Sunday, February 27, 2011

America's Second Revolution - Individual Rights

Yaron Brook, President of the Ayn Rand Institute delivers a speech to the Tea Party Convention.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Incredible Dumbness of Madison

Don't you find it incredible that the Wisconsin statehouse is packed with demonstrators all screaming their hatred for Governor Walker and the Republicans from the depth of their being, indignant that anyone could consider questioning their right to collectively bargain for their wage contracts?

And atop all of that protesting, their repre- sentatives in the government act like frightened, cowardly and thereby powerless children. In the Senate, they take off to hide in Illinois. In the lower house they scream at the top of their lungs when they don't win the vote. At no time did they have the idea that they could eloquently speak their case such that they make an impact. Since when does an elected leader get to act like a two-year old and have any respect as a leader? If you are not disgusted with this, you must be dead.

What is the problem here? Imagine for a moment each of those screamers took their screaming back home, then went to their neighbor's house and screamed at him. Their enemy, the one they are screaming at, are not those evil rich owners and their hired managers of a corporation. (I don't agree with characterizing owners and management as evil enemies in the zero sum game of a Marxist mentality, but that's another subject.) They are accessing all that class-warfare energy, but guess what? Their enemy is the taxpayer, themselves and their neighbors.

When unions fight management of a corporation, the company pays for the increased wages and benefits. But the taxpayers are the ones who pay for these increased wages and benefits. So all of these demonstrators are screaming at themselves and their neighbors. This is why we are witnessing incredible dumbness.

When people get this disconnected from reality, you know the lesson is going to be very costly for someone. At least that is my experience when I get really dumb.

I'm standing that those standing for people's enslavement lose this fight - big time. Public Sector Unions have got to go. No exceptions. No teachers union. No SEIU. No Postal Workers union. Nada.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How Did Scott Walker Get to be Governor of Wisconsin?

Check out these ads. They will give you the flavor.

Demand Atlas Shrugged Part 1 for your City

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The False Christmas of Progressivism/Socialism is Over!

This appeared on The Drudge Report, Saturday, February 19, 2011. I stand that this symbolizes the beginning of the end of the 100 year long Socialist/Progressive experiment in the United States. Viva la Liberty!

High winds in DC snap national
Christmas tree...

On Wisconsin! What is Going On?

Below is an article by Michelle Malkin giving the background and some commentary on the Wisconsin situation. I put my commentary at the end of it.

Welcome to the reckoning. We have met the fiscal apocalypse, and it is smack dab in the middle of the heartland. As Wisconsin goes, so goes the nation. Let us pray it does not go the way of the decrepit welfare states of the European Union.

The lowdown: State government workers in the Badger State pay piddling amounts for generous taxpayer-subsidized health benefits. Faced with a $3.6 billion budget hole and a state constitutional ban on running a deficit, new GOP Gov. Scott Walker wants public unions to pony up a little more. He has proposed raising the public employee share of health insurance premiums from less than 5 percent to 12.4 percent. He is also pushing for state workers to cover half of their pension contributions. To spare taxpayers the soaring costs of Byzantine union-negotiated work rules, he would rein in Big Labor’s collective bargaining power to cover only wages unless approved at the ballot box.

As the free-market MacIver Institute in Wisconsin points out, the benefits concessions Walker is asking public union workers to make would still maintain their health insurance contribution rates at the second-lowest among Midwest states for family coverage. Moreover, a new analysis by benefits think tank HCTrends shows that the new rate “would also be less than the employee contributions required at 85 percent of large Milwaukee_area employers.”

This modest call for shared sacrifice has triggered the wrath of the White House-Big Labor-Michael Moore axis. On Thursday, President Obama lamented the “assault on unions.” AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union bosses dubbed Walker the “Mubarak of the Midwest” while their minions toted posters of Walker’s face superimposed on Hitler’s. Moore goaded thousands of striking union protesters to “shut down” the “new Cairo” while the state’s Democratic legislators bailed on floor debate over the union reform package.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan spurned the opportunity to condemn thousands of Wisconsin public school teachers for lying about being “sick” and shutting down at least eight school districts across the state to attend capitol protests (many of whom dragged their students on a social justice field trip with them). Instead, Duncan defended teachers for “doing probably the most important work in society.” Only striking government teachers could win federal praise for NOT doing their jobs.

Yes, the so-called progressives truly believe that bringing American union workers into the 21st century in line with the rest of the workforce is tantamount to dictatorship.

Yes, the so-called progressives truly believe that by walking off their jobs and out of their classrooms, they are “putting children first.”

If ever there were proof that public unions no longer work in the public interest, this is it. Big Labor dragoons workers into exclusive representation agreements, forces them to pay compulsory dues that fatten Democratic political coffers and then has the chutzpah to cast itself as an Egyptian-style “freedom” and “human rights” movement.

Meanwhile, union leaders elsewhere are quietly forcing their low-wage members to share the sacrifice in order to preserve teetering health funds. In New York state, Skidmore College campus janitors, dining service workers and other maintenance employees received late notice from the SEIU that 4.15 percent of their gross earnings will now be deducted from their paychecks to cover the cost of the health plan provided through the behemoth 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund. (If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this is one of several privileged SEIU affiliates that has received an Obamacare waiver.)

These workers are forced to join the union in order to preserve their jobs, and unlike non-union workers, they are locked into a single health plan. The SEIU has now decreed that they must pay new fees to include spouses on their plans and has hiked employee co-pays for doctor visits and prescription drugs.

What’s necessary for New York union workers is necessary for Wisconsin union workers — and for the rest of the protected union worker class in bankrupt and near-bankrupt states across America. The “persuasion of power” so ruthlessly and recklessly exercised by the SEIU and its thuggish allies must be broken by the moral courage of fiscal discipline. It’s now or never.


This issue is coming to a head in other states as well: Ohio, Indiana, Florida (I think), and others. This fact is adding a lot of energy to the union side. They know that if they don’t pull off something extraordinary, their goose is cooked. Right now, people are standing overwhelmingly with the Wisconsin governor.

The masses on the governor's side are slow to mobilize but when they do, watch out. I’ve read of two such measures. Two of the Democrats that bussed themselves across the border to Rockford IL are now likely to face recall. The recall procedure has been started in their home districts.

The fact that the Democrat legislators would not stand and argue their case says mountains about who they are and how they feel about their case. I do not think they understand the power of reason – if you have a reason. On the other hand, maybe they, at least at some level, know the power of reason and that's why they ran.

Many a man has been persuaded to abandon his position via reason and go with the one that provides for his future. That is what is happening here. The teachers themselves, as evidenced by letters from some of them, are not in 100% solidarity with the unions and when they start peeling away, we will see only those who would gain from naked power, at the expense of reality, left in that group.

I think this may be the final blow to Obama’s power. He characterizes the will of Wisconsin as anti-union. The people of the state elected the governor by a hefty margin to clean it up. Since when has standing for a plan dealing with the reality of the circumstances been anti-union? It's no law of nature that they be idiots. They just hold a false premise or two.

He has put everything into his political base – the unions. He abrogated the right to contract in the case of GM when he took GM investors’ money and gave it to the unions in a naked redistribution of wealth. He exempted the SEIU from Obamacare. Over and over he has been openly partisan – i.e., practiced favoritism rather than its opposite, equality under the law which is justice.

Obama considers unions as manna from heaven. He cannot resist manipulating circumstances in their favor. He got into trouble with ACORN and now he is doing it again. He will (he is) pay for this and no one will be able to stop this. He messed with the laws of human nature (as do all socialists), and Mother Nature doesn’t abide that. Obama's only hope (and I must say that counter to his campaign, he is a man of shrunken hope) is that he has the power to fool all of us all of the time. Only a post-modernist could believe that tripe.

Another commentary On Wisconsin appears at Robert Villegas' blog here.

And while the politics ticks on, so does the clock.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Going After Israel? Why I Think this is a Bad Idea

I see this article this morning:

US going to reverse its policy toward Israel in the UN.

This sounds bad to me, primarily because of the people who are going after Israel: The Muslims, Carter, and now Obama and Hillary. Red flags are waving.

Obama, especially, and Hillary are Alinsky's intellectual descendants. One of their principles is to isolate their enemy, i.e., whoever they want to dominate. How they and all the knowledgeable Left does this is through language. They draw attention to some thing or activity by calling it something which ordinary people would not like. I think this may be happening in this case.

The word settlement – “Jewish settlements” – is used to refer to the homes that people are building in a particular part of Jerusalem. The word “settlement” suggest that it may be an extension into land that is somehow not theirs. I’m questioning this. I think this land has been purchased and is owned by those who bought it. Wherever land is purchased, be it here or in Mexico or Iran, e.g., it is governed by the laws of how property is treated in those places. In other words, there is no problem settling on purchased land unless a country is trying to extend its boundary. E.g., if Mexicans purchased land in Arizona next to Mexico and then they automatically made the boundary between Mexico and the US bend into the US along the northern boundary of their property, this would be an invasion of the sovereign territory of the US.

My point is that the Left would love the word “settlement” here and hate the word “property” because if they can get you to think “settlement,” then they can have you associating immoral action with those who are building and buying in that particular area. This is how the Alinsky principle works. It changes the terminology so that you don’t like the people who are accused of a particular action which then isolates them from the rest of society. And this is how evil must always work because it must mask itself as the good in order to gain something that it did not earn – i.e., via production and then trade.

