People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

'Atlas Shrugged,' a by-God Phenomenon

In this time of national turmoil and strife, citizens turn to those with answers to their many questions.  An island in that sea of tumultuous upheavel?

Ayn Rand.

To her the people flock:
Box-office power of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ baffles insiders
By Paul Bond, Chicago Sun Times

The power of Ayn Rand devotees has impressed some Hollywood distribution executives, who took note of the hefty $5,640 per-theater average scored by “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” during its opening weekend.

“Shocking,” one executive said about the healthy business the low-budget film has been doing, considering its “awful” marketing plan.

Awful or not, business has been brisk enough for producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month. They don’t have enough film prints to fill all the orders.

“Things have turned for us,” Kaslow said. “When we started, exhibitors were not embracing the film like we thought they would. Now, we can pretty much go into as many theaters as we want. It’s just a matter of logistics.”

The producers stand by their marketing campaign, which relied heavily on the Internet to drum up support among members of the Tea Party, libertarians and other Rand enthusiasts. [link]
As for that "exhibitors were not embracing the film," if I were an exhibitor, knowing Rand's novel as well as I do, I wouldn't have been a big embracer either.  Rand's book is so complex (and, by modern standards, her writing at times so turgid) that I would have expected the movie to big a big mess.  And a flop.

But it seems to be playing well.  And, as the weeks progress, it's gaining more audience.

I'm looking forward to seeing it.

The ACLU, Comedy Central

These guys love a good joke:

Death Row Inmates Sue FDA Over Execution Drug from Overseas
American Civil Liberties Union

Yesterday, six inmates from death rows in California, Arizona and Tennessee sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Health and Human Services for allowing those states to import non-FDA-approved sodium thiopental from foreign suppliers to carry out executions.

Sodium thiopental is a general anesthetic sometimes used by doctors for surgery patients. The drug is also part of the three-drug cocktail many death penalty states use to execute condemned inmates. The only FDA-approved manufacturer is Illinois-based Hospira, which announced last month that it will cease manufacturing the drug. [link]
The last paragraph in the article reveals the fact that the membership of the ACLU not only enjoys foisting a good joke on the American people (we can't kill these rapists and murderers with a non-FDA approved lethal injection!), it does so in a drunken stupor.  How does one decipher this gem?
Yesterday's lawsuit and the sodium thiopental shortage in general have revealed some states' true colors: While California went through a $4 million rollercoaster ride in an attempt to execute Albert Brown and convinced the FDA to break its own rules to secure enough of the death drug, a bill repealing the death penalty in Illinois sits on Gov. Pat Quinn's desk awaiting signature. We hope these two states will compel other death penalty states to re-examine their use of capital punishment.
The shortage of sodium thiopental reveals ... what?  That the only U.S. source for the drug stopped production?  No, that the death penalty is still in use!

Whatever these yucksters are drinking, pour me a double.

Their World Is Crumbling Around Them

Here's a story I've been following in recent weeks.  It has to do with environmentalists and their wacky predictions.  Predictions that become part of the liturgy of the Global Warming Faith.  A faith being brutally shaken by ... reality.

The story:
Climate Refugees, Not Found
Wall Street Journal

In 2005, the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) published a color-coded map under the headline "Fifty million climate refugees by 2010." The primary source for the prediction was a 2005 paper by environmental scientist Norman Myers.

Six years later, this flood of refugees is nowhere to be found, global average temperatures are about where they were when the prediction was made—and the U.N. has done a vanishing act of its own, wiping the inconvenient map from its servers.

The map, which can still be found elsewhere on the Web, disappeared from the program's site sometime after April 11, when Gavin Atkins asked on AsianCorrespondent.com: "What happened to the climate refugees?" It's now 2011 and, as Mr. Atkins points out, many of the locales that the map identified as likely sources of climate refugees are "not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world."

These columns have asked for some time how anyone can still manage to take the U.N.-led climate crowd seriously. Maybe the more pertinent question is whether the climateers have ever taken the public's intelligence seriously. [link]
What have the environmentalist true-believers learned from this embarrassing episode?  That maybe their faith has been misguided?

Don't be stupid.

They've learned to make predictions that can't be challenged by empirical data!

