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Author Topic: An Onion in the Free State  (Read 23129 times)

alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2003, 12:11:07 pm »

Proposed Constitutional Amendment “A Disaster Waiting to Happen”

Concord, NH – Opponents of a newly proposed state constitutional amendment have derided it as foolhardy and are campaigning strongly against it.  The amendment, which would limit both on- and off-budget state-level spending, has drawn the ire of both Democrats and moderate Republicans.

Growth of Government
a)   The ratio between the inflation-adjusted total state outlays and the state population may not exceed that same ratio for the previous year except with a 2/3 vote of the legislature.
b)   The ratio between the total state outlays and the gross state product may not exceed that same ratio for the previous year except with a ¾ vote of the legislature.


“In short,” says Dan Stilman, a leading opponent, “this amendment would allow small groups to hi-jack the process and prevent us from spending more of our neighbors’ money”

Stilman went on to explain the details of the new law.  â€œThe existing rules let us spend other people’s money with a simple majority vote of the legislature.  Under the new amendment we’d be limited to last year’s spending per person.  If we wanted more than that we’d need a 2/3 supermajority.  The first part of this amendment would make it so that it just 1/3 of our neighbors could say, “No” and stop us from spending more of their money.”

“But that’s not all,” he continued.  â€œIt gets worse.  Suppose we do get past the 2/3rds barrier and we want to expand the government faster than the economy.  That will be next to impossible, because the second part of the amendment allows a mere one quarter of the legislature to hi-jack the vote and prevent us from doing this.”

Proponents of the amendment say that it does nothing to prevent government from maintaining its current size and still allows plenty of room for growth when people genuinely desire it.  â€œThis amendment isn’t going to force the state to reduce services or get by with less money – even in inflation adjusted terms,” insists Tracy Medford.  â€œIt only makes it more difficult to expand services without widespread approval in the legislature.”

“For instance, say we’re spending $2000 per person per this year and inflation is 2%.  Next year we’ll still be able spend $2040 per person without needing any supermajorities.  If the economy has grown by 3% in real terms and we want to spend more money, then we’ll need a 2/3 vote the legislature to break the $2040 limit.  With a 2/3 vote, we will be able to spend up to $2100, expanding per capita spending by 3% in real terms.  We can still spend more than that if we really want to, but only with a ¾ vote.  Is it such a bad thing to have widespread approval when you take a larger slice of someone else’s pie?”

Stilman thinks so.  â€œThe backers of this amendment are trying to divert attention to ‘other people’s money’ when all they really want to do is stop government from growing.  Yes, it’s true that every dollar we spend through government is a dollar taken by force from us or our neighbors.  Get over it!  That’s how democracy works.  The real motive behind this amendment is to make it more difficult for us to expand the size of government and relieve more people of the unreasonable burden of personal responsibility.”
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Zack Bass

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2003, 12:22:48 pm »



“In short,” says Dan Stilman, a leading opponent, “this amendment would allow small groups to hi-jack the process and prevent us from spending more of our neighbors’ money.... Yes, it’s true that every dollar we spend through government is a dollar taken by force from us or our neighbors.  Get over it!  That’s how democracy works.  The real motive behind this amendment is to make it more difficult for us to expand the size of government and relieve more people of the unreasonable burden of personal responsibility.”


Dan Stilman is a wonderful opponent!  May I borrow him for my straw-man arguments?

The really neat thing about this amendment is, if we ever get a really good economy going, with massive deflation (more goods chasing fewer dollars), they will have to spend LESS each year, while productiviy skyrockets!  We get a positive-feedback situation.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2003, 12:23:14 pm by Zack Bass »
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Dalamar49

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2003, 04:17:08 pm »

The Sandwich Times sounds like your best bet. Its disarming and kinda funny. You could have a drawing of a half-eaten sandwich as your logo.
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2003, 06:10:44 pm »

Here is an idea for a name: "The Obedient Citizen." The domain name obedientcitizen.com is available, or was when last I checked.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion, but I was hoping for something a little more subtle.  

I'd suggest something like Peony.com (yeah, thats right Mr. Liberal, we named it after a flower....)
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jgilyeat

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2003, 07:58:05 pm »

Any of the nominated names works for me, but then, I'm not the guy who came up with the idea :)

So like, make a decision on the domainname already, Alec!

-
J
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2003, 08:35:47 am »

Sandwich Times works for me - and I like the half-eaten sandwich idea.

At this point I'm waiting for other people to contribute articles, though, because I don't want to start up a web site if we've only got one or two writers (the issues would be spread further apart than I'd like).  When we've got a decent rate of articles coming in THEN I'll be ready to get started with a web site.

Thanks for all the comments!

p.s.
So far we've gotten 7 big articles and 2 small ones in two weeks.  If I can keep the same pace I've had so far, we'll need 2 large articles and 4 small ones per week from other people, as well as as a smattering of graphical ones (pictures with quotes, man on the street questions, infographics, etc) to meet the goals I set earlier (5-6 full length articles/columns, a half dozen pictures and one paragraph articles per week).
« Last Edit: October 16, 2003, 08:45:37 am by alecmuller »
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2003, 12:15:02 pm »

Opinion

Drug Companies Spend More on Advertising Than Research
The greedy drug companies complain that making them lower prices will force them to spend less money on research.  That’s complete nonsense, because they’re already spending more money on advertising than they do on research!

The truth of the matter is that drug companies don’t care how much people have to pay for their products and only care about how much profit they make.  Think about it - if you’re a drug company and you spend more money on advertising than on research, which one makes more money for you?  That’s right – advertising.  Because you only care about profits, you've already shifted money from research toward advertising right up until the point where the marginal benefit is the same for both of them.  Now suppose someone forced you to lower prices and cut spending on one of those two, which one are you going to cut back on?  That’s right – advertising, the one that’s more profitable.  

The drug companies are just trying to use scare tactics here, and there’s no reason why forcing them to lower prices would result in less research.

- Jay Mazzella, Keene, NH



<<<What do you guys think - is this one too subtle or hard to follow?>>>
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2003, 06:08:02 pm »

Mainstream Media Becoming Increasingly Difficult to Parody

Milwaukee, WI - Carol Kolb, editor-in-chief of the prestigious news source “The Onion™” lamented earlier today that television newscasters are becoming more and more challenging to caricature.  â€œIn the old days it was as easy as taking a normal story and twisting it just a little bit to make it off-the-wall.” Kolb explained.  â€œBut now-a-days the regular news sources are making such bass-ackwards statements that they’re not leaving much room for parody.  Just the other day I saw CNN’s Lou Dobbs report on a how foreign engineering students were inundating U.S. universities so they could find work here and needed to be restricted.  Then in the very next breath he lamented a forecasted shortage of engineering and technical people in the U.S. and went on to say the government needed to do something about it.  Stories like this are becoming the norm lately, but viewers are eating them up without batting an eyelash.  How in Hell are we supposed to parody them?”
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mattbarney

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2003, 08:09:42 am »

Great ideas.  I'd love to see this funny paper not only reach out to liberty-leaning New Hampsters  but also help recruit non FSP'ers into the fold....especially those who haven't heard about it yet.....after all, there's still ~15K to go... :)
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2003, 09:08:52 am »

Ashcroft Urges Jail Time for Limbaugh
Washington, DC – U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft gave a speech earlier today saying that his department would see to it that Limbaugh would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“It is a sad day when as great a promoter of the War on Drugs as Rush Limbaugh is found to have been breaking the law to support his own addiction to prescription pain-killers.  I’m speaking here today, however, to reaffirm that we Drug Warriors are not hypocrites.  We will show no favoritism for Limbaugh – he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and will be treated no differently than the President’s niece, Hollywood actors or poor kids from the ghettos.  We stand by our principles.”
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2003, 01:47:55 pm »

Drug Legalization Advocate Says Jail for Limbaugh

POTSDAM - Drug legalization advocate and noted liberal Al Franken declared today that Rush Limbaugh should go to jail because, "he's not smart enough, he's not fat enough, and gosh darn it, I don't like him." When asked about his left wing preference for going soft on crime he replied, "Thats only for oppressed and disadvantaged minorities who have been exploited by America for hundreds of years. Whites should be punished twice as hard as minorities, especially whites that insist on a color blind world."

Franken's sentiment seems to be sweeping the celebrity world. Actress/director/singer/democrat/anti-gunner Barbara Streisand was quoted, as she was picking a friend up at the Betty Ford Clinic, as saying,"He should be put up against a wall and shot."

Senator Hillary Rodham explains that it isn't that he is an addict, but "he's a hypocrite". Hypocrisy is apparently the only crime that offends liberals. Senator Diane Feinstein said that "it would be like if a Democrat voted against firearms ownership but carried a concealed pistol."
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2003, 04:02:49 pm »

State Senator Wants to Drive Harder Bargain When Selling Out Constitution

Concord, NH – State Senator Andrew Peterson (R-District 11) has a problem with New Hampshire’s efforts to secure federal highway funding:  he says we’re not demanding enough money.

“As most of you probably know,” he explained, “the U.S. Constitution prevents our Federal government from passing certain laws.  Some of these laws, however, can still legally be enacted by individual states.  When Congress wants to pass such a law, it collects taxes from everyone – gasoline taxes, for instance – and then gives them back to the states that agree to pass the laws for them.”

“Congress can’t force the states to sell out, but – as a practical matter – all of them do.  Most of them, in fact, sell out for a lot less than they could get if they just drove harder bargains.  I mean, let’s be realistic here, we’re helping to make end-runs around the supreme law of the land.  We’re selling out part of the document that made us who we are – a document that’s been widely copied and is the envy of the world.  We’re selling a piece of our very souls, and all for piddling $70 per person per year.  Don’t you think we could drive up the price just a bit?  I mean, $80 or a $100 per year – that might be worth selling out for – but $70?”