And in our current cultural state, the terminology is so confused that people are no longer able to even think in terms that support life. We are rapidly reverting to a primitive state where no one is really safe from his neighbor. The great value of civilization is that it objectively identifies the facts of reality and institutes particular concepts which forward a man’s ability to live in society. The US system of rights and law is the apotheosis of this idea. A man can live in Nigeria and invest in America because he is protected by American laws that honor his objectively defined property as his. He cannot do the same thing in areas of Nigeria because this system doesn’t exist. There, he is limited to creating with family and friends – people he trusts – because the system is not available to protect and stand for his rights – his right to his life and his right to own property and use it as he wishes so long as he doesn’t violate another man’s equal right. In the absence of individual rights, a group of people that one trusts have survival value.

Nowadays, people wonder why they should stand for Israel. I say their religion and their right to practice it is not a sufficient answer. Israel is the only state in the Middle East where man has freedom and that is why its existence is important. Although there is tension between Muslim and Jew in the state of Israel, I understand that Muslims there are clear what is available for them in Israel that isn’t available in Gaza or Jordan or Syria and increasingly, Lebanon.

If we are to live in society and have a possibility, then the rule of objective law must be the law of the land. And, that law has to be grounded on individual rights which, when boiled down means that you have a right to your life and all the property you own. You then are free to do all the things that humans do when living (such as producing, speaking, convening, contracting and trading) grounded on the fact of private property. That the government must protect private property is the essential principle and one’s private property is one’s body and all the things that he legally owns. In other words, he owns all the stuff in his possession which is not stolen or illegally gotten from someone else. (When I say “illegally gotten,” I’m thinking of fraud. One commits fraud when he pretends he offers a value but the buyer is unable to value it as the seller represented it to provide. Think Madoff.)

One of the confusing elements regarding Israel is that it is tribal, based on its religion. The Israeli state is set up on the idea of living in a society ultimately grounded in Jewish law and which largely honors individuals to be free. America, on the other hand, is a melting pot. No tribe dominates America. We are all considered individuals first. Whatever you want to belong to is fine, it is that you are ultimately responsible as an individual human being.

Tribes often get into fights with other tribes for domination. Tribal mentalities are threatened by the existence of a Jewish state because it happens that the Jews value their minds and use them well to produce value and be strong in the world. It is the strength of Jews that they fear. A non-tribal mentality, on the other hand, doesn’t fear this because they see the creativity and production of the Jew as a resource that they can gain via trading with them. The tribal mentality and the Holocaust has made the Jew very wary of people too. Those that identify primarily as Jew are inclined to combat their threats by gathering together into a tighter ball which makes them even more identifiable. This then gives their enemies more reason to aim directly at their dreaded enemy. And so it goes.

The disgusting thing about the US and its representatives who speak about Israel – O, Hill, and Carter – is that they do not stand for individual rights. They do not distinguish the principle which could untie this Gordian knot – namely, all sides have got to lay down their recourse to the tribe and fight for people as the individual’s right to exist. And what is so hideous about our spokesmen is that they fight FOR collectivism. This is especially true of Obama who believes in collective redemption – an ideology so heinous that anyone with an ounce of sense would reject it. (If you want to read about this, look up black liberation theology, the theology of Reverend Wright and Obama. Also there are public video clips of Obama advocating this idea.)

I would like to hear a conversation by somebody offering a “civilized” solution to the Mideast problem.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why The Conservatives Are Such Losers

The Conservatives are losers because they do not and cannot stand for America. Simple as that.

What is America? America is a country founded on the idea that everyone is an individual. The Conservatives/Republicans always appeal to us as if the group is primary, exactly the same thing that the liberals, communists, socialists, theocrats, Democrats and monarchs do. So what is really going on is that they pretend to be for America and what it is founded on, and yet we all know in our heart of hearts that they can't stand there - that they will cave when the going gets rough.

The Neocons and RINOs are blatantly country first, you second. You are expected to sacrifice for the greater good. But, in the final analysis so are a lot of Americans. How do I know this? Because they, like Beck as an example and who I admire for his integrity and his intelligence, appeal to God at some level as the ultimate authority. When a man wants to use God as the ultimate reason rather than either showing me the facts or heading me in a productive direction with a good question so I can determine a reason to act for myself, I don't trust him. When a man ought to be looking at reality to figure out what is going on and he runs to God, I think he's likely available for any faux-authority who claims to know.

Of course we as men get to the end of our knowledge. But then we need to start asking the questions that extend us into the areas we don't know so that eventually we can know. The God talk doesn't ring true to me. I hear it as a cop-out, a kind of laziness. If what is meant is that the factors that one identifies are sufficiently complex that I cannot know or predict an outcome, then say so.

But, and this is their fallacy, in America every individual is his own final authority whether he's willing to accept that or not. Until this gets clear, America is going to hang on by a thread and will ultimately lose to the bold, confident, clear-headed collectivists. They have no problem fighting for their view of how societies ought to be organized. They think they have every right to rule you, you idiot.

The only doctrine that will save America is that of Individual Rights. Every man is an end in himself, not the means to any other person's or group's ends. If the Conservatives and Republicans want to start winning, they will get this fundamental point straight. They need to develop a theory of governance based on this truth. Once they begin asserting themselves based on this truth, we will stop feeling lied to, betrayed, and essentially told to go piss up a rope!

The quality of life that is missing is moral vitality. It is a quality that only appears in individuals. America unleashed and nourished it for a while. Now it is killing it. Collectivists always kill it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Obama is Counting On

O'Reilly of Fox News interviewed President Obama before the Super Bowl game on Sunday. The take-away quote of the article here is this:
"But he [says O'Reilly] has a vision of himself that you’re not going to blow him out of that vision. You’re just not going to do it.”
I interpret this to mean that Obama is confident of his moral base and that enough people hold the same moral base to insure his carrying out his redistributionist/socialist agenda. He knows (in his heart of hearts) that even though businessmen will argue with him they do not have a moral leg to stand on. He is right. End of story.

"Atlas Shrugged" and the whole direction of human history (especially since the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution) embracing the value of the individual mind proves him wrong. There will come a day of rude awakening for Obama when he realizes he holds an empty bag with "ignorance" graffitied on it. He not only is ignorant of this fact of human life, he must cultivate the ignorance upon which his power depends.

In this blog, I point out how the Obama mind is pre-Enlightenment which translates to unrewarded rationality at best and destructive anti-rationality at worst. This alone is going to have him friendly with pre-Enlightenment mentalities. Who would those be? Hmmm.

The lie in Obama is that he cannot live true to his words. He lives by a double moral standard - asking us to sacrifice for the greater good and the undeserving man while he lives high on the hog. As a friend said, "Obama and Michelle say, 'Save money, stop being extravagant, eat healthy, don't get fat, be concerned about the little guy, etc.' Meanwhile they vacation in luxury, eat junk food, spend money like there's no tomorrow and hobnob with the rich and famous." We know "Do as I say, not as I do" to be the mantra of the hypocrite.

That Obama is a true believer tells us how removed from reality he really is. He truly is a "Don't bother me with the facts" kind of guy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Your Senators Voted on Obamacare's Repeal


Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Nay Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Arkansas: Boozman (R-AR), Yea Pryor (D-AR), Nay
California: Boxer (D-CA), Nay Feinstein (D-CA), Nay

Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Nay Udall (D-CO), Nay
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D-CT), Nay Lieberman (ID-CT), Not Voting
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Nay Coons (D-DE), Nay
Florida: Nelson (D-FL), Nay Rubio (R-FL), Yea
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea Isakson (R-GA), Yea

Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Nay Inouye (D-HI), Nay
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Yea Risch (R-ID), Yea
Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Nay Kirk (R-IL), Yea
Indiana: Coats (R-IN), Yea Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Nay

Kansas: Moran (R-KS), Yea Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Kentucky: McConnell (R-KY), Yea Paul (R-KY), Yea
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Nay Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Nay Mikulski (D-MD), Nay

Massachusetts: Brown (R-MA), Yea Kerry (D-MA), Nay
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Nay Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Nay Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Missouri: Blunt (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Nay

Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Nay Tester (D-MT), Nay
Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Nay
Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Yea Reid (D-NV), Nay
New Hampshire: Ayotte (R-NH), Yea Shaheen (D-NH), Nay
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay Menendez (D-NJ), Nay

New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Nay Udall (D-NM), Nay
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay Schumer (D-NY), Nay
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Hagan (D-NC), Nay
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Nay Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Nay Portman (R-OH), Yea

Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Yea Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Nay Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Nay Toomey (R-PA), Yea
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Nay Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Yea Graham (R-SC), Yea

South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Nay Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea Corker (R-TN), Yea
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Utah: Hatch (R-UT), Yea Lee (R-UT), Yea
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Nay Sanders (I-VT), Nay

Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Not Voting Webb (D-VA), Nay
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Nay Murray (D-WA), Nay
West Virginia: Manchin (D-WV), Nay Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay
Wisconsin: Johnson (R-WI), Yea Kohl (D-WI), Nay
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Yea Enzi (R-WY), Yea