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30 April 2011


Todd Juvinall

Who is John Galt? LOL

Barry Pruett

I have been asking Kim that question for about two months.


Another thing cited, for no good reason, is high marginal tax rates on the rich. The only charts/tables worth looking at are those showing effective tax rates. People should look those up and draw their own conclusions.

Another post war tendency (probably WWI in this case) has been towards gigantism in organization. 100 years ago, something like 75% of the US lived on small family farms and were, in essence, small business owners. Government was quite small, state governments hadn't metastasized, and towns were filled with individually owned stores, restaurants, etc.

Spin the clock forward to present times, and we have evolved a world that hasn't just offshored manufacture of basic hard goods, but is one where everyone is an employee. Huge chains like Walmart move the majority of retail items, car dealerships are chains rather than small stores, soft drinks are bottled 1000 miles away rather than locally, it's a death of a thousand cuts.

There's a certain comfort in working for the state government or Lockheed Martin but the philosophical difference in those jobs becomes less over time I think. The Right might tend to favor huge 'private' organizations which are largely owned by government pensions and are driven by government rules, while the Left might favor the ever-so-comforting (and partly corporate driven) hand of the government as a source of both work and succor, but the end game looks the same regardless of route.

There's nothing really new here of course. People tend to forget the utter dominance of GM or IBM from 50 years ago in terms of corporate economic and political power, but then, real change in culture probably takes a generation or two. A modern American would be philosophically unrecognizable to their great great grandparents and what we view as deep political schisms are mostly just arguing about which end of the egg to break open first.

George Rebane

Excellent points wmart. I left the big corporate world early in my career and embarked into the world of smaller entrepreneurial companies. But working with the giants, I was always taken by the mentality of those executives who were quite satisfied to work within such environments. They were always inviting me to "come in from the cold". My invitations to them to come out into the invigoratig fresh air were summarily rejected with a shudder.

Russ Steele

When Ellen and I arrived home we were still discussing the movie and started looking for our copies of Atlas Shrugged. We remember having two copies, but we could not find either. I logged on to Amazon to download a Kindle copy and found a free Cliff Notes version here for all those readers interested in refreshing their memories.

I remember reading Atlas Shrugged the first time as a bachelor Air Force Officer at Loring AFB in the winter of 1963, just before marrying Ellen in December of that year. I think that it had a direct impact on my becoming a conservative, as the Ayn Rand keep ringing in my ears as Lyndon Johnson launched his "Great Society."

The Cliff Notes version brought back many memories and warmed my appitite for Atlas Shrugged Parts II and III. I hope both are screened before the 2012 election. Some of the movie scenes are being playing out on our TV screen everyday as the nation slides toward socialism. The general population needs to be reminded of the potential results.

Mikey McD

George, I believe that the book was written 'in time' for material changes to positively affect our course... the movie is decades too late. Americans need to accept the concept of "sacrifice" (renege of SS promises, higher taxes on the middle class, fewer gov services provided).

George Rebane

"... the movie is decades too late." Agreed Mikey, that was the point of my addendum. But as Russ says, the trilogy may have some utility if it can be completed and screened before Nov 2012. Since we are already living in the Randian dystopia, our next task is to not let it degenerate into a path to communism. Convincing the independent undecideds to reject the siren song of socialism is a critical step in this change of course.

John Galt

I think you're probably right Mikey. But I'd reverse the order of "sacrifices".

I didn't see many youth in the theatre, how 'bout you all.

Mikey McD

John, the audience was definitely skewed towards blue hairs... though I took 5 'youths' with me when I went (30 somethings = youth?). Regardless of the audience age the movie is preaching to the choir.

p.s. My sacrifices were not in any specific order.

RL Crabb

Twas much the same at Wednesday's T-party geritol rally.

John Galt

That's what I saw as well...but I guess that's to be expected if you go to a matinee.

Mr. Crabb, it’s true that most of us in the Tea Party are grey haired. Grey from a life of living….some us even from WWII. If I didn’t know you better, I’d almost think you were disparaging the Tea Party because of their excessive collection of wisdom and experience.

