10-14-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Regulations vs. Free Speech

Regulars here know that I am no fan of regulations, particularly those pertaining to campaign finance. That said, even I was shocked by the latest John Stossel column on the subject:

We like to think speech is free, but when government can investigate you for possibly violating countless little rules, and then order you to shut up, it censors without the public even knowing.

Campaign finance rules -- and the political incumbents and prosecutor-bullies who manipulate them -- are a major threat to our freedom.
If that prospect is too abstract to bother you, then you should definitely read the rest.

Weekend Reading

"The polite setting of boundaries makes for genuine relationships without make believe." -- Michael Hurd, in "'Dropping By' ... Benevolent or Boundary Violation?" at The Delaware Wave

"A sense of loss after making a major change doesn't mean that your choice was wrong; it simply means that your emotions need to catch up to the new reality." -- Michael Hurd, in "Change Means Tradeoff, Not Always Calamity" at The Delaware Coast Press

"And now the Wall Street Journal has fingered the awful truth: the world's most vulnerable don't want the system of sacrifice, of plundered wealth, of everyone's enchainment to everyone else." -- Harry Binswanger, in "Socialism Loathes the Poor, Capitalism Loves Them" at RealClear Markets

Oh. That's the Same, Too!

It seems that the more I hear about the newest, allegedly "different" offerings from Microsoft, the more I remember why I started avoiding them as much as possible two decades ago. Recently, I took a look at an article claiming that Microsoft has made major changes in the past few years, and immediately noticed an odd lack of Linux compatibility in its flagship product, Office. And now, I see that they're ramming an OS upgrade down the throats of their customers.
While switching to a new OS, especially Windows 10 is definitely a good move but forcing users to do it on the manufacturers time frame instead of whenever the user wants is a serious imposition and could hurt Microsoft really bad. It was discovered in September that Microsoft was forcefully pushing update to users even though they hadn't yet requested it, but this move takes the cake.
This reminds me of a Windows partition I had to have on a netbook so I could use some legacy software and a scanner that can't run on Linux. I had to figure out how to get it to let me tell it when to update, so I wouldn't be stuck with it automatically doing so if I were in a hurry and needed to use Windows for only a short time.

-- CAV


Gus Van Horn said...

Note: I am posting this comment on behalf of C. Andrew, who was experiencing problems with Google's comment moderation system.

Once again, immunity for government actors is the problem here. Police officers who execute these kinds of searches, knowing them to be exercises in political oppression, should either refuse to do so - given that the Nuremberg 'defense' of "Just Following Orders" is not valid in the face of such abuses - or face civil and criminal penalties for their malfeasance. The same (only more so) goes for prosecutors and 'crats who initiate such proceedings.

The minimum punishment for these folks should be a felony charge and a bar from serving in any public capacity for the rest of their lives. I think that it is instructive to note that Lois Lerner, of IRS police state fame, was pulling this same kind of political crap when she was with the FEC; telling one GOP candidate that she would stop the harassment and her 'investigation' if he promised to not run for office again. She essentially inflicted a life-time ban by bureaucratic fiat and justice demands that the same be imposed on her.

And yet the DOJ, with the complicity of a callous and supine eGOP, has decided to close the IRS investigation without filing any charges. I imagine that the same will happen in Wisconsin.

My brother, who works in the belly of the beast in DC, points out that most 'crats are not risk-takers. (This is something that von Mises points out in Bureaucracy.) Can you imagine, then, how comfortable these guys must be in their lack of accountability to so routinely violate the rights of the citizenry? I'm with Voltaire on this one, without the irony. A country should be able to shoot a few 'admirals' just to encourage the others. It would not take very many instances of abusive 'crats being properly prosecuted for their violations of civil rights under color of law to get these low-life scum back into the parameters of law-abiding behavior. And I include the police officers who act as the enablers in these abuses within the general category of 'low-life scum'.

But the Establishment GOP is not going to do this job. (And their conservative base won't do it vis a vis the abuse of the citizenry by police officers.) Because they would rather eat the scraps from the Democrats' table of corruption than actually do the job of proper governance for which they were elected.

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for bringing up the problem of immunity, and for mentioning possible remedies, one of which is at least available now for particularly brave and conscientious individuals. The bigger problem, of he public acceptance of improper government, is one requiring cultural change to solve.