The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
The Hedgehog and the Fox
Today I voted... And I liked it. As much as I dislike being in MA - at this moment, in this time, I am glad I am here and I was able to vote in this election. For a tiny fraction of an instant, I felt like it might finally make a difference. From the time I knew what he was about - the kind of person Ted Kennedy was, I never though he deserved the privilege of serving the people. I have said it before, and will say it again - I have always felt that people are too willing to rationalize feeling good about voting for that man by constantly reminding us about all the "good" he has done - as if 1) doing the work for the people that put him there in the first place was somehow amazing or heroic and 2) that all that "good" can somehow erase all the bad that he is/was. He left someone to drown, and abused this position of privilege in life to get away with it. For me, today, I cannot deny, was a little bit of putting a stick in Kennedy's eye. I would like to be above that, but I am not. It is icing on the cake that not only could a Republican take this liberal lion (should be something lower than a snake, a snake is too dignified) but that Brown could also be the one to derail the very healtcare bill that Kennedy was fighting for. Of course now I have a new case of TV and news rage - hearing about all the new shennanigans to not seat Brown if he wins, and seek to approve the bill without a vote... I asked my husband last night - where is the outrage?
a Massachusetts Voter
an email from an average person
We must move forward, not backwards, upwards, not forwards, and always twirling, twirling, TWIRLING towards freedom!
Impersonating candidate Bill Clinton in Citizen Kang Simpson's Treehouse of Horror VII
This isn't the Democratic party of our fathers and grandfathers. This is the party of Woodstock hippies. I was at Woodstock—I built the stage. And when everything fell apart, and people were fighting for peanut-butter sandwiches, it was the National Guard who came in and saved the same people who were protesting them. So when Hillary Clinton a few years ago wanted to build a Woodstock memorial, I said it should be a statue of a National Guardsman feeding a crying hippie.
John "Cliff Claven" Ratzenberger
Cliff Claven for Scott Brown
Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money.
Thames TV This Week Feb 5, 1976
It's not just the money. The notion that the IRS should be able to seize your assets if you don't arrange your health care to the approval of the federal government represents the de facto nationalization of your body, which is about as primal an assault on individual liberty as one could devise.
Can Obama hold Teddy's seat?
Suppose you're reading a novel in which the hero seems to be an individualist, and you have been starved for such a novel. In the first chapter, the hero turns down a very good job, rather than conform to the ideas of others. You feel a strong emotion of admiration and pleasure, and this emotion, quite validly, is important to you. It's the kind of emotion you do want to feel. Well, at this point, you can do one of two things. You can continue to perceive, to see what the book is about, to judge what you've been reading — or you can lose yourself in the pleasure you feel, focus only on it, look only for ways to maintain it, ignoring and evading any evidence that might contradict it. Then, as you continue to read the novel, the hero is shown establishing a socialistic cooperative, which, he says, will once and for all solve the problem of jobs for everyone. Well, if your mind is functioning rationally, you will perceive that you have made a mistake — that is, that whatever this book is preaching it isn't individualism. But, if you've focused on maintaining your emotion at any price, then you'll rationalize it by any means possible. You'll tell yourself that the hero really believes in his ideal, and this makes him an individualist; or that he's fighting for his idea, and this makes him an individualist, so that he's still a hero, et cetera, etc., etc. And you can read the whole book this way, reading into it what you want to find, explaining away what doesn't fit your desires, blinding yourself, destroying your perception for the sake of your emotion. A year later you might read the same book in a different mood and ask yourself, in helpless amazement: "Why did I think what I thought?"
"Efficient Thinking" The Vision of Ayn Rand
I am in favor of such laws because, presumably, if there is a court case, somebody has been hurt. And if a witness has knowledge relevant to the issue and he refuses to testify, he is the one who is violating the rights of the defendant, or whomever his testimony involves. If either party in the case needs the information he has, he couldn't have an honest reason for refusing to provide it, because he is interfering with justice. He is saying, in effect, "The court may decide wrongly without me, but I still don't want to testify." I don't think that's legitimate.
Raymond Newman Journal On compeling subpoenaed witnesses to testify or face contempt citations, fines and imprisonment
This isn't legislation—it's a suicide bombing. The Democrats are willing to blow themselves up, so long as they can take private, for-profit health care down with them.
The Kamikaze Congress
What's the difference between 'weather' and 'climate'? Climate is when it's warming and weather is when it's not.
The respect and good will that men of self-esteem feel toward other human beings is profoundly egoistic; they feel, in effect: 'Other men are of value because they are of the same species as myself.' In revering living entities, they are revering their own life. This is the psychological base of any emotions of sympathy and any feeling of 'species solidarity'
Virtue of Selfishness - The Ethics of Emergencies
[T]he problem with the other origin of the “good,” of the good man, as the person of ressentiment has thought it out for himself, demands some conclusion. It is not surprising that the lambs should bear a grudge against the great birds of prey, but that is no reason for blaming the great birds of prey for taking the little lambs. And when the lambs say among themselves, "These birds of prey are evil, and he who least resembles a bird of prey, who is rather its opposite, a lamb,—should he not be good?" then there is nothing to carp with in this ideal's establishment, though the birds of prey may regard it a little mockingly, and maybe say to themselves, "We bear no grudge against them, these good lambs, we even love them: nothing is tastier than a tender lamb
Ressentiment On the Genealogy of Morality
I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
Barack Hussein Obama
A case has not been refuted until it has been stated at its strongest.
The Strange Case of David Irving
Tyranny requires non-objective laws. No matter how severe a form of government you might have, if its laws and edicts are objective, it is not a tyranny.
But when the crops fail and the cities rot and the children's teeth decay and nothing works except the ever-enthusiastic and illiterate young lads of the morality police, who will the clerics blame? They are not allowed to blame themselves, except for being insufficiently zealous. Obviously it must be because the Jews, the Crusaders, the Freemasons have been at their customary insidious work. Thus, holy war must be waged on happier and more prosperous lands. If you think I exaggerate even slightly, consult the Web sites of the Iranian theocracy and of its Hamas and Hizbullah surrogates and proxies. These exhorting leaders are not content to inflict their doctrines only on their "own" people. A failed state that cannot allow any grown-up internal debate, or any appeal against the divine edict, will swiftly become an even more failed state and then a rogue one because its limitless paranoia and self-pity must be projected outward. Thus we have a very direct interest in having the Iranian people permitted to interfere in their own internal affairs, and a very immediate reason to insist that the regime's thugs not make their next appearance on the historical stage with nuclear weapons with which to undergird their claim of unfailing righteousness and conviction that they alone know what it is to be a victim.
A smidgen of Hindu metaphysics might come in handy here.
Avatar's Savage Message
As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war. “He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war.
Vice President Dick Cheney
Our Pretend President
We proclaim that the terrorists "don't represent Islam." OK, whom do they represent? The Franciscans? We don't get to decide what's Islam and what isn't. Muslims do. And far too many of them approve of violent jihad.
We do not have to know everything about something, before knowing anything about it.
Edward D. Thompson
What am I?
For whoever habitually suppresses truth in the name of tact will produce a deformity from the womb of his thought.
Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart
Strategy: Second Revised Edition
"I don't know if there is a senator that doesn't have something in this bill that was important to them," he said Monday about what's become known as "cash for cloture." "And if they don't have something in it important to them, then it doesn't speak well of them."
A scientist cannot make a false theory true by closing his eyes to the data that contradict it.
The Vision of Ayn Rand
The commercialism of Christmas reinforces our goodwill. When you scour the malls in search of the perfect gift for a loved one and witness the cornucopia of goods and lights and decorations, you can't help but feel that your fellow human beings are not enemies to be feared or fools to be avoided but fellow travelers and potential allies in the quest for joy. It's no accident that America, the world's most productive country, is also its most benevolent.
One does not know a philosophy if ones knows merely its conclusions, but not the reasoning that led to them.
"The Role of Philosophy" The Vison of Ayn Rand: The Basic Priciples of Objectivism
I hope there are cameras at Andrews Air Force Base so we can see Barry come back with No Warming in Our Time. With him arriving via Carbon Pig One in an unusually virulent snowstorm would be a kind of techno-Kafka moment.
Ten years from now, we'll be talking about cost overruns of $6 trillion -- but by then, national health care will be an untouchable "third rail" of politics, just as Medicare is now. (Ironically, injuries sustained from actually touching the third rail won't be covered under ObamaCare.)
Less Healthcare for More Money
It's clear we are on the precipice of an achievement that's eluded Congresses, presidents for generations -- an achievement that will touch the lives of nearly every American.
