Nanny State: March 2009

29 March 2009

News from the Future: Government Plan Offers Incentives for Abortions, Suicide

Jan. 28, 2115 – Our most exalted leader President George Handsomefellow Bush III announced today the inception of a new federal program dubbed “Heroes Way Out” that will grant valuable rewards to citizens who choose to end their own lives, that of their fetuses, or both.

Everyone is hailing the new program, which was both conceived and approved by the President, as a breathtakingly brilliant idea that will go far towards alleviating the nation’s overpopulation problem, allowing the non-superfluous segment of the country more space to enjoy their material possessions.

Spoke one American highly in favor of the new plan, “I used to think that every life, regardless of whether it was merely a loose amalgamation of undifferentiated cells or whatever, was precious and that abortion was wrong until the sprawl of the city reached my rural doorstep. That’s when I said ‘Enough is enough’. I mean, why should I, as a reasonably happy and affluent person with lots of inanimate things to live for be forced to choke to death on the toxic fumes of the poor? It’s utterly absurd.”

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21 March 2009

Ten Key Ideas: Opening the Door to the Economic Way of Thinking

By Russell Roberts


Here are ten fundamental ideas to help you explore and understand the world around us using the economic way of thinking. I've written an essay on each idea and listed some reading and listening suggestions if you want to learn more. The essays are all written for a beginner but some of the ideas are subtle and will be of interest to much more experienced readers. The suggestions for further learning include classic works of economics, podcasts, entries from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics and other resources from this site and elsewhere. Enjoy.

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20 March 2009

John Stossel's "Bailouts and Bull****" Part 1 of 6

For Part 2 and links to Parts 3-6, click HERE.

No guessing required

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous
pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a
dust cloud toward him.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses
and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you
exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me
a calf?"

Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully
grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects
it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the
Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his
location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the
area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and
exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within mere seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the
image has been processed and the data is stored.. He then accesses a
MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email
on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech,
miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and
says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"That's right.. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused
as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what
your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

*The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government," says Bud.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required," answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even
though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already
knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter
than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows...this is a herd
of sheep....Now give me back my dog.!"

17 March 2009

John Kerry, Vietnam War veteran

Remember John Kerry? He was a Vietnam War veteran and he ran for president. And he lost both.

I heard him on the Imus radio show this morning, ranting about the AIG bonuses, and he announced that he was proposing a bill that would "tax the bonuses back to the American people."

I join him in the ant-bonus rants, but his solution is really scary. He wants to pass a law that will target those AIG employees getting bonuses. A law that will not raise my taxes or the public's taxes, but will zero in on only those employees. That doesn't sound right to me, and I hope he doesn't have that much power. Who will be next on his rant list? Does anyone wonder why the IRS is hated and feared by almost all?

Obama, Kerry, or Congress do not have the authority to nullify the employee contracts of AIG. They can rant and threaten, but do we really want them to have that much power?

15 March 2009

A Real Freedom Index

Lovers of freedom know that Congressional Representative Ron Paul generally scores 100% in The New American’s semi-annual Freedom Index. This examination of the voting behavior of the Congress can be a useful tool, if one is focused on the federal level. And we should be – the monster state, incarnate in the Dismal City, has a thousand tentacles spread all over the fair land, clawing, digesting and growing fat from its suffocating subjects.

But if decentralization is a natural remedy for what we understand as American federalism, then there is another index we should know about. George Mason University has just published a new study "Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom." Two political scientists – William Ruger (now serving in Afghanistan) and Jason Sorens – have designed the first-ever comprehensive ranking of the American states on their public policies affecting individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres.

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09 March 2009

Daylight Savings...Yuck!

This is the bad change. Sleepy all day for a week or three. Wonder if coffee consumption goes up this week.

Don't you feel just a little controlled by the government? A little too much nanny state, controlling our clocks, controlling our lives?

07 March 2009

Chairman Mao quote

“Revolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly.”

Mao Tse-Tung

03 March 2009

Americans to Undergo Preschool Reeducation in Advance of Country’s Conversion to Communism

In the wake of the cataclysmic failure of free market capitalism and the nationalization of the country’s banks, Americans over the age of seven will be forced to complete a reeducation program designed to re-instill lessons learned in preschool that have been deemed essential to functioning in a communist society by the federal government.

“Kids learn a lot about things like sharing and playing fair during their pre-school and kindergarten years that are gradually forgotten as such values simply aren’t congruous with the everyday world of a capitalist society, but will become of paramount importance once again as the United States transitions to communism,” remarked Pat Caufield of the Department of Education.

Caufield proceeded to describe what the reeducation would seek to achieve.

“In today’s America, for example, a person who’s somehow acquired a number of eggs will assume personal ownership of those eggs. They will say, ‘These are MY eggs, and I will do with them as I please. Perhaps I will eat them in an omelet, or maybe I’ll throw them at a house. Regardless, it doesn’t matter, because they are MY eggs,” Caufield explained, “But such will not be the case in the America of tomorrow. In tomorrow’s America, those eggs will be the people’s eggs. Meaning if a neighbor suddenly gets the wild idea to bake some chocolate whoopee pies and he’s minus one egg, he can come over and help himself – hence the importance of sharing.”

Citing Karl Marx, who presaged: "The owners of capital will stimulate the need of the working class to take expensive, collateral loans to buy their condos, houses and technological products; and, at the end, these unpaid debts will result in the nationalization of the banks upon their bankrupcy, and so the state will be on the pathway to communism," Caufield emphasized the exigency of reestablishing preschool values in all post-adolescent Americans.

"Being too young to understand the concepts of capitalism or exchange their labor for money, preschool children are merely taught not to destroy or deface the material objects that comprise their classroom because doing so isn't nice," said Caufield, "The same will be true of the communes most Americans will soon inhabit. Though they may get away with breaking things that are collectively owned, breaking things isn't nice."

Robert's Note: The above is satire, but how did it sound at first glance?