Archive | June, 2012

Professor John Allison will Become Cato Institute’s New CEO

Looks like Objectivist Professor John Allison will be the new CEO of the Cato Institute:

[CATO Media Press Release] The Cato Institute and its shareholders have reached an agreement in principle that would resolve pending lawsuits filed by Charles Koch and David Koch against Cato, its CEO, and several of its directors.

Under terms of the agreement, Cato will no longer be a stockholder corporation and John Allison (the former CEO of BB&T) will be replacing Ed Crane, who will be retiring as Cato’s CEO. That represents a compromise by which both sides will achieve key objectives. For a majority of Cato’s directors, the agreement confirms Cato’s independence and ensures that Cato is not viewed as controlled by the Kochs. For Charles Koch and David Koch, the agreement helps ensure that Cato will be a principled organization that is effective in advancing a free society.

Earlier this year, Charles Koch and David Koch filed two separate lawsuits seeking interpretation and enforcement of Cato’s shareholders’ agreement. Prior to October 2011, Cato was owned by four shareholders — Crane, Charles Koch, David Koch, and William Niskanen. After Niskanen’s death in October 2011, the Kochs maintained that the shareholders’ agreement left Cato with three remaining shareholders (the Kochs and Crane). Crane and Niskanen’s widow, Kathryn Washburn, challenged the shareholders’ agreement and maintained that Ms. Washburn was the rightful owner of Niskanen’s shares.

The parties will seek a stay of the court proceedings related to that dispute after formal settlement documents have been prepared and signed. Terms of the settlement include:

  • The Cato Institute will be governed by members rather than shareholders. The members will be the directors of the Institute and will elect their own successors. Initially, the Board will include 12 long-term Cato directors, including David Koch. They will be joined by three other Koch designees and Allison, who has the option to nominate one or two additional directors. Charles Koch, Crane, and Washburn will not be on the Board.
  • Crane, who co-founded the Institute with Charles Koch and served as its CEO for 35 years, will retire within six months. He will be succeeded by Allison, an expert on political philosophy and public policy and a revered libertarian, admired and respected by the Kochs and the Cato Board.
  • Crane will work with Allison during the transition period and then serve as a consultant on fundraising and other matters.

On announcing the agreement in principle, Cato chairman Bob Levy said: “This is the end of an era at Cato. From the Institute’s inception, Ed Crane has played an indispensable role — co-founding, managing and shaping it into one of the nation’s leading research organizations.”

Crane extended his gratitude to Cato’s employees, directors, and donors for their ongoing support. He welcomed Allison, whom he described as “a great champion of liberty and an outstanding choice to build on Cato’s success as the foremost non-partisan, non-aligned, independent source of libertarian perspectives on public policy.”

Allison said he was “happy to assist in resolving the pending litigation and related issues,” and affirmed that his goal is “to sustain Cato’s efforts at moving the country toward a freer and more prosperous society.”

Charles Koch applauded the agreement. “I have every confidence that John’s leadership will enable Cato to reach new levels of effectiveness. The alarming increase in the size and scope of government is undermining freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all. Effective action is required to limit government to its proper role.”

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Another Panel from Bosch Fawstin’s Graphic Novel: Infidel #2

THE INFIDEL, a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

Bosch was kind enough to let us publish online another panel from issue #2 which gives you a feel for Bosch’s style.

Bosch Fawstin is not only a great illustrator — he is an even better story teller. If you like Frank Miller’s original Dark Knight books you will love Fawstin’s THE INFIDEL.

Visit his website to order it online for only$3.

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Panel from Bosch Fawstin’s Graphic Novel: Infidel #2

THE INFIDEL, a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

Bosch was kind enough to let us publish online a panel from issue #2 which gives you a feel for Bosch’s style.

Bosch Fawstin is not only a great illustrator — he is an even better story teller. If you like Frank Miller’s original Dark Knight books you will love Fawstin’s THE INFIDEL.

Visit his website to order it online for only$3.

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Lawless Contempt

I left this comment on a Sultan Knish column on Obama’s lawlessness (24 June 2012):

“Lawlessness” is also the Attorney General, an officer of the law, ignoring a Congressional subpoena to hand over all documents that contain evidence of his and the government’s lawlessness, i.e., of having forced gun shop owners to sell guns to agents of lawless drug cartels, with the aim of arming killers with American made guns, so that an excuse can be made to outlaw American ownership of guns and nullify the Second Amendment. This “lawlessness” is compounded by the Attorney General lying to Congress about the date of inception and purpose of the program. The “lawlessness” is further compounded by the President invoking executive privilege in support of the Attorney General’s lawless behavior, with full knowledge of the lawless means and ends of Fast and Furious and the damning evidence contained in the hidden documents, by telling Congress and the electorate to go suck an egg. After all, the public hasn’t a right to know. It’s there somewhere in the Constitution, claims a President who once taught Constitutional law. Never mind that contempt of Congress is also contempt for the people. The contempt has been old news since 2008.

In the meantime, the mainstream media is crowing that the President is handling his lawlessness with admirable aplomb, that the Attorney General is being persecuted by the non-mainstream media exercising its freedom of speech, and that the whole issue is merely a Republican conspiracy to make the President and Attorney General look bad and lawless. The mainstream media, as Daniel notes, has for a long, long time idolized Robin Hood – a.k.a., the compulsory welfare state – and with equal aplomb disregards the guilt of the actors, and wishes to acquit the guilty because they “meant well.”
Rush Limbaugh has the best explanation of Fast and Furious. Limbaugh will be ignored, however, because he has told the truth about the lawlessness of Obama and his whole cabinet and gaggle of appointees and czars. Obama, the Attorney General, and their courtiers, together with the mainstream media, hope someday to silence people like Limbaugh because his brand of truth-telling is obviously (their emotions tell them so) hurtful, bigoted, and callous. There ought to be a law against such defamatory speech.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/06/22/wide_receiver_vs_fast_and_furious

Gilbert and Sullivan, Mozart, and Puccini couldn’t have contrived a more convoluted plot if they had put their heads together and composed an opera with a generous grants from the National Endowments of the Arts and the Humanities, which are also lawless entities spending taxpayer money for the “public good.”

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Food Nazis: Whose life is it anyway?

Spiked has two interesting articles on eating. One is about the “war against obesity” (newly declared) because fat people, it is alleged, are a drag on the environment and on society.  Body-mass challenged people ought to be compelled to consume less and register at the local gym to work off all their ripples and redundant pounds. Frank Furedi makes short shrift of this policy, which the health Nazis in the U.S. arduously campaign to have implemented, as well, starting with Big Gulps and banana-split milkshakes, among other enjoyables.

The overbearing omniscience of obesity objectors.

http://www.spiked-online.com/site/earticle/12558/

Barbara Hewson, in the meantime, asks the question: If a person wants to die, why would the state be so interested in keeping her alive, and be willing to spend a small fortune of taxpayer money to attempt it? Suppose she signed the necessary paperwork in the way of medical directives that would allow her to die on her own terms? Suppose the state overrode her intentions and prescribed a regimen that would kill her in the end? What purpose would be served?  Whose life is it anyway? Has the state first dibs on your existence? Hewson doesn’t answer these questions, but comes close to it.

http://www.spiked-online.com/site/earticle/12559/

Very interesting reads.

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Ralston: The ‘1 percent’ really to be feared

Richard Ralston: The ‘1 percent’ really to be feared | care, medical, percent

There is a great threat to medical care in America from a small group of our fellow citizens. They are not the top 1 percent of the wealthy, but a group of elitists and their allies who see government power as the means to determine what every American is allowed to earn and keep. Control over medical care is central to their objective of imposing control over every detail of our lives.

The 1 percent of Americans who really threaten our freedom in medical care and everything else is a small and relentless cadre. They follow ancient precedent; Plato thought that “philosopher kings” should rule us (the New York Times agrees).

They subsequently have taken the form of Inquisition interrogators, witch hunters, Leninist enforcers of the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” fascist followers of “the leadership principle,” and the modern and most-hideous manifestation: intellectuals. The latter range from moral exhibitionists in Hollywood to the political-correctness police teaching in universities.

By contrast, the top 1 percent of wealthy Americans pay at least one-third of the income taxes – far more than their “fair share” by anyone’s standards except those pursuing power over others. The wealthy spend their after-tax wealth on what they buy from the rest of us, or they invest it. That is far more beneficial to the economy than what the government would do with the money.

Read the rest at the The Orange County Register.

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Public Schooling Will Ruin Your Children’s Lives

My Word: Jack Chambless Is it time to think about home schooling your child?

Drawing from a sample size this large multiplied by two decades multiplied by hundreds of thousands of test answers has put me in a good position to offer the following advice to any reader of this paper with children in Florida’s K-12 public schools.

