Saturday, May 30, 2009

An American terrorizes lenders and CEOs

The Wall Street Journal ran an article on May 20 about the usual bum altruist, except this one brags about begging for bum homeowners and terrorizing lenders and providing personal information on CEOs and others to other property-rights violators such as his rat-self.

Well, I penned a brief letter to the editor to the WSJ on the fucker, and the WSJ printed it in today's edition.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

There is no "right" to a credit card

John Stossel has written an excellent column on how the latest Dead Eyes excrement on credit-card companies is morally wrong and will hurt the very people it is allegedly designed to help: those with not much cash. It'll also raise rates on everyone else because the companies have to make a profit to exist. One caveat on Stossel's column is his comment that the politicians "motive is honorable."

Of course it is not. It is simply another means to hobble capitalists and make them answerable to bloated fascists.

AJC liberal need only a mirror to find traitor

The AJC's execrable Fascist in Residence (Cynthia Tucker) penned a piece of filth yesterday, blasting the GOP for being "treasonous" for rattling sabres about using the 10th Amendment to curb the fascist dictates of the current Dead Eyes administration. And, to add scum to filth, Tucker accused some in the GOP of "race-baiting" because Dead Eyes is black (well, officially, half-black cause "whiteness" is no longer a valid skin color in America). So I shot off the following letter to the editor to the AJC.
Cynthia Tucker’s amusing account of “treason” is half-correct. There has been treason committed by a major political party, but it has been the Democratic Party since the FDR administration – and the Obama cabal has simply turned treason into high treason.
The effete insurrection of Tucker’s Traitors began with FDR’s cynical “New Deal,” accelerated with LBJ’s glib “Great Society” and came to fascist fruition with Obama’s inane “hope and change.”

If we are to take treason as actions against the grand vision of American liberty that the Founding Fathers created 222 years ago (and the 10th Amendment they created to ensure a check on federal power-mongering), then the GOP is guilty – but to a far less degree than the execrable Democrats.

And don’t even get us liberty-lovers going on Tucker’s own hysterical “race-baiting” in her squalid attempt to silence her foes. Tucker understands that the best defense is a good offense – and she, indeed, is being offensive.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Terrific new column (and book) on housing collapse

Readers of this blog know how much I love Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Well, Walter has just written a column on The Atlasphere about Thomas' new book on the housing collapse and how that collapse occurred strictly because of government intervention in the lending industry -- which is, of course, what yours truly has been saying for a year.

I'll be buying Thomas' book soon, and I hope you will, too, if that kind of thing blows your skirt up. I would imagine the national media will continue to find such information not "fit to print," but we'll be loaded for bear with the info.

How to handle despots in the world neighborhood

The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial today blasting the Dead Eyes administration for its weak response to North Korea's recent nuke test, but the Journal offered little of substance as an alternative. Below is my letter to the WSJ on the subject.
The Journal’s editorial on “Korea’s Obama Test” brought to mind an analogy I’ve often used with friends and on my blog concerning weapons of mass destruction and the despots who own them.

Suppose there’s a well-armed terrorist loose in your suburban neighborhood, and he has claimed the right to remain armed and to remain free to exist as a murdering and oppressive terrorist. Do you, an American citizen in the neighborhood, agree with the terrorist’s claim of armed co-existence? Do you think that authorities should “negotiate” with the terrorist to at least scale down his weapons? Do you think authorities should “sanction” the terrorist? Should U.S. authorities consult the U.N. about what we should do?

The answers to these questions by anyone you ask is an eye-rolling “No, of course not.”

Yet, when these same terrorists take over nations in the world neighborhood, these same Americans make statements such as “We can’t preemptively and unilaterally take out a nation’s leaders” and “We need to get the other nations in the U.N. to give us the OK” and “destroying such regimes would just anger more people.”

What many of my fellow American citizens refuse to recognize is that the world despots have no right to existence. They not only murder and oppress their own citizens but, by the very definition of terrorism, export their terror abroad. To wit, note the news accounts of the clandestine or overt murders and weapons transportation committed outside of their borders in just the last few years by Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, North Korea and many others.

Just as John Bolton correctly predicted North Korea’s nuke test, let me now unfortunately predict what will happen in the next 3 to 10 years under current U.S. policy: A nuclear blast on a foreign city by one of the above, killing not only that country’s citizens but also some American citizens.

Will that be the day that President Barack Obama finally says, “Well, maybe diplomacy possibly probably might not work”?

The U.S. must preemptively strike now, and make it clear that tyrants are not allowed in our neighborhood – ever.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I love you, too, Bank of America -- kiss kiss

A female friend of mine suggested (with a wry look on her face) to a lonely male friend of mine that the calls he was getting from several lenders for back payments were actually love calls and that he (who has not been on a date in months) thank his lenders for reaching out and calling him three times a day each to tell him that they love him.

So he did it, and I got to be there when he did it. Here's the call from a Bank of America officer.

BofA: Yes, Mr. So-and-so?
Male Friend: Yes.
BofA: Mr. So-and-so, this is Ms. So-and-so with Bank of America, and I need to inform you that this call may be recorded for ...
MF: Oh, Bank of America? Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for calling! I've missed you, too. I just love how you guys are the only people who care about me. You call me so many times each day just to say you love me. You don't actually use those words, but I know that's what you mean!
BofA: Um, OK. ... It may be recorded for quality assurance purposes. This is an attempt to collect a ...
MF: Oh, shucks, you don't have to pretend. Just say it.
BofA: Excuse me, Mr. So-and-so?
MF: You know. Come on! Say you love me, you really love me!
BofA: Do you think this is a joke, Mr. So-and-so? We are ...
MF: Oh no, it's not a joke. I wish I could just put my arms around you and give you a great big hug! That's what I'm doing now -- just giving the phone a great big hug. Now I'm throwing you kisses. (loud smooches)
BofA: Is this Mr. So-and-so?
MF. Of course. Now, don't be shy. Let's sing together. Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya! Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya! ...
BofA: (yelling) Mr. So-and-so?! Mr. So-and-so?! (click)


