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No time for a party

You are on a long trip, driving alone. It is night and you are on a two lane rural highway. You are getting close, but have another hour or so before arrival.

… you hear a horn and suddenly wake up. Headlights are coming right for you. You slam on your brakes, jerk the wheel back into your lane, travel off the road into a ditch and come to rest when you slam into a tree.

You wake up some time later. Groggy, you take inventory: no blood, no broken bones. You are alive.

Even with this realization, you aren’t exactly in the mood for confetti and champagne.

… and if Mitt wins, you shouldn’t be either. For the same reasons.


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Why I will vote for Gary Johnson – a quick note on why it doesn’t matter if he can win or not.

The chances of Johnson winning are infinitesimal. But that’s not the point. Changing the country’s destructive path is the point. Complying with the corrupt corporatist two party duopoly is to continue down that path.

How does he even have an infinitesimal chance? If Gary Johnson were allowed in the debates, he would have a chance at winning a state, perhaps New Mexico, perhaps Wyoming, perhaps New Hampshire. If he won even a few electoral votes, the election could go to the House. This happened with Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson. At that point, all bets are off. Johnson could be a compromise solution.

But that isn’t even the point. If he were to get exposure in the debates, actual constitutionally limited government views would be heard. They currently are not. If people heard these ideas, they would gain momentum. With momentum, things have a chance of changing.

Those in control, however, love the status quo. They love getting government protection.They love buying influence in. DC. There is no way they, the corporatists, will allow Johnson in the debates. He is a threat, even if tiny. They can not have that. Corporatists, by the way, have no party. Both the Ds and Rs do their bidding. For example, why does Goldman Sachs donate to both Obama and Mitt? Because, like Rick Hendrick when it comes to Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, they don’t care who wins. Either way, they get paid.

Plurality voting is one of the ways the corporatists maintain power. Plurality voting makes no sense on any objective level. Please read Gaming the Vote by William Poundstone for more on this.

“Spoiling” the vote for one of the major parties (most recently, Nader “spoiled” Florida for Gore – this is not a partisan subject) demonstrates vividly the ignorance of plurality voting. By demonstrating its ignorance, perhaps it can change.

Hoping that the current system will result in any different outcome, after 150 years, is … well…. uh… belied by history. (Quick aside: I could have said something like “fucking stupid” instead of “belied by history,” but I do my best not to be a douche. I know, I know, I often fail. But at least I’m aware of the problem).

I’m not voting for Johnson because he can win. I’m voting against giving my consent to corrupt corporatism. Kinda like Ayn Rand wrote about the “sanction of the victim.’ Voting for Romney is sanctioning your own theft. Maybe to a lesser degree, but so what? Think about this: Do you think Dagny Taggart would vote for Mitt? 

If she voted at all, she wouldn’t. Same for Hank Rearden, John Galt, Francisco D’Anconia, etc. They would never sanction their own victimhood. Not at the end of the book, anyway.

Principal, my friend, matters. Beating the other guy is not a principal. Freedom is a principal. Our founding fathers were willing to kill and die for it. I”m just trying to change a demonstrably failed process by not supporting it. One day, I hope you will, too.

Read Etienne de la Boettie’s Discourse on Voluntary Servitude.

Read Lysander Spooner’s No Treason

I do not agree with all of either one, but they both challenge our thinking. And that is a good thing.


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“We celebrate success.” Absolutely! But…..

Last night Mitt Romney said, “In America, we celebrate success, we don’t apologize for success.” I’m down with that. It is absolutely true. However, the problem arises when “success” is achieved via corporate welfare, corporatist protectionism and … [...]

C’mon, Mitt. Quit allowing Barack to pretend outsourcing is evil.

So, Mitt is upset with Barack because Barack claims Mitt was still involved with making management decisions at Bain Capital after 1999. What happened after 1999 that is so damaging to Mitt?

Bain “outsourced” jobs to foreign countries. You know, where businesses can hire people for less money and pay fewer taxes? HORRORS.

Mitt is way too uptight about this. He should mock Barack for getting his facts wrong and not understanding that owning shares in a company does not equal making decisions for a company. But no, Mitt has to act like outsourcing jobs is some horrible sin  that makes him a criminal. Even if he did it, it just means he understands how things actually work. He should own that. He should explain.

Companies exist to create products or provide services to customers. This should not be controversial, but apparently it is. The cheaper the company can do this, the more product it sells or services it provides. This makes consumers happy, because saving money on one purchase means that have money left over for other things.

(Little known fact ignored by the media: You, me and everyone we know are consumers. Yep. It’s true! WE benefit, all of us, from lower prices. Blacks, whites, Native Americans, blue bloods and mutts; Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and atheists; homosexuals, asexuals, transexuals and even heterosexuals! We all benefit. Let that soak in for a bit. It could change your entire world view. It would certainly change Obama’s.)

Mitt, thankfully, is pointing out that Barack’s policies promote outsourcing by raising taxes on people in corporations. When people making decisions for corporations can operate more cheaply somewhere else, they will. Again, this should not be surprising, but apparently it is: “What:?! They are moving facilities where they can pay fewer taxes!!!! How could they?!!! That is just unbelievable!! Who EVER would have thought of such a thing?! How can we make policy when people CHANGE behavior based on how much we make them pay in taxes?!!”

Outsourcing allows companies to stay in business. It allows them to stay competitive. It allows them to produce things so poor people can afford them. (What? Low prices help poor people…..? This … is… so… radical…..Can not… process…..)

If Mitt would just quit pretending he doesn’t understand this, we’d all be better off. By pretending outsourcing is evil, he is allowing Barack to sell his message that higher prices are awesome. They are not. Not for anyone.


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Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and media criticism

BlueCarp [...]

Mitt, Newt and Rick: Let’s end the myth that the GOP believes in limited government.

The 2012 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination should, once and for all, end the myth that the GOP is the party of limited government, free markets and personal liberty. I submit it is instructive to look at the records of the three remaining GOP candidates not named “Paul.”

The following bullet points were excerpted verbatim from’s candidate profiles. Yes, I have cherry picked items inconsistent with limited government, free markets and personal liberty. Yes, these same profiles mention positions of each candidate that are consistent with limited government, free markets and personal liberty.

The point of this post, however, is to show that none of these three candidates believe, as a first principle, in limited government, free markets and personal liberty. They each are more than willing to make exceptions when expedient. Therefore, any claim that they believe in limited government, free markets or personal liberty must be prefaced by the qualifier “when convenient.”

Mitt Romney:

  • Defends the mandate-and-regulate approach to health care he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts
  • He favors strong government surveillance powers to combat terrorism, and has praised the PATRIOT Act as a useful information gathering tool. 
  • previously backed … No Child Left Behind. 
  • He’s conveniently in favor of subsidies for corn-based ethanol.

Newt Gingrich:

  • Opposes Obamacare but in 2005 joined Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in “appearing to endorse proposals to require all individuals to have some form of health coverage.”
  •  Gingrich joined Obama’s “Race to the Top” in 2009, calling Education Secretary Arne Duncan “a serious innovator.” 
  •  Gingrich likes ethanol subsidies and has accused “big cities” and “big urban newspapers” of trying to hurt the farmers who benefit from them. Also likes fossil fuel subsidies and said in 2010 that “a low-cost energy regime is essential to our country.” Supported cap and trade in 2007, 

Rick Santorum:

  •  While he was in office … his record was, in the Club for Growth’s words, “plagued by the big-spending habits that Republicans adopted during the Bush years of 2001-2006.” He was a strong supporter of dairy subsidies, voted for Medicare Part D and the 2005 highway bill
  • Sen. Santorum voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley law that he now wants to repeal. He also backed steel tariffs and was a player in the GOP’s corporatist K Street Project. After initial opposition to the program, he became a big AmeriCorps booster.
  • “This idea that people should be able to go and do whatever they want and it doesn’t really matter as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, that’s not our founders’ view of freedom.”
  • He joined Hillary Clinton’s crusade against violent video games, used campaign finance regulations to threaten critics’ freedom of speech, and favors a porn crackdown.
  •  … he has warned against “the 10th amendment run amok.”
  •  He also has a history of supporting national schooling standards. He voted for the No Child Left Behind bill in 2001.
  •  … he has an on-again, off-again history of support for energy subsidies as well. In 2008 he called for Washington to “mandate that all cars sold in the United States…be ‘flex-fuel vehicles’—that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.”

