The joy and glee exhibited here is pure establishment pundit masturbation. Hot shit, this new guy who can not only manipulate others but do it smartly and make others feel better about themselves!
Meanwhile, the practical application of the politics of Sullivan's hero will indeed be interesting to those unfortunates who step in the way of his state.
I love this idea [Mark Kleiman: "it would be legal to grow, possess, and use cannabis and to give it away, but illegal to sell it"] - because it is rooted in individual freedom, private property and the obvious point that making a plant you can grow in your garden illegal is a monstrosity.
The state telling you what you can and cannot sell is rooted in private property?
The state telling you what you can and cannot sell is rooted in...fuck it, I give up.
Andrew Sullivan is a gawddamn moron who simply cannot integrate moral concepts with their political counterparts. I'm sick of him talking as if he's a defender of liberty when he fails to see the glaring contradictions in his own words. I'm sure he'd be fine with commercial weed sales, but does he have to go and piss all over honorable words by associating them with their opposites?
What if, decades ago, the state legalized gay sex but banned gay people from performing in pornography for money? It's the exact same principle: being allowed to utilize your legitimate property for peaceful economic transactions.
Marijuana - like alcohol, like blowjobs, like unfiltered cigarettes, like computers, like clothing, like SUVs, like greasy fucking triple bacon cheddar burgers with BBQ sauce on shitty white buns - is just another example of private property a free individual may decide to buy, sell, or rent according to his or her values. They are variables in a fixed ethical equation. Object to one at that level and at the worst you are calling the whole equation into question.
Of course, I've known for some time that Sullivan's a fraud on liberty. But sometimes it just blows my mind just how wrong alleged defenders of freedom get it.
...I've been wondering what the precise argument against the forgiveness of student loan debts would be. I currently have $11,000 in student loan debts, and my fiance has over $90,000 in student loan debts. Altogether, once we marry, we'll have over $100,000 in student loan debts, which is crazy. He has to pay over $600 a month for his student loans, so that's money that doesn't directly stimulate the economy aside from the loan companies themselves. And I pay over $100 a month for my own student loans since I had them consolidated before the deadline.
Having over $700 in dispensable income would be great, and that'd help boost our local economy here in Austin. Once again, why would this be so bad to have a one-time forgiveness of student loan debt?
I just finished reading it and you'll find a remarkable lack of coherency in the action the group's creator, Robert Applebaum, desires. Take this passage for example:
Let me be clear. This is NOT about a free ride. This is about a new approach to economic stimulus, nothing more. To those who would argue that this proposal would cause the banking system to collapse or make student loans unavailable to future borrowers, please allow me to respond.
I am in no way suggesting that the lending institutions who manage such debts get legislatively shafted by having these assets wiped off their books. The banks and other financial institutions are going to get their money regardless - this proposal merely suggests that educated, hardworking Americans who are saddled with student loan debt should get something in return, rather than sending those institutions another enormous blank check. Because the banks will receive their money anyway, there would be no danger of making funds unavailable to future borrowers.
However, color me skeptical if you think this Applebaum guy expects this to happen without force of government.
His economic education is clearly in the shitter if he honestly thinks that "[t]here isn't an economist alive who doesn't believe that the economy needs stimulating immediately."
I have a private loan through Wells Fargo that has helped pay for the last year of my tuition at St. Edward's University. I refuse to get a loan through a federal program. I have no intention of reneging on my promise to pay and I have no sympathy for people who didn't pay attention to the language in their loan contracts. Signing a loan is as much of an attempt at informed forecasting as a COO estimating future demand for his employer's products or a CFO figuring out how much revenue to invest for future use.
Regarding the local Austin economy, where does slinkerwink think local businesses get their loans? I bet most of them originate at local banks, the very same banks that probably wrote a great deal of local Austin college loans. To be effective from the student's perspective, this "forgive" nonsense will have to involve some kind of deep loss on the lender's part, a loss that means less money for the lender to use on other deals.
The incestuous relationship between banking and the state has nearly brought the whole system to ruin and the blame can be spread far and wide on that one. Bailout mania has created awful stinking piles of - yes - "inter-generational theft"...but that doesn't mean a few hundred billion additional wrongs added to a few trillion wrongs make a right.
State appellate judges will decide whether exotic dancing is a constitutionally protected right, or a trade in need of regulation.
