Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dumb and Dangerous

Here is a story of a woman - bullied as a girl - that spent her adult life working toward getting a law passed to outlaw bullying in schools -

Called the "Safe School Climate Act," it was signed by the governor over the summer and school districts must implement it by next month.

"This law is a big step for South Carolina, and it creates more awareness for staff and teachers to identify bullying and tell students that it's wrong," Reese said.

Here is yet another example of a "feel good" law with good intentions that is unnecessary and damaging to society as a whole. Here we see the notion that there is a problem and only government can solve it.

After all, has bullying ever been ok really? If teachers, principals and school districts were allowed to take real action this would not be an issue for the state to resolve. When I was a child you were punished at school for bad behavior (paddling) then something much worse occurred - they sent a note home and your could be certain the punishment there would be worse.

Why not pass a law that says something to the effect that the public does not have to educate our children - if parents want to send their children to public schools they better know the rules. Some of those rules should include the ability to paddle and expulsion for particularly bad children.

This Safe School Climate Act nonsense will lead to ridiculous situations like this scenario - one little girl calls another little girl "stupid", what are the teachers to do? Call the police? How ridiculous. Punish the name-caller and get over it. You do not need a state law to correct that.

This is indicative of an attitude that the government has all of the answers and can correct all problems - that is a dangerous attitude.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tort Reform

(Post and Courier) Hampton County has been a place where the big jury verdicts grow.

For years this rural farmscape of 21,000 people 75 miles west of Charleston was a favorite for lawyers who wanted to make corporations pay.

A combination of low-income jurors and South Carolina's old-time laws that favored plaintiffs seemed to encourage it, some said.

I was a fan of tort reform for 37 of my 39 years (well that is an exageration - I suppose in the early years I did not have a clue what tort reform meant, but you get the idea). Now I am reconsidering my position. I am not sold on opening the barn door to outrageous verdicts - but there is some beauty in sticking it to the faceless man.

Afterall, a small business man knows full well the danger of providing a dangerous or flawed service. He may be sued and everything he owns (up to and including his home) may be taken. Mega-corporations can afford to be a bit more careless, they can absorb a few bumps in the road (caused entirely by their own carelessness.)

I am still undecided on the absolute right answer, I only know that we have traveled a bit too far toward an economic sytem driven by corporatism.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thanks But No Thanks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Two senators have filed a bill calling for South Carolina to have a minimum wage of $6.15, a dollar more than the current federal minimum.

The minimum wage makes no sense to me at all - the market ought to dictate what a person makes for a job. Of course that assumes that artificial entities with person rights (i.e. corporations) were not able to achieve undue advantages in the market. In a true distributivist economy and culture things would work themselves out - men would work for fair wages or simply work for themselves. Everything that could be produced and sold locally would be.

Of course we have confused the notion of free-market capitalism with the concept that bigger is better and cheaper is always better. Cheaper and bigger comes at a tremendous price - just ask small family farmers or mom and pop store owners. When a piece of the culture dies because of bigger and cheaper the price is greater than the savings.

The only bright spot of raising the minimum wage in SC is that perhaps - just maybe - it would slow down some of the unchecked growth. If large corporations no longer viewed our state as fertile ground for cheap labor, maybe they would stop moving in. Maybe a few less subdivisions would be built.

That is probably too much to hope and in the end raising the minimum wage would have the same effect every other government intrusion into private sector affairs has - negative results.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I like the Way This Guy Thinks

My dream is that all persons living in Anderson County, South Carolina will one day be entirely debt-free - Joseph Sangl

I like this sort of thinking - being debt free would allow folks to live decent lives and focus on what is important. Money will not buy happiness but debt certainly buys a lot of unhappiness and slavery.

Monday, December 04, 2006

South Carolina 1788 Constitution Preamble

We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution. (Via Yankee Doodle)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Real Southern Men Ought to Know Better

While I neither agree with the premise of this article nor the silly nod to racism at the conclusion (obviously a feeble attempt to take the "moral high-ground" in the essay).

I do agree that trespassing hunters are a problem.

A Hartsville resident that owns 378 acres that he purchased for his family's hunting pleasure describes it thusly -

"I don't feel that any landowner should have to turn over use of his property to any group simply to provide them a place to hunt," said Moyd. "It seems a crime that a man can buy land, develop it for wildlife enhancement, and then have hunters who use dogs to track wildlife take over."

"We have put up 'No Trespassing' signs and hunters continue to commit acts of violence; local law enforcement is helping them.

He is absolutely correct - if you do not know where you are in the woods or if you are incapable of reading a "No Trespassing" sign you have no business hunting at all.

As a child and young man I spent most of the year (when I was not living in some foreign land with my daddy thanks to Uncle Sam) tromping across the depth and breadth of my family farm - always with my trusty .22 and one or two of my dogs. This was boys' fun - it was my family's land. During deer season, my fun and frolic always came to an end. You simply never knew who might be out there.

When I became a teenager I took much of my childhood frustration out on these trespassers - I did things that were downright un-Christian and I suppose I ought to be sorry for that. I am not, though. More than one repeat offender came back from hunting on our land to find the truck he had parked on our land "tampered with", and one particularly mean and nasty SOB will never forget the day my cousins and I ambushed him (he had actually drew down on me the week prior after being warned numerous times not to come back).

That is and was my land - these interlopers did not and do not belong there. Few things make me angrier than another man invading my world - be he someone from the government or a law-breaking "neighbor".

The way I figure it, dogs on my land come there at my pleasure - if they are unruly I will shoot them. My place is large enough and far enough away from other folks to prevent pets from coming over. In actuality the same goes for men (any man) walking around on my property with a gun - hunting season or not.

I have spent over 20 years of my life in uniform in service to this nation supposedly defending our rights and freedoms. I have no intention of giving up any of those rights on my own land.

Hunters, if you are real men and follow in the truest of Southern traditions you should consider the egregious error of disrespecting another man's property. If you willfully violate such you are no better than criminal scum - and should be treated as such.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Department of Homeland Insecurity Visits Anderson

(Anderson Independent) Area officials learned about responding to hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction incidents this week during a class put on by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem with Federal folks coming into our county to do, well anything?

Last time I dusted off my copy of The Constitution I failed to find any authority for the Federal Government to run anything called the Department of Homeland Security. I guess that authority must me listed on the secret copy kept by the Federal Government that also authorizes them to do things like spy on regular folks.

I do not buy the flawed argument that this sort of thing helps our poor local guys better prepare for major incidents. Again, last time I checked the folks of Anderson County have not invaded anyone or did anything else to threaten any terrorist - that is the Federal government, it is their problem. If that bunch wants to make enemies and fight wars, let them. Anderson and South Carolina need have no part of all that nor should we live in fear of the Federal Government's enemies.