Free Markets, Free People

Monthly Archives: April 2013

It’s hard being right all the time

Long ago, I argued that the end result of Lawrence v. Texas, and ultimately the legalization of gay marriage, would ineluctably lead to calls to polygamous marriage, and in some fringe cases, incest. Here I am arguing it in 2005. What I was told at the time, essentially was:

Ah, the famed ’slippery slope’ argument.  It goes like this: ’’Opening the concept of marriage to any interpretation will lead to a slippery slope for any type of relationship to emerge as the new norm.’’

This is patently offensive. It says that if a loving gay couple can marry, we will have to allow a zookeeper somewhere to marry his monkey.  Then, we have to allow Jethro to marry 8 women.  We have to allow dad to marry his daughter.

But that response was stupid. Because it was essentially, "Your artificial definition of marriage is monstrous. But my artificial definition of marriage will hold, impervious, for as long as the sun burns hot in space."

But, I was right, of course. Now that gay marriage seems to be becoming fixed as an accepted right, we find ourselves faced with the next logical push for expansion of marriage. In Slate today, Jillian Keenan has penned an article urging the legalization of polygamy. Indeed, according to her, it’s a feminist imperative.

While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too. Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.

It will empower women! Indeed, look at how empowered women are in all the polygamous societies that currently exist in the world. And in polygamous societies all throughout history.

Oh. Wait. It’s the exact opposite of that, isn’t it?

Anyway, the argument goes that, under the feministy, empowering regime of legal polygamy it won’t be patriarchal polygyny. No, a woman can have two or three husbands! Because, you know, men like nothing better than letting their wives screw other guys. That’s just human nature.

In any event, the definition of marriage is plastic, you see. it’s just a social construct and it can mean anything we want it to mean. And there’s nothing inherently better in one definition of "marriage" or another. It’s all good! Family is family, right? So, like, whatever.

But, let’s forget the argument about whether polygamy is a good or a bad thing. Ultimately the point is that I was, of course, right to argue that we’d end up with arguments demanding a right to polygamy and, despite gay marriage advocates calling me a monster for even suggesting such an unseemly slippery slope argument, well…here we are.

Eight years ago, the slippery slope polygamy argument was just a load of Rick Santorum, wingnut, Christer bullsh*t. Today, it turns out it was just a logical prediction that was correct, and entirely foreseeable. I suppose that means that, eight years from now, we’ll have to let Jaime and Cersei Lannister get married.

So, we should probably start thinking about how we’re gonna deal that little dick, Joffre, right now.

~
Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 16 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The Fed reports that industrial production rose 0.4% in March, while capacity utilization at the nation’s factories rose slightly to 78.5%.

Housing starts were unexpectedly strong in March, up 7.0% to a 1.036million annual rate, however, all the strength was in multi-family units. Building permits fell -3.9% to a 0.902 million annual rate, well below expectations.

The Consumer Price index fell -0.2%, while the core rate, ex-food and -energy, rose 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis the CPI is up 1.5% and the core CPI is up 1.9%.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook’s year-on-year sales growth rate fell to 2.0%, while ICSC-Goldman sales fell -1.1% this week, and are up only 2.0% year-on-year.

~
Dale Franks
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Boston’s aftermath

Obviously my heart and condolences go out to those who were killed and injured in the cowardly bombings in Boston yesterday, and, as with everyone, I stand with the people of Boston.  However, that all said, I have to tell you that when I heard what had happened yesterday, I had a sinking feeling that hasn’t dissipated yet.

I know, as usual, we’re going to over react. Well, perhaps not “us” as in you and I, but our betters in positions of elective power will. It is as sure a bet as the sun rising in the east.

Prepare yourself for more restrictions on you liberty and freedom.  That’s a given.  The only answer government has, in reality, is to clamp down even further on our ability to interact freely without it monitoring those interactions.  How else, it will tell us, can it work toward ensuring another Boston doesn’t happen?

And, of course, this will manifest itself in the form of even more laws and restrictions all in the name of safety and security. Prepare for more justifications to intrude on your privacy.   More laws that will restrict you from purchasing certain items.  More scrutiny when you travel.  In sum, less freedom and more government.

I’d love to believe that won’t happen.  But it will.  It’s not even in doubt.  Just as we have seen government over-reaction in the aftermath of Newtown, CT, you can count on the same thing happening when the carnage is so much more.

Part of that will be driven by the usual media overload, the result of the 24 hour news cycle combined with “if it bleeds it leads” and the partisan talking heads who simply don’t know when to shut up.  Chris Matthews, among many others, is an example of that ilk. And, of course, it will all boil down to opposing political agendas with the freedom and liberty lobby taking the usual beating.

We’ll also see a substantial portion of the population laud these new restrictions and laws, still not understanding who it is that pays no attention to (or figures out ways to circumvent) them.  Instead the law abiding will live with the loss of liberty, while the terrorists and criminals will ignore the government’s “solution”.

We’re a nation without the ability to put events like this in context (thanks in part to the saturation coverage by the media and the alarmism by politicians).  We’re a nation that has run scared for years.

It’s time to suck it up and stand up.  These things are going to happen.  None of us like that or find it acceptable. But what should be equally unacceptable and unliked is the continuous bleeding away of our liberties.

Free nations should understand that with that freedom comes risk.  And, as we have seen, no matter how many laws and restrictions we put in place, these things still happen.  I’m not saying we should be vigilant and take precautions.  I’m saying we shouldn’t over-react like we constantly do.

Boston is a terrible tragedy.  We don’t need to compound it by taking away more of the freedoms we have apparently taken for granted in the past.

~McQ

Economic Statistics for 15 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The Housing Market Index fell 2 points in April to a worse-than-expected 42, the lowest since October.

The Empire State Mfg Survey shows an abruptly slowing rate of monthly growth in the district, falling over 6 points to 3.05.

Net foreign demand for long-term U.S. securities fell into negative territory, with a net outflow of -17.8 billion.

~
Dale Franks
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It’s tax day … sorry, I’m not in the mood

After considering the check being written by me to the scumbags that run this joint, I’m not in a particularly good mood.  They’ll waste it as we all know.  There are millions, if not billions of items or programs or, well you name it, that government has no business even being near that they’re up to their rear ends in.  And, as we’ve said a million times, government’s have no money … they can only tax it or borrow it.  At this very moment, while they’re taking an obscene percentage of what I worked very hard to make last year, they’re planning on borrowing even more to spend on crap like this and tell us it’s “necessary.”

Anyway, this is as good as it gets today.

See you tomorrow.

~McQ

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 14 Apr 13

This week, Michael and Dale discuss Kermit Gosnell and the UK.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.

Economic Statistics for 12 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Falling gas prices sent Producer Prices down by -0.6% in March, the though the core PPI rate rose 0.2%. On a year over year basis, the PPI is up 1.1%, and the core PPI is up 1.7%.

Retail sales fell a disappointing -0.4% in March. Sales were also down -0.4% ex-autos, and down -0.1% ex-autos and gas.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell 6.7 points in the first April reading to 72.3.

Business inventories were steady in February, rising only 0.1%. A 1.2% increase in sales drove down the stock-to-sales ratio to a lean 1.28.

~
Dale Franks
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Obama’s Orwellian budget claim in pictures

Orwellian, in that his claim is as follows:

President Obama is marketing his new budget by saying it has “more than $2 in spending cuts for every $1 of new revenue.” Is this true?

In a word, no.

In fact, his spending increases and advertised spending cuts cancel each other out—leaving only a massive tax increase.

Here’s a graphical representation of the point:

Yeah, I know … big surprise.

A politician lied again.

Wow.

~McQ

Economic Statistics for 11 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index stayed steady at –34.0 this week.

March chain-store sales were mixed with 9 retail chains reporting higher year-on-year sales rates, 7 reporting lower rates, and 1 unchanged.

Initial jobless claims fell 42,000 last week to 346,000. The 4-week average rose 3,750 to 358,000. Continuing claims fell by 12,000.

Import prices fell 0.5% in March, with the year-on-year rate at -2.7%. Export prices fell -0.4% with the year-on-year rate up 0.3%.

~
Dale Franks
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