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Mosquitos: The Plague of Minnesota (and Arizona)

My sister-in-law is visiting from my home state of Minnesota, the capitol of Mosquito Land. Prior to landing in Phoenix, she had only one mosquito bite in Minnesota. Since coming here she has had many bites. If Minnesota can control mosquitos, why can’t we?

Where Are The Fathers

Whenever needy families are pictured on the news there is something frequently missing in these pictures and that is fathers. You usually see mothers with children or children alone. Where are the fathers? But, even more important, where are the questions from the press about the absence of fathers? I contend that it must be simply politically incorrect to ask these questions. Why? Revealing these inequities, would reveal the failure of our welfare system which incentivizes fathers to leave their families so the family can receive larger welfare benefits. Also, there is insufficient pressure on these fathers to act responsibly. This problem is not new; Senator Moynihan’s study over 40 years ago was clear about this. Why don’t we change our policies?

Hikers/Walkers Save the World from Litter

Hikers and walkers can save the world from litter. Here’s how: Whenever you walk or hike and see a piece of trash, if there is a trash receptacle within a reasonable distance, pick up the trash and deposit it in the receptacle. To be even more effective at this, buy one of those hand litter picker uppers at Target or Walmart. They are only a couple dollars and, if you carry a bag to put the trash in, what you can accomplish will be amazing. What if we all do this……………….a cleaner world awaits.

To Be Honest

How many times have you heard someone begin answering a question by saying “Well, to be honest” or “in all candor” or something similar? The only logical interpretation of such a response is that the person is not normally honest but will make an exception for this question. That may not be their intention, but my suggestion would be that we all speak honestly all the time so that none of us ever have to start the answer to a question with qualifying phrases like “to be honest.”

Traffic and speed cameras are good

Regarding the much hated and often vilified speed cameras and traffic cameras, the problem exists, as it does with many problems, because the government owns the roads. As a way of deciding whether these cameras make sense I often ask myself what kinds of procedures I would support if I owned the roads. I think we all know that one of the main danger factors in highway accidents is inconsistent speeds, not so much just high speeds. The cheapest and easiest way to monitor traffic behavior is with cameras, not full-time enforcement officers. If there were enough cameras to ensure that almost everyone who drove too fast or violated other traffic laws, would receive a citation, rather than the random system today which makes driving a matter of taking your chances, I think it would very quickly result in consistent driving and a dramatic reduction in accidents. Makes sense to me. I think that, if I owned the roads, that’s what I would do.

Abolish Private Prisons

I think we should abolish private prisons for these reasons: First, the criminal justice system is one of the very few areas of our society that is clearly a government responsibility. Second, part of the mission of prisons is punishment. Private operators have no incentive to accomplish this objective because they are motivated to keep things as calm as possible. Third, we should not have a prison operator who has an incentive to increase the number of prisoners. Private companies can certainly build prisons and even own them, but government employees should staff them.

Takeover of Afghanistan and the United States

While watching the news accounts of the situation in Afghanistan it is hard not to empathize with the Afghan people. The takeover of their country by the Taliban is almost as gut wrenching as the takeover of the United States by progressives.

Hot Topic: Hiking Restrictions

The restrictions being considered for Phoenix area hiking due to the heat are wrong. Every single person has a different ability and different limitations. Whether to hike in any conditions, heat, rain, thunderstorms, cold, etc., should be an individual decision, not government. There are obviously people who have health conditions that would make it inadvisable to hike at any time. Therefore, the next thing we should expect from our government nannies will be a requirement for a doctor’s authorization for anyone to hike.

A much better change would be a “user pay” approach, that is, charge people for rescues. The word will get around quickly and hotel concierges will start advising their health challenged guests to consider the conditions.

Water: We Won’t Run Out Unless……

Many articles are appearing in various media scaring those of us in the West into thinking we might run out of water. An Arizona State University researcher and one time director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources was recently quoted as saying “everybody thinks they’re special, but nobody is going to be very special when we run out of water.” This is typical of the scare tactics that are used to make us comfortable with more government regulation, which the scare mongers argue, is the only way to avoid such a calamity. Ironically, this is the only scenario in which we WILL run out of water. There is plenty of water on our planet. The problem is getting it to the people who need it. Sometimes this becomes expensive, and this is where market forces, not government, should be allowed to work. Just like any other commodity such as gold or silver or diamonds or rare earth metals, the mining and movement of water can be expensive. If market forces are allowed to work, then water will go to the highest and best uses. A side benefit is that conservation will also occur naturally as the price rises.

However, these beneficial effects of conservation through market pricing can be thwarted by government actions. If a law is passed that prevents water from being transported out of a certain place or to a certain place, this can cause a shortage. Or, if government imposes price controls, there may be uses which cannot occur at these lower prices. Or, if government decides that some uses are more important and should get preferences, this can make other uses uneconomical. Remember, in general, the only thing governments can do is stop you from doing what you want to do, force you to do what you don’t want to do, or eliminate some uses through price controls.

Water is a very precious commodity. Government’s role should be to ensure that there are no impediments to the operation of market forces. Henry David Thoreau said it best: Government never of itself furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.

the new “Independent Republican Party”

Unfortunately, most Republicans today continue to be too dependent on former president Donald Trump, a person not worthy of emulating. For that reason, I have formed, and trademarked, a new organization called the “Independent Republican Party.” Any registered Republican is welcome to join. There are no dues. The only commitment required is standing up for traditional Republican principles and remaining independent of the influence of Donald Trump. It is important to take this action now because the Republican Party is losing its moral high ground by failing to censure Trump’s bad behavior. And, if anyone needs to be reminded of what principles we should stand for, they need only read “Conscience of a Conservative,” either the early edition by Barry Goldwater or the more recent one by Jeff Flake.

Come on, Republicans; in your heart you know he’s wrong.