Boeing CEO begs for government regulation

Boeing CEO Scott Carson had a column printed today in the Wall Street Journal under the heading "How Boeing Fights Climate Change." Carson brags about Boeing's great achievements in fuel-efficiency, and then demands three things to be done by government:

1) Establish an international fuel-efficiency standard
2) Modernize air-traffic management
3) Invest taxpayer cash in commercializing an aviation biofuels industry

To those of you familiar with the history of the kings of government being in bed with the kings of business, you know there's a quid pro quo in there somewhere. "We'll scratch your nuts, if you scratch our nuts." Here's my letter to the WSJ on the wretched Carson column.
There are few occurrences in the annals of American free enterprise more thoroughly disturbing than a CEO touting government regulations and, by extension, giving alleged moral authority to such intrusive barbarism. (“Thank you, sir. Can I have another?”)

Such was the case with Boeing’s Scott Carson’s sycophantic request for fuel-efficiency standards for airline manufacturers – all of which Mr. Carson proclaimed after touting Boeing’s own record at achieving high standards without any such government intrusion, which left this reader wondering whether Mr. Carson wished that Boeing’s competitors might feel the real bite of such standards, thereby crushing Boeing’s competition.

To make matters far worse, Mr. Carson’s ingratiating remarks (toward any listening government official) were couched in the context of justifying one of the greatest hoaxes perpetuated upon the American public in a generation: anthropomorphic climate change.

And, to add insult to injury, Mr. Carson demands that I (and my fellow Americans) pay to “get an aviation biofuels industry up and running.” Mr. Carson will forgive me if I’m not too crazy about having federal men pick-pocket me so that the mighty Boeing can have its subsidized biofuels.

Another mystical congressman gets facts wrong on U.S. founding

A story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today relates yet another mystical attempt by a U.S. congressman (this one from Georgia, where I live) to make 2010 "the year of the Bible." I wrote a letter to the AJC on this nonsense. Here it is:
The congressional proclamation by Rep. Paul Broun of Athens to make 2010 the year of the Bible is ignorance and mysticism at its finest – not to mention another anachronistic attempt by a GOP fanatic to wed religion with government.

Broun proclaims that “Holy Scripture … profoundly influenced and shaped the United States.” In fact, it was a dramatic move away from religious tracts during the 18th century Enlightenment that honored human intelligence and understood human rights, which led to a fundamental shaping of the new United States. The primary Founders of America were not Christian and did not primarily consult religion in their search for a government that would honor humans and their rights; they consulted the great Greeks, the great Romans and the great British thinkers and institutions.

They explicitly shunned such statements as “render unto Caesar” and found that individual rights are based upon nature, not a mystical element.

America became, for the first time in history, a government not based on any “holy” scripture. This irony will be lost on Broun, of course. So, perhaps, let me get his brief attention and suggest that we make 2010 the year of “Atlas Shrugged.”

You better not masturbate in Indonesia or get a fish drunk in Ohio

According to the venerable "Times" of London, if you are caught masturbating in Indonesia, the Muslim fanatics (pardon the redundancy) will cut off your head. Ouch! And besides this punishment for flying solo (as my friend Chris calls it), Indonesian clerics just pronounced against flirting on Facebook. It is also illegal to get a fish drunk in Ohio. (There goes my next vacation plans!)

These gems are among 25 weird or insane laws around the world. The "Times" printed its top 25 HERE. Enjoy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ayn Rand Center starts TV site

The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights has begun its own TV broadcasts HERE.

Looks like there's some really good stuff on there, and it will be used by others in media and politics for clips and interviews.

Great news!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ha -- the French think running is too "individualist"

The Wall Street Journal ran a terrific column today on the joy of running and how it takes the stress out of life and how the French hate such "American-style" activity. You, my dear readers, KNOW where I stand (or run) on such things. So I jotted off a short letter to the editor at the WSJ on the matter.
Cameron Stracher’s column on running was a delight.

I was on the track team in middle school and have been running all of my 31 adult years. I have taken the stress out of two divorces, parenting, business losses and much more for all of those years by running in thunderstorms, snow and sunlit days along rivers, up mountains, through parks and around my neighborhood.

I can now find more satisfaction in my runs by knowing that the French turn up their noses as such “individualist” activity.

Ha! And I thought I couldn’t have any more fun!

Put rapists away for life

Those living in the Atlanta area probably know about a man who was convicted yesterday of brutally beating to death a cyclist on the Silver Comet trail whom he was trying to rape. She was a feisty woman who bit his penis when he tried to put it in her mouth, causing great damage. He then beat her to a pulp. I won't go into the gory details, which have been printed repeatedly during the trial.

What hasn't been printed much during the trial is that the assailant had been in prison for 10 years previously for a rape he committed in 1991. With this in mind, I wrote the following letter to the editor to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today:
The guilty verdict in the Jennifer Ewing slaying was a welcome end to the trial in the Silver Comet slaying, but there’s a far more important trial needed – against the U.S. justice system.

This slaying should never have happened. Michael Ledford should’ve been locked up for life for his rape offense in 1991. Rape is one of the most brutal acts against another human being and should garner the assailant an automatic life term. But a male-dominated justice system and legislative branches have never taken the crime as seriously as it should be taken.

Instead, our puritanical society puts more emphasis on drugs, locking away tens of thousands of people for the victimless act of doing drugs or selling them, thereby cramming our prisons and making it almost impossible to then impose extended sentences against those who commit violent crimes against other human beings.

