Ayn Rand on Phil Donahue – You MUST Watch This

This is Ayn Rand at 75 years old in her first public appearance after the death of her husband. I suggest that everyone spend the time to watch each of the 5 videos below – it is worth it. I have cataloged notes from each of the videos for your reference. The quotes i’ve listed are close to accurate, but may not be totally accurate.

Segment 1:

– Ayn gets to it right out of the gate, unapologetic for honest achievement.

– Donahue: “You are something.” Rand: “I think So”

– Ayn says Donahue is faking it when he acts humble

– Most men are repressors who hide their feelings out of weakness

– Jimmy Carter’s smile is not genuine. “I don’t think he has any ideas and if so he has no feelings.”

– Rand likes Charlie’s Angels

– Art should be romantic

– Rand pro Aristotle, con Plato

Watch it here.


Segment 2:

– Ayn regards altruists as evil.

– People can want to help other people but that is not altruism. Altruism is sacrificing yourself for other people. What’s wrong with it Donahue asks? Rand responds – what’s wrong with committing suicide?

– What I mean by sacrifice is to give up some value that is important to you for a lesser value. To die for your neighbor is sacrifice. By extension – evil.

– Recent proposals to spend millions on the handicapped (buses, etc) is to bring everyone to the level of the handicapped.

– It is unfair to build special schools for mentally retarded people when we don’t build special schools for the gifted, upon whom all of our lives depend. They carry the weight of everyone else and deserve first priority. Tax payers should not pay for either though – and each should rely on their parents or private charity.

– The gifted will make their own way if we don’t stop them

– Less government. We need only the basics: Police, law courts, armed forces.

– If there is a “mal” distribution of wealth, it is to those who have political pull. “If you made it yourself in free competition then you should keep all of it. Why shouldn’t you? You made it.”

– On the subject of oil, rising oil prices, and the then oil crisis: ” We should not have permitted altruistically all of those nations to nationalize what we built for them.”

Watch it here.

Segment 3:

– On Arab countries and their oil: “They took our oil. We own by contract right the installations which we devised to begin with and we helped them to build.” “They have no right to their soil if they do nothing with it. They want to bring us in to develop their oil and then to exploit and murder us.” It was our fault though for not putting a better contract in place and enforcing it. Blames government.

– It is not their oil. “It was there for centuries and they didn’t know what to do with it.” “We don’t export our technology, we export our minds and our knowledge without which they couldn’t exist.”

– “They can’t even run the oil industry after they copied everything from us.”

– Donahue: “You’re an atheist.” Rand: “Yes.” Donahue: “Tisk tisk tisk.” Rand: “I could do the same to you, you know. Since your the host I won’t say it but in other circumstances I would say that I don’t approve of religion.” It is not based on reason and facts.

– Donahue: “You’ve got to admit, you’re not smart enough to know whether there is a G-d.” Rand: “Yes, I am.” “It doesn’t take much intelligence.”

– “Religion is a psychological weakness of a man who is afraid to stand on his own mind and his own responsibility. The absence of proof has gone on for centuries.” “I regard it as evil to place your emotions, your desire, above the evidence of what your mind knows.”

– Donahue: “Aren’t you filled with wonder when you look up at the stars.” Rand: “No. And I don’t like to look at them. I like this earth. You know when i’m filled with wonder – when I look up at sky scrapers. At what man was able to achieve of their own… without the help of faith or desire.”

– Rand admires people who have helped to bring us so far from primitive jungles.

– Loathing of Russia.

Watch it here.

Segment 4:

– “For the good of the whole and sacrifice to the state… and whoever says it is or wants to be the State.”

– “I don’t believe that society has any responsibiliy towards anyone.” “Society has nothing to do with the life of anybody except to get out of his way.”

– “I don’t like the word responsibility.”

– “Do what I rationally think is right according to the right morality. And help others if you can but not as a primary obligation.”

– “We can’t have unearned obligations.”

– Questioner asked Rand what she thought of the architecture in Chicago. Rand said she has not been there in a while but liked the frank lloyd wright buildings. And likes the early Sullivan buildings which she hopes are preserved.

– Rand confronts a (“recently matured”) questioner who says she is trying to build an elitist society. Rand asks her why she came “here” to my show. “You want responsibility – go and practice it, but your not going to force any responsibility on me.” RAND BASICALLY THREATENED THIS IDIOT WOMAN TO STEP OUTSIDE AND DROP FISTS.

