Obama Shrugged

I just finished reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, this week.  So, forgive me if I want to blather on about politics for a bit.  If you’ve never read this book, I’m not exactly sure I can recommend it to you.  It’s not something everyone would enjoy.  The story is great, in my opinion, and very compelling, but it is also full of a heap of philosophical ranting that is a bit repetetive and kind of drags on.  For example, there’s one famously long speech made by one of the characters that is somewhere around 60 pages long, depending on which printing you read.  There are good ideas being shared, but I thought they could have been shared just as effectively in half the volume.  Maybe that’s just my short attention span.  In any case, I loved the book and it’s given me a lot to think about, especially with President Obama’s recent inauguration.

The basic philosophy relayed by Atlas Shrugged is that free capitalism rocks, self-interest is good, that government needs to get out of the way and let the people with vision and skill go about building the world in a market system where they are free to exchange their ideas and labor for whatever they are worth to others, that undeserved charity is bad because it breeds laziness and incompetence and that for people to be happy they need to have a purpose and work towards fulfilling or extending that purpose.  The story behind all this philosophy is about an America where the smartest and hardest working people decide to go on strike because the government is stealing all their money and doling it out to others based on their need.  With the strikers no longer offering their ideas and work to the country, the whole economy and infrastructure collapse into ruin.  I probably left out some important stuff, but that’s the short, short version.

As I’ve been reading Atlas Shrugged, I’ve also been reading a lot and talking a lot about our new President, Obama.  I didn’t vote for Obama, and he definitely doesn’t seem to subscribe to any kind of free capitalist thinking, as espoused in Rand’s book, but I am excited in a lot of ways for his administration.  I’m not looking forward to all the ‘bailouts’ that are coming.  I don’t believe they will help the economy.  At best they will prolong the agony and at worst they will deepen it.  I’m not looking forward to all the new government involvement in business.  For every regulation they pass and enforce, they increase the size and cost of government and while they may stop one Enron or Madoff scandal from happening, they will prevent 10 successful businesses from ever getting off the ground, while they drain more and more resources away from actual production of useful goods and services and throw it down the greedy maw of bureaucracy.  I’m not looking forward to more social programs that encourage people to rely on the government rather than themselves.

However, that all being said, here’s why I’m excited for the new administration.  Hopefully, we finally have a leader that is able to lead.  We may not be headed in exactly the direction I would like to go, but at least we will be headed somewhere, rather than just sitting in the middle of our big pile of garbage and blaming each other for who littered the most.  I’m looking forward to getting out of Iraq, stopping illegal torture and rendition and trying to regain some of our credibility with the rest of the world.  I’m looking forward to restoring the rule of law, realizing that you can’t suspend the law in the name of security, because the law is our security.  I’m looking forward to a President that embraces new technology and knows that the internet is not just ‘a series of tubes.’  Perhaps most of all, I’m looking forward to a world where the man with the most ability to unleash nuclear war, is also able to pronounce it correctly.

I’m Going to Beat my Wife

Well, now that I have your attention, let’s get down to the real reason for this post. I’m not actually talking spousal abuse here. I neither engange in nor endorse that type of behavior. What I’m talking about is war. I’ve just challenged my wife, Karli, to a no-holds-barred blog war. I’m sick and tired of her being more popular and well loved than me, so my goal is to get more blog readers than her by the end of February. To do that, I’m going to have to up the quality and the quantity of my blogging, so I’m aiming to post once a day. That’s right, I’m combining a shock and awe strategy with a surge.  I just hope Karli has a reconstruction plan in place.

So, you can look forward to some exciting and stimulating content, coming soon. Remember to check back daily and help me out. Or, if you want to yawn your way through some drivel about photography, crafts and parenting, you can go on over to Karli’s snooze-fest of a blog here. But remember, half of all proceeds from Karli’s blog go to help the terrorists. Choose wisely.

ps if you’re reading this Karli, sorry for the slander, but thanks for the unique visitor, sucker!