Let’s end drug prohibition and greatly extend sentences for violent crimes now. Had we done these things before 1991, the lovely Jennifer Ewing would be riding blithely on the Silver Comet today enjoying our wonderful spring weather and flowers, and her family would not be grieving.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"This call is being recorded or monitored ..."

Those of you in debt trouble know the drill. Lender computer calls you and makes you wait several seconds before human filth pick up the phone, confirm you are who you are supposed to be and then feed you the Big Brother line: "This call is being recorded or monitored for quality-assurance purposes. This is an attempt to collect a debt."

Someone I know got one of those calls today from Chase Financial. Here's how it went.

CF: Mr. So-and-so?
Acquaintance: Yes.
CF: Mr. So-and-so, this is Ms. So-and-so at Chase Financial. I need to inform you that this call is being recorded or monitored for ...
A: Mine, too.
CF: Excuse me?
A: I'm recording this, too. Figured I might as well, in case you guys say something I can take you to court for.
CF: Uhm, Mr. So-and-so, our policy does not allow us to talk with you if you are recording the conversation.
A: So you guys can record the call, but I can't? (laughing sarcastically)
CF: Yes.
A: OK, bye. (click)

High-fives! I'm all for people paying their debts, but when their debts or capacity to pay debts is caused or hampered by the very people whom they owe money to, the morality of it gets pretty damned foggy.

The last two years have been an immoral farce of grand proportions. The financial institutions colluded with government to barge through rational boundaries on risk and make easy trillions and eventually wreck the economy. The government then gives the financial institutions hundreds of billions (possibly trillions in the end) from the grand larceny the government has committed on the very people the institutions made money off of. The financial institutions then irrationally tighten credit, throwing more people out of work and cutting off access to previously available credit that could've been used as a cushion for a rainy day.

And then the bailout-begging financial institution hounds those who can't get bailouts, insults them on the phone and tells them that they can't do something else the financial institutions do: record a conversation.

Click. ... Click ... Click ... Click ... Click.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The best parenting is NOT parenting

Here's a post by an unknown author on "idle" parenting, which I agree with wholeheartedly, except for the pursuit of money at the end. My comments on the post to an unschooler list are below the column.
By Tom Hodgkinson

An unhealthy dose of the work ethic is threatening to wreck childhood. Under a tyrannical work-obsessed government, years that should be devoted to play and joyful learning are being stifled by targets and tests. Leisure time is being invaded by the commercial and escapist virtual worlds of the computer.

Pushy parents don't help by making childhood a stress-filled time of striving and competing.
Our children's days are crammed full with activities: ballet, judo, tennis, piano, sport, art projects. At home they are entertained by giant screens and computers. In between, they are strapped into cars and made to listen to educational tapes. Ambitious mothers force hours of homework on bewildered 10-year-olds, hanging the abstract fear of "future employers" over their heads.

Then they buy them a Nintendo Wii, the absurd, costly gadget that's supposed to bring some element of physicality to computer games. It's only a matter of time before children have their own BlackBerrys.

I think of the New Yorker cartoon of two kids in a playground, each staring at a personal organiser and one saying: "I can fit you in for unscheduled play next Thursday at four." All these activities impose a huge burden of cost and time on the already harried parent. They leave no room for simply mucking about. They have the other unwelcome side effect of making the children incapable of looking after themselves. When they are stimulated by outside agencies, whether that be course leader, computer or television, they lose the ability to create their own games. They forget how to play.

I recall when our eldest child, a victim of chronic over-stimulation by his anxious parents, screamed "I need some entertainment!" during a bored moment. A chilling comment, particularly from a five-year-old. What now? What next? These are the questions our hyper-stimulated kids will ask. What has happened to their own imagination?

There is a way out of this over-zealous parenting trap, a simple solution that will make your life easier and cheaper. It will make your kids' lives more enjoyable and also will help to produce happy, self-sufficient children, who can create their own lives without depending on a Mummy substitute. I call it idle parenting and our mantra is: "Leave them alone."

The welcome discovery that a lazy parent is a good parent took root when I read the following passage from a DH Lawrence essay, Education of the People, published in 1918: "How to begin to educate a child. First rule: leave him alone. Second rule: leave him alone. Third rule: leave him alone. That is the whole beginning."

To the busy modern parent, this idea seems counter-intuitive. Aren't we always told to do more, not less? All parents have a nagging sense that somehow we are doing it all wrong and that more work needs to be done. But the problem is that we put too much work into parenting, not too little. By interfering a lot, we are not letting children grow up and learn themselves. The child who has been overprotected will not know how to look after himself. We are too much in children's faces. We need to retreat. Let them live.

Welcome to the school of inactive parenting. It's a win-win situation: less work for you and better for the child, both in terms of enjoying everyday life and also for self-reliance and independence. I am not advocating slobbish neglect. (Maybe I went too far with my idle parenting when I dozed off on the sofa in front of the woodburning stove, while "doing the childcare", as the ugly modern phrase has it, to be woken by the screams of a toddler who had placed his hands squarely on the hot metal and burned his fingertips.) Clearly we don't let our children jump out of windows or go about with unchanged nappies. There is carefree and there is careless, and there is a difference.

But to create a household free of care would be a wonderful thing. It has become obvious to me, watching our three children grow up, that the more they have been ignored, the better. The eldest had a surfeit of anxious parental supervision and is still the trickiest and most needy (although we're working on it). The second had a little less attention and she is more self-sufficient. The third was born on the bathroom floor and has had to get on with his own life. And he is perhaps the best of all three at playing. Certainly he is the most comical.

The great thing about children is that they like being busy. Since parents like being lazy, it makes sense for the children to do the work. This idea was partly explored in the 19th century, when children as young as five were sent into the factories. The fact that meddlesome liberals have since introduced child labour laws does not need to prevent the idle parents exploiting their own offspring.

One morning, not so long ago, V and I refused to get up. I imagine we were hung over. At about nine o'clock, the bedroom door swung open and in walked Arthur, then six, with two cups of tea. A lot can be achieved by lying in bed. Simply by doing nothing, you can train children to do useful things. During the last holiday, we found we were lying in bed till 10 or 11. By abandoning our kids, they had taught themselves how to get up, make themselves breakfast and play.

Paradoxically, the idle parent is a responsible parent because at the heart of idle parenting is a respect for the child, a trust in another human being. It is the irresponsible parent who hands the child over to various authorities for its education and care, whether that is childminders, schools, CBeebies or the virtual world of Habbo Hotel. Or it is the parent who tries to impose his own vision on the children and does not simply let them be.

Another great advantage of being idle is that it avoids causing resentment in the parent. There is nothing so corrosive or pestilent as resentment stewing in the breast. Imagine making all those sacrifices, putting yourself out for your children, going without, and then they go junkie on you. No, there is no room for martyrs in the world of the idle parent. Our happiness comes first. And that is the right way round. As a cab driver said to me the other day: "My kids are happy because we're happy." Do not suffer. Enjoy your life.

The idle parent is a stay-at-home parent. Not for us costly leisure pursuits at the weekend. We reject the cheap thrills of expensive padded plastic fun palaces, zoos and days out in general. We find fun in our own backyards. We make aeroplanes out of cereal packets and it's amazing how many catching and tickling games you can play with your kids while sitting on the sofa.
The idle parent is a thrifty parent. We don't work too hard and therefore we can't expect to be rolling in cash. With thrift comes creativity. "Waste is unpoetic, thrift is creative," as GK Chesterton wrote. With no money, you start to discover your own inner resources. You make things and draw. Put a pile of A4 paper on the kitchen table, along with a stapler, scissors, crayons and glue, and you'll be amazed at what your children come up with. Forget digital gewgaws. Go analogue. It's more fun and a lot cheaper. Put a bird feeder outside the kitchen window. Fun does not need to be expensive.

We don't care about status and career advancement and how we are perceived by others. We are free of all of that rubbish. We simply want to enjoy our lives and to give our children a happy childhood. What greater gift could there be from a parent? If our children tell their friends in later life that they enjoyed their childhood, I would count that as a great achievement. Better to have a happy childhood than a high-achieving one that brings a big psychiatrist's bill in adult life.
Idle parents are sociable. We recognise the importance of friends. They lighten the burden. A myth of modern society is the idea that "you're on your own in this world". Instead of talking to friends and neighbours, anxious people seek advice in books, websites and internet forums. We resist asking for help or admitting weakness. Be weak! Give up! You can't do everything. Lower your standards. Get friends to help you. Organise little nurseries at your house where parents can chat and kids can play while you ignore them.

I love DH Lawrence's idea of childcare. He says babies should "be given to stupid fat old women who can't be bothered with them… leave the children alone. Pitch them out into the streets or the playgrounds, and take no notice of them." Do not view them as raw material to be moulded into an obedient slave for the workplace of the future. Let them play. And yes, get your friends around. Life is so much easier when the work is shared. Friends bring laughter and joy. There's no sadder sight than the lone parent, pushing her child around the gloomy municipal park, trying to tell herself that she is having a good time.

My idea of childcare is a large field. At one side is a marquee serving local ales. This is where the parents gather. On the other side, somewhere in the distance, the children play. I don't bother them and they don't bother me. I give them as much freedom as possible.

But the life of an idle parent is not so easy. Children do not always adapt to the anti-consumerist model that the natural parent promotes. They want stuff. Children get in your face. They make a terrible mess. They scream and whine. And the mother and father seem to disagree on pretty much everything, from paint colours to mealtime manners, as a matter of marital policy.
There are more worries. Is it mean to deny a child an iPod Nano for his birthday and instead give him a ball of string and The Dangerous Book for Boys? Should I really put a broadband connection in the tree house? Should I work even harder so that they can go skiing and wear expensive trainers? Would I be less grumpy if I drank less alcohol?

Sometimes we doubt our own gospel. So over the coming weeks, I hope to outline an enjoyable parenting philosophy in Weekend, while acknowledging that it isn't always easy.

I will confess my many parenting errors. I am a disaster-prone, chaotic layabout and so should warn you not to listen to my advice. Certainly my friends say the idea of me advising other parents on childcare is absurd.
With that caveat in mind, let us go forth, throw away the rule books, forget what other people think and enjoy family life and all its joys and woes.
The Manifesto of the Idle Parent
We reject the idea that parenting requires hard work
We pledge to leave our children alone
That should mean that they leave us alone, too
We reject the rampant consumerism that invades children from the moment they are born
We read them poetry and fantastic stories without morals
We drink alcohol without guilt
We reject the inner Puritan
We fill the house with music and laughter
We don't waste money on family days out and holidays
We lie in bed for as long as possible
We try not to interfere
We push them into the garden and shut the door so that we can clean the house
We both work as little as possible, particularly when the kids are small
Time is more important than money
Happy mess is better than miserable tidiness
Down with school
We fill the house with music and merriment

This is an amazing column and is dead-on! It should be the manifesto (dare I say that word?) for unschoolers – for all parents.

My ex, Kelly, and I practice this with our daughter, Livy. Kelly and I aren’t layabouts necessarily. We’re both career-oriented – me more so than Kelly. But around the house (or anywhere, for that matter), we don’t push anything on Livy, who is 5 years and 8 months old. Just a year ago, Livy asked to go to soccer, tai quan do, clay-making, ballet, swimming and gymnastics classes. In the last year, she’s dropped all but soccer, and only goes to soccer one in three times. A while back, I asked her why she didn’t want to do all that stuff anymore, and she said, “I don’t know. I just don’t.” Indeed, that is the same answer I have when someone asks why I don’t want to go somewhere. “I don’t know. I just don’t feel like it.” It’s a good answer – and it is one that most parents simply can’t abide because they have goals in their mind for what their children should be doing and accomplishing.

