Fundamental Astuteness

The Essence of Astuteness: Non-Partisan Intellectual Honesty

Archive for the ‘Political Commentary’ Category

Great Quotes: Ludwig Von Mises

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The aforementioned individual was a widely acclaimed economist and political philsopher of his time. Born in 1881 in what is now Liviv, Ukraine, he became a great leader in the classical liberal movement and in advancing the Austrian School of Economic though (libertarianism and extremely laissez faire economics, respectively). Justifying his opinion that government ought not to be in the business of protecting people from their own foolishness, he opined in his great book Human Action, as follows:
Opium and morphine are certainly dangerous and habit forming drugs. But once a principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments. A good case could be made out in favor of the prohibition of alcohol and nicotine. And why limit the government’s benevolent providence to the protection of the individual’s body only? Is not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more disastrous than bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and seeing bad plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues and from hearing bad music?

The passage struck a chord with for the same reason it did for the great skeptic and libertarian Michael Shermer, who said of the passage that it  “…resonated with me because his analogue from the physical to the ideological is so effective in conveying the central message of freedom and liberty[.]”

No posts in awhile

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Its been too long since I’ve posted. I didn’t know a senior year in high school could be so busy. A couple of quick thoughts:

  1. I hope to get back to writing regularly. I would like the theme of my next few posts to be about some theological issues, specifically addressing the problem of omnipotence (can God create a rock so heavy he cannot lift it?) and I’d also like to write about Abortion. Its a huge issue that should have been on the forefront of the presidential election. But, like most controversial issues, it gets put on the back burner by mutual consent, for no candidate wants to be appear to be too intractable and unreasonable by taking a monolithic stance on a moral issues; thus the business of politics sustains and deepens its tendency to disconnect the voters and disgust them with politics, especially on the Republican side.
  2. John McCain will lose big. I may be about to sacrifice my entire future political fortune by making a prediction, but I”ll go ahead and say that the Republicans are in for a bigger swatting than they anticipate. Everyone knows that they’ll get beat, but I predict they will get crushed beyond the most depressing expectations. So for the prediction: McCain will get 200 or few electoral votes. There it is. I might delete that in hopes of saving my future political credibility, but I doubt it. If my political potential dies by the inaccuracy of my prediction, so be it, and may I calmly kiss my political aspirations goodbye.
  3. I’m going to launch a campaign. I’m officially campaigning for politics. No official party yet. That will come later. For now, I’m going to espouse a few major policy issues, like abortion, taxes, and regulation. The rest of the time, I”ll be speaking out on hypocrisy in the Washington System in both parties, the senseless frills and privileges that accompany those who are unfortunate enough to be called “politicians” and so on.
  4. I think if Ron Paul were the candidate on the Republican ticket, the party wouldn’t be losing so badly.
  5. I think if Ron Paul were a little more polished as a speaker and communicator, then he would’ve have been on the ticket.
  6. I’ll develop more thoughts later.

Written by Astuteness

November 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm

On Obama and Taxes

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My good friend Will Simpson over at Will’s Perspective wrote a fantastic article on Obama’s tax plans (note the plural) this morning. The excerpt below will lead you to his post:

A preface on tax cuts:  Congress writes them, not the president.  Anyone want to take a  wager on how likely Democrats in Congress are to cut taxes for anyone?  Major Garrett of FoxNews is beginning to refer to potential problems for John McCain from an unlikely issue: taxes.  Apparently, the American people are beginning to believe the propoganda from the Obama campaign about taxes, while factcheck.org is criticizing McCain claims and the new, post-partisan, positive Obama campaign perpetually calls McCain the “sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in American history.”  Yes, those are the words repeatedly used.

Here’s the facts:

1) Obama’s on his third tax plan….(continue reading here)

Written by Astuteness

September 17, 2008 at 12:42 pm

The BlogRoll exchange: Special Thanks Goes To…

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Special thanks to Brian of The BrianFactor for linking me up to his blog. He has commented on this blog before in this post. Brian is an acomplished speaker and debater from the highschool NCFCA speech and debate league. His description is as follows:

I’m a high school student taking classes at my Austin Community College. It was a Texas Government class that got me started. Prior to this class, I have been interested in science, research, apologetics, and government. I was the Texas state champion in Lincoln Douglas Value Debate and my region’s champion in Extemporaneous (current events) speaking for my league, NCFCA. I hope to use the experience this has given me in communication and research to show others what the facts really are in my blog: The Brian FACTor.

