Sunday, January 15, 2017

An essential condition of Obamacare replacement

This article by Derek Hunter, entitled "Repealing Obamacare Has To Include Consequences," appeared on Sunday at Townhall. It is worth reading to the end, underscoring once again that actions -- in this case failure to act -- have consequences.

Repealing Obamacare is all but a certainty. It’s the "replace" part that has everyone hung up. Democrats hilariously claim if Republicans “break it, they’ve bought it.” That’s like accusing someone of breaking the picture on a jigsaw puzzle. 

Still, the matter of replacing this abomination presents Republicans with serious problems, not the least of which is the concept of government interference in health insurance has long been ceded. 

Were this a pre-Obamacare world, implementation would be easy to stop – people can’t miss what they never had. But it was implemented, and millions of people are used to what Obamacare has “given” them.

This is particularly true of the millions of people who’ve been put on the Medicaid rolls. 

Medicaid was supposed to be a program to help the poor – the real poor, not those who have to postpone the purchase of a new 70-inch TV until they find a better sale price. Since its inception, what qualifies as “poor” for the purposes of Medicaid has been creeping up. Obamacare accelerated that trend.

Republicans now have to figure out what to do with a family of four that makes $80,000 but still suckles the government teat by taking health insurance designed for people who are incapable of obtaining it for themselves. What do you tell them? 

Calling them losers won’t win any votes, but anyone firmly in the middle class who is comfortable with leeching off taxpayers so they don’t have to address their personal responsibility is unlikely to vote Republican anyway. 

Whatever Republicans eventually coalesce around will arm Democrats with people who have no qualms leaching off the government and are more than happy to be trotted out as examples of people “suffering” under the cruel GOP action. So what?

Republicans have to focus on getting the policy right, or as right as they can on an issue with which government never should have gotten involved. 

Getting it right means getting the government out of it as much as possible. Republicans can’t concern themselves with who “wins” or “loses,” or if there will be “pain.” Frankly, there has to be pain. Pain should be a cornerstone of what is proposed as a replacement. 

The solution to replacing Obamacare isn’t to cobble together a different big government solution, it’s to empower individuals to make the best choices for themselves and get the hell out of the way of everything else.

Among the many changes, there likely will be competition across state lines for health insurance, which will be good and drive competition. And tax credits to buy it. All well and good. But there has to be consequences for choosing not to do so.

The individual mandate must be repealed. The federal government has no business forcing the Americans people to purchase something they don’t want. But there should be serious consequences for not at least buying some catastrophic coverage.

It’s usually young people who don’t buy health insurance. They are least likely to need it and end up essentially subsidizing wealthier older people anyway. They should be free to opt out of that pyramid scheme. 

But if, God forbid, someone 37 years old get sick after they’d chosen not to buy insurance, they should not be absolved of the ramifications of that choice. 

I’m not saying they should die on the streets. They should get treatment. But they should have to pay for it. Maybe not all of it, but a significant portion. If they own a house, they should have to sell it. Their wages should be garnisheed until a significant but fair portion of their tab is satisfied. 

They would have made a bet and lost, and they shouldn’t get to walk away from a bet just because they lost.

Significant pain, or potential for it, would encourage people to do the right thing while affording them the option not to. Family, friends, communities could take up collections and help people who gambled and lost settle their debts, but not taxpayers as a whole. We need to restore the concept of responsibility as we restore liberty. Replacing one big government program with another does neither.

In modern America, the idea of consequences is almost as dead as Latin. The importance of returning them to all areas of life is crucial, particularly in health care. Americans should be free to gamble, to roll the dice. But if it comes up snake eyes, well, the house needs to be paid. If someone wants to risk it to save on premiums for something they don’t think they’ll need, knock yourself out. Just don’t come running to taxpayers if you do get knocked out.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pity he died..............quickly

Trophy Hunter Killed In Fall While Stalking Innocent Animals

This heartless murderer, who killed innocent animals in order to cut off their heads and display them in his home would proudly announce that he was a big game hunter, as if that were a status symbol. This made him feel like a man and a conqueror. This coward was neither........
by Rev. Austin Miles

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I was wrong

On July 17, 2014 I posted the following blog ( concerning the third Atlas Shrugged alleged motion picture. The title was “The Final Desecration of “Atlas Shrugged.”

I am aware that among the hundreds of people who receive this blog not everyone is devoted to Ayn Rand’s ideas, or believes that her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged is a masterwork. Thus, what follows will probably be of no interest to them. 

However, for those who revere Rand’s 1957 novel as a superb example of romantic realism—let alone brilliantly predictive—the recently announced third motion picture installment of Atlas Shrugged must be considered the final desecration.

Of the many points I could make, here are only two of the major ones.

The feature film rights to Atlas Shrugged should never been sold (let alone several times over) because the scope, characters, plot, and ideas of Atlas are inherently impossible to dramatize in two hours. 

I say this because of two personal experiences. 

One is because in 1968 Erika Holzer and I found the missing Italian film of We the Living, a much shorter and easier story to tell than Atlas. In its original form, WTL was three-plus hours long. Only due to Rand’s personally suggested edits, a bit of her restructuring, and some 4,000 subtitles written by Erika Holzer and Duncan Scott, did the film become the international motion picture success it deserved to be. 