Can we quit pretending? The GOP loves government programs. One might be able to make the case that the GOP loves government programs less than Democrats, but that is damning with faint praise.


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The most important election ever? Nope. Not even the most important in the last four years.

The 2012 presidential election is being called “The Most Important Election Ever!” Wrong. Even the election of 2008 was more important. Unfortunately the GOP gave us John McCain as the only viable option against the disaster that is Obama. And yet, … [...]

Reject failure. Envision Success. Don’t quit.

A.  Reject failure.

“We live in a two party system! We have to work within it!”

That’s exactly what Wall Street, Big Agribusiness, Big Pharma, Big Government Contractors, Big Insurance and all other cronyist corporatist rent-seekers want you to believe.

It matters not if Democrats or Republicans control the White House, the House of Representatives or the Senate. Wall Street, Big Agribusiness, Big Pharma, Big Government Contractors, Big Insurance and the other corporatist rent-seekers get paid regardless.

I am embarrassed when I hear any liberty minded person embrace the “two-party system” as a physical inevitability, as if it were Newton’s Fourth Law. Liberty minded people proudly embrace and admire revolutionaries who fought the biggest military in the world… and won. Liberty minded people proudly embrace and admire revolutionaries that fought, killed and died to defeat a political system that oppressed them.

Then these same liberty minded people dismiss out-of-hand the mere notion that defeating a two-party duopoly that perpetuates an ever-growing leviathan as “impossible.” What American revolutionaries did was nigh on impossible. Changing a political system is merely hard. Let’s adopt that revolutionary attitude. Let’s drop the timid meekness of impossibility. You think it is impossible? Then it is.

The first step in changing the status quo? Quit accepting it as inevitable. Reject the notion that it is an impenetrable bulwark that can not be breached. Admit it is broken and must be thrown out and replaced.

Quit enabling the behavior we want to stop. Quit telling yourself, “this time, it will be different.” We pity abused spouses that keep taking back their abuser. How many more times will you accept being lied to? How much more abuse will you take?

It is shameful when liberty minded people – in the name of liberty – accept the system that oppresses them.  If the GOP nominates a big government candidate, what do they tell you? “Vote for the Big Government Republican,” whose beliefs you do not share, “or you are just helping the Big Government Democrat!” Where else in your life would you accept such a Hobson’s choice?

I submit nowhere. Yet we have been indoctrinated into thinking that two bad choices are inevitable. That nothing can be done. To just accept it. Lie back and enjoy it. There is nothing you can do.

As long as people believe that there is nothing that can be done… there isn’t.

Do not accept tripe just because it’s not offal. Do not accept losing a pinkie just because it’s not a thumb. If you are told, “well, those are the only choices, so choose!” Say “No! No more! I will not choose just because that’s the way we’ve always done it! I will suffer, I will fight, I will sacrifice, but I will not voluntarily partake in a system that does not serve me!”

B. Envision success.

Once we refuse to participate in a system that rewards cronyism at the expense of liberty, then what?

I do not know. Not exactly. But John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and our other revolutionary heroes did not know exactly what they were going to do once they defeated the British. The first attempt, The Articles of Confederation, failed.

But they knew they had to throw off their shackles. They knew they wanted liberty. That’s a good start for us, as well.

The first step in fixing a problem is to admit there is a problem. Then we can start coming up with alternatives.