See "New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1000 years, causing researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metres."

The year 3000.  Warmth.  Count on it.  We're scientists.  We know this stuff.

For the love of God.

What Kind Of Person Makes Fun of a Down's Syndrome Baby?

A "progressive," naturally.

If there is a hell ...

Hey, Let's Take One For Gaia

Purchase a curlicue light bulb.  Die a slow, ravaging, painful death:

But you will have helped reduce greenhouse gases by 0.00004° C. So feel triumphant in your pain and misery.

Just What We Need. Another McCain.

If you need a reason to avoid this future GOP presidential contender like the plague, look no further:

I warned you about McCain. You didn't listen. Now McCain Junior waits in the wings, poised to lead the Republican Party to another crushing defeat in 2012.

But the New York Times loves him just the same.

Go figure.

You may remember this bumper sticker that I had plastered to the sidebar on this weblog - until it was too late to stop the GOP madness:

So here we go again.

It doesn't quite work.

But then again ...

- - -

Update 9:14am:  From AL in the comments:

"How about...

"I'd rather stick my tongue in a fan, than vote for Huntsman

I burst out laughing.  I love you guys.

If I Were To Change My Name ...

I sometimes have the strangest thoughts come to mind.

But I read this - "Kloppenburg's folly" - and it came to me: there's the name I'd want.

Ernst-Ulrich Fuhrman.

Either that or I go all out and do Hans Klaus Krieg.

How cool is that?

Now all I need is a Hollywood agent.

This Should Be Interesting

States working in (semi) defiance of federal law.

As one might expect, the flashpoint - Obamacare.

The first state to enter the fray - Georgia.

News from the Health Care Compact:
Georgia First State To Sign Health Care Compact Into Law

Alexandria, VA – Today the Health Care Compact, an agreement between participating states that restores authority and responsibility for health care regulation to member states, was signed into law by Georgia's Governor, Nathan Deal. The compact allows Georgia to create their own health care policies by joining an interstate compact that supersedes prior federal law. Georgia is the first state to sign the compact into law.

Health Care Compact Alliance Chairman Eric O’Keefe released the following statement:

“Today, Georgia's Governor Deal joined the Georgia legislature in taking a bold step to give the people of Georgia control of their health care future. By acting to move authority and responsibility for health care from Washington, D.C. to Georgia, Governor Deal will help to trigger a robust conversation among citizens and their local representatives about sustainable reforms that meet the needs of all Georgians.

Georgia's leaders have acted to escape the mandates handed down from a centralized bureaucracy in Washington which threatens to bankrupt the country while rationing health care.

The Health Care Compact Alliance congratulates Governor Nathan Deal as well as all of the sponsoring legislators. With their leadership and determination, Georgia will lead the country toward a brighter future in which patients – not bureaucrats -- determine their care."
The federal government - through the machinations of Barack Obama - has stepped way beyond its ordained role in overseeing our once-great health care delivery system.  He and it have now created a complete mess of our most precious institution.  And, until Obamacare is overturned, that mess will continue to worsen.

The various united states, with Georgia leading the way, are trying feverishly to save us from total ruin.

Here's to the attempt.

- - -

Speaking of the rising tide of federalism, Georgia isn't alone in its effort to work independently of the United States government.  Here's something that I find interesting:

It is said that money became so worthless in the Weimar days of post- (and pre-) war Germany that one had to secure the use of a wheelbarrow to haul enough paper currency down to the local grocery in order to buy a loaf of bread (we're all familiar with the Deutschmark; how about a 50 million Mark?  In November, 1923 the purchase of a loaf of bread would require sixty of these bad boys!).  It got so bad that one gold Mark was pegged at one trillion paper Marks.

Gold, by the way, is trading at $1,504 this morning, up from $273 in 2000.

People aren't stupid.  They're going to put their investments where they'll get the most bang for their buck gold.  Massive federal debt, the threat of hyperinflation, and a grossly weak dollar will do that.

What does Utah's action foretell?  Perhaps nothing more than a rising level of unease with the way the United States of America conducts business these days.

By the way, you can plan ahead and get a really nifty wheelbarrow at Lowe's this morning for a hundred bucks.

Price subject to change, of course ...