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Friday, March 20, 2009 - 8:25amSanction this postReply
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We now have Ma Chalmers and her soybean project: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=7110660&page=1



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Friday, March 20, 2009 - 8:09pmSanction this postReply
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"We now have Ma Chalmers and her soybean project"?

Isn't that more than a little overblown? It's just a damn vegetable garden.

I'm as annoyed by the Obamas' overweening faux populism as anyone else here, but we really ought to save the punching up of such Atlas allusions for projects that deserve it.

The ethanol obsession in Congress, and among the grasping statist farmers of the Midwest, is a much better example of Chalmerian idiocy. It's wholesale looting that's rationalized by questionable science, financed by corrupt economics, and leading to worse and much more expensive eating.

(Edited by Steve Reed on 3/20, 8:13pm)




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Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 8:12pmSanction this postReply
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I don't have a problem with Michelle growing vegetables at the White House, but it isn't just a garden.  It was used as a tool to teach the glories of the proletariat work ethic to school children, along with "trade is icky, and so are the vegetables at the supermarket." 

I can easily see Ma Chalmers doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same way.


  





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Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 9:52amSanction this postReply
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"It was used as a tool to teach the glories of the proletariat work ethic to school children, along with 'trade is icky, and so are the vegetables at the supermarket.'"

I saw nothing in the White House puffery about a "proletarian work ethic," whatever that is. (Work on a physical task in front of you, with your own hands, can indeed be satisfying. What exactly is wrong about that?)

Nor about "trade is icky," although, yes, Mrs. O was praising knowing more about what you eat and where it comes from. (The fad for overpaying to be "organic" is self-correcting, like much else, in harder times.)

If that's dangerous or duplicitous, then the Obamas have lots of company, because such gardening is on a pronounced upswing, even in this nascent Depression. Burpee Seeds is doing record business, as are garden-supply centers. If anything, the White House is "leading" something it didn't start, hardly a new phenomenon.

Nothing is directed here at Teresa in particular, or anyone else, but I have to ask:

Doesn't carping about things like this add greatly to the broader perception of Objectivist types as being incessant moralizers? Isn't anything Peikoff's absurd fulminations in "Fact and Value" notwithstanding part of the realm of the morally optional?

Let the Obamas have their fresh tomatoes. The Carters had their solar panels. Nixon had his guards costumed as if in an operetta. Kennedy had a swimming pool, since removed. These are small things, really. To allude to an insight of Rand's character Leo, let's talk about their lions of destruction, not their lice.



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Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 10:16amSanction this postReply
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I have to agree with Steve. There are so many clearer and more serious items to question, a vegetable garden shouldn't be a distraction.

jt



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Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 11:15amSanction this postReply
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I saw nothing in the White House puffery about a "proletarian work ethic," whatever that is. (Work on a physical task in front of you, with your own hands, can indeed be satisfying. What exactly is wrong about that?)


Nothing's wrong with it, but I can't sit here and pretend to ignore Michelle's past musings over the sad state of America, how it just wasn't worth her pride, until her Marxist husband won the Democratic Primary to run for President of the United States of America. I don't think for a minute she didn't use that garden full of kids to further a clear collectivist agenda.

It's fine if you don't care about it, Steve, but I do care about what children are taught, and by whom. 




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Monday, March 23, 2009 - 3:49amSanction this postReply
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"I don't think for a minute she didn't use that garden full of kids to further a clear collectivist agenda."

You also offer no evidence that she did. Nor have I read anything to that effect about it.

Sometimes, to paraphrase Freud, a vegetable garden is ... just a vegetable garden. However much it may be fertilized by the P.R. manure-spreaders.

"It's fine if you don't care about it, Steve, but I do care about what children are taught, and by whom."

You don't need to try to put such words in my mouth. I care deeply about that. I simply don't see the point in getting notably irritated over this kind of (relatively) whispered White House puffery. We won't stop it.

Not when there's the roaring collectivist shouting going on in the government school building down the street from me. And within a few blocks of you. That, one might have a chance of stopping or, at least, monkeywrenching. Or, at the very least, one can keep an eye on local malfeasance, and crusade against bond issues that feed those parasites.

Priorities, milady. Some skirmishes aren't really worth even the neurons to fight them, let alone the votes or bullets.

(Edited by Steve Reed on 3/23, 3:58am)




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Monday, March 23, 2009 - 2:30pmSanction this postReply
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Not when there's the roaring collectivist shouting going on in the government school building down the street from me. And within a few blocks of you. That, one might have a chance of stopping or, at least, monkeywrenching. Or, at the very least, one can keep an eye on local malfeasance, and crusade against bond issues that feed those parasites.

  I no longer have a local government. It's been taken over by the state due to (very long standing) mismanagement.  So, I'll continue my tirade against Comrad Granholm and Madame Obama. I gave up on my city council (and the voters here) years ago.

Good point about the bottom-up creep, though. You're right, and I appreciate it very much.




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Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 4:14amSanction this postReply
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This comment by me has Steve Reed very upset, so I'm going to apologize for it:

It's fine if you don't care about it, Steve, but I do care about what children are taught, and by whom. 

Steve, I apologize for this. I have no way of knowing what you value and what you don't. This was more a statement of what I value, rather than what I know you don't.




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Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 6:16pmSanction this postReply
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I think Teresa is right about this, and it is not aimed at healthy eating, economy, or something like the work ethic.
In defense of that, notice that the article itself emphasizes "habits of mind," to be learned by planting garden. Those didn't include learning what it takes, what to plant, how to take care of it, when to harvest, etc. Rather, they included references to "industrialized" food production and our dependence on fossil fuels...how many of us associate such terms with growing a veggie garden?
Also, it isn't the first time we've seen Obama propaganda aimed at children, a trend I find frightening.

I don't wish to weigh in on the Chalmers reference, though, on whether it should be saved for larger things.




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Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 8:21pmSanction this postReply
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Maybe we'll get lucky. After they get done displaying the wonders of a pre-industrial society they can stage a scene where someone demands a percentage of the produce for none of the effort. Give the kids a lesson in socialism while they're at it.



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