Thursday, January 20, 2005

Mises Lecture II

Took the day off again today and went to a lecture at the Mises Institute. Today's topic was: "What the Government Doesn't Want You to Know About Tobacco." Can't say I was especially interested in the topic, but as before, it brought up a lot of interesting information and discussion. It wasn't a "Pro-Tobacco" or even an "Anti-Tobacco" talk--it was just the facts. I'm not sure if anyone there were smokers--most seemd not. But it was interesting. We didn't range as widely in our discussion as last time, but it was interesting to see the ways in which the anti-smoking nazis in the government used the same tactics they do in every other area--fudge or outright fake the statistics, lie about the numbers, deny, accuse, lie, lie, lie, instill irrational fear, lie some more.

The Auburn University Libertarians threw their first event of the year tonight. Actually, Wednesday and Thursday they ran an OPH Booth (Operation Politically Homeless) and then tonight they had Dick Clark (the president of the Auburn Libertarians until he graduated last semester) speak on "An Introduction to Libertarianism." He did pretty well, although I think he was a bit nervous. I thought I could have made a couple of the points more clear, but maybe not. After he was done, I helped answer a few questions, but there were a couple of folks who didn't seem to take what I said well. Of course, there were a couple who did. Can't satisfy everyone.

I was a bit disappointed in one veteran just back from Iraq. He just seemed determined to not get my point, and more importantly, to be determined to take offense at what I said--to the point of (unconsciously, I'm sure) editing what I said to mean what he expected to hear from an anti-war group. I of course feel a connection with the vets, but they don't seem to be able to make the connection themselves. Of course, that's to be expected by and large, but it doesn't stop mne from feeling a sense of failure. Probably too many people around--if I can get 'em one on one, it seems to work better. Maybe it's because we both have to skirt around too much when there are civilians around and between.

Anyway, overall the day was pretty damn good.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mises Lecture

Took the day off from work today, to attend a seminar at the Mises Institute. The Seminar was titled "Does Alabama Need More Taxes." The answer, obviously, was "No." But the discussion was great, and the topics we covered were many. Dr. Mark Thornton, the speaker, made some very interesting points. He compared Alabama to its neighboring states, thus making the comparison a regional one, rather than comparing it to basically meaningless national averages. His argument was that the surrounding states have a similar population, similar economies, and so forth, making a comparison more meaningful.

Alabama's Government, it turns out, has a higher revenue stream per capita than any of the surrounding states. It also spends more per capita, to generally less effect. One of the biggest spending items is education, and I think we all know how well that works (i.e. it doesn't). So we got into a big discussion about education issues, the consensus being that there needs to be separation of school and state.

It's so nice to be able to spend time with intelligent and educated folks.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy New Year

Just got back from visiting the family for the holidays--had a blast. The whole crew was there: My brother and his sort of perhaps fiance (we hope) Maria, My sister, her husband Barry, and their daughter Mackenzie, as well as my parents and myself. We had a good time, exchanged Christmas gifts (we all got good loot) and shot off fireworks for New Years. Ate good food, watched good TV (Black Adder, Thin Blue Line, Good bye Lenin, Keeping Up Appearances, etc.) read good books, had good conversations, etc.

PGP Public Key

Here's my new Public Key for PGP. I highly recommend the program for encryption--if anyone knows of one which is: 1) More Secure 2) Easier To Use or knows that there is some problem with PGP (for example, if PGP has given the No Such Agency a back door) please let me know.

Version: PGP 8.1 - not licensed for commercial use: