Friday, April 29, 2011

The Constitution of Liberty

Featuring Bruce Caldwell, editor, The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek; Richard Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University Law School; George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations; moderated by Ronald Hamowy, Fellow in Social Thought, Cato Institute. About 85 minutes.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hayek vs. Keynes: Round Two

About 10 minutes and a fun watch.

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Bible Belt Ravaged

What you see there is a map showing the incredible number of tornadoes that have hit the country this week. There is something else I want you to note. They hit the Bible Belt. This is the hotbed of American fundamentalism.

Why do I point this out? Simple, because Christian fundamentalist constantly spout off complete nonsense about natural disasters being a punishment from God. If California has a drought or earthquake they rant about how God is punishing the liberals and the gays. When Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area Rev. Pat Demented Robertson told everyone it was because the Gay Mardis Gras was schedule for the French Quarter.

God, as is often the case, missed. The French Quarter survived quite nicely but Baptist Churches all over the South were flattened.

Sorry, but that just isn't the way reality works. But reality and fundamentalism aren't even on speaking terms. There is no divine retribution at work. God is no more punishing gays in California with earthquakes than he was trying to chastise Baptists in Alabama.

One video that I saw has a fundamentalist type filming the tornado. Every few seconds he shouts "Lord Jesus help them," as he watches the tornado slice through and destroy a large section of the one of the most religious cities in America.

But just as their deity is not punishing sinners he is not protecting saints either. Many God-fearing fundamentalist holier-than-thou Republican died this week. Many more had their homes and businesses destroyed. I take no joy in that. I just wish to say that their piety no more protected them than the "sin" of others made them targets.

Natural disasters are just that, natural. They are not supernatural events no matter how much some people want to bestow spiritual meaning to them.

In the last week dozens of churches were destroyed by these acts of nature. Many were ultra-fundamentalist sects which praise God when some disaster hits places they consider "sinful." They say they take no pleasure in the destruction but that this proves the glory and reality of their god. When the disasters hit their own sanctuaries they are either deathly silent about divine punishment or invent some "miracle" which proves they are the chosen. If some congregation is hit, and people survive in the basement, this is considered proof that God was protecting them. Just ignore the damage and other Christians who died.

But consider the awful 1989 quake that hit the San Francisco. That was supposedly God trying to beat some sense into those deviants. Only 56 people died in that awful quake, and most of them weren't even in San Francisco. Of approximately 650,000 people in San Francisco, something like 649,990 of them of were "protected." They ignore that and concentrated on those who were not so lucky and the destruction.

But, in the Bible Belt tornadoes of this week about five times as many people were killed. I am sorry that happened. I wish it did not happen. But the reality is that shit happens and sometimes people get hurt. All we can do is try to be prepared for it.

Let's not turn these wholly natural events into harbingers of of divine will. They aren't. No one is being punished and no one is being protected. It's a matter of being in one particular place at one particular time that either protects you, or dooms you. You can stack the odds in your favor by taking some precautions. But a lot of this is simply nature at work.

As for those who are praying for those who were hurt. Please, get off your knees and help them. Instead of asking some deity to perform miracles why don't you just act yourself. Help those you can, comfort those you can, and rescue those you can. Don't look to the heavens, look to yourself. When others are in need, and you are able to help, but instead of giving them a hand, you offer prayers on their behalf, you are literally as useful to them as the man who laughs at their misery and walks away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Security Mirage

Bruce Schneier talks about how we think about matters of security. His points are critical. I am convinced that we tend to overestimate most risks today. And the risks of overestimating risks are, in my opinion, cumulatively more dangerous than the real risks we do face. His points are important. Give it a listen. About 20 minutes.

