Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nashville Taxis, Michigan Pigs and Economic Liberty

What, you may be asking yourself, do Nashville taxis, Michigan pigs and economic liberty have in common?  On the surface, it would seem that Nashville taxis and Michigan pigs have nothing in common, though I suppose both could be considered as a means of conveyance.  But that is not the connection.  The connection between Nashville taxis and Michigan pigs is an economic one, and the governments of both states are attempting to kill them both off as a method of crushing economic liberty.

In Nashville, a startup taxi service, which has been exceptionally succesful in comparison to established Nashville taxi services, is being gradually killed, via legislative strangulation.

Bokhari bought a black Lincoln sedan and began offering cut-rate rides — an average of $25 — to and from the airport, around downtown and in neighborhoods not well served by taxis. After one year he had 12 cars. Now he has 20, and 15 independent contractors with their own cars, and a Web site, and lots of customers. He also has some enemies, including the established taxi and sedan companies and a city government that is, as interventionist governments generally are, devoted to regulations that protect the strong by preserving the status quo.

With the quiet support of the taxi companies, which have not raised rates since Bokhari and some similar entrepreneurs went into business, the limo companies got regulators to require a $45 minimum charge for any ride. Not content with that gross injury, government added crippling insults: It limited the age of cars and number of miles on them — regardless of the cars’ condition — and forbade dispatches via cellphones, which is how start-up limo companies operate.

In Michigan, long established small time family pig farmers are being killed off, but rather than gradually utilizing legislative strangulation to kill off these small time family pig farmers, the state is bringing in the guns.

The state of Michigan is only days away from engaging in what can only be called true “animal genocide”—the mass murder of ranch animals based on the color of their hair. It’s all part of a shocking new “Invasive Species Order” (ISO) put in place by Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This Invasive Species Order suddenly and shockingly defines virtually all open-range pigs raised by small family farms to be illegal “invasive species,” and possession of just one of these animals is now a felony crime in Michigan, punishable by up to four years in prison.

The cabbie who is driving for liberty

Insane Michigan government announces plan to destroy ranch livestock based on hair color and arrest hundreds of ranchers as felons

Nashville taxi story link via Keith Burgess-Jackson.  Michigan pig story link via Theo Spark.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/31 at 09:30 AM
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Seattle’s .30 Cal Gal

Here’s a gal, Annette Wachter, aka the 30 Cal Gal, who must drive her oh so progressive neighbors crazy, what with carrying rifles to and from her condo in downtown Seattle and being a champion shooter and all.  Her blog banner intro.

My name is Anette Wachter. I am an unusual woman in an unusual sport. I am a member of the U.S. Rifle Development Team, 2011 B.C. Rifle Champion, 2011 Wa. St. 300 Yd Champion and Civilian National record holder at 300 yards. A High Master in Mid and Long Range and Master Class in High Power. Now I am starting the fast and exciting sport of 3 Gun. SHOOT LIKE A GIRL! IF YOU CAN…..

Check out this 2:16 viddie interview of her at Joe Huffman’s place filed under the heading Winning.

I like this gal.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/31 at 08:40 AM
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Just Say No to Electrical Usage - Redux

Back in October 2008, I put up a post on electricity usage titled Just Say No to Electrical Usage.  I put up that post to mock a law which was passed in Pennsylvania mandating that electrical companies cut their electricity usage, noting that the next logical step would be for the State of Pennsylvania to pass a law mandating scheduled electrical outages for consumers, similar to scheduled electrical outages which took place in the Soviet Union.

Here’s an interesting post on cutting electrical usage in your home titled The Phantoms I’ve Killed, written by Tom Murphy, an associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.  The post is a bit lengthy, but is very interesting reading.

Linked via Fred Lapides.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/30 at 08:55 AM
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Regional Watery Toponyms

I can recall sitting with my Dad, one night, discussing the the whats and whys of flowing waters.  Here’s a river, this is a creek, this is a stream, etc.  Why is the one called a river and the other a stream, but not a creek?  We had our own theories as to the whats and whys of this, and, interestingly enough, this morning I stumbled upon an article at American Rivers, with map, on regional toponyms for water features which casts some insight on this subject.  I note that this watery toponym collection does not include crick, or creek, which just happen to be my favorite flowing waters to wade in pursuit of trout.

A River By Any Other Name.

Linked via Moldy Chum.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/30 at 08:12 AM
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Day in History

While there are a number of historical events tallied and recorded for March 29th, over the years, none seem quite so historic as the fact that today I begin my 53rd year, though this event, from 1934, pleases me to no end.  Happy Birthday to me.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 08:38 AM
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RIP Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs has picked his last earthly banjo.  Rest in peace, Earl Scruggs.

Earl Scruggs, Bluegrass Pioneer, Dies at 88

Posted by John Venlet on 03/29 at 08:20 AM
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hutaree Hysteria Concluded

When the Hutaree story first broke, back in March 2010, I titled my comments on the story Hutaree Hysteria.

Then, on April 28, 2010, I once again stated that the Hutaree hysteria story was simply hysteria, and that the charges against the Hutaree members was a collection of innuendos gathered by the FBI which had no shape or form, titling that post Hutaree Hysteria II - The FBI Doesn’t Know Anything.

Quite evidently, the FBI really did not know anything.

Mich. militia members cleared of charges that accused them of plotting war against government

Posted by John Venlet on 03/28 at 07:29 AM
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Enjoy Life

The banner to my blog contains the following words regarding one of the reasons why I do what I do here, in addition to giving a polite nod to the writings of Ayn Rand.

because there is more to LIVING than flyfishing

Though I much prefer standing thigh deep in a trout stream, listening to and watching the stream swirl around my legs, free from any thoughts other than where the next trout I hope to take to my hand for a moment may be lying, than following the events swirling around us day to day, I understand why I must pay attention to those who lust to rule me.  But I do not and will not allow my concerns and thoughts to be overwhelmed, enslaved, by the machinations of those desiring to restrict my freedoms.  I will LIVE.

Claire Wolfe addresses this thought in a post titled Love and freedom, from which this quote was obtained.

Enjoying life is not a sin. Blowing off the responsibilities of freedom now and then is not a crime. Ignoring the news is not a dereliction of duty. Failing to duck and cover every time some Internet ranter screams that the sky is falling is not irresponsible or foolish.

Very, very much to the contrary, loving life, keeping a balanced perspective, and enjoying what we have is a means of cherishing freedom, understanding freedom — and building our brains to be better “freedom machines.”

Posted by John Venlet on 03/26 at 08:25 AM
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Religious Clout, Good Pagans, and Wisdom

On Friday, Johnathan Pearce posted the following as the Samizdata quote of the day.

The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’

The quote was lifted from a Charles N. Steele post at unforseen contingencies titled America’s Taliban strikes out again, and Steele lifted the quote, above, from Barry Goldwater to illustrate Steele’s opinion of the religious right.

Steele is correct in cautioning against the zealotry of the religious right, as the religious right also concerns me, but in utilizing “America’s Taliban strikes out again” as the title to his post, Steele wanders into Godwin’s Law territory, albeit the word Taliban has been substituted for the word Nazi.

Perhaps a musing from The Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis can provide some guidance to mitigate the zealotry of the religious right.

...It is necessary to recall many to the law of nature before we talk about God…Moral relativity is the enemy we have to overcome before we tackle atheism. I would almost dare to say, “First let us make the younger generation good pagans, and afterwards let us make them Christians.”

Though Lewis’ ending suggestion to “let us make them Christians” could be considered as a statement requiring force, I do not think that what Lewis is suggesting is a legislated conversion of individuals to faith in God, because such a thing cannot be done.  Rather, Lewis is correctly pointing out that the path to fidelity among individuals, regardless of whether they believe in God, or not, runs through Natural Law, and I firmly agree with Lewis in this regard, as I’ve stated in the past in a post I titled A Short Religious Discourse Regarding Natural Law, which I closed with these words.

If the men of organized religions, and governments, would honestly review their purpose, and the true meaning of liberty and natural law, they would recognize themselves as the robbers they are. As for me, a believer in God and an adherent to natural law, I’ll take dealing with men, honest men, who accept natural law as the only law, over dealings with the men who comprise governments or organized religions. The natural law men are more religious.

C.S. Lewis quote obtained from a post at Pastoral Meanderings titled Law and Gospel in C. S. Lewis…. linked via koivwvia.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/25 at 09:56 AM
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Freedom is Difficult, Its Principle is Simple

From a L. Neil Smith essay titled Perspective, linked via Bill St. Clair.

