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“Nothing’s easy. It’s going to be a long bloody fight”

October 28, 2009

That’s a quote from the 60 minutes report on Afghanistan. CBS, whom I generally detest, actually did a decent job on this one. Check out the response the General gives whenm asked what he needs – More Troops. Yet here we are 2 or more months after McChrystal’s report went public and still no decision.

That was kind of depressing so how about some Mormon Muffins

alg_hot_mormon_muffins

The “Hot Mormon Muffins: A Taste of Motherhood” calendar features 12 mothers who claim membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in vintage pinup picture poses. Each month also has a muffin recipe.

(h/t)

or how about a new political party – The Bill Quick Party

I like most of the ideas Bill has put down, but some – such as the automatic sunsetting of all laws – are impractical. Do we really want to have to reallocate radio spectrum every 5 years, or renew flight safety standards every couple years? What if we were to go to war with China – do we have to have a balanced budget while we are fighting the war? I understand the principle but sometimes principle and reality are in stark opposition.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2009 6:40 am

    Do we really want to have to reallocate radio spectrum every 5 years?

    Nope. So lets not bother with it. Let’s permit the free market to allocate spectrum.

    Jenn, the Bill Quick Party Platform is designed to shrink government – drastically. The idea is that you actually have to expend a great deal of effort to keep laws on the books – which will result, hopefully, in only really necessary laws ending up there more or less permanently.

    I did modify the balanced budget plank to make allowance for formally declared wars. I’m still modifying, by the way, if you want to stop by with suggestions, or just post them here and I’ll link them.

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      October 29, 2009 11:53 am

      Bill,

      Thanks for the visit and comment. Unfortunately this is one of those cases where the market can’t work. There are a lot of technical reasons but for the most part they boil down to planes falling out of the sky. I understand your point about wanting to shrink governement but some laws and regulations just have to be long term. If they aren’t then the politicians get too many chances to F-things up. I have no problem with all tax and revenue related measures expiring after 5 years.

  2. October 29, 2009 12:38 pm

    There are a lot of technical reasons but for the most part they boil down to planes falling out of the sky. I understand your point about wanting to shrink governement but some laws and regulations just have to be long term.

    Do you believe that planes will fall out of the sky without Mommy Government decreeing that they should not?

    It’s not really in the best interests of an airline to have its planes falling out of the sky. Makes wonderful commercial fodder for the competition, for one thing.

    Give me five examples of laws/regulations that have to be long term, so I can respond to specifics, rather than generalities. Also note that I have not banished “long term” legislation. I have simply made it more difficult for it to exist. I don’t believe that your objection that it would be too much work for such legislation to be rescued from sunset holds water.

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      October 29, 2009 2:39 pm

      I don’t have much time so you will have to wait on the complete list but Radio Spectrum management is one. Among the things that are controlled by CFR 47 is the frequencies in which air traffic control radars, weather avoidance radars, even military radars operate. I was being semi-facetious but if you allow just anyone to poach on that area of the spectrum then yes planes can literally fall out of the sky because of interference with the radar systems. Crashes can happen, wind shear may not be detected, a wide variety of things may happen. So say that 5 year time period expires and there are no rules governing spectrum control, whats to keep that from happening, a company seizing control of a valuable piece of spectrum because the want to add more cell phones?

      Another example that I can think of off the top of my head is maritime navigation, or even piracy. If the laws against piracy expire then there is a window for criminals to make hay until they are renewed.

      What about treaties. According to the Constitution treaties are to be treated as the supreme law of the land and many of our laws derive from treaties (harmonized tariff schedules for one) so basically you are saying that all laws enacting treaties will have to be redone every 5 years. What if there is a hold up. Do we not charge tariffs, do we keep using the old ones, the law has expired so who will collect them, what if the tariff collectors just decide to raise them on their own? Then what is to bind other countries to their treaty obligations to us?

      You may not see these issues as concerns. Mainly because I have no trust in congress to be able to act in a timely manner.

  3. xbradtc permalink
    October 30, 2009 1:18 pm

    Given the specific role of the government to maintain “weights and measures” it isn’t a far leap to believe that RF spectrum allocation is a legitimate role for the government.

    Don’t forget that the free market works through creative destruction, which can often have real world implications. Were the effects solely fiscal, that would be one thing. But there are real probabilities that lives would be lost, often in easily preventable ways, through such creative destruction in the RF allocation process. The government may not be terribly efficient in allocation (and we probably SHOULD look at reallocation every 5 years!) but the potential downside to not having a framework in place is unacceptable to all but the most ideological free market proponents.

    I’m all in favor of radically reducing the size and influence of the government, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t legitimate roles for it to play.

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      October 30, 2009 7:14 pm

      Exactly where I am coming from. I strongly believe that laws should be taken off the books as they outlive there usefulness but a universal sunset clause doesn’t seem wise to me. I would support a sunsetting on all non-tariff revenue generating laws.

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