The second is because toward the end of Rand’s life she worked with a TV producer and writer to create a network miniseries which would have been at least seven hours long. The writer was Oscar-winner Stirling Silliphant, whose writing achievements included the TV series Route 66 and the feature film In the Heat of the Night. At dinner one night in Los Angeles Stirling told the Holzers that there was no way Atlas Shrugged could, with any fealty to the novel, be done as a typical two-hour feature film.

As further proof that it was folly to try, I submit that the eventual producers themselves realized that a standard feature was impossible. So they made three, somewhat connected, but still standard feature films.

I repeat, the feature film rights should never have been sold, and when it was clear the current producers intended to dissect Atlas into three standard feature films, they should have been stopped.

Instead, the producers’ “solution” to the unsolvable length and complexity problems—driven also by the need to begin principal photography before their rights-option expired—was to quickly make one-third of Rand’s magnum opus, with the other two-thirds to come along in two later installments.

As to Atlas I and II (and doubtless the forthcoming Atlas Shrugged III), not a single nationally or internationally household name was associated with the project. This failure was most egregious regarding the script. While it would have been too much to expect that the producers would hire a journeyman writer like William Goldman (All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), there were some well-credentialed Hollywood writers who understood Rand’s novel and could have created a faithfully powerful script. I know one of them.

Worse than all this, by far, is that the well-intentioned producers apparently believed that even though they were making an “entertainment” not a documentary, it was incumbent on them to provide “philosophical oversight.” So they hired the equivalent of a philosophical commissar, to keep the production on the Objectivist straight-and-narrow.
(There’s more. For example: difficulties with distribution, changing actors from one of the parts to the others, miscasting, the impossibility of showing Atlas Shrugged I, II, and III together in a movie theater or even on television.)

The noise you hear is Ayn Rand spinning in her grave. The feature film rights should never have been sold.

In the days of the Italian version of We the Living (1940-1941) it was possible for the film’s negatives and prints to vanish, as nearly happened because of Nazi hostility to Rand’s story about the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on a fiercely independent woman and the two men who loved her.

Unfortunately, in today’s world of the Internet, cloud storage, digital recorders, and DVDs, there is no way Atlas Shrugged I, II, and III, unlike We the Living, will ever be lost.


I was wrong.

Apparently those of us who admire Rand’s work have not yet seen the end of desecration of the much-admired author and her writing.

Today, I (and doubtless many others) received a pitch for money in an email offering an Atlas Shrugged comic book and an Ayn Rand cozy fleece winter blanket. See below.

For these moral obscenities, and perhaps even violations of law, we have to thank The Atlas Society’s new CEO’s “outreach” to the younger [and cold] generation.

Jennifer, this desecration is shameful squared. You are cheapening Ayn Rand’s name and insulting her work.

TAS founder, board member, and “Chief Intellectual Officer” David Kelley should be doubly ashamed.

And the other four board members, well, they should resign.

If this happened years ago when I was Ayn Rand’s lawyer, on her behalf I would have sued all of them.

For free!

From: The Atlas Society []
Sent: Thursday, January 5, 2017 2:01 AM
Subject: 2017: Rand Will Roar!

Atlas Society Weekly Newsletter
Atlas Society Weekly Newsletter

Scene from Atlas Shrugged

Graphic novels are all the why not one of Atlas Shrugged?  That was the dream of artist Agniezka Pilat when she created these panels from Ayn Rand's magnus opus many years ago.  We've set a few to music...and narration!  You can watch the magic by clicking below.

CEO Jennifer Grossman 

on WSJ Op-ed

In this interview with Mark Michael Lewis, Grossman responds to attacks by Yaron Brook & Onkar Ghate on her Wall Street Journal op-ed, "Can You Love God & Ayn Rand."  What she says may surprise you.  "To lead with vinegar is to be irrational." Agree?

One Cheer for Legalization,

Three Boos for Pot

This week, as recreational use of marijuana became legal in four states -- to cheering from many libertarians -- we remember the words of Ayn Rand: "I would fight for your legal right to use marijuana; I would fight you to the death that you morally should not do it, because it destroys the mind."  Writing for TAS, libertarian Jeffrey Tucker echoes her view in his piece, "Pot is Gross."

Why Do New Year's Resolutions Often Fail?

The philosophical roots of failed resolutions.  Bradley Doucet's classic piece on why evasion of reality, a disorganized hierarchy of values and placing "duty" before "desires," leads to disappointments.  David Kelley also weighs in.

"Speaking the language of values instead of the language of duty, ‘want-to’ instead of ‘have-to,’ is a daily reminder that we live by choice, with both the freedom and the responsibility that that entails." 

David Kelley, Founder

Nicole Sanders

The Atlas Society would like to welcome Nicole as our Director of Student Programs!  
She started her career in the Liberty movement after she read Atlas Shrugged. She then enrolled at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas and started a Young Americans for Liberty(YAL) chapter in February of 2015. 
Nicole soon became disenfranchised when she learned of unconstitutional speech codes and a free speech area at her college. With the help of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), she placed a first amendment lawsuit against Blinn College and won the lawsuit in March on 2016.  READ MORE


Ayn Rand Fleece Blanket 

Baby it's cold out there! So why not cuddle up in your very own Ayn Rand fleece blanket this winter?