Audio Clips

28 June 2012

Obamacare Ruling: Is There a Silver Lining?

Opposing Viewpoints on the Commerce Clause

I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you who I disagree with.  In fact, Chemerinsky's argument just flat out frightens me.  I can't believe that someone who is as intelligent as he must be can be so submissive to government.  It makes me think of the Samuel Adams quote:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”

26 June 2012

A Nation of Moochers

John Stossel did a recent interview with a gentleman named Charles Sykes.  It was enlightening.  He points out a number of problems, but the one that struck me was the idea that, at some point, the people who AREN'T taking advantage of government pork start to think that maybe they're the suckers for not gettin' while the gettin's good.  Heaven help us.

25 June 2012

Freedom to Speak Hatefully

This was a great 6 minute talk on why the protection of speech, even hate speech, is so important.  I thought it was refreshing to here a European praise the United States for our progress in racism.  I get a little tired of the constant harping about how awful and racist we are here.  I don't know who these awful racists are, but they aren't in my circle of friends.  (I particularly find it ironic when some lily-white nation calls us racists.)

22 June 2012

What About Roads?

People usually ask "But what about roads?" if we were to live in a libertarian society.  Here is Matt Welch's answer and, as usual, it's a good one.

Plus, I just loved Matt's face in this video:

21 June 2012

Should Libertarians Refuse Gov't Benefits?

This is a great response to the legitimate question of how libertarians should behave in the face of receiving benefits that they disagree with.

19 June 2012

Book Review: The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
My Rating 5 out of 5 stars

If you're thinking about starting your own business, this is a great place to start.  Chris Guillebeau has done a great job of gathering the wisdom of hundreds of small-business owners and compiling it in a way that helps you think through the process and steps of getting started.  It contains good counsel on how to look around you for opportunities that you have the skills to provide solutions for.  He also provides great one-page worksheets for business planning, partnership agreements, product launches and other activities.  Because of Chris' leg-work you won't have to recreate the wheel, instead you can just make minor modifications to suit your needs.  Overall this is a really helpful book and I would highly recommend it.  Between this and Made To Stick by Dan and Chip Heath which I just recently read I've discovered two of my favorite business books.

16 June 2012

The "Heroizing" of the Military

This is a clip from a movie called "The Americanization of Emily" with James Garner and Julie Andrews, both of whom I love.  In it James Garner gives an eloquent denunciation of memorializing war.  I pray for our military men and women and wish them out of harm's way.  I'm also grateful for the defense of freedom that men and women have made in the past, up to and including the bloodshed required for freedom of mankind.  However, I think if we made an honest assessment of the wars of the past, there would be few that could leap that hurdle.

15 June 2012

Free Innocent Men? Sorry, We Can't Be Troubled To Do That.

Once you're convicted of a felony federal law makes it a felony to possess a firearm.  USA Today did some in-depth investigation and found out that over 60 inmates in North Carolina have been incarcerated for this crime without having been convicted felons.  In other words, they were found guilty of committing a crime they didn't actually commit.  And that's not the worst part.  The worst part is that the US government said that it's not their responsibility to make sure these men are set free.  The following is my favorite quote:

"We can't be outcome driven," said Anne Tompkins, the U.S. attorney in Charlotte. "We've got to make sure we follow the law, and people should want us to do that." She said her office is "looking diligently for ways, within the confines of the law, to recommend relief for defendants who are legally innocent."

So, let me get this straight.  First you throw people in jail for NOT committing a crime and then you insist that, while you would love to help them get out, you have to stay "within the confines of the law" rather than focus on, say, GETTING THEM THE HELL OUT OF JAIL!

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you guys didn't bother to stay "within the confines of the law" the first time around.  You know, when you jailed them.  It's interesting that you have since found religion and now find the law a very compelling argument against freeing innocent men.  That quote makes you sound like the worst person on the planet right now, Ms. Tompkins.  And there's a lot of competition for that title at the moment.  Well played.

Read about it at Reason also.

Sorry about the language, Mom.  I just get really bothered by government abuse.

14 June 2012

Apple Finds That Gov't Attention is a Result of Success

David Boaz wrote a great column recently that highlights the danger of a company achieving too much customer satisfaction: the feds want more of your money.  No success should go unpunished in the USA.


