The United States is still different [from European states]. In the wake of economic meltdown, the decadent youth of France rioted over the most modest of proposals to increase the retirement age. Elderly “students” in Britain attacked the heir to the throne’s car over footling attempts to constrain bloated, wasteful and pointless “university” costs. Everywhere from Iceland to Bulgaria angry mobs besieged their parliaments demanding the same thing: Why didn’t you the government do more for me? America was the only nation in the developed world where millions of people took to the streets to tell the state: I can do just fine if you control-freak statists would shove your non-stimulating stimulus, your jobless jobs bill and your multitrillion dollar porkathons and just stay the hell out of my life and my pocket.
That’s the America that has a fighting chance – a nation that stands for economic dynamism, not the stagnant “managed capitalism” of France, for the freest, widest, rudest bruiting of ideas, not Canadian-style government regulation of approved opinion: for self-relience and the Second Amendment, not the security state in which Britons are second only to North Koreans in the number of times they’re photographed by government cameras in the course of going about their daily business. But when you hit the expressway to Declinistan there are few exit ramps. That America’s animating principles should require a defense at all is a melancholy reflection on how far we’ve already gone. Live free – or die from a thousand soothing caresses of nanny-state sirens.
Like I said, if you want a happy ending, it’s up to you.
Your call, America.
from After America: Get Ready for Armageddon by Mark Steyn
My card carrying capitalist son Michael and I went to see Atlas Shrugged last night. I went in with fairly low expectations and came out feeling like I’d gotten my money’s worth and then some.
I’d waffled for the last 2 days on whether I’d make the 100 mile trip to Las Vegas or not. First I was going and probably alone. Then I wasn’t going. Yes, I’d go. Then, nah, I’d wait for the DVD. And finally, I decided to go and take my son with me. His weekend (his days off) are Thursday and Friday, so I’d hoped that he had no plans tonight after work and he had none. I knew that he’d like this movie even though he’d never read the book and really didn’t have a clear idea what it was going to be about. On our way to the movie, I gave Michael a quick synopsis.
The reviews that I’d read by the so-called professionals who review movies, panned it. The dialog was contrived, they said, although it was pretty much verbatim Ayn Rand. They criticized the low budget effects and scenes. Yadda yadda yadda: elite critiques from the nose in the air “professionals.”
Honestly, I rarely go by what these guys call good or bad. They don’t live in the same world that I do so they have no basis to make judgements for me.
Early yesterday I wandered over to BigHollywood and read the reader comments to John Nolte’s blog about the movie. (Had I not done so I wouldn’t have known that Andrew Breitbart was an extra in the Reardon’s anniversary party scene. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch for him – he’s there standing with 3 other men by a small stairway with a lamp post on it.) But the readers are the critics that I’m going to trust. Hands down, they liked the movie. And when I read 3 different posters comment that the audience applauded at the end, I’d read enough and the plan was set that I was going to see this movie after all. Really, how many movies have you seen lately that the audience applauded when it was over?
We went to the 9:30pm show because Michael doesn’t get off work until 8:30. The theater was half to 2/3 full and to my happy amazement, they were all young people.
As far as the movie goes, I’ve seen lots worse out of the mega Hollywood studios (I walked out of Independence Day- it so sucked.) And for a low budget movie, it was damned well done. And they were pretty faithful to the book. I didn’t find the dialog goofy (again, I walked out of Independence Day) but then I’ve read and listened to the book so I knew what to expect. The movie never dragged. The director and producers laid down the foundation for the next 2 episodes very well and ended with a great cliffhanger. When the DVD is released, I’ll be buying it.
“Americans have to make tough choices about how to live within their means while still investing in their future and the President’s choices are no different. The President is looking forward to talking directly to the American people and sharing his commitment to making deep cuts, so that we can continue to invest in areas like innovation that will help our economy continue to grow,” said Adam Abrams, a White House spokesman. (from here.)
It’s amazing how one paragraph can say so much about a person, an ideology, a regime.
Americans do have to make tough choices about living within our means. No questions about that and no argument here. But in my lifetime experience, you first live within your means and pay off your debts and then you save and invest for your future. You get out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself and then you move on to a, hopefully, brighter future. You can’t invest in your future, you can’t save for your kids college fund when you’re $200,000 in debt. The debt comes first. Or your kid has no college fund and your family will probably not have a home to live in, either.
It’s not the governments job to invest in innovation. And it’s not the governments job to determine what businesses to invest in. The private sector is in the best position to judge that, through competition and whatever drives the marketplace. When the government starts meddling in the creation of business, it invariably starts paying back political favors and not doing what’s best for the citizens as a whole. The government can create a climate where businesses can grow, by lowering the tax base, for instance, as Rep. Paul Ryan has spelled out in his budget plan, but it’s not capable of creating jobs in the private sector. It can only expand itself with more useless bureaucrats and regulations. We’ve all seen plenty of that in the last 2 years. And we’ve all been paying for it, too.
That original first paragraph screams socialism to the sharp eye.
It’s a seemingly simple message, in one short paragraph that says so much to the astute reader. Unfortunately, there are too many in this country who don’t read closely enough and who aren’t keenly listening.
This is why Barack Obama is our president now. And why we have to be, in Mark Levin’s words, the Paul and Paulette Reveres of our families and communities.
So patriots, GET OUT THERE AND CORRECT THE MESSAGE!
The government has produced the poor and continues to keep them that way. I heard an author on talk radio call Sharpton and Jackson “poverty pimps” which is what all liberals/marxists are. The goal is to keep them poor and keep their votes by continuing to handle all their needs.
Here’s a great Milton Friedman flashback on the role of society and the poor: