This week's Round Up is hosted by Rational Jenn.
Friday Hodgepodge - *Three Things* *1*. Both the *Daily Caller* and the blog *Dollars and Crosses* report that yet another climate hysteria monger has refused to debate best-s...
16 hours ago
"He stood looking at the portrait of Nat Taggart on the wall of her office--the portrait of a young man with a lifted head--until she returned, bringing a bottle of brandy and two glasses. He filled the glasses in silence.
"You know, Dagny, Thanksgiving was a holiday established by productive people to celebrate the success of their work."
The movement of his arm, as he raised his glass, went from the portrait--to her--to himself--to the buildings of the city beyond the window."
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
The United States Senate regularly passes major legislation without even voting on it.
That disturbing fact caught my attention when I first arrived in the Senate, and frankly, it still bothers me.
The legislative process as it taught in eight grade civics class is logical, consistent, and most of all, transparent. The legislative process as it is practiced in the Senate today is nothing like that ideal.
Every week, the Senate routinely passes legislation that is never voted on, never debated, and rarely, if ever, read by the full Senate. Now surely, you say, this process is reserved for non-controversial bills like renaming post offices or honoring the Super Bowl champions, right?
Wrong. The “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” regularly passes major legislation that creates new programs and authorizes billions in new spending without you knowing until after the fact.
The game works this way: the leaders of both parties send an email and recorded phone message to each Senate office notifying them they would like to pass certain bills sometime that day by unanimous consent. If no senator calls his or her party leader to object, it usually passes at the close of business that day without a recorded vote. Sometimes, I am given just a few minutes to read lengthy bills, and unless I pick up the phone to object (“hold”), it is considered passed by the US Senate.
I would be willing to bet that few senators even take the time to read the request, let alone the bill. Worse, the decision is usually left to an unelected staff member.
And they expect you to find out by noting the bill’s passage in the congressional record on the day after passage.
They call this process “unanimous consent” when in reality it is consent by default.
You have probably heard or read numerous stories about how I am “holding” important legislation, and preventing it from passing. They say “Dr. No” is standing in the way of progress again.
The truth behind that growing mythology is simple. I object to the Senate passing major legislation behind closed doors, off the record, and out of sight of the American people.
When you hear the word “hold,” that simply means I am objecting to the Senate doing business in the dark. It means that I believe substantive legislation ought to see the light of day, senators should have the right to offer amendments (including cuts to lower priority or duplicative programs), and most important, you should be able to see how your senator voted on important bills.
Supporters of the current process describe my objections as “preventing the Senate from doing the business of the people.”
That is an interesting charge, but again it is false.
The United States Senate spends fully a quarter of its time—nearly 300 hours this year alone—in quorum calls. For those unfamiliar with Senate terminology, that is the Senate’s equivalent of a time-out. During this time, the Senate clerk periodically calls the attendance roll, though few, if any, senators are actually present in the chamber. In other words, the Senate is in session, the flag is flying over the Capitol building, senators and their staff are drawing a pay check, and yet, nothing is happening on the floor of the US Senate.
There is plenty of wasted time that could be put towards debating bills, and for senators to overcome objections I may have. I am beginning to think that some politicians would rather score a few cheap political points than actually fight for something they believe in.
We should never fear serious debate. Our Founders created the Senate precisely for this purpose, and if we will honor that great heritage, we will be a better country for it.
I thank you again for your willingness to stay informed, and for the many comments you have sent in response to previous newsletters.
Tom A. Coburn, MD
Dear Senators Coburn and Inhofe:
I expect you to fight the government takeover of health care all the way down the line. I expect you to vote against debating the bill. I expect you to stand your ground on having the bill read - no matter how many of your Republican colleagues weasel out of it. And should the bill itself ever come to a vote, I expect you to oppose it no matter how many "compromises" it contains.
No one makes my health care decisions for me but me. The voters of this state will hold everyone who fails to stand up for that idea accountable in the next election.
