Aug 312008
 

What could be a scarier entity to a rational person than a religious leftist? But that’s what’s coming down the cultural pike.

The Religious Right has historically staked its moral claim on the Republican Party, focusing on what they call “pro-life” issues such as abortion, stem-cell research, euthanasia, human cloning, and other issues that pertain to life and death.

But we have an emerging phenomenon among what has traditionally been the morally-vacuous Left: a religious basis for their agenda to tackle the Iraq war, so-called “social justice” and environmentalism.

To many, the Left has been always been perceived as coldly “scientific” and therefore anti-moral. But now that the Democrats are eagerly jumping into bed with religion, it must be very reassuring to some voters on the fence who “kind of like” the leftist ideology, but just can’t embrace its moral hollowness. Now they have a new leader: Barack Obama, who has been apologetically leading his Christian Democrat soldiers into battle.

This is a marriage that should be annulled. It is a Las Vegas wedding of two faiths: religious belief in the supernatural with the statist’s hatred of individualism.

Ayn Rand opened the lid on the leftist movement in her book, The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution. Although published in 1970s, the essays are as relevant today as ever.

And now that the Left can claim moral sanction from God, that’s just one big heavenly green light for Obama’s Blueprint for Change.

His plan is explicitly clear: Obama will expropriate wealth from capitalist producers and fund a welfare state on a grand scale with the moral call-to-arms that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers (to paraphrase his exact quote).

What a rallying cry for a purposeful America! The Taliban couldn’t do any better!

Where is that third alternative to the bible-quoting statism of the Left and the
mystical-biblical politics of the Right? It is Ayn Rand’s rational egoism.

Rational egoism means that an objective reality exists as we perceive it by our senses and by a process of reason (not by prayer or mystical revelation). This includes the knowledge that humans are individuals, not globs of “society” that must follow the state’s or God’s commands. Morally we have the right to pursue happiness and our necessities of life without violating the rights of others to do the same. It means we can have a society where we interact benevolently with others on the basis of trade with one another, free from theft of our lives and property by the state or criminals.

The bleak reality is this: our politicians are ruining America. But they don’t have our minds yet. It is the ideas of rational egoism that will lead us to a better future–a future of freedom, wealth and happiness.

Recap #7

 Posted by on 31 August 2008 at 12:59 pm  Activism Recap
Aug 312008
 

This week on Politics without God, the blog of the Coalition for Secular Government:

And this week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM: Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine:

Sunday Open Thread #12

 Posted by on 31 August 2008 at 12:02 am  Open Thread
Aug 312008
 

Here’s yet another a Sunday Open Thread for your thoughts:

For anyone in the fiery grip of a random question, comment, joke, or link they’d like to share with NoodleFood readers, I hereby open up the comments on this post to any respectable topic. (Please refrain from posting personal attacks, pornographic material, and commercial solicitations.)

Y… M… C… A…

 Posted by on 30 August 2008 at 1:37 pm  Funny
Aug 302008
 

Tasteless, but damn funny: YMCA Jesus.

John Allison to Retire

 Posted by on 30 August 2008 at 6:56 am  Business
Aug 302008
 

Wow, John Allison, the man who transformed BB&T from a small farm bank in eastern North Carolina to a highly profitable powerhouse in the southeast will retire at the end of the year. His right-hand man will be taking over the reins.

So what will he be doing?

When he retires, he said, he plans to work with the college programs he’s helped start and maybe write a few books on the real-world consequences of different financial philosophies.

Fantastic!

Objectivist Roundup #59

 Posted by on 29 August 2008 at 4:43 pm  Objectivist Roundup
Aug 292008
 

The 59th Objectivist Roundup has been posted to Cogito. Go check it out!

An Unpublished Letter

 Posted by on 29 August 2008 at 12:42 pm  Health Care
Aug 292008
 

At the end of July, I sent the following letter to the Denver Post in response to this story, but it was never published. Since I hate to waste a decent bit of writing, here ya go:

Maureen Tarrant, chief executive of Sky Ridge Medical Center, describes our health care system as “irrational” (“Forum backs principles for health care reform,” Jul 30).

She’s right. The cause is pervasive government controls in medicine: entitlements like Medicaid and Medicare, insurance benefit mandates, government licensing of doctors, privacy regulations, years for FDA drug approvals, and more. How can treating patients be a priority when so much effort must be devoted to appeasing an army of government bureaucrats?

Proposals like individual mandates and single-payer will compound the crisis by more government meddling in medicine. The rational approach to reform is a fully free market. Only free markets protect the right of every person to act by his own judgment, using his own property and labor for his own benefit. Anything else is an immoral demand that people sacrifice their money, time, and health at the point of a gun.