Just an hour ago, Livy and I finished outfitting an aquarium (bought at a garage sale for 3 bucks) with rocks, dirt, grass, bush twigs and more for a lizard we’re going to catch in the yard this week. We caught a lizard the other day, and she decided to let it go, so it would live. She spends her “idle” time doing a hundred different things, and it seems she’s hardly ever still, except to maybe watch SpongeBob SquarePants. She makes our coffee in the morning and cooks a lot of her own food. She likes to spend up to 2 hours in the bathtub playing with toys and talking with imaginary friends (when her 4.5 year old friend Ethan isn’t in there with her and extending the bath to 3 hours).

As the author above says, this type of parenting leaves everyone independent, happy, loving, caring, respectful, unaggressive and playful. When we decide to do stuff together, it’s always tons of fun, and she is funny, witty, imaginative and a prankster.

I can’t imagine *having* to parent. Ha!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I may have to say I'm a Montanan, not a Texan!

The Montana legislature actually passed a bill recently stating that guns made and sold in Montana are not under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and therefore not subject to federal gun laws. Yes! God, I love those folks. They are so in-your-face with the feds.

They are actually trying to get their laws in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to solidify states rights. They actually SAY that in the open. To its credit, Texas did this to some degree before the Montanans (yeah, baby), but the Montanans are flat-out dismissive of the feds.

Here's a great story on what they're revolutionizing in the great state of Montana!

Maggie Roark -- very good Simpsons spoof on Rand

A lot of people use the Simpsons spoof to laugh at Objectivism and Rand, but it's actually quite good and just. I love it. It's a YouTube video. Very creative! I think the Simpsons creators are closet Objectivists -- or at least admirers.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Dead Eyes doublespeak on executive pay

A current story in the Wall Street Journal explained how Obama Dead Eyes wants legislation putting vast restrictions on corporate pay and bonuses. I wrote a letter (below) to the WSJ on this latest fascism by the Uterus-in-Chief.
If the current administration is attempting to compete with George Orwell for the doublespeak prize, I dare not bet on the winner.

It’s latest duplicity involves its declaration of “nots” on executive pay. It is “not” about micro-management, and it is “not” about capping compensation.

These cynical prevarications are expected to be as blithely accepted as Orwellian euphemisms – and are executed with serious mien or casual smiles of comfort. We are to accept them as we were to accept cross-fingered vows that pro-union legislation for the last 70 years was not meant to hobble corporations or the tax-code congressional changes of the early ‘90s were also not supposed to cap executive pay.

If some lower-income Americans are currently smirking at this latent fascism, they will not be smiling when our top talent says “adios” to working in America – and learns to speak Chinese.

1.4 million free Ayn Rand books in U.S. classrooms

Here's an email I received from the Ayn Rand Institute recently. I felt it was worth copying in complete form because of its wonderful message and information.
Dear Contributor:

Since the first of the year, you've read a great deal about the work that ARI has done--primarily through the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights--to bring public attention to the economic and political problems facing our country.

Our work on that front continues--and I will continue to update you, through letters and e-mails, on the great strides we are making in ensuring that Ayn Rand's ideas are given increased consideration among policy-makers and the media.

But while we are all preoccupied with the news of the day, and the ever-increasing assaults on freedom and capitalism coming from Washington, ARI has continued to keep the long-term picture in clear focus.

Even as ARC has capitalized on an unprecedented public and media interest in Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, and her ideas, ARI is completing what appears to be another marvelously successful year in our efforts to introduce young readers to Ayn Rand's novels.


As of this writing, the total number of copies of Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged shipped to classrooms this school year is 342,984. This represents a 17 percent increase over last year's total of 293,295--and represents a new all-time record for the program.

Since we inaugurated the Free Books to Teachers program with a pilot program in late 2002, the success of the program has been truly staggering. Adding the results above to the results from previous years, we can report the following for the lifetime of this program:

* More than 1.4 million copies of the novels have been sent to teachers.

* More than 30,000 teachers have participated in the Free Books to Teachers program since its inception.

* Ayn Rand's novels are being taught in an estimated 40,000 high school classrooms in the United States and Canada.

* And because many of the novels are read in subsequent years by new groups of students, we now estimate that a total of nearly four million students have been introduced to Ayn Rand's novels since this project began.

These achievements would not have been possible without the continued financial backing of our donors; so I thank you once again for your support of this program.


Nearly every day we hear from teachers participating in the Free Books to Teachers program. Below are a few comments from the more than 300 we received from teachers this year. These are the impressions of teachers actually using the novels in their classrooms.

Their remarks, I believe, eloquently attest to the real impact that this program is having on students.

My students primarily come from lower-socio-economic homes and would have never had the chance to engage in such a rich lesson during these hard economic times when money for books is not available to us. I have seen a true personal and educational growth as students learn about Ayn Rand's philosophy through her characters, plot, and the lessons provided for us.
--Bakersfield, CA

The Fountainhead started out as a road to the essay contest and college funds for my seniors, but has become so much more. The critical thinking and literary engagement that has come from reading this text is of amazing worth! . . . Rand was an amazing author; her texts are timeless.
--Baltimore, MD

I have never seen my students so excited about reading a book. Tenth graders who have refused to read any of the books that we've done so far finished reading Anthem weeks before it was required. Students who read The Fountainhead came in everyday to tell me how excited they were about the book. . . . Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
--Springville, UT

Thanks! Please keep this amazing program going! Over the past 7 years I have introduced over a 1,000 students to the work of Ayn Rand through the use of these books . . . I know it has helped to produce some exceptional debaters and influenced the writings of countless students. THANK YOU!
--Hope Mills, NC

I'm sure that you hear it all the time; however, I must tell you that my students cannot stop talking about Anthem. In fact, one student read it seven times! We have had some fascinating group discussions.
--Cocoa, FL

Thank you so much for the copies of Anthem and The Fountainhead. Our students will greatly benefit from the instruction of Ayn Rand's contributions to world literature, and her enduring message of the triumph of the individual against all restrictive systems.