“If Congress really HAD to have the authority to pass these laws, then why didn’t they just get an amendment passed to make it nice and legit?  Why are they going through the back door, and why are we taking such pitiful kick-backs for letting them in through it?”  

“I want the money for roads just as badly as everyone else does, so I’m not suggesting we stop selling out.  I just think we need to drive a harder bargain.”
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2003, 06:12:15 pm »

Rummy Gets Chummy on War

Pentagon City, VA - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was the center of a firestorm of controversy today in and around the beltway over a classified memo written by him that was leaked to the press. The memo asks a number of questions that, in a context only the press can manufacture, appears to call the whole war effort in Iraq, the War on Terrorism, as well as the War on Senility, into question.

An excerpt from this memo: "Do we know why we fight? Do we know how strong our might? Can this battle here be won, or is it we're just having fun?" The memo goes on to question whether a Department of Defense is capable of winning a war or whether some 'new organization' would need to be created.

When questioned about this memo, the Secretary said that he has been consulting with noted consultant on introspection, Dr. Seuss, who he was introduced to by his 2 year old grand-daughter, and that the good Doctor is a likely candidate to head any new organization that would take 'truly brave moves' to finish the war with innovative technologies like the fearsome Snuffa-whompa-whack-a-puss weapons system, which as any school child knows really packs a punch.
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2003, 04:48:33 pm »

Lobbying Group Searches for Best Way to Discourage Personal Responsibility

Washington, DC – For decades the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) has nobly defended unlucky people.   Their lobbying has helped forge a legal system that looks out for genuine victims of fraud and dumb-asses alike.  Some of their most heartwarming legal successes in fact – such as the aviation lawsuit that single-handedly wiped out domestic light aircraft production for more than a decade – are legendary.

Recent victories against the tobacco industry have been a godsend to people stupid enough not to realize that cigarettes can kill you, and current suits against fast food franchises and gun-makers are offering hope to others who want to blame their problems on people with money.

In spite of all their successes – or perhaps because of them – one question remains:  What else can be done to discourage personal responsibility?

The opinions of experts are varied.  â€œI think there’s a lot of room left for improvement in medicine,” posed one man who wished to remain anonymous.  â€œWe’ve done a great job of making it easier for patients to get huge settlements from doctors who aren’t perfect, but medical costs are rising so fast that a lot of people can’t afford to see a doctor at all now.  I think we should get laws passed that hold doctors liable for the suffering of people who can’t afford to see them.”

Some are downright creative. “Unemployment is disturbingly high among young people,” outlined another anonymous man. “Schools are also doing a deplorable job of educating, and I think there’s a connection.  What we really need to do is pass laws that encourage people sue their alma mater when they can’t seem to find a job.”

Others still want to focus on improving the very foundation of our legal system – contracts themselves.  â€œLegal contracts have gotten so complicated that the average person isn’t capable of understanding any of them,” stated yet another anonymous man.  â€œStupid people are just crap out of luck.  I think what we really need to push for is a law that will let people renegotiate their contracts unilaterally after-the-fact when they can demonstrate inadequate intelligence or expertise to actually understand them in the first place.”

No matter what the future of our civil justice system holds, one thing is certain:

It will be someone else’s fault.

p.s. Thanks a lot to Mike Lorry and others for contributing!
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joe_m

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2003, 07:50:10 pm »

President Bush Unveils Plan to Create New “Department to Combat Mattress Tag Cutters”

It has long been known that the most serious crime in America today is the removal of mattress tags that say "Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law." This crime has caused more damage to society than any other atrocity. (This includes such horrors as using recreational drugs - other than tobacco and alcohol- , prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, masturbation - and other sinful enjoyment of sex -, gambling, listening to Rock 'n’ Roll, watching television, eating desert, and use of guns in self defense -when everyone knows that such an act should be left to our mental and moral superiors who work for the government.) Needless to say, this horrible crime is far worse than such minor nuisances as murder, rape, and armed robbery.

So, to respond this severe threat to democracy, President Bush has called together a panel of experts on morality (including John Ashcroft, Janet Reno, Ed Meese, John Walters, Barry McCaffrey, Bill Bennett, Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, Rush Limbaugh, and all of the members of _The Association of Catholic Priest and Bishop Pederasts_). This panel will determine appropriate methods of torture for the evildoers who cut the tags off mattresses. It will work toward building public support for laws that promote early release for violent criminals (in order to make more room in prisons for mattress tag cutters). And, finally, it will work toward firmly establishing the link between mattress tag cutting and terrorism, so that law-abiding citizens know that persecuting their mattress-tag-cutting neighbors is their patriotic duty.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2003, 10:39:53 pm by joe_m »
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