UofO Professor Upset over Autzen Stadium ‘O’

Read my full discussion of this at Appeal to Heaven.

This just in from KMTR

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – A University of Oregon professor says the huge yellow “O” on Autzen Stadium is an eyesore for her neighborhood.

McKay Sohlberg’s complaints have led to a May 13 hearing over whether the university has the proper permission to put the “O” on the south side of the football stadium.

Originally, the 816-square-foot “O” was hung by the athletic department for a national television pre-game show. But it stayed after the TV crews had gone.

Sohlberg says the city should have applied for a permit or an exception before the “O” went up.

The Eugene planning director ruled the sign was an exception to the code in March. But Sohlberg appealed to a hearings officer, the next step.

I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that McKay Sohlberg doesn’t own the Autzen Stadium property. When she bought her home in the neighborhood, did she buy a guarantee that Autzen Stadium wouldn’t put up something she thought looked bad?

No. No she didn’t. She bought the property AND the risk that the Stadium might put up a giant O.

Would she appreciate it if the owners of Autzen Stadium appealed something that she was doing with her property? No.

If she has a problem with it, maybe should should consider buying the property from Autzen Stadium – rather than trying to get government to force Autzen to do whatever she wants with their property.

Favorite Email of the Day

Just wanted to give you a heads up that the prize you received from XXXX XXXX in January will be taxed on the upcoming paycheck dated 2/20.

Feel free to come by if you have any questions.

Of course it will.

Socialized Healthcare and ‘Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims’

Boy is this audio appropriate today:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Whatever you thought of Reagan, there was one thing true about him – he understood the fundamental epic failing of socialist philosophy applied to government. Socialism comes in the form of friendly ideas with the best intentions. It ends in Tyranny.

C. S. Lewis put it this way:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Contrast all of the above with President Obama the other day:

audio ht: Levin

A Decent Video Overview of American Government

Not perfect, but good. Definitely worth viewing:

The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition

Whatever your position on the American auto-maker’s bailout – this parody nails the central problem with government getting involved in major private industry:

Satire by Iowahawk.

I don’t pretend to know the ‘right decision’ in this mess, since it’s likely that any decision will end up screwing hard working Detroit families. However, the long-term ramifications of installing a governmental ‘Car Czar,’ as many are suggesting – should not be underestimated.

masterEmporer

Personally, if it were my business, I would be extremely wary of accepting government money. Strings have a way of…appearing….down the road…

Great Moments in Climate Science: Government sees increasing hurricane strength – despite data

By government – I mean President-Elect Obama, but it is more important to remember that when people are warning about global catastrophes – despite the evidence, the end concern is always – what will government force you to do about it. Here’s the Obama quote:

“Few challenges facing America — and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change,” he says in the video. “The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season. Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security.”

And here’s an actual graph of cyclone strength metrics:
cyclonestrengthgraph

Firstly – only someone who does not understand the methodology and process of science would say something foolish like, “The science is beyond dispute.” Science cannot be “closed” as I have written before. (You can read a bit more about this concept here.) Whenever anyone tells you “the science is closed,” especially concerning something vastly complex like global climate change, you should be skeptical.

Second – If you look at the graph on cyclone strength – the idea that, “storms … are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season,” is false. Cyclone strength has, in fact, risen – then fallen dramatically over the past decade or two. In the last five years – in particular, we have seen a dramatic drop-off in cyclone strength.

But then again -as far as public policy goes – since when did actual data matter, especially since we have such a great thing going with this whole Global Warming frenzy? People are already totally convinced that it will bring about our impending doom, and since it’s a “global problem” who else are they going to turn to to “fix it?”

Hint: Starts with “gov,” ends with “ment.”

Closing thought: If global warming is such an existential threat to mankind that we must immediately take major government action – why hasn’t President-Elect Obama, or Al Gore, or anyone for that matter – set up a single day of hearings to consider arguments from credible scientists on both sides of this issue?

The answer is simple: Because they fear having their belief challenged. And the only people who are afraid to have their beliefs challenged, are those who either know their belief to be false, or don’t know enough to know their belief is true (and how to defend it).

ht [CS]

John Stossel – The Road to Serfdom

Great column this week. Read it on Townhall, or below:

It’s exciting that the world is so excited about Barack Obama. I’m excited, too. That he achieved the presidency says something good about America.

But the excitement also frightens me. It reinforces the worst impulse of the media and political class: the assumption that all progress comes from Washington. In a free society, with constitutionally limited government, the president would be a mere executive who sees to it that predictable and understandable laws are enforced. But sadly, the prestige and power of the presidency have grown, and liberty has contracted. That is not something to celebrate.

The infatuated chattering classes now demand “action” on the economy. They use positive words like “bold steps.” The insufferable New York Times suggests the choice is “between a big-bang strategy of pressing aggressively on multiple fronts versus a more pragmatic, step-by-step approach …. ” There is endless talk about how FDR ended the Great Depression and how Obama will apply similar “stimulus.”

Please. FDR’s “bold” moves didn’t end the Depression. They prolonged it by discouraging capital investment. Hoover and Roosevelt turned what might have been a brief downturn into 10 years of double-digit unemployment.

Now Obama says, “we don’t have a moment to lose,” and he and the Democrats insist that government must unionize most of America by passing “card check” and taxpayers must throw even more money at American automakers.

This is the conceit of what Thomas Sowell calls “the anointed” (http://tinyurl.com/6me8d4). The politicians know best how our money should be spent. The “road to serfdom” is paved with such good intentions.

Obama promises:

We will change the world … There is nothing we can’t do, nothing we can’t accomplish if we are unified.”

Who is this “we” politicians always cite?

We can change the world for the better if “we” means hundreds of millions of free people pursuing their interests, inventing, building, parenting, helping.

But the politicians’ “we” is different. It means government. “We” will take your money by force and order you about. A democracy can become the tyranny of the majority. That’s no way to create prosperity.

Obama is an extraordinarily talented man. But there is one thing he can’t successfully do: ignore the laws of economics. No one can do that. That’s why we call them “laws.”

Ludwig von Mises wrote that once the science of economics emerged in the late Eighteenth Century, people began to realize “there is something operative which power and force are unable to alter and to which they must adjust themselves if they hope to achieve success, in precisely the same way as they must take into account the laws of nature. This realization … led to the program and policies of [classical] liberalism and thus unleashed human powers that, under capitalism, have transformed the world.”

The resulting abundance, which so many people take for granted without understanding its source, allows them to believe that a new president can “stimulate” us out of recession.

But we cannot raise wages or create jobs or eliminate poverty by executive order. We can do so by freeing people to save and invest and accumulate capital. We can’t make medical care universal and inexpensive by legislative fiat. But we can approach that goal by permitting a free market in medicine to work.

Government is force, not eloquence. And force is an attempt to defy economic logic. The consequences are often opposite of those intended. “A subsidy for medical insurance increases the demand for services and raises prices. A price ceiling makes those services less available. A floor under wages makes jobs for unskilled workers more scarce, as employers find it a losing proposition to hire them. A subsidy to production means too much produced relative to something else consumers want. A trade restriction lowers living standards at home and abroad,” writes Sheldon Richman on the Foundation for Economic Education website.

What will happen when the unintended consequences hit? F.A. Hayek warned that a government serious about enacting its economic plan must be prepared to use heavy-handed measures. Is that what we want?

I fear that today’s “forceful actions” will not only be a painful assault on our freedom, they will exacerbate whatever economic troubles we face.

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