Category Archives: Libertarian/Political Stuff

Questions I Ask

After a horrific deadly crash, there’s concern that school bus drivers could be on the road with kids in a bus while the MVA is processing a license downgrade or suspension, and there’s no process to alert the driver’s employer or the school system.

The question I, as a libertarian, ask:  Could a private organization solve this problem more effectively than a government organization?

I think the answer might be ‘yes’.  Private certification, requiring the driver provide contact information for their employer, notification processes, and more stringent certification processes, could all happen, and be more effective.  With an added bonus – accountability.  I certainly expect the driver’s estate and his employer will face lawsuits, but the MVA won’t.  A private certification organization charged with this responsibility would also be accountable (making it perhaps more likely they get it right, because they have a profit motive.)

I doubt anyone will ask the question, though.  Instead the question will be ‘what law or regulation can we pass that would prevent this’, even though existing regulations should have.  No one will consider that government isn’t the solution.




Three Reasons

There are three reasons I’m looking forward to a Donald Trump Presidency

  1. Left/Liberals are at their funniest when they lose.  No one plays the victim better, and they just get so upset.
  2. Entertainment value.  Seriously.
  3. A Trump presidency will force Republicans to either denounce their supposed ideals, and be honest about the fact that they are essentially just as in favor of big government, intervention in the private sector, and against liberty as the Democrats are – OR – they’ll fight Trump just as much as they would fight Clinton, leading to Gridlock.  I think it far more likely the former, and a moment of honesty would be good for everyone.  I also think it would destroy the Republican party, and from its ashes could rise a party (or parties) that better reflect historical classical liberal ideals.

There are three reasons I’m looking forward to a Hillary Clinton Presidency:

  1. Gridlock.  Absolutely nothing will get done in Washington, because Republicans in Congress will spend all of their time trying to remover her from office.  Nothing getting done is about the best someone with my philosophy can hope.
  2. She probably won’t start a nuclear war.
  3. President Tim Kaine.  Let’s all have a moment of honesty here (remember, honesty is good):  of the 4 people at the top of the major party Presidential tickets, he’s the one best suited for the Presidency.  And she’s not going to make it 4 years – there’s more coming on the Clinton Foundation, and with Congress going after her, they’ll find something.  (I also think they’ll find things on the last two or three Presidents, and I fear they may find things that severely damage national security).

On November 8, I’ll be continuing my long standing tradition of voting for someone who won’t win.  Luckily, it doesn’t really matter that much.

Fun School Funding Facts


Well, if you listen to some city residents, and lots of city school administrators, that’s what you’re hearing about the Evil Republican Governor’s budget with respect to state funding for city schools.

The Baltimore Sun does a nice job explaining why there is a $35 Million reduction.  Fact is, it’s not because of The Evil Republican, it’s due to a formula that is more than a decade old. One, most likely, approved by the Democrats who control politics in Maryland.

Anyway, we’re hearing that this $35 Million cut is a catastrophe.  That students won’t have books, that 400 teachers will lose their jobs, that crumbling schools will be unsafe.  Having been a resident of Baltimore City, albeit one without children, I paid attention to the city schools, paid attention to the complete lack of accountability in leadership.  Watched as they celebrated a 60% graduation rate.  Watched as they lost millions of dollars.

Now, I’m a resident of Baltimore County, and I pay more attention to things here.  I compare, and I contrast.  You should, too.  After hearing the uproar and panic about the funding cuts, I decided to spend a little time on my own.  In about a half an hour, using search terms like ‘Baltimore City School Budget’ and Baltimore County School Budget’, and doing some math on a pad of paper, I discovered some fun facts.

  • $35 Million represents 2.6% of the entire city school budget for 2014 (I could not find a 2015 budget).  It represents a 3.5% reduction in state funds.  I would suggest that if a reduction of 2.6% is a catastrophe, maybe you need to look at the leaders of the school system, but that’s me and my corporate background.
  • The 2014 City School budget was $1,323,228,827
  • The 2015 Baltimore County School budget is $1,561,487,499.  That represents about a 6% reduction from 2014.
  • There are 110,000 students in Baltimore County, and there are 85,000 students in Baltimore City.  The Baltimore County budget is about $1,400 less per student.  While objective school success measures are difficult, they do somehow graduate 84% of students, versus 68.5% in the City. (I’ve seen a $3,000 spending gap published, but my math doesn’t agree with that number.  I suppose it may be due to how people look at capital budgets, which I have included.)
  • Baltimore City, with 25,000 fewer students, spends $30 Million more on Administration.  The County spends $1,300 per kid on Administration, the City spends $2,025.  That’s roughly $700 per child more (that’s half the difference in spending, by the way.)

