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Category: Election 2008 (Page 1 of 2)

Congress Observing “Going Galt”

On The Hill’s blog, Rep. John Campbell discusses the newly popular term “going Galt.”  I responded in comments:

“Let’s hope I am wrong, and let’s hope President Obama has a change of heart.”

This vain hope reminds me of the begging that had been done to George III to defend Americans from Parliament’s intolerable acts.  Eventually, the colonial American legislators recognized the futility of appealing to paternalism and commenced to legislate in defense of individual rights.  How the quality of our legislators has degenerated!

Regarding the references to Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, Galt’s strike was not political but moral.  Consider his oath, “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”  The productive joined Galt’s strike after they understood and rejected the morality of altruism; in striking, the producer denied that other men held a claim upon their life based upon the needs of others.

Our past election continued the rhetorical Orgy of Sacrifice, which characterized the Bush Administration.  Fundamentally, that election was a choice between a candidate that said that individuals should be immediately forced to sacrifice to others (Obama), and another that said that such force should only be used after individuals failed to volunteer themselves for sacrifice (McCain).  As elections have consequences, it should be no surprise that our new President and Congress have accelerated the rate of compelled sacrifice as chosen by the electorate.

During the election, then-Senator Obama made the moral choice clear when he ridiculed the virtue of selfishness, the title of Ayn Rand’s text on ethics.  Now, individuals are choosing to act morally, to act in their own rational self-interest, and rejecting the moral code that claims that they should be sacrificed to the needs of others.

What is a modern legislator to do, when individual citizens refuse to be sacrificed to their fellows as mandated by law?  To paraphrase Ellis Wyatt, another character from Atlas Shrugged, get the hell out of our way!  To put it less colorfully, in order to save our lives and our republic, the Congress must begin by undoing what it has previously done in violation of our individual rights.

Given so many past legislative sins, where to begin?  Instead of focusing on targeted tax cuts to empower governmental manipulation of individual’s choices, Congress should systematically repeal previous regulations, such as the dangerously ineffective Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Community Reinvestment Act.  Further, Congress should extend legal protections against executive power overreach by replacing the overly deferential Chevon standard (arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to statute) with a statutory right to substantive due process in the judicial review of agency actions.

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Not An Emergency, but A Suicide Attempt

Are our current economic problems an emergency?  Politicians in both parties have said so and claimed that we have to abandon principles, act for the sake of action, and when those actions fail we must blindly act again.

In “The Ethics of Emergencies” [Virtue of Selfishness, p. 47], Ayn Rand wrote:

An emergency is an unchosen, unexpected event, limited in time, that creates conditions under which human survival is impossible—such as a flood, an earthquake, a fire, a shipwreck.  In an emergency situation, men’s primary goal is to combat the disaster, escape the danger and restore normal conditions (to reach dry land, to put out the fire, etc.)…The principle that one should help men in an emergency cannot be extended to regard all human suffering as an emergency and to turn the misfortune of some into a first mortgage on the lives of others.

How does this relate to the current situation perplexing our befuddled President Obama?

First, this situation was chosen.  For decades, our government has pursued policies using force in an effort to make contradictions facts.  Through careful deliberation by legislators, planning by the executive, and the participation of the electorate, we chose to create this problem.  Sarbanes-Oxley, the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac…by our choices, we chose our consequences.

Second, this situation was expected.  Attempts by government to use force to violate fundamental contract rights have certain consequences.  History has demonstrated this fact.  It is not a question of if but when they will be felt.  The consequences of our policies were identified by Aristotle millennia ago…didn’t you get the memo on political degeneration?  Fools may claim that they did not know, but evasion does not mitigate their crime.

Third, this situation is not a function of time.  True, it will end in some fashion, at some point, but it will do so as a consequence of our choices.  Having failed to properly identify government’s role in causing this problem, our politicians proscribe poison as a cure.  Continued evasion of facts will extend the duration and escalate the intensity of our previous mistaken choices’ consequences .

Fourth, in misidentifying our present circumstance as an emergency, our politicians have hijacked what would be a reasonable response to an emergency and misdirected it towards an illegitimate political end.  We have a bipartisan consensus that force by government is a practical way to achieve altruistic moral ends, subordinating the individual to the needs of others.

This orgy of sacrifice characterized the Bush Administration’s rhetoric.  Our last election was a choice between a candidate that said that individuals should be immediately forced to sacrifice to others (Obama), and another that said that such force should only be used after individuals failed to volunteer themselves for sacrifice (McCain).  As elections have consequences, it should be no surprise that our President and Congress have accelerated the rate of compelled sacrifice as chosen by the electorate.

