Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yaron Brook on PJTV

Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute is now a regular on PJTV, and will be appearing on Fridays. The show is hosted by Allen Barton, and he is joined by Terry Jones of Investors Business Daily. Yesterday's show concerned Obama's first 100 days in office, the new credit card regulations, and a proposed federalism amendment. Watching these three men intelligently discuss the issues of the day is a real treat. Be sure to check it out.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Objectivist Round Up

This week's edition of the Objectivist Round Up is being hosted by Rational Jenn. Lots of good posts listed. Be sure to check it out.

A special nod to Paul McKeever who nicely refutes a rather bone-headed comparison of Ayn Rand and Thrasymachus.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Exploit the Earth Day!!

Last year on my blog I promoted a new celebration called Exploit the Earth Day. It is a day set aside to celebrate all the myriad ways in which man exploits the Earth in order to live. I was looking for ways to mark the occasion, special things one might do to show one's joy in the exploitation of the Earth. Since then, I've realized that Exploit the Earth Day shouldn't be about a once-a-year celebration. We have to let it become a way of life. That is what I've done. And since last year's exploitation of the Earth was so successful, I've decided to do it again this year. I want to recommend to everyone that rather than just setting aside a single day out of the year to pay lip-service to the exploitation of the Earth, let us resolve to make it our complete 24/7 "no-alternative" lifestyle. Here are a few of the things I personally intend to do:

  • Convert oxygen into carbon dioxide via my respiratory system.
  • Break down biomass materials into solid waste and methane gas via my digestive tract.
  • Burn fossil fuels in my automobile for transportation, converting them into greenhouse gasses in an effort to stave off the next ice age.
  • Purchase food produced by large agri-businesses that exploit Mother Earth in the most direct way possible--not to mention the fossil fuel they burn in planting, harvesting, and shipping their products to market.
  • Purchase books and other paper products, which will require the mass slaughter of innocent trees, and the burning of fossil fuels to process them into paper and ship them to my door. (For extra style points, I'll have UPS occasionally deliver a single, over-packaged book to my house out in the country.)
  • Purchase a wide variety of other products, which require the burning of fossil fuels in their manufacture and shipping.
  • Use the various appliances in my home to wash and dry my clothes, wash dishes, cook food, heat water, cool and heat my house, circulate the air, watch movies, listen to music, surf the internet, and light up the house, all of which will require the burning of fossil fuels in power plants.

Those are just a few of the things that I think we can all do to exploit the Earth while dramatically improving our lives. I call it a "no-alternative" lifestyle, because the only alternative to exploiting the Earth is to lie down and be covered up by it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party Links

Here are some good links for more info on the protests.

My nomination for best speech of the day is this one by Dr. John Lewis:

There's a round-up at Titanic Deck Chairs of Objectivist bloggers writing about their experiences at the Tea Parties. Of special note are the speeches given by Greg Perkins and Rational Jenn.

Update: Forgot to include this after speech interview with Dr. Lewis.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tallahassee Tax Day Tea Party -- Report

Tallahassee's Tax Day Tea Party took place today at 5pm in front of the old capitol. I spent the early part of the day getting my sign ready. Not particularly clever or artistic, but it said what I wanted to say. (Clicking on the pictures will take you to my Webshots album where there are more pics.)


I got there about 4:30pm, and had some trouble finding a parking spot in Klemen Plaza. Most of that was probably due to the legislature being in session. There were a number of fellow protestors, though, who rode the elevator up with me. By the time I got up the hill to the front of the capitol, there was already a good sized crowd. I took a few pictures from the north end of the lawn, and then moved through the crowd getting video. I'm not an expert on these things, but I'm estimating the crowd at 1200-1500 people.




The views on display were mostly concerned with economic issues: the bailouts, government spending, debt, socialism. A few of the signs mentioned Obama by name indicating that some see the issue in partisan terms, even though the bailouts were already in place when Obama took office. True, he's trying to take government spending to a whole new level, but it's a difference of degree rather than kind. The advantage of having Obama as president is that so many conservatives have suddenly remembered that they are opposed to big government. It's like the past eight years were a wild Saturday night, but now it's Sunday and they're back in church.

Yet I digress. Some of the signs...

Basic common sense: "You can't borrow your way out of debt. You can't spend your way to wealth. So how do you figure government can do it?"


Anarchists: I didn't catch the significance of the 'A' when I first saw this sign.


A Culpeper Minutemen flag with the coiled rattlesnake. There were quite a few "Don't Tread on Me" flags, and one guy was handing out small rubber snakes to the kids.


View from the south end of the lawn:


More signage:

An exremist showed up. I spotted him easily by his sign.


This one was pretty clever, although I would say that Obama's policies, so far, have more in common with fascism.


Obamanomics: It's similar to compassionate conservatism only moreso.


I'm not greedy. I'd settle for a billion.


I like her stimulus plan: A hot cup of tea, a beautiful girl, and freedom!


A surprise appearance by Johnny Depp.


Uncle Sam was there.


Part of a speech by a local radio personality named Preston Scott. Sorry for the lousy color.

The crowd was enthusiastic and united in their opposition to government spending, but philosophically very mixed. Whether these protests can serve as a basis for reducing the size of government, or whether they can even slow it down, remains to be seen.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Atlas Shrugged and the Tea Party Revolts

A short video put out by the Ayn Rand Institute explaining the link between Atlas Shrugged and the Tea Party protests.

Craig Biddle has a three part series of articles at Capitalism Magazine in which he discusses Atlas Shrugged and its relation to current events in greater detail. He gives an excellent explanation of the morality at the heart of Rand's philosophy, and explains why it is vital to the philosophical case for capitalism.

New Take on an Old Classic

They kinda lost me at the end with the bit about Reagan, but I agree with the general sentiment. Reagan's reputation as a defender of capitalism is based on image rather than substance, but in the past 80 yrs he's the only president who even bothered to cultivate the image, making him an icon to some. I don't think he's much of an exception to the trend of the past 100 years, though, in which Republican and Democrat alike have been nudging us along the road to fascism. Obama is simply taking the final step on that road. If you want to try to halt that step, and maybe even reverse the course, hie thee to a Tea Party protest near you on April 15th.

(H/T Rational Jenn)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tallahassee Tax Day Tea Party!

There's a group planning to stage a Tea Party protest on April 15 on the steps of the old capitol in downtown Tallahassee. I'm planning to attend. This will be my first protest. I'm going to take the kids if I can find gas masks small enough for them. I just have to figure out what to write on my protest sign. I'm having a hard time with it, because there's too much I want to say and no one-liner I can think of will sum it up. Any suggestions?