The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.
There is a simple way to get corporate money out of politics: get the government out of our lives and economic affairs. If government has no favors to sell, no one will spend money trying to win them.
Love, friendship, respect, admiration are the emotional response of one man to the virtues of another, the spiritual payment given in exchange for the personal, selfish pleasure which one man derives from the virtues of another man’s character.
When somebody who has never owned a slave apologizes for slavery to somebody who has never been a slave, then what began as mushy thinking has degenerated into theatrical absurdity-- or, worse yet, politics.
Too many apologies
They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq .... Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.
Comment by a Marketwatch reader
The ultimate constraint that we all face is knowledge — what we know and don't know. ... Neither you nor the U.S. Congress has the complete knowledge to know exactly what's best for you. ... There is only one reason for the forcible transference of decision-making authority over important areas of our private lives to elite decision-makers in Congress and government bureaucracies. Doing so confers control, power, wealth and revenue to society's elite.
The Pretense of Knowledge
Slavery is another matter - the most vicious habit humans fall into and the hardest to break... After a culture falls ill of it, it gets rooted in the economic system and laws, in men's habits and attitudes. You abolish it; you drive it underground - there it lurks, ready to spring up again, in the minds of people who think it is their 'natural' right to own other people. You can't reason with them; you can kill them but you can't change their minds.
Robert A. Heinlein
Citizen of the Galaxy
In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can't hold a candle to a clergyman. 'Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money!
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation."
Dr. Adrian Rogers
Whether someone calls themselves an Objectivist is an interesting matter. I see it as offering acknowledgement to Rand's ideas and formulations. It isn't to declare allegiance to her every word, or to pretend to speak in her name. I find it interesting that those trying to maintain the purity of the philosophy end up making it incredibly difficult for people to simply acknowledge her ideas. It's like they don't want anyone to believe any part of it, or to credit any of the ideas, unless they accept it all without criticism.
"Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them."
The Federal Register, which lists new regulations, annually averaged 72,844 pages between 1977 and 1980. During the Reagan years, the average fell to 54,335. During the Bush I years, they rose to 59,527, to 71,590 during the Clinton years and rose to a record of 75,526 during the Bush II years. Employees in government regulatory agencies grew from 146,139 in 1980 to 238,351 in 2007, a 63 percent increase. In the banking and finance industries, regulatory spending between 1980 and 2007 almost tripled, rising from $725 million to $2.07 billion. So here's my question: What are we to make of congressmen, talking heads and news media people who tell us the financial meltdown is a result of deregulation and free markets? Are they ignorant, stupid or venal?
What's invalid is invalid. It's generally not a point of discussion except for those who insist on claiming that they have unprovable beliefs. Reality invalidates the arbitrary and the non-existant. ... not me.
In response to a Religionist, on the "Forty-Two Will Do" thread.
"'How will we pay for the tax cut?' I laugh when I hear that question because it’s so obviously illogical. If the government were to cut taxes, say, by lowering rates or outright repeal, people would simply be free to hold on to money they otherwise would have sent to the IRS under threat of punishment. Allowing them to keep that money requires no expenditure ... In the most basic sense, a tax cut costs nothing. What people who ask that question really mean is: How will the revenue forgone be made up? Why do they care? Because they don’t want the government to have to cut spending. Tax cuts don’t cost money; government programs do. The demand that tax cuts be paid for rests on the claim that government distribution of other people’s resources – euphemistically called “spending” – is sacrosanct ... This is important because when we talk the language of paying for tax cuts we adopt an outlook to which statists implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) subscribe, namely, the view that all income belongs to the State and that any measure that lets us keep some is just another form of spending."
" Paying for Tax Cuts? Whose money is it?", The Freeman Online
"A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business. This minding of other people's business expresses itself in gossip, snooping and meddling... In running away from ourselves we either fall on our neighbor's shoulder or fly at his throat."
The True Believer, Section 10
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert Anson Heinlein
Earth First: We will pump the oil from the other planets later.
Bumper sticker on a pick-up truck.