I hope you enjoy reading his blog here.

Edit: Special thanks also to the following blogs for linkage:

The Ron Paul Revolution

Wills Perspective

Fear is Tyranny

 

Written by Astuteness

April 27, 2008 at 9:18 pm

John Stossel on Lawyers

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I’ve usually enjoyed John Stossel’s coverage of the political arena. There are some areas that I disagree with him on, but this piece on lawyers and judges is a good summery. More can be found on this issue in his books “Give Me a Break” and “Myths Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get out the Shovel. Why Everything you know is wrong”.

“We cannot use force.”

That was my response last week when a lawyer shouted at me, “You media types are bullies, too!”

We were arguing about my Wall Street Journal op-ed that called class-action and securities lawyers bullies and parasites who enrich themselves through extortion. It’s legal extortion, but extortion nonetheless.

These aggressive lawyers and their Naderite defenders don’t get it. Or they pretend they don’t.

There are only two ways to do things in life: voluntarily or forced. We reporters may be obnoxious, intrusive, stupid, rude, etc., but we cannot force anyone to do anything. All our work is in the voluntary sector.

But litigation is force. When a plaintiff sues, a defendant is forced to mount a defense. If he settles or loses, he’s forced to pay. Government is the enforcer.

Sometimes we need force — including the force behind the litigators — to protect our freedoms, just as we may need missiles. But we try not to use our missiles because we understand that they do tremendous collateral damage. But litigation does collateral damage, too. The millions spent on legal defense can’t be used to make life-enhancing — and life-saving — products.

We ought to avoid using lawyers the way we avoid firing missiles.

But we don’t. State attorneys general even hire them to pursue unpopular businesses, like gun makers. When the lawyers make a killing in the name of “protecting the people,” they give a piece of that money to the attorney general’s political campaign. Somehow that is not considered a scandal.

The businesses that pay may have done nothing wrong. Once an attorney has rounded up lots of complainants, it’s not hard to terrorize companies into settling. They could fight and maybe win, but that distracts managers from what they ought to be doing. And they might get a bad jury and lose the entire company. It’s safer to settle.

Our legal system invites lawyers to act like bullies. Only in America can I sue you for dubious reasons, force you to spend thousands of dollars on lawyers (not to mention the psychic costs — the anxiety and lost sleep that lawsuits create), and when a judge rules that my claim is bunk, I don’t even have to say “sorry.” I can blithely move on to sue someone else. In other countries, I would have to pay your legal fees to at least compensate you for some of the financial damage I caused. “Loser pays,” it’s called.

The trial lawyers have even gamed the language. They call “loser pays” the “English Rule,” as if it’s some weird British law. But it’s not. It’s really the Rest of the World Rule. America is the odd man out because we rarely punish litigators who misuse force.

Litigators fight for a living, day after day. Practice makes perfect. They get good at winning. Because of their clout, “loser pays” never gets though the legislature.

So the lawyers go on bullying. After Friday’s “20/20” piece on lawyer bullies, viewers sent comments like this one:

“After a real estate deal fell through, the owner of the property, a lawyer, sued me for $25,000 in damages. After two years, I won a summary judgment, which he immediately appealed. We are still in litigation over this, and there is nothing I can do to stop the process. I have offered settlements all along the way, but at this point I have paid more for my mandatory defense than the entire case was worth. If that’s not bullying, I don’t know what is. He continues to do everything in his power to prolong the case, knowing full well what it is costing me. By the time this is all over and I ‘win,’ I will have spent $35,000 and dealt with the stress of the case for more than five years. We are a modest, middle-class family. What was once the hope of being able to pay for my children’s college education now lines a lawyer’s pockets. I have had no recourse but to take it.”

America needs judges willing to say no to the lawyer bullies. America also needs “loser pays.” Otherwise, the parasites will bully away your money and your choices.”

Written by Astuteness

April 9, 2008 at 8:07 am

Ron Paul Live!

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I got to see Ron Paul today live. He spoke at University North Texas in Denton, TX. It was an incredible experience. I got some autographs. I’ll try to post more on this experience later. I hope to find some photos and videos to post later.

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February 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Why Ron Paul will not win: Part II

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An excellent counter-weight to my somewhat depressing article on Ron Paul can be found:
HERE 

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February 16, 2008 at 11:41 pm