A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ tag

Democracy Sure Is Fragile

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I’m sure Alex Jones is enjoying all of the free advertising that he has received from being banned from Facebook, Apple, and YouTube. Normally a marketing campaign with so much outreach would cost a small fortune. However, the real entertainment value in all of this is the pro-censorship crowd’s rhetoric. For example, take Senator Chris Murphy’s comment:

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is calling on other tech companies to ban more sites like InfoWars, and says the survival of American democracy depends on it.

“Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it,” Murphy tweeted Monday.

The survival of our democracy depends on censorship! If Jones is allowed to express himself, democracy will fall!

Democracy must be very fragile indeed if a single man’s speech can take it down. But the festering pustule that is mob rule has survived for hundreds of years even though many countries under the system have traditionally been in favor of free speech. That being the case, I’m inclined to believe that democracy is, unfortunately, more resilient than Murphy says.

The most amusing thing about democracy to me is the fact that its most vocal advocates generally hate it. While their mouths are talking about the greatness of democracy their hands are working to stop anybody who votes the wrong way. When somebody says they love democracy, what they generally mean is that they love the idea of a system where only those who agrees with them are allowed to vote.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 9th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Without Government Who Would Artificially Increase the Cost of Healthcare

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Advocates of government monopolized healthcare (they usually call it “national” or “universal” healthcare) argue that their favored system is necessary because market actors have an incentive to constantly increase the cost of healthcare. The opposite is true. Market actors have an incentive to provide cheaper and more effective services because doing so will attract new customers by both attracting customers who formerly couldn’t afford their services and siphoning customers away from their competitors. However, government has an incentive to increase healthcare costs because doing so protects its favored providers:

Dr. Gajendra Singh walked out of his local hospital’s outpatient department last year, having been told an ultrasound for some vague abdominal pain he was feeling would cost $1,200 or so, and decided enough was enough. If he was balking at the price of a routine medical scan, what must people who weren’t well-paid medical professionals be thinking?

The India-born surgeon decided he would open his own imaging center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and charge a lot less. Singh launched his business in August and decided to post his prices, as low as $500 for an MRI, on a banner outside the office building and on his website.

There was just one barrier to fully realizing his vision: a North Carolina law that he and his lawyers argue essentially gives hospitals a monopoly over MRI scans and other services.

In all fairness to the politicians of North Carolina, I’m sure the hospitals in the state paid them a tremendous amount of money to buy such a favor.

The reason healthcare in the United States is so costly is because the government has inserted itself more and more into the healthcare market. Medical products cannot be released without obtaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which demands a princely sum before one can receive approval. Drugs that used to be over-the-counter now require people to first pay a doctor to write a prescription before acquiring them. Government protected monopolies in the form of patents allow drug companies to charge whatever price they want because they have no fear of competitors offering a cheaper alternative. And stories like this, where new market actors are crushed by bureaucrats in order to protect their favored healthcare providers, are rampant.

When something is causing a problem, more of it isn’t going to alleviate that problem. Government is the reason healthcare in the United States is so expensive. Handing the government a complete monopoly over healthcare isn’t going to alleviate that problem.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 3rd, 2018 at 10:30 am

Another Reason Not to Build the Wall

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We have received yet another reason to support not enforcing immigration laws or building a wall to separate the United States and Mexico:

WASHINGTON — President Trump reiterated on Monday his threat to shut down the federal government this fall if Congress does not deliver on Republican demands to crack down on immigration by enforcing security on the border with Mexico and building his long-promised wall.

Shutdown the federal government? Oh no! Anything but that!

Written by Christopher Burg

August 1st, 2018 at 10:30 am

Posted in Politics

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Why Would Anybody Publicly Claim That They Believed a Political Promise

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Think about the most embarrassing thing to which you’ve ever publicly admitted. Now breathe a sigh of relief because no matter how embarrassing it was, it wasn’t this embarrassing:

The founder and owner of CustomMousePad.com, Jennie Stewart, came forward yesterday with what she believed was a promise from a Republican congressman to save net neutrality. Last month, Stewart alleges that she was assured by Rep. Don Young (R-AK) that he would sign the Democrat-led discharge petition to force a vote in the House, which would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s December vote to revoke the rules.

Why would anybody publicly claim that they believed a political promise? I have a hard time believing that there is a single person above the age of six who isn’t aware that politicians lie for a living and that everything they say should be treated as total malarkey. What really blows my mind though is that anybody published this story as if it were news. The only time a political promise is newsworthy is when it is kept.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 26th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Government Creates the Problems It Solves

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Here’s a familiar story. A government body implements a new policy that causes major hardships for a large number of people then swoops in to “fix” the problem. That’s what’s happening here:

The Trump administration plans to offer up to $12 billion in aid to farmers hit by tariffs on their goods, an emergency bailout intended to ease the pain caused by Trump’s escalating trade war in key electoral states, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told reporters Tuesday.

First the government created the problem by implementing tariffs then it offered to redistribute some wealth to those hurt by the tariffs. Of course the redistributed wealth has to come from somewhere, which means another problem will be created by the government that it will then claim to solve.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 25th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Buying Votes

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Every politician buys votes but most go about it in a roundabout way. Promises of tax breaks for companies, wealth redistribution from the wealthy to the masses, and increases to welfare benefits are common ways to buy votes. But one mayoral candidate in Chicago decided to try the direct route:

CHICAGO — Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson says he wasn’t trying to buy anyone’s vote when he handed out close to $200,000 to churchgoers.