Apologies: For a couple of weeks now I have some health problems which limit the amount of time I have for various projects. Sadly I have neglected the blog during this time. It is nothing serious but it does make it difficult for me to find the time to maintain the blog. I will do my best to give it my attention as I can.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More fundamentalist craziness.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Women watch out: God has his eye on you.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Christian Voice Makes Stealth "Corrections"

I reported how PinkNews, a gay publication in the UK published an April Fool's article claiming a new technology was invented for cellphones which would allow the user to scam people in the vicinity and tell who was gay or not. Clearly such claims are a joke and no one with half a brain would take it seriously. But wife-beating, bigoted fundamentalist Stephen Green doesn't have half a brain, so he took it very seriously. You can see the actual content of his previous post in our original post. We took a screen capture of the column because we assumed that Green would either delete his silly remarks or edit them.

Editing a blog is a problem. Often one makes mistakes. Most are small typos and I have no problem when someone corrects them and doesn't inform the readers that a misspelled word was corrected. In fact, blogs that report every minor change made are annoying to me. But when you change your post in a substantial way it is the honest thing to inform people that you have done so. Stephen Green of Christian Voice does not share my view of honesty.

Green has rewritten his column in an attempt to wipe out the reality that he was a moron. I have no doubt he will fail in that endeavor given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Here are the changes he made, without acknowledging them.

Remember how he started his column: "You really couldn't make it up." Well, of course, it was made up, it was a joke article and obviously so. But Green took it seriously, mainly, I suspect, because it confirmed the evil nature of those nasty gays. Green didn't realize it, but now pretends he did. His new column starts off saying: "You really couldn't make it up -- but Pink News did." Hmm, that fact was left out originally when he reported this as a factual thing.

He previously said this new device "is headline stuff for the website PinkNews," but now says "has become an April Fools Day headline for the website PinkNews" with no indication that he didn't realize the app was fake before.

Now, since he used the "existence" of this application to denounce gays would he remove the denunciations? Of course not! Those remain in place and worse. He now says that the fake app "was based on the reality that homosexual men are sadly driven towards picking up complete strangers for transient sexual encounters." Wow! I can see it now, an unhappy chauffeur driving a gay man to a sexual encounter with a transient who is a complete stranger (are there any other kind of strangers?). (Just joking folks, it is hard to take this man seriously.)

Even the fact that he was driven by his own bigotry to be taken in by this comedic article is another excuse to ratchet up the hate.

At the end he briefly admits, "I was initially taken in by Pink News's (sic) April Fool" but "only because it made so much sense to anyone with a tiny bit of knowledge of the 'gay scene' and or recent technological advances." I would agree that he has a "tiny bit" of knowledge regarding the "gay scene," a very tiny bit of knowledge. But I suspect it takes more than he actually has to comment on it.

But, hold on here. Let us define "initially." The word means, at first, or at the beginning. If you fall for something and catch the error a few minutes later, or a few hours later, hell, even a couple of days later, you can say you initially fell for the joke. But, Mr. Green took almost three weeks to catch on and then he "got it" only after it was being spread over the internet. In other words, he didn't initially fall for it, he fell for it hook, line and sinker. He was so bamboozled by it because he saw it as another opportunity to engage in his public hate moments toward gay people. He caught on eventually because left comments on his blog about it. Otherwise he would have remained as clueless as ever.

Green said he also "initially" thought it true due to technological advances and then mentions dating apps as proof. He is intentionally mixing apples and oranges. There is a gay dating app called Grindr. But is worlds apart from the technology claimed in the April Fools article. I've never seen the app, so I base my comments here on what I've read. As I understand it a man who wishes to meet other gay men can use this app. He puts in his profile and then goes about his daily business. Other men can do the same thing. If the phones with this apps are near each other they alert the owner.

This makes sense for gay men who are clearly a minority in society. Most men would not be suitable dates for gay men. Only other gay men are. But, contrary to some views, it is not always possible to know who is gay and who is not. Given the small pool of potential dates, and the difficult to discern who actually is in that pool, a technology like this makes more sense for gay men than say for straight men wanting to meet women.

