Ian Underwood, Author at Granite Grok

Ian Underwood

E-m-e-r-g-e-n-c-y, that spells…

In The Stand, by Stephen King, a simple-minded character named Tom Cullen knows how to spell just one word, so he uses it for everything. ‘M-O-O-N’, that spells ‘ready’.  ‘M-O-O-N’, that spells ‘Nebraska’.  And so on. I’ve been reminded of that a lot lately, as the state government issues self-contradictory rules as fast as they …

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Now we’re just haggling

People think we’re playing a game called ‘slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus’.  And we are.  But at the same time, we’re also playing another game called ‘setting precedents’.

What would YOU do?

I’ve seen a few different people asking:  What would you do if you were in the governor’s shoes now?  For anyone who’s interested, here’s my answer.

Finding Nemo (Judex in Sua Causa)

I recently had a conversation with someone in which he claimed that the judiciary is independent of the rest of government, and therefore it’s okay for that part of the government to decide whether other parts of the same government are exceeding their constitutional authority.

Emergency measures: Choosing sides

A lot of people don’t believe this, but it is possible to be concerned about slowing the spread of COVID-19 and also be concerned about slowing the erosion of fundamental liberties through unconstitutional emergency measures.

School Refunding

There’s constant discussion about the problems with how we fund schools.  Should they be funded locally, or at a state level?  Should funding be distributed as an entitlement, or as assistance?  Should the money be given to schools, or to parents?  What taxes should be levied on whom, in what way, and for how much?  …

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The Pre-Emptive Veto

There’s a lot of talk lately about how the House wasted time on some pointless reprimands, and consequently everything is behind schedule.  However, this represents a small fraction of a much larger slice of time that gets wasted in every session, but especially in sessions — like the current one — where the legislative and …

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The Education ‘System’

You never hear people talking about ‘the food system’.  Why is that?  Because there isn’t one.  I mean, we have the USDA, which mostly exists to make it harder for smaller producers of food to compete with larger producers of food.  But there is no Secretary of Food, no Commissioner of Food, no Food Czar, …

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The Undemocratic Democratic Party

Non-Democrats are having fun criticizing the undemocratic nature of the party’s presidential nomination process — from the large numbers of super-delegates who are free to ignore primary results, to the frequent rule changes that seem to be designed to keep certain candidates from appearing in debates.  But such criticism ignores some crucial points.