“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” ― James Madison, Federalist Papers
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
“Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
The dirty open secret is that a certain category of public figures has been routinely mocked, savaged and reviled for being partners in interracial marriages or part of loving interracial families (for a refresher, see the video clip of MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and friends cackling at the holiday photo of Mitt Romney holding his black adopted grandson in his lap).
And the dirty double standard is that selectively compassionate journalists and pundits have routinely looked the other way — or participate directly in heaping on the hate.
Have you forgotten? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was excoriated by black liberals for being married to wife Virginia, who happens to be white. The critics weren’t anonymous trolls on the Internet. They worked for major media outlets and institutions of higher learning. USA Today columnist Barbara Reynolds slammed Thomas and his wife for their colorblind union: “It may sound bigoted; well, this is a bigoted world and why can’t black people be allowed a little Archie Bunker mentality? … Here’s a man who’s going to decide crucial issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already said if he can’t paint himself white he’ll think white and marry a white woman.”
Howard University’s Afro-American Studies Chair Russell Adams accused Thomas of racism against all blacks for falling in love with someone outside his race. “His marrying a white woman is a sign of his rejection of the black community,” Adams told The Washington Post. “Great justices have had community roots that served as a basis for understanding the Constitution. Clarence’s lack of a sense of community makes his nomination troubling.”
California state Senate Democrat Diane Watson taunted former University of California regent Ward Connerly after a public hearing, spitting: “He’s married a white woman. He wants to be white. He wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn’t want to be black.”
So much for Martin Luther King’s Dream of a “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
A study just published in the prestigious journal Science reveals that new Medicaid patients in Oregon were 40% more likely to use the emergency room than the uninsured were. This finding is not a surprise to me or most physicians — we have known that truth for years.
But it does undermine one of the basic philosophical and practical underpinnings of Obamacare: the notion that expanding insurance will invariably unclog ERs, improve primary and preventive care, prevent diseases and lower costs.
The study underlines the findings of a prior survey by the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm that indicated that Medicaid patients are 35% more likely to use the ER unnecessarily than are the uninsured.
The reason for ER overuse is simple: Medicaid patients (like all insured patients) feel that their insurance card entitles them to health care anytime they want it. When office doctors aren’t available to provide it, they go to the hospital to get it.
Black History month is intended to counteract the historical bias against blacks. The Tulane University Black History Month Web site reads, “Obviously, a White History Month is not needed because the contributions of whites are already acknowledged by society. Black History Month is meant to remedy this inequity of representation.” According to Jacquelyn West-Ford, Drexel’s senior associate dean of students, “Black History Month is simply a time to bring attention to the achievements that black Americans have made to education and society.”
But Black History Month is not meant to remedy inequity of recognition as such — merely inequity of recognition for those who are black. The holiday discriminates against other unrecognized achievers — as if black achievers were the only ones who have been treated unfairly by history. If remedying inequity of recognition were the true purpose of the holiday, it would be called “Month of Unrecognized Achievers.” It would celebrate people like Nikola Tesla, the father of modern electricity, and not just people like Martin Luther King Jr., whose achievements are already more widely recognized than Tesla’s.
Amazon reacted with satisfaction. Mary Osako, an Amazon spokesperson, said, “With today’s vote against third-party representation, our employees have made it clear that they prefer a direct connection with Amazon. This direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the wants and needs of our employees. Amazon’s culture and business model are based on rapid innovation, flexibility, and open lines of direct communication between managers and associates.”
Private sector union representation has dropped precipitously in the United States, and now stands at just 6.6 percent.
Amazon has consistently argued against any sort of union representation for employees.
“We respect the individual rights of our associates and have an open-door policy that allows and encourages associates to bring their comments, questions and concerns directly to their management teams,” said Mary Osako, an Amazon spokeswoman, in an emailed statement.
“We firmly believe this direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the needs of our workforce and do not believe there is a need for third-party representation.”
[…] Ayn Rand removes your insecurity about whether your choices are right and unavoidable or just random and fickle. She provides a philosophical foundation for what most other commentators only present as a utilitarian argument — individualism and capitalism simply work better than collectivism and socialism. Very few advance the moral argument, but that is ultimately the real argument.
That is a very important distinction that has profound consequences. And that begins to reach out for an explanation of The Big Disconnect — why is it that in spite of socialism failing so completely again and again, why is it that in spite of capitalism and freedom improving people’s lives and creating wealth and welfare wherever it is applied, even with that knowledge and experience — we have to fight new attacks on freedom, year after year, decade after decade? The attacks come in different disguises, but always with a moral root — capitalism is evil, it is destructive, it is egoistic, it is anti-nature. We ourselves, on the other hand, fail to advance the moral argument, but the opponents of capitalism always sell their rotten philosophical goods by claiming a higher moral ground, altruism and the need for control of human freedom to protect man against himself by handing over responsibility to collectivists and anti-individualist leaders who know so much better than the rest of us. With enough moral high ground claimed, there is no need for any clear explanation as to why or how they would know better and there is no questioning of why the leadership should necessarily fall to them.
