Quick Roundup 457

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wider, Please!

With apologies to Michael Ledeen, I am happy, as a supporter of the Ayn Rand Institute, to see that one of its bloggers has earned an Instalanche (HT: Dismuke) -- something about "Government Motors" -- but at the same time, I am sad to see that its web server is being pitted rather than helping get the word out.

Clearly, ARI's amazing recent progress is coming at a price: the need for more bandwidth.

You can help with an email or a donation, or perhaps both, with the one directing the flow of the other. As if to underscore my point, I was hoping to link to the donations page of ARI, but find that I can't go there to get the URL at the moment.

I'll put that in here later, as soon as I can. And once I do, I suspect that the link to the article will be working again.

[Update: As of about 1:15 Eastern Time, the ARI/ARC website appears to be working.]

Heh!

I think I might know who this guy is!

The anecdote at the end reminds me of a fairly recent occurrence here, in which I posted the picture of someone I know from Houston, leading to him re-connecting with an old college friend.

We live in a world at once small and limitless!

Vote-Buying

A news story about a blatant vote purchase (HT: Billy Beck and Alan Sullivan) by the Obamessiah reminds me somewhat indirectly of Letters from the Earth.

(Obama was aided by "philanthropist" George Soros, whose inexcusable moral sanction was far more valuable to Obama than the chump change he gave.)

First, we have one of Obama's ne'er-do-wells reveling in the "free money" that came, mostly, out of your pocket:

"It's free money!" said Alecia Rumph, 26, who waited in a Morris Park, Bronx, line 300 people deep for the cash to buy uniforms and book bags for her two kids.

"Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us." [links dropped]
Now, consider the above in light of the following passage of Mark Twain's.
Noah and his family were saved, yes, but they were not comfortable, for they were full of microbes. Full to the eyebrows; fat with them, obese with them; distended like balloons. It was a disagreeable condition, but it could not be helped, because enough microbes had to be saved to supply the future races of men with desolating diseases, and there were but eight persons on board to serve as hotels for them. The microbes were by far the most important part of the Ark's cargo, and the part the Creator was most anxious about and most infatuated with. . . . If [God] had had a motto, it would have read, "Let no innocent person escape."
To Obama's alleged "beneficiaries," I would ask, "Why did Obama leave you still so poor that a few hundred measly bucks is such a big deal? Why won't he do more? Is there a point at which you're 'rich enough' and is that point above or below the one at which Obama will decide to help himself to your money so he can buy votes from 'the poor' in the future?" Either Obama is all-powerful and wants you to remain miserable, or he isn't, and he ought to explain exactly where (i.e., from whom) he got that money.

And then, to all the outraged Republicans out there, I would ask, "Why didn't you object even more to the Bush stimulus checks?"

This is an object lesson on why one must consistently stand up for rational principles. Rather than properly note that Obama's payouts were made possible by larceny carried out on a stupendous scale, all GOP officials can now do is sputter about how the governor of New York, "should spend the money to reduce property taxes." This is because they failed to speak up when it was "our guy" buying votes with government checks.

Quoth another: "It is a plan that is ripe for fraud and abuse." Too effing late -- and wrong anyway, now that I think about it.

This plan is fraud and abuse, and the spineless GOP finds itself in a poor position to object to it.

This -- Obama's "opponents" having to let him get away with this -- is what I find appalling.

Whole Foods CEO vs. Obamacare

Although not exactly the call to repeal all government meddling in the insurance and medical sectors that we really need, I have to admire John Mackey's guts here (HT: Dismuke).
[T]he last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction--toward less government control and more individual empowerment.
This guy could lose lots of business for making this stand, considering the political leanings of the bulk of his clientele -- if, by "lean," you mean, "lie prostrate at the feet of Barack Obama," that is.

I could support some of Mackey's policy recommendations, but only as initial steps towards altogether disengaging the government from medical insurance.

Objectivist Roundup

Be there or be square.

-- CAV

8 comments:

Doug Reich said...

Gus,

Excellent post. I especially liked your connections related to the people who thought they are getting something for nothing. What you said reminded me of a passage from Atlas Shrugged where the worker is discussing the disastrous socialist plan implemented at the 20th Century Motor Company. Here is the quote:

"And we weren’t so innocent, either, when we voted for that plan at the end of the first meeting. We didn’t do it just because we believed that the drippy, old guff they spewed was good. We had another reason, but the guff helped us to hide it from our neighbors and from ourselves. The guff gave us a chance to pass off as virtue something that we’d be ashamed to admit otherwise. There wasn’t a man voting for it who didn’t think that under a setup of this kind he’d muscle in on the profits of the men abler than himself. There wasn’t a man rich and smart enough but that he didn’t think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him a share of his better’s wealth and brain. But while he was thinking that he’d get unearned benefits from the men above, he forgot about the men below who’d get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his inferiors who’d rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a limousine like his boss’s, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his own. That was our real motive when we voted - that was the truth of it - but we didn’t like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we yelled about our love for the common good."

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks, Doug, and I appreciate you mentioning the above quote, as well.

Rational Education said...

Gus,
I am taking the liberty of bringing to your attention the bike sharing latest story from Boston covered by AP news and other local papers. Another local govt. sponsored program that is guaranteed by the loot from taxpayers at the point of a gun-
http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/08/vendor_selected.html

I could not help but contrast a program to serve a similar need of individuals to get transportation to short distances in Houston-in crowded downtown areas where parking may be a problem- promoted by a private entrepreneur, and not costing anyone not benefitting from the service a dime (actually even those who use it only pay a gratuity), i.e., no force involved. Houston, however is in the process of making the life of Rev Houston as difficult as possible and many of the bureacrats there likely want to see the company fold -read story at Brian Simpson's blog Live Oaks "Taking Us For a Ride"
http://txpropertyrights.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2009-08-11T05%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=3

These are more examples of penalizing the successful and rewarding failure -there can be found case after case where cities are spending perhaps millions of taxpayer loot on public, govt. sponsored transportation bus services that serve a few.
(There is nothing wrong with profitable bus service provided by private entrepreneurs, and by the same principle nothing wrong per se with a business with bike sharing as a business model (if the venture capitalists think they can make it profitable or else they loose their own shirts), but it is the skunk that is government that when it gets involved makes one know for sure that the stench cannot be far behind!).
Jasmine

Gus Van Horn said...

Jasmine,

It's not immediately clear to me that this program is necessarily funded at taxpayer expense, but if its advocates reek of patchouli and day-old bicycle sweat, the odds are high. (Even as a pedestrian, I hate these idiots who bike on city streets. Aside from not obeying the rules of the road I'd want them to when I'm driving, they blow off pedestrian right-of-way. So much for their pretense at looking out for the "little guy."

On a more serious note, if this service is so great, why wasn't it already here in some form? And why would it need eith permission or "encouragement" by the government? And why that ONE company?

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Gus

Jim May said...

So the Whole Foods CEO is coming out against Obamacare, while Walmart is for it.

What a world.

Gus Van Horn said...

Oh, yeah. How could I forget that?

Mo said...

I have a very difficult time feeling sorry for some businessess that endorse government coercision. I wonder if they are ignorant or just pragmatists

Gus Van Horn said...

Probably a little of both. But yes, I'mn with you there.