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Not Worth the Paper

…tickets bought by SunRail passengers pay only a tiny fraction of the commuter train’s bills, but less known is that ticket revenue doesn’t even cover the cost of selling tickets.

SunRail’s finances would be slightly stronger if riding was free.

If communal transit was really about getting people around, more routes would be free. In USA, passenger rail is always about something else first.


Forfeiting Football

So far this season, NFL football has about off-field misconduct instead of on-field performance. Where we used to speculate on Xs and Os, now the chatter is about how team PR can response to waves of social media outcry.

In a Vox Popoli thread about the Vikings’ decision to reverse their decision and re-suspend Adrian Peterson for doing a bad job at trying to be a good dad, commenter Cash vents:

I just remind myself that being a football fan is about what America used to be. It's about watching the game with your dad and cheering for your team no matter how bad they are and hating your rival. It's about a house in order where the man can be a man while still being with his family. He can raise his son while mom is in the kitchen making snacks and smiling about how much they are like each other. It's about knowing exactly what you are going to do after church on Sunday and that all the other men and their sons are going to be doing the exact same thing; watching the game.

Where we were once unified in a common American cultural ritual, the sport now divided us into angry factions. We replaced ritual combat on the gridiron with social justice logrolling. Those not displaying the proper outrage at the proper time, and for the proper reasons, are shunned. Hysteria careens from headline to headline, in an effort to remake the world.

I want my country back.


Replacing Leviathan

This is the first in a 3-part series to outline the importance of programs funded by the OAA –such as Meals On Wheels –to the dignity of seniors across America. Please read, share and tell Congress to take action and not play political games with seniors’ health and well-being.

This FedGov law funds local Meals on Wheels programs. By the political structure I wish we lived under, it would have never been under Federal jurisdiction. But we can’t act on the world as we wish it was.


Middle-Class Advocates

I’ve been learning party politics with the Republican Party in Minnesota. I spend almost as much time needling them for their shortcomings—as I see them, of course—as I spend on party work and cheerleading.

In one of those wonderful moments where the internet confirms you are not totally alone, I just came across a comment at Vox Popoli that could have come right off my fingertips:

The Democrats have become the party of the Truly Rich and the Welfare Class. They have totally abandoned the middle class, which the Republicans could sweep up if they weren't so addicted to being the Business Party.

At every convention I attend, I like to Tweet something like: “The first candidate to mention seniors, veterans and workers gets my support.” Few manage it.


Two Kinds of Liberty

In the comments, Vox writes that libertarianism is, “the political ideology based on the principle of maximizing human liberty.”

Which inspired commenter cailcorishev to write:


Class Warfare

When did “earning your keep” lose its dignity?

Post Style: 

The Eugenicist Behind the Curtain

Far from being the natural outgrowth of a broad philosophical commitment to the idea of self-ownership and control of our own bodies, the Democrats stance on the right to abortion is the sole and glaring exception to an ideology that otherwise treats the bodies of women like the bodies of government owned cattle.

A party that tells women what size of soda she can buy doesn’t actually believe that women control their own bodies.

Once you no longer have enough freedoms to marshal the resources to defend yourself politically, they won’t have to humor you anymore and they will suddenly discover that your inability to choose your own soda size, cough syrup and cancer treatments also means you don’t have the ability to choose whether to have or refuse an abortion…

Death is the lowest-cost option for treating many diseases. Applying that treatment pre-birth saves even more money.

“A society, in order to progress, must not be burdened by the avoidable demands of unfortunate genes.


Inertial Inconsequence

The reality is that it just doesn't matter very much at all whether Barack Obama serves George Bush's fourth term or Mitt Romney serves Barack Obama's second term.

Quoted from: Kn@ppster

via: Aretae

Post Style: 

Economic Engineering

Here’s a metaphor for how I see the economic debate in the current election:

Imagine the economy is a bridge. The bridge has begun to groan and sway. Two engineers have proposed plans to strengthen the bridge.

The first engineer believes that more traffic moving faster over the bridge is the best solution. The second engineer proposes cutting away some of the bridge’s supports.

Obviously, neither one will fix the bridge. And either one will almost certainly bring it closer to failure.


Diet Like Its 1993

In the midst of debunking arguments for organic foods, a Missouri farmer points out something recent headlines have missed:

Yes, this summer’s drought, which hammered the production of both organic and conventional foods, has led to a decrease in yields, but it’s worth noting that this year’s disappointing corn yield would have been a record yield just 20 years ago. The worst drought in nearly a century, and a national corn yield that would have been a record in 1993!

Food prices will still rise, since there’s not much slack in demand for corn and the stuff corn is used to make. But the underlying story is one of optimism and abundance. Similar drought conditions starved people in the 1930s. Thanks to advances in all the technology used by agriculture, we can weather the worst weather.


Elementary School Costs More Than a House

Government policy always has economic impacts. Over time, these impacts accumulate and multiply upon one another. This leads prices of goods and services away from what they would be under a “freer market”. Distorted prices create distorted allocations, which may be good or bad, depending on how one feels about government manipulating markets in the first place.

At some point, though, the relative prices of things get so far away from “natural” prices that the system of valuation breaks down. This breakdown is what I call “The Great Repricing”.