Get them out now before you ruin their life.

While this may seem to be a bit harsh, let’s look at the facts.

First, my best students every year are in order — Chinese, Eastern European, Indian and home-schooled Americans, and it is not even close when comparing this group to American public-school kids.

Since it is highly unlikely that any of you plan to move to Beijing, Warsaw or Bangalore, you might want to look at the facts concerning public vs. home-schooled American students.

Read the rest at the Orlando Sentinel

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Professor fired after expressing climate change skepticism

Professor fired after expressing climate change skepticism | Fox News

After Drapela was fired, Dr. Gordon Fulks, another anthropogenic global warming critic, began circulating a letter in defense of Drapela. To Fulks, it seemed obvious that Drapela’s global warming skepticism was the reason behind his firing.

“We can only speculate as to how the decision to fire Drapela was made,” Fulks wrote, adding, “I would suspect that Dr. Phil Mote (Director of their Climate Change Research Institute) had a hand in the decision, because he has previously been highly intolerant of those who oppose his ideas and could potentially threaten his business empire.”

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Salsman: Fiscal Austerity And Rational Morality

Writes Richard Salsman on Fiscal Austerity And Rational Morality in Forbes:

[...] To produce income for oneself and one’s family, to  plan ahead and budget, to borrow only when it makes sense to do so (but not in order to consume beyond one’s current or near-future means), and to save some income, are all acts that are rational, selfish, and thus moral. None of them is an ascetic act of self-sacrifice performed from duty or a hatred for one’s life, self, health or wealth. The result of producing, saving, and investing is not the miser’s life nor the cartoonish life of Mr. Scrooge but the life of earned success, supreme comfort, and guilt-free happiness. “Austerity” seems much too harsh a name for this kind of wonderful life.

To live this way used to be called “economizing.” It was the life of the virtuous – and prosperous. Yet most economists today, Keynesians as they are, deride economizing. Saving, they insist, constitutes a “leakage” from the “spending stream;” saving allegedly drains an economy of its lifeblood, of that unaffordable gusher known as “consumer spending.” Consume! is their sole advise to all who will listen, consume early and often, consume on credit, if necessary, and “shop ‘til you drop,” then pick yourself up and shop yet again. Somehow, all of this will revive a weak economy. If it’s weak, we’re told, it’s because there’s “insufficient demand,” insufficient consuming, too little senseless shopping. Households, businesses and governments alike should spend more, say these anti-economizing economists, not save more; they should spend beyond their means, and somehow that will create the means. If all must borrow to spend beyond their means, then banks must lend more; if they don’t, they must be “induced” to lend more; if needed, they must be forced.

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Why The Left Lies About Ayn Rand

From Did Ayn Rand Eat Babies For Breakfast?:

According to Mahatma Gandhi, revolutionaries are first ignored, then laughed at, then attacked—and then they win. Reading George Monbiot’s piece on Ayn Rand, “How AynRand became the new right’s version of Marx” (The Guardian), has made me think that Gandhi could have included an intermediary step between laughter and attack: a step where the adversaries are no longer able to laugh, yet still lack the arguments necessary to launch an attack, thus do what they can to smear.

Monbiot makes his intention clear: He claims that Ayn Rand thought that empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive, that the poor deserve to die, and that those who seek to help them should be gassed. These are lies, and Monbiot knows it.

In spite of the lies, I do have a shred of sympathy for Monbiot – for what else could he say? It becomes clearer every day that Ayn Rand’s prophecy in Atlas Shrugged was spot on. Although the railroad industry in Rand’s novel has been replaced by a financial market, the same plot is played out: a mixed economy collapses and capitalism gets the blame.

[...] Ayn Rand is capitalism’s Karl Marx. Rand is an influential philosopher and iconoclast, and her alternative to Marx’ theory of exploitation is a theory that the wealth we all benefit from – from computers and airplanes to medicines and books – is fundamentally the result of entrepreneurs’ ability to innovate. Entrepreneurs and capitalists are heroes, not villains – and in Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand explains why.

Read the rest at Forbes.

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Bosch Fawstin Releases Infidel#2

It’s been a long wait, but Bosch Fawstin’s The INFIDEL #2 is out — and it is full of surprises.

THE INFIDEL, a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

Bosch Fawstin is not only a great illustrator — he is an even better story teller. If you like Frank Miller’s original Dark Knight books you will love Fawstin’s THE INFIDEL.

Visit this page to order it online for only$3.

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