Archive | February, 2013
February 24, 2013
“In an effort to publicize [Atlas Shrugged], Ayn agreed to an interview with Mike Wallace, on his New York television show, ‘Night Beat,’ the hard-driving program that began his rise to prominence. They liked each other immediately, and were to visit together on a number of occasions over the following years. ‘She was perfect grist for the mill of Night Beat,’ Mike later said. ‘She voiced provocative opinions, she was anti-establishment and utterly unexpected, with a kind of close reasoning and a clarity that one had to admire; it was a remarkable interview. And the calls and letters that poured in about it shook the rafters.”
February 22, 2013
Repeal ObamaCare is a grass-roots campaign that started on Facebook on the eve of the worst health care law in U.S. history.
On March 23, 2013 find an opportunity to state your opposition to Obamacare.
Our next event I Oppose ObamaCare 3, is scheduled for March 23, 2013, the third anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—widely known as ObamaCare—recently upheld by the Supreme Court. We aim to make ourselves heard with clear, concise and principled opposition to ObamaCare.
Here’s how it works.
This coming Saturday, March 23, simply state in a few words or sentences why you oppose the law. Or say “I Oppose ObamaCare.”
You can do it on our Facebook group/event wall, in a letter to the editor or op-ed, around the water cooler at work, or at the grocery store, drugstore, doctor’s office, Starbucks, family gathering or elsewhere, such as on Twitter and other media. Send an e-mail to your friends, your doctor, your insurance company, your pharmacist. Write a letter to the editor, or an op-ed for the local newspaper, go on cable TV public access, talk radio, a podcast, or just talk to your friends, family and neighbors. Find an opportunity to speak up and say “I Oppose ObamaCare.”
It only takes a minute to make a difference.
We often hear people ask what one can do. Well, here’s what one can do. It’s not difficult. It’s not time-consuming. It’s not even an especially intellectual exercise, though it can be if you make it so. It’s a declaration – I Oppose ObamaCare – of opposition, renunciation and independence, on the date that marks the law’s creation. And it might feel good to express your thoughts, too. So, mark the calendar for – March 23, 2013 – when we rise up and say it again, only louder, with more passion and in greater numbers. And again and again until this law is repealed. Step up and do it. For your own sake.
Share your experience with us.
Please like our Facebook group page, follow us on Twitter (@OpposeObamaCare), and use the hashtag #IOpposeObamaCare. Our Facebook group has fine moderators, so please feel free to invite and encourage your friends, family and others to join the crusade against this law, which may influence the public, politicians and others.
February 20, 2013
Writes Ian Birrell over at The Independent:
Above all, we see it with talk – and not just on the left – of capitalism being in crisis and the need for fierce new regulation.
This is wrong. It is capitalism, after all, that is spreading prosperity and well-being around the world – and with such stunning effect across Asia, Latin America and Africa. I am always struck by anti-capitalist rants I see hammered out on the latest tablet. The problem is crony capitalism.
“Crony capitalism” is a euphemism for an especially perverse form of government intervention — an unholy marriage between government elites and businessmen with political pull that characterizes a “mixed economy.” Yet it is Capitalism that gets the blame.
It is this form of it – sneered at in developing nations – which has taken a grip in the West as the power of corporate giants has grown. As Freeland says, super-elites are often the product of a strong market economy, but as their influence grows, they can stifle it.
But they can only do so with the government interventions such as “protectionism” and “Too Big To Fail” laws.
Capitalism remains a uniquely vigorous force. Just look at the pace of change in the unfettered technology industry. But ask why those banks that wrecked the economy – and, in the case of the retail ones, are often loathed by their customers – have not been replaced by more dynamic entrants instead of being salvaged by the state. […]
What we need to do is unleash capitalism in this country rather than restrain it. Politicians should focus not on headline-grabbing stunts like the mansion tax but on ensuring that the big players in complacent industries such as banking, energy, retailing and, yes, outsourcing, are less entrenched, less protected by their friends in Whitehall. [i.e., government] Transparency, technology and consumer anger can drive change.
