Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Many Inspections Means USA Today For Lunch.

While I do devour the newspaper, I enjoyed a Hardee's 'Thickburger'. They really are terrific fast food. Busy times in the field means the 'Across the USA' section, which offered two positive stories that should have gotten wider coverage.

From Palmer, Alaska, "Phillip Mielke, 44, a minister who fatally shot two burglars at his church in Big Lake, was acquitted on all counts. He had been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide."

I like a preacher who packs heat, and I like even more a sensible jury.

From Washington D.C., "The police chief supports Mayor Anthony Williams' push for stronger penalties against juvenile offenders. Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey said many crimes committed by those under the age of 18 are not child's play. The city's culture of violence will change only when people understand the consequences of their actions, he said. "

I like a rational mayor in a crime-addled city. I like even more a rational police chief supporting a rational mayor in a crime-addled city. Go figure- two high-ranking public officials talking about cause and effect. It warms the heart and clears the bleary eyes.
Well? Which Way Is It?

I've never been a fan of the phrase, "it's all relative," but I can see the distinction in the following case.

In the US, collectivist Democrats (is that redundant?), Republicans (is that, too?), and other economic authoritarians are fond of farm subsidies, often on the grounds of boosting the poor and oppressed who happen to be farmers.

However, outside the US, these same subsidies were denounced in the 22nd Socialist Congress, as reported in today's USA Today. Delegates "called for an end to agricultural subsidies in the United States, the European Union and Japan, saying they were strangling economic growth in developing nations."

I guess there is just no pleasing meddling busybodies. They do give socialists here a good reason to fear their international comrades: the poor here are viewed as the rich everywhere else, and will be treated with the same regard as the Bolsheviks treated owners of mom & pop stores in 1917.
Need More Hours!

Life has been so full lately. I was telling Ame how I had a minute to reflect on my 13 months in Indiana, and the full immersion. I have so many exciting things going on, I am finding it extremely difficult to keep up.

I am the manager of an active campaign that can use every waking minute I have to offer. I have a refinancing deal needing my attention. My trip with Ame to visit Alex in Spain needs final details solidified. And I haven't called Mom in a while. We want to buy a house next year and I may run for office myself, all of which will require a lot of planning and work. This blogging isn't priority #1, but it sure helps to clear my head for transitioning between tasks.

Tonight was hockey, which means I'll be awake for a good while. It wasn't my best game, but I'll chalk that up to wearing a face cage for the first time ever. It really was harder to see the game. I'd always been told that at first it is, but really downplayed it. No goals, no assists, but good aggressive penalty killing and a +1. I'll take it.

I have had a few requests for details on the questions raised by the LP of Marion County regarding the Abduallah paperwork. Follow this link for the LPIN press release. This link will give the Indy Star's brief report.

It interests me that the Star report does not even mention either of Abduallah's Libertarian opponents: Brad Klopfenstein (even though he was at the press conference) and Republican Phil Schoffstall. Could it be that they don't care to work against their endorsement of Abduallah?

It interests me to see if this story will ever be picked up in earnest. RTV6 and Channel 13 each ran segments running 60 seconds or less yesterday on their early evening news, but not on their late news.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Making Waves

Brad was doing his homework- checking to make sure everything looked right with the pre-election paperwork he filed, and that of his opponents- when he discovered something a bit odd: Democrat Patrice Abduallah's form listed a donor that happens to be a public entity.

What are the possible scenarios? 1. He received money from a public entity; 2. He made a significant error on his form.

If 1. is true, then either something is amiss with either that public entity, the candidate, or both. If 2. is true, there is something amiss with the candidate's effort.

So, the LP went to the press this morning to lay out its findings. That's about all we are going to do about it- put the info out there and see if it has merit.

I'm betting it's a mistake of some kind. Still, a significant mistake made on a campaign finance form strikes me as a telling sign. After all, the City-County Council has control over the power to tax and to spend. One need not be a CPA to be a Councilperson, however, a basic ability to tend to important details should matter to the voters of Indianapolis.

Let's see if the voters of District 15 notice and if they change their 80% Democratic voting habits.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Status Check

It amazes me how capitalism is the whipping boy for the world's woes, when it is merely a system of interactions, not a motive.

Capitalism is that system by which individuals own property and control the use of it. In my three-word definition of both capitalism and libertarianism, it comes out like this: you own yourself.

Many people ascribe greed, avarice, and a host of other negatives to capitalism, when it is so clear that these motives are just as common- if not moreso- in countries that are less capitalist than the United States. For a fuller definition of capitalism and libertarianism, I use this: "you are free to do what you like with your life so long as you do not initiate force or fraud on another human being".

After failing to see anything of interest in the political coverage of this morning's Star, I turned to the New York Times best seller's list. There at the top of the Hardcover Non-Fiction List is Michael Moore's "Dude, Where's My Country?"

I won't make the crack about Moore's book being in the Non-Fiction list that is so common. What I will point out is that Moore attacks capitalism, yet Moore is a capitalist.

Observe that his book is not atop the "Hardcover Most Given Away to Libraries List". Nor is it on the "Hardcover Produced by a Non-Profit Organization". Nor is it atop the "Hardcover Produced by a Collective List".

Interestingly, even though Moore himself claims the book is a collaborative work, with a team of fact-checkers poring over every assertion, Moore takes sole credit for the work on the front cover. His books are sold as property to anyone who can afford to buy them. They are not subsidized by the government. They are not sold at a reduced price to those with a lower income. Readers do not flock to Canada to buy Moore's books at a discount ( saves you the trouble).

Of course, that is all as it should be. Michael Moore owns himself, and is free to do what he likes with his life so long as he does not initiate force or fraud against anyone. As far as I can tell, he lives out my philosophy to a 'tee'. It does make me wonder why he rails so against the very way he lives his own life, though...

Flipping through Mother Jones is always an excruciating experience for me. The mag has so much potential in being a self-proclaimed hellraiser, but they are so interested in curbing the corporate power they see across the globe that they turn a blind eye the monstrous government power here in the US.

Corporate power does leave me leary, but not in fear, as it does Ma Jones. (A Google search for 'Mother Jones' turns up their link with the description, "A bimonthly magazine of investigative journalism that exposes the evils of the corporate world".) After all, corporations are a device of ownership. Corporations are staffed by people who want to earn money, but rely on voluntary interaction. People in corporations who want to earn money have to offer me something worth my trading my money, or they don't get it.

Can you imagine Wal-Mart rounding up people who haven't bought anything there and forcing them to go to the store and buy things?

Government power is different. Governments are a device of management. Governments are staffed by people who want to manage human interaction, but rely not on voluntary interaction, but on compulsion. People in governments who want my money do not have to offer me something worth my trading my money. They get some of it by intercepting it from my employer before it gets to me, and the rest via the threat of force.

Ma? Given the difference, why so afraid of corporations? You can picture- imagination unnecessary- the IRS rounding up people who haven't paid Federal Income Taxes.

Interestingly, as Mother Jones pushes the socialist from my old neighborhood, Dennis Kucinich, touting his progressive protectionsim in their new issue (not on the web yet), they are just like Michael Moore in being capitalists by accepting scads of advertising dollars from other capitalists, including a few big multinational corporations, like Toyota and Virgin.

The ads are the most fascinating part of Mother Jones. There are ads from Non-Profits such as the ACLU and Amnesty International, but the vast majority are from capitalists. Aveda makes hair products. Eden Foods makes soy milk. Pax World offers mutual funds from companies that pay CEOs less, workers more, are non-defense contractors, etc. These companies are pure capitalists, operating for their own selfish reasons, from the principles they choose, not from ones imposed upon them.

Of course, that is all as it should be. Mother Jones Publisher Jay Harris owns himself, and is free to do what he likes with his life so long as he does not initiate force or fraud against anyone. As far as I can tell, he also lives out my philosophy to a 'tee'. It does make me wonder why his magazine rails so against the very way he lives his own life, though...

The bitter irony is this: capitalists don't really care what your motives are. If you have a product to sell, whether or a book or a magazine, a hybrid car, hemp products, whatever, capitalists say, "welcome to the marketplace, may the best seller win". Indeed, capitalists are incredibly tolerant people, dealing with the competition of other sellers that threaten their very livelihood, even if they dispise the motives of the producers, allowing the choices of consumers to dictate. Capitalists are willing to live side-by-side. Socialists and other attackers of capitalism, on the other hand, are incredibly intolerant and very eager to eliminate the competition of those they dislike, lobbying vigorously to erect laws that would stamp out the producers and methods they dispise, unwilling to co-exist and so contrary to their stated beliefs in tolerance and co-existence.

The other bitter irony is that Mother Jones and other anti-capitalist mags, suhc as the Nation, have more advertising than their pro-capitalist counterparts, such as Reason or Liberty.

Status? Sanity still does not prevail.