If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

Writes Michael Barone at the Washington Examiner:

[…] If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it? More specifically, why are more than half of those 3,095,593 in plans run by labor unions, which were among Obamacare’s biggest political supporters? Union members are only 12 percent of all employees but have gotten 50.3 percent of Obamacare waivers.

[…] Punishing enemies and rewarding friends — politics Chicago style — seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS’ gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors. [Obama skirts rule of law to reward pals, punish foes]


I Am John Galt

I Am John Galt is a hymn to free men, free minds and free markets. It’s a loving look at the heroes who are living those values and moving the world forward. It’s also a crushing no-holds-barred indictment of the parasites who are trying to destroy our world of freedom and prosperity.” — Don Luskin

We are kind of excited about this book because of the interview with John Allison — former CEO of the successful BB&T (a bank that did not need but was forced to accept bailout funds against their will — more on that in a future post). His description “The Leader: John Allison as John Galt, the man who walked away after building America’s strongest bank.”

“From John Allison you can learn not only to live your own life in accordance with Rand’s values, but to teach them to others you work with. At Allison’s bank, Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T), every one of the 30,000 employees has been trained in Rand’s value system—from the executive suite to the teller line. Self-evidently, it works.’

“Are you looking for a concrete plan to put the value system of Rand’s heroes to work in your own life? Allison has written one for you, by identifying and articulating BB&T’s 10 core values. You don’t have to work there to put those values to work in your life. Do it on your own, and then put yourself through the ongoing process that all BB&T employees experience: Every six months, give yourself a rigorous self-evaluation based on how you’ve measured up to the values.”

Dr. Michael Hurd’s New Book — Now Available!

Dr. Hurd’s third book is finally available for sale! Autographed copies of “Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)” are available directly from DrHurd.com.

In his new book, Dr. Hurd shows people how to avoid the dangers of most contemporary therapies and how to rely on your own judgment when facing emotional problems. It is an indispensable guide to choosing a therapist who can produce the best results for you.
Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference) also includes a foreword written by none other than celebrated clinical psychologist Stanton Samenow, Ph.D.

Click here to get your autographed copy of Dr. Hurd’s latest book.

Objectivism Politics Podcast: Obama vs Israel and More

Here’s a link to the broadcast of Amy Peikoff’s Don’t Let It Go Unheard — webcast to talk on politics and politics from an Objectivist perspective.  This is the best podcast on politics from an Objective perspective so it is definitely worth a listen if you could not attend the live broadcast. Issues discussed: The (Non) Rapture; Obama’s call for Israel to use pre-1967 borders as starting point for “peace” negotiations; Obama’s reaction to GOP Senators’ request that he adhere to the War Powers Act with respect to Libya; What to do about Pakistan; The Obama Administration’s brand of “transparency”; and Planking.

Michelle Obama vs Ayn Rand at West Point

In March 1974, Ayn Rand faced the improbable task of lecturing on the
crucial importance of philosophy—to the graduating class of West Point.

Ayn Rand succeeded magnificently: she attracted three times the expected
attendance, she elicited an enthusiastic ovation, and her lecture was
reprinted in a new philosophy textbook published by the U.S. Military

Listen to Ayn Rand’s brilliant West point lecture online for free at the ARI site.

Michelle Obama will address West Point graduates today. How do you think their speeches will differ?

Israel vs. “Palestine”: The Other Half of the Story

From The forgotten refugees: Jews forced out of Arab countries. What about their right of return? – Telegraph Blogs

Almost everyone in Europe knows about the Nakba, which followed the 1948 Arab-Israeli war; although most refugees fled on the advice of invading Arab armies, they have never been allowed back, and this is a running sore. Yet very few people know that 800,000 Jews were in turn forced out of Arab lands during this and subsequent years, on top of another 200,000 Jews from other Muslim countries such as Iran.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict as far as most people know it runs like this: Jews came from Europe, bought up bits of Palestine until they were numerous enough (thanks partly to financial support from Americans) to take on the Arabs. They then beat them in a war and took their land. Yet this is only half the story.


