Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-15D: Politics 2014, Crash of 2009, and Insane Asylums

By Nathan Barton

A good morning and top of the day to you.  Lots of things happening behind the scenes these days.  We are getting closer to election day (less than six months) and all kinds of fun things are happening in Democratic, Republican and even Libertarian circles.

It appears that more and more Democrats have been found out to have received political campaign contributions from Satan – excuse me, from the Koch Brothers (much WORSE than Satan to them).  You can find the list, here, of all the tainted people.  I suppose we should all be shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!  But I see less than $317,000 over 8.5 years:  for the Kochs that is the equivalent of me tossing a penny in the plastic bucket of the guy standing at the top of the exit ramp.  Indeed, maybe the motive was to insult the politicos who got the money.

To change subjects, Jon Carroll had a fun editorial: “I know that pedestrian deaths are up in San Francisco. I give the benefit of the doubt to the pedestrians, who, after all, paid a heavy price for being on the same street as large cars. But I don’t know that all the pedestrians were blameless. I have seen pedestrians move out from between two parked cars and step into traffic. I have seen pedestrians try to cross four lanes of traffic at mid-block. I have seen them talking on phones and thus rendered oblivious to their surroundings. Sometimes a driver is just an innocent bystander. Sometimes the result is tragedy. Too, there are drivers who seem unaware of the weight and power of their machines. Driving is so easy and often so quiet that it lulls them into a false sense of security.” I can sympathize and agree with Jon, from my time in San Fran decades ago, when I lived on the Presidio and had to drive or ride into the city a couple of times a week.  Now, the liberal/tranzi solution (and the typical SF version) is to not just blame the drivers for the peds getting themselves killed or maimed, but to double down on the owners and operators of motor vehicles:  more fees, more fines, implementing tolls (directly and indirectly), and above all public castigation:  drivers who hit pedestrians, even if NOT at fault, to be treated as a bigger pariah than that Mozilla guy.

Hopefully, everyone has heard about the Heartbleed virus and is changing passwords and cleaning up to make sure that they are no longer threatened.  But the really nasty news in this case is NOT another virus, but rather, that NSA has known about it for two years and was using it – using it against you and me and business and whomever.  Rather than defending us against it, which is SUPPOSED to be the mission of the NSA.  They are, theoretically at least, part of the defense of the Fifty States, but of course, we know that they are part of the police state.

Coldwater Creek, a woman’s clothing store chain with 365 stores and 6,000 employees, has declared bankruptcy and every one of its stores will close this summer.  Isn’t it good that the economy is doing so very well?  Isn’t it good that the compassionate liberal/tranzi government is so helpful and works so hard to keep businesses surviving?  I know, this is ONLY six thousand jobs.  A drop in the bucket.

Although it is old news, Shell Oil is pulling out of its shale and other operations n Northwestern Colorado, a frontier area (that is, population density of less than 5 persons/square mile).  The reason I bring it up is that a friend mentioned the most recent (unreported) news coming out of there.  I’ve been told that as many as 10,000 jobs have been lost as the drilling and support companies pull up stakes.  That is from an area where there are only 20,000 to 30,000 people total in an area 100 miles on a side.  Some are moving to North Dakota, Montana, and even Wyoming, but many have no place to go.  Wendy McElroy discusses why one alternative for those people and families is unlikely to be a solution.  It is not just there: I know of many firms cutting more and more people, going bankrupt, and of entire communities crushed by losing jobs and companies.

Look, we all know that Chicago is an insane asylum, filled with nutcases, and that the inmates are in charge.  But even for Chicago, this incident is bizarre. A 36-year-old black man blew his top about paying a 22-cent tax on a $1.79 2-liter bottle of Pepsi and threatened everyone in a convenience store with a “submachine gun” (make and model, including whether or not it was really a “submachine gun” not stated) before police arrived and without any reported violence, arrested him for illegal possession by a felon, aggravated assault, and having a fake FOID card.  Now, I’d be upset about (a) paying $1.79 for a 2-liter Pepsi, and (2) 22 cents (12.29% sales tax!!!!) in sales taxes.  In fact, I call that theft on the part of both the various taxing governments AND the store.  But pulling a gun and claiming “I’m exempt?”  That is just plain crazy. The story concludes with this: ” This episode ended without a shot being fired, but at least 36 people in the city of Chicago were reported shot — four fatally — over the weekend in this spring’s first surge in gun violence.” Anyone who is still living voluntarily in Chicago is to be pitied.

Mama’s Note: Well, not quite. I’ll pity any who have zero option but to live there… like children and frail elders, but anyone who actually chooses to live there voluntarily is on their own. No pity from me.

An Illinois indoor garden supply store called out by DEA tracking and attacking their customers has found that the stakeouts and publicity have created a big increase in business for them, rather than driving them out of business. Funny?  Or intentional?  These days, who can tell?

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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