Video: Mike Wallace Interview with Philopher Novelist Ayn Rand (1959)

“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.”

I Oppose Obamacare: Mark Your Calendar: March 23, 2013

From iopposeobamacare.com:

Repeal ObamaCare is a grass-roots campaign that started on Facebook on the eve of the worst health care law in U.S. history.

I Oppose Obamacare Banner

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.

Capitalism Is The Answer

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.”

 

CIP and CFACT countering Sierra Club’s “blackout rally” with Light Brigade educational counter-protest

From Center for Industrial Progress:

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.

Read the rest…

Ayn Rand’s Influence on Today’s Political Landscape

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]

Happy Randsday! Give Yourself A Present This Randsday!

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

Global Warming Interrupted, Part Deux

From Climate shocker: Carry on as we are until 2050, planet will be FINE • The Register

New research produced by a Norwegian government project, described as “truly sensational” by independent experts, indicates that humanity’s carbon emissions produce far less global warming than had been thought: so much so that there is no danger of producing warming beyond the IPCC upper safe limit of 2°C for many decades.

“In our project we have worked on finding out the overall effect of all known feedback mechanisms,” says project manager Terje Berntsen, who is a professor at the University of Oslo’s Department of Geosciences and a senior research fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO).

“We used a method that enables us to view the entire earth as one giant ‘laboratory’ where humankind has been conducting a collective experiment through our emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates, deforestation, and other activities that affect climate.”

Berntsen and his colleagues’ results derive in large part from taking account of the way that global temperatures have remained flat for the last fourteen years or thereabouts, instead of climbing as they ought to have done with increased carbon levels.

“The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity,” explains the prof.

“We are most likely witnessing natural fluctuations in the climate system – changes that can occur over several decades – and which are coming on top of a long-term warming.”

At the moment levels of CO2 stand at around 395 parts per million (ppm), climbing at around 2 ppm each year and accelerating. In pre-industrial times the levels is reckoned to have been 280 ppm. Depending on various factors, the amount of atmospheric CO2 might have doubled to 560-odd ppm around the year 2050.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that would be disastrous as it would probably mean 3°C warming or more: and the IPCC considers that anything above 2°C means terrible consequences for humanity. Thus the organisation has long sought to limit atmospheric CO2 at 450 ppm, though this is regarded as a lost cause by many.

But Berntsen and his crew say that analysis is much too pessimistic. They consider that the likeliest result from doubled carbon (which would actually occur some decades after the doubled level was reached) would be just 1.9°C – within the IPCC target. According to the Research Council of Norway, the government arm which funded the new research:

When [the] researchers instead calculate a probability interval of what will occur, including observations and data up to 2010, they determine with 90% probability that global warming from a doubling of CO2 concentration would lie between 1.2°C and 2.9°C.

This maximum of 2.9°C global warming is substantially lower than many previous calculations have estimated. Thus, when the researchers factor in the observations of temperature trends from 2000 to 2010, they significantly reduce the probability of our experiencing the most dramatic climate change forecast up to now.

Other recent research has suggested warming of this sort with doubled CO2, but so far the IPCC and the warmist-alarmist community generally has been reluctant to accept the new findings. However the state of the accepted science is beginning to change, with Britain’s Met Office lately revising its forecasts of warming sharply downwards.

Renowned Swedish climate boffin Caroline Leck, who was not involved in the research, commented:

“These results are truly sensational. If confirmed by other studies, this could have far-reaching impacts on efforts to achieve the political targets for climate.”

The Research Council’s announcement of the new results can be read here.

To quote Harry Binswanger “While President Obama is calling for more tilting at windmills, pun intended, the news on the climate front continues to go against him.”

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