Tuesday, July 31, 2012

EconTalk Interviews Gary Taubes

If you don't want to read Taubes' book(s) but are interested in his carbohydrate-causes-obesity hypothesis, check out this interview on EconTalk:

Thanks to Don Watkins for alerting me to the excellent EconTalk podcast.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012: Individualism versus Collectivism

President Obama has really crystallized the meaning of the November election. It is a referendum on the competing ideologies of individualism and collectivism. Can you take personal credit and derive personal profit from your actions, or are you but an inert, faceless member of the herd who deserves no credit? Did you build your business or do you deserve no recognition because other people helped you? Obama and the leftist establishment say "you didn't build that". Individualism and reason say you did.

Ayn Rand wrote two books on the subject. This particular quotation comes to mind:
Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Repeal Obama-care Rally

I attended the Stop Taxing Us "Repeal Obama-care Tax Rally" this morning. It was good. Several hundred in attendance, lots of signs and good speakers. Several SLOBs were in attendence and B-Daddy has his description here.

The parts I remember: After singing God Bless America and reciting the pledge of allegiance, Gonsalves and Iverson kicked it off. Gina Loudon was especially good, taking some Republicans to task for wanting only to repeal "parts" of Obamacare. She repeatedly referred to them as "statists" for wanting to leave in place other rights violating provisions. Fitting. She's apparently on the radio all week and has a book coming out soon. Popaditch gave an impassioned promise to defend our right to make mistakes, like not buy insurance or purchase a chevy volt. Bilbray (the only named speaker in the announcement) started very weak by saying that everything reduces to taxes. Then the sound system cut out... After restoring the sound he continued to try to tap into Tea Party energy, but was clearly not into it. (Full disclosure: I especially dislike Bilbray for voting for every socon and neocon powergrab that's ever come before him, like the NDAA and Patriot Act. Dawn Wildman has more thoughts on Bilbray here.) One of the Stop Taxing Us co-founders spoke just before Bilbray and spent much of it restraining himself from criticizing Bilbray.

Besides attending, listening, supporting, I was also there to pass out flyers. I handed out dozens of copies each of Leonard Peikoff's "Health Care is Not a Right", COHP's "Is Healthcare a Right?" and Watkins and Brook's "Ayn Rand and the Fight to Limit Government" a sort of preview of their upcoming book, Free Market Revolution. I think I was the only one there passing out flyers, though there were some bumper stickers being passed out. Most people were very receptive, either agreeing immediately that health care isn't a right or acknowledging that they know and like Ayn Rand. Ended up handing one to Bilbray without realizing it was him and then latter to Michael Crimmins, who acknowledged hearing about Rand from Mike Slater.

Overall an excellent rally. Really glad I went.