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Rationalization for the Power Trip II

It’s bad enough that a very few people in leadership appointments want to use their powers to redistribute resources to for- and nonprofit organizations. What’s worse is the arguments they devise to rationalize their foregone conclusions. Today, we read some criteria Haywood County’s tourism development board offered Jackson’s. There were only four items, but I slipped a phony in the mix to see if you would notice and if it made any difference.

  • Make them do their homework.
  • Come up with an objective rubric.
  • Identify sectors with momentum.
  • Pre-vet for smooth sailing.
  • Ensure geographic parity.
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Stimulate to Stimulate Then Not

The first time I recall hearing about HandMade in America, I believe I was bent out of shape for it receiving some form of economic stimulus. HIA is a nonpfrofit, so it needed grants. If you have some money for economic stimulus, it only makes sense that you would give it to a nonprofit commissioned with stimulating the economy so they can be the fall guy when the economy does not respond. Actually, the mission of HIA was to:

grow economies through craft and creative placemaking, transforming both individuals and communities through education, entrepreneurship and economic development.

Now, HIA is announcing its intentions to go bye-bye. No reasons to close are offered in the press coverage. The organization was apparently a booming success up to the very end, if you believe PR-speak. The moral of the story is, with or without government stimulus, organizations will come and go.

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Somebody GoDaddy WasteYourVote.com

An idea I would like somebody to “run with” I will credit to Nick Wilson. Wilson was a young genius at the time, and he turned a half-baked impulsive idea that came out of my mouth into a full-fledged concept: WasteYourVote.com. The idea was that a lot of candidates don’t get support because voters feel only institutional bigwigs can win. So, why not have a web site where people say, “If so many people commit here to vote for a particular person dedicated to defending the US Constitution, I, too, will vote for him? Details could be worked out to make sure people don’t pledge twice and can withdraw their commitment if the candidate makes a bad word out of himself at any point. Still, I think it is a good idea.

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Would Enjoy a Fireplace

Today, I’m reading Replacing Obamacare, a compilation of a variety of pieces published by Cato scholars through the years. It is nice, easy reading because of its high degree of credibility. In particular, I find refreshing Michael Cannon’s acceptance of human frailty in high places, as opposed to the normal assumptions that people are pawns in the perfect plan du jour.

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Wanting to Understand

Listening to the news this morning, it occurred to me that a lot of bad decisions are being made because well-intending people are being given bad information. In other words, I don’t think the masses are as evil as an oligarchy of deceivers and instigators. Most kids want freedom, health, love, and fairness for all. The lie they are sold is they can achieve those ends with unjust retribution for alleged wrongs, via dissolving morals that dictate mutual respect, by calling the Constitution and its authors racist instead of reading it and seeing it as a tool to buck tyranny. In short, children and children-at-heart are so fast-paced, they’re replacing reason with something akin to believing it good for Godzilla to attack Tokyo as long as he’s wearing love beads.

I was asked over the weekend to explain to a group of young children what being a dissident physicist meant. That was tough. One answer that came to mind was that it is a path of scientific inquiry without hope of pecuniary compensation. I thought of comparing it to Martin Luther, who read the Bible and found things other than what the hipsters of the day said it contained. Some are dissidents as a fashion statement; others apply logic to evidence and wind up alone. It would be my wish that young hipsters read the Constitution, look past the 3/5 Compromise Clause which we have outgrown as a nation, and see if the checks and balances and separations of powers are not a good idea.

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Creating Problems to Solve

Most people, if they want water, they will turn on the faucet. Others prefer to titrate equivalents of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide and filter out the salt. Saith the Washington Times:

The National Institutes of Health is dedicating $3 million to fast-track the development of drugs to treat marijuana addiction — an estimated 4.2 million Americans are hooked on cannabis — even as the president encourages its legalization and more states look to enact laws for its recreational use.

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Go Crazy with Me for Just a Moment

At a recent community meeting, Smoky Mountain higher-ups fielded questions on the LME/MCO’s decision to limit the number of providers eligible for public funding. In the ideal world, government would have nothing to do with counseling and psychiatric services. But even I can see we have a lot of people with emotional burdens who cannot afford professional shrinks. Nobody cares what I have to say, so I take the easy way out and pawn them off on government. I acknowledge the error of my ways. But until we fix things, the basic tenet of increasing choice should apply here as elsewhere.

Here is what those defending the decision had to tell the audience about the magnificent perfection of their points of view. I hope the Mountain Xpress higher-ups will forgive me for quoting so liberally from their fine coverage. Said one:

Smoky is committed to having a relationship and partnership with you. . . . It’s all about how we do this together, the giving and the taking. It’s no different in a personal relationship than it is in a relationship with an organization, the media and its partners, even when we agree to disagree. . . . I know many times the decisions we make are not always understood. . . . But we are committed to transparency and honesty, so we hope to have a conversation today through question and answer. . . . We have months to complete these transitions, not weeks. . . . We’re committed to making sure not to lose anyone in the process.

Said another:

What we’ve done this year is what we do every year. We simply made choices about the continuation of certain services with certain providers. . . . We’re not doing anything to decrease access. . . . Whenever we make a decision to no longer contract with a provider for a service, we have a very diligent process around how consumers are linked to the same service or other services, so there’s nothing about any decision we would make about contracting that would reduce access.

I don’t see how this strategy is going to help paranoiacs or codependents so shot-down they can’t make their own decisions. The moral of the story, though, is when words with no meaning fail, doublespeak them.

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Love Is . . . Minuscule Copays with Narrow Deductibles

The meme on the streets today is “love wins.” It even made a read-all-about-it, front-page headline in the print version of the local daily. It’s a nice thought, and of course it is true in the end, but I disagree with the application. As I’ve said before, perhaps even here, love crawls across Africa on broken glass. It doesn’t whine about not getting corporate benefits.

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Helping the Helpless & Enabling the Irresponsible

The Jackson County Commissioners are having problems sighting a homeless shelter. Leadership informs us most homeless people are women and children, victims of domestic abuse eager to get back on their feet. And yet the perception is a large number have addictions so high-maintenance they require the appropriation of neighbors’ resources without asking.

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Still Bruin

About a week ago, the House Congressional Oversight Committee visited the Haywood County Courthouse to hear testimony concerning Operation Something Bruin. Waynesville attorney Rusty McLean described the sting as wildlife officers “concocting and enabling crimes in order to punish them,” while NC Wildlife Commission Director Chris Myers said allegations of entrapment were unfounded.

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