Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Bechtloff gets it oh so very wrong

Just started listening to a new podcast by The Bechtloff and I love it. Very entertaining. He's a new Christian and he has talked about his struggles with the churches he has attended; he is a tech geek and talks about video games; he is a libertarian and talks about politics.  Well worth a listen if you have a hole in your schedule and want an entertaining listen.

Today, however, he completely missed the point.  He was talking about the Hobby Lobby case and the SCOTUS decision and took the opportunity to rip into conservatives for missing the point.  He claims that social conservatives are opposed to birth control and doesn't understand why they don't focus on the whole fiasco that is Obamacare instead of one little aspect.  So what did he get totally wrong?

One, Obamacare will never be repealed while President Obama is in office.  It would take a filibuster proof majority in both houses and that isn't going to happen.  Even bills that would modify Obamacare to make it less onerous have no chance of passage.  The House has passed several bills, including one that would have authorized the President to do what he had already done in postponing the employer mandate.  The Senate never took it up and the President threatened to a veto if it got to his desk.  Veto a bill that approves what he has already done. 

Two, conservatives who supported the Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby cases are NOT opposed to birth control.  Many of them may be opposed to abortion (a more relevant argument in the case of Hobby Lobby since this case only dealt with abortifacients), but mainly conservative support for these cases has to do with individual liberty.  Yes, liberty.  The First Amendment to the Constitution.  The one that says that we have freedom of religion.  The Affordable Care Act violated that freedom by mandating that American citizens pay for medical procedures that violated their religious beliefs.  The SCOTUS overturned that law (I know, not on 1st A grounds but overturned it nonetheless).  I don't know where B gets this idea that social conservatives oppose birth control.  The only people I know who oppose BC are Catholics and they are just as likely to be liberals as conservatives (Just ask the pope how he feels about Marxism).

In this case I think that B is conflating the ideas of individual liberty (can't be forced by the government) to opposition to what the government is forcing you to do.  So let me be clear.  Conservative folks want to be left alone.  Conservative folks don't want the federal government mandating every aspect of their lives.  We will support anyone who fights that type of government overreach, whether we agree with the issue or not.  I disagree with pot smokers.  I think it is bad for you.  I also voted for the legalization and I will vote for the decriminalization of other drugs if the issue comes up.  Government has no business making decision for us.  The purposes of government are and should be strictly limited and controlling personal choice in virtually any arena does not, in my mind, fall under those limited purposes.

That being said, listen to The Bechtloff's podcast.  It is worth it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Movie review Monday

OK, so I just made that up.  It's Monday, just finished watching the second movie on my "25 Movies" DVD and figured I'd do some reviews.

Nothing to Good for a Cowboy.  I'm going to give it a C+.  Time not wasted.  Good story, two friends decide to start a cattle ranch in the interior of BC just before WWII breaks out.  Their hands all leave and enlist.  One of them meets, falls in love with, and marries a girl who insists on following him up to the interior to help with the ranch and be with her new husband.  Starring Chad Willett (who hasn't been in anything I've ever seen other than a few TV show episodes as supporting cast), Ted Atherton, (also never been in anything I've ever heard of), and Sarah Chalke (Rosanne and Scrubs).  Acting was pretty decent, lots of story lines left hanging, it actually could have been longer but maybe they left it open to make room for the TV series that came along the next year.  It almost had the feel of a pilot but is listed as a TV movie on IMDB.  I can honestly say that I don't feel like I wasted my time watching it.



Oh, and it was a book first AND a true story. Written by Richmond Hobson Jr, the main character. I'll be checking that out. Books are almost always better AND he wrote two more after this one. I love it.



Hooded Angels.  I was going with an D or maybe a charity D+, but it got a little better at the end so I'll go with a C-.  Twelve good looking women whose town is destroyed during the civil war and all of whom were raped by the guerrillas who raided the town turn into avenging, man-hating outlaws.  They pretty much kill everyone they come across for no particular reason and rob lots of banks along the way (presumably because that's where the money is).  Most of them also pair up  (remember the man-hating part?  Hey, not judging, they all got raped).  The movie is sort of pointless, mostly serving to show scantily clad, good looking women who ride around shooting people and riding horses (not while scantily clad, of course).  The only reason I gave it a higher grade is because it gets a little better in the second half when one of the posse chasing them develops a relationship with one of the women.  So as not to spoil the plot I won't tell you any more, but there's some soul searching about the type of future for avenging, man-hating outlaws.  At the end, OK Corral time.  Gary Busey plays the sheriff in the town the posse is from.  Not sure why, in 2002, he would take a role like this but maybe he doesn't care that much.  As one would expect, he does a decent job and the acting is generally OK.  Was it a waste of time?  Well, if you like westerns and you don't have anything better to do, why not. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cowboy advice

"If your legs hurt, your stirrups are too short.  If your rump hurts, your stirrups are too long."

"What if they both hurt?"

"Then your stirrups are just right."

Tab clear: Cause there's just too many

Maybe I'll get back to talk about some of them later.

