Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Obama is NOT a socialist

Socialism vs Corporatism by Ron Paul:

I agree with this article. The concept of corporatism is not widely recognized, nor commonly abhorred with the same fervor as such terms as"socialist." Yet, corporatism is a serious threat to the US economy and way of life as it is very pronounced yet there is no public drive or political pressure to lessen it. Corporatism is the root of lobbying, big government, and inefficiency.

More to follow (really wanted to archive short article).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Boeing note

Ms. Liebman, 61, former NLRB Chairwoman who recently stepped down (after the Boeing case and before what would have been a bitter reinstatement fight in Congress), had comments regarding her Boeing ruling. Remember that she ruled it was in retaliation against a union for striking to have a company exec state that they were going to move excess production to a new plant instead of the unionized plant to prevent work stoppages. No union workers were fired (actually union workers were hired), 7 out of every 10 planes are still built by unionized workers, but she still ruled it was retaliatory to make that sound business decision, and move capital. This comes after Boeing had hired 1k people in South Carolina and already built the 750m plant. She issued an injunction from beginning constructing planes at the new plant and putting those new employees to work.

Her comment on her unprecedented decision:

“The perception of this agency as doing radical things is mystifying to me...”

What is mystifying to me is not recognizing the impact of her decision, and the precedent which would follow. Will companies have to BS a reason to add new non-union jobs anytime they have a union strike. 

A union has the right to strike without retaliation, by law, and accepting that earnestly, a company cannot fire workers because they strike. But it does not mean a company MUST continually benefit the union, it does not mean they need to get a raise, it does not mean all new production must go to them, it does not mean they not only have a right to not be discriminated against, but also a right to benefit from all company prosperity. 

This decision is not mystifying; she is either being insincere, or is so detached from reality we should be overly gratified she stepped down.

[quote source: Greenhouse article, NYT, 8.29.11]

Monday, August 29, 2011

photographer sued for refusing to photograph gay wedding

If a photographer is very religious, and has his own personal convictions and beliefs regarding homosexuality, then are we going to punish him for refusing to photograph a wedding of a gay couple  ( A person may act in a way we disagree with, if that happens, it is the role of the community, for activists, for the people to protest it, they can boycott, they can pass out flyers, they can blog it. It is not the role of government. see post below for similar subject.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is Rand Paul Racist?

SO... I went to a progressive happy hour event at Sidebar near Suffolk University Law School last night. I am not a progressive. Furthermore, I guess others know I am not a progressive although I did not realize that information was so widespread. I honestly thought I was very sneaky-like. Perhaps it is due to the American Flag and Liberty quotes on the back of my laptop computer? who knows? Nonetheless, the proposition was made that night that Rand Paul is racist. So, is he?

First, in case you do not know who Rand Paul is, he is the new Senator of Kentucky, along with Mitch O'Connell (Senate Minority Leader). Paul is the son of Ron Paul, the long-time TX representative and current presidential nominee hopeful for the Republican party. Rand Paul is a libertarian. He is part of the Tea Party. He is a staunch supporter of freedom and unlike many other Republican Senators. He is principled, much like his father, as he has shown in but a short period of time at his position.

The incident which I believe has led progressives and others to label Paul a racist is when he got into a large argument with Ms. Maddow (btw, Maddow is one of my favorite shows to watch for news, I disagree with her but love to watch the show). Rand Paul argued that if he were a senator in 1964, he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited certain private businesses from discriminating based on race, sexual orientation, or gender. Paul would have opposed that.

I assume the argument here is that the Civil Rights Act was passed to protect groups discriminated against. Paul would have rejected the Act, therefore Paul supports discrimination. This is a fallacious argument, this is a misleading argument, and it was employed by Maddow as a trap. Let use have fun with an analogous unsound argument... The deep water oil drilling ban destroys jobs and makes us rely on foreign oil, Obama supported the ban, therefore Obama is opposed to jobs and energy independence (both this argment just made and the argument against Paul are wrong, they are oversimplifications).  This is similar to when a Democrat goes onto the O'Reilly Factor or stands before the menacing she-wolf known as Megyn Kelly and is asked why they support raising taxes and how that is going to create jobs? Paul, to defend his point, would have needed to explain his position, because it is not a mainstream-recognized argument, and being on MSNBC opposite to Maddow was not the correct venue to properly defend and explain the point.

