Archive for September, 2008

conservative !-> not helping people

September 18th, 2008

Yesterday I was listening to Bill O’Reilly.  I like to listen to/read a variety of opinions– part of being informed.  And yes, I realize radio is superficial.  I don’t really have the time to read articles during my work hours.

I digress.  Anyway, a few weeks ago O’Reilly proposed that the Oil Companies donate 2% of their net profits to a fund that they manage to help people who are having trouble paying for energy.  I think that’s a great idea.

A caller posed a a question along the lines of, “How is that any different than windfall profit taxes and redistribution?”  O’Reilly’s answer was, “Because it’s voluntary.”

And therein lies everything!  O’Reilly doesn’t bill (ha) himself as a “conservative.”  Yet what he says sums up my attitude towards charitable giving.  I’m a staunch supporter, nigh unto religious-zealot-adherent, of individual liberty.  I interpret my faith in such a way that this is a theological issue.  Forcing someone to do the right thing really doesn’t have a place in my view of the world.

But something that DOES have a place in my view of the world is people helping people.  That is a right thing to do, and I consider myself conservative.

I was speaking with my grandmother a few months ago, and she quoted part of Atlas Shrugged in which John Galt (sp?) delivers a monologue about how he won’t help another or expect another to let him live of off them.  The vibe I get from the staunch libertarians that I’ve spoken to is basically “screw you,” if you’re on hard times.  As much as I disagree with that viewpoint, holding it is a right given by the free society in which we live.

It’s completely based on faulty logic though.  Hardcore libertarianism (again, as I’ve observed it) seems to forget that a person can of their own free will be inclined towards charity.  And doing so in no way denies individual freedom, either of the giver or the receiver.  While I’d never force another person to do the right thing, I would labor day and night to persuade them to believe that the right thing is the right thing, motivating them to then make the same choice.  I call that sort of thing debate and letting the market place of ideas have its place.

But windfall profit taxes?  Redistribution of wealth?  Tithes and “offerings” as practiced in the Middle Ages?  No, no, and no.

7 years

September 11th, 2008

It has been 7 years since 9/11.  I remember walking into church in France for a choir practice when I got the news.  We weren’t sure if it had been an accident or not.  Turns out it wasn’t.

Anyway, not that anyone reads this, I want to send my sympathies to those who lost loved ones that day and who have lost loved ones as result of the chain of events that followed that terrible day.

Multiple versions of Rails on the same machine

September 3rd, 2008

One of the purposes of this blog is a place where I can catalogue stuff and find it again later.  That is one of the purposes of this post.

I have multiple versions of Rails on my computer, and I wanted to create a new sandbox application with one of the older ones.  I didn’t know how to do it, until I found this post.

That post is more in-depth.  The quick and dirty is the command:

rails _<railsversion>_ <app name>

Example: rails _1.2.3_ test

Note that there is a space between “rails” and the first underscore, as well as one between the last underscore and “<app name>.”

Hat is off to you SIDDHARTH.