Voices of the Occupy movement: “Jews get out!”

October 15, 2011

And this woman works for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

God help the children.

via Reason.TV

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Plant a garden, go to jail

August 4, 2011

Oh, the evil of people trying to be self-sufficient, and the obscenity of doing it in public — in front of the neighbors!!

Presenting Reason.TV‘s Nanny of the Month: Oak Park, Michigan, official Kevin Rulkowski, whose objection to Julie Bass’ front-yard garden might cost her 93 days in jail.

Now, I’m not wholly without sympathy for Mr. Rulkowski; I was taught in real estate classes that uniformity in look helps maintain house prices, and I’m sure many of us have had to suffer with neighbors who park junk vehicles on their front lawns or paint their houses garish, eye-hurting colors. (Such as the bright orange house with black trim near me.) So I can see some reason to sensible zoning regulations.

But a garden? Really? Jail time? Seriously??

Rulkowski should leave Ms. Bass and her garden alone and concentrate on a real problem — such as rogue lemonade stands.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Three reasons why the debt debate is nonsense

July 16, 2011

From Reason.TV, those reasons are:

  1. The August 2nd deadline is fake.
  2. Reaching the debt ceiling does not mean default.
  3. And “legislation by crisis creates lousy policy.”

I think that about covers it. Can we cut the crap and get down to business, now?

via Big Government

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Presenting the Nanny of the Month for June, 2011

July 2, 2011

This is one case where I was ahead of the good folks at Reason.TV. The Nanny of the Month award-winner for June is the Montgomery County, MD, bureaucrat who fined children $500 for running a lemonade stand without a permit:

I covered the story a couple of weeks ago, but now, having seen the video, don’t those kids look like dangerous scofflaws?

And this wasn’t the first time the government has gone after lemonade stands run by cute kids.

I suspect a conspiracy. Or stupidity.

Definitely stupidity.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


North Carolina’s Nanny-Stater of the Month

June 1, 2011

Yes, this month’s award goes to a busybody in the backyard of my blog-buddy, ST. Now, you may think you want your hamburger rare or medium-rare (1). You might even be looking forward to it.

Well, forget it! Nanny knows best what you can eat, so nothing less than (flavorless) medium for you, Bub!

Presenting Reason.TV‘s Nanny of the Month for May 2011, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources:

Thank goodness the State is there to make the choices we can’t be trusted with. 

(1) FWIW, I’m a “rare side of medium-rare” kind of guy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


What is Socialism?

May 26, 2011

That is, aside from a really bad idea?

Nick Gillespie of Reason.TV sat down with Kevin Williamson, National Review editor and author of the recent “Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism,” to discuss why so many people favor a system that gave us the most monstrous dictators of history, and how it relates to the modern regulatory and welfare states.

I think you’ll find it interesting:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Nanny says, “No lunches from home!”

May 3, 2011

There were several good competitors for Reason.tv’s “Nanny of the Month” award, but the judges had no choice but to give it to a woman who embodies the spirit of “minding everyone else’s business:” Elsa Carmona, a school principal in Chicago who has forbidden students from bringing lunch from home:

I’d be real curious to know what, if any, connections she has to the company that supplies the school’s lunches.

Or maybe she was just jealous that she never had a Pokemon lunch box.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Why do they hate the the working class? The war on cheap groceries.

April 30, 2011

Retail giant Walmart has in recent years moved into the grocery business, bringing its famous pricing power to fruits, vegetables and meats. Good for the consumer, right? You betcha, but some people aren’t happy. Smaller grocery retailers are upset, because they feel they can’t compete. Unions are mad because Walmart isn’t unionized. And Democratic politicians are angry because… well, because their union backers told them to.

Reason.tv takes a dispassionate look at the politics and economics surrounding Walmart’s controversial entry into the New York City and Washington, D.C., areas and asks “Why do they hate cheap groceries?”

Walmart’s no angel(1), but, in hard economic times, you’d think politicians and labor leaders would be interested in anything that lowers food prices and creates jobs.

That is, if they truly cared about the average person.

NOTES:

(1) They’ve been caught benefiting from illegal alien labor and supported ObamaCare because they knew they could handle the added expense better than their competition. In other words, they wanted to game the system to rig the free market.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Harry Reid, Nanny-Stater of the month

March 2, 2011

Recently, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was invited to speak before the Nevada legislature. What did he talk about? The national debt? America’s budget woes? Other issues of national import?

Nope. Nanny Reid devoted his time to a cause that must have left his listeners scratching their heads. In a state famous for its small-government libertarian attitudes, Harry Reid wins Reason.TV‘s coveted Nanny of the Month award for arguing for a ban on legalized prostitution:

Talk about a kill-joy! And what’s he got against a girl making a living, eh?