[…]

The Illinois State Board of Elections said Wilson didn’t break any campaign finance laws because the money came from his non-profit foundation.

I appreciate this level of honesty. If a politician wants to buy votes, they should just fork out the cash. This strategy is far better for voters because they get paid upfront whereas political promises usually go unfulfilled and when that happens the voters don’t get their payoff.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 24th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

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Foreigners Influencing Elections

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Anybody who has been paying attention to the news is aware that there is a lot of evidence that foreigners are influencing our elections! Before those of your who have assigned yourself to the left of the binary political spectrum jump up for joy thinking that I’m finally going to lambast Russia for defiling our most holy of traditions, I’m not talking about Russia. It’s actually time for those who have assigned themselves to the right of the political spectrum to jump up for joy because I’m going to talk about illegal immigrants being allowed to vote in a domestic election:

San Francisco began registering non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants, to register to vote Monday in the November election for the city school board, reported The San Francisco Chronicle.

The move follows passage of a 2016 ballot measure by San Francisco voters opening school elections to non-citizens who are over the age of 18, city residents and have children under age 19, reported the publication.

Just kidding, I’m not really going to talk about this either. Instead I’m going to use this as a launchpad for mocking both of you!

Both sides are flipping their shit over foreigners influencing domestic elections… if they believe those foreigners are interfering with their agenda. Those who have assigned themselves to the right generally take aim at those who crossed the imaginary line separating the United States from the rest of the world. They believe that these line crossers only vote for people on the left side of the political spectrum. Meanwhile, they are entirely fine with the possibility of Russia influencing domestic elections because they believe that Russia is manipulating elections in a way that will ensure politicians on the right of the political spectrum will win. People who have assigned themselves to the left believe the reverse. They want line crossers to vote because they believe that they will vote for candidates on the left and they don’t want Russia to influence elections because they believe it will work for candidates on the right.

If both sides would be honest and admit that they don’t care about the issue of foreigners influencing domestic elections but only care about forwarding their agendas, they wouldn’t be a bunch of hypocrites.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 20th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Politics

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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

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Californians were scheduled to vote on a measure to divide the state into three separate states but they won’t have that opportunity because a men in muumuus said so:

The California Supreme Court shot down the controversial initiative from appearing on the November ballot in a unanimous decision, writing that “significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity.”

Proposition 9 would’ve asked voters whether California should separate into three states: California, Northern California and Southern California. It would’ve been subject to approval by US Congress. The initiative had gained enough signatures in June to qualify for the ballot on November 6.

“We conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election,” the justices wrote.

Proponents of Democracy believe that it gives the people an opportunity to voice their opinion to their government. That’s true only if their opinion isn’t radical. Democratic systems have a lot of safeguards in place to protect the status quo. If, for example, you are able to get enough signatures to get a radical measure placed on a statewide ballot, the safeguard of the courts kicks in to toss that measure out.

Whenever I say that real change cannot be realized through political means, somebody lists off all of the changes that have occurred through political means. What all of those changes end up having in common is that they’re minor, not radical. You cannot, for example, vote to abolish a political office, you can only vote on who occupies that office. So you may managed to get a slightly less terrible candidate to occupy an office but that isn’t real change, that’s a minor change. If you did try to get a measure on a ballot to abolish a political office, one of the state’s safeguards would kick in to prevent you from realizing your goal. That is democracy in a nutshell, the plebes can do no more than vote on some minor details.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 20th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The Last Time the United States and Russia Were Friendly

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A lot of Democrats are furious that the United States and Russia may be becoming friendlier towards each other. I prefer peace over war so my initial reaction to any prospect of peace is usually positive. However, after giving it some thought, I can see why people are angry at the prospect of the United States and Russia developing a friendship.

Every time the two countries have become friends in the last 100 years millions of Jews died and two Japanese cities were nuked.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 18th, 2018 at 11:00 am

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Moving in the Correct Direction

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Sometimes it seems like the United States is the sole remaining country that at least has its head somewhat screwed on straight when it comes to gun laws (and considering how restrictive the gun laws in the United States are, the bar is set absurdly low). Fortunately, there are signs of improvement in other countries from time to time. The Czech Republic, for example, is moving in the correct direction:

The lower house of the Czech parliament has agreed to alter the constitution so that firearms can be held legally when national security is threatened.

The amendment gives Czechs the right to use firearms during terrorist attacks.

It was passed by the lower house by a big majority, and is likewise expected to be approved by the upper house.

The move by parliament is a challenge to EU gun control rules which restrict civilians from possessing certain kinds of semi-automatic weapons.

Moving gun laws in a sensible direction and telling the European Union to go pound sand? Double win!

Governments throughout history have tried to varying degrees to monopolize violence. Not once has this strategy succeeded. Every time it has been attempted the result has been that the government and those willing to ignore the law have enjoyed a duopoly on violence. That means that the fools who abide by the law are easy prey for the duopolists and, predictably, end up being preyed upon. Usually the fools who abide by the law eventually tire of being preyed upon and decide to ignore the law, which sometimes even results in the overthrow of the government (but then the revolutionaries once again demonstrate their foolishness by establishing another government so that the vicious cycle can be repeated). Perhaps the Czech Republic can avoid that situation by giving the law abiding fools the option to defend themselves.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 17th, 2018 at 10:30 am