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Store Closing Mandates

The Phoenix City Council should repeal the store closing mandates. Government can be a great service when it acts in an ADVISORY capacity but, when it gets the guns out and starts mandates, things go very wrong. Put your guns back in the holster and keep giving sound advice.

Genetic Engineering has always been with us

Lots of my friends bemoan genetic engineering in all its forms. They won’t eat genetically engineered foods and they criticize anyone who wants “designer babies,” that is, who want to modify genes in the womb to address possible genetically transmitted diseases, or anything else that sounds scary (having to do with modifying genes). What these critics do not realize is that we have been genetically engineering babies forever, simply by choosing who we have children with. Tall, thin, attractive girls have many more suitors than do short, fat, ugly girls. And those suitors tend to be tall, muscular, handsome, guys.

The only way to prevent this genetic engineering is to mandate that the least attractive girls can only marry the most handsome men and the most attractive girls must be forced to marry the least handsome guys. The critics should ponder what kind of a dystopian world we would have under such conditions. And, meanwhile, let’s stop criticizing genetic engineering in all its forms and, rather, look forward to the reduction of diseases and longer, healthier, happier, lives that can be the result.

Republicans: Lay Off Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is an honorable man. Republicans who smear him for his impeachment vote should ask themselves a simple question: When you come to gates of Heaven and St Peter asks you whether you consider yourself and your honor to be more like Donald Trump or more like Mitt Romney, what will be your response?

The Holocaust: Now we can forget

We are now past the annual “Holocaust Remembrance Day” activities and editorials. I wonder how long it will take before this horrible event is completely forgotten. How important is it to remember? What lessons should we learn? Even in years when there are many remembrances, there is very little said about HOW the Holocaust could have occurred in what was arguably one of the most advanced nations in the world. This is the real answer to the question of why it is so important to remember this event. How could intelligent and well-educated people commit such atrocities and why did so few speak out? My own answer is quite simple: the unchecked growth of government. Once power is centralized in the federal government there is a disincentive to criticize its actions for fear that you may jeopardize some provision of the law that benefits you or your friends.

 

Can it happen again? Can it happen in the United States? Look at our own federal government. Each day our government’s power over the people increases, both through the maze of “entitlement” programs and through the increasing number of special interest laws, rules, and regulations. And our education system (the government schools) teaches children that government is good and that we should obey our government “leaders,” (he who pays the piper calls the tune). Therefore, the graduates of this system are not instinctively inclined to question the actions of the government.

 

The way to prevent a Holocaust from ever happening again is to remember that government has only one proper function, the protection of our liberty. We should keep it limited to that function. Eternal vigilance is the price of that liberty.

Trump: We Know What He Did; Let’s Vote

We should not waste any more resources on the Trump impeachment. I believe that, by now, we all pretty much know what the president did. The question now is whether his conduct warrants removal from office. That is a political question. The Senate should vote….now.

The Value of Vision Zero is Zero

Recently in the Arizona Republic, Abe Kwok’s editorial asks the almost absurd question: “Can lower speeds in Tempe save lives?” The headline goes on to answer that question with a more absurd answer: “Probably.” This is like asking whether I can reduce head injuries if I stop beating my head against the wall. We can, of course, reduce car/pedestrian accidents to zero by banning all cars or by reducing the speed limit to zero. This ridiculous notion is embodied in the “Vision Zero” plan and Tempe is the latest city to get sucked into the vortex of this fuzzy thinking. Such plans as Vision Zero ignore the trade-off that all cities must make when they recognize the value of getting people where they need to go as safely AND as efficiently as possible. The real plan behind the Vision Zero promoters is to get people out of their cars and into Light Rail or walking or biking or using other mass transportation systems. This is a common goal of all liberal central planners; control. They just can’t stand the idea of people getting into their cars and traveling wherever they want to go and whenever they want to go.

I remember many years ago there was an organization called N.O.T.S.A.F.E which was an acronym for the National Organization Taunting Safety and Fairness Everywhere. It advocated laws that establish a nationwide five mile per hour speed limit and require that anyone walking in a thunderstorm had to carry a lightning rod, etc. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? Vision Zero embodies similar logic. Let’s reduce our speed in adopting that vision to……..zero..

Diversity: The Only Meaningful Kind is Philosophical

Many organizations and committees and commissions claim to celebrate diversity. They have members from various ages and geographical areas. They have men and women (and other genders). They have old, young, blacks, browns, whites (albeit not so important today to have white males) and lesbians, gays, transgenders, bisexuals, etc. The only diverse quality that none of them ever advertise for is philosophical. This is a tragedy because philosophical diversity is the only meaningful diversity, especially if you want some diverse ideas. After all, not only do the other categories of diversity not necessarily possess a variety of views but it should be insulting to a black person or a gay person, for example, to assume of that they have certain opinions on any subject. They should be respected as individuals.

This problem is especially evident in governmental boards and commissions. I have served on several of these and I am always frustrated by the lack of philosophical diversity. The members do come from all the various groups mentioned above but they all seem to all favor more government and, therefore, become a rubber stamp for the governmental entity that appointed them. For example, bond committees always want more government bonds. They never oppose government spending; they just want to make sure the money is spent on their pet project. The same is true for transportation committees that I have served on recently. Members tend to support liberal spending plans for outmoded and inefficient systems that benefit from central planning (like Light Rail) because they are appointed by government officials who (mostly) want to spend more government money and spend it in ways that most conservatives would not favor.

Therefore, if you truly want diverse views on any of these boards/commissions/committees, you must ask for people who have diverse views and that can only be done by asking about philosophical orientation.