Friday, January 20, 2012

Want a Revolution? Pass This Amendment

Write up and pass this as a Constitutional amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of private enterprise, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

This would effectively put into law Ayn Rand's ideal of separation of business and state. This does not mean that business would go completely unregulated. They would still be subject to pollution controls, for example. Churches cannot dump raw sewage into creeks, for example.

This would prohibit special deals, regulations that benefit some businesses and not others, tax breaks, other words, it would address the problems that many Americans of all stripes have with crony capitalism while encouraging competition and growth.

Something to consider.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weighty Issues....

Chris Christie went on Oprah's new cable show recently to discuss a problem issue that they share, weight and how to deal with criticism and ridicule. Oprah Winfrey framed the discussion as a personal issue, opening up about her problems with David Letterman. Christie was just as frank about his own challenges.

Weight is a growing problem. I don't mean that obesity is a growing problem because, frankly, it is not society's problem when a person makes the lifestyle choices that result in obesity (I am speaking as a person who has fought the battle of the bulge himself, by the way.) The culture has embraced a demonization of those who do not conform to elitist standards of how a person should eat and exercise.

Consider Paula Deen. She held the secret of her diabetes diagnosis for three years. Why? Overboard elitist control freaks already equate her love of butter as among the most malevolent forces on earth (of course her southern self-confidence is part of that too.) She obviously knew that a backlash was coming, even though she preaches eating in moderation.

It's not just skinny people doing this. Mike Huckabee and Michelle Obama, have felt the need from time to time, to tell us how we should eat. This is irritating, but fine so long as they just talk. But when they propose spending millions to teach people that eating Big Macs every day is bad, that's when it crosses the line. Government does not exist to act like mommy and daddy, telling people what to eat. Or, like Michael Bloomberg, fashion laws to control consumption.

Chris Christie, and others with weight issues, should be judged by who they are and what they do. In other words, the content of their character. Obesity is a result of choices, not a disease, not a character flaw. Very brilliant people, like William Howard Taft, get weight problems. Very incompetent people, like a few presidents, can remain slim and trim for their entire lives.

It is time to stop judging and marginalizing individuals for their weight. That means that we should stop going on and on about how Americans should live a healthier lifestyle. We know what one is. We either will or we won't. And that is an individual decision.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Imagine This Scenario...

A man robs a woman of her purse and escapes immediate notice. He looks, acts, and sounds like anyone else. A few blocks away, he hails a taxi. The driver, who has no idea that this guy is a purse thief, picks him up, takes him ten miles away, and the robber completely evades capture. Eventually the authorities figure out that the criminal took that particular taxi and fine the driver a thousand dollars for picking up the criminal.

Is this fair or right? Law enforcement, in such a case, has pushed its job off onto a private enterprise that cannot spare time and effort to do it.

Of course not. However, under pressure from the entertainment industry, Congress is considering a law that would punish Google and other search engines in the same fashion when they unknowingly link people to pirating websites. Google responded with a campaign to raise awareness, while Wikipedia shut itself off for a day in protest.

Online pirating is a real problem that cuts into the profits of hard-working businesses. It must be halted by law enforcement. Pushing the task of identifying criminals off onto a business, then punishing them for not knowing who is, or is not a criminal, is foolish in the extreme.

The Stop Online Piracy Act needs stopped.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Let us pause to remember those who fought for the dream of a colorblind society, including Martin Luther King Jr., and the Kanawha County Republican Party's own, Booker T. Washington.