Archive for September, 2011

Alright everybody, out of the pool.

Dave Killion — September 20, 2011

Sea-World's attempts to replace its Shamu show have met with mixed success.

I think there are a bunch of people who would like to abandon everything and just travel the world, and another bunch of people who would like to start their own businesses. There are smaller groups, like those who would like to run a marathon. And there are groups that are smaller still, each with its own unique aspirations. But no matter who you are, no matter how small your dream is, you can rest assured that your government is working hard to crush it

“Lawyers for the U.S. federal government said Monday that SeaWorld animal trainers cannot safely work in close contact with killer whales, as they opened what is expected to be a week-long legal hearing before an administrative law judge that could determine the future of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s worldfamous Shamu shows.”

We are somehow to believe that the few people with the training, courage, experience, talent, fitness, and determination to work with orcas must be prevented from voluntarily risking their lives in the performance of their jobs, but just about anyone with a pulse is perfectly capable of evaluating the physical and spiritual dangers of enlisting to serve the state in one of its countless foreign adventures. Give me a break!

Blanket beach bans

Dave Killion — September 19, 2011

Some of the proposals for keeping non-residents from using the beach seem a little extreme.

As far as some municipal taxpayers are concerned, a local beach is proving just a little too popular

“A group of Lions Bay residents wants its village council to look into excluding outsiders from Lions Bay Beach Park, a popular local beach.

The village council will meet Monday to discuss the formation of a “Concerned Residents Task Force” after a group of 20 or so residents voiced their displeasure to council.”

The illegal parking, overflowing garbage containers, strained septic field, and insufficient policing of bad behaviour that has riled up the complainants are all perfectly predictable consequences of management by government agencies that simply do not have the knowledge or incentives to manage common resources optimally. As the article points out, restricting the beach to local residents is a legal impossibility. The best solution? Privatize the beach and let those who use it pay directly for its upkeep. Whatever the result, it has to be better than pitting neighbour against neighbour.

 

Why aren’t you people panicking?

Dave Killion — September 18, 2011

Apparently you can walk across Victoria, BC like this... so long as you don't mean any harm.

A Victoria man had a fight with his roommate and left for a friend’s house across town. Not wanting to leave his firearms behind, he made the trip with three rifles slung over his shoulder. Police are concerned that no one was worried enough to call them

The method of transportation was “bad judgment,” said Const. Mike Russell, but charges won’t be laid because police don’t think the 46-year-old man meant to harm anyone.

People seeking to transport registered firearms should call police to request the necessary papers.

This sounded a little fishy to me because I am a firearms owner, so I know a little bit about the regulations concerning their transportation, and I am a libertarian, so I know a little about the police and what motivates them. And what I know is that (1) you don’t need any special papers from the police to transport rifles other than the license you need to possess and acquire them and (2) the police lay charges against lots and lots of people who do things not meaning to harm anyone (like smoking pot). So I took a look at the regulations concerning the transportation of non-restricted firearms, and I don’t see anything that bars a person from physically transporting an unloaded, non-restricted firearm on foot. I suppose they could lay some kind of catch-all charge like ‘disturbing the peace’ or ‘creating a nuisance’, but that might create an outcome unfavourable to the police.

It is well known in the firearms community that most police chiefs strongly favour gun control, and I think their desire to present firearms ownership as being dangerous and fraught with criminal implications has much more to do with not charging this apparently law-abiding citizen than the intentions of the citizen did.

Priorities and perspective

Dave Killion — September 16, 2011

Many of us were horrified to hear about the killing of 100 sled dogs last year, and after a lengthy and expensive investigation the BC SPCA is recommending the man committing the act be charged

“Marcie Moriarty, head of cruelty investigations at the B.C. SPCA, said her organization is recommending that Crown lawyers charge Fawcett with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.

“Under the criminal code, the maximum penalty this individual could receive is five years in jail,” Moriarty said.

“In addition, [he] can receive a lifetime ban on owning animals and a significant fine.

Moriarty said the investigation was one of the most complex and expensive ever undertaken by the B.C. SPCA.”

Indeed. Not only was $250,000.00 spent on the investigation, but taxpayers also had to foot the bill for a government task force that recommended tougher animal cruelty penalties including fines up to $75,000 and jail sentences up to two years.

None of this is any surprise. The SPCA exists because of animal cruelty and is obviously made up of people more concerned about animal treatment than the public at large. They are likely to find abuse where others would not, and they have a financial incentive to do so.  As to the task force, would anyone expect them to conclude that everything was just dandy and that no increase in state involvement was called for?

