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A reply to Salon's R. J. Eskrow, and his 11 stupid questions about Libertarians

Posts here have been in short supply as I have been living life and trying to get a campaign off the ground. But "11 questions to see if Libertarians are hypocrites" by R. J. Eskrow, picked up at Salon , was just so freaking lame that I spent half an hour answering them. In the end (but I'll leave it to your judgment), it is not that Libertarians or Libertarian theory looks hypocritical, but that the best that can be said for Mr. Eskrow is that he doesn't have the faintest clue what he's talking about. That's ok, because even ill-informed attacks by people like this make an important point:  Libertarian ideas (as opposed to Conservative ideas, which are completely different) are making a comeback as the dynamic counterpoint to "politics as usual," and so every hack you can imagine must be dragged out to refute them. Ergo:  Mr. Eskrow's 11 questions, with answers: 1.       Are unions, political parties, elections, and
Recent posts

Freedom, cheap buses, journalism

Yesterday's WNJ carried a story entitled  Stopping 'Chameleon' Bus Lines is No Easy Task . Notice first, the assumption inherent in the title:  somebody in authority is trying to look out for you. Here are the first several paragraphs:     At the end of 2011, federal regulators slapped a shutdown order on Double Happyness, a private, super-low-cost bus line running from Wilmington to New York’s Chinatown, for what they called  “a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety.” But buses kept running from the station, a spartan storefront at 3 W. Fourth St., under the name New Everyday Bus Tour, a company owned by the brother of Double Happyness’ owner. Last month, after racking up a long list of violations of its own, New Everyday’s authority, too, was revoked by the U.S. Department of Transportation after it did not provide proof of insurance. And, once again, buses are still running from in front of the station, to the same terminal in New Yo

Talking about pollution in Delaware without the lies and evasions

Like the Vichy French police official Louis in Casablanca  who was "Shocked! I tell you, shocked!" to discover gambling at Rick's Place (while pocketing his winnings), the strategy of Governor Jack Markell, the rest of Delaware's "major party" politicians, the Editorial Board of the Wilmington News Journal, and our so-called "corporate leadership" has been to pretend that the discovery of pollution in the First State is the fault of . . . Delaware citizens. More to the point, it is Delaware citizens who are going to be hit with a $700,000,000 bill for a multi-year clean-up--the overwhelming majority of which will find its way into the hands of the same corporations who dumped toxic chemicals into our air and water for years. THIS is the famed "Delaware Way." I'm going to lay it out for you.  It will be long and it will be unlovely, and I will take no prisoners. I'm not ready to get into finding (and funding) the solutions

Helping Delaware (and Joe Miro) solve the Medicaid conundrum

Two months ago, in a post covering the Delaware government's immense surprise at rising Medicaid costs , I quoted this from the WNJ: Officials in Markell’s administration say they were surprised this fall when the federal government signaled it would shift some Medicaid costs back to the state. The move was triggered by a technical change in the way federal economists calculate personal income, and could cost the state an unexpected $25 million. And I said this: I'm not sure who really believed that (A) adding 20,000-30,000 people to the 215,000 people in Delaware already on Medicaid wasn't going to cost more; or that (B) the cash-strapped Feds weren't going to look for a way to shift more of the expense downward.  Nobody's repealed the law of gravity recently.   Last week the WNJ reported that the General Assembly's budget committee and the 22nd State Representative District's own incumbent Joe Miro are now getting around to grappling with this issue

Delaware's war on poverty is a war on poor people!?

With today's WNJ story about the fact that Delaware flunks any reasonable standard of effective Public Defenders for our poorer citizens, we come full circle to discover the Democrats' and Republicans' plan for eliminating poverty in Delaware . . . . . . which is to convict and incarcerate poor people. Remember 2001, when Delaware was criticized by the ACLU for cutting the budget of the Delaware Parole Board?  More than likely you don't, because I can't find evidence that any news organization in the State picked up the story. Remember "bail reform" last year?  It's really important to note exactly who the State bragged about as the support for this bill: Reform efforts led by Attorney General, Rep. Keeley, Senator Henry [and] . . .  the Wilmington Mayor’s Office, the Wilmington City Council, Wilmington PD, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Delaware Police Chiefs Council. I'm sure you saw this hailed as a major "anti-violent cri

Delaware public education: you are getting what you voted for

There is an old saying, "The beatings will continue until morale improves." This is pretty similar to what various Delaware educrats and (unfortunately) union leaders are saying about the new Smarter Balanced Assessment and Common Core Standards. To wit: "The reality is that our 15-year-olds are below average on mathematics, and they're average in reading," Michael Watson, the state's chief academic officer, told a gathering of school leaders last week. "These higher standards mean our students will be more competitive, and it means they will be more ready for college and careers." This is in fact such an idiotic argument that in an culture run by common sense (as opposed to Common Core), Mr. Watson would have been required to quit his position in abject shame. Think about this:  "Higher standards mean our students will be more competitive." What they don't want you to look behind the curtain and see is that this is the old

Senator Carper takes a stand . . . and Delaware Democrats need to do the same

A lot of people have asked me why, if I intended to be a serious candidate for the Delaware General Assembly, I didn't bite the bullet and run as a Democrat. Here's a major reason why I can't do that: Senator Thomas Carper (D-Fortune 500) has taken a firm stand as one of only three US Senators voting against the restoration of Cost of Living Allowances for retired military veterans. Senator Carper is, of course, a former Naval aviator, who receives $1,400/month in retirement pay. He says, “We‘re making some progress on def­icit reduction in this country, but our def­icit is still a half-trillion dollars this year, and that's huge," he said.  "If we are serious about making progress, all of us who are able to do something to help out need to do that.  I think Americans are willing to do their part if asked, and I think they look to people like me to try to provide some leadership and set an example." No, Senator Carper, we're not look