December 8th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
Seventy-two years ago today, on December 8, 1941—the day after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor—the United States officially entered World World II. We faced some of the same enemies—most notably, Germany—that we had defeated in World War I just twenty-three years earlier.
In December of 1991, just twenty-two years ago, the Soviet Union fell. The United States had won the Cold War. Last year, in a blog comment, I wrote,
But we did not really win the Cold War. We were poised to win, but we failed to deliver the final blow. We could have demanded that Russia turn over its nuclear arsenal in return for economic trade.
Now a generation later, we have un-won the Cold War.
Two decades after winning the World War, we were losing World War II. Now—thanks to the fiddling of Clinton (“It’s the economy, stupid,” but who looks stupid now?), Bush, and Obama (who is doing something far worse than fiddling)—we are losing Cold War II.
We eventually won World War II, but at an enormous cost in innocent life. If we had lost, as we may lose Cold War II, the cost would have been far worse.
While Clinton was President, it was common for journalists to refer to the United States unequivocally as the world’s lone superpower. I doubt that most of the today’s younger generation have even heard of that expression.
The American generation that won World War II is often called “The Greatest Generation.” But it was the worst generation of political leaders—worst up until that time—that squandered the victory of World War I and left us vulnerable to our enemies in World War II.
Our leaders left us vulnerable to our enemies because our leaders—such as President Franklin Roosevelt and those in his administration—were sympathetic to the anti-capitalist ideas of our enemies such as Mussolini and Hitler.
Our leaders today—such as Obama and his administration—are even more sympathetic to the anti-capitalist ideas of our enemies today. Obama and his friends are from America’s newest ‘worst generation’ of political leaders; they grew up in the 1960s and later.
The legacy of the 1960s and later is no excuse for Obama to be the rights-violating, America-destroying nihilist that he is, but it partly explains why he has so many followers.
In my previous post, on the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, I presented a personal account of the evil, New-Left legacy of the 1960s, to which Presidents Kennedy and Johnson contributed. Now I present a personal account of another important contributor to that legacy: John Lennon, who was assassinated thirty-three years ago today.
Before John Lennon and the Beatles, I as a child never observed deliberate ugliness in art of any kind. Yes, there were Picasso and Jackson Pollock in painting, and John Cage and Charlie Parker in music, etc. But as a child growing up in the lower-middle-class Bronx, I nevert saw or heard such ‘art’. That garbage was confined to pseudo-intellectual ‘art’ holes such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I did not hear John Cage on the radio as a car drove by or as I walked past the candy store. I did not see prints of Picasso on the walls of the local diner or in people’s homes. Much of the music I heard was not great, but I never heard noise posing as music. I never saw a painting of disfigured figures. I never heard the f-word in a movie. And I never saw a human being deliberately looking unkempt.
This situation changed when, at the age of twelve in early 1967, I saw music videos on television of the Beatles performing “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
For me, the issue was not the lyrics. The issue was seeing successful young men choosing to dress and look like troubled bums, in disintegrated films, with noise on top of and alongside music.
These videos are very tame stuff by contemporary standards. But they opened the floodgates.
John Lennon had talent. Picasso had talent. It is always the talented ones who give credibility to ugliness in art, by personally crossing from beauty to ugliness.
John Lennon did not originate deliberate ugliness in art. He popularized it. He brought it from the museums of modern art and Greenwich Village cafes to the streets and living rooms and classrooms of the Bronx.
The world has never recovered. If not for Ayn Rand explaining why this all happened and why it does not have to be, I would not have recovered either.
November 22nd, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
Ayn Rand wrote and spoke extensively on the welfare-statism of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. On the 50th anniversary of the day that John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson each were President, I present this passage by Ayn Rand, from the speech “How Not to Fight Against Socialized Medicine,” published in The Objectivist Newsletter, March 1963, and reprinted in The Voice of Reason (New York: Meridian, 1989, pp. 284–289; quoted passage on p. 285). Ayn Rand was speaking to a group of doctors, many of whom had opposed President Kennedy’s precursor to President Johnson’s Medicare program.
The majority of people in this country—and in the world—do not want to adopt socialism; yet it is growing. It is growing because its victims concede its basic moral premises. Without challenging these premises, one cannot win.
