Wednesday, 25 April 2012

07:56 – I just put a reminder in my calendar to vote on 8 May. Ordinarily, my vote wouldn’t matter much for a largely-uncontested primary, but this time we’ll be voting on Amendment One, the obnoxious attempt to make discrimination against gay people part of our Constitution. Every vote is important. Edmund Burke had the right of it: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Work on the forensics book continues.

22 thoughts on “Wednesday, 25 April 2012”

  1. Regardless of the issue with gay people, Our Nanny the Almighty State needs to get out of the business of marriage altogether and charging us for licenses as though we were dogs or livestock. If some additional legal protections are necessary for people living together outside traditional marriage relationships then the appropriate measures can surely be taken accordingly.

  2. I completely agree. How adults choose voluntarily to associate is none of anyone’s business, most especially including the government and churches. Marital status or lack thereof is none of the government’s business. They should not even be aware of it, let alone show favoritism or discrimination on that basis. I’ve argued for decades that the whole “married filing jointly” and so on is wrong. A married couple (or an unmarried one) should be able to file as individuals, dividing up their combined incomes as they wish, and paying taxes as individuals at the same rate as any other individual does.

    That’s also why I support less-common arrangements such as plural marriages and line families. If one guy wants to “marry” four women (or vice versa), why should that be anyone’s business other than that of the people directly involved? All of our laws that restrict such free association ultimately come down to meddling by churches.

  3. I mostly agree with you, RBT and OFD, except as regards the filing of income taxes. There should be no income tax. There should be no tax on productivity. I don’t even want a consumption tax because it allows the government too big a foothold into nosiness, tinkering, and favoritism.

    I favor a head tax and fees for services. Once we hack the size, scope, and expense of government down to its proper domain, that funding should suffice.

  4. Well, I’m an anarchist, which means I believe we should have no government at all, which by definition means we would have no taxes. I was just speaking in terms of small changes to the way things are now, not to the way I’d actually like them to be.

    I’m with Lysander Spooner, who said “that the government does not provide shoes does not mean that men go barefoot”. Of course, nowadays the government does provide shoes.

    For anyone who has not yet read it, I heartily recommend Spooner’s No Treason. You can get the whole series for Kindle for $0.99.

  5. It’s not so much that I or anyone else is winning as that publishers are coming to realize that DRM actually hurts them, not least by allowing Amazon to gain a near monopoly with Kindle. You’d think they’d have learned that lesson with Apple and iTunes, but they didn’t.

  6. There isn’t much learning going on in today’s society. I am appalled at how little research is done into business issues, and how the research that is there, is ignored.

    But the overarching problem, is that too much power is in the hands of too few. Apple doesn’t care about research, they only cared about what Steve Jobs mandated. And he DEFINITELY did not care about ANYBODY but himself. Long-term thinking and research is GONE. Same with Amazon; the only thing they care about is jerking all of us around to put more dollars into their pocket tomorrow than today. Forget about next year, ’cause they sure do.

    I have mentioned here before that there is plenty of research about how to present both the printed page, and moving video as in television. But you won’t find anybody actually in charge of such activities that even knows such research exists, let alone actually use the research. And all of the focus group research I saw going on around me, was constructed solely to give the people in charge a pat on the back. Audiences may have been going down the drain to bankruptcy, but the focus groups showed management was doing a brilliant job. What a surprise when it fails!

  7. If the people of your suburb decided they didn’t like anarcho-libertarian atheists what’s to stop them burning your house to the ground with you in it? With no government and no laws what comeback would you or your estate have?

    I guess I’d like to get the government out of regulating marriage too, so I don’t have to be seen as endorsing gay or plural marriage. People could do it, but it wouldn’t have the imprimatur of government.

  8. Presumably, Greg, we would have protection from anarcho-libertarian-atheist-hating groups who decided to burn our houses down. (I’m not one of the former but a paleoconservative with libertarian sympathies). Without having to resort to the current system of statist blue-shirt thugs and flunkies apparently accountable to no one at all. I generalize baldly here and know full well there are many good apples among them, having been a fairly decent apple myself a long time ago. But I feel confident we have the smarts and wherewithal to come up with security, law enforcement and fire protection services without the meddling and incompetent interference of Our Nanny, etc.

    Should, however, miscreants and felons succeed in arson and murder most foul, I also feel pretty good about our ability to seek out the malefactors and bring them to fair and summary justice accordingly, as agreed upon by the society in which we live and work. Recognizing also that a particular society in the Northeast liberal Megalopolis may treat it differently than one in the Texas Panhandle or Lower Alabama or Alaska. I think this would be possible in a state of either anarchy or libertarianism, and would mostly be possible in a social compact set up by us paleos, but a lot of us are, admittedly, traditionalist and orthodox Christians, usually Roman Catholic and Orthodox, which would have a bearing on our decisions, obviously.

    And I am with SteveF on the taxes; and thanks to Bob for the reminder about Spooner, been meaning to read that for a long time, also Walter Block’s books.