Seriously, regardless of what one thinks of prostitution*, this was hardly a topic a United States senator needed to scold his legislators for, although Harry does seem to enjoy scolding. Prostitution typically falls under a state’s police powers; the federal government has no role in this, other than preventing cross-border sex trafficking. But that’s not at issue here: Nevada allows counties to license brothels as they see fit.  Reid’s hectoring is simply another example of federal officials inserting their noses into places they don’t belong, trying to impose one-size fits all policies to social issues where there may be strong regional differences in opinion. It’s not only nannyish, it goes against our federal system of divided powers.

So, knock it off, Harry. Let Nevada handle its own problems, and you deal with the national issues your voters elected you to deal with.

*For the record, I favor decriminalizing prostitution both because it is a consensual act† between individuals that shouldn’t be government’s concern and because I support a broad private right to make a contract between adults, including sex in return for payment. I also think that many of the problems associated with prostitution (STDs, white slavery, pimping) would be eliminated or greatly lessened by decriminalization. And it would allow more law enforcement resources to be directed toward genuine sex crimes, such as child pornography and child prostitution.

†On the other hand, I don’t agree with the idea of the legalization of hard drugs, since I haven’t been convinced that the social costs would be outweighed by the gain in individual liberty. Yet another reason why I’ll never be a “Big L” libertarian.

UPDATE: Edited to fix some really sloppy typing. Yeesh.


Five Rules for Coping with Tragedy

January 12, 2011

In the wake of the hysterical overreactions on the part of the Left and the Mainstream Media (But I repeat myself) after the Tucson mass-murder, Reason.TV has put together a video of five good suggestions politicians, journalists, and real people like us should keep in mind when tragedy strikes:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s time for the Nanny-Stater of the Year Award!

December 17, 2010

I know we’ve all been waiting for this one. Out of all the people who have dedicated their lives to minding your business, who will be America’s Biggest Nanny?

Personally, I would have nominated Barack or Michelle Obama, but this year’s winner is truly deserving.

Happy Meals for everyone!!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Good intentions, bad results

December 9, 2010

Here’s an amusing video from Reason.TV that looks at three public-policy cases to illustrate the Law of Unintended Consequences.  Viewers above a certain age will no doubt appreciate the tribute to those old-style educational films we had to sit through as kids:

This shows why I’m more and more coming to appreciate the old saying, “Don’t just do something, stand there!”


The power of Nazi propaganda

December 5, 2010

Here’s an interesting short documentary from Reason.TV on an exhibit of Nazi propaganda art and literature at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.  Reason’s Michael Moynihan interviews curator Steve Luckert not only about why Nazi propaganda was so effective, but also the relevance the study of it has for us today:


Nanny-stater of the Month

November 6, 2010

My blog-buddy ST has ably covered the latest silliness from the Board of Supervisors Nannies in San Francisco, banning toys in Happy Meals unless vendors meet city-imposed guidelines, all in the name of “food justice.”*

That lead Reason.TV to proclaim San Francisco Supervisor Kill-joy Eric Mar its Nanny of the Month:

You’ll want to watch for the runners-up, too; with our cities and states in an economic mess, it’s nice to know our elected officials have their priorities straight – watching what you do.

*No fries, no peace!!!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


If this is a recovery, where are the jobs??

October 31, 2010

President Obama (and especially his fawning sycophants in the media) likes to compare himself to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who lead the nation during the Great Depression. In this brief video essay from Reason.TV, Ted Balaker looks at the current jobless recovery and see other similarities to FDR that Obama might not enjoy:

Balaker and Professor Ohanian blame the uncertainty caused by the raft of new regulations and laws coming from Washington, as well as uncertainty about the effects the progressives’ spend-and-borrow binge may have. Businesses hate uncertainty, because it leaves them with no way to forecast what conditions will be like, hence making them less willing to risk capital on new employees. It is, in fact, a rational response, something FDR never quite got: he wanted to tax retained earnings, solely to punish businesses that wouldn’t spend. The Obama administration has broached a similar idea.

While I agree about the uncertainty created by government intervention in the market, I’d add another factor: policies that are just plain bad, because they make the economic situation worse. In the video, we see one good example: the CEO of Nationwide Support Services wait anxiously to hear the details of a new FTC regulation; depending on how it goes, she may not be able to hire the new people she’d like to hire – or she may have to go out of business altogether.

Really, is this any way to run an economy?

Of course it isn’t. As is becoming increasingly clear as new research is done into the New Deal, the statist, interventionist policies of the Roosevelt administration (and Hoover’s) did not help. Indeed, they prevented a job-creating recovery.

The best thing the government could do would be to quit intervening in the marketplace and stop trying to engineer it. It’s simply much too complex to be controlled by a relatively small number of policy-makers. With minimal intervention and a lightened burden of spending, taxation, and regulation, the market economy will heal itself and create jobs.

Sadly, that’s a wise course we can’t expect from the current crowd, so this Tuesday we take step one in a two-step process of firing and replacing them with people who get it.

Step two comes in 2012.

PS: Yeah, I’ve been tapping Reason.TV a lot today, but, what can I say? They do good stuff. 

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gerrymandering: the legal way to rig an election

October 31, 2010

Why bother stuffing ballot boxes and getting felons to vote when you can just draw the district boundaries to ensure your guy or gal wins? Via Reason.TV, here’s an interview with Bill Mundell on the dangers of gerrymandering:

It may not be the sexiest political issue of our time, but it is of fundamental importance to the health of our democracy. Allowing legislators to draw their own districts creates a tremendous conflict of interest between creating districts that accurately represent a community of interests and thus fairly represent the people of an area, and the self-serving needs of politicians.

This is a particular problem in California, where “safe seat” (or “incumbency gerrymandering,” as Mundell calls it) boundaries almost guarantee the reelection of a state or federal legislator. The problem is so bad that almost every member of California’s congressional delegation gets reelected in election after election, even though Congress has a miserable approval rating. And the situation with our state legislature isn’t much different.

We took a big step to fix the problem in 2008 by passing Proposition 11, which took the power to draw legislative districts away from the legislators and gave it to a citizen’s commission. This year, we aim to finish the job by passing Proposition 20, which would do the same thing for congressional districts. But, you guessed it, the oligarchy has struck back, getting Proposition 27 on the ballot. If passed, this measure will eliminate the citizen’s commission created by Proposition 11. It is nothing less than a swinish attempt by the legislature and their allies in the House to seize power from the people and preserve their hand-drawn fiefdoms.

And you wonder why I call California’s legislature “arrogant.”

For the sake of genuine representative democracy in California, it is essential that Proposition 20 pass and Proposition 27 fail.

Put an end to gerrymandering. Break the oligarchy.

UPDATE: J.E. Dyer at Hot Air’s Green Room has an excellent post on seven votes that may determine California’s future.

UPDATE 2: Also take a look at an article in the LA Weekly about Props 20 and 27 and why you should give a rip. It includes a map of my entry into the California Hall of Shame for Shameless Gerrymandering, CD 23, which is 200 miles long and, at one point, only 100 yards wide.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Detroit: the railroad to nowhere

October 15, 2010

When your city’s population has shrunk by half since 1950, thousands of buildings are unoccupied, Hollywood uses it for “urban apocalypse” shots, and it’s earned the title of “Murder Capital of the USA,” what does it need?

No, not a Marine Expeditionary Force, silly! It needs a $500 million light rail project!

That goes nowhere.

Reason.TV has the story:

Yeesh.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How do you say “Momma Grizzly” in Norwegian?

September 30, 2010

Siv Jensen is the leader of the Progress Party in Norway. She’s also of a rare breed in Europe: a political leader who advocates small government and free markets. (In Europe, the conservatives are often not much less statist than the Left.) For her views, Jensen has been described as the “Margaret Thatcher of the North;” she’s also expressed her admiration for Sarah Palin.

Reason.TV conducted a short interview with Jensen that I thought some might find interesting:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


ObamaCare as the road to CanadaCare

September 14, 2010

It’s a busy day today, so posting will likely be light. In the meantime, from Reason.TV, here’s an interview with author Sally Pipes about the problems with single-payer health care systems, which she covers in her new book, The Truth about ObamaCare:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Hands off my moonshine!

September 2, 2010

For something on the light side this morning, here’s a short video from Reason.TV arguing that outdated laws against amateur distilling (i.e., “making moonshine”) should be repealed, using analogies to craft brewing of beer by home brewers and micropubs:

As a general principle, I have no problem with decriminalizing home distilling, as long as basic health and safety standards are met. (None of this cooked-in-an-old-radiator stuff.) If we can do that for beer, why not homemade brandy … or tomato hootch?

PS: Before anyone brings up the contentious question of marijuana legalization, I’ll confess right now that I’m agnostic. I really don’t know if it’s no more harmful than alcohol, or if it’s too dangerous to allow. All I know is that the stink clings to the curtains.  Sick