Resolution Revisited

Dave Killion — April 16, 2011

I had a good deal of success with my New Year’s Resolution in the early weeks, rejecting pennies everywhere I went. Despite the contention of one of our commentators, vendors would often round up to the nearest nickel rather than withholding more than three cents change, and I was making my statement at nearly no cost to myself. But recently it came to my attention that although recently minted coins rip off the taxpayer, there are lots of Canadian and US pennies and nickels circulating with a metal content that exceeds the face value of the coin.

This being the case, I have learned which dates to look for, and now I have fun sorting my change looking for 3¢ pennies and 12¢ nickels to collect. It’s also been a good opportunity to engage people in conversations about Gresham’s Law and inflation. Who knew being a libertarian could pay off in so many ways!

 

Nobel Winning Nonsense

Dave Killion — April 14, 2011

As I’ve written before, I read a lot of left-wing and right-wing material in order to insure I don’t over indulge my confirmation bias. I have found that these Team Blue/Team Red partisans repeat the same mistakes, and it takes a lot of self-discipline to avoid simply dismissing the Paul Krugmans, Bill O’Reillys, Sean Hannitys, and Rachael Maddows.

But “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%”  by Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz is in a class by itself. This sad article draws on every type of distortion, exaggeration, and misrepresentation known in order to nurture the Progressive narrative that the main problem with the nexus between the public and private sector is that rich people manipulate the system to increase their own power and wealth. Here is a typical example of that distortion –

All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top.”

Really, Joe? More than all? Because if there is a way to take more than all of something, I’d like to know what it is. Maybe that’s something you only learn at Nobel Laureate school?

In all seriousness, Stiglitz has written something so bad that you really must read it to appreciate it. Just try to keep track of all the errors. And then after you’ve done that, visit Russ Roberts at Cafe Hayek and Scott Winship to see what you missed. And then go to The Economist, where Will Wilkinson explains how Stiglitz is making…

“… an argument against money in politics that argues for precisely the sort of government power that draws money to politics.

That is to say, the problem is not that the rich are buying power, its that we are allowing power to be sold when we should be keeping it ourselves.

Some Perspective

Dave Killion — April 13, 2011

In the past couple days I have seen two different versions of this –

“Remember when teachers, public employees, union thugs, Planned Parenthood, artists and PBS/NPR crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither….”

I can just imagine my progressive acquaintances giggling, high-fiving, and saying, “Oh, snap!” to each other. But as pleased as I am with Planned Parenthood for not polluting the Gulf, I don’t find that a reason for letting them continue to leech off the taxpayer. Or put another way –

Remember when teachers, public employees, union thugs, Planned Parenthood, artists and PBS/NPR advanced their agendas and self-interest using money they collected voluntarily, rather than through the threat of state violence? Yeah, me neither….”