"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" - Matt Kibbe


Dr. Ben Carson - What is Racism?

By Grant Davies

As most of the well-read and informed readers of this blog know, Dr. Ben Carson is a recently retired brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He became well known to the general public when he made a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year. President Obama was in attendance and Dr. Carson's remarks were interpreted by some as a political move rather than an expression of his own heartfelt opinions on many matters.

I am a skeptical person so I think that many things are not what they first appear to be.  However I think that it's possible that Dr. Carson meant every word he said without even considering the personal political advantage he might get from uttering them at that event. But even if the remarks were - as some believe - politically calculated, I still think he meant them. To me he seems to be an ultra smart and truly caring person when it comes to the problems the country faces. You can see the speech here if you missed it. We featured it in an earlier post.

What happened next was a matter of some dismay to me. Within hours people started saying things like, "Ben Carson for President!" I think it's sad that we reflexively make such comments whenever we come across a new personality who agrees with our philosophy. Sometimes it's done just because someone eloquently rebuts our political rivals. There are too many other things to consider when choosing a leader.

It's possible that Dr. Carson has aspirations and it's possible that he would make a fine President. But politics is a crazy business. At this point we have no idea if he is competent in all the other areas that matter.

So let's just take a deep breath and learn something about the man before we begin some fantasy of a new political savior for our deeply troubled society. Saviors of that type do not exist in reality. It will take all of us to change our country into the type of society that fulfills the potential the founders gave us. Many of us will have to change our minds about the role that government should play in a free society if we are to make those changes.

The video below is a short interview with the doctor by a reporter who is obviously trying to corner him into saying something controversial. It features an interesting exchange about preferences and racism in general.
To my mind, Dr. Carson gives one of the best definitions of racism I have heard. It is also a reflection of my views on the subject.

So maybe we can learn something more about him on our way to evaluating whether he is a realistic future candidate or just someone we admire for his personal traits and his intellect. We must keep in mind that according to Carson's definition, if we supported him because he is black, we would be racists.

If he did get to the White House, I think he would do better than most who have gotten there. After all, this isn't brain surgery.


The Cheech and Chong Solution to the War on Drugs

By Grant Davies

The wise voters of Colorado just proved how simple they actually are. Last night they voted to levy a 25% tax on pot. So let's see...there was a black market in pot because it was illegal. And now there will be a black market in pot because it's legal. Go figure.

Only people who are in the middle of a Cheech and Chong haze could think this is a good idea. I don't usually propose any new laws, but maybe there should be a law against voting while high.

From Yahoo news.

Colorado voters approve 25 percent taxes on recreational marijuana

By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado measure to impose sales and excise taxes of 25 percent on newly legalized recreational marijuana and earmark the first $40 million in revenue for public schools was approved by voters on Tuesday, Governor John Hickenlooper said. Read the rest here..


Christie, a Landslide or a Rock Slide?

By Grant Davies

I do my best to post most often about ideas and concepts, leaving events and people for my weaker moments.
But today an event will take place in NJ and the person it involves will in all likelihood be running for the GOP nomination for President in 2016.

The event is the NJ gubernatorial election and the person is Chris Christie, a morbidly obese Democrat pretending to be a Republican who likes to shout at people between ice cream cones. (Okay, those were snarky personal attacks lacking intellectual substance, but like I said, I have my weak moments.)

But here's the ideas and concepts part: when he wins ( it's almost certain) he will immediately be touted as the front runner for the '16 nomination. Both Dems and GOPers alike will fall in love with him, with the mainstream media leading the cheers. Oh sure, they will still make fun of him, but more like the lovable old fool they secretly admire. Perhaps like goofy Joe Biden, for instance.

But their reasons are different. The Dems love him because he is one of them, but more importantly, they know he can be demolished in the general election. So no matter if they are right or wrong, they get a big government advocate afterwards.

The GOPers will love him because they are stupid. They love how he screams at unionists so they assume he is one of them. He's not. GOPers always fall in love with people they perceive to be against Dems, even if his philosophy isn't much different. If he wins the nomination, the GOP will have the final nail in the coffin and will become the Whigs of the 21st century. They might be already.

So the concept I'm talking about is the final demise of a useless political party and the beginning of a re-alignment of political ideology in this country. The DEM party will split into two opposing factions. (Liberals and Classical liberals.) The far left wing will collapse from its own failures and incompetence in governing. As it turns out, the only thing they are competent at is getting elected by distracting the weak minded voters in the mushy middle and promising other peoples' stuff to the envious and lazy. It works most of the time.

When the Dems lose the GOP, they lose their foil. Just as Hitler needed the Jews and Obama needs evil "rich people" and greedy health insurance companies, the Dems need the GOP. Without them they are finished as well.

So there is hope, America! Most people will revert to being politically sensible and vote for people who manage money competently and otherwise leave all of us alone socially. Who knows what name they will go by? It really doesn't matter a whole lot. IMO, it won't be an existing so called "third" political party.

One last thing, I'm probably wrong about all of the above, as I usually am. But I just thought you were really anxious to know what I thought about today's election in NJ.

PS  If any of the "old line" GOP favorites win the nomination the situation will be exactly the same, minus the fat jokes.


The World's Easiest Economics Quiz

Dr. Walter E Williams is well known for being "The People's Economist" because he explains things in a way that ordinary people can understand. 

I'm told that the classes he teaches at George Mason University are among the most difficult the students there encounter on the way to their degrees. But for the rest of us, he makes things clear without even providing the answer to little quizzes like this one. I bet almost everyone aces it.
PS...  For admirers of Paul Krugman, the answers are found below.

1 = K  2 = B