Heard of “too big to fail”? Well, to Washington, Apple is now too big not to nail. 
Sadly, I get to write this same column every time a new company makes enough money to draw the attention of the wielders of money and power in Washington. Remember Microsoft? For more than a decade, Microsoft went about its business, developing software, selling it to customers and — legally — making money. 
Washington politicians and journalists sneered at the company’s naiveté. A congressional aide said, “They don’t want to play the D.C. game, that’s clear, and they’ve gotten away with it so far. The problem is, in the long run they won’t be able to.” 
A major antitrust case and a few other inquiries later, Microsoft got the message. They now play the game. 
A decade later, it was Google. After a humble start as a research project by two Stanford students, Google delivered a terrific product — and became the biggest success story of the early 21st century. 
But in our modern politicized economy, which author Jonathan Rauch called the “parasite economy,” no good deed goes unpunished for long. Policymakers worried about the company’s size and influence — including in many markets it had ostensibly created — started threatening Google. 
Sure enough, Google opened a Washington office, hired well-connected lobbyists and ramped up its spending. 
And now Apple.

13 June 2012

You have to throw the book at cops like these because they've been entrusted with authority to kill.  Any abuse of that authority demands a harsher punishment than would otherwise be required.

12 June 2012

The Plastic Bag: Spawn of Satan?

My own town recently banned plastic bags so this video REALLY intrigued me.  I couldn't agree with Kennedy more.  I may be in love.  I'm also glad that Councilman Bernard Parks had the courage to vote against it.  It was particularly nice that Mr. Parks recognized the unintended consequences of these kinds of bans.

11 June 2012

This is a great 3-step question to determine the merits of a policy proposal.  It comes from Andy Matthews of the Nevada Policy Research Institute.
When you're considering the merits of a policy proposal, there are three important questions to ask. One, is the policy constitutional? Two, is this the lowest level of government that can enact the policy? And three, will the policy work?

09 June 2012

Eminent Domain Via Zoning

This is an interesting story about how Ventura County is getting around the legal restrictions against government taking your property by simply making you incapable of using your property through zoning changes.  Government abuse knows no boundaries.  You have to be forever vigilant against it.

08 June 2012

WH Explains Why Solyndra is TOTALLY Different Than Romney's Business Failures

The Daily Caller pointed this out a few weeks ago and I just caught up to it, but it is an hilarious attempt by Jay Carney, President Obama's Press Secretary, to explain why the White House funding some winners and some losers (like Solyndra) is just, you know, like, totally different than the businesses that didn't make it under evil capitalist baby-eater Mitt Romney.  Here is the video:

07 June 2012

Police Officers Face Federal Trial for Abuse

Interesting story about a federal lawsuit against the city of Springfield, Massachusetts and 4 police officers who beat and humiliated a man who they believed had cocaine on him.  After a search in the street and a strip search at the station they found nothing.  It wasn't until his clothes were returned to him that the cocaine was found.  That's a pretty suspicious turn of events.  It will be interesting to see if the city is found liable.  As a side note, a Springfield police officer was found guilty earlier this year of beating a man.  He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and had his pension stripped.  Maybe the people of Springfield need to clean up their police force.

06 June 2012

States Should Refuse to Create Health Care Exchanges

This is a good explanation from Michael Cannon of the CATO Institute on why states should simply refuse to create the health care exchanges that the federal government is trying to foist on them in Obamacare

05 June 2012

Bureaucrats Must Expand Their Fiefdoms

A bureaucracy has one institutional imperative: expand its influence.  Simple as that.  Bureaucrats cannot allow their power to stagnate or, horror of horrors, diminish.  They must constantly look for ways to justify their existence.  This is a perfect example of that imperative.  The FCC is going to hire hundreds of people to scatter around the country teaching people to use their technology more productively.  What?  You don't think that is the role of government?  Well, you're stupid.  And ugly.

02 June 2012

The Rule of Law

Glenn Greenwald wrote a new book titled "With Liberty and Justice for Some" and he released the introduction recently.  I'm looking forward to reading it.  Here is an excerpt:

The central principle of America’s founding was that the rule of law would be the prime equalizing force, the ultimate guardian of justice. The Founders considered vast inequality in every other realm to be inevitable and even desirable. Some would be rich, and many would be poor. Some would acquire great power, and many would live their entire lives virtually powerless. A small number of individuals would be naturally endowed with unique and extraordinary talents, while most people, by definition, would be ordinary. Due to those unavoidable circumstances, the American conception of liberty was not only consistent with, but premised on, the inevitability of outcome inequality — the success of some people, the failure of others. 
The one exception was the rule of law. When it came to the law, no inequality was tolerable. Law was understood to be the sine qua non ensuring fairness, a level playing field, and a universal set of rules. It was the nonnegotiable prerequisite that made all other forms of inequality acceptable. Only if everyone was bound to the same rules would outcome inequality be justifiable.

01 June 2012

The Wealthy Don't Just Sit on Their Money

Milton Friedman discusses the increasing standard of living of the ordinary person as well as the unintended consequence of government paternalism, like the minimum wage.