May 2008

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Comments

Andrey Fedorov

Publish the list, Scott! I'll buy an extra copy of God's Debris for a friend if you do :)

Paul Bruner

[Because for every "Warren Buffet" there will be 100 14yr olds being rammed by old men. That law is required to protect the Vulnerable.]

I just have to comment on that. Its illegal to marry under 18. THATS to protect the Vulnerable.

Self-evident

Actually I'm surprised that so few people are stirring the pot here beyond what was given. There are so many things beyond the pale in mainstream America thinking that haven't been mentioned.

Pot meet spoon:


Recreational drug use is often fun.

There is not such thing as American Exceptionalism/America is a country like any other.

There was a rational basis for the 9/11 attacks.

(Regulated) Socialism works about as well as (Regulated) Capitalism.

The wrong side won the American Civil War.

America has never single-handedly won a major military conflict.

The NRA is fundamentalist organization that endangers Americans

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world.

Business is just as inefficient as government/Only government can protect individuals from predatory companies.

Al Gore was/is right.

Anyone can be a fascist/The Nazis were normal.

All ideas are not equally valid.

XX EE

Scott, I'd love to see your "list of opinions you are not allowed to express in this country." I understand why you won't publish it, though -- why ask to be Dixie Chicked? Isn't it funny how all those news cameras just "happened" to show up at "events" where "angry fans" were smashing Dixie Chick CDs? Gotta love the "liberal" media for drowning us in the resulting footage.

Tom Gao

Remember the Elvis tune, "A lil' less talkin', a lil' more action"? Well well Lordy be, it looks to me like democracy is heading down that same ol' path (excuse the southern drawl). No one gives a crap about freedom until someone tries to do something and is stopped by someone else dead in their tracks. I'm referring to things that are presumably legal such as the right to call the pope "asshole". I lived in China for the first nine years of my life until I mitraged to Australia. I only realized that China was commie at sixxteen (seven years after I left) during my research for a history assignment. Talk about taking things for granted. But I guess that's just how things are.

The vast majority of us, me in particular, just want food on the table; preferably lobsters stuffed with Belgian caviar, truffles and saffron with a glass of Louis IX to wash it all down. That's pretty much it. I hate the requirement for compulsory voting, even when its held in the school gym across the street from my house. If that makes me a traitor, then so be it; kiss my ass and hang me for treason if you want. I didn't experience oppression back in Red China and I don't particularly sense any difference here in Australia. Apart from the customs, culture and language everybody is pretty much busy making money or spending it.

Our pre-occupation with the perception of "freedom" is taking up too much of our time. Perhaps it's time to just shut up and enjoy the view; a motif of the lyric, "cos' I'm free, I do what I want, any old time". I still vote to avoid the $50 penalty and then contradict myself by slamming the guy I voted for when his government cuts my welfare payment. Back in China it was a little less splendour but my Aunt worked at a government kitchen so I ate for free using my "less than genuine" work permit. Fancy seeing a six year old turning up for day shift at a steel factory. No one gave a crap and some even gave me candy.

Whoa, just realized I'm sliding off the topic. Anyways, I think we ought to debate less and use the extra time to do what we enjoy. I do what the government tells me to do (or not to do) and in my free time I work on thinking up profanities which rhyme with "pope". No luck so far; all I've got is cantaloupe and asymptote.

Apologies for taking up forum space. Was gonna make this a short excerpt.

Oh, btw, there is one disparity between Chinese and Australian. In China, the teacher at school is always a 40-something stone face referred to only as Mrs. Wang with the cat-o-nine-tails. In Australia, its either Bob or Basil with his ass and gut hanging out from the nether-regions.

Christine

Why on earth do so many of you think that Polygamy means that one man marries a bunch of women, and those woman must remain "faithful" to that man? We are not all mormons for goodness sakes.

Polygamy, or polyamory, is just the freedom to love and commit (legally) to more than one person. That includes women, fellas. Do you think we only want one? Bah.

daloon

Cykling shouldn't be illegal- it should be recognised as a form of transport that requires infrastructure- which can bring the rate of accident down to somewhere between motercykles and cars. It's not really inherently unsafe- it's inherently unsafe in areas where you are forced to use what is essentially car infrastructure

Aside from this I think that the greatest problem of any freedom is other citizens when you have a democracy. While the people have agreed that all things should be free everyone thinks that their own special interests are exempt. Like the Danish extreem left wing beats up the neo-nazis, I don't like the neo-nazis but really they should be able to walk the streets- and wonder exactly why noone will employ them.... see I do it too- wouldn't buy anything from those guys.

Drew

Let us know how things are in Myanmar.

