US Use of Torture: An Opposing View

I believe it is wrong for the US to torture prisoners. But I don’t claim to know the answer to whether torture is effective or not. Happily I have no experience with it.

Here’s a perspective from someone who does seem to know, Matthew Alexander:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfYov5o5_2s]

He also wrote an article about it in the Washington Post.

Rand Paul on Health Care

Rand Paul is, for now, better known as the son of Ron Paul. But he’s stepping out and deserves attention for who he is. Below is a video where he talks about health care.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BugRMHaL3lU]
This is a bit of preaching to the converted. Libertarians already get it. The challenge for Rand Paul and others is finding a way to explain these issues in soundbites. Sad but that’s politics.
His reference to water distribution after Katrina is pretty good.

The Times Union and Tom Golisano

The Times Union sneers at Tom Golisano for moving to Florida to reduce his taxes. Some quotes from the TU:

to get out of paying his fair share of taxes

I’m pretty sure Golisano has paid more taxes than anyone at the Times Union, and probably more than the entire operation.

That what it all comes down to is, he just doesn’t like paying taxes, and would rather keep his money?

Soon to follow in the paper is the list of people who like paying taxes and don’t want to keep their money.

he might remember … where he came from. New York was where he made all that money. Here … was an environment that nurtured this entrepreneur: The businesses and work force on which to build his payroll enterprise

He could have built his business anywhere. He chose to do it in NY and in doing so he created thousands of jobs – more jobs than any of the TU’s beloved politicians. His efforts generated huge benefits for our state.

Tom Golisano deserves thanks for all he’s done for New York. Instead he gets the TU’s “version of the Bronx cheer”.

The practical reality of governing: Your policies influence people’s choices. Does the TU blame city residents who move to the suburbs for better schools? How about all the NY seniors who move to Florida which has better policies for them?

The State decided on a “soak the rich” tax plan. Why would you expect the rich to stick around for that?

Meanwhile, budding entrepreneurs see the writing on the wall, and start their businesses elsewhere. New York will continue its long slide.

Lindsey Graham – Consistency …

I believe the quote from my Contracts professor (Professor Dubroff) was: Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Lindsey Graham must have a big mind.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3vH4umQIE4]

Save Tigers – By Eating Them

At this point I’m pretty much a John Stossel fan:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSPkVoGx5c4]

A Republican Who Likes Obama

I’m an elected Republican and I’m happy with Barack Obama … sort of.

Of course I’m unhappy with him monkeying around with the economy, but he’s not doing any worse than Bush on that stuff.

Here’s why I’m happy:

1. Obama stepped up to the plate on medical marijuana. Under Bush (and Clinton), the feds would arrest people involved with medical marijuana even where it was legal under the laws of those states. For those who think Republicans are supposed to hate marijuana, that’s missing the important principle. Republicans believe (or used to believe) in federalism and states’ rights. If a state wants to allow medical marijuana, the feds should respect that. Obama does.

2. Obama is pushing to end the crack/powder disparity. Long ago the feds made the same stiff penalties apply to 5 grams of crack cocaine and 500 grams of powder cocaine. Many felt this was unfair since the drugs are essentially the same and since crack is used more heavily by poor blacks vs. wealthy whites using powder. Of course Obama should go farther, but he’s done more than Clinton did on it.

3. Obama is right on the torture issue. I’ve been sickened by reading how some of our nation’s top officials justify torturing people because 9/11 changed things. Baloney. Torture is wrong. We’re better than that. I’m waiting to hear Bush answer the question: Who would Jesus torture?
Same on this point for Gitmo. Time to close it down.

4. Obama is right on opening up dialogue with other countries. Yes, I do think governments in places like Iran, Cuba and Venezuela stink. But we work with plenty of other countries that stink too. The talks probably won’t lead anywhere meaningful – those leaders will stay rotten. But not talking is worse.

5. Obama understood that belt-tightening starts at the top – a view not shared by the Democrat leadership in Guilderland. On his first day in office he instituted a pay freeze for top officials in the White House. Grandstanding? Maybe, but good policy anyway.

There’s more, but I give Obama credit for doing the right thing on some tough issues. Now if only he could get past that whole socialist mentality and start to recognize that capitalism is better …