Tuesday, September 28, 2004

OregonLive.com: NewsFlash - Court takes on question of seizing land

Eminent domain is, at it's best, the government forcing you to sell your property for a fair price, because the land can be put to better use for everyone (like building a hiway through it).  However, lots of states use eminent domain to take your land, pay you a pittance for it, then sell it to developers who turn it into a luxury hotel.  This is wrong - I don't give a good god damn what the gomerals and imbeciles who call themselve state Supreme Court Justices say or think.  Taking someone's land because someone else can build something that brings in more taxes is evil.  Honest politicians tell you they're raising taxes and take their lumps - cowards and subhumans take your land and get their goons to make it legal.

That being said, it looks like the case will go to the U.S. Supreme Court - I'm not sure if I'm happy or worried.  The issue will be decided for a while (until something comes up to make the precedent useless), but the way the Supreme Court has been interpretting the Constitution of late, I'm not sure I want that pack of thieving illiterati telling me what the 5th Amendment means - they certainly don't know what the 1st, 2nd, 9th, or 10th mean...

BTW, if you live in Connecticut, I'd be thinking of selling and moving now, before the Governor comes to your house with a check for $100 and a bulldozer...

OregonLive.com: NewsFlash - Court takes on question of seizing land

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Property rights assault in King County

The King County Council is considering a proposal to limit the use of lands owned privately. Go to the Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights for more information.

And if this passes, welcome to Soviet Seattle.

Diversity: Useful or farcical?

I've been thinking a bit about diversity lately, and have come to the conclusion that diversity as it is enforced in our schools and companies is a farce.  We're trying to make sure there is a diverse population that mirrors our American society, but doing it by surface values, not by the things that make us diverse in the first place.

We enforce diversity by looking at:

  • skin colour
  • gender
  • religion
  • cultural elements
  • physical handicaps

But not by looking at:

  • ideologies
  • personal philosophies
  • structures of thought

We pay lip service to diversity, but don't actually provide for diverse populations.  The recent primary election in Washington should provide some backing for this.

In this election, for the first time in 70 years in Washington, people had to pick a party in the primary (former primaries were blanket primaries, meaning voters could vote for whoever they wanted to in any party - in other words, a baby general election).  Results from this primary were fairly consistent - Republicans and Democrats got 98-99% of the vote, and Libertarians got the remaining 1-2%.  These results were consistent whether it was a statewide race (governor, senator, etc) or local races (county reps and such), which helps to normalise the diverse population of the state and each individual political unit.

What does this show, you ask?  Well, there's one more piece of background info - this is the first election in Washington that the Libertarian party had major party status (i.e. they were called out on the primary ballot as a party - there were no Greens, Socialists, or other parties on the ballot).  For the first primary ever, Washingtonians had a third choice, a third way of looking at things, a third ideology to apply to the problems of the day.  And the diverse Washington population still followed the sheep mentality of voting Republican or Democrat by a 98-99% margin.  Even the fringe news stations in this area concentrated on R v. D races, not mentioning any Libertarian candidates or their races.  Debates leading up to the primary, and planned debates leading to the November election, excluded Libertarian candidates.

In other words, while Washington has a very diverse population in terms of nation of origin, creed, race, sex, religion, and physical handicaps, we're still a homogeneous pack of sheep, listening to the media focus on the big two parties and not thinking for ourselves.  In other words, where diversity really counts, we're not diverse - at least, we're not teaching people critical thinking, which helps lead to diverse ideas and ways of thinking.

One corollary to this - I heard last week that the head of the Aryan Nation passed away.  He lived in northern Idaho, and his death was celebrated by many.  My question is this: in a population committed to diversity (such as a university or a company), would his presence be welcome?  He does represent a different ideology than other people, and therefore would help increase the diversity of that population?  Your answer, of course, depends on whether you define diversity properly or politically correctly...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Confederate Flag, from Lincoln Journal Star

This is an interesting story, from both points of view. 

Lincoln Journal Star

I applaud the university for not dropping the hammer on Montgomery.  Jennings needs to read some history, as does the professor Jones.  He finds it's hard to untangle the Confederate flag from racial inequality, but I feel that is because Northern historians have worked so hard to make that connection that it's almost heresy to speak otherwise.

  • The War Between the States was not fought about slavery, but about the federal government excercising power it did not have unequally between Norther ports and Southern ports.  The war started, after the secession of South Carolina, with a blockade of Southern ports by unarmed ships of war.
  • Abolitionists made up about 2% of the population in the years leading up to the war.  Allying yourself with this small fringe at the time would have been politcal suicide, which is why Lincoln never did.
  • Slavery was not a serious issue in the Presidential debates leading to the 1860 election of Lincoln.
  • Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not appear until 1863, and only freed slaves in the Confederacy, the one place Lincoln's Union had no power to enforce it.  It was a measure used as a propaganda weapon, not a serious effort to free slaves (which didn't happen until the 1870's and the 14th Amendment).
  • The Confederate flag (which I proudly display as a bumper sticker on my motorcycle) is a rallying point for state's rights and small federal government.
  • The flag's rise to prominence in the 1960's had less to do with racism in the South and more to do with federally mandates affecting state's rights again.

