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Archive | March, 2011

Grand Prize of $10,000 in 2011 Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

The Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest is open to 12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students from all over the world with an entry deadline of September 17, 2011. FIRST PRIZE: $10,000; 3 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000; 5 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000; 25 FINALISTS: $100; 50 SEMIFINALISTS: $50. Entrants must write an essay on one of the following topics:

1. What do you think is meant, in Part III of Atlas Shrugged, by the phrase “utopia of greed”?
2. Why does Francisco D’Anconia, heir to the greatest fortune in the world and a productive genius with boundless ambition, change his course and pose as, of all things, a playboy?
3. What does the story of Atlas Shrugged have to say about the relative powers of good and evil and the conditions under which one is victorious over the other?

The winning applicant will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged.

To learn more visit: Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest.

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Profiles in Business Courage: George Buckley CEO of 3M

Writes Richard Salsman at his blog on Forbes on  Bravo For George Buckley, A Righteous CEO:

Since his party’s failure in the mid-term elections, President Barack Obama has been posing as “pro-business” and a “centrist.” There’s not a single reason to believe it. Obama is a phony — on this and many other issues — just as he was during his 2008 campaign. If Obama is “pro-business” in any way, like most politicians today he claims to be so only to extract tax revenues and campaign funding. That’s the sole extent of it. Business is a mere host to his political parasitism. Yet his hostile attitude isn’t much different from that seen in the GOP.

[...] That Obama is being disingenuous is clear from the avalanche of new regulations, controls and dictates now piling atop America’s businessmen, whether due to ObamaCare’s further socialization of the health care sector, or to Dodd-Frank’s scheme to further invade the financial sector, or to the EPA’s latest crusade against nearly every sector by calling CO2 a “pollutant.” [...] In his essay on regulation Obama also conceded that many “unreasonable burdens on business” have “stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs,” yet he refused to call for the repeal of any set of regulations, or the abolition of a single regulatory agency. He keeps sponsoring and signing laws that impose still more burdens.

[...] For an alternative assessment — i.e., with refreshing honesty and candor — consider a recent interview of a courageous business executive who dares to describe Obama’s actual policy toward business: legalized looting. According to George Buckley, CEO of 3M Corp. since 2005, “We know what [Obama's] instincts are: they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.”

Buckley further explains that “there is a sense among companies that the U.S. is a difficult place to do business,” and “it is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.” He adds that “politicians forget that business has choice. We’re not indentured servants and we will do business where it’s good and friendly. If it’s hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We’ve got a real choice between …

Read the rest of Richard Salsman’s article at his blog on Forbes:  Bravo For George Buckley, A Righteous CEO.

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Politics Webcast from an Objectivist Perspective: U.S. Religious Conservatives, Obamacare Litigation and The Joy of Islam

Here’s a link to the broadcast of Amy Peikoff’s Don’t Let It Go Unheard — webcast to talk on politics and politics from an Objectivist perspective. This is the best podcast on politics from an Objective perspective so it is definitely worth a listen if you could not attend the live broadcast.

Topics discussed: Why there haven’t yet been large-scale protests in Saudia Arabia; the proper foreign policy approach in the Middle East; a number of stories under the title, “The Joy of Islam”; the latest from religious conservatives in the U.S.; the latest on the Obamacare litigation, and the legislation’s prospects on appeal.

Not only does Amy have a great voice, she also has a clear mind. Enjoy!

Download Episode #3 and/or to register for next week’s live podcast.

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Muslim Apostate Comic Book Artist Bosch Fawstin on John Stewart’s Daily Show Tonight

 

Apostate, Cartoonist and author of The Infidel, Bosch Fawstin will be on John Stewart’s Daily Show Tonight. According to Bosh:

Hey everyone, for better or worse, my segment on THE DAILY SHOW will be airing TONIGHT, 11PM EST, and 11PM PST as well. Not sure when it airs in other time zones, check your local listings.