I'd also like to see you debate this with Nelson Mandela....

Mike

[Interesting side note: For this post I made a list of opinions you are not allowed to express in this country, and realized I can’t even publish the list without a social and economic penalty that wouldn’t be worth the benefit.]

I take this statement to mean that YOU'RE the one who is limiting your freedom of speech. You're basically saying that you're more concerned about your social and economic standing than the freedom to speak your mind.

I would publish that list and not worry too much about it. Judging by the replies you've gotten, most of your readers are in agreement with your line of thinking and won't launch a campaign against Dilbert.

Noah Vaile

I am at a loss, almost. My first reaction was that this was your stupidest blog entry yet.

Then I thought about it and knowing that you love controversy (I can hardly credit that you chose NOT to offend) and having already courted assassination with your prior entry why would alleged career suicide (or near fatal self-inflicted injury) bother you?

While not uproariously funny in the vein of the Elbonians and (often) Wally this bears the overall imprimatur of high "humor in the jugular vein." Any paragraph or sentence is itself idiotic and wrong-headed ("what's WRONG with YOU?") but overall there is enough logic to bind the entire entry into a semi-coherent and internally lojokel whole.

Overall- a brilliant effort at spinning your loyal reading population in its grave. BRAVO Scott, BRAVO! Hilarious. and some even took you seriously.....

syn

Polygamy gets a bad rap because cult leaders keep forcing 14-year old girls to marry 60-year old men. Clearly there’s a victim in those cases. But why can’t Warren Buffet have multiple wives of legal age if they all agree to the arrangement?

=============================================

Because for every "Warren Buffet" there will be 100 14yr olds being rammed by old men. That law is required to protect the Vulnerable.

CDriK

Is the USA a soryt of dictatorship that soon enough will disappear ?

I think so also.

If you have a big brain, feel free to come to France, we don't have full freedom yet but more than the USA.

And Holland (freedom land) is very near to us (a couple of hours by car).

Creationist, please stay in the US.

James

Polygamy is bad economically, too. Screw freedom, man. What happens if a billionaire can claim a thousand dependents?

yes

Those things are not lost due to religion, they're lost due to the arguments of people, the majority of whom happen to be religious.

Nick Prince

Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do - The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country. You can get the just of the book from the title.

Available free online:
http://www.mcwilliams.com/books/books/aint/toc.htm

Nanny laws suck, and will always exist. I wonder what kind of society we would have with just the basics like Don't Kill, and Don't Steal.

Roger

"Prostitution? Suppose it were legal. Wouldn't it follow that recruiting for that job would also have to be legal? How many non-religious people would feel comfortable about their daughters going to a job fair if prostitution were as legal as waiting tables?"

If my daughter were a prostitute I would rather it were legal. We legalised it recently here in NZ. The world did not end. Of course NZ is not the USA. Women are allowed to bare their chests here too, just as men are. Anything else would be sexist. We have some restrictions on freedom of speech relating to saying things in public that might compromise a pending criminal case, ie cause a mistrial.

Enough Wealth

So, people should have absoluate freedom of speech with no consequences? I think that could be very annoying to the 'silent majority' ;)

Regards
http://enoughwealth.com

Aditya Simha

Give me liberty or give me.....well that piece of Apple pie would do just as well!

Cynic

I want to see the list too. Can you email it to me?

The solution is quit letting them take your money:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/10/05/tax.standoff/index.html

Taxes and freedom are inversely correlated.

Government is positively correlated with tax rates.

We need to start tearing it down before we lose freedom of speech. The 5th Amendment is gone, the 1st and 2nd are in the queue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_act

They've already stopped defending the borders from foreign invaders:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11226144

I hope Iran gets the bomb.

Ethan

@Jesse

Regarding Ron Paul's politics:

1) Anti-choice

Abortion and Euthanasia are poor litmus tests of a libertarian. Both involve the fuzzy boundaries of personhood and the rights thereof. Since libertarians are radically concerned with those rights, you can find them adamantly on either side of the issues. Even so, Ron Paul does not have a 100% pro-life voting record and maintains his other principles when addressing this issue.

2) Wants gov't out of our economic lives, but voted to make bankruptcy more difficult and against letting stockholders determine CEO pay

Bankruptcy is a government-spawned protection involving the wiping away of uncontested debt. Reducing access to it is *very* libertarian. There are people on the other side of it who did nothing wrong, yet now have no recourse to recover their money. If it exists at all it should be tightly controlled.

Corporations are a privileged entity, again created by the government. Their operation is not only partly a government concern, but *entirely* a government concern. Again, they should perhaps not exist. But given that they do the government is hardly out of place to dictate the terms of their existence.