In short, the War Between the States had as much to do with slavery as WWI had to do with the killing of Archduke Francis Ferdinand.  Was it an issue?  Sure.  Was it a major issue?  Doubtful.  Was it the single most important cause of the war?  No.

On a side note, Jennings and Jones need to look up the word "diversity" in one of their college library's dictionaries.  A diverse population will have equal amounts of liberal blacks, Northern socialists, and Southern flag wavers.  Their cause of ridding the world of the Confederate flag is no different than Hitler's cause of ridding the world of Jews - it's just a smaller scale, and politically correct to boot.  Or should that be jackboot...?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Primary election today

Today is primary election day in Washington state.  Despite some of my preivous posts and rants, I voted today, for a few reasons:

  1. This is a primary election, not a general election.
  2. Everyone running today is a state office seeker, not national.
  3. In uncontested races in Washington, you need to get 1% of the vote to move on to the eneral election in November.  This is critical for Libertarian candidates in Washington, who are mostly running uncontested in the their parties for some seats.
  4. Simple game theory.

That last point needs some explaining.  The application of game theory here deals with actions and outcomes.  There are two possible actions: voting and not voting.  There are (simplistically) two outcomes: a wasted vote or a vote that counts.  By applying game theory, I see that if I don't vote, I have a 100% chance of wasting my vote, and a 0% chance of making it count.  If I vote, I have a 50% chance of wasting my vote, and a 50% chance of making it count.  These percentages can be argued, but the important point is there is a non-zero probability for either outcome if I vote, and a zero probability of having a vote count if I don't.  Simple game theory - if I want my vote to count, I need to vote.

That said, I also support Initiative 318, Instant Runoff Voting, currently being circulated.  I feel this makes a much better alternative to a primary or caucus system and saves money - how much better can it get?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Hiding behind states' rights

Put aside the fact this is an 18 year old child, Christian, and conservative, and just look at the words here.

Then take into account the youth and culture this child has, and read it again.

Is there any excuse here?  I think not.

What I got from this essay was: state's rights are a farce, a strong federal government is necessary, and government should use that strength to enforce morality.  Of course, the idiocy of legislating morality, from Congress, the Constitution, or the bench, seems to slip past this boy.  He also ignores the fact that the federal government has grown stronger under his conservative Republican administrations, while simply paying lip service to the idea of decentralization of power.

This boy needs a dose of reality, and some real history lessons.

Hiding behind states' rights

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Picking Neither of Two Evils by Bob Murphy

I'll have more comments on this later, but for now, vote your conscience, not what the media thinks.  Remember there is always another choice, and until the NOTA meme is more popular, your vote is never wasted on a third party candidate.

Picking Neither of Two Evils by Bob Murphy

Bond issues on the ballot

This election, in Washington (as I expect in most communities), there are a host a bond measures and tax increases for things like fire coverage, libraries, and other items.  The big ones for me this year is a fire department property tax increase and a library bond renewal measure.

Before you go ahead and vote yes for these (I like fire services, and love libraries), ask yourself: Is there a better way to pay for these services?  Property tax increases affect everyone, even if you don't own a home (if you rent, the owner will pass on the tax increase to you, his customer).  Bonds need to paid off sometime, and that requires more taxes as well.

As I said, I enjoy fire services and libraries, but I'll be voting no to each measure.  Simply put, I'd rather pay for the service directly than indirectly.  I'd have no problem contracting with a local fire department for service, or paying for the service after the fact if I was not contracted.  I'd also rather pay for my library card directly (I don't think $25-50 a year is exorbitant) than make everyone in my community pay for the library.

Vote no on these measures, and make people come up with alternate, more libertarian, funding measures.  Your neighbors will thank you when their taxes decrease.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Driver?s License? We Don?t Need No Stinking License by Paul Clark

Good article...

Driver's License? We Don't Need No Stinking License by Paul Clark

Reject the National ID Card

Here it comes again folks. Remember that you heard it hear first - if this passes, there will be nothing left to distiguish 1937 Germany from 2004 America than an accent in our leader's voice.

Reject the National ID Card by Ron Paul

The Origin of the Income Tax

Good reading for those of you interested in how we started as a republic and ended up a socialist state.

The Origin of the Income Tax

Thursday, September 02, 2004

ENN News Story - Silly string ban a serious matter in Los Angeles

Reason numer 237 (yes, I have 236 other reason) never EVER to live in California.  Like they say:


ENN News Story - Silly string ban a serious matter in Los Angeles