Atlas Shrugged’s Doctor Hendricks:

30 09 2009

“I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything — except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind — yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands?”  -Ayn Rand

I love the last paragraph: “I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me”

I often wonder at this too – the arrogance and immorality originating from so called self-less, compassionate socialists/facists sitting atop on their high horse that’s shaking under the weight of their blatant contradictory nonsense.





The Art of Corruption by Andrew Klavan

24 09 2009
I believe government funding of the arts to be impractical and immoral.  Here’s an article exposing how the US government is attempting to encourage pro-Obama art. 
Andrew Klavan
The Art of Corruption
The National Endowment for the Arts violates its founding principle.




Apple’s Steve Jobs, quote of the day:

23 09 2009

“To demand that employees conform to processes is to impose mind-numbing, productivity-killing, self-esteem-crushing bureaucracy on them”

Kudos to NoodleFood for the link.

Full interview with Steve Jobs (Fortune magazine): http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0803/gallery.jobsqna.fortune/index.html





The race card

21 09 2009

This article in today’s Australian (full front page article in A2 section) discusses the supposed prevalence of racism in the USA and it’s effect on Obama’s popularity. 

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26100736-26397,00.html

I assume this article originates from “The Sunday Times” in the UK, but the Australian doesn’t specify which Sunday Times – there must be hundreds. 

What a pity that Australian considers this type of discussion worthwhile.  Race should simply be irrelevant to politics. 

As reported, Jimmy Carter made this public statement: 

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man … That racism inclination still exists.

“And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the south but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.”

Unfortunately people actually took Carter’s crap seriously and bothered to report it.   

The article also cites two poster messages from recent rallies presumably against Obamacare:

We came unarmed (this time)” read one poster in Washington last weekend

One of the most common signs last weekend said simply, “I want my country back”.

Then the article uses these as evidence for racism!?  Are people aware of history? Are they aware of the US constitution and bill of rights?  Are they aware the Boston tea party was a protest over taxation?  How do those placards imply racism?  These posters are clearly a protest over the ever increasing government socialism in the US. 
Personally, I think that only people that could get any possible meaning out of “A change we can believe in” could think that the above placard messages are racist. 

It seems that some people due to intellectual ignorance or laziness simply write off pro-freedom protests such as the town hall debates and the tea party protests as racism. 

What a weak, pathetic attempt to avoid an actual argument. 

IMO, this is a classic example of a lazy, outdated, intellectually stunted, biased mainstream media.   

And those accusing US citizens of basing their decisions on racist ideas, don’t even seem to be aware that their argument works both ways.  If people are so stupid that their political decisions are indeed based on erroneous racist opinions (as lefties like Carter are suggesting) – then this could easily work in reverse.  ie: political correctness and fear of being branded a racist could spare Obama’s policies the examination and condemnation they deserve.  There is already plenty of evidence for the media treating Obama and Bush quite differently even though they have enacted the same policies.  Here’s an example blogged about at NoodleFood

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204731804574391183769432284.html

“This scant media attention is all the more incredible given that, as Americans United for Separation of Church and State has noted, Mr. Obama has left “the entire architecture of the Bush Faith-Based Initiative intact—every rule, every regulation, every executive order.” More controversially, the office has become a major hub of political outreach. In frequent conference calls, the administration informs faith-based leaders of its policy initiatives, as when it recently asked rabbis around the country to give sermons on health-care reform during the coming high holiday season. Representatives from politically important religious groups have been appointed to a 25-member religious advisory council. The office was also involved in drafting President Obama’s June speech delivered from Cairo calling for alliances with ­Muslims.”

“Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, was a vocal critic of Mr. Bush’s faith-based office. Now, under Mr. Obama, he serves on the advisory council’s task force to improve the functioning of the office. Explaining his turnaround, he said he doesn’t view Mr. Obama’s office as partisan—the way Mr. Bush’s was. But acknowledging that there was no substantive difference between the offices yet, Mr. Lynn said: “We have a guarded optimism that when the advisory council, Justice and the White House act and get down to the nitty gritty, they will make this a constitutionally protected program. However, we have no proof of that and no guarantee.”

Another example is how Obama has approved the sending of more troops to Afghanistan with little media condemnation.  And how Obama has been unable to close Guantanamo. 

