RightCondition voting guide for Massachusetts 2012

Posted by Arkady K. On 11/03/2012

This is a light post that will provide some insight into how I am voting and perhaps can serve as a recommendation for some of you who are undecided.   Naturally, brevity is key at this juncture and if you are concerned about the lack of content then it should be found elsewhere.  Naturally, you can just trust me and run with it.  My philosophy on voting is quite simple; always vote and always vote for the BEST candidate.


So, contrary to popular belief there are SIX candidates running for President of the United States in 2012.  There are technically more, but only six can actually collect enough electoral college numbers to become president.  The six are as follows:

Barack Obama (incumbent), Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Virgil Goode and Rocky Anderson.

For MA residents, the choice is made for you.  Barack Obama will win this State by as much as 20+ points. Therefore your vote will only be one data point in the great sea of votes, still, keep in mind that every vote is a voice and if the voting process is to be compared to the market then your vote is supposed to be a message to the provider of goods, in this case the major parties.

Please see my previous post regarding voting and the infamous "throwing away your vote" nonsense that you hear every day.  The truth is, if you are voting Mitt Romney then you are throwing your vote away and there is no denying that.  Incidentally to a lesser extent if you are really annoyed with Obama, but hate Romney then you are also throwing your vote away.

My take is simple here.  Obama is a terrible president on anything that actually matters.  While I admire his work on what he has done with gay rights,  his handling of the economy was utterly abysmal, his escalation of foreign intervention was criminal and his trampling of basic rights was unconstitutional.  He simply does not understand, does not believe and utterly disregards anything that resembles the free market economy.  He shamelessly parrots the tired cliches emanating from Socialists about the failures of the market economy and has done everything in his power to compromise whatever is left of our market.   The drone strikes in Pakistan, standing with Islamist jihadists during the Arab Spring and his handling of Benghazi are shameful.  While his handling of Osama Bin Laden was strategic and handled well at the time, the spiking of the football and the death of many of the Team Six members shortly after dwarfs his accomplishment.  Finally, his signing of the NDAA and his support of SOPA and PIPA show without a shred of a doubt that he does not care about the Bill of  Rights and does not view the Government as a protector of natural rights.  He views the Government as a mechanism of distribution and equalizer.

Romney is the same.  Period.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is utterly clueless, with all due deference to my friends hell bent on throwing their vote away on Willard.

So if you care about personal liberty, winding down foreign spending and involvement and want to liberalize the market instead of saddling it with more useless regulations then only two choices remain:

Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode.

Problem is, Virgil Goode thinks that prohibition of drugs makes perfect sense and wants to stop immigration because he believes this will improve the economy.  Unfortunately these are misguided and populist views that are economically flawed.

This leaves one choice and the best choice, vote for Gary Johnson


There are two choices:

Scott Brown (incumbent) and Elizabeth Warren.

Not much of a choice I must admit, but Warren really deserves a special mention here.  Never has a candidate said so much wrong in such a short span time.  Her understanding of how to help the middle class and restart our economy is nothing short of idiotic and borderline Marxist.  Her insistence on public spending to emulate China is embarrassing and shows her utter lack of awareness of what is actually happening in China.  Her involvement in the key fixture of Dodd-Frank is enough to disqualify her for any political post as she once again wants to do nothing more than impose a giant nanny state with more red tape, more officials, more high-level Government officials and more paperwork.  She is Orwellian.  She is a liar.  Her policies and actions will directly damage the working poor and the middle-class and yet somehow she has half of the State believing her.  It is sad.

Brown is a far better choice.   Vote for Scott Brown. 

Ballot Questions

Question 1:  This is a confusing and weird ballot question   On the face of it, it appears that it offers the consumer more choice which is a good thing by giving repair shops access to proprietary information.  On the other hand forcing someone to provide or disclose information they are not naturally disclosing is suspect. There also appears to be a conflict with some existing legislation that is going to become law.   The MA State Senate passed a right-to-repair bill which appears to be very similar to Question 1, so this was just a matter of timing.

Boston Globe is against it.  AAA is for it.

The major difference between the ballot and the legislation is the timing, as the ballot forces compliance quicker.