The strategy of the Kennedy administration, and of all welfare-statists, consists of attempts to make people accept certain intellectual “package deals,” without letting them identify and differentiate the various elements—and equivocations—involved. The deadliest of such “package deals” is the attempt to make people accept the collectivist-altruist principle of self-immolation under the guise of mere kindness, generosity, or charity. It is done by hammering into people’s minds the idea that need supersedes all rights—that the need of some men is a first mortgage on the lives of others—and that everything should be sacrificed to the undefined, undefinable grab bag known as “the public interest.”
Doctors have no chance to win if they concede that idea and help their enemies to propagate it.
An important part of the legacy of President Kennedy is the administration of President Johnson. Johnson’s War on Poverty was a continuation of a war that President Kennedy initiated. The legacy of Kennedy and Johnson is the political part of the legacy of the 1960s, which the United States has never recovered from. (Of course, Kennedy and Johnson were not original thinkers in any significant way; their legacy is merely a continuation of a tradition going back at least as far as Plato.)
I close with a personal account of this legacy of the 1960s. The following passage is from my blog post on January 17th, 2013.
The United States is no longer the safe and civilized place that it was before the 1960s, when the New Left took over our federal government, our cities, and our popular culture. I witnessed the change, which was as abrupt as a nightmare.
People born after 1960 have no idea of the civilization that has been lost since then. I grew up in the Bronx in New York City, in a lower middle class melting pot. In 1961, when I was six, I would play in the park with my friends without adult supervision—at night. Mothers would wheel their baby carriages into the park and sit and talk—at night. On the day President Kennedy was assassinated, when I was eight, I was with my six-year-old sister in the park while she played with her friends. There was no adult supervision. I was the male supervision. In 1964, when I was nine, I went to about twenty baseball games, including a World Series game, at Yankee Stadium with my eleven-year-old friend—with no adult. I walked to school alone—everyone did—when I was seven, and the only reason I did not walk alone earlier was that I was too short for drivers to see me.
On the day the local orphanage had a field trip, half of my first-grade class was empty, because half of the children in the class were orphans. I don’t recall any rich people in my neighborhood. But there was no crime, no fear, and no ugliness of any kind.
By 1966, no one went into the park even in the daytime.
My family’s apartment was burglarized. So were apartments above and below us. We witnessed other burglaries. Race and ethnicity suddenly became an issue. Suddenly there was ugliness everywhere: profanity, harsh and dissonant music, unkempt dress and grooming, rampant drug use, and crime.
Politically, the New Left’s welfare state gave an excuse for every thug to rob from the richer to give to the poorer. Culturally, deliberate ugliness migrated from isolated museums and galleries and playhouses into American living rooms via the popular media, making it ‘cool’ to insult and ultimately destroy every civilized, Western, American value.
Reported per capita violent crime more than doubled in the decade of the 1960s, just when the welfare state expanded similarly. By 1991, the reported violent crime rate per capita had increased nearly five-fold. Since then, the rate has dropped, due in my opinion to Republican governors and mayors (such a Mayor Giuliani in New York) replacing more-Leftist predecessors (such as Mayor Dinkins in New York). But the reported per capita violent crime rate today is still more than double the rate in 1961, and I think the actual crime rate today is much higher. Reporting a crime is undoubtedly a very dangerous thing to do for an illegal immigrant or an individual living in a gang-infested ‘neighborhood’.
Both crime and New Leftist welfare-state politics are results of the same philosophical ideas: subjectivism, denial of an absolute reality, denial of the difference between external reality and the content of one’s mind; denial of free will; denial of the ability of the individual to know reality through reason; emotionalism instead of reason as a guide to action; denial of any causal connection from one’s thoughts and choices to one’s achievements; therefore relying on plundering and destroying others instead of producing; denial of absolute moral principles; denial of individual rights in favor of sacrificing the individual to others or oneself; denial of the importance of any individual; extreme egalitarianism, casting anyone who has less of anything—whether wealth or esteem—as a victim.
In a few weeks, I will write a brief personal account of the pivotal contribution of another man—also assassinated, but much later—to the legacy of the 1960s.
(Here are some writings by Ayn Rand about Presidents Kennedy and Johnson:
“Have Gun, Will Nudge”, The Objectivist Newsletter, March 1962.
“An Intellectual Coup d’Etat,” The Ayn Rand Column, July 15, 1962.
“Who Will Protect Us from Our Protectors?”, The Objectivist Newsletter, May 1962.
“The National Interest, c’est moi”, The Objectivist Newsletter, June 1962.
“The Fascist New Frontier”, pamphlet, 1963.
“The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus”, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.
“Our Cultural Value-Deprivation”, The Objectivist, April and May, 1966.
