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Last night I spent some time over at alan.com.  Alan Colmes is a liberal commentator on Fox.  He has his own radio show that I enjoy and his blog and chat room are both exceptional.  In fact, it’s because of Alan that I started TarheelRed.  Anyway, so, I was chattin’ up the locals and, as you would expect, found myself in the minority on many topics.

We discussed taxes, education, labor, Presidential politics and even Iran.  The banter was back and forth, very quick and not unpleasant.  It’s hard and frustrating, to be sure, being the only Voice of Reason in a room full of Liberals, but hey, good times.

As I left I had two takeaways:

  1. Democrats and Republicans are very nearly the same.
  2. Very few people understand Liberty

I think that all people, from the Left and the Right, want good things to happen to people.  I think all people wanna help people when they need that help.  I think all people feel that everyone should contribute to society.  I think we’re all on agreement there.  And it goes even further.

Both Republicans and Democrats want to coerce man to cast aside their wicked ways.

The vehicle for the Republicans is Religion.  Via faith and God, the Right attempts to coerce people into doing good things.  The vehicle for the Democrats is the State.  Via laws and guns, the Left attempts to coerce people into doing good things.

We were discussing education.  I tried to make the case that given we ALL want a great educational system, up to and including college, we should work towards building a system that works.  I was immediately accused of wanting to privatize education.  When I admitted that would be preferable I also ceded the argument for the sake of discussion and said we could keep it public.  Even in a public setting, we have room for reform.  For example, disband the unions and allow administrations to hire and fire based on merit.  Provide bonuses and pay increases based on performance.

The response?

I hate teachers and don’t wanna educate the poor.  Why don’t I want the whole country to be educated?  It’s for my own good.  Even evil capitalists want and need educated children and adults.

The premise?

People, left to their own devices, will not find it within themselves to provide an educational experience that satisfies the needs of the society.  And so the Leftist enacts laws, the Conservative pulls on faith, all in an attempt to coerce people into doing what is deemed to be in their self interest.

The folks felt that even college education ought to be free.

I asked them if my neighbor to the west was unable to provide college tuition for his daughter, would I be within my rights to knock on the door of my neighbor to the east and demand money and time from him, by force of gun or sword, in order to provide tuition for my neighbor’s daughter.

They laughed and considered me extreme.

I then asked what real difference is there in THAT scenario and the one where a bunch of people vote to take my eastern neighbors money via the state.  I mentioned that they had a confused sense of Liberty.

Which brings me to point number 2 and perhaps the quote of the year:

Liberty Schmiberty

Sadly, I had to acknowledge that neither the Democrat nor the Republican are interested in Liberty.  Rather, only forcing their brand of charity through their approved vehicle of coercion.

Liberty Schmiberty indeed.

A few days ago I posted a story about OWS protestors in LA who realized that their protest camp was being infiltrated by imposters and homeless:

Anyway, this nicely frames this nugget:

Homeless transplants from the city’s Skid Row have set up their tents within the larger tent city. No violence has been reported, but protest organizers are attempting to discourage people who are only at the encampment for the amenities.

I smiled and said, “Welcome to the 53%!”

Now, to be very clear, I do NOT think the OWS crowd is obligated to serve food and provide shelter for people who are not members in their group.  The people who are organizing any individual movement and group is working hard, I am sure.  However, what they are protesting subjects them to a degree of tolerance that would not otherwise be applied to other organizations.

See, the 99% feel that other people in the world should labor for their direct benefit.  These people honestly feel that they deserve a “living wage”, free college and healthcare.  Gone is the concept that any and all of these things require that an individual, somewhere-anywhere, labor for the benefit of the 99% and not themselves.

This is, of course, crazy and no one really supports it.

See, what’s happening is that protesters have organized into roles.  One of those roles is to cook and prepare meals for the other protesters, in theory, so that they can focus on other tasks that are required.  Perhaps this is park cleaning, garbage removal, sign making and library tending.  This makes sense.  Just like in life, specialization of tasks is more efficient and better serves the community.

However, because of the nature of the camps, homeless and other non-protesters are coming for the meals.  And the folks who are contributing are getting fed up; they are tired of supporting those who don’t contribute in other ways.

Again, no one supports requiring people to labor for those who don’t contribute.

And the proof that no one supports it is the fact that those protesting for just such that condition are opposed to that condition when they are the ones being asked to contribute money and labor.

Hat tip Boortz.

