• Category Archives World
  • Liberal Gun Nuts

    So, I get this tweet from Eric James Stone (I and his other millions of fans) linking to a post written by someone he claimed to be a liberal making sense on the second amendment. On the Daily Kos no less.  Being as enamored of mythical beasts as well as jackalopes I clicked through for a looksee. … He was right.

    Not only did the guy make sense, he did it without simply invalidating all those things the liberals hold most dear in this one, oh so special, case in which he was called upon to make sense. Bravo sir. Bravo.

    His larger point though, the car he was riding in if you will, was not so logical and it’s where most of his power to be persuasive from a liberal point of view came from. He was saying, in that oh so self-righteous way we all know and love, that conservatives are about taking rights away from the people while liberals are about keeping rights in the people’s hands.

    This only works if you consider putting the control of any given right into the hands of the government to be keeping it in the hands of the people. I beg to differ. I already have the right to donate money to Maplethorpe, or, conversely, to NOT donate money to Maplethorpe. Funding the NEA with tax dollars actually takes that second right away.  I already have the right to donate money to the poor. Funding welfare projects with tax dollars takes that right away.  The principle is universal.

    Putting ‘rights’ into the hands of the government to administer lessens the rights of the people in every case. In some cases we are losing the right to be a jerk. So what.  That is nevertheless a right you are actually taking away rather than leaving in my hands. I’ll wager nearly all the arguments about what the government should and should not regulate hinge on one side considering a particular behavior to be jerky that the other doesn’t. (mmm jerky)

    That’s the liberal position. The government should not allow people to be jerks, and the liberals get to decide what being a jerk IS. The conservative side of that argument (Largely, I’ll not defend all things done in the name of conservatism) is to keep the government out of the matter as often as possible, thus leaving the rights in the hands of the people by default. The people who wrote the constitution were very careful to make it clear that the government had no powers other than what was specifically granted in that document for that very reason. Everything else was already inherently in the hands of the people and getting the government involved just screwed things up.

    So, thank you Angry Mouse for making a cogent point from atop your tower of unassailable non-jerkiness.

    If I hear of an article calling for the government to mandate that every household shall own and maintain a proficiency in the use of firearms I will point out that, once again, the author of that article has missed the point.

  • Lawsuits for dummies

    Or BY dummies I suppose.

    Woman asks google for directions from one place to another on her blackberry. Gets directions. Follows directions down a road with no sidewalks. Gets hit by a car. Sues google.

    So many things wrong with this I find myself nearly mute, though I wish to comment. What. An. Idiot. And a selfish idiot at that. I suppose we could attribute a certain low cunning to the idiot in question. Google, after all, has deep pockets and may settle out of court.

    Why is she an idiot? Several reasons. One, for getting hit by a car as a pedestrian. Not hard to avoid. Another, for thinking that the magic google-magic would keep her safe on a road she could plainly see didn’t have sidewalks, and which she is now claiming was obviously unsafe. Obvious to everyone but her at time apparently. Yet one more, for behaving in a manner that would end society in a heartbeat if everyone followed suit. Really, idiot? You wish to live in a society where Google is responsible for YOUR actions? How about YOU be responsible for your OWN actions.

    Oh and you, her friends who urged her to sue. You’re stupid too.

  • Bullies are filth.

    Thanks to stacylwhitman for linking to this: http://nyti.ms/aMbPXC

    Interesting and tragic article reporting on the suicide of a bullied girl. Best line in the article:

    “These indictments tell us that middle school and high school kids are not immune from criminal laws,” he said. “If they violate them in the course of bullying someone, they’ll be held accountable. We don’t need to create a new crime.”

    Smart and tough.

    Had my share of problems with bullies growing up. I have very little patience with those who practice that vile art. May they practice it in front of me often in the future.

  • Business Becomes Government

    Author and thinker Jerry Pournelle muses on some interesting topics today.

    In a nutshell, business, if allowed to, will use government to restrict its competition, to secure its place in the market.  And as it does so it concentrates more and more economic power into the hands of fewer and fewer people. This, in turn, allows those powerful few to manipulate the political process in ways that give them more power. A corollary of that manipulation is the concentration of political power into the hands of those politicians who will bow to business, or, looked at another way, use the powerful business interests to collect and increase their own political power.

    Things quickly devolve from that point into a struggle between the powerful few in business and the powerful few in government, both trying to increase said power. There’s only so much of it to go around after all.

    We’re watching such a struggle take place right now, over healthcare. Something has gone wrong in the republic.

    Normally, I’m all for business being left alone to do pretty much anything it wants as long as the government has the power to enforce a certain limited set of laws designed to prevent criminal abuse. And we already have those laws on the books: libel, homicide, negligent homicide, personal injury, theft, anti-trust, etc…

    It’s when business starts using the government to enforce its advantage that we have a problem. But then, at that point, the problem isn’t really business anymore is it? It’s become government again.

    The answer always seems to be less government nowadays.

    Of course, there is a point where less government becomes bad, as we slide toward anarchy. But we can deal with that when we get back into the same galaxy as that end of the sliding scale, hmmm?

  • Forewarning of the Chilean Earthquake

    Unfortunately this is not the kind of early warning system you can put in place on any kind of official basis.

    I’m pretty sure I’m related by marriage to President and Sister Laycock, serving as mission presidents in Chile.  They had an interesting experience prior to the earthquake there in 2010.

    President Larry Laycock and his wife, Sister Lisa Laycock head the Santiago Chile East Mission and had spent the two weeks prior to the 8.8 earthquake visiting each missionary apartment and preparing them for an earthquake.

    Article about it from Meridian Magazine here.