Barack Hussein Obama
Obama's Freudian Slip
Reid's struggle getting to 60 makes some liberals fear for their country. They lament that America has become "ungovernable." In other words, it isn't putty in their grasping little hands. Unfortunately for them, the founders created a balky system resistant to precipitate change. It is designed to frustrate ideologically drunken (and perhaps temporary) majorities insistent on passing sweeping, unpopular legislation. Reid's difficulty is exactly the way James Madison would have wanted it.
The Liberals' Weaselly Panic
The catastrophe that struck America's financial system in 2008 was not inevitable. Rather than a failure of markets, it was a failure by government to understand its proper role in markets — and the product of an unwise (and unnecessary) abandonment of a sensible system of rules and boundaries that had served American finance well for six decades. Beginning in the 1980s, and continuing over the quarter-century that followed, Washington afforded the world of big finance a terrible luxury: freedom from the fear of failure. Managers and lenders at financial companies came to understand that the larger and more complex their firms got, the more immunity from market discipline they would enjoy — since they could depend on government guarantees when necessary to protect the broader economy from their mistakes. The government thus countenanced and subsidized an untenable financial system. And it inevitably got more of what it paid for: reckless risk building up to disaster.
Too Big Not To Fail
I’m a conservationist, but not an environmentalist. The difference? A conservationist believes that trees are important. An environmentalist believes that trees are more important than people.
When Scientists Lie
Society is no more a God or a master than it is a family. It is a panoply of opportunities for rewarding exchanges with other self-owning individuals in pursuit of our own happines.
Life: Your Adventure in Entrepreneurship
You ever come across raccoons in the outdoor trash can at 11:30 or so at night? As soon as they're exposed by the beam of the flashlight . . . they turn on you with fangs and paws and let you know what follows will be a short conversation with very little talking involved. Currently, climate scientists are raccoons hip-deep in statistical garbage and you should approach them with caution because they are unarmed (with facts) and dangerous.
Americans have noticed that, judging by the words and deeds of the president and of the Congress his party controls, global warming is (a) an imminent threat to the planet but (b) not as urgent a concern as health-care reform.
Frayed Nerves, Short Tempers
Impersonal will is what telemarketers have.
On the metaphysics of the will
Inspiration is an empty bank account.
Poor Al Gore, Global Warming debunked, via the very internet you invented
In a much quoted passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country....” Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic “what your country can do for you” implies that the government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man’s belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, “what you can do for your country” implies that the government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them... [H]e regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served. The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country. He will ask rather “What can I and my compatriots do through government” to . . . advance our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom? And he will accompany this question with another: How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?
Capitalism and Freedom
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
This isn't just stupid: It's immoral. No American president has ever espoused such a worthless, self-absorbed non-strategy for his own political gratification.
Setting up our military to fail
It's not that the market failed; it's that the rules under which the system operated generated perverse outcomes that were translated through market mechanisms.
In no way is the happiness of Zeus preferable or more beautiful or more worthwhile than the happiness of the sage.
Systems of the Hellenistic Age
I know what I'll be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I'll be thankful for Climategate.
TIA Daily, 25 Nov 09
Luckily for the sceptics, and to my intense disappointment, I have now been passed the damning email which confirms that the entire science of global warming is indeed a scam. Had I known that it was this easy to rig the evidence, I wouldn’t have wasted years of my life promoting a bogus discipline. In the interests of open discourse, I feel obliged to reproduce it here.
It's not true that the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist. Even dead terrorists aren't good. But at least they're dead.
'Fighting' terror with wishful thinking
No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems-- of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.
Solving Whose Problem?
Instead of throwing telethons for paternalistic megalomania, we throw elections.
When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise, with only such deduction as may be his share toward the careful and economical maintenance of the Government which protects him, it is plain that the exaction of more than this is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice ... The public Treasury, which should only exist as a conduit conveying the people's tribute to its legitimate objects of expenditure, becomes a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people's use, thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country's development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder.
Cleveland's third annual message to Congress
Today, there is a name for the political doctrine that rejoices in scarcity of everything except government. The name is environmentalism.
Oil's Expanding Frontiers
Indeed, some of us will always be sympathetic to Mrs. Palin if for nothing else than her enemies. The bile she extracts from her critics is almost like a dye marker, illuminating deep pockets of asininity that heretofore were either unnoticed or underappreciated.
Palinophobes Hate First, Ask Questions Later