Saturday, April 11, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 22

A Texas Tea Party
On April 15 the Houston Tea Party will be held across from the downtown post office. On tax day the post office is like a magnet for the media, who seem to love filming individuals in their misery.

I will be lugging 150 copies of Atlas Shrugged, and hundreds of copies of pamphlets such as "Man's Rights" and "Health Care is Not a Right" to distribute to beleaguered taxpayers and protesters. The photo shows what a pyramid of 150 copies of Atlas looks like. I am claiming the world's record for the largest pyramid of Atlas Shrugged ever built. If you have never read Atlas, here is why you should.

The fun begins at 4 PM. If you would like to meet me, drop me a note and I will tell you where I hope to set up shop.

Intellectual Activism
I often encounter individuals who wonder what one person can do to combat the ideas that dominate our culture. Given that our Founding Fathers set a wonderful example, a quote from Samuel Adams (HT: HBL) is fitting:

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.

I can personally attest to the truth of this statement. In the early 1990s I led a small group of intellectual activists in fighting a zoning ordinance in Houston. We wrote pamphlets, letters to the editor, OpEd articles, gave talks, and expressed our ideas anywhere and everywhere we could. Less than a dozen of us had a profound impact on the debate, as other opponents to zoning ultimately adopted many of our arguments.

Moral of the story: Speak up when and where you can. You never know who might be listening.

Are We Being Taken for a Ride?
KHOU reporter Jeremy Desel informs us that Metro is telling us one thing, and the Feds another:

On March 4, the Metro Board voted on a contract with the Parsons Group to design, build and operate four new Light Rail lines.

The cost for the North Line would be $387 million, and the cost for the Southeast Line would be $441 million.


According to letters dated on March 23 from Metro to the Federal Transit Administration, Metro indicated that the current net project cost estimate would be $896 million for the North Line and $911 million for the Southeast Line.

Apparently, Metro wants to play it "safe" with local taxpayers, but if they can rape and pillage some poor slob in Toledo, or our grandchildren, that is fine. In other words, deliver the goods to the locals and let somebody else pay for it. That's not leadership. That's cowardice and dishonesty. The folks in Toledo and everywhere else are thinking the same thing, and when the bill comes due it ain't gonna be pretty.

The More Things Change...
A report commissioned by the Texas Public Policy Foundation has concluded that the federal stimulus package will cost jobs in Texas (HT: Houston Conservative):

The report concluded that the federal stimulus package would reduce net business output by 2.5%, which would translate into between 131,400 and 171,900 additional job losses in Texas.
When FDR tried the same thing it didn't work. But as they say, those who don't learn from history...

Culturally, philosophy is the prime mover. Philosophy provides man with a comprehensive view of life, and if that view is wrong and irrational, everything he looks at will be tainted. He will look at history and focus on non-essentials, accept superficial explanations, or most likely, both. And then he will proceed down the same path as his predecessors, oblivious to the abyss into which he is about to walk.

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