"During my long journey through the world of evil, I had discovered three sources of power: the power of an individual's inner freedom, the power of a free society, and the power of the solidarity of the free world."-- Natan Sharansky, "The Case for Democracy"

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October 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

Most of these laws are not preventing the overwhelming majority of folks who don't vote from voting, Most people do have an ID. Most people do have a driver's license. Most people can get to the polls. It may not be as convenient it may be a little more difficult. -- President Obama during an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton.
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with Barack Obama. Again!

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2014 5:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But Colorado's Democratic-controlled legislature clearly does not agree.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2014 5:29 PM

Welcome to Colorado's "Big Ass Lie" James O'Keefe

And a good companion article by John Fund here.

UPDATE: Todd Shepherd showed us last year how easy it is to find "orphaned ballots" in apartment mail rooms.

But jk thinks:

Lookit us! Our little. flyover state made it big with vote fraud! We're just like Illinois and California!

Thanks for posting this.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2014 3:33 PM

The Three Sources Platform?

I recall past discussions of a collaborative effort to list the principles that ThreeSourcers could agree upon, and that we thought would gain supporters and promote liberty at the expense of Leviathan. I believe we have a possible starting point with the platform of Libertarian for Colorado Governor Mike Dunafon:

He stands firm on the following issues:

- More Individual Liberty
- Less Government Regulation & Surveillance
- More Support for our Veterans
- An End to the War on Hemp
- Protect the 2nd Amendment
- Private Property, Commercial Liberty
- Marital Equality for ALL
- Women control their bodies
- Local Control of Education
- Release Non-Violent Drug Offenders
- Critical Thinking
- Independent Leadership
- Liberty & Freedom for all Coloradans

And where does this differ from the modern GOP? Drug war and social issues. Period.

What if the GOP released its pit bull bite from those marginal causes? More young voters. More female voters. More minority voters. More liberty and less Leviathan.

Just imagine Wyclef Jean and Snoop Dog with prime time appearances at the GOP convention, and Romney-like GOP candidates arriving at appearances to the rap refrain of Mayor Mike Dunafon!

"It isn't hard to do - It's easy if you try."

But jk thinks:

And...NO SMOKING WEED WITH SNOOP DOGG WHEN YOU'VE GOT A DEBATE SCHEDULED! Sorry, where was I?

I like it. But Rep. Tancredo, warming up the crowd on the radio last week for a clean and articulate young man fro Ft. Lupton, sees just as clearly that if we put all our eggs in the no-amnesty basket, everything will be fine.

I dreamt for years of a realignment along the lines described by the dude from Snoop's entourage. Like the McDonald's customer, I assume that technology will allow me to have a party that wants what I want and never embarrasses me with anything I don't. But that becomes -- like Libertario Delenda Est -- a willful dismissal of the electoral power of coalitions.

The pro-life wing of the GOP makes you and me look down at our shoes sometimes. Being a software developer, that comes naturally but we're talking about a group that gives big money, works the phones, walks the precincts and crawls over broken glass to vote if there is a pro-life county clerk on the ballot. You have to either forge platformal compromises that keep them and us on the same team or tell me how you're going to replace them if we tell them to jump in the lake.

Will we attract enough pro-liberty Democrats who stay away because of this? I used to think so but I now consider that naïve. That's the famous libertarian 9% (or is it 19?) the more natural affinity is on my Facebook feed: Abortion -- plus free birth control! I already used my allusion quota for a single comment, but I'll close with Don Rumsfeld going to elections with the party we have. Not asking them to set aside their serious and deeply held convictions, but looking for principled compromise.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2014 3:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

We are treading well-worn ground here, again.

But we know Tom T. is on board for a "principled compromise" in the drug war column which, combined with urban renewals that actually work could help us get to at least 50/50 on the black vote. So it comes down to social issues: I know they see it as a denial of liberty to an unborn life, but I suspect that the stronger resistance is to "letting them sin without consequence." Is there not room to compromise a coexistence with sinners, if we'll just agree not to steal each others' stuff and ruin our economy in the process?

Or, maybe we could just try decriminalizing drugs first, by itself. That would give us all the items on the list above except one. What say, BR?

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2014 5:01 PM

Women Weary of War on Them

Yahoo news: AP-GfK Poll: Most expect GOP victory in November

Women have moved in the GOP's direction since September. In last month's AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

Reality McBites

Credit the WSJ Ed Page for detection and acquisition of Ag:

If there's a silver lining for McDonald's in Tuesday's dreadful earnings report, it is that perhaps union activists will begin to understand that the fast-food chain cannot solve the problems of the Obama economy. The world's largest restaurant company reported a 30% decline in quarterly profits on a 5% drop in revenues. Problems under the golden arches were global--sales were weak in China, Europe and the United States.

So even one of the world's most ubiquitous consumer brands cannot print money at its pleasure. This may be news to liberal pressure groups that have lately been demanding that government order the chain known for cheap food to somehow pay higher wages.


The heartless monocled capitalists in the corner office suggest automation as a way out. Not to save labor costs of course -- rather to satisfy customers' demand for more customization.
[Don] Thompson, the CEO, said Tuesday that customers "want to personalize their meals" and "to enjoy eating in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere. And they want choices in how they order, choices in what they order and how they're served."

I'd like to go through the drive through and get what I order. That would be a personalized, contemporary experience for me.

But johngalt thinks:

And the beauty is, in a competitive marketplace, you don't even have to pay more to get it. Even if one chain raises wages to higher more interested staff, another will automate them to the curb. Well, until government regulates them to the history books.

There's your decision, boys and girls: markets or government? Voting is now open.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2014 11:09 AM

October 21, 2014

Three Sources Radio!

In the comments for yesterday's What We Fight For post I mentioned that I plugged the blog in a call to Grassroots Radio Colorado yesterday evening. Want to know what yours truly sounds like? Tune in to the podcast.

Start at 23:00, but if you're in a hurry skip to 26:50. But I recommend starting at 23:00.

The rest of the show was pretty good too, including both Tom Tancredo and state senator Kevin Lundberg agreeing with what I'd said and expanding on it. Listen through to the end if you have time.