But all this technology can do is take the information the users plug into it. This is a far cry from an app that would supposedly "scan" all the men in the vicinity and tell who is gay. And, even more absurdly it was supposed to tell whether they had fashion no-nos like pony tails, sandals with socks and fannypacks. Green claims his knowledge of technology allowed him to fall for this joke. In fact, it is his lack of knowledge about technology that allowed it.

Green ends his new edited column with "Life is going to imitate art here, make no mistake." Well, if anyone can make a mistake it is Stephen Green, he has proven that repeatedly. The new column, by the way, is dated April 1st, falsely giving the impression that what now appears on the website was written on April 1st. It was not. As far as I can tell this was only changed today, April 20th. I wrote my original article concerning Green on the 19th and posted it just after midnight, so on the 20th. The editing he has now done was not there at that time. So substantial rewrites were done on April 20th but are published under the date of April 1st. Not very honest of Mr. Green but definitely par for the course. Click on either column to see the full size version and this will allow you to compare them.

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No, you couldn't make this up!

The British media in particular likes to take the piss out of people with April Fool's jokes. Once a year they publish entirely bogus stories, some quite imaginative, that continually fool people. One always has to be extra aware on April 1st.

The gay PinkNews paper published an April Fool's article about a new iPhone application going by the name of Kroozr. According to the article you install the app on your phone and when you turn it on it will scan all men in the vicinity and tell you who is gay and who isn't, using "its inbuilt Kinsey Scale."

They even claimed to have "developed a 'filtering' feature, whereby you can set the app to scree out men with ponytails, bumbags or Chinese symbol tattoos."

What a hoot! Come on people, really? Did they think this pathetic joke would fool anyone? After all exactly how would a phone be able to scan only men and then determine who is or isn't gay by the scan? And how would it weed out people based on tattoos or, as the article said "those wearing sandals with socks?"

Of course, the whole point of my report is that someone did fall for the story. And not just someone who is an anyone, but one of the major Right-wing Christian fundamentalists in the UK. Green, who has been exposed as an abusive husband and father, wrote up a story repeating the claims of the joke story, except Green reported them as true.

Green wrote, regarding the non-existent iPhone app:

"Everything about the depravity, the sadness, the lack of normality, even of humanity, the promiscuity driven by the pathology of homosexuality is distilled into this story."

Okay! Dare I point out that if this "story" shows all the depravity, etc., of being gay, then there is none since the story is fake. Admittedly this man's entire faith relies on believing claims which are ridiculous on the face of things, but still, you might have thought that given the April 1st tradition of printing bogus stories, he might have been slightly more discerning.

His blog, described by his as "a radical, Biblical, forthright, Christ-centered ministry" pushing for "Godly government" gives no indication that Green could discern fact from fiction. His article on the fake app is entirely serious and reports the story as absolutely true. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if he removes that article. Just in case, I've illustrated this article with a screen capture of the entire article. If the link to the article shows it to be removed just view this illustration here for the entirety of it.

Note: As we assumed Green has finally caught on to his foolishness and changed the content of his blog. For information on what he did see our update on this here.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Classical Liberal Tradition and Ayn Rand

Historian Jennifer Burns discusses Ayn Rand's place in the pantheon of classical liberal thinkers. It is 7 minutes and worth watching.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Insanity from the Eco-Nuts

Nothing to say really. These people are certifiably insane. Of course, fanaticism of any kind is difficult to tell from crazy. This is nature worship in the extreme and like so much religion it is completely bonkers. They wear clothes, but nature didn't provide it. And things died! Nature demands death for life. Everything must eat to survive. Eating kills something. If they weep and wail over trees why not other plants? They can't even be vegetarians. If one truly believed that eating amounts to murder then survival is a crime. The only way to be ethical would be to die.

Nature is actually pretty nasty. Personify it or not, it kills violently, viciously and without remorse. It is cruel. All those species that we think are really, really cute kill. Cute kittens will bat around a mouse and torture it until it dies and they eat it. That sweet puppy would be happy to eat the baby birds you are gazing at. Nature is cruel and needs to be tamed.


