Even A Blind Nut Finds A Squirrel

Yo Dr. Bil ontheborderline...

“Today, people are beginning to understand that the government’s account is overdrawn, that a piece of paper is not the equivalent of a gold coin, or an automobile, or a loaf of bread—and that if you attempt to falsify monetary values, you do not achieve abundance, you merely debase the currency and go bankrupt.”

Ayn Rand, “Moral Inflation,” The Ayn Rand Letter, vol. 3, no. 12, p. 1

Alan Greenspan, who, first as chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and later as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the US, was at the center of economic decision making for two decades right up to 2006 was a great admirer of Ayn Rand and a true believer in the philosophy she espoused in Atlas Shrugged.

"I became a regular at the weekly gatherings in her apartment," he says in his autobiography, The Age of Turbulence, and was captivated by her philosophy that "...individuals have innate nobility and that the highest duty of every individual is to flourish by realising his potential..." When Greenspan took his oath of office at the White House for his first public policy job as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, he had Ayn Rand standing beside him.

As chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, when confronted with a seemingly unending series of financial calamities - the bursting of the technology stock bubble, the 9/11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan - Greenspan was steadfast in his belief in this laissez-faire philosophy, cut interest rates to rock bottom levels and kept it low for a long period.


Congressional testimony: Rep. Henry Wasman v. Alan Greenspan

REP. WAXMAN: The question I have for you is, you had an ideology, you had a belief that free, competitive -- and this is your statement -- "I do have an ideology. My judgment is that free, competitive markets are by far the unrivaled way to organize economies. We've tried regulation. None meaningfully worked." That was your quote.

You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others. And now our whole economy is paying its price.

Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?

GREENSPAN: ...[Y]es, I found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is, but I've been very distressed by that fact.

REP. WAXMAN: You found a flaw in the reality...

GREENSPAN: Flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.

REP. WAXMAN: In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?

GREENSPAN: That is -- precisely. No, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.


On Reporters

"Reporters are human beings -- they are never objective, precise machine calculators. Reporters hate some candidates. The love others. Some amuse and entertain them. Some bore them. Some excite or even inspire them. And in a thousand subtle ways, this subjective reporter's love or hate or boredom or enthusiasm shines through."

William Proxmire


How Long Is "Long Term?"

"Forging and maintaining a sustainable society is The Challenge for this and all generations to come. At this point in history, no nation has managed to evolve into a sustainable society. We are all pursuing a self-destructive course of fueling our economies by drawing down our natural capital -- that is to say, by degrading and depleting our resource base -- and counting it on the income side of the ledger. This obviously is not a sustainable situation over the long term.”

Senator Gaylord Nelson
Earth Day 2000

Is "Media Bias" A Conservative Smear Campaign

"The perception of liberal bias is a problem by itself for the news media. It's not OK to dismiss it. Conservatives who think the press is deliberately trying to help Democrats are wrong. But conservatives are right that journalism has too many liberals and not enough conservatives. It's inconceivable that that is irrelevant."
Tom Rosenstiel
Project for Excellence in Journalism

Read the opinion piece Newsrooms Need Conservatives by Deborah Howell of the Washington Post

Eric Boehlert asks Howell a few important questions: Is anyone stopping conservatives from being hired, and also, are they trying to get jobs in newsrooms and can't? Of course, Howell doesn't ask this, but only assumes they are being excluded because she -- and other Post staffers, according to her -- voted for Obama. Now I've talked to a few dozen Post reporters and editors over the years, and I've never once discussed who they voted for or what party they belong to. In covering an institution, it's usually better to find evidence of people being excluded before making such assumptions.


Voter Choice v. High School Graduates

Electoral map link

High School graduate map link

In a comment on a post below, Roadkill pointed out the 90 percent of journalists say they are Democrats. I was searching for some demographic information to verify RK's statement and ran across a couple of interesting maps. If you click on the map links, you get a better view of the maps and information. However, it is pretty interesting to note that the heart of Republican country corresponds with the lost graduation percentages.

People with lower education levels tend to read less and the higher the education level, the more people read. Concerning radio listenership, the graph below shows the comparisons between education levels and listening to commercial news/talk radio verses public news/talk radio.

Now I don't know if a higher education level means that a person thinks more and more complexly, but I would say that the higher the level of education you experience, the more challenging and varied the content of the material you will be presented.

That said, since almost all practicing journalists have a college education, they would tend to identify themselves as Democrats and a majority of high school dropouts would identify themselves as Republicans.

Radio listenership link


Looking Back...

“Our goal is not to forget about the worst environments in America – in the ghettos, in Appalachia and elsewhere. Our goal is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all human beings and all other living creatures – an environment without ugliness, without ghettos, without poverty, without discrimination, without hunger and without war. Our goal is a decent environment in its deepest and broadest sense.

The battle to restore a proper relationship between man and his environment, between man and other living creatures, will require a long, sustained, political, moral, ethical and financial commitment far beyond any commitment ever made by any society in the history of man. Are we able? Yes. Are we willing? That’s the unanswered question.”

Senator Gaylord Nelson
Earth Day Eve, April 21, 1970


Racism Goes Coastal: Standish, Maine

Here's an interesting story about anti-Obama racism in the northeast corner of the United States. Standish, Maine is in Clumberland County. The county has a population of approximately 275,000. Approximately 4,765 Black people live in the county. Doesn't exactly sound like Sweet Home Alabama...

At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written "Let's hope someone wins."

A reporter for the Associated Press said he saw a sign at the Oak Hill General Store for the Osama Obama Shotgun Pool, soliciting bets about when President-elect Barack Obama would be assassinated.

The sign is no longer on display and the owner of the store denied any knowledge of it. However Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion confirmed that he received a complaint about the sign and passed along the information to the Secret Service.

Of course, those of you who vote in North Hudson, Wisconsin might have notice the black manikin hanging from the back of the house facing the polling place. There was a toilet bowl in the yard with a note with and arrow pointing into the toilet bowl with the words "Vote Obama."

America's Smearing Pot

"But I will not accept the superior claim to patriotism of some other state or some self-righteous organization or some neighborhood bully. My loyalty is to the nation and to the principle for which it stands, and I will not sacrifice those principles under a threat of having my reputation smeared."

Senator Gaylord Nelson
on why he wouldn't sign a loyalty oath


Primary Reflections

"Our primary task now is to increase our understanding of the natural environment to the point where we can enjoy it without defacing it, use its bounty without permanently detracting from its value and above all maintain a living, evolving balance between man's actions and nature's reactions."