Libertarians believe in the supremacy of the individual. They acknowledge that they do not have a monopoly on wisdom (borrowed that from Prof. Greenbaum), libertarianism is in truth the philosophy of humility, and humility is difficult when there are idiots, bigots, and people you disagree with on matters where you have strong convictions. In the end though, the government, which acts through coercion and force, is not the appropriate means by which to effectuate what a majority believes to be moral character. When the majority of people were racists, they used the law to effectuate their moral beliefs (i.e. Jim Crow laws). Furthermore, government control in private business hampered and prolonged the fight for equality signficantly as opposed to conventional wisdom which holds that the glorious government thankfully restrained and ended racism which the private public could not do without it. Really?? Do you honestly think the government is what saved this country from racism? People's outlook and morals changed with time. The change would have been expedited had the government not gotten in the way. Remember that the NAACP and many attorneys (think of the famous Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP) were at the forefront of the fight for equality. But, the government restricted their push for equality by forcing them to release their bar information and affiliations (which would obviously be used for retaliation and disbarment for such acts like the freedom rides). This government control required other groups to step up where the government had less control, such as religious groups (Rev, Martin Luther King Jr.) and student groups. My point here is that government slowed progress.

The very same push for the Civil Rights Act, the government involvement which we view as good now, is the same governmental overstep which hindered it in the past and very well may hinder it in the future. People should promote acceptance, people should be accepting, business owners should not refuse to employ a more qualified person simply because they are black, or because they are gay. However, it is not the majority's role to tell the business owner what to do, even if we believe it is wrong. Humility is a difficult step, but a necessary one. Right now we may agree with the purpose of the law, but we didn't yesterday, and we very well may not tomorrow.

I stand behind Rand Paul. Both of us are not racists. We believe in freedom and the individual, even when it is difficult, even when we agree with the purpose of the law.

Labeling Paul a racist is akin to labeling the Tea Party as extremists (or according to Biden as terrorists) or calling dems unpatriotic and calling Obama a socialist. They are oversimplified attacks meant to denounce a persons arguments on an appeal to peoples misconceptions. We should have a discussion on policy, and we very well may disagree on principle, but let us not demean ourselves to name-calling.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do Labor Unions Promote the Middle Class?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Do Labor Unions Promote the Middle Class?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty:

rebut of premise that unions drive up wages and therefore strengthen middle class. looks at other effects of unionization.

Government Unions vs Middle Class Jobs

Government Unions vs Middle Class Jobs:

Unions destroy jobs to keep inflated wages and benefits.
article provides good examples

Latest poll: Is Rick Perry now a shoo-in? -

Latest poll: Is Rick Perry now a shoo-in? -

Perry:         29%
Romney:    19%
Paul:          13%
Bachmann: 10%

Paul commands 29% of the 18-29 year old GOP demographic. Yet he only holds 4% of the over 65 demographic. This is good and bad. Bad because older people are more likely to actually get out and vote, especially during a primary when voter turnout is lower. Good because perhaps this is the heralding in of a new age of GOP'ers, younger people who will uphold a more libertarian future for a GOP party which has lost its morality and principle to corporate greed and militarism.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ed Show: 8.17.11

On the Ed Show tonight, Ed is kindly pointing out to us that in TX, between 2007-10, 178k private sector jobs were lost due to "Bush's recession," while 125k "government" jobs were created thanks to the "Obama stimulus." Ed then argues that getting rid of public jobs hurt the economy. government jobs are not a benefit to society, it has no added value, there is no innovation or movement forward. It is money siphoned from one source into another. If we had 100% job growth in the government sector it would simply mean taxpayers are paying for more jobs ruled and governed by the government instead of new, market controlled and driven jobs. Innovation, risk, and private sector ingenuity drives the world of tomorrow, drives growth, and drives prosperity. Not government job growth!

"there is no such thing as a free lunch" Milton Friedman

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Republican Presidential Debate and the Iowa Straw Poll

                It appears that the top tier of Republican Presidential hopefuls post-Iowa debate/Straw poll are Rick Perry, the recently added governor of Texas who the establishment loves, Mitt Romney, the blue-blood pure-bred flippity-floppity politician formerly known as the governor of Massachusetts, and Michelle Bachman, the fire-breathing win-by-all-means, “I love political one-liners,” social conservative tea party bandwagoner. Great. Just great.
                First, let’s look at the Ames Iowa Straw Poll. Bachman won with 4,823 votes, in close second was Ron Paul with 4,671 votes. No one else even came close, Pawlenty was distant third with 2,293 votes and he dropped out due to his result. Also, it should be noted that Perry and Romney were write-in’s and did not actually compete. So basically, it was a tie between Paul and Bachman for first. Yet, to add some perspective to this race let us consider that to cast a vote in the straw poll costs $30, and Bachman spent $180,000 to hand out 6,000 tickets. If you are looking at the math here, then yes, you have realized that she got fewer (4,823) votes than she paid for. Colbert sardonically proclaimed she received 80% of the votes she paid for! Ron Paul on the other hand, while not absent like Mitt Romney, did not pay for his votes, but earned them. While Bachman had an animal petting zoo, famous country singer (I hate country music so refuse to remember his name), and an air-conditioned tent to win votes, Paul had his son Rand Paul and himself speaking on principles of free markets, freedom, sound-money, and the severity of our debt crisis. Yet, Ron Paul is not a front runner, he is not even mentioned, Fox avoids his name like the plague.
                Now, there are a few reasons Paul did so well. First of all the rest of the candidates are all similar to each other while Paul is the black sheep of the group, Paul is conservative (old-school conservative), the others are neo-social-conservatives. The fracture in votes amongst them benefits Paul, and he stated as much in the Iowa Debate when asked his thoughts about Rick Perry joining the race, --he is nothing more than another establishment figurehead and panderer, all the better for me—was Ron Paul’s rough response. The second reason is that he did have a large presence at the event, which is an informal poll. However, for a state so evangelical and firmly in support of social conservatism, I find it amazing Ron Paul’s message of humility and personal decision did not detract more voters. His performance is awe-inspiring and incredible.

                Ahhh, now let us look at the Iowa Debate. Just for basics, the debate was on Thursday August 11, 2011 in Iowa. It was hosted by Fox News and the Washington Examiner (when I lived in DC they would hand out free Examiner’s to people riding the Metro, it was a mini version of a newspaper with succinct articles, it was a great read and passed the time well). I will simply list the hopefuls and give my thoughts free of charge. I focus on the frontrunners, and yes Paul is a front runner.

Michele Bachman:

                The debate started off with the stupid Fox moderators informing the contestants to please provide real answers instead of sound-bites and political one-liners. The first question went to Bachman, and she failed immediately. She wasted no time to yell, awkwardly loudly, a cliché non-substantial “let’s take down Obama” or something line which received lackluster response and solidified her, in my book, as a politician. When it came to the recent debt crisis debate, she was in staunch opposition to raising the debt ceiling, which I respect, for she at least took a leadership position whether or not you agree (unlike Romney). She touted her actual accomplishments in congress, such as the light bulb freedom act, stating “when others fought, I ran,” an actual quote (I’m good) instead of a rough remembrance. She is an ardently religious woman, which is perfectly fine, but she brings this belief into her life politically, which in my book (& the constitution as it happens) is not ok. Bachman got into politics because God told her to...
                The moderators got Pawlenty & Bachman to fight each other. What about does not matter, it was sensationalism and really did not go to real issues. BUT, Pawlenty came across as whiney and weak, a little flabbergasted. He did not inspire confidence. Bachman on the other hand I would say came out on top, but also came across as vicious and, well, a bitch. Now does this make me sexist? I say no. If Pawlenty had gone about it as she did, I would say he came across as an asshole. She came across as overly-aggressive, snide, petty, and bitchy. There you go, I said it.

Mitt Romney:

                He touted his business experience. He talked about his 7-point plan to get the economy back on track. I wrote it down, but will not regurgitate it to you in service to your sanity, and I have made a 7-point plan why not to state it; 1) would annoy you, 2) would not teach you anything, 3) would waste your time, 4) is boring political rhetoric, 5) non-specific, 6) has too many numbers, and 7) you can damn well Google it if you’re interested (don’t).
                Romney lacked the testicular wherewithal to live up to his leaderless approach to the debt ceiling debates in arguing he did in fact have a stance on the issue the whole time, and that it’s just not his fault that no one knew what it was or that he did not say it aloud (joking, he said it aloud it least one time). He stated he was always for a cut, cap, and balance approach. News to me, news to you I bet. He also refused to answer whether he would have accepted the bill presented to Obama. I’m sure he will later state he actually did have an opinion on that absentee moment as well. Romney is a politician, he says what he needs to to do well, not what he believes is right, or what he believes is best for the country, but what will get him elected. I personally dislike that...
                On the other hand, I respect what Mitt did in MA, and I respect his answer to criticisms of Romneycare’s similarities to Obamacare. He defended it instead of lying and saying it is different. However, part of me thinks he only made the respectable decision to live up to it because lying about it has only hurt him in the polls. Ohh well. So I guess this is the proclaimed front-runner.