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Obama and the Equal Distribution of Blame

President Obama has given a speech on education where he admits that far, far too many students are failing and receiving substandard education. Well, that’s true, of course. Is this an admission that government has got its fingers into so many pies that it can’t even run the schools well? Of course not! Obama noted: “We are all to blame.” No, it’s not the government schools that deserve blame. It isn’t the unions that want school run for the benefits of teachers. It’s not the politicians who actually control the schools. It’s not the federal government that increasing tells schools how they must be run. Nope! None of the people who actually run the schools are said to be responsible except as they share responsibility with the rest of us.

You might remember that Harry Truman, when president, had a sign on his desk: “The buck stops here.” Not Obama. His motto is: The buck starts here and he quickly passes blame on to everyone! Obama is a true egalitarian—which is NOT a good thing—he wants the equal distribution of blame. Unfortunately he wants the uneven distribution of power; taking it from those who have little and redistributing to those who have much: he, his fellow politicians and the special interest groups that fund his side of the political debate.

Odd, how this works. There are, of course, tens of thousands of privately run schools that are doing very well with students. But apparently they share the blame for the government’s failure to run decent schools. Hundreds of thousands of kids get homeschooled and do pretty damn well compared to the government-held hostages in politically-controlled schools. But their parents are to blame as well. All those parents in the inner city, who desperately try to qualify their children for vouches to attend private schools, well they are to blame as well. We all have to share the blame. I suspect, however, that if Obama had good news about state-controlled schools, his administration would be taking all the credit for it.

I am told that the classes are too big. When I check average class sizes in the various states none of them were similar to the class sizes I had as a kid. My schools ran 30 to 35. I once asked me peers what they remembered and they said the same thing. Yet our schools had much better performances than what we see today. In truth pupils per teacher have been falling dramatically even as testing scores for students fail to improve. The Department of Education writes:

For public schools, the number of pupils per teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio —declined from 22.3 in 1970 to 17.9 in 1985. After 1985, the public school pupil/teacher ratio continued to decline, reaching 17.2 in 1989. After a period of relative stability during the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, the ratio declined from 17.3 in 1995 to 16.0 in 2000. Decreases have continued since then, and the public school pupil/teacher ratio was 15.5 in 2007. By comparison, the pupil/teacher ratio for private schools was 13.0 in 2007. The average class size in 2007–08 was 20.0 pupils for public elementary schools and 23.4 pupils for public secondary schools.

The Department says that more and more teachers are being hired even while the number of school children are not increasing. They said that by 2009 the pupils per teacher ratio had reached a new low of 15.3 students per teacher. Yet, Obama admits the government schools are an educational disaster zone.

This does not surprise me. Teachers, through their unions in particular, are major funders of Democrats. The more of them there are the better off the President’s political party is. The kids aren’t better off because it and the taxpayers are much worse off. But those teachers are faithful bureaucrats who vote to expand state power, confiscate more wealth and contribute mightily to Democratic campaign coffers.

I am told that the government does not spend enough money to educate kids. Again the average private school spends less per student, on average, and still gets better results. One of the absolute worst school systems in the country is the Washington, DC district. I once looked at their total budget, divided it by the number of students they deal and got the average amount spent per student.

I next looked at the tuition rates at the various prestigious private schools in the area. You know the ones I mean— those schools where Obama, Congressman, Senators and other government bureaucrats, send their children. Their children got superior educations from what they provide District schoolchildren and it cost less per student. They had a voucher system in DC and parents fought hard to include their kids in the system. The parents wanted it, the kids needed it; but the teacher’s unions whined that it was “unfair” since all kids apparently need equally bad unionized education. The Democrats, who kiss the ass of the unions, immediately caved and abolished vouchers for the poor. The unions were happy, the Democrats were happy, kids got screwed but you don’t think education is about the kids, do you?