Some of her supposed excesses are, however, not merely defensible, they are admirable. For example, her June 9 statement on the House floor in which she spoke of "gangster government” has been viewed on the Internet about 2 million times. She noted that, during the federal takeover of General Motors, a Democratic senator and one of her Democratic House colleagues each successfully intervened with GM to save a constituent’s dealership from forced closure. One of her constituents, whose dealership had been in the family for 90 years, told her that the $15 million dealership had been rendered worthless overnight and, Bachmann said, "GM is demanding that she hand over her customer list,” probably to give it to surviving GM dealerships that once were competitors.Bachman calls such actions "gangster government". I think that's an accurate description of what a government does when it oversteps its legitimate bounds and undertakes to do more than protect individual rights.
Dear Senators,Maybe I should wait until I can think of something a tad less emotional.
Put a stop to this immediately! 'Faith-based perspectives' on anything are NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S DAMN BUSINESS!
“If relationships between individuals cannot be prohibited by the state legislature, then there’s no ban that can actually be constitutional that would ban group marriage, and it wouldn’t have to be for reasons of, let me say, love or lust, it could be reasons of profitability or avoiding taxes or accessing benefits,” King said.What is socialism? It is a system where relationships between individuals are determined by the government.
“So in the end, this is something that has to come with a, if there’s a push for a socialist society, a society where the foundations of individual rights and liberties are undermined and everybody is thrown together living collectively off one pot of resources earned by everyone; this is one of the goals they have to go through is same-sex marriage because it has to plow through marriage in order to get to their goal,” he said.
“Not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis,” King said.
Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.A society where relationships between individuals can be prohibited by the state legislature is a society where the foundations of individual rights and liberties are undermined. What meaning does liberty have if individuals are not free to enter into any relationships they choose - personal, social, economic, political, whatever?
Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual
Separation of state and economics: a new ideal for America
“Do you have a better idea?”
Some form of that question is directed at anyone who criticizes the Obama administration’s runaway spending and its plans to drastically increase government control over health care, energy, and the financial industry. Unfortunately, many of Obama’s critics have not offered a better idea, instead offering vague denunciations of “Big Government” and vague affirmations of “smaller government”–but without spelling out what this would mean in practice, and how it would address today’s economic problems.
At the Ayn Rand Center, we do have a better idea of what the government should do about the economy: establish the principle of separation of state and economics. This is the subject of a recent position paper I authored, “A Call for the Separation of State and Economics.” The paper explains what this principle means, why it’s proper, and lays out numerous examples of what this principle would mean in practice.
Not to bust your bubble there, but you know there's one thing that 11-year-old boys like even less than homosexuality, and that's girls.Via ERV
This is further proof that altruism is a morality of intentions and not of results; that actually helping people is irrelevant but going through the motions of helping people justifies anything and everything.That's from a comment by Michael John Neibel to a post by Diana Hsieh about Americans United for Separation of Church and State director Barry Lynn's involvement in Obama's faith advisory council.
I am not satisfied with AU's response here. Hence, although I've contributed to them in the past, they won't get another cent from me.The Oklahoma chapter of AU is having its annual meeting tonight. It will be interesting to see what their reaction is to all this.
An obvious limitSome further thoughts on this subject are at my original post about this editorial.
"Americans ready to debate cost, size of government” (Our Views, Sept. 6) failed to address the real roots of the out-of-control growth of government and government spending. Yes, Americans need to make a choice regarding the size of government, but by what standard are they to make that choice? This country was founded on individual rights. A government that does anything more than protect those rights is acting to destroy those rights. This sets an obvious limit for the size of legitimate government. Since our founding, however, generations of people have insisted that we be our brother’s keeper and sacrifice ourselves on the altar of altruism.
A government that we set as our keeper will have no boundaries. It will recognize no rights — such things will be swept aside as impediments to the goals of society. There will be no standard but that of service to an ever-increasing government that sees anything and everything as an object of sacrifice, even the economy and, ultimately, the country itself.
