Saturday, July 25, 2009,0,1752248.story

Continuing on the theme of government-industrial complexes, consider that we have absoutely no idea who or what is behind this health care plan. This is how Obama does business; its why every bill is thousands of pages long, and Congress couldn't be bothered to read or debate the entire bill even if they were given the time.

Resistance to Obama Care Just "Politics"

The latest Obamacast to America, a political TV ad features a couple discussing public health care. They present, in order, the stock arguments from the liberal side of the debate in Congress (team Obama). The script of the commercial is even worded like a series of Obama sound bytes. But the center of the "debate" is not an argument or a fact - it's a blanket characterization that is not helping to move the debate forward. It scares me to think that this is just the discussion happening in Congress. Debate regarding the merits and moral hazards of public health care is the next step.

This makes the House's failure to meet the August deadline somewhat of a victory. The delay means we just have to live with the system a while longer; inevitably the debate will happen, and by then conservative voters will be able to mount a better defense. The right needs a market solution - scary to think about what the current Republican party might create for corporate health care industry. However, by then Republican voters will have had an opportunity to thin their ranks of such pseudoconservatives.

How can this be considered "just politics?" Did anyone really expect the most radical progressive reorganization of American institutions to succeed instantly with no opposition? Sometimes a compromise will satisfy both sides, but there is very little chance here. Obama has tried very hard to attract conservatives by using markets and economic incentives - de-socializing his plan. I think conservative resistance to this plan is legitimate. Claiming that "it's just politics" is a complete cop out argument that marginalizes perfectly legitimate concerns.

Just like most legislation these days, you cannot focus on projections of its effects. The pro-con talking points become irrelevant when the true problem with most legislation is the unintended consequences, including special provisions hidden within thousands of pages of fine print that are known only to the lobbyist who wrote them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When Banks = Government

I recently came across Matt Taibbi's feature "The Great American Bubble Machine." In this article he examines the existentially corrupt relationship between banks and government:
The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage.

This is a phenomenal piece because Taibbi begins with the right questions in mind. The default assumption for most media analysis is that the old policies were flawed and the question is how to better control the economy. This article suggests that the real problem is the government-banking complex, in which rent-seeking banks and corporations can exploit our system - if they have power.

The relevance of this observation is downplayed as the majority* of the country, towing the Obama party line, demands more regulation on banks. In banking fashion, this will of course come down to a mere 10,000 page bill in Congress; complete with plenty of garbage to hide the "riders" and amendments attached to create more loopholes. Just wait until there is a carbon bubble, where every credit is being traded 20 times before it reaches a consumer. You'll wish you hadn't gone along.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Candidate Obama developed his incredible star power into a valuable tool during his campaign, and now that President Obama's hundredth day in office is approaching, it is clearly serving a new purpose: earning him political capital. The mainstream media is more valuable to him than ever; the recent AP poll showed upwards of 60% in agreement that the country is on the "right track." Every news article references statistics about the percentage spread of his approval rating versus the last 6 presidents or the size of the spread between right and left like contributors on Sportscenter. Likewise, we all know who they're rooting for, and the "facts" they report can be made to say almost anything.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Did the Tea Parties Hurt or Help?

The Tax Day Tea Parties were surprising on many levels. Our members that went to the Seattle Tea Party agreed on at least one thing: this was not at all the crowd, or even the event we had expected. Our expectation was based on our idea of a Tea Party as a Ron Paul fundraiser minus the Ron Paul part; granted, plenty of crazies, but at least people of the libertarian persuasion.

More often, however, we instead heard slurs about liberals, Christian nationalism, and even an original country jingle. I am still impressed that so many people attended, and I hope the movement continues to grow. That being said, the media had a field day with these "teabaggers." Every major news source ridiculedLikewise, the AP's photos of these events, or at least those published in popular places, were of people in good old 'merican flag attire, holding signs with painfully original slogans like "LET ME HAVE MY KIDS BEFORE YOU TAX THEM!" In our case, being in Seattle, the "unexpecteds" came in the form of frustrated opponents of Obama chanting "USA!" and booing Obama's merciless socialist tyranny as if John McCain himself were on stage.

Our crowd was there, of course, but the only person who gave us any coverage was Janet Napolitano, who consequently described protesters (especially veterans) as potential right-wing militia members, later apologizing that it was probably just a departmental Freudian slip).

I am glad so many people are persuaded by the libertarian economic agenda, but I am not impressed with the caliber of advocacy they are presenting to public on our behalf.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bob Barr

The internet loves to destroy the tradition of not judging books by their covers. As I clearly said, I was afraid of this guy as a Libertarian candidate. His ex-neocon status made me wonder if McCain just might be OK. I have to say he doesn't make a good first impression, and I'm not sure I "got" where he was coming from for a while. Looking over the evidence against him:

The Defense of Marriage Act was actually a truly conservative solution to an important problem. It just sounds like Pat Robertson brand bullshit. It actually would have removed the issue of marriage from the Federal level and respected states' rights to define marriage as they see fit. That would mean conservative states could have their barely secular man-woman marriages, Utah could give every man a harem, and California could allow gay disabled Wiccan illegal aliens. Liberty at its finest.

Secondly, I was a hardcore conservative for roughly the first Bush term. I would have voted for higher spending to fight drugs and more authority. To be honest I wasn't fully convinced that the dug war should end until I researched drug policy for an Original Advocacy. My primary education on the subject came from the Cato Institute's handbook for Congress on the War on Drugs. I think Bob Barr had a very similar turning point when he joined the Libertarian Party. I don't believe he will waste our money on more bullshit drug policy anymore.

The impeachment of Clinton was actually legitimate, though unnecessary. Barr certainly had an agenda in supporting it, but it's really irrelevant - it just makes him more likely to call Clinton on his mistakes. They were still mistakes that needed to be accounted for, even if was somewhat of a show trial. Public officials cannot be allowed to commit perjury, and I'm glad Barr stands for that.

There are a number of things where you can choose whether or not to cut him any slack. A change of heart? It's his best excuse, but I can attribute to the fact that it's easy, and almost natural, for even Neocons to wake up to true conservatism.

He also seems to be rather moderate (compared to his trainer - I mean, running mate, Wayne Allyn Root) which could actually mean a smoother transition, if by some miracle he became president. A little sensibility is a lot to ask, I know, but withdrawing from NATO and the U.N. overnight might not work out so well. We sure wouldn't want to blow our incredible opportunity this year.