I attended a small private residential school, not because my family was wealthy, which is how we libertarians are viewed by those who earn much more than we do. Actually I was admitted precisely because we were NOT wealthy. We were four kids and a single mother who was a widow. The oldest of us was barely 12 years old. The school was a charity for needy kids with tuition determined by whatever benefits the family received for the children. Various civic groups paid the rest of the cost.

Now I have some horror stories to tell about the place and might do so some day, but I doubt it. Some demons are best left buried. But those monsters are not related to the education per se. There were a handful of teachers for the students. The school itself had around 250 students. Most left in high school. There were really only a couple dozen students at that level and they lived on campus but attended the local public school. The bulk of the students, about 230 of us were pretty evenly distributed through the different grade school levels. That works out to close to 30 per grade.

There was a small school band, ROTC (yep) and some sports. There was a rec hall and open space to play but playtime was limited. There were no parents to help us with homework. We just sat down and did it ourselves. But the education itself was certainly adequate and on par with the public schools of the day, and vastly superior to the schools we now have.

After that I did one year in a huge, relatively awful suburban public high school but complained so much about it my mother tried to send us to a local private school. It had low tuition and was funded charitably but even that got too much of a burden. One day we were called to the school office and told we were being withdrawn from the school and sent back to government schools because the few hundreds dollars it cost per month, was too much for my mother to afford. We were shocked and disappointed, none of us wanted to go back to the government schools. Word spread we were leaving. By the end of the day our tuition was paid by our teachers, who took the money out of their relatively low wages—much lower than their government counterparts. The students at this school tested 2 years above their peer groups in government schools.

Being a private, unaccredited high school my diploma wasn’t recognized by the state. I had to take a GED test to make sure I was worthy of university. In most the categories I tested in the 90 percentile and 95 in one of them. All our students had to take GED tests because our school wasn’t deemed as good as the schools where our peers were two years behind us. By the way, the fact it was religious didn’t prevent my becoming an atheist and I know of quite a few atheists who graduated from Christian schools.

I think of Marva Collin’s an inner city schoolteacher who got sick and tired of the government bureaucracy. She started a school in her home and took kids the government schools said were too dumb to learn, or too problematic. She taught them and they excelled. To this day her ghetto kids, from poor families, many of whom were failing in the government schools, continue to outshine their public school counterparts. Ronald Reagan offered her the position of chairman of the federal Department of Education. She turned it down. Smart move – she knew the government system and why it was failing and simply shuffling staff around wouldn’t solve it.

We have a school system that is run like a prison. We have teachers who are more concerned about their pensions funds and early retirement that about teaching. We have school boards and politicians running the schools who are beholden to the teacher’s unions for their positions and who are more interested in satisfying their donors than teaching kids. We have a school system that has all the flaws of any system run by bureaucrats and politicians. No, Mr. Obama, we are not all to blame.

You are to blame. So is Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, George Bush Jr., a slew of Congressman, Senators, millions of politicians and bureaucrats across the country, along with teachers, and their unions. Parents feel powerless. Most have few options but to send to their kids to the nearest state educational asylum and hope for the best. They have choices in most other matters. Not in education. Kids are held hostage to the system and will be sacrificed to the gods of politics and used in the most contemptible ways to promote personal political agendas.

The whole mess will come down one day. I’m not keen for that to happen but it will happen. Government is a lumbering dinosaur that doesn’t know how to educate very well. It is a cookie-cutter system that imposes the same sort of regimen on every student, no matter how individualized the needs. Politicians make it worse, not only is every student treated the same, but they impose regulations to make every school the same—no diversity, no choice, just regimented politically motivated courses.