I particularly like this line from Nancy Morgan (whom I do not always agree with) http://www.brookesnews.com/092109obamaracism_print.html

“Despite having elected a black president, the left would have us believe that the millions of whites who voted for Obama still hate black people”

As the Australian article notes, Limbaugh is claiming the reverse of Carter.  He is claiming racism against white people and is (IMO accurately) noting the damage that comes from political correctness. 
However I don’t really care all that much and I don’t see the need for the media focus on the race issue. 

Surely most people are smart enough to disregard race issues.  
I know that there are certainly many people that do exactly this, and ignore the collectivist fallacy of categorizing by race in politics.  In fact, it’s thinking in collectives that is the real problem and not recognising individual rights. 

But I guess this is yet another downside to popularity politics – where the state does not have its powers checked and where populism is everything.  Where’s the mainstream media article about that? – I’ve never seen one.   

Personally I think it’s telling if someone places too much importance on race.   I’m certainly sceptical of anyone to whom the issue of race preoccupies their simplistic political thinking.  At Obama’s election I did have friends telling me how cool it was to have a black president.  I think this is a stupid opinion.  I don’t care what colour he is and I don’t think the current generation has any responsibility for past racism.  Surely only a collectivist or someone who believes in the power of ancestors from the afterlife (supernaturalism) could possibly think differently.  Perhaps a subjectivist?   

Despite his accusations, Carter is of course the one playing the race card.  And IMO, he’s doing this in order to dismiss real world concerns such as this: 

http://ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=337909690110379

“Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.”

What’s that Carter?  These doctors are just racists?  Guess who I think is more respectable.  Valuable hard working docotrs, or the washed up Carter?   

IMO, the real interesting and concerning question is why is Carter getting media attention in the first place?  And why does the non-Fox network mainstream media refer to Carter in a positive light and Limbaugh (who is possibly just as stupid, I don’t know) in a negative light?





Ayn Rand on principles

15 09 2009

The quotes I have listed at the bottom of this post are ones that I currently agree with 100%. 
The way I explain the importance of principles in my own simplistic way goes something like this:  The human survives by use of his wits, by using knowledge of the external world to his benefit.  The way our minds operate is to compartmentalize knowledge into categories so that it can be used.  This includes concept formation and identification of principles and is necessary because we can only hold a certain amount of information in focus at any one time. 
Reality is reality and knowledge is knowledge – these categories exist only in our minds and in reality every object is actually slightly different to all other objects.  The categories themselves don’t exist in the external world.  eg/ redness itself is not a thing.  It’s our concept for the way we perceive light reflecting at about 400 nm.   Therefore there’s no reason to think that some of reality and some knowledge adheres to principles and some doesn’t because there’s no actual separations or compartments in reality.  All reality and therefore all knowledge of reality is inter-connected.  Most people believe principles are fine in the physical sciences (eg/ laws of physics), but not fine in the human sciences (eg/ the rejection of classical economics theory principles).  IMO, the burden of proof should be on those who imply that knowledge cannot adhere to theory or principles when we cross over to say ethics or politics.  Additionally it certainly seems contradictory to me to claim there are no principles because this statement itself is a principle – just an incorrect one. Read the rest of this entry »





The Religious Tendancies of the USA – Some Statistics

15 09 2009

Sometimes I get frustrated living in Australia, a country where the vast majority of people do not understand the importance of freedom to human life and prosperity.  The papers are full of idiocy – just today I read an illinformed opinion piece on why Australians should reintroduce national service in the army!  One of the arguments was that this would boost the economy – a fallacy that should by now have disappeared from the face of the earth.  Is understanding the basics of economics really that hard? 

Anyway, Australia’s not all that bad in comparison to other countries – in fact I think the fact that most countries around the world are in such a bad way freedom-wise, explains why it is very tough to convince Australians of the poison in government that needs dealing with.  Australians on average are also not all that bad in comparison to the USA especially in some respects.  In particular Australians on average are not as religious as Americans which is IMO a positive thing. 

Recently I learnt of two disturbing statistics indicating how religious many US citizens are:

Did you know?

1) “According to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution”.

OMFG!  I seriously hope that is not accurate.  It’s really hard for me not to think these people are morons.  Unbelievable.  – I cannot believe that number is accurate. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6173399/Charles-Darwin-film-too-controversial-for-religious-America.html 

And how about this:

2) About 70% of US men are circumcised and over half of new born babies are still circumcised. 

