Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hope this doesn't catch on

A Miami news site is reporting on how one tribal school in Arizona is handling tardiness and absenteeism among it’s students.  They fine the parents.  One only hopes that this type of socialist thinking doesn’t catch on in normal public schools.

Can you imagine it?  Not only does the State rob you to pay for public schools (property taxes in my jurisdiction, despite the fact that I have no school age children), but now in at least one tribal jurisdiction, they’ll charge more if your kid doesn’t make to school on time, or decides to skip school completely.  What if the parent’s are home-schooling – do they get charged per day for every kid they don’t send to school?  How enforceable is this rule, anyway?  Why isn’t anyone else asking these questions, or not reporting on them if they do?

My advice to parents who have kids in the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation school system - get your kids out now.  If not, your kids who graduate under this level of oppression and control will never have the mental fortitude necessary to fight it when they’re confronted with the natural expansion of this power in the future.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Letter to John Stossel

One of the things I get in my e-mail inbox regularly is “A Note from John Stossel” – I signed up for it on the ABC website, as I admire John for his regular and consistent libertarian outlook on the “Give Me a Break!” segments on 20/20, and his specials that highlight libertarian viewpoints of current events issues.

One of the letters this week is as follows:

"Dear John Stossel, I enjoyed reading your book ["Give Me a Break" ORDER HERE] so much that I bought a dozen copies and sent them out to friends and family. I am writing to let you know about one of the few negative responses I received...I almost always sent out your book accompanied by another; 'Black and White World' which is a collection of editorial cartoons by John Cox and Allen Forkum... When my brother received his copies of the books, he sent me... 'John Stossel seems like a good guy, just at the wrong time. I don't think the Republicans need defending... This response caught me completely off guard...I had a similar response from a Right-wing friend of mine -- only he accused me of being too liberal. I sent him the SAME two books!" Troy Omelchuk, Scottsdale, Ariz.

It think this illustrates the point I’ve always made about libertarians – we’re neither left nor right, liberal nor conservative, but a mix of both.  Libertarians tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative, fighting for more civil liberties in the way we run our lives, and less government intrusion in the form of taxes and fees.  I just thought this letter was very telling – the liberal brother thinks Stossel defends the right, while the conservative friend thinks he’s too liberal.  In fact, libertarians rise above both.

How Your Government Wastes Your Money

Read down this story , and when you get to the fourth paragraph, you’ll be asking yourself the same question I did: Are you fucking kidding me?  They can’t account for how much?  You know, I had to actually cut a check to the IRS this year for the first time in my 38 years as an American citizen, and survive a small investigation of my return from the year previous – I thought I handled it well and professionally, but now I wonder if I shouldn’t have put up a bigger fight.

In a slightly related story, I was reading an old copy of Wired magazine from December 2003 – there was a story about a guy who was a tech support expert for a Mafia-run betting operation.  He doesn’t make much considering what he does (an entire IT department’s worth of work for him and a second guy), but since it’s all illegal money, he has zero income and files no income tax.  Wonder how I get a job like that?

How Your Government Wastes Your Money

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods

Interesting take on the judicial filibuster talk filling everyone’s minds with FUD.  The one thing the author forgot:

Filibusters are a child screaming to get it’s way.

In short, Democrats now (as well as Republicans and Democrats in the past) have used the filibuster as a kind of ad hominem against the other side.  Instead of debating the relative strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and putting forth logical objective arguments on both sides of the coin, Democrats are resorting to parliamentary procedures to simply dismiss judicial candidates.

Think of it this way – you’re a pre-teen age child and you want to stay up an extra hour.  Your parent’s say no, go to bed.  You then launch into a meaningless argument about why you should stay up, ask your parents when they go to bed, drink 3–4 glasses of water, come back downstairs to get something, ask them some philosophical question, hang around until you get noticed, and try like hell to get that extra hour out of them.  That’s what these Senators are doing – the President says, here are my candidates, and rather than accept them and vote on them, the Senate filibuster crew badgers everyone, makes a big stink, and refuses to do anything meaningful.  The difference is they don’t have parent’s around to smack them on their skinny little asses and send them to bed.

Ask me again why I think we should hit the reset button on government…

The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods ... [Media Matters for America]

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Good news, Bad news

The bad news – a national ID card passed the Senate 100–0.  We all voted for these fuckers…

The good news – governors of several state aren’t taking this lightly.  They may have the wrong reasons for it (money issues, unfunded mandates and all that), but at least they’re complaining.

For me, I plan on simply not renewing my driver’s license when the time comes to nationalise.

Read about it in Wired News.

Man arrested for giving a manicure without a license

In the Concord Monitor Online, New Hampshire, a report from Monday talks about a man who was arrested for not being a licensed cosmetologist, and yet giving a manicure.  It was a protest – he’s not trying to be a manicurist in New Hampshire, but trying to expose useless licensing laws.

To be a manicurist in NH, you need around 300 hours of training, and take and pass numerous written and practical tests.  My wife was a licensed cosmetologist in the state of Illinois – the training requirements are comparable there to be a hairdresser.  IL even has a continuing education requirement – you need to take courses throughout your career to renew your license.

My big question is this – let’s assume I don’t have a license, but want to work in a barber shop.  I know nothing about cutting hair – how long will I last in the business?  If it’s my shop, I’ll fold in a month when people stop coming in – if I’m working for someone else, I’d give it a day or less.  Now let’s say I know how to cut hair, but don’t know about sanitary practices.  If I cause injury to someone because I don’t know how to properly sanitise things, I’d be liable for medical expenses and damages, and the bad PR and money I’d have to pay out would close my shop.  Now let’s say I figure that out and re-open, but I’m just not very good – people want styles I can’t reproduce, or procedures I don’t know how to do.  In order to expand my business, I’ll need to learn new skills – to be successful, I’ll need to keep up on the latest styles and techniques.

In other words, in order to run a successful business, I’ll need training on how to cut hair, how to do it safely, and keep up to date on the latest in my industry.  Everything I need to have a successful growing business I would do without a license, so why do I need one again?  Oh, right, so the government knows what I’m doing for a living.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Pahrump Valley Times - Nye County's Largest Newspaper Circulation

Thank You, Dennis Myers, for an objective look at the filibuster, for removing the ideological arguments for or against it from either party, and for giving me the word in your final paragraph I’ve been looking for to describe the Republicrats and Democans.  The word “dogma” connotes so much in the way of religious overtones and obstinate closed-mindedness – it fits the current political climate well, and also helps explain my own failing interest in politics lately.


Oh, and I notice I forgot to include the link for my previous post – sorry.  I added it back.

Boston.com / News / Local / N.H. / Police charge illegal immigrant with criminal trespassing

You know, I’m not sure how I feel about this story – for starters, I do think it’s a novel approach for the states to deal with illegal immigration (and a great way for states to start exercising their sovereign power over the federal government that Lincoln usurped in the 19th century).  On the other hand, I think the person they chose to use for their test case was bad – while he might have been an illegal alien, he was a working productive individual.  Perhaps NH could go after the illegals getting welfare or unemployment, rather than someone who came here to make a better life for himself and seemed to be doing it.