And if one takes the view that Palestine was not a nation before its conflict with the Israelis formed a national consciousness but part of Transjordan, then the transfer of Arabs out of Palestine and Jews in is not unusual for the era. Tragic, yes, but not unusual. Populations were always moved where competing groups vied for sovereignty, and while one can lament the older, more tolerant and more diverse world, from belle époque Vienna to pre-Nasser Egypt to the old Constantinople, one cannot blame groups for wishing independence.


Everywhere where these transfers happened there was great suffering and injustice, and the same goes for the Jews forced out of Arab countries. The story of Iraq’s Jews is especially sad even for the standards of the last century; a 2500-year-old community was destroyed in months, with ancient families who had lived among Baghdad’s plushest districts for generations finding themselves homeless and impoverished in an alien land. Just like the Palestinians forced over the border, in fact. The difference is that the Israelis did not keep Arab Jews in camps for 60 years to prove a point, but helped them to integrate. I guess that’s why third-generation Syrian-Israelis aren’t clamouring at the border for their right to return.

Netahyahu Educates Prez. Obama: 1967 Lines Are Indefensible

Moments ago, following a lengthy meeting with the president, Israel’s Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu responded to President Obama’s call for Israel and Palestine to return to pre-1967 borders, saying, “While Israel is willing to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines because these lines are indefensible because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place.”

Netayahu also said, “Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas.”

Al Ramrus on Aglialoro’s Abortion: “Ayn Rand and her great novel deserved better.”

Al Ramrus was a writer-producer with Mike Wallace. According to the Ayn Rand Sense of Life website: “[Ramrus] handled TV interviews with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar winners, Nobel laureates, athletes, gangsters, politicians, statesmen, and—most memorably—Ayn Rand, whose intellect, he says, towered above anyone’s he had ever encountered.  Thereafter, Ramrus then headed west to Los Angeles to write prize-winning TV documentaries on historical and cultural subjects, as well as television movies and feature films, including GOIN’ SOUTH and WORLD WITHOUT SUN, winner of an Academy Award® for best feature documentary.”

Below are his comments on John Aglialoro’s “Atlas Shrugged Movie: Part I”:

I don’t remember exactly, but Rand either wrote somewhere, or personally told me, something that strikes to the heart of the movie’s failings. She said that her villains were too inferior, unworthy and impotent to generate really deep and compelling conflict in her heroes. Only someone the heroes loved could do that. And this is exactly what she dramatized in her three major novels.

In the novel, Hank Rearden, though heroic, is one of her most complex and conflicted characters, which makes the romantic subplot plot, his relationship with Dagny Taggert, so dramatic and compelling, filled with conflict. In large part, this was the novel’s personal, deeply emotional story. The movie version didn’t explore this at all. They meet, almost immediately become industrial allies and, in short order, happy Hollywood lovers, leaving the screenplay to wallow almost exclusively, and tediously, in economics, contracts, government regulation, etc.

This didn’t have to happen. The movie runs some 97 minutes, barely enough for an Adam Sandler comedy but not nearly long enough for a serious, epic story, which could’ve easily run another half hour, with sufficient time to develop the characters, including Francisco-Dagny, into flesh-and-blood human beings instead of puppets waving placards. There’s more character development in the “Batman” and “Spiderman” movies than in “Atlas Shrugged, Part 1,” an abortion which mercifully won’t generate a Part 2 or 3. [Ouch!]

After seeing it, at first I felt that the producer, Aglialoro, at least showed considerable courage, risking his own money, and I wished him well with his movie. I’ve changed my mind. A multi-millionaire manufacturer of exercise equipment, he purchased an option for the screen rights to the novel. Fine. But, not surprisingly, he couldn’t attract A-list stars or an A-list director. In fact, he couldn’t attract B- or C-list talent.

With his option-time running out, only a month or two left, he should’ve given up, which would’ve left the field open someday for an experienced, professional movie maker to tackle the project. Instead, hoping to protect his initial investment and make himself a real-life Randian hero, with a screenplay credit no less, he hastily threw together a dreary cast, an anemic budget, a first-time director and, worst of all, a lousy screenplay. He pissed in the well and ruined it in the future for everybody else.

Now, Aglialoro is issuing statements blaming the liberal reviewers for the disaster at the box-office. Maybe it’s not good sportsmanship to kick a man when he’s down, but it has to be said. The guy’s a schmuck.

Ayn Rand and her great novel deserved better.

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