In an age of repetitive sound and thought, it is certainly a privilege to have Ayn Rand's books in America's classrooms.
--Laurel, MS

I am so appreciative of the Institute's generosity and concern for education. I have been using the book for the past 5 years and will continue to do so in the future. I truly believe that the lessons learned from reading the book are totally applicable to the direction that our society seems to be moving in. Students enjoy reading the book and discussing how it is applicable to their lives, today. Once again, thank you for all that you do in providing an invaluable service to our students.
--Rosemont, PA


At the beginning of this letter, I alluded to the work we are doing at the Ayn Rand Center to combat the immediate challenge we face in Washington.

Make no mistake--the immediate challenges we face are severe.

But these challenges--among them the unprecedented intrusions of government into nearly every conceivable sector of our economy--represent a symptom, albeit an alarming one.

So while we will fight on the level of immediate, concrete political symptoms--and with ARC we have never been better able to do so--we must continue to treat the underlying disease of collectivism and unreason. The political battles must be fought now; but the culture must be repaired in the long term.

Through the Free Books to Teachers program; our essay contests (which have set new all-time records this year); the continued growth and success of the OAC and the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, we are continuing to work to address the fundamental, underlying problems that have led us to the political challenges we currently face.

It's for this reason that I hope that I can count on your continued--and if possible, increased--support, as we prepare for the eighth year of the Ayn Rand Institute's Free Books to Teachers program, and the 25th year of our annual essay contests.

Your continued and increased support will allow us to continue to tackle both the immediate problems--and ultimately, cure the underlying causes.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and your support.


Yaron Brook
President and Executive Director

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is Obama Dead Eyes reading my work?

Obama Dead Eyes evidently reads the New York Times and The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, according to snooze accounts.

That means that ODE may have actually read my recent WSJ letter on how humans have a right to ingest anything they wish to, including drugs.

Now, I say this only because ODE and the ODE-ettes (his staff, of course) have just decided that they are not going to pursue medical marijuana folks and even some folks in Seattle who are openly doing Mary-Jane in one district and some other stuff. And the ODE-ettes plan to focus more on prevention than on criminality concerning drugs.

So, my dear readers, is national policy being run by your humble antagonista?

Maybe? Maybe not?

Oh, hell, let's just admit it. I'm running this country!!

Just call me the Eminence Rouge, Blanc et Bleu.

Time for Intel to "Atlas Shrug"

The barbarians at the EU just fined Intel for "monopolistic" practices on discounting. Here's my letter to the editor on this vile subject, which was reported today in the Wall Street Journal:
The coercive confiscation of Intel’s hard-earned cash is grand larceny on a scale that would make a Barbary Coast pirate blush.

It is another ugly indication of government’s use of alleged “anti-trust” laws to govern and feed off businesses that have become hugely successful by creating a model that is innovative and, at times, revolutionary. Anyone who knows the history of Intel (or Microsoft or Google or Standard Oil) knows that each of these companies invested large percentages of revenues in extraordinary research and development to stay ahead of competition.

Each of these companies received my (and/or other citizens’) pocket cash because they had (have) an awesome product. Their “discounts” lowered prices across the board, thereby raising the standard of living for all who purchased their products – not to mention raised the happiness of each of us who purchased their product.

The grand irony in this latest grand larceny is that the EU professes Intel to be a coercive monopoly, when in fact the only coercive monopoly in the history of civilization is government and entities backed, perforce, by government.

The ideal solution to the Chavez wannabes across the pond would be for Intel to firmly say: “If you wish to steal our money and presume control of our business, then we will take our business out of the EU, effective immediately.” It would be a divine “Atlas Shrugged” moment.

That, unfortunately, won’t happen. Too bad. The gnashing of political teeth in such a scenario would sync mellifluously with much of Europe’s “modern” music.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hey, damn, stop being such a Bogart, man!

The Wall Street Journal printed another one of my letters today. This one is about how we need to legalize drugs. It was in response to a column written two weeks ago at the WSJ.

The absence of conscience and the chilling personality

Here's another insightful column from Cynthia Yockey on sociopaths, including Obama Dead Eyes and the 4% of the U.S. population that manipulates human beings for their own pleasure and aggrandizement. This column quotes generously from noted psychologists who have studied such personalities and given detailed, specific facts about how they behave and what it means.

It describes ODE and many others who have run through many of our lives at some point in time.

Obama Dead Eyes, the sociopath

I've been referring to Dead Eyes as a sociopath in conversation with many of you, my readers, but I just realized I haven't actually called him that on any of my posts. I discovered this after reading this blisteringly funny column by Cynthia Yockey on her blog and then doing a search on my blog for that word.

Check Cynthia out. You'll be nodding your head vigorously -- when you're not laughing your ass off!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The 10th Amendment takes power away from the Feds

Here's a terrific column on states rights and how the federal government has gotten unconstitutionally involved in citizens lives, starting overwhelmingly during FDR's fascist administration.

I think that some bankrolled citizens could take the feds to court on virtually every piece of intrusive legislation passed in the last 100 years by using the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

"The Patriot Act supersedes the Constitution"

A 16-year-old kid was hauled out of his bed by 10 federal agents and hasn't been heard from by his mother or anyone else for two months. Here's the TV news clip on it.

