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Politics Webcast from an Objectivist Perspective

Here’s a link to broadcast of Amy Peikoff’s Don’t Let It Go Unheard — webcast to talk on politics and politics from an Objectivist perspective. Topics include: Tax dollars to support mosques in Egypt; the current mess in the Middle East; potential presidential candidates for 2012; and the soon-to-be released (and recently screened) Atlas Shrugged movie. Not only does Amy have a great voice, she also has a clear mind. Enjoy!

To download Episode #2 and/or to register for next week’s live podcast click here.

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Islam is Islamism; Democracy is Mob Rule

I appreciate Mr. Pipes’ assessment of Egypt and the “regime change” there, and certainly respect his appraisal of Islam and the Mideast, but I shudder every time I encounter and otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable person employ the term “democracy” so carelessly. It is as though Mr. Pipes (and many, many others) had never read what the American Founders and Framers had to say about “democracy.” They feared and loathed democracy. Democracy, they saw in history, was always an overture to tyranny of one kind or another. Democracy was and remains mob rule. Their purpose was to establish an individual rights-protecting republic, one that was proof against the whims and fashions of mobs, majorities, and power-seeking politicians. Democracy is, for example, a state government banning smoking in private restaurants and bars, because some group with political pull wanted it that way; or Obama patronizing millions of people who want lower health-care costs and endorsing socialized medicine legislation; or state or municipal governments banning plastic (or paper) bags in supermarkets to curry favor with environmentalists. The instances of “democracy” in action are numerous, and they all depend on the employment of government force and the diminishment of individual rights.

Mr. Pipes makes a distinction between Islam and Islamism. But what is Islamism but taking Islam’s most belligerent tenets seriously and acting on them?

Islam is a totalitarian ideology, pure and simple. This is aside from its primitive, tribalist character. Islam is already a form of “democracy”; the majority of Muslims want it, and to conform to Sharia law, to worship Allah, honor Mohammad, etc. What could be more democratic than that? But most Muslims, like most Christians (and Jews), develop a kind of schizoid ethics when it comes to practicing the creed. They, too, compartmentalize the “truths” to be found in the scriptures and keep them segregated from what is required in everyday life. Christians, if they attempted to live according to the morality of selflessness and self-sacrifice, which are central tenets of their creed, would be deceased from suicide in a matter of weeks. Muslims, if they attempted to practice literally the central tenets of their creed, would become rampaging hordes and card-carrying Islamo-Nazis.

As you can see, I cut neither Christianity nor Islam any moral slack. If the morality is no good for living on earth, if others’ well-being and happiness have priority over one’s own (or obeying God’s or Allah’s will), if there is no “practical” application of and end to it except suicide and/or homicide, what good is it and why subscribe to it? Both creeds are antithetical and hostile to reason. Both deny or act to counter man’s nature as a being of volitional consciousness, who must choose his purpose for living and act to achieve those goals in pursuit of his own happiness. Democracy, Christianity, and Islam are all in fundamental opposition to that fact. So I am less sanguine than is Mr. Pipes about Egypt’s fate over the next year, or about the fate of any Mideast country. There are millions of Arabs who are also practicing (and perhaps even devout) Muslims who haven’t a clue to what individual rights are, or if they are read enough in the subject, would be hostile to them because they’d see that individual rights trump any morality founded on mysticism. Democracy is just another form of mysticism. The “people” will it. Well, so did the Germans, and the Japanese.

The United States itself has slid downward to becoming a democracy. Obama’s administration is an overture to tyranny.

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Free Speech Under Attack in Europe

Geert Wilders in the WSJ  on Islam/Multiculturalism vs Freedom of Speech:

The perverse result is that in Europe it is now all but impossible to have a debate about the nature of Islam, or about the effects of immigration of Islam’s adherents. Take my own case, for example. My point is that Islam is not so much a religion as it is a totalitarian political ideology disguised as a religion. To avoid misunderstandings, I always emphasize that I am talking about Islam, not about Muslims. I make a clear distinction between the people and the ideology, between Muslims and Islam, recognizing that there are many moderate Muslims. But the political ideology of Islam is not moderate and has global ambitions; the Koran orders Muslims to establish the realm of Allah in this world, if necessary by force.

Stating my views on Islam has brought me to court on charges of “group insult” and incitement to racial hatred. I am being tried for voicing opinions that I—and my constituents—consider to be the truth. I am being tried for challenging the views that the ruling establishment wants to impose on us as the truth. [ "European Free Speech Under Attack", WSJ ]

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Bosch Fawstin’s Graphic Novel The Infidel Now Available for Download

Objectivist Cartoonist — perhaps the first major one since Spiderman creator Steve Ditko — whose debut graphic novel, TABLE FOR ONE, received the praise of Alex Toth, along with an Eisner Award nomination, has just released the first chapter/issue of his latest comic book, a graphic novel, in PDF form. 

