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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Selling sexual services for cash

Last week, several local media outlets reported on the shutdown of a massage parlor in Geauga County. After a six-month investigation, three of the women involved were charged with "engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity". Whatever the hell that means. One more was charged with prostitution.

This leaves me to wonder why so many people think that prostitution is wrong. Having been raised in a very conservative religious household, I can understand if you do. However, it's one thing to think it's wrong and completely another to try and use the force of government to outlaw it. Those who would do so presume ownership over the bodies of these women.

Who owns our bodies? The only possible answer that I can see is that I am the sole owner of my body. The implications of that are profound and far-reaching. It includes the issue we are discussing here. If we do in fact own our bodies, than there's no possible way that consensual selling of the use of our body can be considered a crime.

If the government and our neighbors pretend that they have the moral and legal authority to outlaw this act, then they are actually professing to own our body. That is no different than slavery. Ownership of other human beings has been illegal for a long time.

I can understand if you think prostitution is immoral, but making illegal will do nothing to stop it. You cannot prevent people from selling use of their bodies any more than you can prevent them from using drugs. The government has enough problems with violent crime. Selling sex is not a violent crime. I would much rather the state use my money to investigate murder and theft than prostitution and drugs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democracy - leads to bankruptcy?

This is something I've been meaning to write about. I've thought before that democracy, if it works at all, would be best for very small communities. To me it's pretty straight forward where democratic government goes wrong on a federal level. It's easy to spot corruption and mismanagement when you're watching such a large empire. For many people it's not as easy when they're looking at small municipalities.

The federal government is bankrupt, and has run up a massive debt. We know this. But democracy can also be just as hopeless locally as well, as is the case in North Randall, OH. The Plain Dealer reported that the government of North Randall, OH is on the verge of collapse. This village, home to the largest mall in the Cleveland area, used to be booming. As many as 40% of the voters there are now petitioning to dissolve the city.

Perhaps they could get back to fiscal solvency by getting rid of the mayor's $50,000 part time salary and the two officer patrols that cost $100,000 a year. Or they could even just dissolve the government and let everyone keep their hard earned money. It could serve as a new model. If you can't be fiscally solvent, you'll need to go back to private industry and stop feeding off the public. I sincerely hope they would remain government free, rather than falling back in with Warrensville Heights, which surrounds it on three sides. Probably a small chance, but I would love to see that happen.

I also wish they would stop referring to the whole village as being near collapse. There are 850 residents living there who are not collapsing. The village government is what's collapsing. That is a very important distinction. The responsible villagers vs. their parasitic government is what it's really about. Let the villagers voluntarily contract for security and city services.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Why do some companies get so big?

Perhaps the answer can be found in the unholy union between state and corporation. Of particular interest in this post is $7.3 million from Summit County to fund Bridgestone Firestone's new research and development center. The county is forcefully taking money out of my pocket, under the threat of violence, and giving it to this multi billion dollar multinational corporation.

As if that isn't bad enough, the county is borrowing money for the project, according to county lawyer Jason Dodson. Which means that my fellow citizens and I will be paying for this plus interest out of our future paychecks. All together, the city of Akron, summit county, and the state of Ohio are contributing $68 million in public financing.

What kind of company is this that feels entitled to taxpayer money? Apparently all they have to do to get more funding from the state is threaten to relocate their facilities to Tennessee. Personally, I couldn't give a rat's ass if they packed up and left. I don't see any possible justification to take money from citizens and give it to these people. This is what we commonly refer to as "corporate welfare".

The least they could do is give me some free tires or something. Alas, no... what will they give me in return for this? Nothing. I will be forced to finance their expansion so state officials won't lose any corporate tax dollars.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Add gambling to the list of things the State does which we can't do. Ohio enjoys tremendous profits from their lottery games. Now Keno is on their laundry list of legal gaming. It started this last Monday, and made revenues for the state of $257,000. Total payout for the game was $163,474 - 64% of the wagers placed.

State officials say Keno is expected to bring Ohio $73 million a year. They need the money to offset general revenue funding cuts. Good thing they have this as an option. It sure would be terrible if they didn't have that extra money to waste on their failed programs.

What if I decided I need some more cash to make up my budget shortfall this year? Hmm, maybe I'll install some gambling machines in my house and invite my neighbors over for a night of fun. Oh wait, normal citizens can't do that if they need to make ends meet. We pay them taxes to use force on us to stop us from voluntarily placing bets with our own money. Sounds more like bizarro world to me.