This is an ancient problem and has recurred in different ways throughout the centuries. Right now, we are seeing a solid revival, a significant pushback against all the advances that were made when the Iron Curtain came down and the despotic leaders of the Soviet Union and their satellites were overturned. Some of us foolishly though that this was the final victory for capitalism and freedom and that surely the world would move quickly in a better direction, while the remaining dictatorships would collapse before too long.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Republicans to stop reading Ayn Rand books and help Democrats pass legislation aimed to give struggling Americans a hand.
“I say to my conservative friends, put down those Ayn Rand books for a minute and take a look at the real world,” Durbin said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “If we can’t stand behind those who are struggling in life, who are we; what are we?”
Egalitarianism is not the (proper) advocacy of “equality” of rights. It is true that everyone has the same rights, whether a government recognizes them or not, because those rights are based on the nature of man. The same, one standard applies to every human being. What the egalitarians demand is not equality of rights but equality of condition. No one, they say, should be better off than another.
On “equality of opportunity”:
It is pointless to try to distinguish inequality of outcomes from inequality of opportunity. There is no more right to “equal opportunity” than to “equal outcomes.” An American child of wealthy parents has more opportunity than a Cambodian child of destitute parents. Does that mean the American parents must sacrifice their child’s future to increasing the opportunities open to Cambodian children? Yes, say the egalitarians. No, said the Founding Fathers, to the equivalent question in their time. And that “No” is why America is the wealthiest nation in the world. Only the protection of individual rights unleashes the productive energies of the wealth-creators, on every level of ability. That’s the lesson not only of American history, but of the more recent rise of the Pacific Rim countries, and the still more recent amazing growth of India and China, caused by their turn away from communism, socialism, and other forms of statism.
On the communist inspired collectivist “common pot” mentality:
The “gap” in the condition of the rich and the poor, says Obama, has widened. “The top 10 percent no longer takes in one-third of our income–it now takes half.” Note the language. He first describes income as being “taken in” and then slides into describing income as “taken.” The top 10 percent . . . now takes half.” “Half”–of what? The response would be: “Well, of the nation’s income, of course.” And thus what began as a simple statistical calculation comes out the other side as pure communism: collective ownership. The national income is regarded as a common pot. Then some groups “take” from that pot more than their share. In Obama’s world, if farmer Fred harvests 4 pumpkins and farmer John harvests 2, Fred has taken two-thirds of “the harvest” for himself. He should be ashamed. It’s unfair. It’s a crisis. Something must be done: “it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people,” says the President.
…and later he explains why those who are more productive should be admired. imitated and left free to produce:
Productive strength is a value to everyone. Weakness and self-defeat is not in anyone’s interest, neither the weakened one’s, nor that of anyone dealing with him. It is in your interest that other men be smart, healthy, productive, and free–not stupid, sick, lazy, and enslaved. To take a more realistic example, would you be better off if Thomas Edison had been stupid, sick, lazy, or enslaved? Would you be better off if the comer newsdealer were? It’s a man’s actual, non-comparative level of wealth that matters, not the existence of others with more than he. Except that he is better off to the extent those with whom he deals have money to burn.
…and the reason why the moral reason why the egalitarian hates the productive:
Other’s wealth can only benefit one in practical terms, which takes us to the reason why the campaign against inequality is vicious. The egalitarian hates inequality for a non-practical, non-venal reason: the sight of the successful and the happy stands as a reproach to him. It brings him face to face with his own failure and inner emptiness. Psychologically, emotionally, a man who is inferior can seethe with resentment at the sight of his betters.
Egalitarianism is a rationalization for the lowest of human emotions: envy. Not envy for what others have, but something much uglier: hatred of anyone for having achieved anything. Not “I’m upset because you have what I ought to have,” but “Punish those whose success makes me know I’m a loser.”
The Germans call it “Schadenfreude.” The French call it “ressentiment.” Ayn Rand called it: hatred of the good for being the good. The inequality that the egalitarians actually hate and fear is moral inequality. They rebel against the idea that they are responsible for their own acts and for their own moral character–or lack of it. “Inequality is unfair” is the coward’s cry against the brave, the slacker’s cry against the producer, the hypocrite’s cry against integrity, the conformist’s cry against the man of independence. The demand for the wealth they didn’t earn is only the outward symbol. The root is the demand for virtue they didn’t earn.
He then goes on to quote Ayn Rand’s identification of John Rawl’s motive and error:
If you wish to know the actual motive behind the egalitarians’ theories–behind all their maudlin slogans, mawkish pleas, and ponderous volumes of verbal rat-traps–if you wish to grasp the enormity of the smallness of spirit for the sake of which they seek to immolate mankind, it can be presented in a few lines:
“When a man thinks he’s good–that’s when he’s rotten. Pride is the worst of all sins, no matter what he’s done.”