The problem is this, what does this try to fix and what will be the cost and lastly, who benefits?

This legislation has been around in some form or another in US Congress for 20 years, MA is the first state to make it a reality.  That is already strange and suspect.  It is trying to fix an information gap.   This letter sent to Congressman Dingell from the FTC suggests that the information gap simply does not exist.  Based on a sample of complaints there are only a handful that deal with inability to access information.  The National Automotive Service Task Force has already setup a mechanism as early as 2001 to deal with the information, which may explain why the FTC can barely find any incidents where repairers were unable to access relevant information. A piece in NYT on the same issue confirms:

"The poll of 1,005 repair shops found that on average shops turned away six customers a year because the shops did not have the information needed to make the repair."

Who benefits?  All the auto parts and shops.  Losers appears to be the car manufacturers.  How this avoids raising costs is unclear to me as this will invariably cause compliance and paperwork that did not exist before.

This feels to me, like many other bills in Congress, a late reactionary bill that throws a heavyweight solution to a little problem.  It will probably help the few cases where this matters while imposing extra hidden costs on the majority.  This happens all the time.

Unfortunately if Deval Patrick signs the bill, MA is going to be a Right-to-Repair state.  Still, I am against this top level enforcement of compliance for a matter that affects a tiny portion of the vehicle base in this country.

Vote NO on Question 1.

Question 2:   Not going to spend much time on this, because it is utter common sense.  The "Death with Dignity" question brings up the old Dr. Jack Kevorkian debate back to Massachusetts.  Should terminally ill patients have a choice to end their life with the help of a physician?  There are many complicated religious and moral cross currents here and this can debate can get out of hand quickly.  Therefore I am going to keep it economically simple.

A person is FREE TO CHOOSE, that choice happens to involve living or not.  Regardless of where one ends up in the circle of Dante's inferno, suicide is a choice.  For those who are expected to die within months, it is a simple choice.  To spend untold millions of dollars on patients to extend their lives when they do not want it and will die anyway is one reason why health care costs are through the roof.  Medicinal intervention should always be requested, not foisted upon people just because it seems like the right thing to do.  It is cruel to treat and medicate someone against their wishes just because you are upholding some religious conviction or thousand year old oath.   The right to a peaceful death set forth by the individual is a basic right and if we can help them achieve this without legal consequence it should be done so.  The fact that this is even a question is strange and bothersome.

Vote YES on Question 2

Question 3:  This is the question that has the attention of many Americans and one that will prove to be important in future legislation of this type.  This question attempts to legalize medical marijuana in this state.

Again, I find the question to be easy, but it does tackle a few controversial points.

First of all, if this passes will this lead to legalization?  Considering there are 17 other states with medical marijuana as law, there has yet to be a precedent.  There is an enormous amount of literature to suggest that the drug can be used to alleviate pain and suffering.  If it helps just a few people, then it should be legal, period.  Why is it that a few people who cannot get the car repaired at some shop can get entire legislation behind them, yet the thousands who claim that marijuana helps them are ignored.  This is the double standard of our idiotic legislation policy.

I am not even going to waste time showing how important medical marijuana can be for people with certain ailments, or how the California system has paved the way for exciting research and exploration into the field of using herbs (*shock face*) to help people.   We humans are capable of much destruction, we can destroy  cities, we can destroy basic rights, we can destroy the free market.   The idea that we should be restricting individuals from using whatever it is that the Earth or humanity has created is absurd on its face.  We are restricting natural rights and this is no different then preventing someone from voting, or speaking out or practicing a religion.  Government has ONE purpose and ONE purpose only, to PROTECT rights.  It does not grant, give or allow anything.  It simply protects.  The idea that a Government should protect us from ourselves is a perversion of the highest order, a slippery slope that can only be endorsed by people like Castro, Stalin or Pol Pot.

Our prohibition policy of drugs in America is a violation of everything that it means to be free and prosperous.  Just like the idiotic prohibition of the 1920s on Alcohol it has had one effect;  Make organized crime wealthy and the prison population massive.  It has also created a giant Federal and State compliance body that hunts down and punishes citizens for practicing a natural right.  To that end, let us see, just for fun who is Opposed to Question 3.