Fifth, as this situation continues to degenerate in response to ill-conceived government interventions, we risk creating a condition in which human survival is impossible, a political cannibalism of the weak feasting on the strong.  This gets to the heart of naming the nature of our current economic problems; we are not experiencing an emergency but instead a suicide attempt.

Contrary to the protestations of our pragmatic leaders, now is precisely the time that we need to act according to principle.  In directing government action, this means refocusing on the fundamental question posed by Socrates, “What is Justice?”  In the political context, the answer is the protection of individual rights.  In order to save our lives and our republic, the Congress must begin by undoing what it has previously done in violation of that principle.

Update 3/14/2009:  Dr. Hurd has an excellent post on our current problems.  He writes in part:

Human beings possess free will, and there’s nothing inevitable about decline or disaster. The only inevitability is that stupid and wrong ideas–consistently practiced–will always lead to decline and disaster. That, in fact, is what is reaching its climax today, right before our very eyes, with stunning clarity. Reality is crashing down upon us, for all the reasons it must have–for reasons only a few of us dare (as of yet) name aloud. But people can correct and change wrong ideas.

Update 3/17/2009:  I have converted this post into a YouTube video:


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Holding Clinton Hostage to Iran Policy Details

I sent the following to my one Senator (Webb) who is open for business and is not so busy pinching himself over his electoral landslide that he is unprepared to do is new job (Warner):

During the confirmation process of Secretary State designate Clinton, I expect that you will press her for policy details on President-elect’s recent statements regarding Iran.

How is this ‘new approach’ any different from the failed rapprochement policy of the Clinton Administration? Or the Reagan Administration?

What happens when this retread policy fails yet again?

Is the new Administration ignoring the lessons of the failings of prior Administrations?

After about 30 years of bipartisan policy failures, Iran has become a growing threat to our vital national interests. The Bush Administration came into office without a strategy towards Iran and essentially leaves office without such a strategy. Virginia can not afford for our Senators to be asleep at the switch on this issue; the incoming Administration has some explaining to do and now is the time for it to do so.

Frankly, confirmation on this Secretary of State nominee should be held until the Senate receives a substantial Iran policy from the incoming Administration.

Update 1/13/2009: The New York Times published questions that experts thought should be asked of Secretary of State designate Clinton. The following were the questions related to Iran:

Michael Sandel, a professor of government at Harvard: “In the Middle East, we see a paradox: Countries with pro-American governments like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have populations with high levels of anti-American sentiment. Meanwhile in Iran, whose government is hostile to the United States, public opinion of America is more favorable. How do you explain this, and what can we learn from it? Should the United States disentangle itself from autocratic regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt?”

Walter Russell Mead, the author of “God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World” and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations: “Which is worse for the United States, an Iran with nuclear weapons or a military confrontation between the United States and Iran?”

Lee Hamilton, vice chairman of the 9/11 commission and president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: “Negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program, Iran’s nuclear program and Arab-Israeli peace are at a standstill. How will you revitalize these negotiations and what are your immediate priorities in these areas?”

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Newt Gingrich’s Contract with God

Shortly after the election, I remember some comments about hope for a new Contract with America type effort as a backlash against an overreaching Democratic Congress.

However, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has made clear what an updated Contract with America would look like; as published in his 2005 book, Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America.

One of his core proposals is re-establishing “the centrality of our creator in defining America.” This is to be accomplished by compelling the judiciary to reinterpret the Establishment Clause to allow for the integration of God into public venues, especially the schools. His book includes a chapter on this point arguing based upon an original intent analysis.

Gingrich has been forming a grassroots political organization ’American Solutions’ for the implementation of new contract agenda. “The Drill Here Drill Now” mantra from the last election was one of their productions. On the group’s website, central within the issue forums for policy brainstorming is an area entitled “Religion & Public Life.”

One of Gingrich’s recent public campaigns has been for the integration of religion into the new Capitol Visitor’s Center. Posted days after the Republican electoral defeat, a recent video featuring Gingrich and his wife promotes the issue, a petition drive, and a companion movie “Rediscovering God in America.”


Reviewing this post, without other context, I see that it is written so factually that it may not be evident that I damn Gingrich and his supporters for this corruption.

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Post-election Comments

I have made my first post election YouTube video addressing my failed prediction from nine months ago that McCain would win based upon historical trends in presidential elections.


** Draft Video Script **

No vids posted since the election. Does that mean I’m ashamed because McCain failed to perform as I predicted? No, it is because I have a life, driving Ms. Daisy. Some points about the election:

1) To all those commentators playing reporter, I know Obama won. There are these new fangled inventions like the internet, television, radio, newspapers, and smoke signals from countries around the world blowing up. I got the message.

