Monday, July 25, 2005

A few things

First, in a move that would make Nixon piss himself, it looks like the state of Hawaii is getting involved in price-fixing of gasoline.  What economics professor failed the head of the Public Utilities Commission?  What literature professor was glad when this guy dropped out because “Atlas Shrugged” was too long a book for this guy to read?  At least Hawaii’s governor is against it, even if Senator Ron Menor is blocking her attempts to repeal the law (note – if he’s your Senator, write him and tell him to read some economics books written by capitalists).  Setting price caps will spread the cost of getting gas to Hawaii to the rest of the nation, driving our gas prices up.  As the costs of producing gas go up, the price caps will move slower, cutting into the profit margin of the gas company (remember, companies are there to make profit, not be charities) and eventually get set less than the cost of producing it – in other words, gas companies will lose money by selling gas in Hawaii.  Why sell at a loss?  Get out of the market – let the Hawaiian’s walk and ride bikes.

The second thing is a new blog I found called Liberty Now (also linked on the right).  Decent opinions, but seems to be focussed on Iraq and the “War” on Terrorism more than actual liberty.  In any case, his latest post is on the PATRIOT Act, and the fact that the House passed a more Draconian version of it than the Senate is considering.  I posted a comment there, but left out a few things…

The Senate version of the bill has a provision that you will be notified within seven (7) days if you’re the subject of a secret search.  While being notified at all is better than never knowing, it’s still unacceptable – there should be NO SECRET SEARCHES.  No warrant-less searches.  At all.  Period.  By standing up and accepting notification within seven days, we’re letting our liberties seep away.  I think I’ve said this in this forum before – if you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, he’ll jump out; but if you drop him into lukewarm water and slowly turn the heat up, he’ll fall asleep and die.  In this case, supporting a seven day notification is the equivalent of giving the frog the controls to the fire, but only letting it get hotter.  Not to go too far down a tangent, but this is the also the same game the NRA plays with your gun rights, negotiating for the lesser of two evils in Congress rather than standing up and saying, “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ is unclear to you, Senator?”

In any case, I’ll be reading more Liberty Now in the coming weeks – it’s given me some things to think about and some things to talk about.  I hope you’ll be reading it as well.

And for all you snooping FBI and TSA and Homeland Security agents – try reading the First Amendment before coming back.

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