Promised music

As mentioned in my email of The Alternative here are a couple YouTubes of a song that won’t leave my mind becaught it was first heard from the definition of cool, Mose Allison. Then there is the original version, and bless Mose for turning us on to this song just for Joe Liggins’ version.

This is the kind of thing I wished high school jazz bands had tried:

The first comment is a gem: “danair 9 months ago
I used to play this on my saxophone for my mother and watch her dance like a 17 yr old”

Bedfellows, not strange at all

In the controversy over the American version of the Stasi the fascists are being exposed and I hope people are paying attention. Steve King, Iowa’s “Constitutional conservative” is hugging and kissing OhBombya and the tryst gets little mention in government worship media. I haven’t heard, yet, how the most Christian man on earth, Rick Santorum feels about the Fourth Amendment, but I imagine he doesn’t much like our privacy either. Those competing religions deserve extra bending of the rules. Using knives is so bad. Drones and cruise missiles is so much more Christian. Life is a TV show to these blood-thirsty politicians.

Let’s Not Make Exceptions

American exceptionalism has a broader meaning than “we rock!” It has come to mean “except for.”

We, the community of humans on earth, really are God’s creation, right? You won’t convince me that He made a special race within a compartment shaped like the United States. I think the term American exceptionalism should be used to describe how we are the first nation to make an agreement defining the rights of each person as inherent upon our existence, as opposed to rights being granted by an institution or person.

This rule is what I use to anchor every opinion in The Alternative. The fact that it has become so easy to make exceptions to the rule of individual rights has gotten us in a lot of trouble. The word “individual” is the key to understanding the deviations from the rules that cause trouble.

Whether a group is villain or victim, there should never be a cause that sacrifices the rights of individuals to benefit any group.

There was a story in the Los Angeles Times last week that quoted labor leader (and leader of the fight for the minimum wage increase), Rusty Hicks, as saying:
“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them…”

But they don’t need no stinking collective bargaining agreement. The employer wants an employee and the employee wants a job. Both parties have a choice.

What the union wants is a piece of the pie (dues to pay unnecessary bureaucrats). They know that workers can negotiate with employers on an individual basis. They even know the business will be improved with such an arrangement, making jobs more secure.

This is one small instance where the benefits of individual rights trump the rights of groups.

A much bigger deal is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The details of this pact are secret. But our politicians have received over a million dollars from the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP. If you expect these companies not to anticipate a return on their donations to this secret agreement, then let’s see what is so secret and why.

The most important consideration with so-called free trade pacts is the necessity for any agreement in the first place. The agreements, by definition, violate individual rights because they require individuals to act within rules that govern us as groups. We can trade as individuals unless we think we need to force people in other countries to trade with us on our terms instead of their own.

Free trade agreements and union contracts, in violating individual rights, limit our ability to find the most efficient use of any resource. It is easy to see how this reduces our standard of living. But without an example of a truly free economy it is impossible to see how much. So we are complacent and accepting of the exceptions to our liberty while the schemers who know how to manipulate the law get rich and undeservedly get credit for their good work.

With a system of law only designed to protect individual rights at the point those rights are in danger, instead of a complex mess of social engineering, the justice system would be able to do what it was originally intended to do.

Just like free trade agreements

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them,” Hicks said in a statement.

This is from the LA Times in a story about labor leaders seeking an exemption from Lala Land’s new minimum wage of $15 per hour:

If you see the irony in this then you certainly see how so-called free trade agreements between governments are also unnecessary and an open door to cronyism. The new Trans-Pacific Partnership is nearly all confidential, a new low in arrogant government. But the amounts it cost the beneficiaries are recorded in this Guardian article:

International soccer is only the tip of the iceberg.

No government “agreements” equals freedom. Anything the government does takes our freedom away.

Letter to the War Street Journal on little league

As is often the case the letters section outdoes the original article. This might not be intended to be a libertarian rant, but the case is made well, at least to people who think.

Regarding “Why Children Are Abandoning Baseball” (Sports, May 21): It strikes me that it is about a lack of joy. I recall the wonder of the sport when I was growing up. On any given summer evening, dozens of boys from our neighborhood gathered on the sandy lot across the street. Regardless of age, we rushed through dinner to be on hand when the two oldest kids “chose up sides.” Seven-year-olds learned to play from 14-year-olds. If you made an error, your manager might punch you. There were no bases on balls. Three swings and you were out. The pitcher was a member of the team at bat, so he tried to let you hit the ball. The game moved quickly. Sliding on gravel was at the risk of getting a “raspberry” on your butt, and bragging rights went to the team in front when the game was “called” on account of darkness or because our mothers were calling us in.

No coaches, no umpires, no scoreboard, no parents, no pressure—just the pure joy of playing a game of skill within a common set of rules. If Little League could figure out how to reproduce that experience, it would reverse its decline.

Jon Fox

Ventnor, N.J.

Getting Old

My first real job was at McDonald’s. I made french fries.

The potatoes came in 50# sacks. I put them in a peeler with emery cloth inside that spun the potatoes around in a bath of water. Then I used a lever over a sharpened grate to cut them into a bath of plain water. I rinsed them 3 times to remove starch that absorbs grease that would make them less crispy. Then I blanched them in hot oil and put them aside to waait until I saw a few cars come in the driveway. Then I’d shout to the burger guy, “Run a 24.” and I’d put a couple baskets in the hot oil again, take them out, salt them and bag them.

Potatoes, salt and oil.

Why is McDonald’s in decline? Here’s why:

Who is the terrorist?

Now it has become news that the bungling US military has shipped live Anthrax bacteria out to various places and they have no idea how this could happen. No wonder they need a budget as big as the entire rest of the world. Please save us.

As we drive through any town, look through any paper there are pleas for workers that are not there. Maybe they are all in the military shipping WMDs or otherwise producing mayhem for poor downtrodden souls.

Hmm. Which benevolent country will rise to the occasion and destroy our infrastructure, murder our children and drag our president through the streets in the name of protecting the world from WMDs that we have proven capable of utilizing?

Story here (just listen to the befuddlement of this soldier):


This past Memorial Day brought a big uptick in the use of the word “sacrifice.” Since I’m often misunderstood in my writing (a failure, in other words), I often look up the meanings of words. This one seems to fit in with the god-like image Americans have of government and the industry it supports:

“Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more human beings, usually as an offering to a deity, as part of a religious ritual.”

Not so different from the bogey-men that inspire such fanatical devotion, eh?