Monthly Archives: June 2007

An odd sight

A couple of hours ago I made a caffeine run to a gas station I don’t often frequent. There were four old men playing some kind of video poker. They all stared silently at the machines, much the same way my age cohort plays Halo or Guitar Hero.

Doesn’t anyone ever outgrow video games? It would be nice if someone actually grew up. Granted, I don’t seem to be, but other people should.

Local drug war update

Today’s newspaper brought mixed results. The Atlanta Police Department does seem to be cleaning itself up, indeed, much more than I expected. However, I haven’t read anything about any sort of judicial accountability; they’re the ones who approve the warrants, seemingly without even looking at them.

Rant Starts
Meanwhile, people like this guy send exactly the wrong message with his “How not to get busted” DVD series. The point of drug legalization is not to evade the law or get high, it’s to live in a free society where people can make their own mistakes and take responsibility for them. Instead we revive the notion of demonic possession in the form of “addiction” which is a “disease”, which is at the same time pitiful and criminal and a reason to treat us all like children in the hands of an all-knowing state.

The end result of protecting people from the consequences of their actions is to fill the world with fools, and that seems to be what we’ve done.
Rant Ends

John Edwards sinks to the challenge

It reminds me of the adage “he came to do good and wound up doing very well indeed.”

From this NYT article

John Edwards ended 2004 with a problem: how to keep alive his public profile without the benefit of a presidential campaign that could finance his travels and pay for his political staff.

Mr. Edwards, who reported this year that he had assets of nearly $30 million, came up with a novel solution, creating a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of fighting poverty. The organization, the Center for Promise and Opportunity, raised $1.3 million in 2005, and — unlike a sister charity he created to raise scholarship money for poor students — the main beneficiary of the center’s fund-raising was Mr. Edwards himself, tax filings show.

The money paid Mr. Edwards’s expenses while he walked picket lines and met with Wall Street executives. He gave speeches, hired consultants, attacked the Bush administration and developed an online following. He led minimum-wage initiatives in five states, went frequently to Iowa, and appeared on television programs. He traveled to China, India, Brussels, Uganda and Russia, and met with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and his likely successor, Gordon Brown, at 10 Downing Street.

I suppose helping the poor isn’t worth spending one’s own money. Happily the Democrats seem to be preferring the more honest hacks of Clinton and Obama.

Starting somewhere

I came across an interesting article on AJC.com about a couple in Grant Park trying to erect a windmill on their own property. For those who don’t know, Grant Park is a tony neighborhood near the center of Atlanta that prides itself on diversity. Like most areas that pride themselves on diversity, it’s composed largely of childless college-educated types who overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic party.

Needless to say the neighbors are contesting the windmill. While they’re organized enough to put together a website, they don’t seem to be organized enough to utilize the Coase Theorem. Needless to say, I’m for them erecting the windmill on their own property.

Before anyone asks, wind power is usually much more efficient (per dollar) than solar energy, and also has a much lower starting price. Also, modern windmills are geared to prevent fast rotation which protects birds.