This is the kind of stuff that Dubya and other "patriots" said we wouldn't have to worry about. As the mother says, it's like we're living in a Third World country.

My dad died yesterday morning at 5:30

It was sudden and not-so-sudden. When I saw him four months ago, he was cheerful and pretty sprightly -- for a man who drank a gallon of sweet coffee every day, smoked a pack of cigarettes every day, drank at least 6 beers a day, and sometimes ate not one bit of actual food during a day's time.

Then, two weeks ago, his body surrendered, shutting almost completely down from the decades of torture. My brother and I had been haranguing him for quite some time to change his habits and aim for a lifespan of 90 years. He didn't. He was obstinate and stubborn, as many of you know. He died at 68 young years. He spent two weeks in and out of hospitals. Got care-flighted once. Was on machines and morphine. His body expelled things that no person would want to see, though my brother, Mike, cleaned it up in the middle of the night at his Texas home, off and on for those two weeks. My father planned and lived for retirement. He got one year of it.

In Georgia, I'd been getting the daily updates on the "black tar" that came from his body. I was stunned to hear that my once-mighty father was succumbing so mind-numbingly fast to the inevitable. The doctors said his liver was 92% gone. His gall bladder was gone. His heart was barely able to beat and occasionally stopped. He had two malignant tumors on his lungs. His intestines were a mangled clump of infestation.

Perhaps any other person of lesser willpower would've slowly succumbed. Not Jerry Franklin Elmore. My father. He was a rather small but imposing man in my early years. The "Fifties" father -- remote, authoritarian, occasionally loving, domineering, chauvinistic, hard-working, non-communicative. He softened over the years, as much as such a man could. He never wrote, hardly ever called until two years ago, when he began to call every other week to catch up. He told countless jokes, none of them funny. His delivery was awful, and that was funny.

He was a wilderness man, a 19th century Davy Crockett with an edge. He had a wry gleam in his eye and could be charismatic, gentle and teary when talking to Mike and I in these last few years. He kissed us on the cheek whenever we parted. I would sometimes cry a bit when he did so.

Like many such men, mortality made visits and was the only thing that could get his full attention. On those occasions, his vulnerability was stark, and my sympathy was strong. Mike and I kissed my dad on the cheek each night before bed until we were 10 years old. I don't know how that started, but we liked that one soft physical contact. He had a tenderness that only those very close to him saw, but he let nobody near his center. I don't know if he ever really knew where his center was. His dad was often a brute and physically punitive, as many fathers were back then. My dad never recovered from that treatment. Mike says that when my dad was in a dreamy stupor in the wee hours a few days before he died, my dad gazed at Mike and said, "Daddy, will you take me fishing? Why won't you go fishing with me, daddy?" Mike balled, as I did when he told me the story.

I was asleep in a hotel during a business trip in New York City when my dad died. I got Mike's message when I woke up. I knew what the message would be when I saw that he had called. I didn't cry then. I did when I called Mike to talk about our father and reminisce. I found that it was mainly the good things about him that came to mind during all those years of acquaintance: that broad smile, the shoulder-raising chuckle, the bad jokes, the cheek-kisses, the bawdy talk, the occasional vulnerability.

I will miss him. I wish I could miss him more. I wish he could've been like Mike and I are now. Open men who are easy with our children, loving, affectionate, empathetic, rightly confident. Mike and I are the elder statesmen now. We will be and are better examples for our children.

I will call my dad "daddy" for a moment, as I did when I was very young, so that I may remember that feeling of family and bond and extraordinary youth and vigor. I will let my mind sweep through the years and think of time's lapse and the blink of 40 years. Time moves on, and he has moved on. I will never feel his warm cheek again or see the glint in the eye. Our relationship has ended. He will never see Livy again, and I will soon tell her that her Grandpa Jericho is dead. She will ask why, and I will explain. And the memories will return, and the thought of my daddy dead and alone in a hospital morgue will revisit me.

I am sobbing now. And so, goodbye daddy.

It sucks to be a kangaroo, man!

In case you haven't heard, Australia is killing off 6,000 kangaroos with guns and bombs and assorted death instruments.

And why are the Aussies committing the kang-ocide of the cute little hippety-hoppities? Well, to save endangered insects, of course, you dummy! And a few reptiles, too.

"Endangered insects?" you ask. Uhuh. I wondered the same. Didn't know such a thing existed, though I guess those darling little snail-darters were (are) insects. Evidently, the kangaroos are just eating too darn much grass. (Where the hell are the grass-rights activists when you need them?!)

All of that said, I have to thank the cute roos for sacrificing themselves for wonderful comic relief. Their deaths have put the weeds-and-seeds crowd (that's "animal rights activists" to you unwashed masses) in a snit. Better yet, the deaths have created that lovely perfect storm of dissonance (please notice I did not say "cognitive dissonance," because the weedy-seedys crowd has no cognition) whenever certain animals are encroaching on other animals' "habitats."

"Who do we save?" "What do we do?" "All life is precious. Oh no no no no no no no no!"

Quote one weedy-seedy: "We're not going to sit back and let it (kang-ocide) happen."

OK, here's a plan then, weedy-seedy: Adopt-a-roo. Go out there and have a chat with the roos and offer them a home sweet home. Offer 'em three squares and a roof. Go hippity-hoppity in the yard with 'em. Teach them to respect the rights of their tiny little insect friends and reptile amigos. Have them put the insects and reptiles in their pouches, so they can nurture and "walk in their shoes" a bit.

Oh, one recommendation, weedy-seedy, on roo tendencies. They've got an awesome back kick with those muscular legs. You might want to be careful when you're picking up a stray insect escaping behind the roo. One swift, powerful slam to the head and you might kick-start that dormant brain, become semi-rational and shotgun that imposing roo.

Then listen very closely. Yes, that's the sound of thousands of insects singing "Margaritaville."