That's Grassroots Radio Colorado, with my super cool friend Kris Cook on 560 am KLZ in Denver, weekdays 5-7 pm Mountain Time. (5-6 on Fridays.) Check it out!!

Tune in live on the internet here.

But jk thinks:

And he hawks threesources.com! Well played, sir!

You did well but I had listened to the whole thing and was still reeling from Rep. Tancredo saying "Republicans should all get together and campaign on opposition to immigration!"

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2014 4:55 PM

Wealth "ex nihilo" - for the Rich

Scott S. Powell, senior fellow at Discovery Institute in Seattle and managing partner at RemingtonRand LLC, has an IBD editorial today to explain How Washington Widens Gap Between The Rich And Poor. He cites the same study that Rich Karlgaard told us about in JK's post yesterday, and then extends the unintended - or not - effects.

Three basics about regulation, politics and the economy must be understood.

First, politicians perceive crises as opportunities to grandstand with supposed legislative fixes. But since new laws rarely fix the purported problems, politicians shift responsibility of their laws' rulemaking to unelected, unaccountable agency bureaucrats.

Second, regulatory costs are more burdensome for small firms than large enterprises.

Third, small companies create most new jobs.

Segue now to monetary policy, and its misguided application to paper over the recession caused by government:

Fed-engineered money creation and low interest rates have helped create a stock market casino, prompting more and more companies to go all in with enlarged stock buyback programs to goose per-share earnings and elevate stock prices -- wealth through financial engineering rather than increased productivity.

Artificially low interest rates have been equally beneficial for real estate investors, providing leverage to propel prices and transactions in an upward trajectory.

While the Fed says its policies have kept consumer prices in check for the working class, the real benefit has been inflating asset prices in the portfolios of the rich. Call them the 1% or the 2%, the rich are getting richer, courtesy of the ruling class in Washington, elected in large part by voters who have been fooled and left behind.

And who absorbs one hundred percent of the blame for both the recession, with its attendant job slump, and the rise of the rich at expense of the poor? You guessed it - Wall Street.


My Deepest Thoughts on the President

Is the President of the United States a secret Muslim? A Kenyan Anti-colonialist dedicated to destroying the US from the inside? I've heard these and worse from people I respect. But as an Occam's Razor guy, I usually respond "no, he's a product of the faculty lounge."

Ruth Wisse, retired professor at Haavaad, pens an endorsement for Tom Cotton to be the next US Senator from Arkansas

Which brings us to Tom Cotton, the sixth-generation Arkansan who forged a path of his own in getting to Harvard and has maintained his independence ever since. As an undergraduate he majored in government, wrote his senior thesis on the Federalist Papers and voiced his conservative opinions in a column in the Harvard Crimson. After graduating from law school he took up a legal career that might have seamlessly led to political office. Instead he joined the Army as an infantry officer. His almost five years of active duty included two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan; he later returned to Afghanistan as operations officer for a reconstruction team. As against those who equate military service with bellicosity, a U.S. soldier who has been on daily combat patrols in dangerous places is likelier than others to craft foreign policy with intelligent discretion.

Wisse contrasts Cotton with more typical alumnae and current faculty. Including, um...
My experience at Harvard makes it hard for me to join in blaming Barack Obama personally for the country's woes. After all, he is only a dutiful product of Harvard Law School and of Columbia University before that. When President Harry Truman famously said, "The buck stops here," he meant that persons who seek and attain highest office are responsible for whatever happens on their watch. But how can we in good conscience apply this standard to Mr. Obama, who was elected president as a junior senator with no experience in governing, who was handpicked and tailored by the academic and cultural elite?

No boots on the ground? No military strategy? Trust your enemies and diss your allies? Spokespersons for the president could have been lip-synced by denizens of his alma mater. That Mr. Obama has no use for the other side of the aisle is the logical extension of a university that has purged all but a handful of conservatives from its faculty--and has done so in the name of achieving greater diversity.


Feel better?

But nanobrewer thinks:

I've liked everything that Professor Wisse has written, though I must admit it's only in the WSJ that I have found her. She once penned something about the "smallness of the hive mind" and implied less than brave behaviors in one terrific post.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 21, 2014 6:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And KOA's Mike Rosen read this on air today.

And if anyone needs a more pragmatic reason to refrain from attacking the President personally, consider this NYT piece: Black Vote Seen as Last Hope for Democrats to Hold Senate

On the campaign trail, black leaders like Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, are offering a very different message.

They embrace the health care law -- "I will never run away from the Affordable Care Act," Mr. Cummings said -- and often invoke voting rights and the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black man shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., as a way to mobilize black voters. And they defend the president.

"People understand that you have to walk a thin line," Mr. Cummings said, describing Democratic candidates' dilemma. "But African-Americans do not want you denying any affiliation with the president, because they love this president. He is like a son to them."

My president, right or wrong.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2014 3:07 AM

Tag Team

I'm going to risk a step away from Adam Smith "loveliness" and seek assistance in a Libertario Delenda Est Facebook fight. These are as productive as name calling all caps discussions with progressives -- but there remains a specter of ability to reach with reason.

A very bright buddy is on a tear against conservatives and tea partiers and other foul not-libertarian-enough-for-me vermin and pestilence. I counseled, of course, that we might work together with those who wanted lower taxes, less spending, fewer regulations, and constitutionally limited government. He comes back with the Ayn Rand quote "In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."

I replied "SO'S YOUR OLD MAN!!" that yet Rand appreciated both President Reagan, with whom she'd have had many disagreements, and the US Constitution which is poised to foster compromise.

It seems that I have heard Rand quotes about electoral strategy that are pragmatic if not quite fusionism. Am I barking up the wrong tree?

While the friend is too People's Front of Judea to be reachable, there may be others on the thread who waver.

UPDATE: I am getting less lovely by the minute . . . But here is the meme that inspired the thread.

warning_conservative.jpg

My buddy takes exception to the phrase "moral absolutes." To him it is code:

Does It mean the person who posts this wants to throw you in jail for things you do with your own body that don't damage anyone else.

Is that what they think Limited Government is?


