Baseball is Politics is War

Originally published in the Front Range Voluntaryist, Issue #6, August 2017

Nick Weber with a contribution from Larry Leiber

Break out your favorite jersey and start yelling at that other guy: my local sports team is better than yours and so are my politics.  

A Baseball Parable:

After idolizing now-retired slugger David Ortiz, a guy who treated home run trots like a park stroll, earlier this year Boston Red Sox fans became outraged after Orioles slugger Manny Machado “showed up” their pitcher by taking 30 seconds on a home run trot.  Granted, it was a 470 foot bomb after he had been intentionally thrown at  6 times in the previous two weeks, with MLB All-Star and 100-mph hurler Chris Sale throwing behind him during the previous at-bat. Fans and sportswriters voiced their opinions on the matter, I’ll spare you the research: Machado is the devil in Boston and a hero in Baltimore.  

Sports fans have personalized the concept of their favorite team to such an extent that when you criticize their team, you are criticizing them and they will jump to its defense immediately and vehemently.  They associate their team identity as the highest expression of themselves. It’s no small jump to translate this concept to politics: no talking point is too embarrassing to repeat, no narrative too ridiculous to question, no policy too far-fetched so long as it’s something my team supports.  This is the essence of the two-party system: I’m right, you’re wrong and there is no other way.  In sports as in politics, there is comfort in the herd but there are also blinders. The safeness of the collective discourages straying from the norm and although being on the fringe is scary, mob rule is much worse. Continue Reading “Baseball is Politics is War”

On Legislation: Liberty Yields, Government Grows

Originally published in the Front Range Voluntaryist, Issue #5, July 2017

Often cloaked in flowery rhetoric and under a cleverly titled piece of legislation, political machinations roll on right before our eyes, subverting liberty and our personal freedoms while continually expanding government control.  

Rarely via a massive takeover but rather incrementally, inch by inch, the following is the true story of how liberty disappears.  Proposed  legislation is often worded to instill confidence in the populace that our benevolent public servants are looking out for us and that they have our best interests at heart. Continue Reading “On Legislation: Liberty Yields, Government Grows”

Denver Repeals Tax That Was “Never” Collected

The Denver Libertarian

On occasion, an hilarious little gem can be unearthed when following local government.  During a recent riveting Denver City Council meeting on June 19, 2017 the following appeared in the meeting notes about mid-way through:

[A bill to] Amend Article X of Chapter 53 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code to repeal the tax upon taxicab operators to reflect that the City has never collected this tax. Continue Reading “Denver Repeals Tax That Was “Never” Collected”

On Beer: Three Tiers For Tyranny

Originally published in the Front Range Voluntaryist, Issue #4, June 2017

In what will surely be touted as a free market win for Colorado businesses, lawmakers have gone off the rails and proffered a bill allowing brewers to expand tasting rooms by a factor of…two.

Current Colorado law allows for wineries and distilleries to operate sales rooms separate from their manufacturing locations, noticeably absent, are breweries.  The new legislation seeks to improve the situation, as all bills are purported to do.  The state Senate has approved a measure (SB17-253) that would allow breweries to open up to two additional tasting rooms without an attached brewery, allowing them to serve beer and Continue Reading “On Beer: Three Tiers For Tyranny”

Dog Park Authoritarianism

By Nick Weber with a contribution from Larry Leiber

Originally published in the Front Range Voluntaryist, Issue #3, May 2017

Nestled at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, a small community is under siege. An authoritarian regime has done the unthinkable act of shutting down a dog park. “By shutting this dog park you are ruining our community with authoritarianism.”

“You have created an authoritarian regime in closing this dog park.  You have constructed whatever numbers you need to support your decision.” Continue Reading “Dog Park Authoritarianism”