What should happen to women who make false accusations of rape or assault against men?
http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/danielle-dentremont-where-is-the-feminist-outrage/

I'm working on my garden and, since I have a fairly large property, thought I might do some expansion.
http://www.peakprosperity.com/wsidblog/82365/how-install-raised-garden-beds

Are there ever enough good recipe blogs?
http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/

Do you visit gun shops?  Do you like to talk about guns?  Do you think that the federal government might be a little too big and powerful?  The FBI wants to know about you.
http://www.infowars.com/report-fbi-visiting-gun-shops-to-investigate-people-talking-about-big-government/

Government bureaucracies have little incentive to actually do their jobs.  One Canadian agency has a policy of NOT testing new products.
http://www.restorecsa.com/news/article/hot-hot-heaters

Allah is the arabic word for god and predates the Islamic religion.  Muslims in some countries, however, don't think that anyone else should be able to use the word.  In Malaysia, they took it to court.  And won.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/24/world/asia/malaysia-allah-ban/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

California courts ruled that teacher tenure is unconstitutional (state constitution).  Yay!  A win for freedom.
http://www.myfreedomfoundation.com/blogs/liberty-live/court-strikes-down-teacher-tenure-california

Do you like beer?  Do you like craft beer?  Well, turns out there are a fair number of obstacles to making and selling craft beer, both federal and state.  This article talks more specifically about Virginia but I figure there's a fair number of similar laws in most states.
http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/MitchellKoopman_CraftBrewing_MOP_060414_1.pdf

Tai Chi Chuan.  I started learning it out of a book when I was on the ship.  Now I've been thinking about adding it to my Taekwon Do repertoire and taking it back up again.  Wondering if I can take it up from videos now that there is a youtube.
http://www.beginnerstaichi.com/yang-short-form.html

Cookie Math


Yes!

Superdome?

$5 at Wal-mart.  "Great Value! 4 DVDs"  "25 MOVIES".  Tom Selleck on one cover wearing a cowboy hat and holding a pistol, John Wayne on the other, wearing a cowboy hat and holding a pistol.  Some of the movies listed on the cover Bounty Killer, Arizona Skies, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Price of Power, Life is Tough, Angel and the Badman, all westerns.

OK.  Worth $5 just to have a bunch of old westerns to watch when I have nothing else to do.  Plug it into the DVD player and the first movie up is Superdome, a made for TV seventies movie about the Superbowl.

Needless to say I'm not watching that right at this moment.  Instead I went for the second movie, Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy.



If you want to enjoy it yourself you can get it at Amazon for under $6 and it does have Sarah Chalke in it, a decent actress of Rosanne and Scrubs fame.

A Case for Moral Choices in Business

A lot of loud commentary on the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS case.  Generally boils down to "corporations shouldn't have the right to religious beliefs" and "employers don't have the right to tell women what to do".  Protestors are out in front of the Hobby Lobby stores, etc.

My take, if I am paying for it, then I have a say in what it is.  I don't have an issue with contraception but I am generally opposed to abortion, since you are talking about a human life there.  However, as a libertarian/anarchist I tend to lean towards the less government involvement the better.  I think that public sentiment against murdering very small children might be a good way to reduce abortions, but that seems to have gone away as well.  Maybe it will come back some day and that will be a good thing.  That is not, however, the point of this post.

Why shouldn't the people who run and own corporations have the right to a) hold religious beliefs and b) act on them?

Opponents of the HL decision would say that the government has an interest in forcing corporations to treat their employees in a certain way although I would argue that the government has no right forcing corporations to do anything.  However, the issue at hand here is if the government can force you to act against your beliefs.  Do your beliefs trump the governments "right" to interfere?  If your answer is no, then let me pose a question.

What about beliefs other than religious?  When I was in college South Africa was one of the big topics on campus.  Student groups were protesting regularly against corporations that invested in South Africa on the grounds that their investments were supporting the apartheid system that was then in place.  Many companies divested their holdings their during the late eighties and into the nineties. Would it have been reasonable for the government to have stepped in and required companies to invest or not invest in South Africa?  At what point is it acceptable for the government to make this type of decision for the shareholders versus allowing those with an actual stake in the company to make those decision?

A few theoreticals to send you on your way.  A company with a majority of Jewish stockholders chooses, at the behest of the stockholders, not to do business with a company that produces pork products.  A company with a majority of Muslim stockholders chooses, at the behest of the stockholders, not to do business with a liquor distribution company.  A company with a majority of Christian stockholders  chooses, at the behest of the stockholders, not to do business with a company that provides abortions.

I think that in all these cases and in many more, that if it is OK to choose with whom to do business based on secular moral objections, that it should also be OK to make those choices based on religious objections.  Either companies are beholden to the bottom line, morality be damned, or they have a responsibility to make choices that are best for society.  Once you concede that they can make their choices based on non-fiduciary reasons, why are religious reasons off the table but reasons based on other notions of morality are not?

Just a thought.  Completely leaving libertarian positions aside,  I'd love to hear your arguments for and against secular versus religious choices in business.