“If I ask people whether they believe in life, they never understand what I mean. It's a bad question. It can mean so much that it really means nothing. So I ask them if they believe in God. And if they say they do, then I know they don't believe in life. Why? God — whatever anyone chooses to call God — is one's highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own.”
We the Living
I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines being raised that there was painted a rattlesnake with this modest motto under it "don’t tread on me". It occurred to me that the rattlesnake, being found in no other quarter of the world besides America, might therefore be chosen to represent her. Having frequently seen the rattlesnake I ran over in my mind every property by which she was distinguished. I recollect that her eye excelled in brightness that of any other animal, and that she has no eye lids, she may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor when once engaged never surrenders, she is therefore en emblem of magnanimity and true courage. As if anxious to prevent all pretentions of quarreling with her the weapons with which nature has furnished her she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that to those unacquainted with her she appears to be a most defenseless animal and even when they are shown and extended for her defense they appear weak and contemptible, but their wounds however small are decisive and fatal. Conscious of this she never wounds until she has generously given notice even to her enemy and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her. I counted the rattles ... and found them just 13, exact the number of colonies united in America, and I recollected too, that this was the only part of the snake that increases in numbers. ... Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are and yet how firmly they are united together so as to never be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living. The rattlesnake is solitary and associates with her kind only when it is necessary for their preservation. In winter the warmth of a number together will preserve their lives, while singly they would probably perish. The power of fascination attributed to her by her a generous construction may be understood to mean that those who consider the liberty and blessing which America affords and once come over to her never afterwards leave her, but spend their lives with her. She strongly resembles America in this, that she is beautiful in youth and her beauty increaseth with her age, her tongue is blue and forked as the lightning, and her abode is among impenetrable rocks.
The Completed Autobiography
"Newcomen drove 12,238 miles across 30 U.S. states to pen a message using GPS tracking that can only be read using Google Earth. The message? 'Read Ayn Rand.'"
Gizmodo.com via Reason.com, "This Country Has Ayn Rand Written All Over It"
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Capitalism is liberating: You’re born a peasant but you don’t have to die one. You can work hard and get a nice place in the suburbs. If you were a 19th century Russian peasant and you got to Ellis Island, you’d be living in a tenement on the Lower East Side, but your kids would get an education and move uptown, and your grandkids would be doctors and accountants in Westchester County. And your great-grandchild would be a Harvard-educated environmental activist demanding an end to all this electricity and indoor toilets. Environmentalism opposes that kind of mobility
A gaffe in Washington is when someone inadvertently blurts out the truth.
Arnaud de Borchgrave
... mortgage lending to creditworthy homebuyers has been a stable, profitable, and boring business in the United States of America for about a hundred years; so for those who blame “Wall Street greed” for the crisis, I ask you “why now?” Why did greed not appear, not infect the system, not attempt to seize filthy lucre for that hundred years? Why did greed only show up at that particular moment in time? I further ask why did greed not make its way to Canada, where they did not have a housing and/or banking crisis? Is greed only a US and highly time specific phenomenon?
In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it's a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security is risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.
I think it is a great shame, that many people never develop a conscious enough sense of the pleasures of beauty, or self-actualization, or the admirable qualities of character in another person, or a host of other aspects of life. And failing to do so, they are ill-equipped to find the proper balance in their life.
C. Jeffery Small
Peace is not more important than justice, and until those who desire peace realize that, there will be no world peace. Peace without Justice is nothing more than a well run prison camp, it is only to the extent which individuals and nations reward the just and punish the unjust that they are peaceful.
Michael F Dickey
In town halls and tea parties across the nation, Obama lost the argument with Americans. So now he wants a debating partner who will be less challenging: elected Republicans.
What Part of "Party of No" Don't You Understand?
Few combinations are more poisonous than race and politics. That combination has torn whole nations apart and led to the slaughters of millions in countries around the world.
Race and Politics: Part I
With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It's not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery.
Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire
When Barbara Branden was asked by a student"What will happen to the poor in an Objectivist society?" she answered "If you want to help them, you will not be stopped."
The Virtue of Selfishness
"Presidents don't lose wars. Political parties don't lose wars. Nations lose wars."