3) Voted to 'protect' the Pledge of Allegiance

He's dealing with a complete dilemma here. The common libertarian position is that government should have nothing to do with education; certainly not the Federal government in any event. When it does we are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, religion, belief systems and indoctrination are all part of education no matter what you do. You're choosing what to talk about or what not to talk about, and that is all it takes. On the other hand, overtly choosing any one belief system is disallowed by the constitution. It's a no-win situation. Ron seems to consider this when he votes on education issues, and it manifests itself as lenience in what schools are allowed to do. Specifically he dislikes the Federal government telling them what they *can't* do. Remember, there are a lot of reasons for voting against a bill. One of them is that the level at which it is being proposed is not the level at which the issue should be addressed.

4) Voted to ban gay adoptions in DC

I don't know much about this bill, but if these are wards of the state then having the state use common-denominator social acceptance as the yardstick for what to do with them is hardly objectionable. The vast majority of Americans would not want their children, nor children whose fate they controlled by vote, to be raised by gay families. This isn't because they hate gay people, it's just because they *aren't* gay people. Again, a very bad litmus test bill.

5) Voted in favor of vouchers (which give tax $ to religious schools)

See above. If he doesn't vote for this, it's taking money from religious families, regardless of their opinion on the matter, and using it to provide a completely non-religious education to their children. If they don't want that, they have to pay *again* for a school that they deem appropriate for their child. I guarantee you he doesn't like either option, but the situation put to him was essentially this: "Ron, we the people are going to violate a constitutional principle, and violate it good. You get to pick which one. We've got... hmmm. Looks like a choice between 'no establishment of religion' and 'security in persons, papers and property'. Go!" Ron said, "Neither, please. But on the off chance that you arsehats don't listen to me, I'd marginally rather you violate the first one."

6) Supports a constitutional amendment on school prayer

To what, explicitly allow it? See above, again. And remember this situation shouldn't even exist.

7) Voted NO on nationwide Amber Alert system

Oh, won't someone think of the children!!?? I can't believe you even brought this up. Talk about inefficient distribution of funds in the fighting of violent crime. Try looking at it like an economist, since that seems to be the theme of this blog today.

8) Voted yes on requiring photo ID for voting in federal elections (Big Brother? - there is NO national requirement for voting other than age, race, sex - state's rights issue)

There is another issue, and it's a hot button for Ron. Immigration. That was the foundation for this vote of his. Personally I think that we should leave our doors wide open, but ignoring that issue (since you didn't complain about it specifically) he did have a reason that you failed to allow for. His purpose is to make sure that only US citizens are voting.

Ethan

@Jesse

Regarding Ron Paul's politics:

1) Anti-choice

Abortion and Euthanasia are poor litmus tests of a libertarian. Both involve the fuzzy boundaries of personhood and the rights thereof. Since libertarians are radically concerned with those rights, you can find them adamantly on either side of the issues. Even so, Ron Paul does not have a 100% pro-life voting record and maintains his other principles when addressing this issue.

2) Wants gov't out of our economic lives, but voted to make bankruptcy more difficult and against letting stockholders determine CEO pay

Bankruptcy is a government-spawned protection involving the wiping away of uncontested debt. Reducing access to it is *very* libertarian. There are people on the other side of it who did nothing wrong, yet now have no recourse to recover their money. If it exists at all it should be tightly controlled.

Corporations are a privileged entity, again created by the government. Their operation is not only partly a government concern, but *entirely* a government concern. Again, they should perhaps not exist. But given that they do the government is hardly out of place to dictate the terms of their existence.

3) Voted to 'protect' the Pledge of Allegiance

He's dealing with a complete dilemma here. The common libertarian position is that government should have nothing to do with education; certainly not the Federal government in any event. When it does we are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, religion, belief systems and indoctrination are all part of education no matter what you do. You're choosing what to talk about or what not to talk about, and that is all it takes. On the other hand, overtly choosing any one belief system is disallowed by the constitution. It's a no-win situation. Ron seems to consider this when he votes on education issues, and it manifests itself as lenience in what schools are allowed to do. Specifically he dislikes the Federal government telling them what they *can't* do. Remember, there are a lot of reasons for voting against a bill. One of them is that the level at which it is being proposed is not the level at which the issue should be addressed.

4) Voted to ban gay adoptions in DC

I don't know much about this bill, but if these are wards of the state then having the state use common-denominator social acceptance as the yardstick for what to do with them is hardly objectionable. The vast majority of Americans would not want their children, nor children whose fate they controlled by vote, to be raised by gay families. This isn't because they hate gay people, it's just because they *aren't* gay people. Again, a very bad litmus test bill.