I thought circumcision was some sick and twisted ritual that orthodox Jews did like refusing to turn on light globes on the Sabbath or bleeding hoofed animals to death!  I had no idea that so many people still bothered with religiously motivated mutilation to the genitals in the 21st century.  Why diminish sexual pleasure for no good reason!  And why should parents be legally allowed to chop off a part of their helpless baby for no medical reason – especially the baby’s genitals – it’s weird and perverted – and the fundamental motivation is religion or the legacy of religioun ie: traditionalism or populism. 

http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/USA/ 

About 229 babies die a year from circumcision.  http://www.cirp.org/library/death/ 

Atheism rates:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism 

A 2004 BBC poll showed the number of people in the US who don’t believe in a god to be about 10%.[7] A 2005 Gallup poll showed that a smaller 5% of the US population believed that a god didn’t exist.[22] The 2001 ARIS report found that while 29.5 million U.S. Americans (14.1%) describe themselves as “without religion”, only 902,000 (0.4%) positively claim to be atheist, with another 991,000 (0.5%) professing agnosticism.[23] The most recent ARIS report, released March 9, 2009, found in 2008, 34.2 million Americans (15.0%) claim no religion. Of which, 1.6% explicitly describe themselves as atheist or agnostic, double the previous 2001 ARIS survey figure. The highest occurrence of “nones”, according to the 2008 ARIS report, reside in Vermont, with 34% surveyed

In the Australian 2006 Census of Population and Housing, in the question which asked What is the person’s religion?, 18.7% ticked the box marked no religion or wrote in a response which was classified as non religious (e.g. humanism, atheist), which is a growth of 3.2% since the 2001 Census. This question was optional and 11.2% did not answer the question.[41] There are often popular and successful campaigns to have people describe themselves as non-mainstream religions (eg. Jedi).[42]

In 2006, the New Zealand census asked, What is your religion?. 34.7% of those answering indicated no religion. 12.2% did not respond or objected to answering the question.[

Determining whether people totally reject the idea of the supernatural in their personal metaphysics is not easy and is often not evaluated by surveys.  Personally I know many people that reject religion but are still taken in by various supernatural ideas. 

Is it necessarily a good thing to have higher atheist rates?  Considering that many atheists would be existentialists, subjectivists, rationalists or sceptics?  and therefore at least partially opposed to the identification to objective principles especially in the realm of the human sciences such as economics, psychology and in epistemology and ethics. 

Yes I think it can only be good to have higher rates of atheism.  In my experience arguing with Christians, arguments for religion eventually boil down to “The bible says …….” ie: dogma.  And that is the destruction of the proper functioning of human thought.  That approach to epistemology is simply anti-human life even if it could be said to be principled in some (non-empirical) respect.





Glenn Beck: “American People Stood Up to Bring Down Van Jones”

14 09 2009

http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/beck_jones_obama_boycott/2009/09/06/256993.html?s=al&promo_code=8838-1

NB/ I do not endorse Newsmax publications even though they do some good work.  I do not agree with some of their positions and I think their approach is often counter productive to achieving capitalism. 

The article is interesting however because of it’s insight into Beck’s approach to political activism.  I don’t agree with Beck 100% either but I thought it was interesting that he believes he is a voice for the people – or at least a large number of people.  Beck has been very successful in terms of ratings of late and he seems to be doing something right. 

“The American people stood up and demanded answers,” Beck wrote in a statement. “Instead of providing them, the Administration had Jones resign under cover of darkness. I continue to be amazed by the power of everyday Americans to initiate change in our government through honest questioning, and judging by the other radicals in the administration, I expect that questioning to continue for the foreseeable future.”

Jones resigned late Saturday following mounting criticism over his past statements and associations. The tipping point came when it was discovered that he signed a petition in 2004 supporting the “9/11 truther” movement, which believes the Bush administration may have been complicit in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

“Much of the credit for Jones resigning should go to Fox’s Glenn Beck, who as HuffPo’s Ryan Grim notes, has his “first scalp,” Politico reported Sunday.

Even before the attempted boycott, Beck mentioned Jones twice on his radio show and twice on television. The boycott started after Beck called Obama “a racist” on Fox & Friends, but the comment occurred in the context of the racial controversy surrounding the arrest of Obama friend Henry Louis Gates by a white Cambridge police officer.

Beck mentioned Jones on 14 episodes, according to the Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel, while also railing against him on “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Beck also succeeded in keeping the national debate focused on the far left tendencies embodied in many of Obama’s policies and nominees, Politico pointed out. Now Obama is going into a key health reform speech before Congress on Wednesday with the taint of the Van Jones scandal marring his agenda.