I had a fairly brisk argument today with some good friends who nevertheless didn’t get this extremely simple principle: if you want control over your own life and all the products of your life, and yet you move to limit the freedom of others around you in the name of some cause you deem worthy, then when others move to limit your freedom in the name of some cause they deem worthy, you have no right to complain. You cannot pick this or that right to nullify or uphold; there is, at the base of things, only one right, the right not to be molested by anyone for any reason, no matter how desirable the outcome seems.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/25 at 09:01 AM
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hoodies - What’s Old is New Again

Linton Weeks, writing for NPR, states the following in a piece titled Tragedy Gives The Hoodie A Whole New Meaning.

From the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, a symbol emerges: the hoodie.

A simple hooded sweatshirt has become emblematic of certain assumptions in America.

To which I say, the hoodie is old news, and a tired symbol.  Remember this guy?  Got assumptions?

Posted by John Venlet on 03/24 at 07:07 AM
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Looking for the Wet Spot?

Yikes! Kim Kardashian Flour-Bombed on Red Carpet

Posted by John Venlet on 03/23 at 04:28 PM
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Hey, Obama, If I Were Omnipotent, I’d Be God Too

Drudge has as his current front and center headline the following.


CBS News has also snagged this Obama quote as the headline for their story on Obama’s musing (Drudge’s link leads to Politico), as have a number other news outlets.  The comment, of course, was made in regards to the Trayvor Martin case, and while the quote makes for good newspaper selling, and minority vote gathering, I want to point your attention to the blatantly prejudicial nature of Obama’s “If I had a son..” musing.

The president suggested he was sympathetic to suspicion that the shooting may have been racially motivated.

That sentence, written by Stephanie Condon, immediately precedes the Obama “If I had a son…” quote, and Ms. Condon is correct, Obama’s statement most emphatically does suggest that Obama is quite “sympathetic” to raising racial tensions, without full and complete knowledge of the events that went down that night in Florida.

But what is even more troubling than Obama’s willingness to raise racial tensions with his “If I had a son…” comment is the fact that the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, has, in uttering those words, prejudiced a good many individuals, the courts included, against George Zimmerman.  Obama has intimated that George Zimmerman is guilty not only of racism, but murder.  Where’s the justice in that for George Zimmerman?

Hey, Obama, if I were omnipotent, I’d be God too.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/23 at 02:26 PM
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Little Bird Told Me

When I was a kid, and was off participating in some nefarious deed which I was certain was taking place under the utmost secrecy, I would occasionally return home only to find out that my mother had somehow ferretted out the information regarding said nefarious deed which had taken place in utmost secrecy.  When I would demand to know how she had found out, she would say to me “A little bird told me.”  Mum’s “little birds” were friends, neighbors and acquaintances, who may not have necessarily been ratting me out, but, who when asked by Mum, could supply some piece of information in regards to my goings and comings which she then could puzzle together into a fuller picture of my nefarious doings.

It appears that the National Security Agency (NSA) is utilizing my Mum’s “a little bird told me” approach to spy on Americans, parsed though the words may be that the NSA utilizes to confess this fact.

While I can accept my mother’s spying on me; my fourth amendment rights ended at my parents’ property line; I cannot accept the NSA spying on me, nor their prevarications in regards to the fact that they do.

Search this, NSA birdies.

NSA Chief Denies Domestic Spying But Whistleblowers Say Otherwise

Posted by John Venlet on 03/22 at 02:13 PM
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Bold - Reprimand


Boldly make a desperate push, man, as the saying is, for prosperity, for freedom, for magnanimity.  Lift up your head at last, as from from slavery.  Dare to look up to God and say: “Make use of me for the future as thou wilt.  I am of the same mind; I am one with thee.  I refuse nothing which seems good to thee.  Clothe me in whatever dress thou wilt.  Is it thy will that I should hold a public or private station, dwell here or be banished, be poor or rich?  Under all these circumstances I will defend thee before men.  I will show what the nature of each condition is.”


You will not.  You would rather sit down in some comfortable place and wait till your mama comes to feed you.

Epictetus, again.

Posted by John Venlet on 03/22 at 01:16 PM
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