Saturday, July 31, 2010


Back in April, I blogged about one of the unforseen consequences when Congress passes a bill that they haven't read.

Apparently, somebody in Congress finally got around to reading it. This morning I saw this story about how Congress is trying to deal with their latest mistake.

Buried in the new health care bill is a provision that requires businesses to file 1099's on any business that provides them more than $600.00 in goods or services for the year. If you have operated a large business, small business, non-profit or charitable organization in the last few years, you already know the amount of time it takes to comply with required government paperwork. Now consider the possibility of doubling that paperwork. Even the IRS won't be able to keep up (without hiring more employees, of course).

Right now they're trying to come up with a bill to fix the last one they passed.

I wonder if any of them will read it.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jackson 5

We had a real good week. We jumped in the car Wednesday morning and drove down to Mississippi to meet our 5th Grandchild, Jackson Tyler Bell,

Mom and Dad and Jackson are doing fine,

although I did get accused of being a baby hog. A completely unfounded claim since it was clear Jackson loved it when Papaw held him,

and he seemed to get along with Grandma pretty well, also.

And to top it all off, while driving through Tennessee and Mississippi, I finally figured out why the chicken crossed the road. I think the chicken just wanted to show the armadillo that it could be done.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What was the question again?....

Michael Cloud once said that if you can get people to ask the wrong question, it really doesn't matter what the answer is. The Republicans and Democrats are currently debating on whether or not some government employee is to much of a racist to be able to fairly redistribute confiscated taxpayer dollars to farmers.

The question we as taxpayers should be asking is "Why is any government employee in the position to arbitrarily decide who is entitled to the fruits of our labor?"

Jacob Hornberger makes a solid argument and asks the right questions here.

He also points out that for generations we have accepted that we have to have these government ran welfare programs in order to survive.

That doesn't make it true, and it doesn't mean that this or future generations have to accept it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mountains and mole hills...

I really don't spend a lot of time working on my lawn. Anything growing out there that is some shade of green is pretty much alright with me. And dandelions are mostly green, after they go to seed, anyway. So we mow it about once a week and other than that it's on its own.

I have taken to spreading grub killer on it every spring, though. It's not that I really have anything against grubs, but they seem to attract moles, and moles have the nasty habit of making mountains of dirt that make an awful mess for my wife to clean up when she hits them with the lawnmower. And it worked for the last couple of years.

But this year, things aren't working out so well. Either the grub killer wasn't as good, or the grubs have developed a resistance to it, or the moles are simply bringing in their lunch. At any rate, as our front yard began to look like an old fashioned hog lot, I decided an alternate plan might be needed.

I tried stalking the moles with a shovel, a pitchfork, and a pointy stick. I'm convinced I now have one of the best aerated lawns in the county. As near as I can tell, apparently moles love well aerated lawns.

I bought some gas bombs down at the hardware store. They kind of look like a giant firecracker. The package says that if you light the fuse, and stuff it down in the mole hill, and then run away as fast as you can, the smoke from it will kill the moles. I can testify that I about had a heart attack trying to run away as fast as I could. It didn't seem to have the same effect on the mole, though.

Last Saturday, while I was loading the dirt from the new mole hills into the wheelbarrow in preparation for the weekly mowing, I saw a new mole hill forming not five feet in front of me. I found the devil-may-care boldness of this particular mole infuriating. I glanced momentarily at the shovel I held in my hands, and then tossed it aside, opting instead to retreat to the garage to return with more formidable weapons.

After emptying a full 9mm clip into the hill, I lit a gas bomb, stuffed it down into the bullet riddled mound of dirt, and ran away as fast as I could, as instructed by the message on the package.

Upon reaching what I thought was a safe distance from the epicenter of the battle, I stopped and turned around, fully expecting to see a wounded mole, clawing his way to the surface, and gasping for his last breath.

Instead, he was resting atop a neighboring hill, smoking that gas bomb like a cheap cigar.

I guess he counted the shots.

So, I think we'll just mow around the dirt. It really doesn't look that bad. Especially if you drive by real fast. And look the other direction.

And we like to hang out in the back yard anyway.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guess again...

When I received my census form back in March, I marked down that there were 2 people living in our house, and sent it back in. That's really all the government needs to know in order to allocate congressional seats. I was satisfied that I had given them all the information they needed, and I went on about my business.

When I came home from work tonight, there was a car sitting in my driveway, and a woman got out carrying a big briefcase with "U.S. CENSUS" in big white letters on it. She told me she worked for the census bureau, and then asked me if I would answer some questions.