2) To all those commentators that say that I should satisfy certain homo-erotic fantasies that Obama has about me, I don’t think so. Despite her ideas, I think that Obama really loves his wife; so, he ain’t looking for anything on the down low from me. You on the other hand just need to understand that I am not interested in you and that you will need to find your special fella somewhere else.

3) For those that say I don’t know what I am talking about, I observed that media accounts often followed my vids with professional pollsters and university professors echoing my analysis. On my point regarding historic trends, this analysis was echoed by a Yale professor, except that my analysis was more substantial in linking events to the consequences of ideas instead of his shallow reference to maladministration.

4) Did I have any ulterior motivations? I confess that the shallowness of this election so bored me that I bet on the outcome just to manufacture artificial interest in the contest. So, I had to cook dinner…enchiladas….it was a big hit; she encouraged me to make more outlandish predictions, so that I would have to make dinner again.

5) While I would have predicted McCain’s win just to piss everybody off that was so freaking afraid that Obama would lose, I honestly was just playing the percentages by following the historical trend. In retrospect, this was hope on my part that the evil ideas Obama represents had not become ascendant. However, I did explicitly state those opposing ideas in my March vid “Election was Always McCain-Obama, But McCain will Win,” so my head wasn’t in the sand; I just hoped Americans had not sunk so low.

6) What is the worst thing that I said about Obama, that people objected to? I said he would lose. I did not even say that I wanted him to lose.

However, when I compared him to Richard Pryor’s character in The Wiz and Marion Barry, there was not a peep of protest [see my February vid “The Wiz – A Refutation of 70s Black Archetypes“]. Probably went over the simpletons’ heads so let me restate in summary:

Barack Obama is playing the role of The Wiz, as his voters believe that, by following the yellow brick road to the Obama, they will be able to get their brain, or heart, or courage, or gasoline, or mortgage paid by him simply gifting it to them. The Wiz represents the politicians who deliver empty rhetoric instead of Justice.

7) Conversation from after the election, with a high school senior, who had become interested in following the news recently:

“Are you happy that Obama won?”
“No, I’m happy that McCain lost.”
“Everyone at my school is for Obama?”
“Do you know that Obama has a plan for mandatory unpaid community service. High School students will be required to work unpaid for 50 hours at a school approved job or not get their diploma. College students will have to do 100 hours.”
“I didn’t know that. That totally sucks. With school, work, and dance, I don’t have time for that. Mandatory, unpaid, WTF?”

Note: Dance is her vocation, not her hobby; will Obama compel her to eschew it to salve the soars of the unworthy? If you voted for Obama, that is what you supported? Don’t tell me that you didn’t know! You did not want to know.

Perhaps Obama is unaware of the 13th Amendment (an idea rejected by Democrats) and that mandatory community service is a punishment for a crime. At least, he has not followed the Oklahoman theory by proposing compelling parents of public school students to perform mandatory community service….yet.

8) I haven’t finished thinking through the implications of this election.

I suspect that other than an empty suit that the Presidency is for the moment vacant. The House is ascendant and will set not only domestic but also foreign policy. It will be as it was between Obama and Congress during the bailout proposal with Obama following orders and playing the role of congressional press secretary. Can the design of that wise constitutional architect John Adams protect us? In the long term perhaps, but only if we merit it.

At this point the election looks to have been about a single issue: SACRIFICE; as directed by the Bush precedent. Obama said that sacrifice must be compelled because it would not be offered freely. McCain said that sacrifice should be voluntary, but compelled if not given freely. America selected the most consistently evil candidate instead of the arbitrarily evil candidate; not a wholly irrational choice. No candidate offered an integrated moral political program appealing to Justice and Freedom as is consistent with man’s properly selfish nature. The ideas creating this calamity is a combination of subjectivism and altruism transmitted through the public schools in a recursive cycle of decay until the ignorance and incompetence of the electorate has reached this point. Note, this last point is not a criticism of Obama exclusively, as it apply equally to McCain, but most importantly to the people that made this ridiculous choice possible.

9) I have started blogging again. Ten entries in the last week; mainly focused on YouTube videos. Follow the link on the side. Subscribe to my RSS feed to receive more.

10) And finally, look out because I need to get my Obama bashing out of my system before Inauguration Day, when I feel compelled to respect the office, so be on the look out for upcoming vids about that international superstar Barack ‘THE WIZ’ Obama. If you thought I pissed you off before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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Barack ‘The Wiz’ Obama

Last February, I posted a YouTube video on one of my favorite movies ‘The Wiz.’