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Here's a "stress test" I can buy

I sent the following letter to the Wall Street Journal today:
While our government is in the mood for stress-testing the private companies it has taken by fiat, let’s try a new kind of stress test.

Let’s find out how much stress the fascist designs of the Bush and Obama administrations have put upon the free market and private investors – not to mention all American citizens – by the artificial propping-up of failing institutions and the blatant confiscation of Americans’ hard-earned money for same.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Uncle Sam wants YOUR kids screened for depression

OK, this has been a day of fascism alerts like few others on my blog. Here's the latest. A government medical panel has determined that 6% of teens are depressed, so the panel insists that ALL teens get a psyche analysis.

I want to scream "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?" But, of course, that would be a rhetorical question. I also want to scream, "We are sliding into the fucking fascist abyss here!" but, well, OK ... WE ARE SLIDING INTO THE FUCKING FASCIST ABYSS HERE!

What's obvious here and in the other posts is that the government has taken upon itself the well-being of American citizens' children. The irony here is that many of the psycho kids are actually manufactured in the government indoctrination camps they refer to as "public schools." The cognitive dissonance created by telling children that they are important and then coercing children doesn't register with the fascists and never will. It's another example of how government develops another fascist "solution" for a previous fascist "solution."

The people who need the psyche analysis are those on the medical panel and politicians -- and those who voted them into office.

... after they get a good ass-kicking!

Swoosh! The exhilirating age of technology

This YouTube video puts the information age in fascinating perspective. (While you read that line, 10,000 people Googled.)

And it makes a mockery of so-called public education's attempts to "prepare" children for their adult lives.

Eyewitness in Canada to socialized medicine's black hole

Here is a terrific article from a Canadian doctor on the horrors of the "government health care" that Obama Dead Eyes and his cabal insist on.

What's interesting about this article (which is explicit but says nothing that you and I haven't heard before) is that private health care is making a resurgence despite the government's attempt to outlaw private medicinal work.

You just can't keep down capitalists, can you?!

Monitoring BMI, another state has a BM on parents/students' rights

Massachusetts announced last month that it will begin monitoring public-indoctrination-camp kids (aka "students") for their body-mass index (BMI) because so many such kids are getting obese and because the altru-fascist state has already assumed that it owns the bodies of kids via legislation requiring indoctrination.

Some people rolls their eyes when I mention the word "fascist" when talking about modern governments in the United States. If enough of these parents keep getting shit upon, perhaps they'll stop rolling their eyes and start enrolling in courses on Objectivism, so that they can gird themselves for the inevitable fight ahead between statism and freedom.

Capitalism's staunchest supporters are ... Us!

A column in today's issue of the Wall Street Journal stated that all capitalists want some government regulation. I disabused him of that idea in my letter below today:
Dear editor,

After reciting the partially-correct comments on capitalism by Richard Posner, L. Gordon Crovitz then states in his final paragraph that “even capitalism’s staunchest supporters recognize that it cannot function unless government plays its proper part.”

No we don’t.

Can it be possible that Mr. Crovitz is not familiar with capitalism’s staunchest supporters: Objectivists, who have been saying for 50 years that it is fundamentally immoral for government to have any part in the private affairs of Americans?

We Objectivists, numbering now in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands in America alone, have been saying in interviews on the major TV networks and in major newspapers for decades now that government cannot morally have any governance in the private or business lives of Americans. Let me repeat the word “any.” It is blatantly immoral for government to coercively tell business what it can and can’t do with its own money and products.

Mr. Posner and Mr. Crovitz would have done their readers a much bigger favor by stating that it is up to the stock investor himself to be responsible for his funds in a totally free market by doing two things: a) Ensure that a company has transparency; b) do not invest in a company unless you have all the knowledge necessary to make a sound investment.

Regulations are immoral farces meant to allegedly protect the ignorant and to prop up bureaucrats. No amount of government intervention can supplant the two principles above. Moreover, any government intervention is simply gussied-up fascism.

I hope Mr. Crovitz will remember capitalism’s staunchest supporters next time around.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Police raid traumatizes small family co-op in Ohio

Jack-booted thugs (aka police) raided a small family co-op in Ohio last year because the family was selling some of its organic food to neighbors and teaching neighbors how to grow the way they do. Here's the story.

It's a bone-chilling story about a night-time raid, shattered nerves, restless follow-up nights, and fascism. There'd never been any complaint against the farmers -- not that that would've vindicated any such action -- but there appears to be no other reason other than the government considered the food production and merchandising to be its province. To its great credit, The Buckeye Institute has filed suit against the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture and other agencies, stating that the raid was a violation of constitutional rights!

Those of us who are regularly scandalized by government imposition and theft of big business find in this little story the same brand of fascism, but many of the members of home-schooling groups I'm involved with are just now incredulous. Many of these incredulous home-schoolers proudly invoke Obama Dead Eyes' name and policies, and there is regular derision cast against big business, as well as accolades for regulation and bailouts. So I wrote the following post to one of those lists:
Most of you have probably seen the video and read about the police raid of the family co-op in Ohio. This was posted on the regular CHE group list.

The main point I want to make on this fascist police raid by government is that the reason the police raid was wrong was that humans have an inalienable right to their property and life. The principle of individual rights cannot EVER be violated, no matter if it is a little child operating a lemon stand or a giant oil corporation operating a $100 billion annual business or a family running a co-op.

If a person is going to get upset about what happened to the humble Stower family (rightly so), then the same person should apply the same principle to the property rights of other homeowners and other business operators.

So, if you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s OK to regulate big business or to bail out companies by stealing money from ordinary citizens, I hope this post and the righteous indignation that you justly feel for the Stowers will make you rethink the principle involved and then feel the same indignation about ANY violation of property rights.

It is all fascism. Size doesn’t matter.