We should liberate the educational system. Defund all schools completely. Take the average funding per student and distribute it to the parents in the form of vouchers. Take every state educational asylum and turn them into private LLCs with all the teachers as joint owners. Let the teachers decide the curriculum; let them decide how many officials they need at the top of the rung. Abolish the department of education at the federal and state levels. Let private schools compete on the same terms as the teacher-run schools. Who ever can attract students, and keeps them, gets the funding. Those who fail students lose students and lose funding. Some of them may even go broke. And this atheist says “Thank God” for that. They deserve to go broke. Services that don’t perform should go under. But in government, failures get more funding because they are failures.

Let humanists, progressives, rationalists, libertarians and others who want secular, quality education open their own schools, or buy out the teachers at the failing schools. Let a thousand flowers bloom. Kids who thrive when left to explore on their own can go to schools that follow that policy. Those who require more discipline and regimentation can go there. We could have quality schools that aren’t bogged down in abstinence courses and fighting about “intelligent design,” because secular, science-based education is emphasized.

Will there be some awful schools that might still survive? Sure, just as today their tens of thousands of awful schools that suck in billions from the taxpayers and fail their students. But I bet there would be less of them. These god-awful educational asylums may fool the politicians but they aren’t fooling the parents. Today parents are pretty much powerless. With funding following students those parents would be empowered and they won’t take the crap that substandard schools are dishing out. Parents would move their kids and the funding would follow them to better schools. The mere threat that shitty schools could go bankrupt and close down is precisely the sort of discipline the educational establishment needs.


Monday, April 04, 2011

One very happy, very lucky dog.

This pooch is one lucky and happy dog. Three weeks after the terrible tsunami hit Japan he was found on a debris pile floating at sea. Clearly the tsunami took him out to sea and he climbed on the pile to survive. That he managed to live three weeks on that pile is incredible in itself. That he was found is even more astounding. And his owner survived and was reunited with the dog. You can tell the dog is very happy at the reunion. Just watch how excited he gets as she (I assume the owner is a she but with the breathing mask on it is hard to tell). It's a little bit of good news.

Obama begins reelection campaign.

After finishing the third term of George W. Bush, Obama is about to begin his campaign for a fourth.

As you might expect I am utterly and totally opposed to this malignant little man being reimposed on the American people. And I oppose him for exactly the same reasons that I thought Georgie Junior was such a disaster. The policy differences between Obama and Bush are insignificant and minor.

Bush gave us two undeclared wars. Obama denounced such moves without Congressional approval. But, in spite of saying he would end those wars he has not. Worse yet he decided to see Bush's two wars and raise him one war. He has now embroiled the US in three undeclared wars. They are Obama's wars now people. And where is the cowardly, sniveling left-wing "peace" movement? They are nowhere to be found. Why? Because it is one of their own men conducting the war.

It reminds me of the awful remark that Roger Baldwin, the founder of the ACLU, made when FDR put Japanese-Americans into concentration camps entirely based on their race. Baldwin, who normally would have screamed about such a move didn't act because Roosevelt was "one of us."

The deficits that Bush ran up continued under Obama and got much worse. The awful violations of human dignity imposed on the American people by Homeland Security and their paid gropers at the airports got much, much worse under Obama and the thuggish Janet Napolitano. Before they were rude, now they take your nude picture and fondle your genitals, all in the name of national security.

Bush gave us a vast expansion of national health care with his prescription plan and Obama took it much, much farther. You can be forced to buy health insurance and face punishments if you don't. And don't think the little man in the White House isn't going to push for less choice in medicine for you if he gets back in.

All of the significant policies that Bush promoted continue under Obama and have been escalated.

Here is the sad thing: just look at the low-lifes and theocratic scum that the Republicans are offering. You have the brainless Palin, the dangerous theocratic Huckabee, and the absolutely unprincipled Romney.