I do, however, have some suggestions. One suggestion is to question plurality voting. Plurality voting is where each voter can pick one candidate to support, regardless of the number of people running. The candidate with the most votes, a plurality, wins. A majority is not needed. The winner frequently is opposed by a majority. What sense does that make?

63% of the electorate could vote against you, and you are the victor. Stupid, right? Yes, it is stupid. Yet we blithely accept it as “the way it is.”

I am not making this up. Steve Hogan, the newly elected Mayor of Aurora, was rejected by 63% of the electorate, yet won. It is nonsense. Is it not reasonable to question such a system?

Let’s look at the 2011 Aurora mayoral election results:

Steve Hogan 37.5% (13,498)
Ryan L. Frazier 30.2% (10,856)
Jude Sandvall 14.5% (5,244)
Debbie Stafford 11.4% (4,107)
Sheilah Thomas Davis 3.5% (1,291)
Barbara J Yamrick  2.5% (924)

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the 63% of voters whom voted for someone else hated Hogan. (Hogan is probably a wonderful person and a great mayor. I use his election for illustration only). Each of them would have voted for any of the five other candidates before they voted for Hogan. We really have a perverse result, don’t we?

There are many ways to avoid this perversion. Some of them are:

Score voting – Voters gives each candidate a score from 1-5. (Or 1-10 or 12-68, the range is irrelevant.) In our example above, 63% of voters would have given Hogan a “1,” the lowest possible score. He would have lost – and the voice of the voters would be more accurately reflected.

Approval voting – Voters look at each candidate independently and decide if they approve of that candidate or not. If they approve, they vote “yes.” If they disapprove, they vote “no.” The candidate with the most approval votes wins. Once again, 63% of the voters would have disapproved of Hogan and he would not have won. The voice of the voters would be more accurately reflected.

Other forms of voting exist, as well. Our slavish devotion to an absurd voting method, plurality voting, is based on nothing but tradition. Nothing. It is not in the U.S. Constitution. It is not in the Colorado Constitution. It is statutory. It can be changed by the state legislature.

But like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, people are frightened and confused by anything new.

I highly recommend “Gaming the Vote” by William Poundstone as a great nonpartisan resource on alternative voting methods.

So why do we use plurality voting? Perhaps because it is easier for the corporatist rent-seekers to control. In partisan races, third party candidates have nigh on zero chance with plurality voting. That just leaves two traditionally viable choices. It is far easier to tell the public that they must vote for one candidate over another candidate or horrible things will happen. The rent-seekers, however, don’t really care who wins, as long as it is one of the two.

As a result, government gets bigger, corporatists get their money, and voters think they have a real choice between two very different candidates. (And on abortion, immigration, homosexuality and other hot-button issues voters care about, they do differ. But neither will stop the corporatism. And that’s all the corporatists care about).

But what if voters could score, or approve of, 10 different candidates? It is much more likely one of those ten would buck the corporatist system. That is against the interest of those in power.

It is, however, in your interest.

C. Don’t quit.

Just give it some consideration. Our current system has failed to protect individual liberty. It has allowed the Constitution to become a mere suggestion. I know many liberty minded  people hope to change the system from within. I wish you all the best.

It just appears to me, however, that such hope is misguided. For instance, if Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, our choice for President will be between two people whom believe in government run healthcare. Do you accept those two choices? Or do you believe defeating Obama is more important than limited government?  I grant we will be marginally better off with Romney than with Obama. Marginally.

But just looking at 2012 is shortsighted. It is exactly what the corporatists want us to do. If they can keep us looking ahead no more than the next election, the two-party duopoly will never end. We’ll have great arguments between choosing Corporatist A or Corporatist B. And Corporatism wins.

We have to look at the next hundred years, not just the next ten months.

Dropping plurality voting is relatively painless. It is a start. It’s not the only one. But it is something.

But like Andy Dufresne slowly scraping away at his jail cell, year after year, one tiny bit at a time, freedom won’t come quickly. And we’ll have to crawl through hundreds of yards of vile smelling foulness we can’t even imagine.

But freedom is worth it. Isn’t it?


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