I suggest both that there are less illiberal translations of "moral absolutes" and that when you agree with somebody on 11/12 things maybe is best not to focus on the 1/12.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Have you a link to the post? I've checked your FB feed and couldn't find the post in question. While you're doing that, I'll go sharpen the knives.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 21, 2014 1:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:
The citizens of a free nation may disagree about the specific legal procedures or methods of implementing their rights (which is a complex problem, the province of political science and of the philosophy of law), but they agree on the basic principle to be implemented: the principle of individual rights. When a country’s constitution places individual rights outside the reach of public authorities, the sphere of political power is severely delimited—and thus the citizens may, safely and properly, agree to abide by the decisions of a majority vote in this delimited sphere. The lives and property of minorities or dissenters are not at stake, are not subject to vote and are not endangered by any majority decision; no man or group holds a blank check on power over others. - "Collectivized 'Rights'" The Virtue of Selfishness

But that ain't where we are today, izzit?

The best reply to his quote may be, "So, you choose the poison? I'm too much of an optimist to believe that the ideas we both hold dear can't eventually win the hearts and minds of Americans, the most independent and self-reliant people in human history, if we will finally engage in a debate of ideas. In the meantime, surrendering the levers of government power to Social Statists is a bad strategy."

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2014 1:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Lovely-Schmovely! It's my buddy and LOTR-F regular, Wayne. ThreesSourcers might enjoy the picture,

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2014 3:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

His suspicion is justified. However,

1) If that is what they mean, it is good that they must now say so in code, and

2) Having included the principles of freedom, liberty, and limited government, we need merely point to those to counter any attempts along the lines he fears.

But I will charitably take "moral absolutes" to mean "right and wrong exist."

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2014 4:17 PM

October 20, 2014

Surely it was a Gynecology Textbook!

Not a stellar interview for Mark Udall (OB/GYN - CO):


Udall answered a series of ten questions, answers to some of which came more easily than others. For instance, when asked whether the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, the senator quickly said "no."

The first clue that something was up came when his response to "Is Common Core good or bad for Colorado students?" was "Yes."

But things really went off the rails when Udall was asked to name the three most influential books he's ever read along with the last song he listened to. He quickly came up with Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy, but then, after a lengthy pause, he appeared to be stumped.

"We can play this over, right, I mean re-tape this?" Udall asked the interviewer, perhaps not realizing that the clip would go out as-is. "I'm brain dead today," he admitted after failing to come up with the last song he listened to.

Realizing his mistake, Udall finally got it together and finished answering the probing questions.


But johngalt thinks:

"Who am I? Why am I here?"

With apologies to Vice Admiral James Stockdale, RIP.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2014 4:58 PM

Understanding Alissa Rosenbaum

Hard core Randians will recognize that Alissa Rosenbaum was the birth name of Ayn Rand (though The Refugee will sheepishly admit that he did not). Such Randians will likely greatly enjoy an article in The Federalist by Charles Murray, titled, "How Ayn Rand Captured the Magic of American Life."

Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at AEI. His article is part book review, part biography and part confessional. While clearly a Rand fan, Murray attempts to apply some "objectivism" to the persona that Rand created for herself. At the charge that Murray puts toward Rand as a hypocrite, one might shrug (no pun intended) and say that even Objectivists are human.

The Refugee believes that this article will cause much thought among Three Sourcers. He will only pull two quotes, both from very late in the piece:

That world came together in the chapters of Atlas Shrugged describing Galts Gulch, the chapters I most often reread when I go back to the book. The great men and women who have gone on strike are gathered there, sometimes working at their old professions, but more often being grocers and cabbage growers and plumbers, because thats the niche in which they can make a living. In scene after scene, Rand shows what such a community would be like, and it does not consist of isolated individualists holding one another at arms length. Individualists, yes, but ones who have fun in one anothers company, care about one another, and care for one anothernot out of obligation, but out of mutual respect and spontaneous affection.

Better than any other American novelist, she captured the magic of what life in America is supposed to be. The utopia of her novels is not a utopia of greed. It is not a utopia of Nietzschean supermen. It is a utopia of human beings living together in Jeffersonian freedom.

Give it a read and contemplate the greater meaning.

Hat tip: realclearpolitics.com

Philosophy Posted by Boulder Refugee at 1:00 PM | What do you think? [3 comments]
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah baby! I agree with the short excerpt, with a caveat I'll mention shortly. I think that the selfishness gets all the pub, perhaps because there is so much altruism-enabled forced "care for our neighbors" that needs pushing back against. And when Rand or Objectivism are cited as an antidote it is seen, not as the secure, confident, self-reliant community of cooperative life that was depicted, but as a complete mirror image of collectivism, i.e. hermitism. That is a grievous error with lamentable consequences along the lines of Rich Karlgaard's "what could have been."

And now the caveat: The cited author states that those gathered in the valley worked at their old professions "because that's the niche in which they can make a living." No, not really. They kept their old professions because they LOVED them. That is one of many points of the novel: It isn't work that makes man miserable, it is having to struggle against society in order to do one's chosen work, that makes life unrewarding.

I look forward to sitting down with the whole article. Perhaps I'll have more to say afterward. Heh. "Perhaps."

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2014 2:30 PM
But jk thinks:

Wow. Thanks for sharing. I am rather stupefied that the Curmudgeon himself [Review Corner] does not subscribe to the Whitaker Chambers / NR view of Rand. (Curiouser still, Murray is the reason I have 1500 pages of theology books into which I just dove this weekend.)

I'm going to take the liberty of pulling a quote which describes my relationship with Ms. Rosenbaum:

Why, then, has reading these biographies of a deeply flawed woman--putting it gently--made me want to go back and reread her novels yet again? The answer is that Rand was a hedgehog who got a few huge truths right, and expressed those truths in her fiction so powerfully that they continue to inspire each new generation. They have only a loose relationship with Objectivism as a philosophy (which was formally developed only after the novels were written). Are selfishness and greed cardinal virtues in Objectivism? Who cares? Do Objectivist aesthetics denigrate Bach and Mozart? Who cares? Objectivism has nothing to do with what mesmerizes people about "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged." What does mesmerize us? Fans of Ayn Rand will answer differently. Part of the popularity of the books derives from the many ways their themes can be refracted. Here is what I saw in Rand's fictional world that shaped my views as an adolescent and still shapes them 50 years later.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2014 4:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Having now read the article I will offer a few more opinions: Rand's worth is in what she wrote, not in who she slept with. This is the first I've read of any drug dependence, but I'm glad that she apparently overcame it, as has Rush Limbaugh.

