Friday, May 20, 2011

From the Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

“The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men.
“The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.
“The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.
“The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares that man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism.
“Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for others and place others above self.
“No man can live for another. He cannot share his spirit just as he cannot share his body. But the second-hander has used altruism as a weapon of expoloitation and reversed the base of mankind’s moral principles. Men have been taught every precept that destroys the creator. Men have been taught dependence as a virtue.
“The man who attemps to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality—the man who lives to serve others—is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit? The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He degrades the dignity of man and he degrades the conception of love. But this is the essence of altruism.
“Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution—or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement.
“Men have been taught that their first concern is to relieve the sufferings of others. But suffering is a disease. Should one come upon it, one tries to give relief and assistance. To make that the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life. Then man must wish to see others suffer—in order that he may be virtuous. Such is the nature of altruism. The creator is not concerned with disease, but with life. Yet the work of the creators has eliminated one form of disease after another, in man’s body and spirit, and brought more relief from suffering than any altruist could ever conceive.
“Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.
“Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egotist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are functions of the self.
“Here the basic reversal is most deadly. The issue has been perverted and man has been left no alternative—and no freedom. As poles of good and evil, he was offered two conceptions: egotism and altruism. Egotism was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self. Altruism—the sacrifice of self to others. This tied man irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon others for the sake of self. When it was added that man must find joy in self-immolation, the trap was closed. Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal—under the threat that sadism was his only alternative. This was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.
“This was the device by which dependence and suffering were perpetuated as fundamentals of life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Class Act: Bill Stewart

There are few things quite as bad as being fired. Being fired a year ahead of time and having to work with your successor almost borders on the bizzarre. Most folks could be blamed for thinking that it wouldn't work.

But so far, so good.

Head Coach in waiting/offensive coordinator Dana Holgerson garnered much of the attention this spring. His offense opened eyes and catapulted West Virginia high into many way too early preseason polls. Sometimes you almost forget that Bill Stewart still technically runs this team.

Success is nice, but the Mountaineers were playing against each other. Quarterback Geno Smith played well, but no one was allowed to hit him. We'll see if this works when the rubber meets the road around the end of September.

For now, Bill Stewart deserves kudos for helping to make a bad situation work.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Earl Ray Tomblin, the Gray Acting Governor

In the 1800s, they had a phrase that described figures like Tomblin. It was repeated about several different figures who held governorships in different states. The phrase was "gray governor." In other words, they had experience, but not vision and stability without energy. They did not inspire, but didn't raise expectations either.

Tomblin's main asset seems to be the general consensus that he will not rock the boat or try to do too much. If West Virginia were riding high and doing well, I'd be the first to support a candidate whose primary purpose seemed to be to stay the course. The problem is that our ship of state is going nowhere. We are in the Sargasso Sea of economic development and have been for over eighty years. Joe Manchin was the best that the Democrats produced in that span and even he could not help to create conditions that would result in a growth of varied economic sectors. He, like Tomblin, was one of a series of career politicians who only know the political way to do anything.

Bill Maloney is a job creator. Like Congressman David McKinley, he brings successful business sense to the table. Maloney has a vitality and an energy that we need in the Governor's Mansion. What he lacks in political experience, he more than makes up in economic. He's no career politico or community organizer. Maloney creates jobs.

And that is what we need, first and foremost, in West Virginia

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Biography of Republican Nominee For West Virginia Governor Bill Maloney

BiographyBill Maloney is an experienced and dedicated West Virginia business and community leader. He is a conservative who is willing to lead by example, stand by his principles and values, and put the needs of West Virginians first.

Bill’s leadership experience in the business world and in service to his community runs deep. No stranger to hard work, he worked his way up from rig hand to project engineer to founder and executive of leading global drilling companies.

Bill was a co-founder and executive at North American Drillers, North American Pump and Supply Co., and Shaft Drillers International (SDI). He grew SDI from a two-person business in 1984 to become the world-leader in large-diameter shaft drilling for mining and other industries. Bill sold his share of the business in 2006. Currently, he is the principal of Cow Run Energy LLC and Drill Leader LLC.

An active investor in numerous start-up companies and community organizations, Bill is committed to helping others succeed. He doesn’t just invest in ideas or business plans, he invests in people. Bill believes people make all the difference.

An active member of the West Virginia Angel Network, Bill provides needed financial support and guidance to entrepreneurial efforts to diversify West Virginia’s economy in such areas as engineering and construction, specialized manufacturing, banking, media, organic foods, software, and natural resource development. He is also a past president of the Greater Morgantown Community Trust.

Bill is the founder of the Mine Rescue Drilling Fund, which was established to provide critical assistance for mine rescues in the United States and abroad. He started the fund following his efforts in the successful rescue of 33 trapped miners in Chile last year. Convinced their expertise could aid in the rescue of the miners, Bill and his drilling colleagues took action and were the driving force behind rescue “Plan B,” which helped to free the miners.

Bill is an active member of the Society of Mining Engineers, the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute, the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, and the National Groundwater Association. He is a past chairman of the West Virginia chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.

Bill, 52, has been married to Sharon Maloney for 29 years. They have two daughters. The Maloneys reside in Monongalia County and attend Chestnut Ridge Church. Bill is a graduate of Lehigh University with a degree in industrial engineering.

Monday, May 16, 2011

How to Make Sure That We Get the Most Bang For Our Buck In Highway Spending

Infrastructure is an issue that affects us all. We all drive over the roads and bridges that criss-cross the nation, or at least pay for them. However, we need more transparency in this process to make sure that our money is spent as efficiently and as effectively as possible. There is a proposal before Congress that can help make this a reality.

It is The Fiscal Accountability and Transparency in Infrastructure Spending Act, also known as Senate Bill 615 and sponsored by Louisiana Senator David Vitter. It is exactly the type of legislation that our citizens are demanding because it requires states and government agencies to obtain a life-cycle cost analysis based on the standards developed by the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, the cost analysis must incorporate initial costs and discounted future costs over at least a 50-year period as this model more closely captures the actual economic impact of infrastructure projects. It also provides state and local transportation agencies with the flexibility to use alternate infrastructure type design and bidding procedures to increase competition and drive down costs.

A failing infrastructure cannot support a strong economy. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), America's infrastructure has a cumulative grade of D and our nation's network of roads, highways and bridges needs substantial work. This transparent process ensures that officials can make decisions that are truly the most cost effective for the American taxpayer and includes measures to further drive down the costs of these important projects

This legislation will help officials build roads with more transparency, at a better value. I hope West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin will vote to support Senator Vitter's critical piece of legislation. It's the right thing to do.