Diana Hsieh
Sedalia, CO

Aug 282008
 

On Wednesday, I received the following e-mail from Mary Fries, the owner of Isle Farms with her husband Rod. I own a cowshare and a half with them, so that I can drink a gallon and a half of their clean, safe, and delicious raw milk each week.

I decided to post it here, with permission, because it highlights the very real evil of blind sympathy for wild animals fostered by animal rights activists. Plus, given how much I love my raw milk, I’d be delighted if others would write a supportive e-mail to the County Commissioner.

Here’s the letter from Mary:

Dear Shareholders,

I realized last night that this issue pertains as much to you as it does me, so I wanted to include you and ask for your help.

Yesterday, I was out on the land, checking in on a new calf that was born this weekend. As I was standing in front of the herd, they all started running-straight towards me!-and it was all I could do to spin around one, step, spin again, and end up leaning up again the barb-wired fence. Right behind the cows, at full run, were a pack of wild dogs. One was a pit bull-who headed straight for me. I grabbed an old fence post that was by my feet, and that detoured him from coming closer. He and the other dogs left without further prodding.

This is a good summary of what the news was talking about a few weeks ago, about the dogs here in Ellicott. We personally have been fighting this problem from the get-go. The law regarding wild dogs is this — you can only shoot them if they are in the midst of attacking your livestock. Many times Rod has gone out there with the shotgun, while the dogs were in the midst of chasing the cows, but by the time he gets in range, the dogs see him coming, and run off.

I phoned Amy Lathen (County Commissioner) almost immediately yesterday. She headed up the plan to finally get these dogs under control, after years of complaints from residents. When I explained what happened, she said she had a contract ready to go with the USDA for the trapping, but they were dragging their feet. Apparently, after the news ran the segment, they got so many emails from not just Colorado Springs residents, but throughout the country, and all the way from INDIA!!, with people berating their efforts as inhumane.

I’m all for animals, but the people emailing do not have any idea of what the farmers and ranchers face when these things happen. For our farm, and many others in the area, this is part of our livelihood. These dogs are WILD, and the situations that are arising, are downright dangerous for both livestock and humans. And humane — what about the cows? They stress from being chased, and having to fight them off!

I’m asking that all of you take a second and email Amy, let her know that you are behind her effort to help our community keep ourselves and our livestock safe. You can say anything — a short “we are behind you in your efforts” to “I have ownership in livestock in Ellicott, and support you in helping keep them safe”. Whatever you can do, I think she was pretty beat up over this whole thing.

Although — her final words to me were “That’s it. We are going to do this.” Here is her email — AmyLathen@elpasoco.com

Huge thanks to you all, from me AND the cows :o )

One more thing — after the cows stampeded past me yesterday, they ran in a U shape, and I was trying to figure out why they didn’t run VERY far away. Then I happened to notice, surrounded by 18 pairs of hooves, a little head popping up out of the grass — Baby Dolla :o ) They weren’t going anywhere with that baby unprotected… what good cows :o )

Mary

Here’s the letter that I wrote to the County Commissioner:

Dear Ms Lathen,

I’m a resident of Douglas County, but I have livestock in Ellicott. (I have shares in Mary and Rod Fries’ herd.)

I’m very concerned to hear of the wild dogs that have been periodically terrorizing their farm, putting people and livestock at risk. So I wish to express my wholehearted support for the county doing whatever is necessary to neutralize the threat posed by these wild dogs.

Human lives and property should not be at the mercy of dangerous feral dogs due to misplaced public sympathy for them. Human beings and human concerns should come first!

Thank you for your efforts to take care of the problem.

(Please feel free to forward this letter to whomever you please, if that would be helpful to you.)

– DMH

Please feel free to write your own brief letter of support to the County Commissioner (AmyLathen@elpasoco.com). She needs some moral support for her totally just decision to prioritize humans and livestock over dangerous feral dogs. Basically, it’s a good opportunity for a wee bit of activism against the animal rights crusaders. And it could make a great deal of difference to the safety and welfare of the people and livestock terrorized by these dogs.

Morally Castrated Cowards

 Posted by on 28 August 2008 at 1:26 pm  Politics, Sports
Aug 282008
 

Bryan nails the insignificance of the scandal about the too-young Chinese gymnasts. (I’m going to quote the whole post since a cut-and-paste wouldn’t do it justice.)

The IOC should heed the immortal words of Mark Twain, who said: “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a morally castrated coward, than to launch a ridiculous sham investigation of the age of some Chinese gymnasts and remove all doubt.” (That’s from memory, but I’m pretty sure those were his exact words.)