Objectivism is a valuable epistemological tool and does, in my opinion, stand on its own apart from the other philosophers mentioned, save Aristotle. I am a defender of Objectivism. I am not, however, a defender of all Objectivists. It is all to easy to falsely extend the philosophy's certainty about what is known at any given time to what can ever be known. This leads many Objectivists to denounce and alienate those who disagree with them. However, all of the Objectivists I have read who are associated with the Ayn Rand Institute do not suffer this flaw. Particularly the Institute's Executive Director, Yaron Brook.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2014 2:46 PM

Adam Smith on Crack

Now that's a provocative headline! Upworthy here we come!

I highlighted a couple of quotes from Sunday's Review Corner of Russ Roberts's How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness. I wanted to separate them from the review, yet use them here to torture my blog brothers with an appeal-to-authority in our ongoing, internecine debate on The War on Drugs.

Roberts finds that Smith had suspicions about anti-Hayekians centuries before there was a Hayek to oppose. Smith was a man of government and he saw -- up close and personal -- those who would run our lives to improve us:

He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it.

Roberts, Russ (2014-10-09). How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (p. 207). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.


Roberts "chuses" the Drug War to illustrate:
I have met kind, empathetic, earnest people who see recreational drugs as a great scourge. And certainly some drug users destroy themselves and their families through their inability to control their desires. Yet the war on drugs has failed despite the desires of those kind, empathetic, earnest people and despite the harm that comes to drug users. The war on drugs has failed because too many chess pieces have their own movements; too many people like to use drugs. And too many people see those desires as a potential for profit, which it surely is.

Kind, empathetic, earnest blog brothers?

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

What, no music? There's gotta be a sound track to go with an internecine war on drugs discussion.

OK, The Refugee willingly rises to the bait of what is clearly a friendly taunt among blog brothers. He also counts himself among those who see substance abuse as a great scourge - and the challenge of our time.

First, it would be useful to define what constitutes "winning" the war. Does addiction need to be eliminated before those opposing the war would admit that it was won? Surely not, as the "war on crime" certainly has not been won by that definition, yet no one is suggesting that we disband law enforcement. The Refugee would suggest that "winning" means a steady decline in use and addiction. By that definition, we are "winning the war on tobacco."

One must also observe what is missing from this analysis, which is a solution to the problem. That means that either the author does not see it as a problem, despite acknowledging the lives and families ruined by drug abuse, is simply throwing up his hands in surrender, or sees the problem as a societal abstraction.

Imagine if our Founding Fathers had seen their society's challenges too daunting to tackle. They might have said, "Gee, the king sure is powerful." Or, "Wow, the British navy sure has a lot of cannons." And, "How can we ever expect a bunch of farmers and merchants to defeat the best trained, best equipped, most professional army in the world?" Great problems are not solved by passivity. They are solved by people willing to relentlessly pursue a problem until a solution is found, willingly failing over and over and realizing that you can be wrong many times but need be right only once to be successful.

Those who see drug abuse in the abstract are the modern version of Marie Antoinette saying, "Let them snort cake." Would any blog brother suggest that eradicating (or even significantly reducing) substance abuse would be a bad thing?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 20, 2014 1:56 PM
But jk thinks:

"La la la la, La ls la la-la-la-laaah.."

It strikes me that we have a more fundamental disagreement. I don't want to dodge your direct questions, but perhaps the disconnect is whether it be a legitimate function of government. Is there Kumbaya potential in "get the feds out of it, unless you can lay your finger on the No weed Clause in Article I Section 8?" Then we can argue about the strictness of local enforcement and I would be much more open to local laws. Short-cutting the commerce clause argument, Claude Wickard, I'll stick to intra-State production, sales and consumption.

As to direct questions:

The founding fathers were seeking to protect our liberties. I back off not because it is difficult, but because it is wrong.

If tobacco is your success story, we're farther apart than I thought. Really, really, read the Aftermath book. New York taxes a pack of smokes $2.50 or something. That's a brutal and regressive tax on the poor, props up crime because it is so distortionary (actually funded the 9-11 hijackers in part), and we just had a guy killed by the police in Central Park for selling bootleg cigarettes. I quit 20 years ago, but if my heath were better I'd start up again in protest of the moral preening, hectoring, and misplaced government coercion.

I guess I'm guilty of viewing the drug problem abstractly. You want to move the chessboard pieces around and I really do not. So I have no solution like Obamacare opponents lacked one. More freedom might help. My brother has still not agreed that alcohol prohibition was a failure. More freedom helped there. Alcohol has been quite the scourge in my circle of friends -- do we go back to Elliot Ness? (If alcohol's less scouragious, and maybe weed's not so terrible some days, who decides?)

I'll say let the chess pieces make their lives as best as they can without government intrusion.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2014 2:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The drug war question is not, as I see it, whether or not eradicating or even significantly reducing substance abuse is a good thing. It is good. Clearly so. The question is: Has legal prohibition been, on the whole, good or bad.

Taking the "war on tobacco" claim at face value, I must have missed the era when tobacco was outlawed.

Finally, not to inflame but to inform, the stance that great problems are solved by people willing to relentlessly pursue a problem until a solution is found, willingly failing over and over and realizing that you can be wrong many times but need be right only once to be successful, is also the modus operandi of the World Socialists, is it not? Some problems have no solutions. Some creatures behave in ways contradictory to survival. c.f. Darwin, Charles. Efforts to save every individual from harming himself ultimately results in a society where all individuals are hopeless. c.f. Miranda. God helps he who helps himself.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2014 3:48 PM

ThreeSources Book Club

This is the subject of last week's Review Corner. Very good book. Headed to charity shop unless somebody wants it.

barone_book.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 11:53 AM | What do you think? [0 comments]

What We Fight For

Cue the Mulan soundtrack. But for a Prosperitarian, the prize is not a comely Chinese lass, but a rockin'-high per capita GDP.

I try to sell this idea all the time, but I always sell the subjunctive: if we were to unleash innovation, our nieces/nephews/grandchildren will have richer life. But Forbes's Rich Karlgaard projects the compound interest curve backward. He asks what could have been?

Suppose the U.S. economy, since 1949, were giving up 2% extra growth per year because of bad economic policy. Or, as [Financial advisor Dave] Ramsey might say, because Presidents, legislators and unelected regulators were born stupid or try their best to act that way.

Karlgaard suggests what today's world would look like with 2% better growth. I'll invite you to read the entire short piece. But it is a pretty picture:
--The 2014 GDP would be $32 trillion, not $17 trillion.

-- Per capita income would be $101,000, not $54,000.

-- Per capita wealth would be $480,000, not $260,000. It would probably be higher than that, since savings rates might be higher.

-- The U.S. would have no federal, state or municipal debts or deficits.

-- Pensions would be solid. So would Social Security.


And what of the innovation that extra capital could have financed? He has a few suggestions, but I posit they may not be outlandish enough.

Advocates protecting from "Catastrophic" climate change -- for example -- claim there is little or no cost for their solutions. If I'm wrong, we'll all drown as the waves roll over Weld County; if they're wrong, we'll just have all these groovy solar panels and clean air (and thousands of green jobs if they're on form...)

This is the obvious application, but Karlgaard is talking about regulation across the board. Conceding that some of it has been beneficial -- but correctly stating that the benefits are never compared to the opportunity costs of what we could have done with twice the wealth.

Hat-tip: Insty, who calls it "Heinleinian 'Bad Luck'"

But johngalt thinks:

You two are still setting the bar too low. I'll take the doubled GDP/income/wealth/non-debtedness/innovation AND the comely Chinese lass.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2014 2:20 PM
But Jk thinks:

Twice the money would be easy to explain to the lovely bride...

Posted by: Jk at October 20, 2014 8:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I plugged this post in a call to Grassroots Radio Colorado last evening. Here's the podcast. Start at 23:00, but if you're in a hurry skip to 26:50. But I recommend starting at 23:00.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2014 4:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The rest of the show was pretty good too, including both Tom Tancredo and state senator Kevin Lundberg agreeing with what I'd said. Listen through to the end if you have time.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2014 4:06 PM

And now from the real world

Watched a nice bit of escapism the other night, "World War Z" (I'll give 2.5 stars for decent tension) where a UN "investigator" takes time away from being a soccer Dad to save the world from the undead, with the help of smart, determined people in a shiny WHO building (and the occasional SEAL, Ranger, female Israeli soldier and MOSSAD operative).

Now, cut to headlines where the real-world WHO was found to be "compromising rather than aiding" the Ebola response.

And the greedy, seedy capitalist world manages to make a safe haven for 8000 families right in the middle of hell, by using good common sense, tools at hand "based on the US model" and what must have been a fair degree of grit.

Score card says: Brigdestone 1, WHO/UN 0, Ebola: -4500


No word on whether the investigator found the goods on Didier Bourguet.

But jk thinks:

'Zactly! This is why I have not joined the fear brigade. I certainly do not trust our government or the UN (I wouldn't trust them to refill the salsa bowl at a taco stand) but I think "Capitalism" will protect its assets.

I thought it was Firestone -- they get all the credit for Bridgestone's acumen. That must cheese off some PR folks at Bridgestone. They need a blimp or something...

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2014 10:21 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Shoot; it was Firestone.... need to sack the proofreading staff...

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 21, 2014 6:07 PM
But jk thinks:

No -- I think the city was Firestone but the company was Bridgestone.

It's hard to say; I haven't had a very Goodyear.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2014 6:14 PM

October 19, 2014

Review Corner

Smith helped me understand why Whitney Houston and Marilyn Monroe were so unhappy and why their deaths made so many people so sad. He helped me understand my affection for my iPad and my iPhone, why talking to strangers about your troubles can calm the soul, and why people can think monstrous thoughts but rarely act upon them. He helped me understand why people adore politicians and how morality is built into the fabric of the world.
Not bad for an 18th Century bureaucrat.

Russ Roberts has been treated well on these pages. His The Price of Everything somehow escaped Review Corner, but in searching I found several recommendations to buy it -- once to buy two copies. His latest is How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness.

While everyone thinks of Adam Smith as the author of Wealth of Nations, Roberts plumbs the depths of his first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. I actually read Wealth of Nations. My first economics course assigned several sections and I just read the whole thing. His prose is indeed a bit dense for the modern reader but I enjoyed it. I went back recently to read Theory of Moral Sentiments and stopped a third of the way through. I don't know if I have lost my appreciation for turgid or whether the subject was less interesting, but I quit. I'm not proud of it but, like Spike, I'm man enough to admit it.

Roberts's book on the book (P.J. O'Rourke did a pretty good one on Wealth of Nations), conversely, enraptured me. Why didn't I get this out of it? Some authors are better read about than read. Even my hero Karl Popper falls into this class: Richard Dawkins, Michael Oakeshott -- perhaps I'll just put Smith on this list. Yet I would love to connect with ToMS as Roberts did.

Wealth of Nations is about economics; Theory of Moral Sentiments is about personal choices and structuring your life for optimal satisfaction. That's the conventional wisdom and Roberts does a great job comparing and contrasting the two works. But he asks first whether they are different as they appear. He tries to explain the heart of economics to casual contacts who think he can grace them with a hot stock pick:

Alas, I am not an accountant or a stockbroker, I explain. But one very useful thing I've learned from economics is to be skeptical of advice from stockbrokers about the latest stock that's sure to skyrocket. Saving you from losses isnt as exciting as promising you millions, but it's still pretty valuable.

But the real point is that economics is about something more important than money. Economics helps you understand that money isnt the only thing that matters in life. Economics teaches you that making a choice means giving up something. And economics can help you appreciate complexity and how seemingly unrelated actions and people can become entangled .