I explained that I had already replied to the pertinent question on the first form I received, and I explained again How the government had used supposedly confidential information against its citizens in the past. I don't think she cared all that much.

I told her I didn't see the need to answer when she asked me what race I was. She went ahead and checked "white". I told her that was a good guess. Probably had something to do with the training she received when she decided to be a census worker.

She didn't have as much luck when she tried to guess my birthday. Not enough training, I guess.

At any rate, now they know that two people live here and that one of us is white. I can't imagine why anybody would spend $14.5 billion to find that out.

But then again, I guess its not their money.


Friday, July 09, 2010


The first car I ever owned was a 1965 Chevy Impala. It was lavender until I came up with $110.00 to have it painted midnight blue. And it had stock wheels and hubcaps until I came up with $80.00 to buy some chrome wheels off of a guy that had just bought some nicer chrome wheels.

Back in 1971, my Dad went with me up to the Farmers State Bank in Mooreland and promised John Taylor that it would be alright for him to loan me $675.00 to buy that car, and then I promised John that I would pay it back. In one day, with one swipe of the pen, I was suddenly in debt for $675.00. Plus interest. It seemed like a lot of money at the time.

After I read This Story the other day, it doesn't sound like quite as much. On June 30th, the federal debt jumped $166 billion in one day. That amounts to adding about $1500.00 in debt for every household in the country. In one day.

I guess I'd better hurry up and get that car paid off.

Sounds like we've got some more bills coming in.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Peanut Butter, Tomatoes, and Libertarians...

It's almost Peanut Butter and Tomato sandwich time again. I pretty well live on them during the summer. A lot of people have an adverse reaction and make an awful face when I mention that fact. And to tell the truth, I probably had the same reaction the first time I heard about them.

It's not that I didn't like peanut butter, or tomatoes, or sandwiches, but the combination seemed a little odd. And if I would have based my decision on whether or not to try one on other peoples' opinions, I probably never would have got started on them.

And I would have missed out on a lot of great sandwiches.

I became aware of libertarian philosophy and the Libertarian Party about ten years ago. If I had based any of my decisions about libertarianism simply on other peoples' opinions, and what other people said about it, I probably would still be a Republican. Or a Democrat.

After all, I had always accepted that if something was bad for you, or immoral, then it should certainly be illegal. And conversely, if something was good for you, or moral, then there shouldn't be too much wrong with making it required. And if a certain charity was deemed worthy by the right people, government should be able to force other people to contribute to that charity.

I know that a lot of people still feel that way. Libertarians, however, believe that consenting adults should be able to make their own decisions about how they conduct their personal affairs. And as long as those consenting adults don't initiate force or fraud against another person, the government doesn't really have a dog in the hunt.

Some people will tell you that means Libertarians approve of immoral behavior. It doesn't mean that at all. It just means we don't think the government should be legislating morals. Or peaceful behavior. Between consenting adults. And it doesn't mean we can't advocate against that behavior. It just means we can't initiate force to control that behavior, or authorize the government to initiate that force on our behalf.

Libertarians are also strong advocates of private property rights. The right to own and control your own property is one of the cornerstones of a free society. And in a free society, sometimes people will make decisions about their property that we don't agree with. Just like sometimes people might eat something, or drink something, or smoke something that we don't think they should be eating or drinking or smoking. But if we are truly going to live in a free society, we don't get to outlaw peaceful behavior of consenting adults. No matter how much we disapprove of that behavior.

Libertarians believe in personal freedom and personal responsibility. Some conservatives will tell you that makes them too liberal. Some liberals will tell you that makes them too conservative. I, on the other hand, think it makes them just right.

As we approach this fall's election, a lot of different people are going to be telling you what Libertarians believe and don't believe. Some of those people will be wrong. I hope you take the time to find out for yourself.

And while you're at it, why not try one of those peanut butter and tomato sandwiches. Regardless of what anybody else says, I think you might like it.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

A cool hundred million...

Sometimes a story reminds me of a story. I saw THIS ONE in the paper today. Apparently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has spent $100 million paying air conditioning bills for dead people. It reminded me of a story I heard one time about how people spend money:

When people spend their own money on themselves, they are more careful about how much they spend and what they spend it on.

When people spend their own money on someone else, they are more careful about how much they spend, but not so careful about what they spend it on.

When people spend someone else's money on themselves, they're not so careful about how much they spend, but they're a little more careful about what they spend it on.

And finally, when people spend other peoples' money on someone else, they're not very careful about how much they spend or what they spend it on.

Government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services take other peoples' money and give it to other people.

I guess that explains it.