– “I would love to see an honorable adversary, but i’ve stopped hoping for it.”

Watch it here.


Segment 5:

– “I’m for freedom of the mind.”

– Donahue: Could you ever plot to overthrow a person you thought was denying civil rights to other people? Rand: Certainly. You have moral right to retaliate with force. But i’m not for murder.

– Calls Iran a “miserable” country

– “It is dangerous to ascribe your achievement to somebody else.” Don’t share credit.

– “I lost my top value,” referring to her passed husband. If I really believed I could reunite with him i’d commit suicide immediately.

Watch it here.

“Mother Theresa is a Douche Bag” and more from Christopher Hitchens

Is it Anger, or Fear?

“Dagny heard a cold, implacable voice saying somewhere within her: Remember it – remember it well – it is not often that one can see pure evil – look at it – remember – and some day you’ll find the words to name its essence… She heard it through the screaming of other voices that cried in helpless violence: It’s nothing – i’ve heard it before – i’m hearing it everywhere – it’s nothing but the same old tripe – why can’t I stand it? I can’t stand it – I can’t stand it!

Censorship on 4AynRandFans.com Forums?

The first blog post I made questioned whether joining online forums solely dedicated to the discussion of Ayn Rand could be considered “consistent” with objectivist principles. The reason I made the post was because I have long struggled with the boundaries between “leading” and “following.” The idea of participating in a community, online or offline, that is dedicated to the memory and ideas of a single individual, just seems “collectivist” in nature. When ideas become popular movements it is hard to distinguish the real individuals from the want-to-be-real phonies. Maybe i’m wrong, but it just seems fishy.

Anyway – I made this post in which I challenged the forum and its members, and someone posted it to 4AynRandFans.com forums with a link to my blog. Pretty much all of the forum members condemned me and criticized the poster for posting such trash. They dismissed me as a disenfranchised objectivist – a very silly (untrue) notion, and proceeded to pick apart my entire post. I will admit that they had some good points, and that I may have been too quick to generalize about the people on those forums, but in reading the thread, and with what happened afterward, it confirmed some of my initial skepticism about the forum.

People really let the original poster have it for posting my blog (I still don’t understand why), even though it stimulated a discussion that seemed productive – which was my original intent… not to bash anyone, but to challenge their conventions and learn from their responses.

In the end – they actually deleted the thread. They censored it!

The original person who posted the thread then started a new thread from which the following quote is extracted:

“I have recently made a post that was both crude and not worth putting on the forum, for that I am sorry.
First, let me explain my actions so you might understand that they were neither evil, nor malicious.”

He then went on with a long email defending himself but also bowing down to the community for being so bold as to paste in words from another individual who seemed to question them. Does this sound like a community that fosters free-thinking and allows the challenging of convention to you? I thought objectivist principles CHALLENGED “group-think” like tendencies!? Rather, (SOME) of these people seem to represent a new brand of “collectivist objectivists,” which I find ironical. Finally, the poster (John) thanked Betsy for deleting his thread, and said, “it means a lot.”

To the members of that forum – i’m sure that if I gave many of you a chance I would find a lot of people who are more intelligent than I am, whom I would both be interested in, and privileged to, learn from. Unfortunately, however, some of you have now confirmed my skepticism, and I feel sadly (and slightly) vindicated.

The Reasonable Approach Israel Could Take to End Terrorism

Warning – this is a disorganized rant.

Israel’s foreign policy is inherently flawed and unreasonable because it is too moderate, and because it is too focussed on a diplomatic peace that will never come.