Smith's suggestions for complexities and actions and personal choices are not about optimizing capital. Smith's suggestion to which Roberts keeps returning is the twelve words "Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely." To be worthy of esteem, to be admired and admirable. Roberts then mines some superb advice on achieving this

Knowing Roberts from his Café Hayek work and The Price of Everything, he is a great champion of liberty and free markets and limited government and I suspect the Infield Fly Rule. Channeling Smith's temperance and prudence, this is not a strident or pugnacious book. One can almost hear Smith telling me and my Facebook friends to tone it down a bit. The developer of the invisible hand is dubious about excesses of ambition, the great sage of free trade (who ended his career employed as a tariff collector) cautions about excesses in desiring and acquiring the latest gadgets, conveniences and contrivances. The new watch you covet, he cautions, is not likely to make you more punctual.

There are a few shots across the bow -- from Smith and Roberts that will fall harshly on certain ears 'around these parts. Sorry Randians:

This seems to confirm a commonly held view that Smith sees the world as driven by selfishness. Smith is often caricatured as a Scottish forerunner of Ayn Rand, who in addition to Atlas Shrugged wrote a book titled The Virtue of Selfishness. Smith spends a lot of time in The Theory of Moral Sentiments talking about various virtues. Selfishness does not make the cut.

And Prosperitarians:
My point is that the best case Smith can make for material prosperity and commercial life within the pages of The Theory of Moral Sentiments is pretty thin. He is saying that we have within us great drive and ambition, which serves us poorly as individuals but ultimately has led us out of caves and into the sunlight of civilization. It's a compliment, I suppose, but it's pretty backhanded.
[...]
Smith couldn't imagine a twenty-first-century machine -- a robot on an assembly line , or an electric razor. But his insights into technology are surprisingly prescient. He understood the human desire to make life easier, better, faster. And he also understood the seductive appeal of machines, and that ear pickers and nail clippers may not always deliver on their promise of excitement and novelty. But we want them anyway, and we look for ways to make them more effective and more elegant.

Roberts points out that the wealthy of his day were noblemen and assorted leeches. Perhaps a McCloskeyesque bourgeoisie would have been more pleasing to his temperament. But I would not bet the proce of a new iEarPicker S6 on it. Smith is the anti-firebrand, though his name comes up frequently in fiery arguments. A longer look shows that he offers wisdom and sagacity -- some better ways to "be lovely."

Smith in his book and with his life is telling us how to live. Seek wisdom and virtue. Behave as if an impartial spectator is watching you. Use the idea of an impartial spectator to step outside yourself and see yourself as others see you. Use that vision to know yourself. Avoid the seductions of money and fame, for they will never satisfy.

This is a superb and charming book. Five stars.

But johngalt thinks:

"See yourself as others see you." Know yourself, seek wisdom and virtue, avoid false virtues. This is truly selfishness, is it not?

The "selfishness" that "does not make the cut" is a package deal comprised of other, shall we say, attributes, that are commonly viewed as benefitting the self but, in fact, are harmful. But your closing quote is quite an elegant description of how to make oneself a priority for one's thoughts and actions.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2014 2:15 PM

October 17, 2014

Libertario Delenda Est!

May I rant? It's been a tough week.

The midterms are shaping up pretty well. I've no crystal ball or hot line to pollsters (I did get queried by Quinnipiac last night). But whatever happens, I am pretty proud of the GOP. Just this once. We did not nominate a Todd Akin this time; Colorado it seems has done a decent job deflecting the #waronwomen trope. Fundraising seems pretty good.

Democracy is good for only one thing and that is retribution. When "the bums" pass legislation you don't like, "the bums" can be thrown out. As Glenn Reynolds says "the purpose of the Sword of Damocles is that it hangs." The difference between an actual democracy and a sham like Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Kim Jung Un's North Korea, or Richard Daley's Chicago is that you can lose; who cares if the occupant won -- it's real if he or she can lose.

Poised with the chance to send a brutal message to the House, Senate, and Executive which foisted the PPACAo2010 on us, I would think we could line up the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea. Yet my success with big-L libs, whom I expected to be responsive to reason, is comparable to my successes convincing progressives. Videlicet, the big goose egg.

I've had some fiery exchanges with a bright Facebook friend this week. He's a great guy, but he has located every nutjob in every State House or Dog Catcher race. While the GOP did not have a Todd Akin in a major race, there are some down-ticket doozies. And my friend has posted every MSNBC, Mother Jones, Gawker, or Slate Post saying "See! The Tea Party really is racist and homophobic! How can you possibly vote for such a party?" I had the same conversation with Andrew Sullivan once. It's a big beautiful country and I will not be responsible for what everybody in it says.

This same week, I watched absolute meltdowns by libertarian and independent candidates. And this is where I start to get prickly. The third party gadflies are so many magnitudes removed from serious contention that there is never any vetting or substantive criticism. The GOP candidate for state district E-I-E-I-O on Oklahoma gets a microscope. While...

LOTR-F favorite Mayor Michael Dunafon is running for Governor. He's a strip club owner and liberty activist. I missed his talk but watched the video -- it's great. But he was brought back for a debate with Libertarian Matthew Hess last Monday. But he canceled -- not because of a fan -- but because he had the chance to go smoke weed with Snoop Dogg. People gave him money and put his signs up and pushed him on Facebook and he cannot be bothered to attend a debate. Who cares if he gets 0.9% or 0.89% of the vote anyway?

That's Monday. Tuesday, Gov. Gary Johnson is on The Independents in his "hi" T-shirt to promote his marijuana branding company. He gets a fawning interview. Is he running in 2016? Yeah probably. Oh boy. (You know, he ran for NM Governor as a Republican, won, and advanced the cause of liberty. His career as a big-L? Not. So. Much.)

Wednesday they had the Libertarian Senate Candidate and Pizza driver Sean Haugh of North Carolina. Like Montana in 2006, he might spoil the race for the Democrat.

My Facebook (and real live corporeal LORT-F) friend and I want the same things. The Independents's hosts and I as well. But the free passes handed out to these gadfly candidates are too much. Libertario Delenda Est.

But johngalt thinks:

Speculation: Supporting a minor party candidate is a form of "fence-sitting" or saying "none of the above" to the D or R choices. One big reason for the "No and Hell No" stance is that there are so many other people one may come across that have nothing but hatred for one or the other of the major party candidates (or parties.) So by refusing to identify with one of the "un-cool" candidates, our voting subject can claim to be "cool" in almost any circle.