I described how the movie refuted black archetypes from the 70s by rejecting collectivism and advocating individualism.

The Crows represented the Gang, the chorus collective, that enforce group identity.

The Scarecrow represented the Bookworm, the intellectual, who transforms from repeating others’ ideas to interacting with reality and developing his own thoughts.

The Tinman represents the Hustler, who wastes away in the pursuit of false and ephemeral values, but revitalizes once he develops the heart (or I would say head) to truly value.

The Lion represents the Militant, who is hard and brash on the outside but without substance and courage on the inside; through the discovery of his values he learns to act virtuously and with courage.

The Wiz represents the politicians who deliver empty rhetoric instead of the results of Justice.

Dorothy, the teacher, acts as a catalyst to move characters from stereotypes to viable individuals. She represents the promise of education to advance individuals beyond the circumstances of the 70s ghettos and housing projects.


In this video, I make reference to the parallel between Obama and The Wiz. The campaign and his election has only reinforced that link in my mind as his voters believe that if they will follow the yellow brick road to the Obama that they will be able to get their brain, or heart, or courage, or gasoline, or mortgage paid.

For that reason, I rename our president-elect Barack ‘The Wiz’ Obama; the panacea in which his true believers see the fulfillment of their whims by his simply gifting it to them.

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Newt the Superficial Apologist

Speaking at AEI prior to the election, Newt Gingrich stated that the election was about performance and not ideology. As Gingrich remains influential in American politics based upon his past electoral success, his comments merit consideration, and rejection.


Characterizing the past election as about the failure of Republican performance in office misses a more fundamental point about why Republican performance fails and why the “Drill…” slogan struck a cord with the electorate.

“Drill Now…” is a concrete appeal to rational self-interest, SELFISHNESS; which is a fundamentally moral stand.

Our unpopular President consistently appealed to sacrifice, the destruction of a greater value to achieve a lesser value; which is evil.

Following Bush’s led, the 2008 election was about sacrifice. Obama said that sacrifice should be compelled as it will not be made voluntarily. McCain said that sacrifice should be voluntary, unless it isn’t freely given, and then it should be compelled.

The American people selected a man who would be consistently immoral and rejected the one who would be arbitrarily immoral. Why? No candidate offered an integrated moral political program appealing to Justice and Freedom as is consistent with man’s properly selfish nature.

Performance is a consequence of ideas and Republican failure is a consequence of contradicting ideas. Until Republicans reject sacrifice as a moral ideal and a mode of politics, they will become an persistent and ineffective minority again.

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Historically, What Does Obama Victory Mean?

ADMIN NOTE: I’m back. All pending comments have been processed, including deletion of the spam. My apologies to those who had their comments in approval limbo.

Having neglected blogging and the written word, I have spent time making videos on You Tube.

Posted before the election, my most popular recent vid discussed the historical trends in party dominance of presidential elections and the import of an Obama victory. After this was posted, I read that a Yale professor was making a similar argument except he emphasized maladministration and not the role of ideas in driving historical events as I had.

For your intellectual consideration and enjoyment, my pre-election video “What if Obama Wins?”


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Example of Republican Legislative Incompetence

Rep. Thad McCotter has produced a video message promoting the American Solutions petition to drill for more American oil. The congressman notes that he has joined with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to sign this petition.


This message is an abomination. Rep. McCotter has access to put a bill in the hopper. He shouldn’t be signing and promoting electioneering petitions. Instead his bill (H.RES.419) is for a National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

A competent congressman would be promoting a bill to remove legislative restrains on Americans’ freedom to engage in trade that he or she had sponsored, and championing a discharge petition.

I hope that Rep. McCotter fails to win re-election based upon incompetence. Such stupidity is why the Republicans lost control of Congress. This do-nothing is the chair of the House Republican Policy Committee.

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Reverse Non-Objective Statutes! Produce More! Pay Less!

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich through American Solutions has been promoting a citizen petition to the Congress calling for an energy policy of “Drill Here! Drill Now! Pay Less!”

The petition states:

“We, therefore, the undersigned citizens of the United States, petition the U.S. Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices (and diesel and other fuel prices) by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries.”


While good electioneering, this program is bad policy, focusing upon a single out of context concrete.

As directed by the electorate, the Congress has abused its regulation of commerce to act in restraint of free trade between Americans.

Even if the specific concretes of this campaign were resolved, there are a myriad of non-objective statutes imposed upon American citizens that create an untenable compliance cost, which drives business, including energy, overseas or into non-existence.

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