Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's time for Alcohol Registration(!)

It's time for Alcohol Registration(!) Nobody argues that more people die every year from drunk drivers than any other non-biological cause and it's time we finally do something about it. The one tool brought out all the time to solve other instances of wrongful death is never mentioned - "Registration". So how about, "if you want to buy alcohol, you must register." I know, people will say, "well how does that help? If someone registers, get's drunk, get's behind the wheel of a car (which is already illegal), drives and then kills a family and himself, what good did that do? So he was registered, so what!"

Well, the next logical addition to this law would be that registrations must be approved (for a small fee) by a trusted government entity (like the ATF) responsible for applying the proper regulations for the kinds of people who's registrations will be approved or not. For example, if you're a felon, then you're registration would not be approved - and therefore you could not buy alcohol, thus reducing the chances of you getting any and then getting behind the wheel of a car(!) And some will say, "well, that's fine but who will determine what these regulations will be?" Of course, a trusted government appointed committee can determine what the appropriate regulations should be. And what's the worse that could happen besides what all the government conspiracy kooks might think?

There's already plenty of examples of how this works in other areas. Take gun registration for example. Clearly you can see how "the people" would win(!)

For those of you who think I've lost my mind, I haven't. I'm only trying to make a point about registration and guns and registration in general, not alcohol. My punctuation errors are intentional. In many computer programming languages the "!" means to invert, it's a "Not" logical operator. I thought an honest attempt to apply this "Registration" thinking to another problem similar in nature to gun violence might demonstrate how foolish the idea of gun registration truly is, and how the only party that really benefits from the gun registration "solution" is the ruling party. Hopefully, you can already see some of the other fallacies in this argument. For example, how little of an effect it would actually have on preventing people from having alcohol who really want it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to tell if a Law is Good or Not?

It should be pretty obvious that in today's complex ecosystem of politics, almost nobody truly understands what the ultimate impact of every new law will be.  Here's why:  

  1. Today, it's common for legislators to not even read the law.   
  2. It's common for a law to be motivated or opposed by a commercial interests or other corrupt intentions.
  3. It's common for legislators who actually do read the law to not understand it.
  4. It's common for multiple yet unrelated laws to be bundled together to help obfuscate the obviously bad or corrupted ones.
  5. It's common for those who transcribe the law into the practical US and State Codes and regulations to change it in someway as a matter of necessity, incompetence or ignorance.
  6. It's common for those who enforce the law to misinterpret or choose to enforce only portions of the law or twist the intent.
  7. It's common for those who adjudicate the law to twist the outcome or success of its intent.
  8. It's not possible to predict how future legislators, regulators, enforcement agents and judges will interpret and process the law - plenty of history on this starting with the second amendment, first and fourth amendments - then and now.

Given this gauntlet of improbabilities, that a law will even be in practice as it was originally intended, what is the possibility a law will actually even do most of what it is intended to do these days without other unforeseen consequences ala "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"? 

Then, given all the incomplete, incompetent, misguided, obfuscated and corrupted information available these days, I believe that very few, if any people are actually qualified to determine that a law will be good.  So with the impossible task of understanding the necessary complexities and interactions of our huge governmental ecosystem, in order to make finite judgments on individual laws, I’ve concluded that a philosophy about new laws is easier to manage and just about as effective, if not more, than trying to fathom the implications of every new law.

And I base that philosophy on personal liberty which many people feel is tied to the size of government.  Indeed - as government grows bigger, individuals get smaller.  But, it’s probably easier to show that the “size of government” has decreased over this current administration rather than increased,  so I wouldn’t even attempt it. 

Because, so much redistribution of government resources has taken place in the last 12 years, it really only boils down to how much liberty we are losing year over year.  For example, decreasing the size of military but increasing domestic agency enforcement officers could result in a net effect of reducing the size of government but increasing the loss of personal liberty.  Or reducing department size but increasing computational abilities, tools and intelligence could result again in more loss of liberty even though the number of personnel shrank.  Basically, if we could show the increase in the power of government year over year, in its ability to invade and control the lives of its citizens, I think everyone would be seriously frightened.  And new laws are often the justification for growing the size and/or powers of enforcement agencies.

And so, here's some of the statistics you'll never see:

A year by year comparison of:
·         The number of government employed or sponsored people who are in enforcement positions.
·         A “liberty overhead coefficient” (for example, # of regulations X severity of punishment)
·         Enforcement Systems Effectiveness (weapons, control and intelligence gathering)

All I know is that I could do a lot more with a lot less worry about being in “compliance” with something or someone, or the paper work to do it, the farther I look back in time during my life.  And there’s only one organization that everyone always looks to for help solving the world's problems which displaces that level of personal freedom – government.

So, in my opinion, the reach of the part of government which invades my privacy and threatens my freedom has increased almost every year since I was born.  And this feels like and exponential progression, not linear.  So, with the impossible task of understanding the necessary complexities and interactions as well as whose "facts" to believe, my philosophy has come down to this:

Anything that produces a net growth in the government’s means of control or enforcement is further detrimental to personal liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

Since new laws generally make things more difficult and contribute to the growth or reach of some form of enforcement mechanism.  I feel it’s statistically safer to be against any such law if you don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to fully investigate it.  And, given the media’s incompetence, the purposeful obfuscation of information by both government and industrial entities with their own agendas, fear and omissions, I reassert that, it’s not possible for anyone to make these decisions for the overall good in any consistent manner regardless of where they are in or out of government!

And this is why of all the active politicians I’ve tried to follow, Rand Paul is currently on top of my list.  Rand Paul often has the fewest legislative proposals which increase the invasive powers or corruptible power of the government.  Of the legislation Rand Paul has sponsored or introduced, I would agree with at least 70% of it.  No one else is above 30% in my book.  And at 70%, that's the best I expect to find.  So what is the agreement percentage you honestly give your favorite politician in terms of HIS ACTUAL LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS (not what dribbles out of his mouth) which affect your personal liberty?