I hope you all got and enjoyed The Infidel #1, reader reaction has been as good as I could have hoped for. I have no idea what to expect from The Daily Show appearance, it was 3 hours of shooting, but I hope it’s funny and informative and lets the world know that some small corner of pop culture is taking on the bastards.

Best,
Bosch

Also, in case you have not read it check out his interview over at Capitalism Magazine: Art Against Jihad: An Interview with Bosch Fawstin Creator of The Infidel and Pigman

UPDATE: It appears that the Daily Show took a “liberal approach” top editing effectively changing answers to some questions posed to Bosch. Writes Bosch on his blog,  “I’ve now seen the segment and before they “edited” it, I actually answered, ‎“What’s wrong with Batman in WW2 recruiting a German Batman without any mention of Nazis?” when Asif asked me “What’s wrong with a Muslim Batman?”, and they did the same thing with some of my other “answers” [..] For my full account of what was left out of Baosch’s aired segment on The Daily Show, click here.”

UPDATE: You can see Bosch’s “edited” appearance here:

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Salsman: Unions and Government By Mob Rule

Richard Salsman writes in Forbes on Ochlocracy and the Menace of Government Unions:

A revealing chant can be heard from the mobs invading the state capital in Madison, Wis.: “This is what democracy looks like.” Indeed, the much-beloved “democracy” of our tumultuous times entails under-performing, over-paid state bureaucrats showering pet politicians with compulsory union dues and holding taxpayers hostage to their militant demands while the voices and votes of a handful of reasonable officeholders are nullified by others who flee the state to duck hard votes. Meanwhile, out-of state mobs of equally under-performing, over-paid bureaucrats are bused into the state, to intensify the intimidation. This is democracy — what Tocqueville called the “tyranny of the majority” and Hamilton called our “real disease.”

Technically, the demonstrations and work stoppages of state bureaucrats and the unjust laws supporting them illustrate how we’ve got an ochlocracy — government by mob rule, by the “will of the “people,” by intimidation and fueled by ignorant voters and unprincipled demagogues. Government teachers ensure that students (future voters) are illiterate and innumerate, while populist “leaders” appeal not to voters’ reason but to their passions. Sacrificed in an ochlocracy is respect for individual rights, constitutionalism, and the rule of law. Peaceful assembly, petition and persuasion are displaced by the scream, the curse, and the threat.

In a truly free country there is sanctity of contract, voluntary exchange and bargaining (whether individually or collectively), freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and the right to petition (lobby) the government for a redress of grievances. But that’s not really what’s at stake in Madison, or in the half-dozen other U.S. state capitals where a growing number of union-based mobs are accumulating while blocking streets and occupying buildings. In a free country voluntary private labor unions are perfectly fine — however misguided they may be in their Marxist-inspired perceptions of “exploitation” by “robber barons” — but no one and no group has any right whatsoever to compel others to deal with them. Compulsion can never be justified, rationalized, legitimized or legalized in any process of genuine dealing, exchanging or bargaining.

Yet for the past 75 years — since the Wagner Act was enacted in 1935 — U.S. federal law has compelled private companies to “deal” with militant unions and to satisfy their excessive, unaffordable demands. Thereafter, if union members chose to strike and leave their jobs, the law (and “law enforcement” officers) allowed such quitters to torment, intimidate and prevent other laborers from freely working in their place, and forbade firms from hiring eager replacements.

The Wagner Act — known as the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) — created a political panel, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to curb the rights of employers in bargaining with unions. Thus since 1935 the NLRB has repeatedly violated private firms’ bargaining rights, dictating to those on only one side of the “negotiating” table (firms) what are “fair” or “unfair” practices, and privileging the other side (unions), in violation of voluntary bargaining. The NLRB forces firms to “deal” with unions, allows forced membership (and dues) on workers who do not want to participate in a union, and prohibits companies from replacing or firing those who conspire to sabotage or undermine it from within.

The list is quite long of once-vibrant U.S. industries that have been inexorably drained and decimated by compulsory unionism since 1935…

Read the rest at his blog at Forbes.

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