- Massachusetts Police Chiefs:  I know you are stunned by this, really.  I mean, why would the police ever endorse something that may actually reduce crime?   After all, anyone with a functioning brain knows that violence related to drugs is because the drugs are illegal, not because they are legal.  Organized crime does not magically appear to smuggle legal products, they organize and get violent to fight the police.  So just like the rest of the big government nanny state advocates in this country, the police decided, since we are too stupid to think on our own - that making marijuana accessible for medicinal purposes it simply too much.  This is my favorite quote:

The experience of law enforcement professionals in other states where similar efforts have been tried has shown that the public safety problems created far outweigh any benefits to the very few individuals that potentially benefit from smoking marijuana. It sends the message that smoking marijuana is legal and healthy.

I am not going to bore with you statistics showing how patently absurd this comment is regarding public safety, as there is plenty of research on the matter.  I will just simply tell you this, the police are unionized.  Just like any other public unions they are looking out for the bests interests, which always involves expanding their job numbers and security.  If Marijuana ever becomes legal, the number of local, state and federal cops who will suddenly find nothing to do other than watch traffic crossings will skyrocket.  That can't happen, because their purpose will be questioned and they might be forced to join the private economy and actually produce something.  That is unacceptable.  Therefore they will fight this to death and all mentions of drug legalization will be met with Nostradamus-like end of the world predictions.   This is one very good reason to support Question 3, break down the union choke hold.

- Doctors.  To protect their own interests the idea that a herb can treat some ailments and these braniacs cannot simply does not jive with their intellect.  Worse yet, they fail to acknowledge the disgusting hypocrisy of their actions.  Doctors are legal drug pushers, they subscribe medicines that can kill you without batting an eye lash.  Great portions of the time their recommendation is wrong and based on faulty research that changes year after year.  Take, Lipitor, one of the most over prescribed medications - ever.  They do that without even thinking, as  long as your LDL levels are above a certain number, bam, you are on Lipitor, a drug that has KNOWN symptoms of causing memory loss and joint pain.   Not to mention the aging population whose counters look like recreations of local pharmacy.  Prescribing drugs with crazy symptoms is fine, giving people a choice to ingest marijuana, not fine?  Great.

The answer is simple my friends.  If you care about personal responsibility and choice while reducing crime, then let this question be a pathway towards this goal.  Full legalization should be the ultimate destination and question any motive or action behind anyone that actively tries to undermine your freedom to choose.

Vote YES on Question 3

State Races

Unfortunately this State does not offer much in the way of choices as almost all Congressional races are a lock for the Democrats and provide little in the way of interesting candidates.   However district boundaries changed in 2010 because people are fleeing the lack of freedom available in MA.

Few notables.

MA-7:  Michael Capuano is now representing this district, formerly owned by Markey who represented since 1976.  Considered to be one of the most Democratic districts in the entire country  That is why I support Karla Romero.  She is independent, not tainted with politics and will a fantastic choice to represent Massachusetts.  Capuano is a Statist of the highest order and should be removed.  He wont', such is life.

MA-4:  This is only interesting because Barney Frank finally decided to retire.  The race is between another Kennedy, Sean Bielat and an independent David Rosa   Beilat ran against Frank two years ago and got the attention of many, but for reasons unknown to me.  Bielat is a standard MA Republican whose stance on the issues is for the most part wrong and misguided.   Sadly, I cannot find anything on Rosa, not even a webpage.  That means for all technical purposes it is between Bielat and Kennedy.   Regardless of how bad Bielat is, he is better than Kennedy.  That is enthused as I am going to get about Bielat.

MA-9:  Because of the way this district is partitioned, this is probably the most interesting race in Massachusetts as it can potentially go "either" way.  Race is between Keating (D), Sheldon (R) and Botelho (I).   Of the three, only Botelho offers any kind of real change from the status quo.  While his website is rough around the edges and filled with spelling errors (eeeeek!), his desire for a flat tax outweighs that.  For anyone living in this district, I strongly recommend looking into Daniel Botelho.

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"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - M. Rothbard