The bottom line is this:  The administrators of Baltimore City Schools are proclaiming the sky is falling.  Why?  Because budget cuts put their jobs in danger.  Budget cuts make citizens do what I did, and actually look at the numbers.  They are lying when they say these cuts will have drastic effects on children, but that’s the only way to get parents upset enough to call their representatives to try to get more money.

Instead, perhaps the citizens of Baltimore should hold their elected leaders accountable.  Perhaps someone should take a look at North Avenue, and find out why they need to spend $30 Million more than their neighbors for the administration of schools serving 25,000 less kids.  Perhaps, just perhaps, some waste could be eliminated.

Anyone who thinks a 2.6% cut in funding for city schools should affect the day to day education of kids hasn’t looked at how the city schools are run.  I’m pretty sure I could find 5% in that budget in a couple of weeks.  I’d offer, but I’m not connected enough to get a job in City school administration.

Confused or hypocrites?

I’m not sure if folks are confused, or if they are hypocrites, although I lean towards the former.  I like to believe the best of people.

How can anyone who says they believe the Constitution of the United States is the foundation of the laws and limits on government power also believe that placing someone in quarantine without a warrant or court order?

And, for the other side, if a Democrat had locked up the nurse, you would be silent.  How do I know?  Because you’re silent about Guantanamo Bay and drone assassinations.  Thing is, you shouldn’t be surprised, as this is the sort of government power you support.  As long as it isn’t used against a nurse.  Or something.

A refresher, in the event I’m right, and it’s just confusion:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

For anyone having difficulty, that says you can not deprive a person of their liberty without due process.  PERIOD.


Know Where You Stand

Yesterday, the President came to Baltimore to visit Fort McHenry as part of the 200th anniversary of the National Anthem.  War of 1812 and all that.

He, as one would expect, arrived via the Marine One helicopter… there’s plenty of space at Fort McHenry to land a helicopter.

This is, I think we would all agree, a normal and acceptable function of the head of state.  He visited a major celebration of an important time in the history of the United States, got to tour a historical site, and hobnob with the people there.  I’m cool with that.

At about 3-3:30PM, however, I95 southbound was closed at the Ft McHenry tunnel.  All access routes out of Baltimore to I95 Southbound were closed.  I695 Westbound from I95 (the West side inner loop) was also closed, so there was no access to I695 to go West or North from I95 all the way around to past I70.

It remained closed until after 5PM.

That’s on a Friday.  During rush hour.  As an Orioles game ended.  During a huge historic celebration bringing tourists into and around Baltimore.

The road closures were not announced until they were happening, and no ETAs for reopening were provided.


Because the President needed to attend a fundraiser for Democratic Senators, held at a private residence in Northwest Baltimore.  A house owned by a wealthy hedge fund manager, and a fundraiser that cost tens of thousands of dollars to attend.  (I’m thinking everyone there was probably in the 1%).

The result?  Tens of thousands of commuters were stuck.  Downtown Baltimore was absolutely gridlocked for hours.  Since there were no alternate routes, and overpasses along His travel route were also closed, there was no where to go, and no one knew what time it would end.

I understand the security needs of the President.  While I think it’s overkill to shut down an interstate so He can use it, I get it.  I understand why the closures aren’t announced, and why the timing isn’t shared with the public  What I don’t understand is how we got to the point that we simply accept the President can shut down a city for a couple of hours during rush hour to go to a fundraiser.  How much did that fundraiser cost the area in lost productivity?  Frustration?  Parents getting home to their kids?  I would argue it’s thousands of hours, and in the millions of dollars.

Here’s what it cost me, just as an example: Continue reading

Clintons and Money

I don’t begrudge anyone success, and I don’t begrudge anyone their wealth (unless it was amassed via theft or fraud, and while I think there might be a little of that in any politicians’ past, there’s no real evidence the Clintons are rich because they stole money from someone.)  I also don’t begrudge the children of wealthy people.

Via the New York Daily News, Chelsea Clinton carries on her parents’ tradition of being completely out of touch and incredibly arrogant.

“I was curious if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t,” she told Fast Company in an interview that ran in the magazine’s May edition, explaining why she gave up lucrative gigs to join her family’s philanthropic foundation.