Look: the Chinese government has spent a decade cheerfully spitting in the IOC’s face, flouting every last promise they made in order to get us all to ignore 800-pound elephants like Tiananmen Square, Tibet, the Falun Gong, and the slave labor camps, and give them the games. Human rights? Sorry. Free speech for Chinese citizens? Please—they’ve extended their censorship so effectively that even foreigners and visiting athletes are now subject to it. China has proven that they’ll make whatever empty promises they have to in order to pry what they want out of a clueless and docile IOC, which has not protested. And now the IOC wants to demonstrate its moral authority and commitment to fair play … by humbly requesting documents verifying the age of some gymnasts?

Of course they’re cheating! Hell, they even Milli Vanillied the opening ceremonies! Now it’s true that as a layman I don’t have all the documentary evidence, but China has definitely crossed enough lines that there’s absolutely no reason to extend them the benefit of the doubt, nor the presumption of innocence (and when it comes down to common sense versus a Chinese government-issued passport, I’ll trust my lying eyes, thank you). And that’s why it’s a kind of treason for the IOC to get exercised over trivia like this, while piously ignoring China’s systematic violation of the standards of decency and fair play.

The IOC knows who they’re dealing with, and has known for years, and has taught China to rely faithfully on their “turn a blind eye” policy. There has never been even a token effort to hold them accountable for their promises. That’s what makes this gymnastics business a red herring, designed only to distract people from the utter spinelessness of the IOC (Usain Bolt has also been victimized by this cowardly behavior). So let’s do a thought experiment, and ask ourselves what might happen if the IOC gets smoking-gun evidence that proves beyond a doubt that China forged those little girls’ passports. After prostrating themselves before demonstrably empty promises for all these years, does anybody imagine that they’ll suddenly find what it takes to stand up to China, in any way other than the most meaningless and trivial?

If hard evidence turns up, and that’s assuming that the IOC doesn’t already have it and hasn’t already destroyed it, then I think we’ll see a sort of sacrificial lamb scenario: at most, China will permit one or two little girls to be stripped of their medals, and the IOC will pronounce itself satisfied, and praise China for its openness, and the story will fade away into the general tarnish that’s descended onto the popular ideal of the Olympics as a fair, un-politicized, and sportsmanlike enterprise. Frankly the whole thing makes me sick.

Oh, and let’s add one more item to the long list of China’s evils, to which supposedly civilized nations routinely turn a blind eye: Taiwan.

 

MEDIA RELEASE: COALITION FOR SECULAR GOVERNMENT

Faith-Based Politics Is a Losing Strategy

Sedalia, Colorado / August 27, 2008

Contact: Diana Hsieh, founder of the Coalition for Secular Government and co-author of “Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life,” Diana@SecularGovernment.us

The wholehearted embrace of faith-based politics by Democrats is the big news of the Democratic National Convention. “It’s a losing strategy, particularly in more freedom-minded states like Colorado,” said Diana Hsieh, founder of the Coalition for Secular Government.

A recent Pew survey showed that Americans are growing more wary of the persistent attempts of politicians to inject their private faith into public policy. A majority of Americans of all political stripes oppose the mixing of politics and religion.

In Colorado, the Republican Party’s determination to enact laws and policies based on sectarian Christian values has resulted in stunning defeats in recent elections. Colorado was once a solidly red state, but now it’s purple, and turning blue.

“Despite these losses, the religious right is still on the warpath in Colorado,” Hsieh said. “This election, they’re attempting to force God’s law on the state via Amendment 48, the ballot measure which would grant fertilized eggs all the legal rights of persons in the Colorado constitution. If passed and implemented, the amendment would criminalize abortion as murder and ban the birth control pill. It would be a disaster for the men and women of Colorado.” See “Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life,” a Coalition issue paper by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh, available at http://www.SecularGovernment.us/docs/a48.pdf.

Now the Democrats are imitating this losing strategy by infusing liberal politics with religious fervor. They’re holding interfaith prayers, opening their platform to religious opponents of abortion, and supporting faith-based initiatives. Ironically, they’re doing so in Colorado, the very state that was handed to them as a result of voter disgust with the religious right.

“It’s political suicide. The Democrats will only alienate the majority of Americans committed to the principle of secular government,” Hsieh said. “Who can those voters support, when both Republicans and Democrats seek to govern by their personal faith rather than rational principles?”

“To protect freedom of religion and conscience, Republican and Democratic leaders must embrace the separation of church and state on principle. Politicians should govern according to the secular principles of individual rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, not religious scripture,” Hsieh said.

The Coalition for Secular Government (www.SecularGovernment.us) advocates government solely based on secular principles of individual rights. The protection of a person’s basic rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness — including freedom of religion and conscience — requires a strict separation of church and state.

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