Disgruntledpatriot's Blog

May 25, 2010

Atlas Shrugged: A Review

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 5:53 am
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Ok, finally finished Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  I may piss off a lot of fans of Rand by this review, but at least hear me out.

As far as the story goes, it was way too long.  Reading Rand’s prose is a test in a reader’s patience.  She is beyond long-winded, and I believe enough unimportant scenes could have been cut in order to make my 1200 page copy about 800.  I had to put the book down twice to take a break and read something else, and I read a lot of books, I don’t put many down.

Now, having said that, the overall moral of the story was great.  I get the message and I agree with it.  The characters were believable, and the basic story itself was good.  I would recommend it to anyone, but I would also recommend someone in the Rand estate authorize it be cut down into a trilogy or something.

For those that haven’t read it and may be interested I don’t want to give too much away.  Basically it’s the story of an America gone askew.  Reading it was kinda scary at some parts, as if today’s politicians took their lines from the fictional bureaucrats in the book.  In Shrugged the government gets out of control with regulation, fairness, and control, leading to the systematic collapse of capitalism.  The collapse is aided by a man who decides that he will no longer be subject to the state, and works to save his beloved country by stopping the machine that keeps it going every day.  He collects like-minded people and essentially takes them out of the system.  The basic idea is what would happen if all of the businessmen, inventors, creators, artists, and the like got fed up enough with government involvement and just stopped?  What would happen to society if all those that oiled, built, repaired, and redesigned the machine that kept this country moving just left?

Like I said, the parallels between the fictional government, and today’s Washington D.C. are scary.  Some of the laws in congress right now smack of the regulation in the book, and some of the language of our own politicians is a reflection of those in Shrugged.  There were many times I would just stop reading, needing time to absorb what I read, and grasp the fact that I wasn’t reading the newspaper or some history text, but a work of fiction.

Again I recommend the book, but be prepared for a long read.


December 26, 2009

Senators Sell Their Souls, Health Care Passes

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 11:10 am
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What do you call it when you convince someone to change their mind by paying them?  Coercion right?  What if that person is in a position of power and influence?  Bribe is what they call that.  What does congress call it?  Business as usual.

Ben Nelson (D-Neb) is probably the most famous, getting a deal that exempts his state, and his state only, from paying for the Medicaid expansion…ever.  It’s amazing how a senator can think that a bill doesn’t stand on its own merits until someone hands over some cash, or some sort of benefit for that one state.

Cost of one Louisiana Senator?  $300M, not $100M as she was quick, and proud to point out according to Roll Call.

So what does the senate bill do now?  Well, it forces insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but puts those people into a ‘high-risk’ pool in which they will pay more in premiums.  Subsidies available for people making under 88k a year for a family of four.  (What if we don’t want a handout, can we give it back?)  Tax benefits for small businesses to obtain insurance for their workers.  Fines on larger businesses if even one employee seeks federal funds for insurance.  (I believe the number is $750 per employee if even one seeks funds)  Insurance companies will be required to pay 80 to 85 cents on every dollar on medical coverage.  That will leave 20-15 cents on every dollar to pay for overhead, operating costs such as wages for employees, and to offset the costs of insurance to their own employees that most of them get for free.  (Anyone else think that will drive a lot of them out of business?)  For the first time ever, and against our constitution, you will be forced to buy something that you may not want, just to comply with the law.  And, according to the CBO both bills will raise premiums and taxes, which if I am not mistaken is precisely the opposite of the promise of Democrats that they want to lower costs.  Oh, and the other lie, only 95% of people will get insurance, not 100% as they said in the beginning.

What’s next?  Well the house and senate have to come together and make one bill out of two.  Everyone that gave a vast sigh of relief when the public option was dropped, don’t forget, it’s still in the house bill and could still make it in the final bill that goes to the president.  Tax payer funds for abortion?  Well, the senate says that states can opt out, the house says none at all for abortion, which one will make it in.  Of all the things that we have seen so far, this is the biggest fraud that has been foisted on the American people yet.  The two bills that your representatives voted on may not look anything like the bill that finally goes to the President.  The democrats may get everything they want, tossing out any concessions they made to get votes, any compromises they made to appear bipartisan, and stuff in as much ‘social justice’ into this bill as they please.

If you haven’t read it yet, get a hold of Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, it will scare you.  It’s staggering how close she hit the nail on the head with what our government is really capable of.

December 12, 2009

New Regulations Remind Anyone of Atlas Shrugged?

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 11:18 am
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The house of representatives passed new legislation regulating the financial market, and big business in this country.  One of the “protections” in this bill is giving the government the power to break up companies that are deemed “too big to fail”.  Um, really?!  Who decides what company is too big to fail?  Where does the government get off breaking up any company for any reason other than illegal activity?  You can get the info on this here or in my article at the Examiner (cannot link it, the site is down but the link is on the side there, yeah right there, down a little, under FRIENDS.  Yes, I am my own friend, just click the button).

If you have not read it get a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  Opponents, and people who just do not get it, are criticizing the book and fans of Rand right now.  Fans are called crazy, the book is called delusional, but as I read it myself I am astounded that it was written in the 50s and not today.  People said that our government would never be like the one in her book, but…see above.  I have even heard our own politicians use words that could have been taken right from the mouths of the fictional “looter” politicians portrayed in the book.  If you have not read it, Atlas Shrugged is essentially a novel about an America where business has been forced to operate for social justice instead of profit.  Those who work for material ends, profit, property, and livelihood are deemed evil, while those that keep failing businesses open for the “common good” are considered saints.  Eventually one of the “evil capitalists” decides he wants to see what will happen if all the successful “evil” businessmen just quit.  Walk away from their business, leave the rest of the country to fend for themselves.  I am a little less than halfway through and so far reading it is a mixture of fascination, fear, and foreboding (wow lots of f words).  Every day I watch the news or read something online and wonder, was Ayn Rand a prophet or did she know, before the rest of us, what the progressive movement would mean for this country.

On a side note, what we talked about yesterday, I forgot to mention that in 2006 the same Democrats, including President (then Senator) Obama, criticized President Bush for over spending and they voted against raising the debt ceiling.  Yeah, great huh.  You know what makes that better, it was an election year for all of them, and they voted against it in March.  They were not voting what is best for the country, they were voting to get reelected, or to win more Democrat seats.  When will people wake up and realize that politicians do not care about what is best for this country, they only care about votes.

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