And then there is the nice bonus of never having to explain why you voted for someone who screwed up in office. Because, well, connect the dots.

"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny its existence cannot be swayed by it. They cannot help you. Leave them alone." - Rand, Ayn

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2014 7:23 PM

Truth

Or All Hail Arnold Kling! He explicitly states something I have long implied. The nonprofit sector is neither the Tocquevillian collection of little platoons envisioned by the right, nor the sainted centre of altruism as seen by the left. It is actually an excuse for bloat and misdirected efforts.

For-profit firms are accountable to customers and subject to the discipline of competition. Nonprofits need only please their donors to remain in existence, regardless of whether they effectively serve their mission.

Any change in the tax status of nonprofits raises difficult issues. For example, the longstanding policy of not taxing religious institutions is viewed by many as an element of the separation of church and state. However, apart from religious institutions, I would advocate that nonprofits be subject to the same taxes as for-profit firms. In particular, I believe that exempting hospitals and universities from real estate taxes gives these institutions an unfair advantage in expensive urban areas.

Other tax issues might be moot if instead of taxing income or profits we shifted to a tax on the consumption of goods and services. Such a tax system would place profit-seeking firms and nonprofits on an equal footing. It would continue to exempt donations from tax, but it would equally exempt other forms of saving and investment.

Regardless of what might be done with tax policy, I can definitely advocate for a change in the perceived moral status of the nonprofit sector. We should not elevate nonprofits to a higher pedestal than that of for-profit firms. We should stop telling our children that working for a nonprofit is in any way morally superior to working for a profit-seeking enterprise.


I tell people I have bad luck with nonprofits. It is something of a joke in that every time I have been involved with one it has ended badly for me. But ThreeSourcers know I do not consider myself anything but fortunate -- the problem is the lack of discipline in the sector.

You get your license from the King 501(c)3 (well, if Ms. Lerner likes the cut of your jib...) and you get deals on postage and freedom from taxes. Your donors can now deduct contributions. All because you cleared a government hurdle. Distortionary much?

The charity deduction is sacrosanct and will likely survive any reform ever. But it should not; giving the government power to define "good charities" is a mistake.



I would call it honesty

Suppy%20v%20Demand%2C%20dem%20style.png

Nice follow on to the post about Krugman saying that deficits aren't all that worrying. Of course, intellectual inconsistency isn't a surprise for liberals. As I paraphrase PowerLine from last week: "modern liberalism isn't about results, it's about feeling good about yourself."

Posted by nanobrewer at 4:02 PM | What do you think? [5 comments]
But jk thinks:

Venntastic!

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2014 4:14 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Feel free to post it up FB; I'm struggling to find a job, so must feign cowardice and only post under nom-de-plume's.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 20, 2014 12:29 AM
But jk thinks:

??? Send a resume. It's almost a requirement that every ThreeSourcer must work at Spectra for some time.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2014 10:31 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Spectra Logic or Link? If Spectra Link, I applied for a Regulatory Compliance job for which I was a very good match. Never heard a word. Spectra(Logic) could be tricky, I'm about 99% analog...

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 21, 2014 10:47 AM
But jk thinks:

Logic (though we did have Spectralink phones for a while...)

It's just like analog -- round up.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2014 11:23 AM

YES!

I couldn't agree more.

"Sen. Rand Paul tells POLITICO that the Republican presidential candidate in 2016 could capture one-third or more of the African-American vote by pushing criminal-justice reform, school choice and economic empowerment."

(...)

When pressed on his ambitious goal, Paul upped the ante: "I don't want to limit it to that. I don't want to say there's only a third open. The reason I use the number 'a third,' is that when you do surveys of African-American voters, a third of them are conservative on a preponderance of the issues. So, there is upside potential."

"As I travel and I go and meet with African-American leaders -- they may not be ready to embrace a Republican yet," Paul added. "But they say that they're very happy that we're competing for their vote. And they often tell me, 'You know what? I haven't seen my Democrat representative in a while.'"

It's remarkable how much better folks think of you when you TALK to them. And for this particular demographic, Republican candidates don't even need to learn Spanish.

But johngalt thinks:

When I read "criminal-justice reform" I think "end the drug war."

NOW we'll get some comments goin'!

Yes, I am suggesting that a large share of the black vote is lost by Republicans over their "law and order" stance on drug enforcement. Yet another unintended consequence - electoral welfare for Democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2014 3:59 PM

Tweet of the Day

Jonah Goldberg suggests "At some point we must ask, 'Why do they hate our breakfast beverages?'"

But johngalt thinks:

What is "Zionist Juice?" Wait. Don't answer that.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2014 3:55 PM

Ezra Klein Digs Deeper

Ze Vox Wünderkind doubles down on a non-correction, and Sean Davis delivers a takedown (what we used to call it a "fisking" during the tech bubble):

Look, I get that this is Vox, and that expecting basic fact-checking from a TMZ-style celebrity photo click farm is about as reasonable as expecting a full day's worth of nutrition from a Pop Tart and a pack of Skittles, but come on. This isn't that hard. It's not like somebody asked Ezra Klein to tell us how old the Constitution is.

Editor's Note: In light of the Klein-bashing over the past few days, I need to clarify something. I suggested in a comment that FOX-31's Eli Stokels was "Colorado's Ezra Klein." I meant that he is young, left-biased, assigned to the political beat, and yes, perhaps, maybe just a little smarmy or arrogant. I do not assert that he is as "illiberal a liberal" as Klein.

With that keen endorsement, I'll move along...


October 16, 2014

C'mon and Gimme Some Votin'

JK has voted, and so have nearly a million of his fellows.

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow some form of advance voting other than traditional absentee voting requiring an excuse.

(...)

In the 2010 midterms, when Republicans regained control of the House and won sweeping victories in statehouses around the country, advance voting accounted for almost 27 million ballots out of more than 89 million, meaning about 3 out of 10 voters cast early ballots. Almost 129 million people voted in the 2012 presidential election, 35.8 percent of them before Election Day.

So my blog brother is still in the minority, but for how long?

But jk thinks:

Jon Caldera rails against mail-in ballots versus "voting day." I suspect much of it is nostalgic, but there are some valid points.

