Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Specifics Cut

Yesterday I watched President Obama state his opposition to the impending automatic spending cuts. It will be disaster, in his view. Overworked prosecutors will be unable to get the bad guys in jail. Thousands of first responders will be laid off. Teachers will be laid off and your precious second grader will be getting her hugs from a rib crushing robot....

Obama is hardly the first politician to emphasize the potential harm done by spending cuts. But just once I would like to see him speak with the same passion and specificity about the things that can and should be cut. Like....We have four years worth of paper clips sitting in storage and we are ordering more....doesn't make sense... that's your money we are wasting.  Or.... We have seven departments studying the effects of global warming on the common field mouse....maybe we could cut that to four.

That the president is specific about the damage caused by cuts while vague on what could be cut, suggests to me his priorities. He doesn't want to cut anything.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Progressivism Explained

Recently I had an lengthy conversation on the subject of gay marriage. Upon further reflection, I realize that a good portion of the pro gay marriage argument rests on the assumption that it is somehow unfair or illegitimate or discriminatory for government to favor one group or behavioral preference over others. In other words, government should not favor the relationships that produce children and nurture them over relationships that biologically can't reproduce - because, well, it just seems wrong. As an aside, I am naturally sympathetic to such arguments insofar as I think the government should be much smaller and whenever possible allow free people to create and maintain the relationships that they want and in the manner that they want, provided we are talking about consensual relationships of course. The irony is that the advocates of gay marriage tend to be the same folks who want an activist government that clearly demonstrates a preference for certain kinds of relations/behaviors over others. For example, gay marriage advocates would also tend to want an activist government to support racial preferences, or to punish businesses that don't provide health insurance, or to become involved in salary decisions, or to determine the size of the carbonated beverage you are allowed to purchase, and so on.

In a nutshell, the progressive position is that it is illegitimate for government to favor one group or behavior over others, unless it is the group or behavior favored by the progressives.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Great News Sean!!

One down, several million to go! A local hot dog vendor - and oppressor and health care denier no doubt - is closing up shop. Read all about it.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Good Regulation?

Yesterday I spoke with an owner of a resale shop, both to remain anonymous. Said owner indicates that the city is requiring them to purchase a $500 permit to sell used jewelry. All purchased jewelry would need to be held for ninety days before it could be sold in the store and the owner would have to obtain a copy of the sellers identification. As an aside, this discriminates against black people who might like to sell their unwanted jewelry, as they apparently are incapable of obtaining free identification, per the prevailing view on the left about black people.

I get the need for this regulation, to a point. People are breaking into homes, stealing valuable gold jewelry, then selling it to a store for some quick cash. It is a good idea to make the quick sale of precious metals and jewelry - for suspiciously low prices - a bit more difficult.

However, there is jewelry and there is jewelry. The items being bought and sold in the case before us are costume jewelry. They might be sold and resold for a few dollars. People don't break into other peoples homes for costume jewelry.

The enforcers at the city would have none of it. You get the license or you can't sell used jewelry. No exceptions. No appeals.

I am not one for growing government, but perhaps we need a Department of Common Sense. Staffing might be a problem.