Rights are freedoms of action required for an individual to uphold the value of his life. What rights are needed for a life that holds no value as an individual? The answer to questions such as this will determine the choices Americans make regarding the size of their government.
Rob Abiera, Oklahoma City
Four Important Articles for this God-Awful Date
“End States Who Sponsor Terrorism” by Leonard Peikoff
“Just War Theory” vs. American Self-Defense by Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein
The “Forward Strategy” for Failure by Yaron Brook and Elan Journo
“No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism by John David Lewis
EXCERPT: If Afghanistan now seems unwinnable, blame Bush and Obama. Bush crusaded not to destroy the Taliban but to bring Afghans elections and reconstruction. Obama’s “new” tack is to insist we spend billions more on nation-building and bend over backwards to safeguard the local population. Both take for granted the allegedly moral imperative of putting the lives and welfare of Afghans first--ahead of defeating the enemy to protect Americans.
This imperative lies behind Washington’s self-crippled war--a war which could have worked to deter other jihadists and their state-sponsors, but instead encourages them to attempt further attacks.
How many more Americans must die before we challenge this conception of a proper war?
But the greater sadness here has to do with New York and how the city sees itself. Both the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, built during the Great Depression, were celebrated in their time as emblems of the city’s fortitude. The Freedom Tower, our era’s most notable contribution to the skyline, is a symbol of posturing and political expediency. And now a real alternative to it, one of the most enchanting skyscraper designs of recent memory, may well be lost because some people worry that nothing in our current age can measure up to the past. It is a mentality that, once it takes hold, risks transforming a living city into an urban mausoleum.
Obama Has Dramatically Changed Role of Faith-Based Office
EXCERPT: Such access has upset some on the left, who say religious leaders shouldn't be shaping government policy, and some on the right, who say the work amounts to politically inspired religious outreach. "We would have gotten killed for doing that," says Jim Towey, who directed Bush's faith-based office and notes that religious outreach in the previous administration was handled by the White House Office of Public Liaison, which reported to Karl Rove. "It looks like a political office now."
Whole Foods to Open in Oklahoma City
Posted: Aug 28, 2009 11:15 PM CDT
Updated: Aug 31, 2009 9:05 AM CDT
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Whole Foods Market has plans to open a location in Oklahoma City in the near future.
A Whole Foods employee confirmed a store should be open within the next 16 months, but a location has not yet been revealed.
Whole Foods already has a location in Tulsa.
Learn more about Whole Foods at their Web site.
Celebrate Oil Day!
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 26, 2009--Tomorrow, August 27, marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the oil industry in the United States.
According to Alex Epstein, an analyst with the Ayn Rand Center, “Nearly every item in your life would either not exist or be far more expensive without oil; there is simply no comparable source of practical, portable energy.
“Yet today people increasingly label oil a pollutant that damages rather than enhances our lives and, even worse, an addiction--likening our consumption of oil to a junkie’s self-destructive heroin habit. This is profoundly ignorant, not to mention unfair to the petroleum industry that tirelessly innovates, year after year, to find more oil and extract it more efficiently.
“In previous generations, the birth of the oil industry was celebrated, and deservedly so. Oil has sustained and enhanced billions of lives for more than 150 years by providing superior, affordable, ultra-convenient energy--and is as vital today as ever.
“Today, though, we should be celebrating petroleum and the industry, past and present, that uses it to work miracles in our lives.”
Mr. Epstein is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, focusing on business issues.
Mr. Epstein’s op-eds and letters to the editor have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Canada’s National Post, and the Washington Times. He is also a contributing writer for “The Objective Standard,” a quarterly journal of culture and politics. Mr. Epstein has been a guest on numerous nationally syndicated radio programs.
I helped start the Objectivist Club Network (OCN), an organization dedicated to helping all Objectivist Campus Clubs. OCN is not affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute, although we support them and regularly communicate with them to ensure our respective organizations are not duplicating efforts.
