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Friday, April 20, 2007

I've finally found a hero I can believe in: Richard Berman

I wish I were even half as eloquent and as effective a libertarian as he is. He merely believes that people should not be protected from themselves and should not be abused by those who cynically claim to have their best interests at heart, and I wholeheartedly agree. On this simple basis, I believe that Richard Berman is one of the greatest men alive today. To watch a 60 Minutes profile of him, follow this link. I offer my most heartfelt support for this great man.


Sheryl said...

I think it's often not as simple as being protected from oneself. Our culture is filled with traps and pitfalls. In some situations, I think it is wrong to get involved. Like I don't think anyone has a right to tell someone else that they shouldn't kill themselves.

However, I think there is a lot of overlap where people are just trying to deal with bullshit and aren't always sure how. They get themselves in trouble because they don't have the tools to pull themselves out of the quagmire.

I don't believe in or trust social darwinism or the pseudo-intellectual elitism that often accompanies it. If someone is out to destroy themselves, then that that is one thing, but just sitting around watching someone self destruct when that was not their goal at all is kind of icky.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I'm more against government involvement than anything else, but if I want to eat a steak (sorry, stomach rolled on that one, still not over the bug) and a fully-loaded baked potato, wash it down with a 4-litre pitcher of beer, and then smoke a giant Cohiba, then it's my business. And if I choose to flip off a union boss who gave himself a massive pay raise while those he claims to represents make less per hour and a comparable number of hours than their nearby non-union counterparts, then I will do so. If people want help, it should be available, but it should be done in the manner which involves the least amount of government interference, and it certainly should not be pushed by a bunch of shrill political opportunists who use junk science and conflicting data to support their neo-Puritan agendas.

I really am feeling better if I was able to rant like that. :)

1138 said...

And if I choose to pool my bargaining power with others, that's my business.
But your hero doesn't think so.
Ok for corporations to do so, but not individuals.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Only if that bargaining is to the benefit of those who wish to do so. He's more against the fraud and corruption that typifies modern unions, and the antidemocratic manner in which they are increasingly trying to foist themselves on various workplaces. Try as I might, I can't find a single flaw with that.

1138 said...

Well that's one opinion, I don't think your hero would agree, his past actions and statements don't match up with it.

I've seen more pressure applied to pay money to the United Way in work places I've been in than I've seen pressure to join the union and pay dues.

Sheryl said...

So in terms of your steak, should there be government regulations to protect you from getting sold meat that is not sanitary or has been pumped up with steoids to the point that your system can't possibly deal with it?

Should we all have to grow and produce our own food in order to have both goverment free regulation, but still know our food is safe?

And if I get sick eating food because itdoes have nasty chemicals or toxins in it, oh well, I should have known better? Do you want to spend your life having to scrutinize everything just so you can feel you are free of safety nets?

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I think that restaurants and consumers, not the government, should decide if there will be smoking allowed, and to what extent. I think that restaurants and consumers, not the government, should decide what will be served on a restaurant's menu. If some people are offended by fois gras being on the menu, they're certain to be offended by my middle finger. In both cases, if the consumers don't like it, they can vote with their wallets.

I think ensuring a safe food supply is good, and that steps should be taken to prevent known carcinogens mutagens, teratogens, and other illness-causing chemicals and pathogens from entering the food supply. However, I don't think "safe" should include information such as caloric or cholesterol content, and I certainly DON'T think alarmism should be substituted for sound science. Ultimately, if I eat raw oysters or a very rare steak (glad I can finally think about them, at any rate), I know that I'm assuming some level of risk, and I don't need Big Brother telling me what an idiot I am. I know what an idiot I'm being when I eat that, and I continue to eat it because I like it and BECAUSE I CAN!

At this point, I see union leaders as being one set of people out to screw the workers, while management in at least some businesses are also out to screw the workers. I'm sorry, but if I'm going to be screwed senseless by two different people, I'd rather they be female and hot. But above all else, in this and any field, I'm tired of bullshit.

GTX said...

Here at Europe they’ve already started restaurant smoke ban and I don’t agree with that.
If alcohol became forbidden too they will turn the Church very angry, because they use wine in the ritual.