Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Lefty Who Thinks Rand Paul in the Senate is a Good Idea

Signs of sanity on the left:

Truthdig: "Who's Afraid of Rand Paul?"

Lefty-journalist warhorse Robert Scheer cheers last night's Randslide:
Count me as one lefty liberal who is not the least bit unhappy with the victory by Rand Paul in Kentucky's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Not because it might make it easier for some Democratic Party hack to win in the general, but rather because he seems to be a principled libertarian in the mold of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and we need more of that impulse in the Congress. What's wrong with cutting back big government that mostly exists to serve the interests of big corporations? Surely it would be better if that challenge came from populist progressives of the left, in the Bernie Sanders mold, but this is Kentucky we're talking about.
Rand Paul, like his dad, is worthy of praise for standing in opposition to the Wall Street bailout, which will come to be marked as the greatest swindle in U.S. history and which was, as he noted on his website, an unconstitutional redistribution of income in favor of the undeserving rich [...]
Heresy, I know, but it is only thanks to Ron Paul, the father and hopefully the mentor of the potential Kentucky senator, that we got a congressional mandate to audit the Fed’s role in the banking bailout. How bad could it be to have another irascible Paul in the Congress?  
Whole thing here.
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan has a rich sampling of reaction here (thanks to reader Ray Eckhart for the tip).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ron Paul on the crisis in Greece - and later California, then the US!

Guy's been talking like this for a long time -- are we finally listening?

How should we think about stuff like the Gulf oil spill?

This is a tough one -- oil companies with corrupt relations with state and federal governments, whom you just want to punch, versus a functioning economy. 'Reason' helps think it through -- by reminding us that it's seldom a black-and-white, good-guys-vs-bad-guys set of issues -- but almost always a set of tradeoffs that need to be honestly evaluated -- even though it suits everyone on all sides to be absolutist:

Weighing the Benefits and Costs of Offshore Drilling
Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey examines the environmental costs and economic benefits of offshore drilling: "Two weeks ago BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers. The exploratory well began gushing oil at an estimated rate of 5,000 barrels per day when the blowout prevention system failed. The growing oil slick menaces the marshes and beaches of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Should the slick come ashore, previous research suggests the deleterious effects on fisheries and wildlife would be substantial and long-lasting. As someone who has enjoyed the sugar white sands of Alabama’s beaches, it is a terrible shame that they are at risk of being despoiled by oily muck. But as someone who also enjoys the conveniences of modern civilization including the on-demand mobility offered by airplanes and automobiles that enable me to visit those beaches, I understand deciding whether or not to continue offshore exploration for oil and gas, a calm quantitative approach makes more sense than a rush to ban drilling after seeing some pictures of oily birds. It would be useful to figure out if the costs, economic and ecological, outweigh the benefits of producing offshore oil and gas."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Walter E. Williams : Salt Tyrants -

Walter E. Williams : Salt Tyrants - He makes a good point. If you believe government's writ is everything politicians and bureaucrats think is good for you, how far away are you from tyranny? And when tyranny comes, what protest will you have *in principle*? None - you've already given away your principles.

It always starts thus: Tobacco, of course, because it's bad for you. Salt - silly, but what harm in letting them control that? Save me from having to think about it.

One fine day they'll get to something you think is important, or inane, or offensive. And you'll be out of luck. Because your view is not rule-of-law, your view is what-I-and-people-who-think-like-me-think-is-reasonable.

That view dooms you.

If that assertion puzzles you, we have a long, long conversation ahead of us....


Michael Medved : Should Government Guarantee Our Right to Cars? -

Michael Medved : Should Government Guarantee Our Right to Cars? - I love sarcasm!

John Stossel : Everyone Prospers With Free Trade -

John Stossel : Everyone Prospers With Free Trade -- True since Adam Smith, and still true.

George Will : When Indignation Trumps Information -

George Will : When Indignation Trumps Information - (Immigration policy)