Captain Capitalism runs a thought experiment which illustrates how relative prices have lost touch with relative values:


Riots for Many Reasons

I’ve been saying that economic forces will precipitate a Brief Period of Violent Upheaval. Commenter “Knarf” at Vox Popoli reminds me that socio-political frustrations are another source of ignition:

If Obama has his reelection stolen from him by The Man, the oppressed underclass of color will erupt in a convulsion of righteous anger and there will "Rodney King"-grade riots, looting, and burning in every major city in the country.

However, if Obama wins reelection, the people will erupt in a spontaneous joyous celebration, and there will be "Detroit Pistons win the NBA Championship"-grade riots, looting, and burning in every major city in the country.

In meatspace I’ve been seeing an unusual amount of anger lately. From all factions. Two months of Presidential campaigning is unlikely to soothe anyone.


This Means War

Arnold Kling strays from economics to politics and concludes:

This year's pre-election hatefest is already out of control, in my opinion. It will not end well.

I agree. We differ by his belief that a Brief Period of Violent Upheaval is unlikely, while I say it is inevitable.

Although I see it precipitated by economic issues, his sketch fits in my frame.


Harper’s Fairy

Still too busy to blog. But I wanted to get on the record for a thought about Chick-Fil-A day (or Chickenstock, as described by one participant).

The upcoming period of violent upheaval could take the proportions of a civil war. If so, it will be fought between liberty-minded individualists and post-modern theophobes. In a sense, gay is the new black.

If so, Chickenstock may have been the Harper’s Ferry of our next civil war.


Sean Hannity is Not the Future

[Obligations and opportunities in meatspace have been taking all my time. I have much to point at, but no free fingers to do it here.]

A few months ago a finished a book called The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny. Written in 1997, the authors predicted a major change in the socio-cultural-political order sometime near 2010. The twenty-somethings of today are in the same cyclic position as the boomers were in the 1960s.

Since I have been predicting a collapse and Brief Period of Violent Upheaval for a few years, I find the theories in The Fourth Turning to be brilliant. I may have joined the Liberty Movement and made friends with the Paulbots just in time to be on the right side of history:

This past Sunday night I was watching Madmen which this season takes place in 1966 New York City. One of the key ongoing themes of the show is how the World War II and Korean War generations dealt with the massive influx of new ideas which were born from the baby boomers. There was a good bit of fear, but for many of the characters there’s even more a sense of just plain confusion. What the hell is going on?


Sunrise or Sunset?

CBS NBC ABC logos rendered in the Obama logo style

Never forget this NRR maxim:
The news is not what is happening, it’s just what they’re telling you.

Via: Maggie’s Farm


RP Sweeps MN CD5

I was a part of this:

In Minnesota, Ron Paul supporters swept the three district conventions that occurred today, winning nine of nine delegates to the national convention. Minnesota is set to hold more such conventions next week.

The RP local delegates seem to understand that their cause is bigger than one election. They have learned the rules and built a movement, taking over most of the offices in the precinct- and district-level Republican Party.

The Minneapolis and Metro-area GOP is no longer your father’s Republican Party. It is the Founding Fathers’ Republican Party.

Next month we find out if the Ron Paul R3voltion can complete an overthrow of the Minnesota GOP.


A Few Blurtations on Zimmerman-Martin

The sheeple are clamoring for the arrest of Zimmerman. People don’t understand that an arrest is merely a detention, and Zimmerman was indeed detained at the scene. If charges are brought, he will be served a notice to appear. The cops know where Zimmerman is, and he seems to present a low flight risk. A “perp walk” serves Big Media and the public’s thirst for vengeance. It is not a requirement of justice.

Martin’s family is upset that some factions are out to destroy the boy’s reputation. Martin already made his reputation. He was the person blowing up twitter under the handle NO_LIMIT_NIGGA. He was the person found with a collection of suspicious—if not incriminating—evidence in his backpack. The boy’s reputation is not what his momma thought of him, it is what his friends thought of him. And how he saw himself.

The widely distributed photos of Trayvon are from years ago. He looked like an angel and an athlete. More recent pics show him in full embrace of the thug life. Something about the culture and subculture in which he lived transformed an angel into thug in a few years. It is difficult not to suggest there is a deep pathology in that subculture.

Making Martin the face of systemic racism is not just stretching the available facts, it demeans both his individual personhood and the essential ideal of justice:


Paul’s Strategy Works in St. Louis

What happened in Minnesota’s Senate District 60 has been repeated in St. Louis, MO:

The slate backing Paul cast 158 votes in the non-binding caucus Saturday. The purpose was to choose representatives to a round of Congressional district meetings in April and June that will repeat the process to send 52 delegates from Missouri to the August convention in Tampa, Fla.

The slate that primarily backed Santorum had 74 votes, while the Romney slate mustered 50 votes.

The delegates to the next-higher level are not bound, but it is widely understood that Paul supporters are fiercely loyal. It is unlikely they’ll be voting to support Santorum or Romney.


Ron Paul Sweeps SD 60

Minnesota is a caucus state. That means it selects its delegates to a national political convention through a cascade of smaller elections. Last month I went to the lowest, grassroots caucus of the Republican party. I was elected a delegate and had a right to vote in the next tier of the election cascade.

That election was held yesterday. Since this is a redistricting year and political unit boundaries are redrawn, the first order of business was to establish rules and adopt a constitution for what is now the Minnesota Senate District 60 Republican Party (SD 60).

I enjoy rules and rulemaking, so this was not tedious. Parliamentary procedure was a bigger factor in this convention than in most neighborhood meetings, but less strict than the government meetings I watch on public-access TV.



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