In 1967, Israel was attacked (sadly a common occurrence). Not by a single enemy, but by all of its neighbors in the Middle East… at the same time.. from every angle. Israel pushed back its attackers and, in the process, claimed land that they believed would serve their strategic defense, a common practice in war. For the decades that have ensued, Israel has either given back or tried to give back most of this land in exchange for peace with its neighbors. When you have neighbors who are only willing to accept a single outcome: Israel being annihilated, it is very hard to use such diplomacy to achieve any real peace. Rather than accept the disputed land in exchange for peace, Israel’s neighbors have engaged in a public relations war, preferring to blame Israel for occupation of their land rather than gaining back that land in exchange for offering a promise of peace – a deal Israel has offered time and again.

lurie_israel_wall.jpg

The fundamental problem with Israel’s approach is that it is based on good-will and diplomacy with neighbors who themselves are unreasonable, in a world that consistently treats Israel unfairly and applies a double-standard. Hundreds of rockets are fired into Israel each day (still)… children are commonly targeted in terrorist attacks… its neighbors continually threaten to push Israel into the sea… and when ever Israel tries to defend herself – by building borders, or by attacking missile factories, or by using their military, they face disproportionate outcry from suckers throughout the world who simply do not understand the nature of the conflict.

Israel needs to learn that it can never win the PR war. That people will never treat them fairly. It’s not just that people are anti-semitic… most people are simply ignorant and do not understand the conflict… and perpetuate the propaganda that exploits the plight of the Palestinian people who are used as pawns by terrorists and powerful forces in the Middle East (namely, Iran and Syria) to add legitimacy to the terrorist approach of killing Israeli civilians.

If Israel really cared about their peace and security and looked at the situation realistically, they would stop focusing on how the world perceives them… they would cease their attempts at moderation, and they would act like most other countries of the world when its borders are threatened (U.S., Russia, France, Germany, England, Turkey, Japan, etc, etc, etc) and employ aggressive military tactics to win peace and security at all costs. Terrorists do not believe in moderation – and if we’ve learned anything over the past 100 years it’s that the only way to beat a terrorist is to cause their heart to stop beating.

If Israel placed peace and its own security as a top priority, it would indeed launch a war throughout the world to target and kill every terrorist and extremist, and every individual who supports them. I think people are smart enough to not underestimate their ability to do this.

Why does Israel refrain from pursuing its own self interest and begin a policy of killing all enemies who 1) have promised to kill them, and 2) have demonstrated the proficiency to do so? The answer is simple: in the face of threats and fear, and in the face of continuous and disgusting murder, the people of Israel continue to hold themselves to higher standards… they are fighting the terrorists without going down to their level, and without resorting to the same tactics that any other sovereign nation would use to protect themselves if they were in the same situation.

Israel is in many ways a victim of its own principles. International (and domestic) press can operate freely in Israel… something they cannot do in other Arab countries (well documented), and this leads to an unprecedented level of scrutiny. As a result, it becomes very easy to blame Israel.

I foolishly hope that one day people will look deeper into this issue and apply reason, rather than fall victim to propaganda.

Choices by Jeff Neugebauer

Jeff Neugebauer Unveiled Choices in Feb of 2006.

choices.jpg

““Choices” is an allegorical painting about love, and passion. Wine serves as a metaphor for the object of desire. In “Choices”, the woman has chosen the one glass of wine that suits her taste; exhibiting a subtle look of ecstasy, she discriminates against the rest. Just as in life, we make choices and forgo the others. Like his other paintings, “Choices” conveys a profound meaning about life that resonates with many of us.”

www.jeffneugebauer.com

It doesn’t take an economist…

It doesn’t take an economist to recognize the shortcomings of immature, unprincipled, hedonistic economic policy.

Let’s give big tax cuts without cutting spending

Let’s rack up the national debt

Let’s engage in wars of choice with oil-rich countries

Let’s refrain from building oil-processing infrastructure

Let’s watch inflation increase, the value of the dollar decrease, and let’s watch US Companies beg foreign investors for cash to stave off bankruptcy…

And when it all catches up to us, when recession starts to kick in, let’s respond with a $150 billion one-time tax rebate in order to stimulate the economy in the short-term, without paying for it, and further perpetuate the systemic problems that will eventually catch up to us (the recent Bush “stimulus” plan).

My non-expert opinion: Let’s take our lumps now. If we’re headed for recession – let’s do it, and let’s cycle out of it, and let’s not put it off only to find ourselves in a much greater problem down the road. LET THE FREE MARKET DO ITS THING!!!!

The Thud Experiment

Nuke Me, Bitch

monoface.gifA primitive animal living in a modern society

New shirt, new home, new car, new life

Same animal, same drive to survive

So evolved you cannot evolve

Life, or subsistence living?

