Monday, September 29, 2003

A Favored Columnist

I have been enjoying the writing of Walter Williams for some time. His recent column on freedom of association is brilliant. The topic is rarely mentioned, but is a key component to any free state. Examine the degree to which freedom of association exists in this country, and you may not enjoy the conclusions you draw. If so, you will be correct.

It struck me earlier today that two of my favorite political writers are black economists. I also enjoy the thinking of Thomas Sowell.

There is something very intellectually satisfying about the consistent application of cause and effect, devoid of emotion, that economics provides that explains political solutions to human 'problems' so well: the law of unintended consequences. These men may not be dazzling wordsmiths, but they are brilliant thinkers, and I enjoy their work very much.
A Favored Place

Later this week, Ame & I will head for the Adironadacks, specifically to Long Pond, for a few days of camping in a rather remote location. We'll meet up with friends from New York City, Steve and Greg. For Ame & Shasta (our dog), it will be the second such adventure. I think this will be my sixth trip.

I always feel like Teddy Roosevelt when I go here. I don't know if TR actually traversed Long Pond itself, but I could imagine him enjoying it, if he had. The area is so remote that I've encountered other humans on less than half of the trips. The log at the trailhead often goes unsigned for months at a time. The trails are thin, and the markers are faded. Greg, Steve, and I actually re-established the trail from Long Pond to the John Mack Pond, as it was completely overgrown.

My favorite Long Pond moment was discovering an obscured natural spring that was listed in a trail book published in the 1960s. It is easily the best water I have ever drank.

This time, there is the possibility of seeing aurora borealis, plus the beginnings of fall foliage. It should be awesome!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Slaps in the Face

While we earn respect from some, others prefer to just raise their hand over head and bring it crashing down with a contemptuous swat. The Indy Star has so smacked the LP twice in the past four days.

In Thursday's paper, the issue of a Democratic suit challenging the Mariob County ballot was covered. While it may be a fight between Dems and the GOP, Libertarian candidates are just as affected by any change to the placement of candidate names as the other two parties. The reporter didn't bother to contact the LP for comment. Also, the graphic used featured Dem and GOP logos, but did not include one from the LP, which is a glaring ommission from a graphic titled, "Election 2003". After all, there are about 20 LP candidates in Marion County, not an insignificant number. (The online version sadly does not include the logo.)

In today's issue, a Top Five list is posted in referrence to the ballot issue, suggesting the inclusion of a phrase advising the voter that a vote for an LP candidate is a wasted vote.

How do I sum these up? Lazy, sloppy, and unconscionable. Poor journalism. Disrespectul.

I expect the LP to take lumps when it does something stupid that affects people. Here, we take lumps for no good reason at all. I expect that from Nuvo, but at least because they understand us and fear liberty.

Thursday night's Hob Nob event was great fun, and a real boost. The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual event, where candidates for City-County Council and Mayor gather to distribute literature, circulate, and glad-hand.

Klop had a table along with his Democratic and Republican fellow challengers. This was the second time we have encountered the Dem, and the first time I met the Republican. We set up Brad's brochures and buttons, though I think more pols picked up the stuff than members of the general public. Unfortunately, the public really didn't show up in great numbers, which is sad since this event was likely the single greatest gathering of hopefuls that there will be.

The most striking thing was the respect given to the Libertarian Party. Our opponents were very gracious, and actually pretty eager to talk shop with us. This is again in stark contrast to the Ohio experience, where the LP is treated with scorn and derision as a matter of courtesy. I was personally thanked by Mayor Bart Peterson for the work of the LP, which was exceptionally gratifying.

I know, I know- it's a happy smile face event, and everyone there was sporting the brown lipstick, but still! Dennis Kucinich never thanked me for 'doing what I do to improve the community' back in Cle.

County Chair Sam Goldstein participated in a tri-partisan chair's rountable, which was broadcast on WIBC. Goldstein was given equal billing and equal time by all involved, and it was refreshing and encouraging.
Indiana Continues to Confound a Buckeye

When I moved to Indy from Cleveland, I was immediately struck by Indiana having a significantly more fiscally conservative governor than Ohio. The rub: the late Frank O'Bannon was an Indiana Democrat, and Ohio gov. Bob Taft is a Republican.

Now, the Indianapolis mayoral race leaves me doing a double-take. GOP candidate Greg Jordan is against expanding corporate welfare and socialized football, while the incumbent, Democrat Bart Peterson favors expanding support for the Colts.

The public has weighed in mightily against an extra penny for the Colts. It's rare that I agree with the public and a GOP candidate on a corporate welfare issue, but there we are. I smile and I realize yet again that I do not miss Ohio.