You can bet Ron Paul will run again but he isn't running for office, he's just fleecing the pockets of the true believers who make up the Rondroid legions. Apparently they were all so anxious to have "money bombs" for Paul that none of them had the brains to check the spending reports candidates file with the FEC. Had they done so they would see lots of spending to raise money, lots of traveling for Paul, but little being spent on things like actual campaign commercials. Money was flowing in but not being spent on a real campaign. Most the campaigning you saw was the unruly Rondroids, their signs, blimps and harassment of websites that challenged Ronnie. Under FEC regulations if Paul's campaign has money in the coffers when he retires, which will be after this term in office, or the next at the latest, all the extra funds can be donated to any non--profit organization including those that Ron has set up for himself. He won't be raising money for a presidential campaign at all.

There is just nothing out there. It is a wasteland. Not even the Libertarian Party can muster a decent candidate. Wayne Allyn Root is a two-bit fraud from Vegas with all the wit and charm of a pimp crossed with a used car salesman. And none of the challengers to Root are much better, at least none that have slithered out from underneath the rocks to date.

What we have is a really disgusting situation, far more disgusting than any time in recent decades. Before, the Republican Party at least didn't automatically make you want to grab for the vomit bag. Now they are catering to the dumbest, most ignorant, vile segment of the American public: Christian fundamentalists. These are the kind of people that bottom-feeding pond scum look down upon.

The Democrats are paid toadies for the unions, especially for the unions that represent government works such as the teacher's unions. The Democrats scream so much about greed regarding the Republicans because they are the organized party of greed, not the Republicans. God's Own Party, GOP, is the organized party of hate; that is different.

No, in truth the Democratic Party looks at elections as a means to rape the taxpayers to pay off the special interest groups that get them elected to office. The entire function of the Democratic Party today is to steal from taxpayers and redistribute the funds to their friends, not to the needy. The needy are merely the excuse the Democrats use to cover up their highway robbery and make it sound noble. The Republicans, on the other hand, think their job is to inflict pain and punishment on sinners in the name of Jesus. Fuck them both!

I remember a watching a radical Left group getting into an altercation with the police. The police were lined up on side, batons ready to bash heads. The screaming, dirty, radicals on the other side were spitting venom and itching for a fight. I watched for a second and yelled: "Hit them!" A woman standing next to me thought about it and asked, "Who do you want to get hit?" I told her: "Between them, I don't much care."

Both the Republicans and Democrats are so vile that I don't care which one gets bashed. Either way I know they will do a lot of damage to the rest of us in the process. Both parties are shrinking and are captured by small radical groups. The Democrats are under the thumbs of greedy unions and the hateful fundamentalists have the GOP by the balls. Fewer and fewer Americans support the two main parties and more and more independents dominate the polling places.

These independents are what I call mushy libertarians. They mostly want wars to end, aren't interested in using the state to enforce the Bible, don't care much for Obamacare, high taxes, or government control of markets. They tend to think that gay people should have most, if not all the rights, of everyone else. They aren't that keen to regulate abortion, impose censorship or see a massive expansion of the welfare state. They are not consistent libertarians but they aren't like the greedy bastards in the Democratic Party and they aren't similar to the hateful bigots that dominate the Republican Party.

And they still don't have a candidate they can support. These are the type of voters who might line up behind someone like Gary Johnson, who I think is a decent man. But the GOP won't nominate a decent man under any circumstances. Jesus wouldn't approve. And you can bet that Ron Paul will actively run in competition with Johnson, not because he wants to run for president, as Johnson clearly does, but because he wants to raise funds for future use. Ron Paul will stab Johnson in the back if that is what is necessary to raise lots of funds. Already I've seen Rondroids who are actually close to Ron spreading accusations against Johnson. Hysterically they are claiming that Johnson isn't as libertarian as Ron—quite the opposite is true. Johnson is a libertarian, while Paul is a paleoconservative. (By the way: Do you know the difference between a paleoconservative and a paleolibertarian? Good; neither do I.)

Me, I'm just sick of these sorts of choices. I'll sit out the election and just prepare as best as I can for the disasters that will be inflicted no matter which piece of shit wins office.

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