Archive for October, 2009

And now a word from our sponsor…

I have decided lately that Best Buy has terrible deals. It really may be the one of the worst stores ever. When I went there back when I needed to write my paper the weekend before last, after my lame laptop power adapter broke and almost electrecuted me to death.

They’ll sell you a  universal adapter at Best Buy…for $100 or more! On ebay, you can get those for less than $20, with free shipping.

I looked at some other items as well. Digital recorders were $60 ($20 on Ebay). Wireless adapters, $50-60 PLUS TAX ($17 on Ebay, with no sales tax). Even fifty-foot ethernet cables at Best Buy cost $37 (plus tax). On Ebay, you can get a one HUNDRED-foot cable for $9 with free shipping.

I haven’t done extensive comparisons on computer prices yet. Nonetheless, preliminary investigation suggests that you can get significantly better deals for them online as well. And the funny thing is, you can go to Best Buy and look at their store prices, and then get on the computers they have set out and check the prices on Ebay. Haha, man I’m smart.

Ebay, definitely the way to go.

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Misunderstandings about freedom

Recently, I posted a link to my facebook page about a rather thin model getting fired for fatness. I criticized the businessmen at Ralph Lauren , and I called their business image “idiotic.” And rightly so: Overly skinny women are unnatural, unattractive freaks. Promoting that image is idiotic. Aside from the morality of it, I doubt that such an image even makes good business sense. Before long, though, one of my friends commented on my facebook post. He wrote that he had trouble understanding my position. He knew that I liked business and money and capitalism. It blew his mind to hear me criticize a company for making a business decision.

My friend obviously demonstrated a flawed (although common) thought process. That is, he imagined that capitalism meant I should never disapprove of business activity. But such is not capitalism. Capitalism does not mean that you approve of everything businesses do. After all, companies periodically go out of business. Thus, some of them are making dumb decisions at various points. Capitalism simply means embracing freedom.

I think many leftists often fail to grasp a basic concept about freedom: Advocating liberty does not mean you approve of every action that will result from that freedom. Take, for example, religion. I can confidently condemn every religion in the world as idiotic except for evangelical, Protestant, free-grace Christianity. Does this mean that I want to imprison people for failing to embrace the correct religion? (Bring out the Inquisition!) No. I may try to persuade people to adopt the right path, but unlike the leftists, I believe in freedom.

freedom tower

Leftists, unfortunately, cannot generally distinguish personal preferences from government action. That is why leftists have a tendency to fear any strongly stated opinions. If you make a moral judgment in front of a leftist, he either strongly supports you (if he agrees) or begins to fear (if he disagrees) that you plan to take over the government and impose your view on everyone. He feels that way because if he had a moral passion, he would act in such a manner.

Overall, my views about freedom to tend to shock people today. They were fairly common around the time when the country was founded. But now, people are more used to hearing “liberals” who support government intervention in every aspect of people’s lives — based on the idea that such intervention will produce utopia according to their moral preferences. People are too used to hearing “libertarians” who oppose government intervention on every issue (e.g., punishing drug use) — not simply because freedom outweighs the immorality, but rather out of a conviction that nothing (e.g., drug use) is actually immoral. That is, most libertarians support legalized drugs, gay marriage, abortion, easy divorce, etc. not simply out of political pragmatism, but rather out of moral apathy. If they believed drugs were evil, they would prohibit them (regardless of the economics or political wisdom). But they do not believe anything is evil, so they prohibit nothing.

Today, freedom derives primarily from personal preferences rather than from ideals about God-given rights. People thus find it unusual when you say something like, “That idea is completely idiotic…but although I will berate you fiercely for your stupidity, I have no intention of destroying your free will to be a fool.” Such a statement simply baffles them.

Horrible heroes

Recently, it has come to my attention that Obama’s Communications Director Anita Dunn is, in fact, a communist. Apparently, she considers Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Teresa two of her favorite “political philosophers.” Mao, of course, was the wicked revolutionary who toppled the free Chinese government following World War II and implemented communism over that gigantic nation. Mao thereby founded the People’s Republic of China, which is arguably America’s arch-nemesis in the present era. He also propped up North Korea during the Korean War, killing thousands of Americans, and later killed millions of his own citizens.

Try to imagine a politician calling Joseph Stalin (or Adolph Hitler) or even Fidel Castro one of his “favorite political philosophers” — a source of historical inspiration whom he has chosen to “turn to most.” The idea is absolutely absurd.

Mother Teresa, of course, was not a politician but rather worked toward charity. We should, of course, consider the context of Anita’s praise for Mother Teresa. By referring to her as a “political philosopher,” presumably Ms. Dunn means that socialistic governments should coerce others into acting “charitably.” (Incidentally, I doubt that Mother Teresa considered Mao Tse-Tung one of her “favorite political philosophers.”)

Anyway, if you just look around, it’s pretty obvious that the United States of America has really gone to the dogs. Sixty years ago, people could lose their careers for even hinting that they held communist sympathies. Yes, America had liberals like Lyndon Johnson, and yes, liberals do not differ much from communists — but they at least pretended to differ! Back then, communist sympathies were considered shameful. Nowadays, the communists have emerged from the closet. Instead of hiding in shame, they parade through the streets. They even run our government.

Anyway, my life kinda sucks right now because despite the fact that it’s Fall Break, I’m having to spend the weekend writing a twenty-page paper about “behavioral economics” (which is actually kind of a liberal subject itself, but that topic will have to wait for another day). Nonetheless, I saw this breaking news and felt compelled to comment. Communists have taken over our government, and I’m just about ready to revolt.