Archive for October, 2012

For Crying Out Loud

Dave Killion — October 19, 2012


I count the hammer and sickle emblem four times in this poster.

What’s the problem, guys? Couldn’t find any swastikas?



Are Movie Reviewers To The Left Of Movie Viewers?

Dave Killion — October 18, 2012


Movie reviewers give the new ‘Atlas Shrugged’ movie 6%, while your friends and neighbours give it 81%. Well, it’s not like we haven’t seen this kind of disconnect before. But let’s not be hasty. Perhaps movie reviewers aren’t mostly big-government, anti-freedom types. It could just be that the works of Ayn Rand translate into works that simply don’t appeal to more refined, discriminating cinephiles. It’s entirely possible that a film could be made in which regular, everyday people successfully struggle against powerful government institutions and special interests, and critics will find that film just as praise-worthy as do the masses.


Never mind.

Too Many Rich People?

JMaddock — October 14, 2012

I was a little surprised by this Gallup poll, which suggests that most Americans believe the U.S. has either enough rich people or “too many”. Only 21% take the position that there are “too few” rich people in America, which seems like it should be the logical answer from anyone who wants the country to improve and succeed.

1990-2011 Trend: Perceptions About Number of Rich People in the U.S.

Obviously, questions like this one are inherently subjective. What constitutes a “rich person” is anyone’s guess. What we should do to ensure the optimal proportion of “rich people” likewise goes unspecified.

What surprised me, however, was the sheer number of Americans who cringe at the very idea of “rich people”, to the point of suggesting that there should be less of them. In addition, a majority of respondents seem to think that if a greater number of Americans were to become wealthy through their own enterprise and initiative, that would be a bad thing for the country as a whole.

If most citizens see an increase in the creation of wealth as harmful to society, it’s no wonder that the U.S. isn’t prospering economically.

Why Do You Have A Right To Speech, But Not To Food?

Dave Killion — October 14, 2012

Maybe this will help –

It’s Increasingly Difficult To Take The Nobel Peace Prize Seriously

Dave Killion — October 13, 2012

A Coercive Day In The Neighborhood

Dave Killion — October 9, 2012

It is difficult to imagine someone more gentle than Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. If someone had suggested to him that he should command perfect strangers to give him money, and that he should threaten to send armed men to either imprison those strangers or take their money by violence if they refused, he would surely have declined. In fact, I cannot help but believe that he would have refused to do so even if threatened with violence himself. And yet, in the video above (6:50), we find him lobbying the state for funding, all of which is obtained by just such means.

Perhaps the late Mister Rogers was oblivious to both the true nature and the ramifications of his request, or he was not but felt strongly that the good ends he hoped to accomplish justified the means used to attempt them. Either way, his impassioned plea demonstrates how many people cause suffering all while trying to accomplish, through coercion, what they think is good. This mindset presents a tremendous obstacle, and it is important that we keep working to spread the message that there is nothing kinder nor gentler than true freedom.

While Governments Conceal, The Market Forces Businesses To Be Transparent

Dave Killion — October 7, 2012


This is a 3 1/2 minute video explaining why the sandwich you order at McDonald’s doesn’t look as good as the one in the ads. The answer? The sandwich in the photo cost about $10,000.00 to make. There’s a lot more good info where this came from. That’s because McDonald’s has to persuade you to do business with them. To get that business, they have to do a good job, and they have to tell you how good a job they’re doing. Compare that to any government agency you deal with, and I bet the government doesn’t come away looking too good.

Happy Thanksgiving

Dave Killion — October 7, 2012

Since becoming libertarian, Thanksgiving has come to resonate with me more and more. Being, basically, a harvest festival, it is a good time to look at the bounty resulting from the efforts of the past year. It presents an opportunity to reflect on our actions and evaluate them relative to the outcomes, to decide if we are on the right path, and to consider what changes we could make in our goals, practices, and behaviour. Furthermore, since being libertarian means embracing personal responsibility for one’s life, Thanksgiving may be a time to enjoy some well-earned pride in one’s achievements, both as an individual, and through voluntary cooperation with others.

I hope this holiday finds you happy, in the company of friends and loved ones, and satisfied with this year’s harvest. Best wishes!

Excellence Is Ignored In The Public Sector

Dave Killion — October 5, 2012

There have been a lot of videos documenting ugly behaviour by cops, but I bet you haven’t seen many like this. Watch it (2:40), then come back for the rest of this post.

Finished? Seriously, watch the post first.

Alrighty, then. Here we have a feel-good news story about what appears to be a decent human being doing the very tough job of law enforcement very well. And since libertarians know there are so very many feel-bad stories about LEOs, I hope this video did make you feel good. But realize this – this video is also a testimony to the failure of the public sector.

The LA Sheriff’s department has had twenty years to study this deputy’s performance, and share his techniques not only within the department, but with law enforcement agencies everywhere. But since there is no profit motive, and none of the competition that drives excellence, twenty years passed before anyone even noticed what a great job Deputy Simmons has been doing. Subject that kind of ineptitude to market forces, and I doubt the LA Sheriff’s department would last six months, much less twenty years. And in a libertarian world, Deputy Simmons would have gotten the attention he deserves a long, long time ago.

Such a waste.


Anything Is Possible

Dave Killion — October 4, 2012

At times, spreading the libertarian message seems like too much effort. It is as if you have been knocked down and trampled while running a race. As you look up, bloody and stunned, watching your competitors increase their lead, no one would expect you to pick yourself up and go on. Walk off the track, and not only would no one think less of you, no one would even remember it the next day.

But what if you did get up? –

“(Alicia Follmar) was just over a lap into the first leg of the distance medley at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia when she was tripped accidentally from behind. She fell hard, and six or seven runners appeared to go straight over her.

What happened next was captured in unforgettable photos: Follmar got up quickly and regained her stride, while long streams of blood flowed down her face and neck. She had been spiked in the forehead, showed nasty abrasions up and down her right side and generally looked liked someone running in the Freddy Krueger Invitational.”

If Alicia can do it literally, you can do it metaphorically. So don’t stay down!