Gambling: yet another Victimless Crime outlawed by the State to take all the profits for themselves. I don't gamble much, and even if I could I probably wouldn't. Poker is my game of choice, which of course I can't do. I wouldn't start my own gaming business either. That doesn't mean other people shouldn't be able to.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ohio's public school situation

WCPN reported on a new study from the Center for Education Policy, a group that advocates public education. It includes a report on school restructuring in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. There is a link to the report on their website, but it was down and I couldn't get to it so I'll have to wait till later on that.

Cleveland's schools are consistently failing state and national standards for achievement. "The number of schools that have to be restructured, which is the last stage of change among schools that haven’t been doing well, has doubled in the last year - and the state is grappling with how to try improving so many schools." This amounts to 130 schools in 2007-08.

Eric Gordon, an administrator in the school district, was quick to tout the improvement of three of Cleveland's schools. Improvement to what, he does not say. I guess as long as they keep making small gains it's alright with them.... it's not alright with me, though.

I don't think any amount of improvement in the public school system will convince me to give up my kids education to the state. The education of my children is way too important to be left to faceless bureaucrats in Columbus and DC.

What's my alternative? Home school. I plan on living modestly so my wife and I can have the time and resources to teach my children. The number one argument I hear in favor of public schools is that your children need to be properly social with their peers. When you realize how many opportunities there still are for that, outside of the public school system, that argument seems to fall flat.

One of the brightest parts was that the week these interviews were given, virtually every school tax on ballots across Ohio failed. The sooner we stop paying for schools with more taxes, the better. Throwing more money at the problem won't fix it. As always, strictly private education is the answer.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The State gets away with murder

The vast hypocracy of the state is nowhere more evident than in the crime of murder. Government agents routinely get away with it, where any normal citizen would be severely punished. Take, for example, today's court ruling for Lima, OH officer Joseph Chavalia. He was acquitted of all charges in the death of a poor black woman during a SWAT team drug raid.

The all-white jury found Sgt. Joseph Chavalia not guilty on misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and negligent assault. He had faced up to eight months in jail if convicted of both counts.
The first travesty is that the two charges against him were only misdemeanors. Where else but the State could someone guily of murder be charged so lightly? I guess I should be happy that they at least brought some kind of charges against the cop. Most of the time they would actually get a raise for this kind of behavior. Or at the very least a medal for bravery, as was recently the case for those cops in Minnesota.

Secondly, it is commonly recognized among libertarians that the state's prohibition of drugs is what causes this type of violence in the first place. Where else could a victimless crime such as getting high be prosecuted to such a heavy extent?

Chavalia said he saw a shadow coming out from behind a partially open bedroom door and heard gunshots that he thought were aimed at him. It turned out that gunfire he heard was coming from downstairs, where other officers shot two charging pit bulls.
I guess it seems plausible that he could have felt threatened by an unarmed black woman. At least, it does until you begin to question why he was even there in the first place. Let alone shooting up the house's inhabitants. That officer had a choice of whether or not to pull the trigger. If anything, he had a choice of whether or not to enforce the state's drug laws. If the officer deemed them to be inappropriate, as well he should, he could have quit and gotten a productive job in the private sector.

The gangland wars of 1920s Chicago, starring Al Capone, were directly created by the government's prohibition of alcohol. So it is with today's perpetual drug war. Black market gang warlords thrive under the state. Heavy handed measures taken by the state to combat this drug related gang violence only result in the murder of innocent victims like Tarika Wilson. The only thing that will stop drug related violence is to end drug prohibition completely. Not just for marijuana, but ALL drugs.

The state routinely violates human nature by committing the very acts that it deems illegal for normal citizens. This can all stop only when people finally recognize the government for what it is, and refuse to enact its ridiculous provisions. No amount of enforced drug prohibition will ever eliminate drug use. Cheap, plentiful, high quality drugs available at the local corner pharmacy will end the violence.

I am not a drug user by any means. I just don't see anything wrong with other people who want to use them. It's not that scary when you realize that the same exact thing holds true for alcohol. Maybe there would be more people driving under the influence of cocaine. If someone did that and caused an accident, let that be prosecuted as the crime. Just as in alcohol. Everyday drug use in one's own home should not be illegal.