by John Grooms
The New Bosses in the General Assembly were in such a hurry to ram their agenda through the legislature, its taken awhile to catch up to all the damage they caused. Im sure theyll be proud to have made a 10 Craziest State Legislatures list compiled by the evil liberals at Alternet. Closer to home, newspapers in North Carolina have been tallying the bad news and commenting on it. The Winston-Salem Journal published an editorial today that should be read by anyone who honestly thinks the New Bosses did whats best for all North Carolinians. Its about a tax change that allows corporations to shift earned income in North Carolina to other states, thus avoiding N.C. tax, and letting tens of millions of dollars flow out of the state's economy. The editors of the Journal make it clear that the new law isnt just a travesty; its a bipartisan travesty, as Gov. Perdue signed it into law, knowing full well that the lawmakers didnt even understand what they were passing. As the Journal's editors write, This is not the way to make laws.
On another note, weve been fans of essayist Hal Crowther for a long time, which is why he used to appear in the pages of Creative Loafing. His latest piece, which you can read in its entirety here, is a masterpiece dealing with the oddly sad-but-funny race for the GOP presidential nomination. Crowther then segues into a blistering look at the rebirth of interest in Ayn Rand, including among some top GOP congressional leaders. Rand, a sociopathic atheist whose philosophy amounted to a glorification of extreme selfishness, is a favorite of U.S. House GOP budget "expert," Rep. Paul Ryan. Here are some choice quotes from Crothers column:
The Republican Partys slapstick search for a leader would be heartwarming and sidesplitting, but for the tragic knowledge that one of these scrambling midgets will collect tens of millions of votes in the presidential election of 2012. Never have so many amounted to so little, talked so much rubbish, or dreamed of an office so far above their abilities.
The odious hypocrite Newt Gingrich, who considered himself a serious presidential candidate until his entire staff abandoned him in disgust, rests his appeal on his intellectual superiority to Sarah Palin and Rick Perry a distinction much like being a faster runner than Dom DeLuise.
A passion for the prose and philosophy of Ayn Rand tells us a great deal about an individual, none of it good. There are few surer signs of a poor reader, a poor thinker and an unpleasant person than a well-thumbed copy of Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead.
[Rand's beliefs are] the same string of arrogant assumptions that spawned the Master Race theories of Herr Hitler: ego-deification, social Darwinism, arbitrary stratification of human types. Adapted for capitalism, it becomes the divine right to plunder a license for those who own nearly everything to take the rest, because they wish to, because they can. Because the weak dont matter. Let the big dogs feed. This repulsive theology was the work of a fairly repulsive person.