Recently we've expanded our efforts to solve a new problem: there are students interested in joining an Objectivist club where no club exists. Some of these students start their own club, but others don't have time to start a club or do not find enough participants on campus to form a club.
We've created the Virtual Objectivist Club (VOC) for these students -- a phone-based discussion group dedicated to the study of Objectivism. Meetings will be weekly, beginning this September, each moderated by an experienced Objectivist. The group is open to any current students who would like to learn more about Objectivism.
My request: Please help spread the word to any students you know who may be interested in learning more about Objectivism. The deadline for applying to the VOC is August 31st. Students can learn more and apply at: http://www.oclubs.org/voc
Please let me know if you have any questions and we greatly appreciate you sharing this with others!
Keith & the OCN Team
www.okcteaparty.org -- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
“The Original Oklahoma City Tea Party Folks”
Post Office Box 94851, Oklahoma City, OK 73143
August 21, 2009
Oklahoma City – The OKC Tea Party has announced their next event, the 9-13 Solidarity March and OKC Tea Party, will be conducted the afternoon of September 13, 2009 at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The Solidarity March will begin at 3:00 p.m. on the east side of the Oklahoma History Center at the intersection of Northeast 23rd Street and Kelley Avenue across from the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion. The OKC Tea Party Rally will begin 4:30 p.m. at the North steps of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The march and rally coincides with the Taxpayer March on D.C. scheduled in the Nation’s Capitol the same weekend.
OKC Tea Party spokesman Dan Ward describes the group as one made up of strictly volunteers that are committed to organizing rallies that allow as many Oklahomans as possible to get together and see that they are not alone in their disgust with the rapid growth of government. “Contrary to what’s been alleged, we are not controlled or funded by any political group. We don’t endorse candidates, political parties, or political activist organizations. We merely point out bad behavior and let the people decide what they need to do as individuals.”Ward said.
The crowd at the group’s last rally was estimated at between 6 - 7,000 Oklahomans and others attending from out of state. That first large Tea Party protest in Oklahoma City was conducted on April 15th (“Tax Day”) in response to the Fall 2008 bank bailout, the federal government’s ‘Stimulus’ legislation passed this Spring, and the pending takeover of General Motors and Chrysler by federal authorities. It was organized after a call was made on the air by CNBC business correspondent Rick Santelli on February 27th. As a result, over 700 other Tea Parties were conducted around the country in response to Santelli’s impromptu call for action.
According to OKC Tea Party director Margie Drescher, “Oklahomans actually have more reason to show up on September 13th. For our original rally in April, we had only perhaps two major issues that were greatly disturbing average Oklahomans. Now we see a pattern that seems relentless.” The pattern she described included the actual government takeover of GM and Chrysler, the pending Cap and Trade energy legislation and the current Presidential and Congressional effort to completely take over America’s health care system. “All of this only a select few seem to want. And when Americans find out the details, they know in their hearts and minds it is inimical to our founding principles and will greatly lower our standard of living.” she said.
The September 13th event was previously scheduled for September 12th before a conflict developed between an already scheduled event the same day, September Fest. Because the Oklahoma Highway Patrol cancelled all other scheduled events that day due to manpower concerns, the OKC Tea Party Rally and March was moved from Saturday to Sunday.
POINTS OF CONTACT FOR THIS RELEASE:
Margie Drescher, Director, OKC Tea Party – (405) 595-7622, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Ward, Deputy Director, OKC Tea Party – (405) 470-4756, email@example.com
The Mission of the OKC Tea Party/Patriots In Action is to conduct premier rallies to call, educate, and inspire and motivate to action all Oklahomans and our elected representatives in order to restore out of control governments at all levels to governments that are operated according to the precepts and principles of our Founders and the limits imposed by our Founding Documents.
