Archive for category: Politics

Single Payer Is Not A Good Thing

12 Dec
December 12, 2018

John Stossel has an article over at Reason on some of the reasons why single-payer healthcare is a bad thing. One of the fun quotes:

…Canada, England, Norway, Cuba, and a few other countries do have genuine single-payer. I’m constantly told that it works well—people get good care and never have to worry about a bill. They spend less on health care and live longer.

[Chris] Pope says that claim is naive.

They do live longer in many of those countries, but it’s not because they get superior health care; it’s because fewer of them are fat; fewer crash cars; and they shoot each other less often. “Take out (obesity), car accidents and gun violence, the difference in life expectancy disappears entirely,” Pope says.

The article doesn’t even touch one of my fundamental critiques – namely, don’t give government control of stuff you don’t want to see denied to people who think like you. Both sides have weaponized different parts of the government for their own ends. Now imagine what they can do with total control over healthcare.

Friday Quote – H.L. Mencken

07 Dec
December 7, 2018

The trouble with fighting human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

Gun Cams For Cops

06 Dec
December 6, 2018

From the Gun Writer comes a story about an Arizona department adding cameras to their guns. They will start recording when drawn and stop recording when holstered.

Personally, I like the idea. I think body and gun cameras when used appropriately can help protect LEOs from false accusations, bring bad LEOs to account, provide neutral evidence, and be used for training.

The trick is to make sure that the cameras are used, and used appropriately, and the chain of custody is followed.

Friday Quote – George Orwell

30 Nov
November 30, 2018

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

ACLU Decides It Doesn’t Like Some Civil Liberties

29 Nov
November 29, 2018

Growing up, the American Civil Liberties Union was one of those principled organizations that I often disagreed with, sometimes celebrated, but never doubted their commitment to their core principles.

Then Charlottesville. And the ACLU decides it won’t defend free speech if guns are involved.

Now, the ACLU is coming out against stronger due process in college inquisitions for sexual misconduct. When you’ve lost The Atlantic

My big gripe with the NRA in recent years (and GOA for a while) is being more interested in being a conservative organization instead of a civil rights organization. Now, I watch as the ACLU does the same thing on the other side of the aisle.

Friday Quote – Roman van Ree

09 Nov
November 9, 2018

Don’t be fooled by the words “socialism” and “communism”. Once you come to understand what they mean in terms of economic freedom you will know that they are anything but social, and have nothing to do with community. They simply mean “centralization of power in the hands of the people that make up the state, in the hands of the master class.

They are nothing but euphemisms for “slavery”.

Mid-Term Reaction

08 Nov
November 8, 2018

On the national front, the Democrats get the House and the Republicans keep the Senate. I mostly agree with Rob’s assessment that the House Republican’s failure to do what it promised kept the base unmotivated to help save it from an aggressive Democrat push.

On the Florida side, Miguel’s correct that we dodged a bullet by DeSantis’s hairbreadth win. More importantly Friend’s defeat for Agriculture. It looks like Scott and Nelson are headed for a recount, which wouldn’t have happened if Scott hadn’t caved after Parkland. Don’t fucking do favors for people who won’t vote for you anyways. I swear that politicos should have that tattooed on their palms.

As for the amendments? It was kind of a mixed bag from my perspective. Probably the most controversial was granting the right to vote to felons, which I voted for because if you’ve served your time and released, then you should have all the rights and responsibilities of a citizen restored. Speaking of the citizenry, they decided we needed to ban offshore drilling, vaping in offices, and greyhound racing. Because when special interests can buy the right legislators, they buy themselves an amendment. And all of these crossed the two-thirds needed for an amendment to pass – which was supposed to stop this bullshit in the first place.

And starts the long slog to 2020.

Voting For or Voting Against

07 Nov
November 7, 2018

J.D. Tucille has an insightful piece over st Reason on reducing political violence. One of the big takeaways is that recently people belong to a party not because of what the party stands for but who the party stands against.

Money quote:

If the government can reach into virtually every area of life, can grant or deny permission to make a living or enjoy pastimes, and has a documented history of abusing such authority for petty and vindictive reasons, why wouldn’t you be afraid of your enemies wielding such power? How could you avoid growing fearful and angry over their anticipated conduct once they took their inevitable turn in office? And what would you say—and eventually do—to stop them? Especially, if you were a little unhinged to begin with.

I know for this midterm elections, there were several races where I was not voting for a candidate, but against their opponent.

Friday Quote- Jonathan Haidt

01 Nov
November 1, 2018

There are people who are less emotional and more reasoned. They’re called libertarians.

Not sure if I have the quote exactly right. I heard this on a recent Science Salon podcast. Damn near had an accident due to sudden burst of laughter.

This Is Why I Hate Qualified Immunity

01 Nov
November 1, 2018

The Innocence Project, known for helping free people who were unjustly convicted is helping a former prosecutor fight to get his job back.

Why was he fired? For not breaking the law.

Eric Hillman was an Assistant District Attorney in Nueces County who unfairly lost his job in January 2014 after he found an independent witness who was not included in police reports from an intoxication assault prosecution. Hillman, who also served as a Harris County (Houston) police officer for 21 years, was ordered by a DA’s Office supervisor to keep the information about the witness to himself, saying it did not have to be turned over to defense lawyers because it came from an independent investigation.

After he was fired for refusing to “follow orders,” Hillman sued to get his job back, arguing that Texas law should protect prosecutors who refuse to break the law and hide evidence that aids the defense. Earlier this year, the Innocence Project and the Innocence Project of Texas urged the Texas Supreme Court to take up Hillman’s case, arguing in a friend of the court brief that these employment protections are critical to ensuring that innocent persons are not wrongly convicted.

He was fired for doing what prosecutors should be doing. What if he had followed orders and the defendant was erroneously convicted? Could Mr. Hillman be sued for violating the defendant’s rights? Nope. He would have qualified immunity.

It’s time to remove that crap. Let prosecutors have to carry malpractice insurance. That will make them more diligent in their duty instead diligent in improving their conviction rate.