27 July 2009

The Absolutism of Principles

An article I read recently told an anecdote attributed (perhaps apocryphally) to G. Bernard Shaw. While at a dinner party one evening, Shaw asked the woman next to him if she would sleep with him for a hundred thousand pounds. She considered for a moment, then consented: “Yes!” Shaw continued, “Well then, how about for five pounds?” To this, she replied indignantly, “What kind of woman do you think I am?” “We’ve already established that,” said Shaw. “Now we’re merely haggling over the price.”

The anecdote is amusing, but more importantly it points to something crucially important: the absolutism of principles. Like a crack in a dike, a single breach of a principle is enough to collapse it. The tiniest compromise eventually becomes a gaping hole through which all the values that the principle once supported pour out.

Consider Barack Obama’s programs for “overhauling” American health care. In his press conference last week, the president promised millions of listeners that he would improve their health care and make only the very wealthiest Americans pay for it. I am not disheartened enough to think that nearly everybody would be taken in by this, but it is surely true that many Americans, probably millions of them, would vaguely (and some, enthusiastically) consider the president’s policy to be beneficial.

As the president himself urged his listeners to ask themselves the question, “What’s in this for me?” I am sure some Americans leaned forward a little, eagerly hoping to find out what they would receive. After all, isn’t it good to be healthy? And if the government can make other people (best of all, the greedy rich) pay for the health care that everyone else uses, doesn’t that benefit the common good? It’s a “win-win” situation; the majority gets the stuff that they want and they don’t have to pay for it.

The problem is that all Americans do pay for it - not with money, but with something more fundamental and precious: our freedom.

Americans who would applaud an explicit government policy of flaying the rich for the sake of a share of plunder do not value freedom anyway (though like any parasites, they need at least a modicum of freedom to exist in order to survive themselves). It is not to them that I direct this article; they are beyond reach.

But I believe many Americans sincerely do not understand what is at stake, and would not hold their liberty so lightly if they did. From politicians and the press, they hear the words “freedom” and “marketplace” and “efficiency” associated with the government’s actions, while individuals and corporations are characterized as “predatory,” “greedy,” and “wasteful.” They hear Mr. Obama assure them that it is the government that will “give you the security” of having health coverage while it it private companies that “force you to pay” for it “out of your own pocket.” And since they’ve been told for as long as they remember that selfishness is wrong, that private corporations are corrupt, and that something as complex as a modern economy cannot possibly operate properly unless it is managed by a cadre of “disinterested” geniuses such as may be found at the helm of the federal government, they nod assent to the president in a ill-founded trust that the “experts” must know what is best.

What those nods of assent grant to Barack Obama and Congress is permission - permission to direct the lives of all Americans as they see fit. (Whether or not they are well-intentioned is irrelevant; both parties now, Democrats and Republicans, are hell-bent on tightening the federal government’s grip on American citizens.)

How do politicians receive this permission from basically good people in a free country? It is simpler than it may seem. What the president and legislators know, and what most Americans do not know or evade, is that politicians need not ask citizens directly to surrender their lives and livelihoods. They would never get away with it. Instead, their approach is indirect. All they need to do is obtain the public’s assent to dispose of a relative handful of citizens.

This is particularly easy to do today for two reasons. First, the fact that America is a republic safeguarding the rights of every individual has been completely obscured and (through sheer repetition) supplanted by the false idea that America is a democracy that institutionalizes the “will of the majority.” The second thing that facilitates demagoguery is the ready availability of a group that is hated or resented. In other places and times, foreigners and Jews have served as suitable targets; in America today, it is businessmen that are the disposable minority. Mr. Obama rode into power fomenting this resentment with smooth eloquence, pitting “Main Street” against “Wall Street.” In his speech last week, after briefly pretending he didn’t know the exact details, the president reassured his listeners that only “families whose joint income is a million dollars” would have to “shoulder the burden” for his plan.

Once you have granted the president permission to dispose of millionaires, what stops him from disposing of anyone and everyone? Nothing. The only defense from enslavement is to stand on principle - the very principle that was cast away. Like the woman in the anecdote who gave away her honor for a hundred thousand pounds, the American public has, by giving Barack Obama the green light to throw the yoke upon a few millionaires, surrendered its moral ground. It has lost its ability to object to any conceivable command to serve. When the Obama administration raises taxes and inflates away the wealth of all working Americans (which it will), the Americans who nodded assent can blame no one but themselves. Surcharges? Tax increases? Rations? Waiting lists? Having established that individuals are expendable, all of this is “merely haggling over the price.”

If you want a thorough examination of the compromise of principles played out to its logical conclusion, I refer you to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. In the novel, as the once free nation collapses by excruciating degrees into dictatorship and ruin, the hero identifies the reason. “In any compromise between food and poison,” he says, “it is only death that can win.”

Obviously, such compromises by the American public did not begin with the ascent of Barack Obama; the freedom established by the Founders has been whittled away steadily for more than a century. However, the last decade or so has been an ominous one, a period in which Americans ushered into office presidents and legislators that apparently feel unlimited in their power to prescribe and proscribe the activities of individuals. They think they have a democratic mandate to do so, and with good reason: Americans as a whole have given them permission in the manner I described above. For the love of our lives and liberty, we must withdraw that permission.



1. Transcript from “News Conference by the President, East Room, July 22, 2009,” Office of the Press Secretary, White House, 23 Jul 2009. Unless otherwise noted, quotes from the president were taken from this transcript. In two brief quotes, I applied italics for emphasis.

26 July 2009

One Reality en Español

Well, this is a first for me!  One of my recent posts, “Caritas in Veritate: A Manifesto for the Right and Left,” was translated into Spanish for the web site Objetivismo.org.  Check it out here.

21 July 2009

Beware Trojan Horses

I want to call attention to a couple of excellent blog posts related to the ominous seeping of religion into the United States.

The first is  “Portland’s Unholy Alliance of Evangelicals and Progressives,” by C. August at Titanic Deck Chairs.  The article notes the recent incursion of evangelical Christianity into one of the most left-leaning, “progressive” cities in America: Portland, Oregon.  That the evangelicals are “less preachy” than is typical may help them deliver their message to a largely secular audience, but C. August puts his finger on a more fundamental reason.  The deeply religious are gaining a foothold in this secular city because of the intellectual and moral vacuum of modern “liberalism.”  With no strong philosophical grounding of their own, the secular left gives way to the zealous newcomers.  Furthermore, the altruism at the heart of Christianity is completely consistent with the left’s statist policies, so this is a natural alliance.

Another great article is actually a series of posts by Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.  In part 1 of “D’Souza’s Trojan Horse,” Mr. Journo identifies the outrageous tenor of Dinesh D’Souza’s book, The Enemy at Home, and sees beneath the contorted logic and outright falsehoods (which are bad enough) an insidious agenda: "a thinly disguised attempt to establish religion as the central integrating principle of American society.”  In part 2 of the article, Mr. Journo captures the essence of D’Souza’s viewpoint, which differs from jihadist Islam only in degree, not in kind.  Future installments of the article are forthcoming.

Both pieces highlight a point that I have been emphasizing in my posts; both conservatives and “liberals” are anathema to liberty.

19 July 2009

Caritas in Veritate: A Manifesto for the Right and Left

In martial arts, a basic principle of dealing with two simultaneous attackers is to maneuver oneself so that they are both in view in one direction: in front or to one side.  To be confronted by two enemies at once is problem enough, but to be between them is exceptionally difficult - one’s attention is split, and it is necessary to continually shift focus from one attacker to the other.  It is the same in military affairs.  A war is more difficult when it is fought on two fronts.  An army’s resources are divided and spread thin, and if the attacking enemies have dissimilar natures, an effective repulsion may require different strategies and equipment for each enemy even when one’s fundamental defensive principles are constant.

I introduce this concept because it holds to some degree in the realm of ideas.  If Pope Benedict XVI is going to throw his intellectual weight over to the political left, as he has done with his released encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, then he is doing us, the defenders of reason, a service.  As the premier religious leader of the world and infallible composer of Roman Catholic doctrine and opinion, the pope surely qualifies as an intellectual representative of religion in general - of what we would call conservatism or the “religious right” in America.[Note 1.]  We have come to understand the intellectual foe of the pope and Church to be the political left, consisting of modern “liberalism,” “progressivism,” multiculturalism, relativism, subjectivism.  

So, it is significant that Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate is essentially a socialist manifesto.  In it, the pope has faithfully articulated the platform for a worldwide, paternalistic welfare state.

Our enemies are consolidating.  The political right and left are, in many ways, starting to line up on one side; the two fronts in our intellectual war are converging.  While modern “liberals” and conservative claim to be opposed to each other, they reveal through their actions their common root: altruism, which requires the sacrifice of the individual to the group.  This consolidation might make it a little easier to convince minds that for the free world to be saved, the fundamental philosophical choice is not between right and left, but between reason and anti-reason.

This mingling of left and right is indicated in the very title - the theme and motivation of the encyclical: Caritas in Veritate.  (Charity in Truth.)  The pope’s explanation for this concept is contained in a relatively murky passage early in the document.[Note 2.]  The passage is difficult largely because it takes some practice to glean the new meanings of words that are otherwise familiar.  For instance, truth for the Church does not mean the quality or state of being a fact of reality.  It refers to facts or revelations from God; truth really means revealed, doctrinaltruth,” or Truth with a capital T (though it is not generally capitalized in the text).   Similarly, charity is not confined to its common meaning of voluntary giving, but seems to be a social duty and responsibility “at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine,” replete with economic and political mandates.

The motivation for issuing the encyclical seems to be that the pope is concerned that charity, in the modern world, is divorced from truth - that is, a subjective view of charity strips it of moralityTruth, to remind the reader, is “revealed truth”; charity is the duty of a citizen in the welfare state.  Thus, roughly speaking, the encyclical rescues charity (international socialism) by propping it up with truth (religious faith).

The parade of left-leaning policies in Caritas in Veritate is relentless and comprehensive.  The document, though lauding the principle of property redistribution expressed in the 1891 Rerum Novarum, considers mere redistribution to be old-fashioned, “insufficient to satisfy the demands of a fully humane economy.”  It is the 1967 Populorum Progressio that first introduced the truly international, all-embracing socialism that Caritas in Veritate advances, urging the State to “convince [men] that they must accept the necessary taxes on their luxuries and their wasteful expenditures in order to promote the development of nations and the preservation of peace.”[Note 3, emphasis mine.] 

As is typical of the left, Caritas in Veritate rails against “inequalities” of wealth, “consumerism,” and “superdevelopment.”  The raison d’etre of work is not to produce but to provide a man with a wage, dignity, and a comfortable retirement; the purpose of creating wealth is to deliver aid to the poor in developing countries.  The encyclical expresses a “strongly felt need” to reform the United Nations “so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth” - teeth apparently being the apt tool to hand to an organization half composed of thuggish dictatorships.  Justice is upheld not by institutions that defend property rights, but by institutions that distribute wealth to the poor.  The environment is an intrinsic value that must not be “abused” by productive men.  The financial sector must be regulated to “safeguard weaker parties,” who are “exploited” by greedy capitalists.  But these same greedy capitalists should “promote new ways of marketing products” from countries that produce little or nothing of value, “so as to guarantee... a decent return.”  Wealthy nations have no right to “stockpile” energy while poor nations lack the ability to produce their own, just as wealthy individuals have no right to consume what they earned while there are hungry bellies in the world. 

Above all, the encyclical holds an utter contempt for the individual - a contempt made all the more insidious by the occasional lip service it pays to rights and freedom.  The document explicitly emphasizes the inseparability of “life ethics” and “social ethics.”  Every obligatory mention of “freedom” and personal “development” (obligatory because without them the Church would not be able to plausibly maintain its charade of standing for freedom) is subverted by the “transcendent” command to serve God and humanity.  Pope Benedict XVI echoes Pope Paul VI: the purpose and duty of exercising one’s freedom consists of service.  The primary goal of this earthly life is “rescuing peoples, first and foremost, from hunger, deprivation, endemic diseases and illiteracy.”  Note the unambiguous emphasis on the standard of value: others.  The paradise of the Church is not one in which every man lifts himself from poverty and squalor, but one in which every man lifts his neighbor.  For the Church, man must be free; free to serve.

To be sure, the encyclical peppers its socialist advocacy with enough assertions and denials to provide cover lest it be accused of being the socialist manifesto that it is.  It claims, for instance, that its notion of development “presupposes the responsible freedom of the individual.”  It warns of cultural relativism, insists upon religious freedom, and admires technology.  But none of this changes the overarching theme: that to be a human is to serve the common good.

In an article of this scope, it is impossible to enumerate and discuss all the examples of leftist policy advanced by Caritas in Veritate, but I have included a handful of excerpts in the notes.  (See Note 4.)

It becomes more clear as time goes on that the alleged opposites of the secular left and the religious right are not opposites at all... and more importantly are not the only choices.  A third choice exists, a view that neither dispenses with morality (as do the modern “liberals”) not plants it in a supernatural dimension (as do the conservatives).  This view regards reason as an absolute, rejects faith completely, holds morality to be an essential, life-sustaining code of values based in reality, and for precisely these reasons, defends each man’s right to his life, the property he earns, the freedom of his thoughts and actions, and the pursuit of his own happiness.  

If the socialist underpinnings of Pope Benedict XVI’s manifesto help to make clear that both the left and the right are enemies of freedom, then I welcome his words and beg him to keep talking and writing until thinking people grasp his real meaning.


1.  It’s true that conservatism and the religious right are driven also by Protestantism (especially Evangelical Christianity), which is often at odds with Catholicism.  Nevertheless, the general shift to the political left that I describe in this article applies to many of the Protestant sects as well, so my point remains the same.

2.  “Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate: Of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops Priests and Deacons Men and Women Religious The Lay Faithful and All People of Good Will,” 2009.  Unless otherwise noted, all quotes in the article are from this document.  Italics in the quotes are in the original, but bold emphasis is mine.

3.  “Populorum Progressio: Encyclical of Pope Paul VI on the Development of Peoples,” 26 Mar 1967.

4.  Below are a few selected quotes from Caritas in Veritate:

“Hunger is not so much dependent on lack of material things as on shortage of social resources, the most important of which are institutional. What is missing, in other words, is a network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water for nutritional needs...”

“It is therefore necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination.

“Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application of commercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good... Therefore, it must be borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.”

“Economy and finance, as instruments, can be used badly when those at the helm are motivated by purely selfish ends.”

Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics, and what is more, it needs works redolent of the spirit of gift.”

“Hence it is important to call for a renewed reflection on how rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere licence.

“...the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a ‘grammar’ which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation.”

“In the search for solutions to the current economic crisis, development aid for poor countries must be considered a valid means of creating wealth for all.”

13 July 2009

Yaron Brook’s Call to Action - July 2009

In a newly released video, Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute speaks out against the socialization of the medical industry (i.e. “health care reform”), reminding us that health care is not a right.

12 July 2009

OCON Update - July 10 and 11, 2009

John Lewis concluded his course on “The History of Ancient Greece: The Archaic Period.”  I think it was my very favorite of the optional courses, which is saying quite a lot.  Naturally, his time was very limited in this short course, but Dr. Lewis managed to paint a wonderfully rich sketch of this amazing infancy of western civilization, and to demonstrate its significance as it leads to the classical period of Greek history.  LB and I came away from the course with a much better understanding of the archaic period, and we are both excited to explore some of the poetry and writings that Dr. Lewis introduced in the class.

I took copious notes in Elan Journo’s course, “Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict.”  He managed to cover an enormous amount of material, and interestingly, even though he was presenting this at OCON, I think his approach would be very suitable for a general audience.  (That is likely the intent, for it was being filmed.)  His was a systematic approach: a chronological, objective unfolding of facts with little or no evaluation.  It is true that a rational person could come to only one conclusion faced with these facts, but Mr. Journo left the conclusions to the listener.

In a general lecture called “Free Minds and Free Markets,” Peter Schwartz pointed out the inextricable connection of liberty and capitalism.  As Ayn Rand put it, “A free mind and a free market are corollaries.”  Mr. Schwartz elaborated upon this with his typical brilliance and intensity, and he illustrated his points with many examples, including some execrable quotes from Nicholas Kristof, David Brooks, and Cass Sunstein.

Wayne Fortun, the CEO of Hutchinson Technology, presented an inspiring lecture called “Objectivist Corporate Culture Is a Durable Competitive Advantage.”  The published and practiced values of his extraordinarily successful company incorporate Objectivist principles with consistency.  It is not a surprise to see this success, of course, but it is nice to observe the practical manifestations of implementing reason, and of establishing the virtues that derive from reason. 

Finally, Harry Binswanger presented the conclusion to his lecture, “The Objective vs. the Intrinsic and the Subjective.”  In this, he pointed out the false dichotomy of subjectivism versus intrinsicism, and showed how reality actually supports a trichotomy.  It is the objective view of ethics, politics, law, etc. that is proper, as against the subjective and the intrinsic.  Though there is a clear distinction between the subjective and intrinsic views, they often have a surprising amount in common... and of course are invariably wrong.  There is a wealth of material here, including some very powerful concepts that tie in with Leonard Peikoff’s DIM Hypothesis, so I plan to return to my notes frequently in order to “chew” on the ideas.  I would say that of all the general lectures at the conference - and that includes the ones by superstars like Tara Smith, Onkar Ghate, and Peter Schwartz - the most valuable ones for me were the pair by Dr. Binswanger.


It would be hard to overstate the spiritual lift that these days at OCON have provided.  (Naturally, I use the word “spiritual” here in an utterly non-mystical sense!)  I came into the conference feeling a bit overworked and discouraged about the state of America and the world.  I feel completely recharged now and armed for battle, as it were.

If I have a regret, it is that LB and I had not come to OCON before.  I had attended one by myself back in 1992, but now I rue missing the conferences of the intervening years (though we had legitimate obstacles - it is difficult for us to leave for a week or two on a vacation that does not include the kids).  I don’t know when we will be able to return, but tentatively, we are regarding the Fort Lauderdale conference in 2011 as our next opportunity.  In the meantime, I am determined to improve my thinking and writing, and to fight a fight worth making: to make the world a better place... for me.

11 July 2009

OCON Update - July 7 through 9, 2009

Lisa Van Damme concluded her course “Ibsen the Iconoclast” with an analysis of The Wild Duck.  While preparing the material for the course, Miss Van Damme had a dramatic transformation in her own thinking of the work - and indeed, of Ibsen’s work more generally - but I’m not going to reveal the nature of that transformation.  To find out, you’ll just have to purchase the recording, which will be available at some point at Ayn Rand Bookstore!

Yaron Brook finished with his course on “The Financial Crisis: What Happened And Why,”  He did an exceptionally good job of encapsulating and reducing to essentials an enormous amount of material in just over four hours of lecture time.  Similarly, Elan Journo has the challenge of condensing a complex succession of events in his course “Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” which began on Wednesday.  And last but not least, LB and I are together taking John Lewis’ course, “The History of Ancient Greece: The Archaic Period,” in which Dr. Lewis will establish the historical context for the Classical Period in Greece.  The depth of his knowledge is impressive and his enthusiasm infectious; he is clearly thrilled to be teaching a positive topic for a change, considering how he has lately been concentrating on the Islamist war on America.

LB and I have also attended all the general lectures.  Tara Smith gave her second lecture at the conference, entitled, “Humanity’s Darkest Evil: The Lethal Destructiveness of Non-Objective Law.”  In this, she demonstrates that for the very reason that the purpose of government sets the standard for objective law, a government that adopts or gradually accepts non-objective law becomes an unparalleled menace to human life.

Harry Binswanger’s lecture, “The Objective vs. the Intrinsic and the Subjective,” contained many profound ideas about objectivity in general.  One point in particular was something of a new perspective for me: that objectivity consists of the self-conscious, deliberate use of logic.  Note that both the self-conscious and deliberate components are required, something that I had not quite fully identified before.  It is not enough to use logic, but one must also know one is using logic in order to be truly objective.  Dr. Binswanger made another point that I regard as profound: he speculated that one of the troubles with the culture today is that people hold moral premises (ones that they have invariably absorbed uncritically from various sources) as if they were metaphysically-given percepts.  I think this is a brilliant insight, and it explains much of the overwhelming passivity - the non-thinking - exhibited by America and the West.

Greg Salmieri presented a lecture called “Atlas Shrugged on the Role of the Mind in Man’s Existence.”  In this he explored the theme of Atlas Shrugged from a philosophical perspective, including Ayn Rand’s unique position on reason, consciousness, and the false dichotomy of the soul and body.

Finally, John Allison, the heroic former CEO of BB&T, made a very inspiring speech called “Principled Leadership.”

On Thursday night, LB And I had a great time going out to dinner with many OBloggers whom we had never met before.  Of course, we already knew C. August from Titanic Deck Chairs, but we also got to meet Diana and Paul Hsieh from NoodleFood, Gus Van Horn from Gus Van Horn, Kendall J from The Crucible, Jason from The Rational Egoist, Shea Levy from Cogito’s Thoughts, Craig Biddle from The Objective Standard, Mark from Randex, and special guest Trey from Flibbertigibbet!   

09 July 2009

Objectivist Round Up #104

Welcome to the July 9, 2009 edition of the Objectivist Round Up!  This blog carnival features posts by blog authors who are advocates of Objectivism.

Objectivism is the philosophy of the 20th-century novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand.  It is a comprehensive system of thought that identifies the basic axioms of the universe, and formulates and defends a reality-based theory of concepts, free will, morality, political liberty, history, and aesthetics.  In short, it is a philosophy for living life.

If you are new to Ayn Rand and wish to discover more about her philosophy, I recommend you start by reading her two greatest novels, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, followed by some non-fiction works such as Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.  The Ayn Rand Institute and the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights provide very relevant information and commentary, and a great introduction to Ayn Rand’s works can be found here.

In addition to items of general interest, this week’s posts feature reports from some of the “tea parties” that have been held across the country - in particular, the one in Boston, for which many of the bloggers happened to be present because of the 2009 Objectivist Conferences.  

So, with no further ado, I present this week’s Objectivist Round Up posts:

Andy presents “The Purpose Driven Life (Part 1)” at The Charlotte Capitalist, saying, “On Independence Data, Mega-pastor Rick Warren served up a nasty Dark Ages-Nazi Cocktail. I foresee a very bad hangover.”

Paul McKeever presents “Paul McKeever’s Minimal Maxims and Bon Arrows, volume 1, issue 6” at Paul McKeever, saying, “ignorance, need as a value, the nature of a free man, and the daily clamour for something to make the worthless feel valuable...who could ask for more?”

John Drake presents “History of Information Systems” posted at Try Reason!, saying, “Inspired by The Objectivist Standard's many great articles and their emphasis on history to demonstrate principles, I have been redesigning a core business class to focus on the historical lessons about information systems and how those principles can enhance business success. This post details my reasons and challenges with this redesign.”

Paul Hsieh presents “Photos from the Boston Tea Party” posted at NoodleFood, saying, “Lots of Objectivists turned out for the Boston Tea Party!”

Jason Crawford presents “The Cult of Need” posted at The Rational Egoist, saying, “First post on my new blog!”

Ari Armstrong presents “July 4 Tea Party Arvada Colorado” posted at FreeColorado.com, saying, “Listen to the concerns of those who attended the Arvada Tea Party July 4.”

Francis Luong presents “Celebrate Your Independence By Choosing To Read Atlas Shrugged” posted at Just Add Rationality.

Grant Jones presents “Manhattan, Kansas July 4th Tea Party” posted at The Dougout.

Jared Rhoads presents “Tea Party” posted at The Lucidicus Project, saying, “The July 4th Tea Party protests in Boston were a success. Here is a brief report, with photos.”

Edward Cline presents “Parsing Obama” posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, “To grasp the magnitude of the national debt Obama (and his Republican predecessor) has been ringing up, a comparison should help illustrate the task. Bernard Madoff’s robbery and defrauding investors of some $50 billion can be represented by the diameter of the solar system. The federal government, using the same scamming tactics, is amassing a debt about the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy. Madoff’s scheme can be measured in millions of miles. The federal government's, in almost limitless parsecs. That measurement ought to suffice to dramatize the scale of the hole he is deliberately digging for the country in his role as Community-Organizer-in-Chief.”

Stephen Bourque presents “The Reluctant Dictator” at One Reality, saying, “Barack Obama is not trying to lead a government takeover of one American industry after another.  We know this because he told us so himself.”

Michael Labeit presents “Midget, Midget, Midget, Midget, Midget....” posted at Coroner's Bureau, saying, “Midget, Midget, Midget, Midget, Midget....”

C. August presents "Alan Reynolds, the Answer to CAFE is NOT Taxes" posted at Titanic Deck Chairs

That’s it for this week.  Titanic Deck Chairs will host the carnival next week.  Please submit your blog articles for the next edition of the Objectivist Round Up using the carnival submission form.


I added a post from Titanic Deck Chairs.