A strategy is emerging. Dare to point out the influence that religion is having upon government policy, and the defenders and apologists for such a mixture of religion and government will pretend that the condemnation of that mixture is somehow a call for religious people to be denied the freedom to air their views. For many, what may be more surprising is the observation that libertarians – a group that claim to be in favour of individual freedom – can be found amongst those defenders and apologists. Read more
Received via e-mail, despite layers of anti-spam software:
7:45 AM, November 14, 2009. e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org:
Compliments of the day to you.I am Miss Happy sam ,28 years old single.I am 5ft.8inches,my weight is 60kg,black hair with brown eyes and fair in complexion. Read more
With admiration for brave freedom fighters, living and dead. Read more
Some readers may know that, since 2002, I have been the leader of Freedom Party of Ontario, in Canada. In that capacity, I have been responsible for electoral platforms, whereas the party executive is responsible for the party policies upon which the platforms are founded. The other day, I received a letter in relation to the party, and its writer asked:
You mention [in the 2007 Freedom Party election platform] how you want public health care and education to be paid for by those who use it, and have a private option for everyone else. How about those who cannot afford either, those who have been born into cyclical poverty through no fault of their own. Now i understand that these people can break the cycle, but isn’t access to health care and education necessary for them to break this cycle. This is a question that still bothers me….What becomes of those who cannot afford access to basic services for survival?
I answered that part of the writer’s letter as follows: Read more
to the September 30th, 2009 Meeting of the Durham Region Freethinkers
Today is the fourth anniversary of the publication of the famous 12 cartoons which many Muslims regarded as blasphemous. In response to the publication of those cartoons, many Muslims acted out violently, destroying property and even attempting to murder one of the cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard (who created the famous bomb-in-a-turban cartoon). It is my understanding that, for this reason, International Blasphemy Day was scheduled for this day. Read more
Capitalism Magazine yesterday ran a column by John Lewis, an historian and an Objectivist associated with the Ayn Rand Institute. Lewis reports on the economic predictions made by David Walker, who is the former Comptroller General of the United States, and former head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Read more
Post Shredded Wheat has an interesting new website to promote a rather uninteresting breakfast. ThePalaceOfLight.com (nickname of the electric-lighted Niagara Falls building in which Shredded Wheat was first produced) is the place to find a humourous five-episode micro-series that features a bumbling conservative Post Shredded Wheat boss by the name of Frank Druffel. Frank likes the fact that Shredded Wheat has not changed since it was introduced in 1892, and he is determined to prevent any changes. As Frank sees it, Shredded Wheat is “perfect”, just the way it is. Read more
TPM (“Talking Points Memo”) is a web-based collection of about 4 web sites. I have not visited it much, but I seem to recall investigating a recent phenomenon where a number of bloggers or journalists suddenly were using phrases so similar – in such disparate publications/blogs – that they seemed to be following some collectivist marching orders (“Gallant Gallstone”, anyone?). On that occasion, the origin appeared to be a blog post to a TPM web site. All of which makes sense, I suppose, given the name of the site(s).
Given the apparent role of TPM in co-ordinating blogging efforts on the left, I thought it worth my time to bring attention to one article – one talking point, if you will – that sprung up on the TPM web site a few hours ago. Titled “Rand/Thrasymachus, Marx, and Dostoyevsky“, I thought perhaps I might find in the article something of value. Instead, the article’s author, who goes only by the name Nebton, provides the reader with misrepresentation after misrepresentation in an effort to support one talking point: that Ayn Rand’s ethical philosophy (rational egoism) is just a rehash of philosophy from ancient times. Implied: don’t bother reading Ayn Rand when considering the nature and causes of the current economic crisis. Read more
On February 28, 2008, I released a video titled “Straw Men are Huemerous”. It was a response to a paper written by Michael Huemer, a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, titled “Critique of ‘The Objectivist Ethics’ “. Huemer’s essay purports to be a critique of the first essay in Ayn Rand’s book “The Virtue of Selfishness”; an essay, titled “The Objectivist Ethics” (hereinafter “TOE”), that lays out the essentials of her ethical philosophy. Read more