“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
People ask me, from time-to-time what led us to sell our primary residence and vehicle, divest ourselves of most of our possessions, leave our children and grandchildren behind, and move to an area most feel is more instable and dangerous than the one we left. Well, the short answer that I think we would both agree upon is simply “affordability.” Beyond that, the underlying reasons, at least for me, lie much deeper, and have to do with both politics and culture, and I’m going to be speaking only for myself here, my dear wife’s reasons are her own, and are not for me to reveal, at least not in this forum.
In Atlas Shrugged, the sociopathic authoress Ayn Rand created a dystopic, upside-down fantasy world where the heroes, the intrepid “captains of industry,” the men (and woman) “of brains,” were being victimized and systematically looted of all they possessed by the so-called “looters,” (read “Liberals”) who ran the country and the world. These “looters,” men with names like Kip Chalmers, Cuffy Meigs, Chick Morrison, and Wesley Mouch, knew full well what they were doing, and what the final results would inevitably be. They all had well-stocked, secure, private, hide-a-ways they could run too when the world had nothing left to loot. Our heroes, on the other hand, under the leadership of one John Galt, decided to rid the world of the looters by withholding their services, and bringing all commerce and industry to a halt. Continue reading
How can we judge the decision-making ability of a politician who is running for high office? Sure, we have his or her voting record, some idea of what their policies would be, and, of course, what they tell us they will do once in office. All of this information is nice, but what does it really tell us about how they would process information, in this complex world we live in, where things are seldom black-and-white, and what criteria they would use to make decisions that effect us all?
We would hope they would be capable of weighing empirical, although sometimes conflicting current data, and have the ability to arrive at a conclusion through some form of rational analysis. After all, that’s the best we can really hope for in a fellow human being in the 21st century, that his or her decisions be based upon 21st century information. Continue reading
One of the reviews on Amazon suggested that “Rainbow Pie” should be required reading for all American schoolchildren, and I heartily agree. The picture Joe paints of what’s happened “his people” in the rural south applies to working men and women everywhere in America. Far from being only the family memoir I expected, RP is really a story of the corporate takeover of America from the point-of-view of the common working man and woman. There is essentially no difference between what has become of the world Joe describes around Winchester, VA, and the world I grew up in near New Haven, CT. In both cases, the good jobs are gone, both on the land and in the factories.
The chief difference between the two is that, while “Joe’s people” are clinging to their guns and religion to protect them from what they see as an overreaching government, mine, in the liberal north, are clinging to the faint hope that Obama, the magic-man is going to somehow save them from their own stupidity. Both ideas are equally divorced from reality. Joe writes about the American underclass, what made them that way, and how the sinking tide is lowering all boats, except for those one-or-two-percent who really have boats of their own. It’s no wonder the rural poor mistrust the government, it was government policies, forced by the Corporatocracy, that drove them off the land in the first place, only to be victimized by the deliberate destruction of the unions that kept wages high, again by government policies, forced by the same Corporatocracy. Continue reading