None of us likes to see animals suffer, but the world is full of problems and the resources available to solve them are limited. So if you think it’s more important to donate your money to organizations that look to preserve endangered species, or educate third world girls, or end the AIDS epidemic in Africa than to spend your money on animal abuse prosecutions, you might want to think about speaking out against a government that takes that choice away from you.

Well, maybe if the guy was named Wolf…

Dave Killion — September 15, 2011

At the last Republican debate in Tampa, Florida, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer created a hypothetical 30-year-old man who can afford health insurance but declines to buy it.  Just say, hypothetically speaking, that this hypothetical man hypothetically becomes ill and requires six months of intensive hypothetical care. What, asks Blitzer of Congressman Ron Paul, should be done?

 

As you see, Paul talks about responsibility, consequences, and charity, which somehow makes Blitzer wonder if the Congessman is “saying society should just let him die?”

The problem here is that Blitzer doesn’t realize that government and society are not the same thing, so in his mind, if you say you don’t want government to help this hypothetical victim then you are saying you don’t want anyone to help. But what Paul has been saying is that the government should just leave the man to society, and as far as libertarians are concerned, he’s absolutely right.

Point and click

Dave Killion — September 14, 2011

Well, I did tell Grandma she should get some guns...

What is a woman to do when her husband is being beaten by her daughter’s violent boyfriend? Here’s an idea –

“Seeking help following an assault at the hands of her boyfriend, a woman phoned her parents. They quickly picked her up and brought her to their home, calmed their terrified daughter and she went to sleep. Then a banging at the door arose—the boyfriend had found her hiding place. The parents would not answer, so the suspect kicked in the door and began assaulting them. The mother was able to struggle free and ran to the bedroom to get her pistol. Meanwhile, the suspect turned his attention to the father. The mother returned to find the suspect badly beating her husband. She opened fire, killing 
the suspect.”(Link)

People in general, and Canadians in particular, do not have a sufficient appreciation of the amount of crime prevented by law-abiding owners. Help them overcome their ignorance by pointing them to The Armed CitizenBlog

Compare and Contrast

Dave Killion — September 13, 2011

Cable ties and face shields? Aisle 17, sir.

The Vancouver Police Department has provided a review of the Stanley Cup riot, and finds that they did all they could

The VPD review largely echoes a provincial report in concluding the Vancouver force had no advance warning a riot was imminent and that no plausible number of deployed officers could have prevented it.”

No advance warning? Surely the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot of 1994 must have raised at least one little red flag!

The VPD said ending the current patchwork quilt of municipal and RCMP forces would improve communication, standardize policy and practices, improve resource use, boost investigative and patrol capacities, reduce service duplication and end competition between forces for recruits and other skilled personnel.

How predictable. When a government monopoly fails, the government response is always to call for more money and more power. That’s the kind of loser talk I wrote about just the other day. But just like the police have to deal with riots, retailers have to deal with tornadoes… or hurricanes… or floods…

“… many big retailers like Home Depot, Lowes and Wal-Mart have assembled disaster teams. “Preparing for a hurricane is all about the supply chain. Making sure you got the right products at the right time that consumers are looking for,” said Sherif Mityas, a partner in the retail practice at A.T. Kearney. “They’re wired into how the storm is affecting the communities around the stores.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has its own staff meteorologist, who can evaluate the weather data and analyze how it will impact its stores and workers. The discounter also can forecast what shoppers are looking for before a hurricane strikes – and in its aftermath – by using predictive modeling that studies past spending behavior.”

Take note, Vancouver PD. You won’t ever hear Wal-Mart saying they need regional control over every other retailer in order to prepare for disasters. Maybe we should start looking for police services from someone other than government.

Market failure

Dave Killion — September 12, 2011

But we will not provide next day service on even the simplest stitching job!

Man, that sign is so funny that I bet I’ll laugh about it the next time I need shoe repair and go to a different store. Thank goodness cobblers aren’t elected, otherwise I’d have to wait years to express my dissatisfaction.

Super Awesome Economic Genius!

Dave Killion — September 11, 2011

I hardly let a day go by without visiting Captain Capitalism, the blog of economist, dance instructor, motorcyclist, paleontologist, and all around alpha male Aaron Clarey. The Captain is one of those individuals who, like Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, and Don Boudreaux, cannot be bamboozled by numbers nor words, and he has generously elected to share his insights with a foolish and ungrateful world. I am very excited to have recently purchased his latest publication, “Privatizing Governments” not because anyone has referred it to me, but rather because my acquaintance with his other works makes this book self-recommending. Check out the book, check out the blog, and as Cappy Cap says – Enjoy the decline!

 

The Butter Battle Book

Shirley — September 9, 2011

Some serious libertarian content for my first post. Here is a video of Dr. Seuss’ libertarian/anti-war writing: