Activism Recap

 Posted by on 28 February 2010 at 10:00 pm  Activism Recap
Feb 282010

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

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

Open Thread #142

 Posted by on 28 February 2010 at 12:00 am  Open Thread
Feb 282010

Here’s yet another 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.)


 Posted by on 27 February 2010 at 2:00 pm  Health, Link-O-Rama
Feb 272010
  • Dr. Davis, the Heart Scan Doc, is offering 30 minute, one-on-one video consultations. As I said on OEvolve: “I can’t imagine that most people on this list would need that, as we’re a pretty well-read, well-informed bunch. However, I can see that someone’s less-informed mother, father, friend, or whatnot might benefit from it.”
  • Does consumption of saturated fat reduce insulin sensitivity and thereby put us on the path to diabetes? The conventional wisdom is “Yes,” but Stephan Guyenet looks at the relevant studies and finds that the answer is “No.” So what does reduce insulin sensitivity? Sugar (particularly fructose) and magnesium deficiency seem to be two major culprits.
  • The fascists in Washington are seeking greater control over supplements and raw milk cheese. These *@&#% aren’t content with forcing us to be poor and stupid: they want us to be sick and miserable too!
  • Dr. Davis on the irrelevance of glycemic index.
  • Food-O-Rama

     Posted by on 27 February 2010 at 8:00 am  Food, Link-O-Rama
    Feb 272010
  • One of these days, I’m going to have to try making pemmican. I love the idea of using it for backpacking.
  • I can’t help but laugh in wide-eyed amazement as this overweight dietitian pushes low-fat, high-carb snacks. How many pounds does she need to lose? I’d bet 75, at least. (Via MDA.)
  • All about cooking in cast iron, including cool pictures of tests of heating patterns in pans.
  • This post on homemade marshmallows — healthy because they’re made with maple syrup rather than refined sugar! — typifies my frustration with most of the WAPF bloggers. They want to enjoy typical American junk food, just in seemingly healthier forms. I hereby proclaim… Stop trying to improve sugar and grains! Eat some lamb chops drenched in butter instead!
  • Link-O-Rama

     Posted by on 26 February 2010 at 2:00 pm  Link-O-Rama
    Feb 262010
  • If you’re interested in more details on the school spying case that I blogged about last week, go read this blog post. The comments from the students are pretty amazing, as they indicate that the webcams have been used for spying on students pretty routinely.
  • Limp wrists and tight fists: What your handshake says about you. I tend to dislike shaking hands with women, as they’re rarely firm. But a limp-wristed man is the worst.
  • Here’s some mind-blowing prosecutorial inanity not just by some random government official somewhere, but by Carol Chambers, the District Attorney in Douglas County, Colorado — where we live. Any ideas about who I can write about this matter?

    These discussion questions and podcast were prepared by Diana Hsieh for for people interested in creating their own Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups, as well as for anyone wishing to study the novel in more depth. They may be freely used for the study and discussion of Atlas Shrugged, provided that this paragraph remains intact in any reproduction.


    Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Chapter 1

    • Part 3, Chapter 2: The Utopia of Greed



    Listen Now

      76:38 minutes

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    Discussion Questions

    (Note: The listed page numbers are for the larger edition, softcover or hardback.)

    Part 3, Chapter 2: The Utopia of Greed

    Section 1 (752-761)

    • Why does John Galt not want to hear what Ragnar Danneskjöld has to say about Hank Rearden? (756-7)
    • What kind of lesson does Ragnar seek to teach the world by his piracy?  Given the risks, is he sacrificing himself for the cause? Why do the other strikers disapprove?  Who is right? (757-8)
    • Why does Dagny want to earn her keep as Galt’s cook and maid?  What does the work — and the wages in gold — mean to her?  (760-1)

    Section 2 (761-769)

    • What does Dagny’s apparent death mean to the outside world, and to Hank Rearden?  What does she think and feel about that? (761-3)
    • Why is communication between the valley and the outside world forbidden during the vacation month?  Should Dagny have asked for a special exception to tell Hank that she is safe?  Why doesn’t she do so? (763-4, 769)
    • Why did Francisco go on strike?  How was Dagny the final argument for doing so, even though that meant giving her up?  Are his reasons selfish or selfless? (765-7)
    • Why does Francisco accept Dagny’s taking Hank as a lover?  Why does he say that she still loves him?  In what way does she love him?  (767-8)

    Section 3 (769-781)

    • Why and how will Francisco be richer producing one pound of copper in the valley than in producing tons of copper in the outside world?  What does that say about the value of production and wealth?  (771)
    • Why is Dagny agitated over John Galt’s routine absences from home in the evening?  Of her two worries, which is more severe — and why? (773)
    • Why do Dagny and Galt feel such strong sexual desire for each other — yet refrain from consummating it?  Would it be wrong at this point — and if so, why? (775-81)

    Section 4 (781-791)

    • How and why does Richard Halley have more in common with the businessmen in the valley than with the artists in the outside world?  What is the commonality between art and business? (782-4) 
    • What is the attitude of the mother toward the raising of her children?  How does it differ from the mothers in the outside world?  (784-5)
    • How are Dr. Akston’s three pupils — John, Ragnar, and Francisco — both normal men and exceptional? (786) What were the critical points about their education?  (786-90)
    • How does Dr. Akston explain the roots of Dr. Stadler’s moral decay?  What choices did Stadler face?  Where did he choose wrongly?  Why is Stadler the most guilty?  How has he made the world in his own image? (789-91)

    Section 5 (791-802)

    • Why is Dagny so excited by Francisco’s mine?  Why does that excitement collapse?  (791-4)
    • Why did Galt give Francisco a chance with Dagny when she went to the cabin at Woodstock?  Why won’t he do so later, in the valley?  (795-7)
    • Why does Francisco want Dagny to stay with him for the week?  Why does Dagny want Galt to decide?  What is the significance of his decision?  What would have been the consequences for Dagny, Galt, and Francisco if Galt decided other than he did?  How would that act of self-sacrifice have been faking reality?  (796-8)
    • How does Dagny react to Hank Rearden’s plane? Why does she react that way?  (799-802)
    • What is Dagny’s basic conflict about whether to stay in the valley or not?  (801-2)

    Section 6 (802-813)

    • Why does Dagny choose to return to the world?  What does she still have left to learn?  (806-7, 811-2)
    • How does Francisco react to learning about Galt and Dagny’s feelings for each other?  Why?  (809-10)
    • Why is John Galt going back to the world?  Is he right to do so?  (809-13)

    Section 7 (813-815)

    • How does Dagny feel about returning to the world? (813-5)

    Whole Chapter

    • What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

    Spring Undercurrent

     Posted by on 25 February 2010 at 2:00 pm  Activism, The Undercurrent
    Feb 252010

    A note from The Undercurrent:

    I have some exciting news for you — the next edition of The Undercurrent will be in color, and will be twelve pages instead of our usual eight! This will make for a more eye-catching and content rich newspaper. I encourage you to preview all the articles, as they were just published on our updated website here. The PDF version of the newspaper will also be available on our website soon. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.

    Don’t forget — the deadline to order the Spring 2010 issue of The Undercurrent is Thursday, March 4th! That’s right, you only have eight days left to put in your order. To order, visit the order page, or e-mail your name, address, and the number of copies you wish to purchase to

    If you can’t afford to distribute, let us know. In all likelihood, we will be able to match you with a donor who would be pleased to sponsor your distribution efforts. Please do not hesitate to contact us about this opportunity at

    Or, if you are of means but not of time, please consider making a donation to The Undercurrent, so that we can continue providing papers to students free of charge. For more information about donating, visit the donation page or email us at

    Objectivist Roundup

     Posted by on 25 February 2010 at 1:00 pm  Objectivist Roundup
    Feb 252010

    The Secular Foxhole has the latest Objectivist Roundup. Go check it out!


    PajamasMedia has just published my latest health care OpEd, “Republicans: Beware the Trap of ‘Limited’ Reforms“.

    My theme is the seemingly innocuous compromise “reform” of requiring insurers to cover all pre-existing conditions would gradually lead to a full government takeover of health care.

    I was very glad to be able to cite John Lewis’ excellent TOS article observing that the Democrats’ last secret weapon against the American people was the Republicans’ willingness to compromise (in the final paragraph).

    Here is the opening:

    President Obama attempted to revive his faltering health care initiative by releasing a revised version of his plan on Monday. But as Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute noted, the president’s basic approach remains to “Tax, Spend, Regulate, Mandate” — i.e., to impose massive new government controls over health care that Americans have already rejected in tea party protests across the country and in the polling booths of Massachusetts.

    GOP leaders have been appropriately skeptical of the president’s demand that his plan be the basis for their “summit” negotiations, calling it a “nonstarter.” But while they’ve avoided that obvious trap, the Republicans are still in danger of falling for the subtler trap of agreeing to seemingly benign limited compromise “reforms” that would merely result in a slower government takeover of American health care.

    One of the Democrats’ favorite limited proposals has been to require insurance companies to accept all customers regardless of pre-existing medical conditions — an idea supported by many Republicans

    (Read the full text of “Republicans: Beware the Trap of ‘Limited’ Reforms“.)

    Open Thread #141

     Posted by on 24 February 2010 at 12:00 pm  Open Thread
    Feb 242010

    Here’s yet another 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.)

    Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha