MonthJune 2013

Friday Quote – 6/28/13

This week’s Friday Quote is a long one:

Why do price controls cause shortages? There are basically two reasons: supply and demand. People will not supply as much at a lower price as they will at a higher price. Some oil wells that will repay their costs and earn a profit when the price of oil is $25 a barrel will not cover their costs when the price is $15 a barrel. Some people who will rent out a bungalow in their backyard when rents are high will not bother when rents are low. Some farmers will give up farming when food prices are kept below the point where they can earn a living. On the demand side, people will demand more when the price is kept artificially low by price controls. Before rent control laws were passed in Sweden, less than one-fourth of unmarried adults there had their own separate housing units, but afterwards more than half did. People buy more of anything that is cheaper. With more being demanded and less being supplied, shortages are inevitable, whether with housing, food, medical care or whatever.

Thomas Sowell

This applies to guns/ammunition as well. As demand kicks in (thanks, Mr. President!), prices must go up. There might be some price stability as businesses pay the opportunity costs (forgoing additional revenue to offset their own higher costs) in order to maintain customer loyalty. That will last only if the demand spike is of a short duration. If we as customers demand that businesses keep prices the same, the effect will be the same – shortages.

Now, why can’t I find ammo?

And That Is How To Deliver A Verbal Slapdown

Rep. Duckworth, a double amputee from a Blackhawk crash in Iraq, sets up and then lays down the verbal bitchslap against an IRS contractor who used a 27-year-old injury to get special consideration as a service-connected veteran-owned small business.

The kicker is at the very end when Rep. Duckworth apologizes to Rep. Issa (chairing the committee) for going over time. His response, “No, that was time well spent.”

I also agree with Rep. Duckworth on these scumbags (no disrespect meant to run of the mill scumbags) are clogging up the VBA for free money that people who do need assistance are having to wait two years or more.

H/t The Mistress of Snark

Changing My Stand on the Death Penalty

When I was a teenager, I identified as conservative. my dad used to joke that most kids start liberal and become conservative, so I’d probably become a liberal as I grew up. In a way, he was right. Over the past several years as I’ve become more immersed in libertarianism, I’ve some of my views on social issues have become more liberal. Most of these were because I found the “conservative” position to be morally wrong, such as banning gay marriage or the drug war. This was not the case for my changing view on the death penalty. For my adult life, I’ve supported the death penalty. Not because I thought it was a deterrent to crime (it isn’t), but because it was the ultimate expression of society’s revulsion at atrocity as well as the means to legally remove individuals who were too dangerous to society to be allowed to continue breathing.

I still believe in the basic morality of the death penalty. What has changed is that I no longer trust the government to properly apply the death penalty and to act with the due diligence these cases should require and in the best interest of justice.

Radley Balko of the Huffington Post (and late of Reason magazine) has pursued stories of people wrongly convicted of murder due to negligence and malfeasance by prosecutors’ offices. Barron has had several prosecutors show up in his State Sponsored Criminal Count. We are seeing what happens when a prosecutor is the head of a politically-motivated lynching attempt with the Zimmerman trial this week.

I don’t think that most of the prosecutors in the various state and federal systems are malicious, but rather they are responding to the political and economic incentives of their “business.” What’s worse, prosecutors have qualified immunity against those who would bring civil suit, and they’re rarely brought before their own governing bodies that is supposed to protect the populace against abuse. They have as much of a “thin blue line” as we’ve seen demonstrated when police protect their own bad actors.

Therein lies the rub. The death penalty is the one sanction by the state that can’t be reversed and/or compensated. If I really believe that there is a systemic problem with the method by which death penalty eligible cases are prosecuted and that bad behavior by the people responsible for those prosecutions isn’t being corrected or discouraged by punishments, then I can’t support the application of a punishment whose effects can’t be reversed or remedied.

This annoys me, because I know that there are plenty of people who need killin’. People who truly deserve to receive the ultimate punishment that our legal system can hand out. I’m not asking for a system that makes no mistakes, but one where I can reasonable expect there is a culture that demands the highest ethical standard for those entrusted with the power to destroy or seriously disrupt a person’s life. I expect that there should be a transparent and consistently applied system to deal with incompetence or malfeasance that ensures the public can have confidence in our judicial system. That may not be possible at this point in our culture/government. Until that happens, put me down as reluctantly opposing the death penalty. Damn it.

Metal Tuesday – Black Majesty – Firestorm

This week’s Metal Tuesday is Black Majesty’s “Firestorm.”


Now that the war is over I have returned to find myself
Things that I’ve said and things that I have done
Come like lead ricocheting off a steel wall

Lost in a dream reality a haunting song sings out a tune of sorrow
Never imagining what we once had lays buried beneath the sand
Buried beneath the land

You left us to fight on this holy land
Now alone
Eternally burnt in my mind is this firestorm

Clouds hanging low the bodies below are your children
They have died for your gain
Scared and confused you’ve lost what you found now you cry now you cry for mercy

Still in a dream reality a haunting song still rings this tune of sorrow
Never remembering what we once had lays buried beneath the sand
Buried beneath the land

You left us to fight on this holy land
Now alone Eternally burnt in my mind
You left us to fight on this holy land
Now alone
Eternally burnt in my mind is this firestorm

Reality is not a dream no haunting tune to sing a song of sorrow
Always a memory what we once had
Lays buried beneath my sand
Buried my land

Jim Carrey Only Likes Kids Killed By Disease

Blasting over the blogosphere has been Jim Carrey “distancing” himself from the movie Kick-Ass 2 because of the violence. You know, if he really wanted to improve kids lives and prevent deaths, maybe he should “distance” himself from the anti-vaccination movement.

Or he could, y’know, learn before trying to be erudite and morally superior.

Florida Ironies

Florida summer has returned with its normal blazing heat combined with enough humidity to make you think you’re breathing through a wet towel. Okay, I’ve lived here since I was four. I’m kind of used to it.

Here’s the fun part. Apparently, this summer wave has made someone in the office think the remedy is to turn up the A/C to extreme levels. Outside, furnace. Inside, it’s cold enough I need to turn on my heater just to make my office comfortable.

Where’s my pack of feral chihuahuas when I need them?

Friday Quote – 6/21/13

Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

George Washington, First President of the United States, in his Farewell Address

If these last two weeks have proved anything, it is that our national-security complex (military establishments) have clearly decided that our individual liberties are less important than their need for information. What’s worse, a majority of Americans seem to agree with them.

Well, there’s an interesting challenge

First, watch this video. It will only take a few minutes of your time.

I thought this was one of the strongest statements against gun control that I’ve seen.

I particularly like Mr. Weiss asking if any of the politicians were willing to be the first through the door to take away the guns of recalcitrant gun owners. In the Roman republic, the political leaders were also expected to lead troops. Maybe it’s time to resurrect part of that practice.

H/t to Barron

Quote of the Day – My Nephew

Cthulhu wouldn’t take your sins away. He’d just give you more.

We had one of The Talks with my nephew. Specifically, the one about the fact that his uncles don’t believe in God.

This happened because I was wearing my Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster shirt, and my nephew asked what it meant by “He Boiled For Your Sins.” His mother and I explained parody and I wore the shirt because I didn’t believe in God.

“Then how can you and mama be friends?” That turned into an explanation that people with different beliefs can still be friends. Moreover, it was good to experience different cultures and belief systems in order to find the one that matches what he thought was important. It was during this part when my nephew said the above quote.

More Talks on this subject will have to occur, but at least he is aware that not everyone believes in the same God, or even God at all.

Still, it’s kind of how even in a serious conversation with this eight-year-old, Cthulhu comes up. Granted, part of that is because of FSM. Still….

Metal Tuesday – Savatage – Beyond The Doors of the Dark

This week’s Metal Tuesday is Savatage’s “Beyond the Doors of the Dark.”

Savatage was one of my early favorite bands, partly because they were Tampa. They were also one of the first bands I caught in concert when they played the first Livestock back in 1991.


p>Lyrics: Listen to me, children of the night
Beyond the doors of darkness you will find
A thousand worlds for you to see here
Take my hand and follow me, ohh oh

Beyond the doors of the dark
Demon in your heart
Scream and thrash your head
Turn around, now you’re dead
Under the darkened haze
Lost here in glaze
Are you looking to be free?

A never ending suicide
Of nightmares you have inside, oh

Another day’s begun
Under the moon and sun
Circle has been drawn
Life has been prolonged
Hell is eternity
Hell is your destiny
I’ll tell you to die

A never ending suicide
Of nightmares you have inside, yeah

Ohh, beyond the doors of the dark, yeah
Beyond the doors of the dark, oh Oh yeah

It’s time to meet your fate
Heaven can wait
All the walls are closing in
Things crawl on your skin
He’s grabbing down at you
There’s nothing you can do
No place to run and hide

A never ending suicide
Of nightmares you have inside, oh

Ohh, ohh
Ohh, ohh
Ohh, ohh
Ohh, ohh

Ohh, ohh
Ohh, ohh
Ohh, ohh
Ohh, ohh
Oh yeah

He wants to take your soul
You know you’re dreaming
Call your precious little life
Under my knife
Hell is eternity
Hell is your destiny
I’ll tell you to die

A never ending suicide
Of nightmares you have inside, oh

Ohh, beyond the doors of the dark, yeah
Beyond the doors of the dark, oh yeah
Beyond the doors of the dark, yeah, oh Oh, no no


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