It is one of an infinite variety of examples of people exercising their private property (in this case: their bodies and their improved land) to peacefully secure a living, something that once set the United States apart from the rest of the world.
You won't find anything in the Constitution about strippers or titty bars. You will find a pathetically watered-down attempt to restrict the state to protecting private property rather than assaulting it. Collectivists have been doing their level best to further dilute those provisions, succeeding more often than not.
Last year, the state slapped a $5 charge per customer for strip clubs, but a district judge ruled that unconstitutional. Now the state's appealing it, but the comptroller continues to collect the fees.
The money's not going to sexual assault programs and indigent healthcare intended by the law, though, because all the funds collected are tied up in court.
"Without another source of revenue to support programs that provide direct services to victims, we're not able to fully serve them and provide the services they need to truly heal from issues of sexual assault," crisis intervention advocate Barbie Breshear said.
Copyright ©2009TWEAN News Channel of Austin, L.P. d.b.a. News 8 Austin
Naturally, no "liberty advocate" is to be found in the news release.
Maybe an anti-tax Republican - wait; perhaps not, given their total neurosis regarding sex and nudity.
Good luck finding a half-coherent spokesperson for the industry affected. If they aren't conceding the collectivists' central arguments before even objecting ("of course some taxes are necessary"; "I agree the state should help all victims of sexual assault"), they're amorally quibbling about negative impacts on revenue.
It's just lovely down here in the Lone Star State.
In Washington, D.C., a jury ignored a military veteran's obvious violation of the city's draconian gun laws, setting him free with only a slap on the wrist. In LaSalle County, Illinois, a medical marijuana user found with 25 pounds of the plant didn't even get the slap; jurors chatted with him after finding him not guilty. While we can't know for sure, in both cases jury nullification was likely at work as regular people serving an important role in courtrooms exercised their power to quash laws they found repugnant.
I didn't pay any attention when I learned the mayors lobby had produced a massive document pointing out all the wonderful things that could be done with other people's money. I knew reading it might drive me nuts so I moved on to other things.
Well, now that Drudge linked to the Wall Street Journal article pointing out that Mayor Will Wynn wants $886,000 for the "Raul Alvarez Disc Golf Course", I decided to peer deeper into the abyss. Here's some of the socialism Austin's government desires:
John Hrncir, government-relations officer, says the project list "was put together on very short notice," and "we are not going to submit anything that is questionable when we seek actual funding."
Copyright ©2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Of personal interest to me is the $500,000 requested for "Fort Branch Erosion/Flood Control Voluntary Buyouts (Demolition)." That's where I live and I damned well want to know what these people have planned for my neighborhood.
I know that the following analysis lends credence to these bullshit figures, assumes their accuracy, and might even be seen as an endorsement of the disgusting sausage-making process that is represented by local officials begging the central government to borrow (tax the future) to spend today...but whatever. I want to throw this out there.
The grand total Wynn wants cuts in a just above a billion dollars. He says sucking that money from the rest of the country (NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS: NOT "from Washington") will create 14,322.50 jobs. That half job, by the way, will come from the $175,000 requested for the Zilker Botanical Garden Trail Lighting Project. Is that supposed to be a part-time position or something?
Some basic Excel wizardry completed, here are some things to think about.
I'm also aware that most of the job-creation claimed in this document is temporary construction stuff, shoveled to well-connected civil engineering contractors. That's something I don't see mentioned often enough about these things: these aren't jobs in the sense of a proper career. Some will last a few weeks, some maybe a fiscal quarter or two. Pulling out every dusty, graft-machine-and-neighborhood-association-approved wish list item doesn't generate the kind of fundamental economic growth that stimulus proponents assume will happen. It's a layer of icing over a hollow cupcake.
Obviously, I think the entire enterprise is morally and practically bankrupt from top to bottom. Threatening police violence against tomorrow's taxpayers in Oregon, Hawaii, Houston, and Chicago to pay for AISD roofing repairs today is absurd.
Lots of "change" everywhere. The lot of it amounts to shifting decimal points.
The craziest bastardization I've performed with my camera gear is a Nikon Micro-NIKKOR P.C. Auto 55mm f/3.5 mounted on a Pentax K100D.
This, however, is awesome. Carl Zeiss Contax G1 lenses -> Leica M-mount conversion -> M-mount to Micro 4/3 adapter...to be mounted onto the new Panasonic Lumix G1 digital camera.
Damn it, I want to go out shooting now...