Monday, October 26, 2015

Another Voice: We don’t need a federal law limiting ticket ‘bots’

schumerPaul McCartney scheduled a visit to Buffalo for the first time in his legendary career. I am a lifelong fan who had mouse poised at the precise moment tickets went on sale. I did not get a ticket. “Scalper bots” had apparently bought them faster than virtually anyone else could click on a seat. I was disappointed.

But I’m even more disappointed to hear there is support for a federal law prohibiting these kinds of programs. Under the guise of protecting the environment (but really just more crony capitalist scams), we already have the federal government telling us what light bulbs we may use and how much water our toilets are allowed to flush. We don’t need a law telling us how to buy and sell tickets to a rock concert.

The first and foremost reason is principle. Concert tickets are private property. They belong to the promoters of the concert, who have a right to sell 100 percent of them to customers using purchasing software. They also have a right to develop software to prevent bots from buying their tickets. The government’s role in exchanges of property is to ensure these property rights are secure, not to violate them as this bill proposes to do for the convenience of those who seem to believe someone owes them a concert ticket.

Read the rest at The Buffalo News...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Libertarian Moment Is Alive and Well, Regardless of Rand Paul's Campaign


Rand Paul's campaign reported $2.5 million in donations for the entire third quarter, a precipitous drop from his previous reports and a fraction of what rivals Ben Carson ($20 million) and Jeb Bush ($12 million) brought in. That and anemic poll numbershave inspired many to not only pronounce Paul's presidential campaign dead, but to gleefully declare the so-called "Libertarian Moment" over.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Anyone who believes the presidential election is a barometer of how libertarian America is becoming doesn't understand libertarianism and isn't paying attention to what's happening in the real world. Libertarians don't believe government solves anything, no matter who is running it. The purest libertarians refuse to vote on principle.

As radical as that might sound, almost half of all eligible American voters behave the same way, if not for the same reasons. Let's face it, most Americans couldn't name three policies held by the frontrunner in either party and couldn't explain one in detail.

This is often ridiculed in the myriad You Tube videos where men and women "on the street" are asked basic policy questions and don't have a clue what policies their candidates support. You're supposed to assume they're stupid.
For the most part, they're not stupid. They just don't care. They may say they support this or that candidate when a microphone is shoved in their face, but in reality they live their lives, do their jobs and run their businesses without giving politics a second thought. This is an inherently libertarian worldview and it's growing.

Read the rest at The Huffington Post...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What if school shootings are caused by drugs instead of guns?

adderallWhat if the entire schooling paradigm of having children sit at a desk for 8 hours is especially unnatural for boys?

What if schools have been decreasing opportunities to release pent up energy and making boys even more repressed while participating in this compulsory institution?

What if society has responded over the past several decades by inventing new pseudo-diseases like “ADHD” to describe normal, boyish behavior and then recommended treatment of these non-diseases with psychotropic drugs whose known side effects are homicidal and suicidal thoughts?

What if these drugs succeed in keeping boys at their desks but for a small percentage result in them flipping out and acting on the homicidal and suicidal thoughts caused by the pills they are taking?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why Can't Russia and China Help Police the World?

n-PUTIN-largePresident Obama today announced his administration's reluctant agreement to work with Russia and Iran to defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Middle East. This will no doubt be met with howls of "Weakness!" and "leading from behind" by Mr. Obama's Republican detractors.

We may even hear the tired "appeasement" argument trotted out regarding both Russia's and Iran's supposed ambitions to expand their territories.

Republicans have consistently criticized Obama for not being aggressive enough on the world stage and for pulling back too early from Iraq and Afghanistan. With the emergence of ISIS, the GOP has seized the opportunity to quash more reasonable foreign policy positions from candidates like Rand Paul and push for sharper increases in military spending and even more aggressive foreign intervention.

The argument we hear repeatedly from Republican presidential candidates is that Obama has "eviscerated the military" and "led from behind." If the United States is not "engaged" (i.e., bombing or invading) in all crises at all times in every part of the world, emerging powers like Russia or China are going to fill the resulting vacuum. That raises an obvious question:

So, what?

Read the rest at The Huffington Post...

The Real Reason Rand Paul is Losing to Trump and Carson: Republican Voters Want Bigger Government

Official PortraitRand Paul's campaign actually showed faint signs of life in the last ABC/Washington Post poll, where his 5 percent showing has him within striking distance of Jeb Bush and every other candidate besides Donald Trump and Ben Carson. That's little consolation considering the poll shows Carson at 20 percent and rising sharply and Trump doing the same at 33 percent.

There has been a lot of digital ink and hot air expended on why Paul fell from the GOP lead as "the most interesting man in politics" to a long shot candidate fighting for scraps with the Walkers, Bushes and other members of the rejected "establishment." There have been reports of infighting among the campaign staff, Paul's failure to energize his father's activist base and even his reluctance to woo big money donors.

One would think that last "shortcoming" would be appealing to voters fed up with Washington insiders, but apparently not so for Paul.

The most prevalent theory is that in trying to avoid alienating mainstream Republican voters while championing his father's libertarian platform, Paul has alienated both groups: libertarians and traditional Republicans. That sounds good, but it doesn't add up.

Read the rest at The Huffington Post...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What If Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal Is All About Oil?

oil rigRepublicans jumped the shark last week in apoplectic frenzy after President Obama secured enough support in the Senate to ensure Congress will not block U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), popularly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said it would lead to a "holocaust" and that the United States is "at existential risk."

Rep. Steven King (R-IA) said the Iran nuclear deal represented "a seminal moment in the history of the world," saying it "means to [sic] tens of millions of lives down the road."

Marco Rubio said lifting the sanctions would allow Iran to bolster its defensive capabilities and "raise the price of us operating in the region," apparently unaware of the millions of Americans who don't want the U.S. military operating in the Middle East at all.

At the same time, CNN reported Iran plans to increase oil production as soon as possible after the sanctions are lifted, adding approximately 1.5 million more barrels per day to the world oil supply by the end of 2016.
Isn't anyone even curious if there is a connection?

Read the rest at The Huffington Post...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Iran is giving up far more than the United States in nuclear deal

Iran Nuclear Deal Who Says WhatRepublicans in Congress are ramping up their rhetoric against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated by President Obama. The president wants this deal badly enough to once again play fast and loose with the constitutional limits on executive power. The Republicans want to snuff the deal badly enough to say anything, no matter how ridiculous, to incite opposition.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Stuart Varney Thursday: "This is a treaty. The Constitution requires that a treaty have two thirds of those present concur, in the Senate, on ratification."

He is right about that. The Constitution doesn't say anything about "executive agreements." Any international agreement negotiated by the president is either a treaty or unconstitutional. But then, Gohmert went on to make this ridiculous statement:

"There is a holocaust looming and we have an obligation to stop it and not play politics like this does. We can stop this if we call it what it is, call it a treaty and quit playing political games because Israel is at stake. They're the Little Satan, but we are the Great Satan and this nation is at existential risk."

Read the rest at The Huffington Post...