GOP Health Care Reform Is More of the Same
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 25, 2009--In a Washington Post editorial yesterday, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele offered his principles for reforming health care. While he rightly condemned the Obama plan for expanding government control over health care, Mr. Steele vowed to preserve the existing government policies and programs that are responsible for today’s health care crisis, such as Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center, writes, “If the government guarantees health care to people, costs have to skyrocket. When someone else is footing the bill for health care costs, consumers demand medical services without having to consider their real price. The artificially inflated demand this creates sends expenditures soaring out of control. It is irrelevant whether the government finances this spending spree directly, as it does with traditional Medicare, or indirectly, as with Medicare Advantage. In the end, the results are the same.
“The only way to fix the problems caused by government interference in medicine is to eliminate government interference in medicine. By returning to a truly free system where each individual is responsible for his own health care costs, we would unleash the power of capitalism in the medical industry, leading ultimately to high quality, affordable medical care for Americans. Let’s start looking at ways to phase out government interference in medicine.”
This is good news for free market reform advocates. . . . Most Americans want to "do the right thing", but they are sometimes mistaken as to what that right thing is. Fortunately, more and more people are raising the point that universal health care is wrong because there is no such thing as a "right" to health care.Paul surveys some recent op-eds on the morality of health care, and includes a look at Leonard Peikoff's classic essay, "Health Care Is Not A Right".
. . . will result in an abundance of health care options for people of all means.
If the House of Representatives proposal passes, I expect that my premiums will be right at the legal maximum of 12% where subsidies kick in... assuming that my income doesn't rise past the threshold where a single man is ineligible for help! It averages around $40K, so 12% is $400 a month. I know I can't afford to pay that; I used to pay that much for Blue Cross, and it left me under chronic financial stress. So I'm planning to pay the penalties; 2.5% is $1K a year, which will hurt me, but it won't completely wipe me out. On the other hand, I can't see how it's supposed to help me maintain my health.and
All income redistribution strikes me as ethically dubious, but income redistribution from the young and poor to the old and nonpoor seems hard to justify in terms of the values the Democratic Party claims to support.
Fancy yourself a hero for the oppressed if you wish, but when karma comes calling, don't say capitalism was to blame.Great stuff, as far as it goes. Unfortunately, the letter is not perfect - earlier it seems to veer into pragmatism by disparaging ideology:
Capitalism is not a political philosophy, unlike a half-baked, coffee house notion of Marxism.If Capitalism is not a political philosophy, what is it? Eden does not answer this question, and further on asserts that Zitterkob's condemnation of Capitalism is
. . . nothing more than ideology masquerading as serious theory.Why is ideology a bad thing? Eden doesn't say: he simply uses the word as a smear.
Falling says putting Christian creationism display in the Tulsa Zoo is top priorityRight.
Republican mayoral candidate Anna Falling said Tuesday that putting a Christian creationism display in the Tulsa Zoo is No. 1 in importance among city issues that include violent crime, budget woes and bumpy streets.
“It’s first,” she said to calls of “hallelujah” at a rally outside the zoo. “If we can’t come to the foundation of faith in this community, those other answers will never come. We need to first of all recognize the fact that God needs to be honored in this city.”
. . . about 250 people showed up for the meeting in Altus, "which is huge."Why isn't the government listening? A commenter - Amber, Norman, 9:05 AM - provides a clue in the form of a her interpretation of a letter by Tom Cole:
"In general, people have been more frustrated than usual," she said. "They don’t seem to be as angry as some of the (town hall crowds) you see on TV. People are just frustrated right now and they don’t think their government is listening to them."
While I appreciate your opinion, I believe that you sent me to Washington so that I can decide what is best for you and vote accordingly.
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.Sure looks to me like he's asking private citizens to monitor each other's private conversations.
Give BB&T Liberty, but Not a Bailout
"To say man is bad because he is selfish is to say (he's) bad because he’s alive."(Emphasis mine)
. . .
"For his part, Mr. Brook is encouraged by the new interest in Ms. Rand’s work, but feels that it has yet to have much impact on the political debate. He’s also struggling to change a popular perception that the financial crisis was caused by deregulation and the fiscal policies of a top Rand disciple: Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman.
