Saturday, March 31, 2007

Walk right in, it's around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track...

"I would introduce this novel idea that we ought to follow the constitution."

Dr. Ron Paul on MSNBC:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's official!

Not long ago, I was on the same flight to DC with Bud Cramer. When we reached the terminal at Reagan, I said to him, "Congressman, give my best to Ron Paul!" An honest man and perhaps the humble American republic's last hope, Dr. Paul is officially a candidate for president!

Notable quotes:

  • "I'm very confident about the message of liberty and the constitution. I'm very confident that the American people are sick and tired of what they're getting. And I'm also very confident that the Republican party has gone in the wrong direction. We used to be the party of small government, but now we're the party of Big Government."
  • "My main thrust would be I would emphasize my oath of office. As a congressman, I emphasize that. As president, I would emphasize that. And that is, to obey the constitution, which strictly limits the power of government. It strictly limits the power of the executive branch. It strictly limits the power of the congress -- and even the courts. That would be my goal: to shrink the size and scope of government, believing very sincerely that the benefits to people are far better off in a free society than in an authoritarian society. When government is involved in central planning, and running the world, running the economy, and running our personal lives, we're not better off: we're worse off."
  • "If we don't get a handle on the entitlements, if we don't get a handle on all this foreign adventurism, this country is going broke. Actually, I think the country is insolvent. It's just the fact that the world still accepts our dollars that we can still get away with this. Yes, we can have full accountability, but the ultimate accountability has to be to make sure that we hold government under control -- that we not allow it to continue to grow or try to do everything conceivable at the central level."
  • "Very simply, governments always like inflation, that is, the creation of money out of thin air to debase the value of your currency. This is the reason that we don't have a gold standard: because big-government conservatives and big-government liberals like to spend money. But they really don't like the taxes, and there's a limit to how much they can borrow... and every time they create new money, they devalue the money we have in our pockets. So it's a tax on us; it's a sinister, immoral tax..."
  • "[Inflation is] so destructive because it's the most regressive of all taxes. Poor people and the middle class eventually get wiped out by rising prices. Now government tells us there's only a 2% inflation rate, but that's not true: the inflation rate for poor people and the middle class might be 6 or 8 or 10 percent. Who benefits the most? It's the wealthy class: the bankers, the domestic industries, the military-industrial complex."
  • "The answer to this is gold and silver, and that's still the law of the land. Under the constitution, only gold and silver can be legal tender, yet it's been a good many years since we've completely forgotten about it. We've had no connection -- our dollar's had no connection to gold since 1971. If you look at the problems we've had since that time, they're definitely related."
  • "I would come home [from Iraq] as soon as possible."
  • "Liberty will provide the answers that we need."

Dr. Paul is for peace and friendships among nations. When he gives his solemn word to uphold and defend the constitution, he'll really do it: he won't merely be reading a script. A politician is actually making an issue of sound money!

Ron Paul is a true American. See the video below for more details.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wal-Mart, health care, and irresistable market forces

Bo's post today about Wal-Mart made me think of an excellent definition, thanks to Byrne's Eye View:

capitalism
Economic system under which any legitimate complaint can be rephrased as a decent business plan…

Bo's complaint is about customer service: it can take a long time to get in and out of the place. In a free market, goods are allocated by price and by time. When we think of Tiffany & Co., for example, a price tag with many digits comes to mind, but if a customer walks in weary from hauling around so much cash, they'll graciously relieve him of that burden.

Wal-Mart chooses the opposite corner: low prices but slow service. Target's business model attracts customers with more money to spend, and they do it with features such as cleaner stores and better customer service, which their customers value more highly than the few extra dollars that they trade in return.

Even deeper in the corner of low price and long lines are the popular proposals for "free" health care. (As P.J. O'Rourke quipped, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait till it's free.") The "free" health care in Canada and the UK are characterized by long waiting lists -- which exist for exactly the same reasons as the bread lines in the Soviet Union.

Economist Ludwig von Mises wrote, "Even the most mighty government, operating with the utmost severity, cannot succeed in endeavors that are contrary to what has been called 'economic law.'" The mighty United States government has sort of a pilot program for "free," "single-payer" health care: the VA's frightening maze, and, boy, is it a success!

I'm confident that the calls for "free" health care are well-meaning, but their inevitable result would cruelly force everyone into the same trap -- while politicians insult everyone with unending proclamations of success. (Don't be surprised if members of the congress also give themselves a "special" health care system just as they did with Social Security.)

The lesson is simple: there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

"How's that working out for you -- being clever?"

Timeless political commentary

Insincerity. Gratuitous appeals to emotion. Tired clichés. Focus-groupped pablum. Wanton demagoguery.

Refuse to allow your mind to be filled with this trash! Instead, enrich your mind with reasoned, intellectual analysis:

What is the attitude of the democrat when political rights are under discussion? How does he regard the people when a legislator is to be chosen? Ah, then it is claimed that the people have an instinctive wisdom; they are gifted with the finest perception; their will is always right; the general will cannot err; voting cannot be too universal . . .
But when the legislator is finally elected — ah! then indeed does the tone of his speech undergo a radical change. The people are returned to passiveness, inertness, and unconsciousness; the legislator enters into omnipotence. Now it is for him to initiate, to direct, to propel, and to organize. Mankind has only to submit; the hour of despotism has struck.

The passage above comes from The Law by Frédéric Bastiat, available as a two-part audio book from FreeAudio.org.

Remember this one?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mr. Dylan can moo! Can you?

Yes, it's as cool as you imagine!

Waterfalls are bad, mmmkay?

Adobe's Photoshop team reports success and joy from abandoning waterfall! For details, read an interview with co-architect Russell Williams in which he talks about the benefits of such practices as nightly builds; running, tested features; and continuous integration.

42 Presidents in 10 Minutes

42 presidents remain

Named so far:
None

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ron Paul on CNN

In this appearance from February 26, Dr. Ron Paul talks about economics, foreign policy, immigration reform, and upholding the constitution.