Eyes Wide Shut…

For some reason I find this picture, and everything it represents, quite chilling…

3dglasses512.jpg

New Rule: Relegate Friends of Fred Thompson to Internment Camps

If 50%+ Americans had not supported President Bush, I wouldn’t have been shocked by the relative popularity of Presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

Never before, since the days of George W. Coke Snorting Alcohol Abusing Bush has an individual that is so clearly unqualified for public office held significant support from so many voting Americans. Since South Carolina is arguably the shittiest state in the union, with inhabitants that maintain a collective IQ hardly rivaling amoeba, it is no surprise to me that FT is polling #1.

I state this now and in no uncertain terms – Friends of Fred Thompson pose a clear and present danger to the citizenry of the United States. As a nation, we must not allow Friends of Thompson to do to us what Friends of Bush did – namely to allow a man with no intrinsic value or utility to society to sit in the oval office, and to make the kinds of decisions that are usually reserved for real men to make. Friends of Thompson must be stripped of all rights and bussed to South Carolina, where we will erect camps for FOT’s to be held for eternity.

Impeach: YOU

What if we held our citizens accountable rather than our politicians?

Think about it. The mandate of elected officials is to enact the will of the people, and in the end, these officials are only accountable to their electors. When Enron implodes, we don’t blame the men and the women on the ground – perpetuating the daily operations of the company. We blame the leadership. Those who give the orders. Those with the power to set strategic direction, and with the ability to hold others accountable for failing to successfully implement the mandate they have passed down.

In a Republic, it is ultimately the people who set the direction for the country by virtue of their votes. The people of the United States are, in a sense, a big board of directors. They have a fiduciary duty to collect facts, to maintain objectivity, and to uphold the values of the constitution. They are not to be judged on their intent or their morals, they are to be judged based on results.

Why not punish American citizens who negligently fail to do their duty as American citizens? If men and women, boys and girls, die because of collective acts of negligence on the part of these individuals, shouldn’t these individuals be asked to make sacrifices of their own?

Damn The Man

Damn the man who, armed with confidence, and stricken by ignorance, claims to posses knowledge that no man can posses

Damn the man who, armed with reason, and stricken by fear, fails to make the truth known.

History favors the passioned minority – but only when that passion translates into action.

More Wisdom from Ayn Rand – Videos

What we need today:

1961 message from Ayn Rand to GOP candidates

This is John Galt – Speech – Part 1

Happiness vs. Truth

There was a fork in the road.

I looked left – and saw happiness: It looked Warm. A life of personal satisfaction?

I looked right – and saw truth: It looked Cold. A life of principle?

Most people were going left. These people ran quickly after their happy, fulfilled lives. I wanted happiness too. I asked myself, “What good is life if I can’t enjoy it?”

I decided to go right. By the time I reached the fork in the road I had already known too much. I liked being happy. I liked smiling. I tried to do both as much as I could. But how could I look at myself in the mirror having selected an illusion as the primary objective of my life?

Happiness is, after all, an illusion, right?

I may live 85 years on this earth, but once I die, I know my happiness won’t follow me. Happiness may help me to enjoy my time on the earth. It may help me to live longer – thereby helping me to accomplish more things, and that has value, right?

My accomplishments won’t follow me either though. I could erect the tallest buildings. I could eradicate diseases. I could help my fellow man reach the outer limits of the universe – but when I die, relative to my own decaying corpse – these accomplishments will all have been an illusion.

To me, truth is the ability to suppress delusion and to accurately experience the essence of life and my fellow travelers. It does not preclude happiness; however happiness is not its end objective.

Why did I select truth over happiness? I don’t posses the words to explain why, but I ask… how could anything be more desirable than truth? Truth is real, it’s infallible. I won’t ever attain what I consider to be truth – just as I’ll never be able to prove my existence – but is apathy an adequate excuse?

I hope to have many smiles in my life and much joy as well. But when I take my last breath – at my very last moment of life – my smile will be a genuine smile, and it will have been earned.

More brilliance from Richard Dawkins

Except for the first, these are long videos. Dawkins was not on top of his game in these, in my opinion, but was pretty good, and the context of being in Falwell’s backyard, and talking directly to his students, makes it interesting. If you only have time to watch one video though, watch this one.

Liberty University student asks, “What if You’re Wrong,” to Dawkins (atheist)…

Dawkins in Lynchburg VA (part 1) The God Delusion featuring many questions from Liberty University students:

Dawkins in Lynchburg VA (part 2) The God Delusion:

Richard Dawkins: An atheist’s call to arms

A must watch, regardless of your views. Please comment after.

Watch the full thing, better quality, here.

Answering anti-Randian, anti-Objectivist scum

One way to answer someone who says something like…

“Not one supporter of the objectivist philosophy ever has shown the least inclination to actually put Rand’s “philosophy” into practice, and this tells us pretty much all we need to know about how realistic her thought is.”

My response below. And at the bottom I explain MY selfish reasons for wasting minutes of my life engaging such people for whom the state would execute if it had, and decided to enforce, a zero-tolerance policy against the incompetent class.

You fail to realize that someone who puts Rand’s philosophy into practice would not likely be within your view… taking advantage of YOUR “roads.” They may be living in a cabin in the woods… they may be working late nights in a lab somewhere trying to cure cancer… they may be building the very roads you talk about… or they may be in a Turkish hotel tickling virgins… but they certainly aren’t driving on main street with an “I Heart Rand” bumper sticker on the back of their green mini van, and for goodness sakes, they CERTAINLY are not hanging around with people like you.

You make generalizations without utilizing logic to connect various points, and even my society-loving high school lit teacher knew enough to advise me against this practice. It’s just an ignorant thing to do… and it is case in point why many (though clearly too few) people find themselves fearful and frustrated by the ignorance of people like you, and the masses at large.

There is one thing we might agree with. I think the idea of having objectivist associations, groups, and societies is silly. A mature objectivist has seen the failings of “others” far too often to allow anyone else to carry their torch, but everyone gets weak at one time or another… and in times of weakness… human beings tend to join groups to remind themselves that they are not alone.

A glaring difference between a “true” objectivist who produces for themselves… and a self-proclaimed altruist who “produces for others,” is that one of these individuals is “brash” when they answer the question… why (why do I live, why do I live my life the way I do)… and the other is either dishonest or lacking of self knowledge.

When I write this post, I write it for myself. I know I will not convince you of anything, and that your response will include the kind of silly points you’re fond of making. I write this post because when I encounter people such as yourself, I walk away more energized than before, motivated to continue creating the innovations that silly saps like you will take for granted 100 years from now.

Blame Bush?

I take profound issue with modern-day Bush-bashers and haters, and those who stand out against the Iraq war.

Not because I don’t think President Bush is incompetent – he is. Not because I don’t think the Iraq war was mismanaged – it was. I take profound issue because I don’t like the tendency of people to find a single scapegoat for each and every issue.

Before President Bush was “elected” the first time – his lack of intellectual curiosity and personal depth was glaringly obvious. Yet – as a people, we permitted him to be elected. When it came time to invade Iraq, approval ratings were amazingly high and MOST people in the country supported the war, and the effort. We permitted him to take us to war without a debate.

Now, thinking strategically, invading Iraq may have been the right move at the time (maybe not). However, we all should have known how grave a risk it was to invade an Arab country. With an individual like Bush leading the effort as chief executive, we should have been confident that the war would not have been executed properly. President Bush has never demonstrated executive competence once in his life. Not in the oil companies he ran in Texas, not as Governor of Texas, and not as President of the United States.

So – the American people permitted an incompetent person to take us into a strategic war with support of most people. The American people then put him BACK into office after many of his failures were clear, but only to critical and objective thinkers. And NOW, the American people are unhappy.

Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame. The former for being pussies, the latter for being ignorant.

I am against letting President Bush be the scapegoat, however, because it is about time for Americans, and human beings at large, to learn their lessons. President Bush was a tool of the people. He was elected by a people who SHOULD HAVE KNOWN what he would produce. It is unfair for the people to blame a person for doing exactly what critical thinkers predicted he would do.

If these people simply blame Bush, without blaming themselves, then the President Bush catastrophe will just happen over and over again. The people will remain uninformed and duly dogmatic and will continue to elect members of the incompetent class to rule us.

It is about time for personal responsibility. I failed my country by not rallying hard enough against Bush when he was running the first time. We all did. This is not a democrat versus republican issue – it is a matter of competence versus impotence.

Thanksgiving

I am thankful for:

– Life

– Health

– Free Market Economy

– Family

What are you thankful for?