Fawstin’s  THE INFIDEL, is a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

You can order it here.

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The Influence of Legal Pragmatism on the 4th Amendment Privacy Doctrine

From Amy Peikoff:

My paper, “Pragmatism and Privacy,” is now available online at the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty’s website. In the paper, I demonstrate the influence of legal pragmatism on the development of Fourth Amendment privacy doctrine and, towards the end of the paper, I have the opportunity to apply some of Tara Smith’s criticisms of Justice Scalia’s Originalist methodology. (You may also be interested to read an article appearing in the same issue: Prof. Randy Barnett’s article on why the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.)

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Lindsay Lohan, Hollywood Voice of Reason

Writes Mark Topson at his blog:

[Lohan on Twitter:] I pray Egypt maintains it’s [sic] treaty with Israel and sets the trend for its neighbors to create peace with Israel and the entire region.

What a pleasant surprise, to hear someone in the entertainment world not only talk about something other than 1) themselves, 2) their uninformed socialist fantasies, and/or 3) their hatred/sexual fantasies of Sarah Palin, but actually express support for Israel’s security for once, instead of bashing the country as a “genocidal apartheid state,” banning its films from film festivals, and boycotting musical performances there. Good for you, Ms. Lohan.

Read the rest.

For why you should support Israel see Yaron Brook’s Israel Has A Moral Right To Its Life.

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Another Illiberal Democracy — In Egypt

Richard Salsman takes on the concept of Democracy as an end to itself over at Forbes:

History makes very clear to nearly everyone (except history’s democrats) that democracy–the mere voting power and rule by some majority–is no necessary guarantor of genuine liberties or individual rights; indeed, more often than not, democracies have trampled rights.

[...]

For faith-based democrats like Presidents Bush and Obama, democracy means voting — and voting is considered an end in itself, not a means to some other, truly legitimate end like securing and protecting individual rights. ["Another Illiberal Democracy — In Egypt"] 

Read the rest.

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Commentary by Richard Salsman @ Forbes

Some great commentary at Richard Salsman at Forbes:

“Another Illiberal Democracy – in Egypt,” February 10, 2011
Democracy is no guarantor of genuine liberties or rights; indeed, far more often it brutally tramples them.

“The Actual State of the Union,” February 1, 2011
Presidents no longer bother to give objective assessments of America’s current and future state.

“Krugman, ‘Toxic Rhetoric’ and the Smear-Mongers,” January 20, 2011
Political programs – but not political “rhetoric” – can inflict violence; let’s start recognize the difference between the two.

“New Congress, Same Old Leviathan,” January 11, 2011
Neither GOP control of Congress nor the arrival of 50 or so Tea-publicans will reduce federal spending in 2011-2012.

“A Golden Decade of Government Failure,” January 4, 2011
The best investment asset of the past decade was gold – because government policies were a complete failure.

“A Well-Earned Capitalist Christmas,” December 23, 2010
The real meaning of Christmas — and all that we enjoy about it – is thoroughly pagan and capitalistic.

“The Virtue of Lower Tax Rates On The Rich,” December 15, 2010
The rich have a right to their earnings and deserve huge tax-rate cuts; they have no duty to create jobs or reduce deficits.

“Where Have All The Capitalists Gone?” December 5, 2010
Almost everyone acknowledges that capitalism delivers the goods – but most people still claim it’s immoral.

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What Egyptians Really Want: Islamofascism

Here are some “highlights” from a 2010 Pew poll of Egyptian attitudes as listed by a recent IBD Editorial:

  • 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a “small role” in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a “large role in politics.”
  • 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.
  • 82% support stoning adulterers.
  • 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.
  • 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.
  • 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified.
  • Nearly half support the terrorist group Hamas.
  • 30% have a favorable opinion of Hezbollah.
  • 20% maintain positive views of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.
  • 82% of Egyptians dislike the U.S. — the highest unfavorable rating among the 18 Muslim nations Pew surveyed.
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Ayn Rand’s Anthem: Now Available as a Graphic Novel

From the publisher:

The controversial classic work of one individual’s will versus the subjugation of society-now available as a compelling graphic novel.

In all that was left of humanity there was only one man who dared to think, seek, and love. He, Equality 7-2521, would place his life in jeopardy. For his knowledge was regarded as a treacherous blasphemy. He had rediscovered the lost and holy word…”I”.

Order Ayn Rand’s Anthem: The Graphic Novel

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