To show they mean business, the kitchen staff refused to serve any food for two hours yesterday in order to meet with organizers to air their grievances, sources said.

The Assembly announced the three-day menu crackdown announced earlier in the day — insisting everybody would be fed something during that period.

Some protesters threatened that the high-end meals could be cut off completely if the vagrants and criminals don’t disperse.

Unhappiness with their unwelcome guests was apparent throughout the day.

“We need to limit the amount of food we’re putting out” to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer.

See, they understand.  They GET it.  And when faced with the prospect of laboring for those who don’t contribute in a meaningful way, they react by reducing the “welfare” they provide to “vagrants”.  Further, these people understand the power of incentives.  They know that if they put out more and more “stuff” they will get more and more “derelicts”.  The reverse seems to be obvious.  Reduce the quality of the “stuff” and the “derelicts” go away.

I so do love the free market.

Fox News is reporting that former ACORN organizers and staffers are working behind the scenes at the various protests throughout New York City.  Further, these unscrupulous vermin are knocking on doors asking for money to support teachers and stuff all the while funneling that money to the movement.

And Fox is reporting this front page.

My reaction is:

Meh.

I hadn’t thought of it, but fi I’d been asked whether or not I thought ex-ACORN folks were working on the OWS protests, I would have guessed they were.  The bigger news would have been if these people had gotten real jobs and become part of the 53%.

THAT would have been news.

Children!  Children, gather ’round.  I wanna tell you the story of the Leftist.

When someone you disagree with enters into a war to overthrow a brutal dictator, you protest him, call him Hitler and burn him effigy.  It is IMMORAL to use force against a foreign nation in an attempt to overthrow an evil brutal dictator.

But.  But….if Barack Obama would like to do the same, it is okay if:

  1. He does it quickly.
  2. There is no #2.

See, if one President goes to the United Nations and obtains resolution after resolution forcing the evil bad-guy dictator to allow this or allow that, and the evil bad-guy dictator doesn’t, AND the President gathers a coalition of foreign nations to assist in the overthrow of that evil bad-guy dictator AND that President goes to, you know, CONGRESS, AND….AND Congress authorizes force to remove evil bad-guy dictator AND that evil bad-guy dictator is captured AND that evil bad-guy dictator is imprisoned with human right’s representatives on guard AND that evil bad-guy dictator is given a trial and found guilty; well, THAT is immoral and the President is a douche.

He is greedy and is Hitler.

But, if the other President is Barack Obama, well, then we can target the evil bad-guy dictator in an assassination attempt, never go to Congress, the UN or any other body, watch as he is strung up on the hood of a truck like a deer, beat and shot without trial THEN allowed to have his body, decaying, be placed on public display for all to see while crooning:

We came, we saw, he died.

THAT is a foreign policy success, and the President is macho.

The Left is without morals.  They have none.  Which is why they try to legislate morals to force ME to abide by ’em.  They demand the rich donate to charity, but never do the same.  They demand that the Right care for the poor, but never do the same.  They scream that the Right engages in immoral wars, yet don’t care that they are the worst offenders.

They legislate others to do what they themselves can’t or won’t.

I’ve been listening to the Brad and Britt show for a whole bunch of years,  Partly because they are local, partly because they are entertaining and partly because I need some Leftist influence.  Just to keep me honest.  And almost always, they deliver.  I enjoy the show.

I get that they are a profit center.  They are hired to deliver ratings in a market so that they can sell advertising to an customers.  I get it.  And so I mostly let most of the stuff they say go in and then go out.  They’re playing to an audience and are more circus performers than they are knowers of important things.

But jeepers, sometimes they say things that are just not so right.  So wrong in fact, that they are lying.  And I call ’em out.  And when I post I tweet.  And they notice.

Sunday night I pinged Brad and Britt.  I posited that the Occupy Wall Street crowd is racist.  I came to this conclusion in the same way the media decided that the Tea Party was racist.  Some fun tweets occurred and we called it a night.

Then I listened to this:

Brad and Britt interview

The interview was offensive.  And after I dropped my kids off at school, more of the same.  A caller was interrupted by Britt parodying Rush and shouting him down.  Funny stuff, I guess, if you’re on that side of the football field.

And I called him out:

The response of the tolerant Leftists?  They “blocked” me on Twitter.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a Twitter rookie.  I’ve had an account for years and only posted a little.  That I get blocked or not blocked isn’t the point.  The point is, that’s how the Left rolls.

When faced with an unpleasant situation, there is a right way to handle it and then there is a wrong way.

First, the unpleasant situation:

Bank of America announced late last month that it plans to start charging debit card users a monthly fee starting early next year.

Now, the right way:

Due to the fee, Roger Goodwin is considering leaving Bank of America and getting an account with a local credit union.

“They do not have fees, and I also have an account with another bank that is also going to start charging for checking,”

Then, the wrong way:

U.S. Rep. Brad Miller said the fees should be illegal, according to WMFY.

Guess which way is going to produce the greatest change in the debit card market?

The problem with the global warming debate and our hopes of arriving at anything resembling a cohesive policy is the fact that the whole issue is being framed by the far-left ideologues.  And that frame is a binary one.  On one hand, you can either be a complete denier.  No warming of the temperature anywhere due to human causes what-so-ever.  The other end of the spectrum; complete global warming alarmist.  The world is going to be massively impacted due to the massive warming caused by human activity.  And not only will this impact to our mother earth be massive, but it will be catastrophic to the human race.

There can be no middle ground.  There is no room for a moderating voice.  Only hot or cold.

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* Let’s get this out of the way right away. I know this is redundant.

From the never ending font of all things cool, we get this:

California Assembly Bill 889 will require these protections for all “domestic employees,” including nannies, housekeepers and caregivers.

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.

What kind of special intersection of crazy and powerful could create this law?

I like my talk radio.  And I like my North Carolina.  That’s why I listen to local talk whenever I can.  That means on the way TO work and on the way FROM work I get the local liberal talk.  In the morning I get Brad and Britt and the afternoon brings me Allan Handelmman.  Today they BOTH got me going.

First Allan.

It’s well know that the Left feels the best way to remove a bias against a particular group is to take society, group them according to characteristics that match the oppressed group and treat them differently than they do the rest of the population.  I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.  But, ya know…..

Okay, so, today’s group of people that are being exploited by the evil rich capitalists?

Ugly people:

In addition to whatever personal pleasure it gives you, being attractive also helps you earn more money, find a higher-earning spouse (and one who looks better, too!) and get better deals on mortgages. Each of these facts has been demonstrated over the past 20 years by many economists and other researchers. The effects are not small: one study showed that an American worker who was among the bottom one-seventh in looks, as assessed by randomly chosen observers, earned 10 to 15 percent less per year than a similar worker whose looks were assessed in the top one-third — a lifetime difference, in a typical case, of about $230,000.

There ya have it; a clear cut case of discrimination against a certain group of people.  And what should we do?

A more radical solution may be needed: why not offer legal protections to the ugly, as we do with racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women and handicapped individuals?

Certainly this is more satire?

We actually already do offer such protections in a few places, including in some jurisdictions in California, and in the District of Columbia, where discriminatory treatment based on looks in hiring, promotions, housing and other areas is prohibited. Ugliness could be protected generally in the United States by small extensions of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Ugly people could be allowed to seek help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other agencies in overcoming the effects of discrimination. We could even have affirmative-action programs for the ugly.

Come on….there is NO way we could do this:

The mechanics of legislating this kind of protection are not as difficult as you might think. You might argue that people can’t be classified by their looks — that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That aphorism is correct in one sense: if asked who is the most beautiful person in a group of beautiful people, you and I might well have different answers. But when it comes to differentiating classes of attractiveness, we all view beauty similarly: someone whom you consider good-looking will be viewed similarly by most others; someone you consider ugly will be viewed as ugly by most others. In one study, more than half of a group of people were assessed identically by each of two observers using a five-point scale; and very few assessments differed by more than one point.

For purposes of administering a law, we surely could agree on who is truly ugly, perhaps the worst-looking 1 or 2 percent of the population.

Serious?

Economic arguments for protecting the ugly are as strong as those for protecting some groups currently covered by legislation. So why not go ahead and expand protection to the looks-challenged? There’s one legitimate concern. With increasingly tight limits on government resources, expanding rights to yet another protected group would reduce protection for groups that have commanded our legislative and other attention for over 50 years.

You might reasonably disagree and argue for protecting all deserving groups. Either way, you shouldn’t be surprised to see the United States heading toward this new legal frontier.

I’m sure many generations of fathers have felt this.  But I seriously think that my America will have been better than my child’s.  As Sean Patrick says:

And so passes the glory of America.