7-26-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The "Freedom Option"

Former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas proposes to Republicans a way to win the political fight against ObamaCare:

Republicans should not underestimate the power of freedom in the health-care debate. In 1994, when 74 senators had either co-sponsored President Clinton's health bill--or a very close alternative--Sens. John McCain, Paul Coverdell and I set out to try to defeat HillaryCare. The media in Washington largely ignored our opposition, but we conducted over 40 public forums around the country in hospitals and other medical settings. We talked about efficiency and people looked at their watches. We talked about costs and they yawned.

But in Atlanta, when my mother attended the meeting and I started to talk about her freedom to make her own health-care choices, people started to respond and HillaryCare started to die. In the end the debate was not about money or efficiency. It was about freedom. This same principle offers our only real hope of stopping the suffering under ObamaCare now and and repealing it in 2017.
Earlier in his article, Gramm helpfully notes how ObamaCare threatens that freedom, and how state mandates paved the way for this to happen.

Weekend Reading

"If you handle criticism well, you'll probably not leap to the immediate (and often mistaken) conclusion that the inferior service is directed toward you personally." -- Michael Hurd, in "Coping With Bad Service" at The Delaware Coast Press

"From a psychological point-of-view, it makes the most sense to see yourself as self-employed whether or not you work for somebody else." -- Michael Hurd, in "Be Your Own Boss" at The Delaware Wave

My Two Cents

There is a truism that one can get a good idea of someone's character by observing how he treats people who are in a less powerful position, such as wait staff. It is interesting to keep this in mind when reading Hurd's piece regarding coping with bad service (and, likewise, with criticism).

The "Turban Trick"

From NPR's Code Switch comes an interesting look at the use of turbans to circumvent Jim Crow:
"He didn't change his color. He just changed his costume, and they treated him like a human," says Luther Routté, who has been a Lutheran pastor for 25 years. It "shows you the kind of myopia that accompanies the whole premise of apartheid or segregation."

Through the "turban trick," Routté['s father, Rev. Jesse Routté,] basically transformed himself from a threat to a guest -- black to invisible.

"Foreigners have a kind of exemption" to Jim Crow laws, [historian Paul] Kramer says. "They're not going to understand the rules; they're not going to obey the rules."
Ayn Rand once succinctly identified the nature of this myopia in part as "a quest for automatic knowledge ... that bypasses the responsibility of exercising rational or moral judgment". With such a quest comes a sort of self-induced gullibility, and it is no surprise to see that some succeeded in basing entire careers on this ruse.


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