I enjoy the convenience and think it trumps other concerns. The fraud is facilitated by the no-request provision. Send a ballot to everyone who requested one or voted last time. Not "had a pulse once."

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2014 7:44 PM

And that phlogisten scare...

I don't do a ton of general purpose trolling on the Internet at large, but I spoke my piece on a "Garden of Eatin'" solicitation for Prop 105 (labeling of GMOs).

gmo_facebook.jpg

Well, yes, that is similar -- there was a junk science article, followed by a big scare and public indignation -- then a lot of manufacturers changed their products. And ten years later, it was proven to be absolute bullshit. Trans-fats don't really hurt you at all.

Good point. (No, that is just for ThreeSourcers, I'm done.)


We're from the NIH and We're Here to Help

With billion-dollar budgets, why doesn't the NIH or CDC have an established program for dealing with national health emergencies? Umm, it does.

The Progressive belief that a powerful government can stop all calamity is misguided. In the last 10 years we passed multiple pieces of legislation to create funding streams, offices, and management authorities precisely for this moment. That we have nothing to show for it is not good reason to put even more faith in government without learning anything from our repeated mistakes. Responding to the missing Ebola Czar and her offices corruption by throwing still more money, more management changes, and more bureaucratic complexity in her general direction is madness.

Betcha didn't know the US Government already has an Ebola Czar. Yessir, ol' what's her name.


And It's Here!


2014 Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | What do you think? [2 comments]
But johngalt thinks:

Our ballots arrived on Tuesday, October 14, the first day they were legally permitted to be mailed. That postal service efficiency is off the hook - 0 days for delivery!

Some suggest returning them quickly so that you don't get campaign calls asking you to vote. I think that's a bad idea. Here's why:

While everyone knows that vote count results are not released until after polls close on the last day of election weeks, few realize that, under Colorado law, General Election ballot counting may begin as early as October 20th "(15 days before the election)". [Seriously. That's how they word it. Ballots may be counted "before the election."] Which means that SOMEONE knows what the running total is. Who believes that NOBODY ever leaks ANY results to ANYONE before the polls close? Would you like to buy some "beach front" property in Florida?

And beyond the possible ILLEGAL electioneering that is possible, the Secretary of State offers, for a fee, "electronic download access to the listed data extracts (blah blah) The following reports are included with the subscription:"

Most importantly:

"Statewide Mail Ballots Returned (CE-018) for the primary, general, and odd-year elections - hourly after ballots are mailed

Statewide In-Person Voting List (CE-019) for the primary, general and odd year elections - hourly after in-person voting begins"

[emphasis mine]

So what? Yes, you're right, this is not the information on HOW each voter voted, but it is the information on WHO voted and WHAT PARTY each is affiliated with. (How else would candidates know who hasn't voted yet, so those voters can be called, which you can prevent by voting early?) Combine this with same-day registration on demand and a determined party could "move" votes wherever they are "needed" quite effectively, to achieve the turnout percentages they have estimated in advance to be needed to put their guy over the top.

Who thinks I'm wrong? Just $100 per acre. No HOA. Unobstructed views. And, gator free!

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2014 3:05 PM
But jk thinks:

I returned mine immediately because I want it to count if I get hit by a bus. Not that I don't appreciate your nuanced observation and game theory (but I got this cough and a sore shoulder and...)

That said . . . Eli Stokels (Colorado's own Ezra Klein)'s Sunday show featured a debate between the Democrat and Republican SecState candidates. (The Republican will be at the S Weld County GOP breakfast this week in the JG Barony of Ft. Lupton...)

We have so many highly visible top ticket races this year, but if the Democrat gets elected we will never have a fair election in this state ever again. I know those are strong words, and I attest that the candidate seems to be a very good guy. He's a bright and well spoken immigrant from I-forget-the-West-African nation who sees it as his goal to expand the franchise and make it easier to vote.

For those outside the State, our Democratic majority the term before this passed sweeping new election rules. Everybody gets a ballot in the mail and you can register the day of the election even on the promise that "you intend to move into the district." Anti-fraud groups have shown apartment buildings with stacks of ballots sitting on tables with the Supermarket inserts. Jon Caldera registered -- on camera -- in a Colorado Springs district on "intent to move" and cast a blank ballot to show it could be done.

Like Minnesota before the Al Franken Mafia, we have a good record of clean elections. But the vehicle for fraud is now there and only a pugnacious SecState keeps it from devolving into LBJ's home county in Texas.

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2014 4:15 PM

For the record

There is a standing protocol, established by CDC, for protection of caregivers treating Ebola patients. for "Viral hemorrhagic fevers due to Lassa, Ebola, Marburg, Crimean-Congo fever viruses:"

Single-patient room preferred. Emphasize: 1) use of sharps safety devices and safe work practices, 2) hand hygiene; 3) barrier protection against blood and body fluids upon entry into room (single gloves and fluid-resistant or impermeable gown, face/eye protection with masks, goggles or face shields); and 4) appropriate waste handling. Use N95 or higher respirators when performing aerosol-generating procedures. Largest viral load in final stages of illness when hemorrhage may occur; additional PPE, including double gloves, leg and shoe coverings may be used, especially in resource-limited settings where options for cleaning and laundry are limited. Notify public health officials immediately if Ebola is suspected 212, 314, 740, 772Also see Table 3 for Ebola as a bioterrorism agent

While OSHA is a separate matter, CDC has established a protocol. Take that, sensationalizers.


Just Sayin'

Perhaps if we started executing some WaPo journalists for rank stupidity -- whether warranted or not -- the salubrious effects on Ezra Klein the others and would make it worthwhile.

UPDATE: A more measured take from Jonathan Chait.

But johngalt thinks:

My sentiment as well, after reading Klein's rationalization for totalitarian thuggery "ugly problems don't always have pretty solutions."

Chait said: "Ezra Klein is not a nut; he is the polar opposite of one, which is what makes it so important that he is arguing in such expressly illiberal terms."

Bravo! All this open and public talk about the illiberalism of the left (and wherever else it be found, but especially, now, on the left) warms my heart and gives me an optimism for hopeful change.

Or the bumper sticker version:

I HOPE that liberals will CHANGE their illiberal ways.

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2014 12:16 PM

Don't click this. Comments (2)