Comparing her experience to the average millennial, the 34-year-old former first daughter defended jumping around to different careers — from consulting to a hedge fund to academia to journalism — before finding her true calling working with her parents.

“It is frustrating, because who wants to grow up and follow their parents? I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents … it’s a funny thing to realize I feel called to this work, both as a daughter and also as someone who believes I have contributions to make,” she continued about her reluctant status as a boomerang kid.

The Clinton name likely opened doors for the political heiress, including an eye-popping $600,000 annual salary for an irregular stint as an NBC special correspondent, but Chelsea insists her work speaks for itself.

“I will just always work harder (than anybody else) and hopefully perform better,” said Clinton, who along with former banker husband Marc Mezvinsky, purchased a $10.5-million Gramercy Park apartment in 2013. “And hopefully, over time, I preempt and erase whatever expectations people have of me not having a good work ethic, or not being smart, or not being motivated.”

Again – I don’t begrudge her success, and I don’t doubt she’s talented, hard working, and ambitious.  Frankly, good for her that she can land a big salary at NBC.  What gets me is she seems to think she needs to apologize for being successful, and then try to get us to believe she’s going to live like some pauper…  trust me, it gets a lot easier to not care about the money the more of it you have.

So be proud of your success, Chelsea.  Own it.  And quit pandering.

Hat tip:  Against Crony Capitalism

Things that should scare you

And, frankly, things that should eliminate someone from serious contention as a Presidential candidate.  Via Huffpost:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about her views on gun control Tuesday, saying she was “disappointed” Congress did not pass a universal background checks bill after “the horrors” of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation, we cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” Clinton said during a CNN town hall.

I want you to read that again, carefully.  This is a professional politician.  She does not make mistakes with her language.  I think she believes what she says.  And she says we ‘cannot let a minority of people… hold a viewpoint…’  So with a third Clinton administration, your viewpoints will be policed if you are in the minority.

Although I guess they are, already.




They finally admit they believe you are too stupid to make your own choices.

We regulate all sorts of things because the general public is not smart enough to know when they’re about to be fleeced

– Sen. Delores G. Kelley (Democrat – Baltimore County), who is much smarter than you are.  Just ask her.

Baltimore Crime Solution

There’s been a lot of talk recently about crime in Baltimore.  People are upset.  Politicians are attending community meetings.  There is hand wringing.

But I haven’t seen a real solution.

There are two:

First, end the war on drugs.  The majority of violent crime in Baltimore, and certainly the majority of murders, are related to the war on drugs.

Second, and more (if you can believe it) complicated, the citizens need to take back the streets.  Criminals need to be afraid.  They need to be unsure if someone is going to fight back, or hurt them, or call the cops, or testify.  The single most important thing the people can do:  carry a firearm.  Quit waiting for the courts to fix the issues in the state legislature, quit being afraid of what the police might do.  How much chance is there, really, that a Baltimore city police officer will engage you, a law-abiding citizen of Canton, search you, and find your concealed handgun?  No one will know until you have to use it.  I think it’s worth the risk.

If you don’t, carry mace, or pepper spray, or a cattle prod; it doesn’t matter to me.  Engage the criminals, and win the fight.  Send them home limping, hurt, scarred, and they will think twice next time.  Yes, there’s risk; at some point you need to assume that risk, or let them win.

Up until a few years ago, you never even saw a police car in Little Italy.  No crime.  Why?  Because if you broke into a car there and got caught they didn’t call the police.  Because people were watching, and more importantly, people were ready to take action.

These are your streets.  Act like it.


A National Discussion

Two people were murdered in a mall in Columbia, MD, and the killer then shot himself.  A horrible tragedy, certainly a frightening event, and an example of senseless violence. We will probably learn more over the coming days about the three, my guess is this wasn’t random, that the killer targeted his victims for some reason.

Since January 1, there have been 19 homicides in Baltimore, and nearly 20 additional shootings that were not fatal.

Only one of these leads talking heads and politicians to proclaim we need to have a National Discussion.  A discussion about guns, violence, mental health, safety, domestic violence, and/or any number of other things.  But there’s no need for a discussion about the Baltimore murder rate in January.


Is it because no one wants a discussion about the failure of the welfare state, the failure of the drug war, the results of ongoing institutional poverty, the effects of a high rate of unwed/teen pregnancy, the dropout rate in Baltimore City schools, or is it not the narrative any of the talking heads want associated with politicians in Maryland?

Or do the dead people in Baltimore just not matter?

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