5) Voted in favor of vouchers (which give tax $ to religious schools)

See above. If he doesn't vote for this, it's taking money from religious families, regardless of their opinion on the matter, and using it to provide a completely non-religious education to their children. If they don't want that, they have to pay *again* for a school that they deem appropriate for their child. I guarantee you he doesn't like either option, but the situation put to him was essentially this: "Ron, we the people are going to violate a constitutional principle, and violate it good. You get to pick which one. We've got... hmmm. Looks like a choice between 'no establishment of religion' and 'security in persons, papers and property'. Go!" Ron said, "Neither, please. But on the off chance that you arsehats don't listen to me, I'd marginally rather you violate the first one."

6) Supports a constitutional amendment on school prayer

To what, explicitly allow it? See above, again. And remember this situation shouldn't even exist.

7) Voted NO on nationwide Amber Alert system

Oh, won't someone think of the children!!?? I can't believe you even brought this up. Talk about inefficient distribution of funds in the fighting of violent crime. Try looking at it like an economist, since that seems to be the theme of this blog today.

8) Voted yes on requiring photo ID for voting in federal elections (Big Brother? - there is NO national requirement for voting other than age, race, sex - state's rights issue)

There is another issue, and it's a hot button for Ron. Immigration. That was the foundation for this vote of his. Personally I think that we should leave our doors wide open, but ignoring that issue (since you didn't complain about it specifically) he did have a reason that you failed to allow for. His purpose is to make sure that only US citizens are voting.

mnuez

"world peace" steve: Scott lives in the US and wrote about the US, a place where you can say whatever your stupid little head desires about the Holocaust without any fear of being "charged with a hate crime". You can say that the Holocaust never happened or even that it did and that you often jerk off to to that fact, and the government won't come a knockin'. Of course I, as a Jew whose family was murdered by the Nazis, have every write to say "Fuck Steve!" and even to say, "Don't buy his greasy burgers! He's an asshole and you shouldn't support his roadkill restaurant!" but, my good friend, you could still say whatever the hell you wanted to say about my dead relatives without any fear of incarceration. So wake up and read the constitution.


mnuez
www.mnuez.blogspot.com


mnuez

The "bicycles are safe!" whines are pretty funny. This guy wasn't whining. Rather than being a card carrying member of the Sierra Club who's never left Manhattan, he seems to be the real deal: a happy, crunchy, bicyclist who bubbles over with enthusiasm on the subject.

Now, some folk are pissed off at Dilbee's pointing out that bicycling for exercise daily is more likely to kill you than eating double fudge sundaes daily. That's heretical talk. But... it's also kinna true. So what boyo does here is say that "Bicycles don't kill people, misunderstandings-between-car-drivers-and-bike-riders kill people!"

Which is cute, but kinna irrelevant. The fact that people who bicycle are acting suicidally is a fact - regardless of exactly HOW that danger comes to the biker's cerebellum. Sure. Riding your bike around your garage is safe. Oh and also if no cars existed on the streets than cycling would be safe there too... Relevance to reality?

Anyhow, but I really only scrolled down to the comment box to quote my favorite line in his piece. He speaks lovingly of that safe sport of cycling and (a mini-monologue later) says:

"I estimate that 80-85% of potentially dangerous incidents that I've been in have been a result of driver unawareness. The remaining 10-15% are primarily the result of poor judgement..."

Read it again.

THAT I'VE BEEN IN..!

When you need to employ STATISTICS to describe the dangerous incidents that you YOURSELF have been in while engaging in some sport, you're gonna have a hard time defending it from the charge of being unsafe.

I just thought that was funny enough to warrant a reprint.

(For the record, I'm not saying that the guy is a fool. His comment was in-and-of-itself cohesive. Within the context of this page's cycling furor however and the side on which he stands and which he defends, his comment was both irrelevant and very funny.

Furthermore, and for the record, cars are as dangerous as all fuckin' hell.)

mnuez
www.mnuez.blogspot.com

jerry w.

Here's a quote from that other famous S. Adams:

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom,-go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
--- Samuel Adams

Consider this when any of our elected or almost elected politicians do stuff that seems strange.

The old maxim of "follow the money" is more true now than ever before. For a challenge, go to a mega sized box store like Costco and find anything in there that isn't made in China. Like a murderous, child crippling bicycle for example.

Good luck! We the Sheeple have been sold down the river so a cabal of fat cats will have a huge family fortune to pass along for their idiot children to piss away.

Sorry Jenna, but if the shoe fits.....

http://boskolives.wordpress.com/

Jenny from Chicago

Freedom is a sketchy concept. I wish you would post something that made me glad I clicked over here....thankyouverymuch.

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