Mr. Brook argues that the problem wasn’t deregulation, but “misregulation.” He also says it’s unfortunate that Mr. Greenspan continues to be associated with Ms. Rand. While the two were close in the 1960s and ’70s, Mr. Greenspan abandoned objectivism decades ago, he says. Through a spokesman, Mr. Greenspan declined to comment."
. . .
"Fiscal conservatives . . . find much to praise in Ms. Rand’s economic views. Yet even for that crowd, her social views are a tougher sell.
Ms. Rand was an ardent atheist who considered the cross a symbol of how "a man of perfect virtue" sacrificed himself for a bunch of losers. "It is in the name of that symbol that men are asked to sacrifice themselves for their inferiors," she said."
. . .
"The last 50 years have been an orgy of placing need above wealth creation, above personal pursuit of happiness," Mr. Brook says. "I think we are seeing the consequences of that today."
. . .
"Mr. Allison says the government forced BB&T and some other healthy banks to accept TARP money to obscure that they were simply trying to save several large banks like Citigroup.
"Everyone thinks we got some kind of subsidy," he says, noting that his company paid the money back in June, with interest. "It’s going to cost us about $250 million for money we didn’t want.""
. . .
"Mr. Allison cites two examples in which the bank’s philosophy guided its real-world decisions.
After the Supreme Court upheld the right of local governments in 2005 to condemn private property and hand it to someone else for commercial development, he says, BB&T refused to make loans to developers who obtained property that way.
He also says BB&T decided not to offer the controversial "pick a payment" mortgages that got so many of its competitors into trouble. Such loans, also known as "option A.R.M.’s" or "negative amortization loans," allow borrowers to make payments that don’t even cover the interest on the loans, which causes the amount they owe to grow."
. . .
""We believe Rand’s concept of the ‘trader principle,’ where life is about trading value for value, where both parties benefit from the transaction," he says."
. . .
"In some ways, Ayn Rand filled in the ideas of Aristotle. It’s a whopping competitive advantage," he says. "I personally believe objectivism will be the dominant philosophy in this country in 25 years."
The only oneIt's one of several letters printed today from people opposed to Obama's health care plan.
I’ve heard a lot lately that health care is a right. I thought about that and reflected on the rights that the Founders determined needed to be clearly defined, in the Bill of Rights. Obviously, health care wasn’t mentioned, but there was something that struck me about the rights enshrined. When you think of the more commonly defined rights — speech, religion, assembly, bearing arms — think of this: While all these are protected from the government, none can be compelled upon you. You can’t be forced to speak, read or write a paper, join a religious group, participate in a rally or carry a weapon.
Apparently, though, this "right” of health care is so vital that the federal government must mandate and require, under penalty of law, that you participate.
Steve Curry, Oklahoma City
FOOD FOR THOUGHTI didn't come up with the title "Food for thought", the editors at the Gazette did. But it strikes me that it conveys one of the main points of my letter perfectly: thought is required to create food, and thought is the 'coin' which pays for the food - the thought required to choose the specific physical efforts which will result in the production of the food. In a very real sense, one does trade thought, itself, for food.
While I find much to agree with in Brett Thomasson's letter ("'Free' advice") in the July 15, 2009 Oklahoma Gazette, I do take exception with his assertion that Matt Zitterkob is more dependent on capitalism "as a parasite than as the low-level worker he was before, since he now contributes nothing to society."
A person's capacity to support himself has nothing to do with his "contributions to society". Such an idea fosters the impression that your value is somehow tied to or ultimately determined by society, leading to the notion that "society owes me" - which leads to such ideas as "freeganism" and "urban foraging" in the first place.
Supporting yourself by productive work, on the other hand, is an expression of your capacity to uphold your own value - which is bestowed upon you, not by society, but by your own judgement. While capitalism recognizes that a free society makes it possible for people to trade their efforts for the values they need to sustain their lives - and to determine for themselves the terms of that trade, including price - productive work to create those values would be required to survive even if you were alone on a deserted island. For if your food could not be "foraged" in such a place, then it would have to hunted or grown before you could eat it.