“Books—Poverty Is Where the Money Is, by Shirley Scheibla, Reviewed by Ayn Rand”, The Objectivist, August 1968.)
November 16th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
A few years ago, I saw a three-year-old child open a book of sheet music, place it on her toy piano, and begin banging on the keys. I immediately thought, “Oh, that’s Obama.”
Of course, Obama is not really like that innocent, healthy, normal three-year-old. Obama is the equivalent of someone who forces concert pianists to bang on the keys his primitive way.
Obama knows nothing of medicine, yet he thinks he can pick the people who pick the people who dictate to doctors how to practice medicine. He thinks he can tell doctors, dedicated professionals with decades of training and experience with individual patients, to issue prescriptions en masse for “the blue pill” instead of “the red pill.” (Remember that example, which Obama used in 2009?) After all, that’s what doctors do, right? They look at their patient, say “Hmm,” and then write on their pad, “the red pill.”
Similarly, Obama knows nothing about energy or education or “infrastructure,” yet he thinks he can “invest” countless billions of dollars—confiscated from private citizens—in these industries. After all, that’s what investors do, right? They meet people in their office and say, “Hmm, here’s a billion dollars.”
Undoubtedly, the three-year-old I saw has by now discovered her error, and has decided either to learn to play the piano for real or to be content with enjoying the playing of others. Obama, on the other hand, though he said this week about the failed implementation of Obamacare, “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy,” as if the professionals in the field did not already know this fact, just bangs the keys harder.
November 8th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
I have written numerous posts on the evil of Obamacare. This post distills the essence.
If you like your promise, you can keep your promise … unless your promises contradict each other.
Obama promised that you can keep your doctor and your health insurance. But he also promised to give away the time and property of your doctor and insurer to people who did not have health insurance. You can’t have your doctor and insurer, and give them away too.
In making these contradictory promises, Obama was also issuing this implicit command to doctors and insurers: If you like your patients and customers, you can keep your patients and customers. But you also must accept new patients and customers that you don’t like or don’t want or don’t have time or money for. And no one cares about you, because you exist to care for us. Besides, you have few votes.
To those now just waking up to the fact that their health care—and health—will deteriorate under Obamacare, what did you expect when you violated the rights of the very individuals who created and provide the health care you cherish?
The more that Obama tries to keep his promise that you can keep your doctor and your health plan—or a “better” plan, as he now promises—the more he will violate the rights of doctors and insurers, forcing them to work more hours for more patients and less money, forcing them to cut costs and curtail lives, and further driving the most independent-minded health professionals from the profession they once loved, until the only doctors and insurers remaining are those that only Obama ‘likes’.
November 4th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
In 2010, I responded as follows to Obama’s promise—now discredited even in the mainstream media—that “you can keep your doctor” under Obamacare:
But every other American, even if he “couldn’t afford it” before, will be able to have your doctor too. You will have to share your doctor with all these additional people.
In 2011, I summarized Obama’s promise this way:
If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, but your doctor will now have to treat these additional patients in order to make a living.
Any reasonable person did not have to wait until 2013 to know that Obama was making a promise that was better not kept, because keeping that promise would oppress doctors even further and reduce further their ability to do their work.
Note the brazenness of Obama’s promise, along with Obama’s disparaging of his critics, in this speech by Obama in 2009:
So we need to do a few things to provide affordable health insurance to every single American. The first thing we need to do is to protect what’s working in our health care system. So just in case you didn’t catch it the first time, let me repeat: If you like your health care system and your doctor, the only thing reform will mean to you is your health care will cost less. If anyone says otherwise, they are either trying to mislead you or don’t have their facts straight.
Applying Obama’s own standard, was Obama trying to mislead us, or did he simply not have his facts straight?
Now, if you don’t like your health care coverage or you don’t have any insurance at all, you’ll have a chance, under what we’ve proposed, to take part in what we’re calling a Health Insurance Exchange. … You will have your choice of a number of plans that offer a few different packages, but every plan would offer an affordable, basic package.
Again, this is for people who aren’t happy with their current plan. If you like what you’re getting, keep it. Nobody is forcing you to shift. But if you’re not, this gives you some new options. And I believe one of these options needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices — (applause) — and inject competition into the health care market so that force — so that we can force waste out of the system and keep the insurance companies honest. (Applause.)
Two days after this speech by Obama in 2009, I replied,
To many people, who do not understand political freedom, Obama’s proposal sounds appealing. After all, Obama is offering more choice, more options, more competition, right?
