Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The "right" to healthcare (22)

Simon at Classical Values has a great question regarding the "right" to healthcare:
To exercise the right to keep and bear arms you have to buy your own. Will the same be true of medical care?

Probably not. Obama only cares about positive rights. People are giving up their negative rights for the security of the positive.

And speaking of positive and negative rights, I understand the intent of the description, but I can't help but think of these descriptions as some kind of marketing tool. I heard an older clip of Obama talking about "positive" rights (on Glen Beck this morning), mainly with respect to wealth redistribution. Anybody not wise to the nomenclature would surely think these "positive" rights were great and we should adopt them.

(Forgive me; Paul's the lawyer)

They should say each zero (21)

I think elected officials should have to say every zero in a spending/budget number rather than million, billion, or trillion:
The government plans to issue $2 trillion in new bonds this year to finance economic and financial rescues.

That's $2,000,000,000,000.00.

So if I were King they'd say Two, zero zero zero, zero zero zero, zero zero zero, zero zero zero and zero zero cents.

Maybe then our overlords would take these number a little more seriously.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dereliction of duty (20)

Too big to read.

Is that like too big to fail.

I believe companies too big to fail are too big.

The same should apply to bills.

Did Conyers vote for Cap and Trade? Did he read it?

These people are not serious.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two from Freeman (19)

Today I present two videos, courtesy of (or at least I found them at) Freeman Hunt.

First, the courtroom speech of Howard Roark from the film adaptation of The Fountainhead. (Transcription below from

Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived, and he lifted darkness off the earth.

Throughout the centuries, there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators -- the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors -- stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed; every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid. But they won.

No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he offered.

His truth was his only motive.

His work was his only goal.

His work -- not those who used it.

His creation -- not the benefits others derived from it -- the creation which gave form to his truth.

He held his truth above all things and against all men. He went ahead whether others agreed with him or not, with his integrity as his only banner. He served nothing and no one. He lived for himself. And only by living for himself was he able to achieve the things which are the glory of mankind. Such is the nature of achievement. Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. The man who thinks must think and act on his own. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be subordinated to the needs, opinions, or wishes of others. It is not an object of sacrifice.

The creator stands on his own judgment; the parasite follows the opinions of others.

The creator thinks; the parasite copies.

The creator produces; the parasite loots.

The creator's concern is the conquest of nature; the parasite's concern is the conquest of men.

The creator requires independence. He neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice.

The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others -- that he must think as they think, act as they act, and live in selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own.

Look at history: Everything we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots -- without personal rights, without person ambition, without will, hope, or dignity.

It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: "The individual against the collective."

Our country, the noblest country in the history of men, was based on the principle of individualism, the principle of man's "inalienable rights." It was a country where a man was free to seek his own happiness, to gain and produce, not to give up and renounce; to prosper, not to starve; to achieve, not to plunder; to hold as his highest possession a sense of his personal value, and as his highest virtue his self-respect.

Look at the results. That is what the collectivists are now asking you to destroy, as much of the earth has been destroyed.

I am an architect. I know what is to come by the principle on which it is built. We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live. My ideas are my property. They were taken from me by force, by breach of contract. No appeal was left to me.

It was believed that my work belonged to others, to do with as they pleased. They had a claim upon me without my consent -- that it was my duty to serve them without choice or reward.

Now you know why a dynamited Courtland. I designed Courtland. I made it possible. I destroyed it. I agreed to design it for the purpose of it seeing built as I wished. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid. My building was disfigured at the whim of others who took all the benefits of my work and gave me nothing in return.

I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life, nor to any part of my energy, nor to any achievement of mine -- no matter who makes the claim!

It had to be said: The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing. I came here to be heard in the name of every man of independence still left in the world. I wanted to state my terms. I do not care to work or live on any others.

My terms are: A man's RIGHT to exist for his own sake.

And Second, the national debt roadtrip. The fastest I've been (while actually driving myself) is around 118mph (my car was governed).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Paul update (18)

Wow, 18 posts and still no Paul.

I suppose he could be lurking, waiting to see where this goes. If so, Paul, I hope you aren't expecting much.

Of course I could call or email to let him know what I've been up to. . .

I'll wait him out at least until 30.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Taxes (17)

PJTV's Trifecta brings up something I've always thought with respect to taxes.

