When Dictatorship Could Be The Solution

In Defense of Dictatorship:

Imagine a country in crisis. One where major strategic decisions that will cause essential change in direction are needed. A strong, decisive leader who does not allow dissent is needed. Right?

Russia during Boris Yeltsin was in that situation. The country was falling apart. The Soviet Union was disappearing. That enabled Nazarbayev to define the borders that became today’s modern Kazakhstan (the ninth largest land size nation in the world). Russia was in such disarray that no one could stem the different parts of the union from falling away.

The messy situation called for a dictator who could install order, starting with withdrawing from Afghanistan, solving the Chechnya uprising and somehow putting an end to the frenzy of how companies were being “privatized.” Putin was the answer.

Sometimes someone just needs to make decisions:

I would say that the price of democracy in the Middle East is the absence of, and inability to secure, peace. Both Israel and the Palestinians need a dictator.

Democracy is not a panacea for all problems. In this case of the Middle East I believe it is the problem.

Daring To Complain About Obamacare

“The nation has been better off,” wrote one friend. “Over 33 million people who did not have insurance are now going to get it.” That’s all fine and good for “the nation,” but what about my $5,400 rate hike (after-tax dollars, I wanted to add, but dared not in this group of previously closeted Mother Teresas)? Another friend wrote, “Yes, I’m paying an extra 200 a month, but I’m okay with doing that so that others who need it can have health care.”

I was shocked. Who knew my friends were such humanitarians? Has Obamacare made it un-P.C. to be concerned by a serious burden on my family’s well-being?

Financial Times interviews with Bill Gates

He discusses the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and states his position on government intervention and initiatives.

Gates describes himself as a natural optimist. But he admits that the fight with the US government seriously challenged his belief that the best outcome would always prevail. With a typically generalising sweep across history, he declares that governments have “worked pretty well on balance in playing their role to improve the human condition” and that in the US since 1776, “the government’s played an absolutely central role and something wonderful has happened”. But that doesn’t settle his unease.

“The closer you get to it and see how the sausage is made, the more you go, oh my God! These guys don’t even actually know the budget. It makes you think: can complex, technocratically deep things – like running a healthcare system properly in the US in terms of impact and cost – can that get done? It hangs in the balance.”

Gates view reminds me of the one that id Software’s John Carmack wrote about years ago, even saying “I am an optimist on almost all fronts.”

Just like Gates.

“Take a deep breath and think”

David Simon thinks this NSA thing is way overblown.

Yes, I can hear the panicked libertarians and liberals and Obama-haters wailing in rare unison: But what about all the innocent Americans caught up in this voracious, overreaching dragnet? To which the answer is obvious if you think about the scale of this: What dragnet?

Your son’s devotional calls to 1-900-BEATOFF? Your daughter’s call from the STD clinic? Your brother-in-law calling you from his office at Goldman with that whispered insider-tip on that biomed stock? Is that what you’re worried about?

More On Beautician/Cosmetology/Barbering Licenses

NPR’s Planet Money observes licensing in certain industries and why it’s illegal to braid hair unlicensed:

In the 1950s, fewer than 5 percent of American workers needed a license to do their job. Today, about a third of workers need licenses. The increase has been driven partly by the shift away from manufacturing jobs (which don’t tend to be licensed) and toward service jobs (which often require licenses). But it’s also been driven by a push from professions themselves. Licensing rules make it harder for new people to enter a field. That’s good for people who are already in the profession, because it limits competition and allows them to raise prices. So professions go to lawmakers and say: You need to regulate us.

Do Low-Carbers Lean To The Right?

Or perhaps libertarian? Just a gut feeling.

Tonight Fat Head creator Tom Naughton posted a debate about health care. If you’ve seen his film it’s pretty clear he has libertarian philosophies.

I had heard about Fred Hahn from my dad, who heard about Slow Burn from CNBC or one of those business channels he watches in the morning. I’m not sure if it was ever featured on those channels, but it would make sense that business executives who are short on time could be a good market for Slow Burn.

To be low-carb means being comfortable with eating animal-based products, which means you’re definitely not far left. But you can also see it elsewhere, like when Denmark started taxing certain foods to discourage the consumption of saturated fat.

I used to be one of these people who thought “cigarettes are bad, OF COURSE they should be taxed!” But if you’re not happy with government taxing food that’s bad for you (or they think is bad for you) then how’s that different than government taxing something bad for you that you can smoke?

It’s like it starts as “why is government trying to tell me what to eat?” and grows into “why is government subsidizing corn and sugar, stuff I SHOULDN’T eat?” and “what right does government have to tell me what I can and can’t do with my body?” and “why is government involved in ANY of this stuff?”

Hermain Cain 2012!1

  1. No, not really.