Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just Some Stuff 3

Video via The Skratch Padd

A constitutionally limited government provides the services of security and justice. To accomplish this, it establishes a system of national defense, police and courts—these are the means of production of security and justice. By definition then, limited government is socialist (i.e., state ownership of the means of production.) It’s also socialist in the sense that the provision of security and justice is socialized: the costs and benefits are collectively shared. Furthermore, these services are funded through involuntary taxation and private citizens are coercively prohibited from competing in their provision. Government is inherently a coercive socialist monopoly. Therefore, constitutionalists are socialists, as they support limited government. (To be precise, constitutionalists are coercive socialists—I have nothing against voluntary socialism, which is perfectly legitimate.)
The thing is, they also consider the principles of liberty to be important. Constitutionalists believe that markets are better than central planning, but that government is necessary to protect liberty—that government is a necessary evil. This contradictory position mainly exists because they lack the understanding of the logical conclusion of the principles of liberty: the stateless society.
Constitutionalism is Socialism

Dear friends, I had quite a harrowing trip over the mountain on the interstate heading to AZ a couple of months ago. There were reports of snow in the mountains, but since it had stopped raining earlier in the day where I work, I figured it couldn't be that bad. I get off work late during the week, so it was of course dark out. When I drive East I usually go at night. Well, as I got closer and closer to the east county area the sky got darker and darker. I could see clouds up ahead. Nah, couldn't be that bad, why would it still be raining when it stopped completely by work hours ago? But no, here it came, rain, and lots of it.

I thought I could deal okay with a little rain, but as I left the city lights behind it began to snow! There was a sign back there somewhere saying "extreme winter conditions up ahead" but I'd paid it no mind. Still, I went on, until my car started to slide when I tried to merge into the other lane. WTF? My wheels were spinning, and what's more, there was thick snow covering the fast lanes, just the one right hand lane was really open, with cars and huge trucks backed up in a long, long line. But even the one lane not covered in snow was covered in ice, and I could hear my tires struggling each time I put my foot on the accelerator. I'm never going to make it, I thought. I promised myself if only I made it safely over the pass and down into the desert, I would write my friend Sara more often.

My mom then called on my cell phone while I was driving. "How bad is it?" she wanted to know. "Maybe you should turn around and go back."

"It's snowing and the freeway is covered in ice, and if I turn around somewhere I'll be going through the same thing again anyway" (I'd made it pretty far by that time, you see) .

I figured if I could make it to the Indian casino at the summit, I'd be okay. I could either stop there if conditions were bad, or just keep going, because just past that point the downgrade begins and it would get better the lower the altitude was. Sure enough that was the case, and other than a massive, blinding sand storm in the desert, the trip was uneventful after that.

Over the past four years I've asked police officers throughout the U.S. (and in Canada) two questions. When's the last time you had to fight someone under the influence of marijuana? (I'm talking marijuana only, not pot plus a six-pack or a fifth of tequila.) My colleagues pause, they reflect. Their eyes widen as they realize that in their five or fifteen or thirty years on the job they have never had to fight a marijuana user. I then ask: When's the last time you had to fight a drunk? They look at their watches.

All of which begs the question. If one of these two drugs is implicated in dire health effects, high mortality rates, and physical violence--and the other is not--what are we to make of our nation's marijuana laws? Or alcohol laws, for that matter. -- Norm Stamper on the Huffington Post (h/t to Utah Savage).

How to Get to Heaven

A woman was testing the children in her Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to Heaven. She asked them, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, Would that get me into Heaven?"

"NO!" the children answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?"

Again, the answer was, "NO!"

By now she was starting to smile. Hey, this was fun! "Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?" she asked them again.

Again, they all answered, "NO!

She was just bursting with pride for them. "Well," she continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD."

Two Beggars

Two beggars are sitting side by side on a street in Rome. One has a cross in front of him; the other one the Star of David. Many people go by and look at both beggars, but only put money into the hat of the beggar sitting behind the cross.

A priest comes by, stops and watches throngs of people giving money to the beggar behind the cross, but none give to the beggar behind the Star of David. Finally, the priest goes over to the beggar behind the Star of David and says,"My poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic country, this city is the seat of Catholicism. People aren't going to give you money if you sit there with a Star of David in front of you, especially when you're sitting beside a beggar who has a cross. In fact, they would probably give to him just out of spite."

The beggar behind the Star of David listened to the priest, turned to the other beggar with the cross and said: "Moishe, look who's trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing."

It's Squirrel Time!

Q: Who is the most famous male singing elephant?
A: Harry Elephante.

Q: What did the cat say to the elephant?
A: Meow.

Q: How can you tell when an elephant is under your bed?
A: Your nose is squashed against the ceiling.

Q: Why did the elephant cross the road?
A: To get to the circus.

1 comment:

  1. Skeptical Eye v Benjamin Tucker:


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