RL Crabb

Mr. Galt, don't mistake an observation of fact as a judgement call. The demographic has been true at every Tea Party/McClintock event I have attended in the last year or so. I didn't do a head count, but when you look out over a crowd it's pretty obvious. How it plays out at the voting booth may be something entirely different.

John Galt

Oh there's no doubt that here in our County it's mostly grey hair at the Tea Party events. It's accentuated here by our older population in general.

The under 20 youth don't have the perspective we have. They think they're saving the world. We're trying to save our County so that the USA can help the world. But when you're under 20 and used to having everything handed do you, I think it's easy to lose the appreciation of the fundamental liberties that were preserved by our Constitution.

But if fuel prices keep increasing and the economy remains poor, I think you'll see an increase in "dark hairs" within the Tea Party ranks. Where else would they go....to the party that's is and has been in control?

RL Crabb

That depends on how draconian the Tea Party agenda is on social issues. It's one thing to be fiscally responsible, quite another when the "moral majority" starts imposing their own restrictions on behavior, be it abortion, gay rights, or having to show your birth certificate to run for office.

George Rebane

JohnG - your points are good, but the "where else would they go?" part does have the answer that the progressives have always had to attract the have nots - more collectivism. A free ice cream cone -http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2009/05/republicans-need-a-new-strategy.html - and class warfare have always been reliable standbys with which to swell your ranks. It's always the clearest solution out there for those with no perspective.

George Rebane

Robert - First, the tea party movement has never sought to represent itself as the "moral majority". That is an appellation by the left that seeks to construct a one-to-one correspondence between a pejorative view of the narrow-minded Christian and the current tea party movement. There is no doubt that many tea party members would see themselves as the moral majority of some years back, but the notion is not integral to the tea party.

Then you point out "restrictions on behavior" falsely attributed to the tea party movement. The tea party is silent on abortion, and at most some of its members would only oppose federally funded abortions not the clinical procedure itself. The same for gay rights, the tea party has no position on it. Again, at most, some tea party members would seek another name than 'marriage' for homosexual civil union. And finally, how would you have a candidate for President of the United States satisfy the "draconian" constitutional requirement of having been born in the country?

RL Crabb

It's very convenient to say you have no position on social issues, but when Tea Party (non) candidates get into office, they immediately start pulling the plugs on anything that reeks of liberal. PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, or anything that passes the Arizona legislature. In the big scheme of things, these items are small potatoes, but eliminating them makes the base happy. This is from the people who said it was just about jobs.

It's still too early in the movement to really see how far the non-party intends go. I can only judge by what I've seen so far. Until they prove themselves to REALLY stand for freedom, I trust the Tea Party as much as I trust the GOP and Democrats.

That would be as far as I can throw them.

Mikey McD

Many contend that government has no 'right' to meddle in social issues and (any government in the business of philanthropy is an immoral/corrupt one). We should not be forced (at gunpoint) to pay for PBS, NPR, PP. The Tea Party is 99% made up of fed up taxpayers (and voters); The TP is more worthy of my trust than any politician (R or D). My affinity of the TP stems from their exclusion of 'social issues.' BTW, most youngsters of the responsible bent are busy working or running kids to sports leaving no time for TP meetings.

George Rebane

Well shucks Bob, I was going to echo Mikey's sentiments, and then make a big pitch to recruit you for the newest member of the Tea Party Patriots.

Now I have to continue plotting and scheming, because I still think that deep down inside that 'a pox on all your houses' heart of yours there dwells an American who does believe in limited government, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and the constitutionality of the Founders PERIOD. And an American who can also tolerate and work with people who share these tenets, yet pursue other ideas outside the confines of the TPP (as might you yourself).

Barry Pruett

Bob...as a supporter of the Tea Party I can tell you a few things. I do not have that much grey heir yet, as I am 41 years old (and I still have all of the hair too). I am drawn to the Tea Party, because the group avoids social issues. I listen to social and fiscal arguments from both the left and the right, and we can all agree that federal deficits and debt is a problem. Personally I am pro-life and against capital punishment. As far as alternative life-styles, I just do not care. I have a truckload of gay friends and inlaws. Gay rights is not an issue for me. As most Tea Partiers, I most closely identify myself with libertarians. I just want our fiscal house in order...we can talk about the other stuff at a later date. For me, NPR, Planned Parenthood, PBS, etc. are strictly fiscal issues. If I can find it in the phonebook, the government should not be doing it or paying for it.

Russ Steele


The Tea Party as some youngsters, but they are much busier than a lot of us Seniors, with work, kids in school and after dinner sports programs, then there is home work to do. I was always amazed at how few young folks that I say at planning meeting held by the Cities and County. We were all in there deciding what the community should look like in 20 years, but most of the people in the room might be dead in 20 years. We were deciding how the next generation was going to live for the next 20 years, and they were not even in the room. The local Tea Party Patriot Board is working hard to recruit the next generation of Tea Party Leaders. As Mark Meckler said, we have a 40 year plan and is starts in the schools. We are going to change this nation, but it is going to take time. This is not a hopie and changie four year flash in the pan. Why the hell are all us gray hairs working on a 40 year plan? For our children, grand children and great grand children that have not been born yet. The mess we are in today took years and year to happen and it will take even more years to fix it. But, rest assured, we will do our best to do that while we are still breathing. Welcome aboard!

RL Crabb

Hey, I just officially became a senior citizen this year, so old people are my people. As I stated in my first comment, Tea Party gatherings may not reflect the voters on election day. Certainly, there are young folks who have the same values/goals as us old farts.

My politics also come from a lifetime of experience. My motto is the same as Reagan's...trust but verify. I've seen too many well-intended movements go bad to jump on anyone's bandwagon. What do you expect for a guy that hangs out in an outhouse called the skeptic tank?

John Galt

Hi Robert, most of the Tea Party members are strictly members because:

"We believe in Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, Free Markets, Respect for our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and a government that respects and answers to the people."

My take is this, certain social issues are genuinely up for debate (e.g. School Choice/Vouchers, etc, etc.)

But going broke serves No One. It's pointless to debate social issues if the nation is bankrupt. This is priority one, and it shouldn't even be a debatable point. A broke Nation hurts everyone...Democrats and Republicans and everything in between. The only beneficiaries of a bankrupt Nation are the Socialist, Communists, and Marxists.

While individual candidates that seek or receive Tea Party support may subsequently work to implement conservative social action items...that's not the focus of the Tea Party itself. I admit it's may seem like too fine a line. But, since you've attended some Tea Party meetings yourself, I think you'd be hard pressed to recall any conversations about "Abortion" or other moral-social issues.

Thanks for listening....and welcome to the Senior's club.

Jack McClure:

Mr. Crabb: The Tea Party Patriots do not get involved with social issues. Other "Tea Partys" may, and that's their choice. I have been to many Patriot events up here and they never discuss social issues, that's why I joined. I like it that they stick to their mission statement, and if they ever don't, they will lose me. I think you make a big mistake when you lump all the different groups together and don't differentiate between them, don't you?

RL Crabb

John and Jack,

I've been to a few Tea Party events, and I agree that I haven't seen any advocacy of social issues one way or the other. While the non-party itself sticks to the issues you listed, the representatives you elect seem hell-bent in the other direction.

A number of states now have anti-abortion legislation pending or already passed. There are moves in congress to gut environmental and consumer protections. I have no doubt that a few states will try to restrict gay rights when the time is right.

I would put myself in the pro-life camp, but I don't think outlawing abortion will stop the practice any more than I think gun laws will get rid of guns. I know too many women who had the procedure (and most with the approval of their families) before 1973. All it will accomplish is a return to the back alley days.

There seems to be a number of tea partiers who don't trust big business, but still want to remove laws and regulations that protect people and natural resources. Sometimes the regs go too far, but if you give the corporations too much power they will roll over us.

It's all about balance and perspective. I don't condemn the Tea Party, I just wonder if they are being totally honest about their goals.

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