November 4, 2011

Reason profiles Gary Johnson

Filed under: Liberty, Politics, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 12:11

I took the “scientific* survey” at the Reason web site and it matched me up with Gary Johnson as the GOP candidate who most closely matched my interests:

Aliases: Gov. Johnson, Iron Man, that libertarianish guy who’s not Ron Paul

Experience: Johnson founded his construction company Big-J Enterprises in 1976 and ran it for nearly two decades before becoming the Republican governor of the overwhelmingly Democratic state of New Mexico in 1995. Big-J, which Johnson sold in 1999, remains a leading construction firm in the Land of Enchantment. Johnson was re-elected governor in 1999, his tenure marked by a record number of vetoes, a winning struggle against tax increases, and prosperity in the state.

Hangups: low name recognition, severe soundbite challenges, Ron Paul’s prior claim on the uncoveted “mild-mannered libertarian” position

Spending/size of government/entitlement reform: Along with Ron Paul, Johnson is part of a fairly recent phenomenon: Republican candidates who take their small-government rhetoric seriously. In the New Mexico statehouse, he vetoed 750 bills, fired 1,200 state employees and left the state with a billion-dollar budget surplus. His presidential platform includes cutting Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent and turning them into block grant programs. His budget cutting plans extend even to the bipartisan sacred cow of defense, which would also come in for a 43 percent cut. Tells ConcordPatch, “I believe that less government is the best government.”

The Kangaroo Family Court

Filed under: Law, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:15

The headline says it all: “Sexual Assault Victim Must Pay Her Attacker Spousal Support”

A San Diego judge ordered Crystal Harris to pay $1,000 a month in spousal support to her ex-husband — just as soon as he finishes up his six year prison sentence for sexually assaulting her. As 10News reports, “The entire assault was caught on tape and what it captured was enough to convict Shawn Harris of a felony — forced oral copulation.”

So why is a victim being forced to pay her attacker? According to Judge Gregory Pollock, it’s because Crystal Harris brought home six figures worth of bacon while Shawn Harris was unemployed.

    “I can’t look at a 12-year marriage where one side is making $400 a month, the other side is making over $11,000 and say no spousal support,” Pollock said in court. “That would be an abuse of discretion.”

It sounds like a miscarriage of justice, but the law is written so that it only excludes attempted murderers from the right to receive spousal support. Another case of a bad law forcing a bad judgement (or a judge unwilling to exercise his discretion in a case that cries out for it).

The libertarian subtext to . . . Harold and Kumar?

Filed under: Humour, Liberty, Media — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 11:05

David Boaz reviews the philosophical and economic underpinnings of the Harold and Kumar movies:

Escaping persecution, poverty, and hunger . . . to find ample food and unlimited choices . . . the pursuit of happiness . . . the American Dream. Yes, I think writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg were on to something.

And then in the sequel, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, after another improbable road trip, the fugitive youths literally dropped in on George W. Bush’s Texas ranch. In the increasingly fantastic plot, the president invited them to join him in hiding from the scary Cheney, shared his pot with them, and then promised to clear up the unfortunate misunderstanding that landed them in Guantanamo Bay. An uninhibited but still skeptical Kumar said, “I’m not sure I trust our government any more, sir.” And President Bush delivered this ringing libertarian declaration:

    Hey, I’m in the government, and I don’t even trust it. You don’t have to trust your government to be a patriot. You just have to trust your country.

Harold & Kumar: more wisdom than a month of right-wing talk radio. Hurwitz and Schlossberg get what America is about.

Not having seen any of the movies, that certainly sounds like the kindest treatment George W. Bush has ever received from Hollywood.

Thomas Jefferson tests his time machine

Filed under: History, Humour, USA — Tags: — Nicholas @ 09:10

Opening moments of the G20 in Cannes

Filed under: France, Government, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 09:01

From the tone of the article, even the Guardian is finding it hard to take the politicians seriously this time:

The red carpet was drenched and sodden, the palm trees battered by a storm and even the trumpet fanfares of the French Republican Guard were muffled by the wind.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s glittering G20 summit at Cannes was supposed to be a showcase for his skill as the caped crusader: Super Sarko, fighting his way through the markets and eurozone crisis to rescue his personal damsel in distress, France’s endangered AAA-credit rating.

Instead, the opening hours on the French Riviera seemed more like a muted crisis-gathering of head-scratching politicians, some staring into the jaws of political death, fearing being punished at the ballot box or hung out to dry by their own governments.

Even without the specially summoned whipping boy, the Greek prime minister George Papandreou — who had a constantly furrowed brow and clasped hands, as pressure was heaped on him over his resignation-referendum ping-ping — the red-carpet arrivals ceremony often looked like a roll call of doom.

Silvio Berlusconi arrived in the rain with a huge black overcoat perched on his shoulders, shoulder pads visible from space, likened by his own press corps to a mafia boss from the Sopranos.

Powered by WordPress