Senator John McCain, R-Arizona
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
The growth of taxation and government control destroyed the Roman economy and caused the collapse of Rome, which allowed the barbarians to take over. The same thing is happening today. We need not give in to the barbarians, but they are certainly waiting anxiously.
Ford Hall Forum; 1967 [excerpted from the book: "Ayn Rand Answers; p. 5"]
Overly "permissive" parents tend to produce highly anxious children. By this I mean parents who back away from any leadership role; who treat all family members as equal not only in dignity but also in knowledge and authority; and who strive to teach no values and uphold no standards for fear of "imposing" their "biases" on their children.
Six Pillars of Self Esteem
The idea of universal rights—the idea of rights that are universal to all people because they correspond to our natures as human beings, not to where we live or what our cultural background is—is an incredibly important one. This belief is being challenged by apostles of cultural relativism who refuse to accept that such rights exist. If you look at those who employ this idea, it turns out to be Robert Mugabe, the leaders of China, the leaders of Singapore, the Taliban, Ayatollah Khomeini. It is a dangerous belief that everything is relative and therefore these people should be allowed to kill because it’s their culture to kill.
Children are educated by what the grown-up is, and not by his talk.
Carl Gustav Jung
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
The difference between America and Europe is that, when the global economy nosedived, everywhere from Iceland to Bulgaria mobs took to the streets and besieged Parliament, demanding to know why government didn't do more for them. This is the only country in the developed world where a mass movement took to the streets to say we can do just fine if you control-freak statists would just stay the hell out of our lives, and our pockets.
Getting our groupthink on
"When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp. Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 to his younger brother, and tell him that this is "fair." Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money. When he cries, tell him he is being "selfish" and "greedy." Later in life he will thank you."
"Teach Your Children Well" at LewRockwell.com
But the Objectivist view is that government shouldn't violate our rights. We're not interested in small government. We're interested in strictly limited government. We're not limiting it because we think someone could abuse it. We're limiting it because a government that initiates force is already bad. Illegitimate power is not something that can be abused. Its very use is wrong from the start, and abuse is just people's way of saying that it isn't being used the way they prefer.
He [Obama] hasn't advocated the abolition of private property; only of individual control over it. A distinction in search of a difference.
...that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.
Atlas Shrugged, "This is John Galt Speaking"
Functioning societies depend on agreed rules. If you want to open a business, you do it in Singapore or Ireland, because the rules are known to all parties. You don't go to Sudan or Zimbabwe, where the rules are whatever the state's whims happen to be that morning.
In Obama's America you'll all work for the government
The palpable whiff given off by the White House inner circle is that they're the last people on the planet still besotted by Barack Obama, and that they're having such a cool time starring in their own reality-show remake of "The West Wing," they can only conceive of the public — and indeed the world — as crowd-scene extras in "The Barack Obama Show."
If 'Unsustainable' Is New Normal, Collapse Is Closer Than We Think
There is one simple truth that many politicians, on both sides of the aisle do not seem to understand: You cannot be for jobs but against those who create them. Reread that sentence and let it sink in. You cannot give speeches about job creation and simultaneously vilify those who do the creating.
Broke, page 342
The degree of heritability of IQ places no constraint on the degree of modifiability that is possible. ... think about two facts: (a) the heritability of height is about .85 to .90 and (b) gains in average height of a standard deviation or more have appeared in a generation or less in several countries in the world. The average height of thirteen-year-old Korean boys increased by more than seven inches between 1965 and 2005, a difference of 2.4 SDs. The forty-year time span is far too brief for genetics to have played a role in the increase. ... the heritability of a characteristic within a given population places no theoretical constraint on the modifiability of that characteristic by environmental forces.
Richard E. Nisbett
Book: Intelligence and How to Get It: Why schools and cultures count. (2009). Norton; p 38
Lindsay, While you know I value polite conversation and have taken you to task on several occasions for being less than...diplomatic, I'm starting to see your point of view. While I'll never sanction insulting people who don't deserve it, I take back any and all recriminations for dealing with assholes in as blunt terms as possible. You have my apologies