Perhaps the evil of Obama’s plan is more apparent in this analogy:
So we need to do a few things to provide a desirable wife to every American man. Now, if you don’t like your wife or you don’t have any wife at all, you’ll have a chance, under what we’ve proposed, to take part in what we’re calling a Wife Exchange. You will have your choice of a number of different women, provided by the government.
Again, this is for men who aren’t happy with their current wife. If you like what you’re getting, keep it. Nobody is forcing you to shift. But if you’re not, this gives you some new options. And I believe one of these options needs to be a public option that will give men a broader range of choices.
Oh, and by the way, your current wife will also be made available for other men to choose, as part of their ‘public option’. After all, the government does not create new women out of thin air, any more than it creates new doctors. But don’t worry, we’ll pay her (with your tax money). And if other men choose her, you’ll still be able to share her.
Does that analogy make the meaning of Obama’s plan clearer?
Obama has a tyrant’s notion of ‘choice’. In a free society, individuals engage with each other when such engagement is by mutual consent. A man and woman marry when both the man and the woman choose each other. A purchase is made when the purchaser and the seller agree to the terms of the sale. An employee works for an employer when they both choose such an arrangement and agree to terms.
Obama, on the other hand, wants to give people the option to be served by doctors, in part paid for by taxpayers and in part not paid for at all, even when those doctors and those taxpayers choose not to do so of their own free will. Obama would abolish the principle of trade by mutual consent, and replace it with one party’s choice to coerce the other.
“If you’re not happy with your current cotton-pickers, whom you have to pay, we’ll provide you with the choice of free cotton-pickers.”
This notion is a tyrant’s notion of ‘choice’. This mentality is the mentality of America’s President.
I leave the reader with one more statement by Obama against his critics in 2010:
There were cynics that warned that Medicare would lead to a government takeover of our entire health care system …
For my response to this statement and other absurdities of Obama, see The Limitless Unreason of the Left.
Obama may still try to keep his original promise to let you keep your doctor and your health plan (unless you are “wealthy”), by further coercing doctors and insurance companies.
The promise of Obama is a promise of evil.
October 20th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
“The Republicans capitulated to the Democrats because they are just like the Democrats: they are sacrificers—sacrificing the producers to the nonproducers.”
I wrote the statement above on August 8, 2011, shortly after the Republicans capitulated to the Democrats, allowing the debt ceiling to be raised by more than $2 trillion in return for reducing—by a mere $25 billion—projected increases in spending.
This past Wednesday, Republicans capitulated to Democrats again, abandoning almost all provisions against Obamacare, and approving the ‘shutdown’-ending Continuing Resolution and the increase in the debt ceiling that were sought by Democrats.
But this time, many more House Republicans held out to the end.
In 2011, 174 Republicans voted Yes, and only 66 voted No. But this week, only 87 House Republicans voted Yes, and 144 voted No, against House Speaker John Boehner.
On the other hand, Republican performance in the Senate changed little. In 2011, 28 Republican Senators voted Yes, and 19 voted No. Last week, 27 Republican Senators voted Yes, and 18 voted No.
What caused the change in the House? Was it the campaign led by Senator Ted Cruz? Possibly so. Whatever the cause, I think the change is significant. More Republicans, though not enough of them, stood on principle.
That nearly two thirds of House Republicans stood against Republican Speaker Boehner suggests that there are enough Republicans now to leave the GOP and start a new, principled party that has a reasonable chance to become the leading political party in America.
I think it is better for the new majority of Republicans to leave the GOP rather than to try to take over the GOP. The current GOP is filled with anti-principled corruption, not merely in its elected officials, but in every level of the party’s infrastructure of operatives, business partners, lobbyists, contacts, and donors. The best way to purge the unprincipled individuals is to start completely fresh.
Similarly, whatever Obama’s own motives behind his America-destroying Presidency, the fact that a seminal event in Obama’s political career was hosted in the home of William Ayers—an avowed communist who bombed New York City Police Department headquarters, the United States Capitol building, and the Pentagon—is strong evidence that Obama’s political machine contains many individuals deliberately trying to destroy the United States of America.
October 8th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) made an argument Monday that I made Sunday on Facebook. Sen. Lee wrote,
The message behind the Administration’s shutdown bullying is the same message sent by his IRS’s abuses of political opponents: do what I say, or else. This is the abusive, partisan, unaccountable bureaucracy that, under Obamacare, will soon be running America’s health care system.
On Sunday on Facebook, I wrote,
The Left wants the medical industry to be run by a branch of government that can shut down all services when it is denied more power.
Today, the Obama government is in effect saying, “Because you won’t let us control healthcare, we have shut down national parks, war memorials, and healthcare services that we already control.” In a few years, the government will tell us, “Because you won’t let us control guns, speech, publishing, technology, sex, and everything else, we have shut down healthcare.”
On Sunday, I also wrote this on Facebook:
The federal government, particularly the executive branch, is demonstrating a great argument against the notions of ‘national parks’ and ‘federal land’.
A private individual has the right to refuse to offer a service. But when government controls an industry, government can forbid everyone from offering that service.
When government shuts things down, it should also turn those things over—to private individuals.
September 27th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and several others took a heroic stand, voting No on cloture today, knowing that Senator Harry Reid would follow cloture by stripping the Obamacare-defunding provision from the funding bill sent to the Senate by the House. Roughly half the Republican Senators did not stand with Senators Cruz and Lee, and then Reid acted just as Sen. Cruz had predicted.
Now the bill goes back to the House. The last hope to defund the evil, socialist law known as Obamacare is for the House to stand firm against it on Saturday’s vote. Today I wrote this to my Congressman:
I urge you to continue to vote against funding Obamacare—a deadly law that violates individual rights and furthers socialized medicine—in this Saturday’s vote, no matter what the Democrats threaten to do as a result. The Democrats are willing to shut down the government in order to fund Obamacare. You and other Republicans must be willing to shut down the government in order to DEFUND Obamacare.
For more background on the campaign to defund Obamacare, see these links:
Senators Cruz and Lee have led the effort to defund Obamacare. During his 19-hour Senate speech this week in defense of individual rights and against Obamacare, Sen. Cruz quoted extensively from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
Thanks to you, Sen. Cruz, and to the very few others who stand on principle, there is still hope for America.
For my own writings on the evil of Obamacare, see my Tag Archive for ‘Obamacare’.
The dishonesty of Obama and the Democratic Party has been on ample display during this week’s political battle. Obama and other Democrats state that if an agreement is not reached, it is the Republicans—not the Democrats—who will have caused a government shutdown. Today Obama said,
So over the next three days, House Republicans will have to decide whether to join the Senate and keep the government open, or shut it down just because they can’t get their way on an issue that has nothing to do with the deficit.
This statement is a bald-faced lie. The House approved a spending bill to keep the government open, without Obamacare. That is the bill that Sen. Reid butchered by removing the Obamacare-defunding provision. If both parties stand firm, with Democrats for funding Obamacare and the Republicans against funding Obamacare, then the government shut-down will have been caused equally by both parties. It would be equally valid—that is, equally dishonest—to state,
The President and Senate Democrats will have to decide whether to join the House and keep the government open, or shut it down just because they can’t get their way.
September 2nd, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
September 2 is Atlas Shrugged Day, the anniversary of the day (in 1946) on which Ayn Rand began writing the novel. September 2 is also a significant date in the novel, and the date on which the story begins.
I celebrate Atlas Shrugged Day by reading passages from the novel, often by opening the book to a random page. Every page is a great part of what I consider the greatest work of art and most advanced human achievement.
Here is a passage I opened to today:
He stood looking at the judges. There was no triumph in his face, no elation, only the still intensity of contemplating a vision with a bitter wonder that was almost fear. He was seeing the enormity of the smallness of the enemy who was destroying the world. He felt as if, after a journey of years through a landscape of devastation, past the ruins of great factories, the wrecks of powerful engines, the bodies of invincible men, he had come upon the despoiler, expecting to find a giant—and had found a rat eager to scurry for cover at the first sound of a human step. If this is what has beaten us, he thought, the guilt is ours.
—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York: Random House, 1957), p. 483 (Part Two, Chapter 4).
August 10th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
Individuals who have read my entire essay, “The Volitional, Objective Basis for Heterosexuality in Romantic Love and Marriage,” are invited to submit comments here. I will approve comments that I judge to be thoughtful, civil, and of interest to readers.
I will reply to comments only time permitting and if I have something to add to what I have already written.
For your convenience, here again are the links to each of the six parts of the essay. (On August 20, 2013, I have inserted the main headings that appear in each part.)
- Heterosexuality in Romantic Love and Sex
- The Role of Volition in Sexual Orientation
- Judging Homosexuality—If the Law Will Allow It
- Etiology of Sexual Orientation: The Mainstream Theories
- LGBT Ideology: Evasion Propped Up by New-Left Subjectivism
- Marriage as Heterosexual