Monday, October 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

Shooting the Plumber
Joe the Plumber has become the darling of conservatives. His encounter with Barack Obama, in which he questioned the politician about his tax policies, has transformed the Ohioan into a household name. Obama's response has drawn the ire of conservatives, who are using it as one more example to vote for McCain. Those on the Left are responding by attacking Joe, rather than refuting his ideas.

Obama said, "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."

Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, told ABC's "Nightline":

To be honest with you, that infuriates me. It's not right for someone to decide you made too much -- that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back. That's just completely wrong.

And how has the Left responded? The New York Times reports that Joe is not a licensed plumber, nor is he a member of the plumber's union. While this may be of interest to someone thinking of hiring Joe to fix their toilet, it has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of his statements. Apparently The Times needs Joe's services, because their paper is overflowing with BS. Apparently The Times finds it easier to shoot the plumber than refute his argument.

King White?
Apparently giddy from the deserved applause for his leadership during Hurricane Ike, Bill White decided to cash in his chips and try to expand his fiefdom:

Mayor Bill White's plan to require roofers to register with the city and show proof of insurance before they can begin work on thousands of Ike-damaged homes ran into a storm of opposition at the City Council table Wednesday.

Fortunately the proposal was shot down, but it is revealing how politicians seek to "protect" the public. Rather than crack down on fraudulent contractors, they propose schemes that invariably involve more government regulations. Just once I'd like to see a proposal that actually expanded individual freedom, rather than limited it.

I Own the Dome!
Thanks to the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (GHPA), I recently learned that I own the Astrodome. Well, I don't own it by myself-- I'm a part owner, along with every other taxpayer in Harris County.

As you might expect, the GHPA is trying to "save" the Astrodome. (If they are successful, that is going to be one wild baptism!) According to their website:

Harris County Commissioners Court will soon be deciding the future of the Astrodome. A wide majority of Houstonians have expressed their support for saving the world’s first enclosed, climate-controlled stadium. The Houston Texans and Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo have publicly announced they support preserving the Dome, but oppose the current redevelopment plan.

This illustrates the problem with facilities built with tax dollars-- everyone owns it and nobody owns it. Competing interests try to push their agenda, and the entire thing becomes a political issue.

Personally, I loved the Astrodome when the Astros and Oilers played there. The Astros have moved to much nicer digs, and the Oilers no longer exist. So the Astrodome no longer has much interest for me, other than being a reminder of many pleasant experiences.

But since I own a small part of the Dome, I'd like to convert my section to a theme park. Since we had the world's first indoor stadium, I think it would only be proper to have the world's first indoor theme park. You can do what you want with your section, but I'm planning to meet some contractors on Tuesday to get bids.

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