  9. I’m quite sympathetic to libertarianism but think that anarchism is just plain nuts. I used to work with an anarchist (of the left wing variety) who was the sole sane anarchist I’ve met. He barracks for North Melbourne in the Australian Football League but is otherwise a very nice chap.

    Yeah, I want the system (government, law enforcement, taxes, etc.) reformed, not torn down. I can’t imagine the cat-eat-cat society that would result from anarchism. Nor can many others, the only anarchist society I can think of off hand is parts of republican Spain during their civil war.

  10. OFD wrote:

    “(I’m not one of the former but a paleoconservative with libertarian sympathies).”

    I no longer think of myself as a political conservative. In the Seventies and Eighties I was, but now I’m opposed to political conservativism because it often can’t bring itself to tear down what needs to be torn down. I guess I am conservative in the way I want to implement change, both in the public and personal sphere. Rather than the big ban approach of our host, who’d sack 95% of the government on Day one and the other 5% on day two I’d make slow incremental changes and test the results before going on to the next step.

    I do the same thing in my personal life: make a small change, review the results, repeat. I try not to burn my bridges or paint myself into a corner. I read once of a guy who got fed up with Windows so he just installed some flavour of Linux over the top. No backups. I might have done the same thing, but in steps and making backups at each stage.

  11. He barracks for North Melbourne in the Australian Football League but is otherwise a very nice chap.

    Could you translate barracks into American for me? I could find no meaning beyond military housing, and couldn’t make that fit.


  12. I read that as baracks, as in Barack Obama, and thought it meant “taxed incessantly”.

  13. It’s like a word jumble. “barracks” = “car barks”. In other words, yells oneself into a frenzy over nothing that any rational human can understand.

  14. Has that definition, and further, distinguishes that in Australia, it means to cheer a team, whereas in Britain, it means to jeer a team or player.

    I guess they have opposite meanings since Australia is upside down from Britain.

  15. And the people in Oz have the 18th-C British accent going on, whilst we in Maffachufetts and some places in the Carolinas and islands did and are doing the 17th-C versions. Here in northern Vermont it seems to be some kind of composite of western MA, upstate NY and NH, with its own twist. A lot of the original settlers came up from western and central MA after the Revolution and the failure of Daniel Shays’ Rebellion. You will note the same names of towns over and over again all the way up the Connecticut River valley as are in central MA, but I can attest there are huge differences, for example, between Worcester, MA and Worcester, VT, and Barre, MA and Barre, VT. The Boltons are kinda similar, though. Then there is Salem, MA, New Salem, MA, and Salem, NY. Imaginative buggers, we English.

    Along the same lines, in incredible creativity, my great-uncle Richard died at twelve in an accident in 1916. So my grandparents named my dad Richard. My middle name is Richard. My little brother’s name is Richard. And my nephew’s name is Ethan Richard. Amazing, ain’t it?

    Here’s the naming drill in my family:

    David Richard–ergo, Biblical scapegrace and English kings, and not the one left to rot in a dungeon, I hope.

    Philip Mark–both Biblical, New Testament, in fact, and of course Philip of Macedon, he with the spear point through his eye and loving dad of Alexander the Drunken Sybarite

    Peter Charles–Biblical again, geez, and again NT, he of the cock crowing three times and the Rock of the Church, and two English kings, one another scapegrace and the other a martyr.

    Martha Ann–NT again, sister of Lazarus who came bounding outta the tomb ready for some ack-shun, and mother of Elizabeth, herself mother of the BVM.

    Richard Andrew–wot, another bloody English king? And of course one of the Apostles, martyred of course, and patron saint of Greece and Scotland.

    See how that works in Nova Anglia Prod families? All ya need is English royalty and a bunch of Bible characters. Earlier families went for the tongue-twisting OT names, so me and my siblings can be thankful for small mercies.

  16. My father named me after his dead brother, who died of stupid. My mother never did care for that name.

  17. I was named after my father, which made me a “Junior”, but did not automatically make him a “Senior”. He never changed his name legally. A lot of people think you are automatically a Senior, if your kid is Junior, but you have to go to court to get it changed. Lot of women do not understand the legalities of divorce, and that they have to have a judge’s order to expunge their nasty ex’s name from their legal name. My ex never understood that. Jeri was happy to keep her ex’s name; they got along swimmingly, just couldn’t live together.

    My brother was named Stephen Douglas. No idea where they got the name–no one in the family was ever named Steve before him, and they vigorously denied the famous Lincoln-era politico was their inspiration.

    My ex and I also named our first-born after her dead brother, who also died of stupid before he hit 20.

  18. I guess that explains why my ex/first wife has kept my name and we’ve been divorced now for sixteen years. Amusingly, my current/second/last wife has kept both her maiden name and late husband’s name. When she also uses mine, she has five names nicely lined up, all of English and Irish origin. And naturally, being Irish-American, her first two names are Mary Elizabeth, LOL. NT, natch. But also….drum roll….Brit royalty. And two of the bloodiest monarchs, too.

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