Quick Roundup 387

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oppressing the Smallest Minority

Andrew Dalton, who has been posting some good stuff lately, comments on a real travesty. The adoptive couple of a child whose drug-addled mother was declared unfit is being forced to send the child to foster care instead simply because he is 1/8 Amerindian:

If you read the comments, you will find a few Native American activists supporting the law and the legal action. Of all the various distasteful varieties of leftists, I have found this variety to be the most obnoxious -- soaked in tribalism, mysticism, environmentalism, and Noble Savage mythology (ironically, a colonists' invention).
My only quibble with Dalton is his use of the term "Native American", but I'll leave it in so search engines can help people learn of a more explicit individualist perspective when this more trendy term for "Amerindian" gets plugged in.

Having a fair amount of Amerindian ancestry, I became curious for a time some years ago about Amerindian culture, and went to a few events put on by some local Indian tribes. It was interesting, but I never felt so out of place anywhere in my life.

If treating individual human beings such as this child and his loving adoptive parents like mere tribal property is an example of the culture these laws are misguided attempts to preserve, then I must say that I am proud to have felt so little affinity for the culture at these events.

Waiting for the Lowest Bidder

President Bush claims that, "I didn't compromise my soul to be a popular guy." That declaration raises more questions than it answers, both on the matter of what he did compromise it for, whether he has one left, and, what he might be waiting for, after having compromised everything else.

Perhaps it means he hasn't yet heard that John Walker Lindh's parents have asked him for a pardon.

If Bush pardons Lindh, expect him to talk about what a great "virtue" forgiveness (search term: "moral blank check") is, and recall the true nature of sacrifice, the basis for his moral code:
"Sacrifice" is the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or of a nonvalue. Thus, altruism gauges a man’s virtue by the degree to which he surrenders, renounces or betrays his values (since help to a stranger or an enemy is regarded as more virtuous, less “selfish,” than help to those one loves). The rational principle of conduct is the exact opposite: always act in accordance with the hierarchy of your values, and never sacrifice a greater value to a lesser one. [Ayn Rand in "The Ethics of Emergencies," The Virtue of Selfishness, 44.]
To forgive this traitor would be perhaps the most morally obscene way Bush could end his Presidency, but it would symbolize it quite eloquently, from the half-fought War We Should Have Won Already, to the ban of the Edison Bulb, to nationalizing our financial sector after huge increases in federal spending.

If I had more time, I'd consider starting a betting pool on whether Bush issues such an obscene pardon.

Surrendering the High Seas

The United States easily has the most powerful Navy in the world. We could almost instantly wipe the Somali pirates off the face of the earth, and yet we have not done so.

It thus comes as no surprise that the Chinese are preparing to fill that power vacuum.

Interesting GTD Idea

I've been too busy getting things done to write a post on Getting Things Done lately, and I don't use index cards in my particular implementation. But I know that some of my readers might find this post intriguing.
As an advocate of David Allen's GTD practice, I constantly look for ways to improve my productivity and organize the million things around me. Inspired by Merlin Mann's hipster pda, I set out to create my very own version I called mind.Depositor. [links dropped]
This has superior functionality to the hipster pda and has the added, underappreciated benefit of looking professional, like my solution. I insert half-sized paper (or folded printouts with punched holes) inside what used to be a leather telephone directory from Blue Sky for my "analog interface".

Mr. Warren Goes to Washington

The left is about to learn just how religious Barack Obama really is on Inauguration Day:
Pro-life pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. It makes a whole lot of sense. Even though Warren and Obama disagree on the life issue, they do see eye to eye on many social justice issues. This move is also classic Obama because it is a signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country. Obama has never shied away from that. [bold added]
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how Barack Obama plans to "transcend" left and right: by adopting the worst elements of both.

But remember, McCain was basically going to do the same thing, although without at least being honest about it.

Market Success

Via Amit Ghate comes the following excellent point concerning market "failure": "If an x-ray machine detects a tumor, would this be an example of x-ray success or x-ray failure?"

The whole post is excellent. Go there!

Good Reading, Bad Foundation

Myrhaf makes some encouraging observations about Joe the Plumber. Notwithstanding, the following comes from the Plumber's new web site: "When Freedom of Religion somehow excludes One Nation Under God, the essence and ideals of our freedoms are seriously in danger." Whatever gains individualism makes will yield significant improvements, to be sure, but individualists will have our work cut out for us for quite some time. America was not founded on Christian principles, and it cannot survive if such principles become integral to its government.

-- CAV


Andrew Dalton said...

On the "Native American" terminology thing ... it certainly doesn't help that the Left-dominated universities (and their eager followers in the news media) have been switching the "acceptable" term every few years. (In Canada, the even sillier "First Nations" appears to be in style.) I would use "Indian" except for the chance of confusion with people actually from India.

Gus Van Horn said...

I figured as much.

I avoid both confusion and political correctness with the term "Amerindian".

Resident Egoist said...

HaaaaH! X-ray Failure! I've told every person I can stomach to speak to about the current economic situation that this is not a so-called case of "market failure", but rather an instance of the market ELIMINATING failure!

I have no idea where people get the idea that all business is supposed to succeed on a free market. But the x-ray analogy really drives the point home - that most people today don't know how ridiculous they sound when they open their mouths! I will now try to stop smiling!

Gus Van Horn said...

Yes. That analogy is nearly perfect, and I like it better the more I think about it.

Bankruptcy exposes internal corruption that would otherwise be invisible to all.