To do this, we do not need more regulation, we need better regulation – […]. Above all, we need politicians who have learned the key lesson of recent years: that there is a huge difference between being pro-business and pro-market. [“From Banks to the ‘big six’ energy companies – more capitalism, not less of it, is the answer – Comment – Voices – The Independent”]
Or rather, to be pro-market is to treat all businesses equally, under a rule of law guided by the principle of individual rights, as opposed to granting favors to some while punishing others in the name of an ever fluid “public interest.”
February 18, 2013
February 15, 2013
On Sunday, February 17, the Sierra Club will lead what is being billed as the world’s largest ever “climate rally.” In fact, it’s a blackout rally, as the Sierra Club opposes all practical energy sources–fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro. Join Center for Industrial Progress (CIP) and Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) in our Light Brigade counter-protest. This is an educational counter-protest where energy philosopher Alex Epstein, physicist Eric Dennis, climate journalist Marc Morano, and other experts will be engaging the protesters on camera, while other Light Brigade participants hand out crucial information on fossil fuels and our environment that the mainstream media never mentions.
February 6, 2013
The chairman of the Idaho Senate’s Education Committee has introduced legislation to require every Idaho high-school student to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and pass a test on it. He said he was making a “statement.”
February 2, 2013
Don Watkins has an excellent piece on Rand’s influence on today’s political landscape:
Rand has helped many people see that something has gone wrong in America. But they haven’t yet understood the source of the problem or Rand’s radical solution.
A political movement truly shaped by Rand’s ideas would not flinch, as Republicans and Tea Partiers do, from charges that it is the mouthpiece of the rich and the mean-spirited. It would declare that it is a movement for all producers, proudly embracing the innovative rich, the ambitious poor, and everyone in between. If you earn your wealth through production and voluntary trade, a Rand-inspired political movement would affirm that it is yours by right.
And instead of looking at programs like Social Security and Medicaid only from the recipients’ point of view, a Rand-inspired political movement would point to the great injustice committed against those who are forced to provide retirement and medical care to others. It would ask: by what right does the government seize wealth from some people so it can dole out unearned rewards to others? Nothing, it would declare, is more mean-spirited than depriving an individual of his property and liberty.
In other words, a Rand-inspired political movement would be a principled movement. It would champion laissez-faire capitalism—the total separation of state and economics—as the only system that fully protects the rational and productive individual, securing his moral and political right to pursue his own happiness. [Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand — Why are you still so misunderstood? | Fox News]
February 2, 2013
February 2nd is the birthday of Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand developed and defended Objectivism, a philosophy that advocates “rational selfishness.”
To celebrate Randsday, you do something not done on any other holiday: you give yourself a present. Randsday is for getting that longed-for luxury you ordinarily would not buy for yourself. Or for doing that long-postponed, self-pampering activity you cannot seem to fit into your chore-packed schedule.
Randsday is for reminding ourselves that pleasure is an actual need, a psychological requirement for a human consciousness. For man, motivation, energy, enthusiasm are not givens. Psychological depression is not only possible but rampant in our duty-preaching, self-denigrating culture. The alternative is not short-range, superficial “fun,” but real, self-rewarding pleasure. On Randsday, if you do something that you ordinarily would think of as “fun,” you do it on a different premise and with a deeper meaning: that you need pleasure, you are entitled to it, and that the purpose and justification of your existence is: getting what you want—what you really want, with full consciousness and dedication.
In The Fountainhead, Peter Keating comes to realize this:
Katie, I wanted to marry you. It was the only thing I ever really wanted. And that’s the sin that can’t be forgiven—that I hadn’t done what I wanted. It feels so dirty and pointless and monstrous, as one feels about insanity, because there’s no sense to it, no dignity, nothing but pain—and wasted pain. . . . Katie, why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world—to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want. As I wanted to marry you. Not as I want to sleep with some woman or get drunk or get my name in the papers. Those things—they’re not even desires—they’re things people do to escape from desires—because it’s such a big responsibility, really to want something.
Randsday is the time to challenge any duty-premise, re-affirm your love of your values, and honor the principle that joy in living is an end in itself.
Have a selfish Randsday!
Dr. Binswanger, a longtime associate of Ayn Rand. He moderates Harry Binswanger’s List (HBL)–an email list for Objectivists for discussing philosophic and cultural issues. Made available from www.randsday.com