The beauty of taxes lies in withholding. Most people don't consider the money the government is taking from then. Additionally, many people even get a refund. How many times do you hear someone say, "I didn't pay taxes; I got money back!" Never mind they've given Uncle Sam an interest free loan.

I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that taxes should not be withheld. People should have to write an end of year check to the government (state and federal), lump sum.

Also check out Steve Green's suggestion with respect to Congress (he attributes it to Heinlein). You have two houses of government. One house only writes laws, with a two-thirds supermajority required to pass bills. The other house only repeals laws, with a one-third minority required to do so. Talk about starving the beast! It would cannibalize itself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Narcissism (16)

Down the rabbit hole (15)

I was using google to find an article where Obama discussed his children and healthcare reform (a hypothetical question regarding coverage and whether he would go outside the system for his kids). I don't recall and didn't find the original because my search for "obama kids" brought up this page:

10 Ways Kids for Obama can get involved:

* Create a Kids for Obama Group on For example, Chicago Kids for Obama or DC Kids for Obama and throw a party!
* Write a letter or editorial to your local news paper, expressing "Why Barack Obama should become the next US President".
* Find a Pen Pal - it could be in your school, city, state, or another state. Write and discuss different ways you can get involved.
* Draw a picture of Senator Barack Obama or "an expression of Democracy". For example, the Senator sitting in the White House or working on Capitol. Hill. You can send your drawing to the Obama for America Campaign Headquarters in Chicago and it will be posted for the Senator to see.
* Implement T-Shirt Thursday. Get friends to wear an official Obama for America T-Shirt to school.
* Take an adult (voting age) to the polls on Election Day and encourage them to vote for you, by voting for Senator Obama.
* Post an official Obama for America Campaign sticker/logo on your school bag.
* Wear an Obama for America Campaign button and/or clothing.
* Host a Senator Barack Obama House Party or sleep-over.
* Contribute to the Kids for Obama Blog .
Clearly this nonsense is from the campaign (I wonder if any unfortunate kids could only find a non-voting age adult!).

Going deeper lead to this:
When you create an account on, you're joining the online community of organizers who helped elect the President and now are working to bring real change on critical issues, including healthcare, education and energy reform.

Why does the President need another network for his propaganda? Is the MSM and countless liberal blogs not enough? Does holding the highest office in the world not offer enough opportunities to get your point across?

Let's go a little bit deeper:
President Obama has announced three bedrock requirements for real health insurance reform:

* Reduce Costs — Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, individuals and families and they must be brought under control
* Guarantee Choice — Every American must have the freedom to choose their plan and doctor – including the choice of a public insurance option
* Ensure Quality Care for All — All Americans must have quality and affordable health care

I think we should add world peace to the list also.

This reads like the old designer/contractor saying "fast, cheap, and good; pick two." That's not to say we can realistically pick two of the above with Obama's plan but honestly are the people that believe this horseshit serious? How can you introduce central planning and guarantee the three "requirements" above?

You can't. It's only a power grab. Wake up.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On a roll today (14)

But alas, they are cheap posts.

Just wanted to note a college and a foundation I hadn't heard of until recently. The college is Hillsdale College.
Founded in 1844, Hillsdale College is an independent, coeducational, residential, liberal arts college with a student body of about 1,300. Its four-year curriculum leads to the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree, and it is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

Hillsdale’s educational mission rests upon two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. The College does not accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies for any of its operations.

Shame about it being in Michigan. Perhaps the state capitol should be moved to Hillsdale?

The institute is The Future of Freedom Foundation.

The mission of The Future of Freedom Foundation is to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.

Read their about page. Inspiring stuff.

Of course instapundit led me to FFF with this quote:

A rule we can rely on to be unfailingly applied is this: No matter how much the government controls the economic system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom that remains.

You could apply that to every situation the federal government is dealing with right now. The financial markets are falling apart? Of course we should have more regulation of banks/markets/whatever. Healthcare costs through the roof? It's insurance companies and their profits, of course. Turn control over to the government so we can reduce costs. Global warming? Let's limit greenhouse gases via cap and trade (of course)!

And, of course, "read the whole thing."

Ezra says, "Of course!"

No time to read the bills (13)

Brilliant writing by Mark Steyn:
If George III had put the tea clause 247 pages into a 300-page amendment to a 1,000-page bill, he might still have the colonies. Wherever he is now, he must be laughing his head off. Republican government is impossible in an age where not only are the bills too long for a reasonably engaged citizen to read, not only are they too long for a legislator to read, but they’re too long to write down before they’re passed into law.
Not trying to copy instapundit but "read the whole thing."

He was never serious about it (12)

The White House missed the deadline for cabinet spending cuts.

Obama is not serious about saving money or curbing spending. I believe he never felt the economic crisis was worse than the typical recession (although he likely believes it now that the polls tell him to). That's why the stimulus was not designed to provide an immediate boost to the economy. It merely packaged "thank you" spending to different Democrat causes, interest groups, constituents, etc.

Monday, July 20, 2009

PJTV (11)

The latest Louder With Crowder is up at and it's a fantastic take down of Canada's "free" government-run healthcare system. (Unlike government-run healthcare this video is actually free)

PJTV is leading the charge against the liberal establishment media. If you support what they do, please subscribe.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Congressional Budget Office (10)

The Director of the CBO agrees with Obama that health care spending is out of control:

Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, because federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds long-term fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law.

So we have to pass comprehensive health care reform to save this country, right?

According to CBO’s and JCT’s assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

And that number is net after you take out increased revenues of $538 billion (taxes).

The total cost of the bill is guesstimated at $1.042 trillion over 10 years.

It's almost as if nobody in DC is even remotely serious. Seriously.

Government run health care is a joke. Seriously.

Why so serious?

Sotomayor (9)


Friday, July 17, 2009

Work related (8)

An historic day for my industry.

(where's our commemorative google doodle?)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I love movies (7)

I know what I'll be doing the next few hours.

It's in beta. Took about two weeks to get the invite after signing up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Idiocracy (6)

Think your health insurance is tough to figure out? (click to, um, expand)

Glad I was too lazy for medical school.

If I only had a brain... (5)

Let's play spot the straw man:

"There's going to be a major debate over the next three weeks," Obama said in Warren, Mich., deviating from his prepared text on new spending for community colleges. "And don't be fooled by folks trying to scare you saying we can't change the health care system. We have no choice but to change the health care system because right now it's broken for too many Americans."
I don't think you'll find too many people that say our health care system isn't somewhat dysfunctional. You will find a lot of people who disagree with the President on how to fix it.

I wonder if this is the same straw man that had Obama worried during the election:

"Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," Obama said. "You know, he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name, you know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

Public Enemy

Monday, July 13, 2009

Call me greedy (4)

Well said:

"I want to keep what I earn" is regarded as greedy and unenlightened.

"I want to take what you earn" is regarded as selfless and progressive.

Don Boudreaux must write one hundred letters to various editors every week. John S. has a great question in the comments regarding what Don's batting average is in getting them published.

I didn't see the answer, but I bet it's low. Too often he doesn't fit the narrative.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We're no Angels (3)

Madison, from the Federalist Papers, No. 51, p. 322:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

Those who wish for government to take on more control of our lives would be wise to remember this. People are only human, and are corruptible; government is just as much at risk (if not more) than private enterprise.

And no, I'm not quite to the point of reading the Federalist Papers. I've been thumbing through The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Movie trailers (2)

When was the last time a movie trailer didn't give too much away?

I just saw a trailer for The Orphan, and it may have set a new record. It doesn't appear to give us Esther's secret, just everything else.

I remember the same thing with the trailer for The Strangers. It actually gave away the final scene of the movie, along with the reason the couple was being tormented.

By the way, one of best trailers with respect to red herrings was for What Lies Beneath.

Or so I remember. In trying to find the trailer, I ran across this trailer, which gives everything away. Also, in the wikipedia entry, there a blurb about Robert Zemeckis telling Roger Ebert that audiences want to know everything about a movie.

No thanks. Minimal info and maximum suspense please.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What's next? (1)

Get busy living, or get busy dying. - Andy Dufresne

Forgive me; I am an engineer, not a writer. However, I did start this blog many months ago and perhaps it's time to actually write something. I must have felt I had something to say. Not sure what yet.

Not being a writer it will take time to get this thing going. But it won't get going on it's on.

I hereby pledge to write one post per day for the next 30 days. I hereby don't pledge they will be any more meaningful than this one.

Let's see how many posts I can get up before Paul notices.