Ron Paul:

                First off, Ron Paul is the only candidate who speaks as an intellectual, or a thinker, as opposed to speaking as a politician. What I mean is that he will go heavily into talk of policy, and will often give specifics. He uses history. He does not pander questions to the audience. He does not stray from principle, and is unafraid to speak how he feels. He has not sold his soul, watered down his beliefs, lied, or allowed Washington to change him into a political creature. This is good to have in a leader, but this makes it less likely people will hear him, less likely he will have soundbites replayed, and more fodder for 30 second attack ads making appeals to pity, emotion, or irrationality.
                Ron Paul stood in stark contrast to every other candidate behind a podium. He stood in support of sound money decisions, less regulations, les taxes, and less government burden and hindrance. He stood opposed to militarism and the military-industrial complex. He defended people’s freedom both economically and socially, a rarity amongst politicians.
                Another point I liked that Ron Paul made was his focus on corporatism. Most attacks, oftentimes rightfully made, on Republicans hold that they are supporters of business at the people’s expense. The truth is that both Republicans and Democrats pander to businesses. Generally, Republicans promise draconian tax break loopholes and less regulation, Democrats promise beneficial subsidies and regulation beneficial to the largest of corporations. It is a game of winners and losers. Ron Paul, & the libertarian message as a whole, is not in support of business, in fact large corporations very well might oppose Ron Paul if he were to contest President Obama, for Paul would not be content listening to tax loophole requests, subsidies, or otherwise picking winners and losers. Companies would no longer benefit based on their political power at congress, the size and prominence of their lobbying contacts, and their political donations. Paul is for the free market, which is not synonymous with being pro-business, only with being pro-efficient-business as opposed to pro-politically connected-business. His talk of corporatism is a clear rebuttal to all the talk that free markets are ruining the healthcare industry and the economy overall, for big business is fine, until it is interspersed with big government!
                Ron Paul got into an argument with Rick Santorum when Paul was the only candidate to not support tougher sanctions (or any sanctions) on Iran. Paul argued for non-interventionism regarding Iran’s alleged nuclear weapon development program. Santorum needless to say flipped his shit, started pretending he understood history (he was appalled Paul believed what he did considering “more US servicemen and women have died to Iran than any other,” which is a grossly misleading fact which in truth only supports Paul’s argument more, about blowback), than waived his hands in the air in frustration to Paul’s rebuttal. Which was so epic and got me so excited I forgot to take notes, but I assure you it was epic. It drew a thunderous wave of both applause and disgusted Boo’s by the audience and was followed quickly by a commercial break.

Rick Santorum:

                He wants to mix religion with politics. If you like his message you will vote for Bachman. Has four point plan to fix economy. Wants country based on moral laws.... that’s it.

Herman Cain:

                For making tax rate constant. Takes a business man approach. Fox tried to attack him on a joke he had made earlier in the campaign, to which he responded, “America’s got to learn to take a joke.” (actual quote again there). He once was a talk radio host, so has some out-of-the-box views, some I like, some I do not. To be honest, I would prefer to see Cain win the Republican nomination a lot more than others with a better chance. It least he is not a politician.


                Pragmatic, honest, good experience as a governor. I liked him more than the others. Let’s see where his campaign goes. He got 69 votes in the straw poll, meaning despite being the only Mormon in the poll he came in second out of all Mormons (write-in’s for Romney, haha, Stewart pointed that one out). He believes the issue of immigration is a confusing one which has had no leadership for decades (agree with him). He is, like Paul, unafraid to state what he really believes. He is principled.

Newt Gingrich:

                He has some different perspectives compared to the rank and file Republicans as well. I like Newt’s response to some of the questions asked by the moderator’s. He referred to it as “Gotcha” questions. He was rightfully fed up with it, since they were sensational gotcha questions which had no bearing on the real political issues. Gingrich calling them out on it was bold (& he did it respectfully Bachman, please take note). Gingrich has like-able qualities to him. I agree with him on some issues and not others. Believes that English should be a national language (disagree). He is also pro-military (as the others are). His defining moment of the debate for me was his calling out Fox for “focusing on the minutia and not enough on policy and ideas.”
Tim Pawlenty:

                Boring and out.