That is, it would have to be created by your own effort. And not merely physical effort, but thought as well.
"The government can create coalitions of private companies, . . . "Now, it occured to me that when private companies form private coalitions, that's a trust and it has to be busted. Hence, the antitrust laws. It would also be considered anti-competitive, as well. As such, it would attract the attention of the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department, as well as the SEC, the FTC, and who knows what other agencies - including various and sundry Congressional committees, who would consider such a thing an unmitigated evil (which it is not, of course).
Still Not An OptionIBD's evidence looks pretty damning to me.
EXCERPTS: "Not fully trusting our own interpretation, we asked for confirmation from the House Ways and Means Committee. Sources there agreed: The bill would indeed shut down the individual private health care insurance market.
Our impression was further confirmed Monday when Rep. Dave Camp, the ranking member on Ways and Means, told us that "any existing plan will not be able to enroll members." There will be "a prohibition," the Michigan Republican said, "on enrolling individuals in private health plans" after the bill becomes law in 2013.
It was also confirmed by Ways and Means staff director Cybele Bjorklund, who, in response to questions from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin during a committee markup session, admitted last week that insurance providers "cannot create new policies outside of that window outside of the exchange.""
. . .
"In trying to prove the exchange will be a private market, the bill's own supporters actually prove our point. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., complains in a letter on the next page that last week's editorial is "factually incorrect and highly misleading" yet admits three paragraphs later that outside the exchange, providers "can't continue to market" existing "policies to new customers."
Waxman, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also claims the legislation "will create a transparent insurance marketplace," apparently unaware that government cannot create a market. The government can create coalitions of private companies, which are eventually co-opted by the state. And it has given itself the power to seize private companies, as with General Motors.
But it cannot fabricate a market. Anyone who thinks it can, does not know how markets work."
"The government can create coalitions of private companies, . . . "Isn't that what fascist states do?
. . . Apollo 11 enacted the story of an audacious purpose, its execution, its triumph, and the means that achieved it—the story and the demonstration of man’s highest potential.A recording of her lecture, "Apollo and Dionysus" is also online at the Institute's site.
'FREE' ADVICEGood, that is, except for the part about 'contributing to society'.
Regarding the Heide Brandes story "Foragers and 'freegans'" in the July 8, 2009 Oklahoma Gazette:
Matt Zitterkob overlooks several important points in his analysis of his lifestyle. He is, of course, still dependent upon the capitalism he disdains, since the free food he scrounges was produced, processed, packaged, shipped and so on by persons who are part of that system. He is perhaps more dependent on it as a parasite than as the low-level worker he was before, since he now contributes nothing to society - unlike all of those involved in the production of the thrown-out food he eats - and earns nothing with which to navigate within it.
The entire "freegan" movement is based on the idea of, "You work, I don't, and you can feed the both of us whether you want to or not." I suspect that many people in Third World nations who forage for food because no other option exists would marvel at a society where such actions are unnecessary but which produces people who choose to do them anyway.
After they got done laughing at them, that is.
- Brett Thomasson
The New Tea Parties: An Overture to Reclaiming Our Lost FreedomSally Kern and her cohorts are wrong when they claim that the United States of America was founded on Christianity. Where in the Bible does it say that every human being has the absolute right to pursue his or her own happiness in this life on this earth? Every time they assert that this country was meant to be governed by the Christian morality of selflessness and sacrifice they are aiding and abetting the enemy.
EXCERPT: "It is time for Americans to understand that it is not merely a political fight they have on their hands, but a moral one. They must reject the moral code that asks them to live for the sake of other men -- what else could TARP, or the takeover of General Motors, or of the tobacco industry, or of the energy industry, of the insurance industry, or of the health care business mean, but for you to sacrifice your right to your life and your money and property for the sake of others -- and proudly, loudly proclaim the selfish virtue of individual rights, which has been the source of all the wealth and prosperity that we enjoy but which Obama and Congress seek to destroy through socialist redistribution."
"It is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.”
• The quotation says nothing about the powers of the federal government to influence religion
• Furthermore, the U.S. Senate ratified, and John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli, in which Art. 11 states: As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
• This statement appears nowhere in the writings or recorded utterances of James Madison and is completely contradictory to his character as a strong proponent of the separation of church and state. (http://web.archive.org/web/20030620063744/http://www.au.org/press/pr4401.htm) (http://web.archive.org/web/20020215050032/http://www.au.org/churchstate/cs3014.htm)
"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God.”
• Franklin was never as outspoken on this issue and Jefferson or Madison, but he did leave behind a quote that lets us in on what he thought: Writing to his friend Richard Price on Oct. 9, 1780, Franklin expressed his dismay with government-imposed religion. Observed Franklin, “When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are obliged to call for the help of the Civil Power, ‘tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”
• Long known as a deist and a champion of the European enlightenment, Franklin was also famous for his religious tolerance and his desire to see all faiths live together in peace. “I have ever let others enjoy their religious sentiments without reflecting on them for those who appeared to me unsupportable and even absurd,” he wrote at age 84. (http://blog.au.org/2006/01/17/happy_birthday_/)
"God who gave us life gave us liberty and can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God.”
• The quotation says nothing about the powers of the federal government to influence religion. The quotation is taken out of context. Yes, Jefferson said this, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of separation. This quotation is taken from a famous letter in which he argues against slavery; Jefferson believed that slavery violated a person's God-given freedom. This does not imply that Jefferson thought that the state had the power to aid religion.
"Whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of Religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state.”
• The quotation says nothing about the powers of the federal government to influence religion and is taken completely out of context. Story did believe in support of religion on the state level, but he rejected federal power over religion; this quote leaves the opposite impression.
"This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians"
• Another spurious quotation. These words appear nowhere in the writings or recorded utterances of Patrick Henry.
Some will say that separation of economy and state is too radical a goal. To be sure, this goal will take time—and a roadmap—to reach. But it is the only valid destination. Where liberty is concerned, “moderation” is suicide. Patrick Henry did not say “Give me a small rollback in government or give me death.” He said: give me liberty. So should we.A radical reduction in the size of government is long overdue. Government needs to get out of the way of the freedom it was created to protect: laws need to be repealed, regulations need to be eliminated and government agencies need to be closed.
The U.S. Supreme Court today ordered a new round of oral arguments in Citizens United v. FEC, the “Hillary: The Movie” case. The Court wants parties to address whether Austin v. Michigan, a case that bans certain political speech by corporations, including nonprofit corporations such as Citizens United, should be overturned. The Court also wants to consider whether part of McConnell v. FEC, upholding the so-called “electioneering communications” ban in McCain-Feingold, should likewise be overturned and the ban struck down entirely.(Via NoodleFood)
“The Court has set up a blockbuster case about Americans’ First Amendment rights to join together and speak freely about politics,” said Steve Simpson, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Citizens United v. FEC. “A majority of the High Court appears to recognize the grave threat to free speech posed by both the electioneering communications ban in McCain-Feingold and the ban on corporate political speech. This case could mark a significant advance for First Amendment rights and will have major implications for state laws nationwide.”
"I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind - yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands?"
If you quit and disappear, who will come along and replace you? Will that person have the same value to your employer as you do? Will he or she be able to do your job as well as you can?I was attempting to express the point that an individual is an end in himself.
"She is really the foundation of our company,” Patel said. "The technology that’s locked up in her head — it would take five years to transfer that technology to someone else.”Golubeva lived in the US for 13 years but has been forced to return to Russia because of a visa issue.
PL Studios even considered opening an office in Russia because of Golubeva’s presence there, Patel said.