Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I'm doing now

Well, obviously I'm no longer posting here, but I noticed recently that this blog is still getting a good amount of traffic. So, why not come and check out what I'm doing now? My efforts these days tend to focus on Facebook - so "like" my Page!

My current project is Oklahomans for Individual Rights.
The mission of Oklahomans for Individual Rights is to promote Freedom for the sake of Freedom by advocating for the reduction and restriction of government at all levels to its sole legitimate function: the protection of individual rights.
Check it out on Facebook!

Follow on Twitter!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Homosexuality is no threat to Liberty - Big Government is.

Is homosexuality a threat to liberty, as Bryan Fischer declared at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday?


When the U.S. Supreme Court declared sodomy laws unconstitutional in Lawrence v Texas, it was a great advance for liberty. When people like Fischer, Sally Kern and Peter LaBarbera say that homosexuality as such is a threat to freedom, people just roll their eyes. Yes, you could say that some homosexuals advocate some things that infringe some people's freedoms, just as you could say the same thing about all too many other people these days, including religious conservatives. That doesn't make homosexuality a threat to liberty any more than being a Christian is a threat to liberty - even though some Christians do advocate infringing some people's rights for religious reasons. And that's true not just on the religious right, but also on the religious left.

I don't support Mitt Romney, but I do thank him for what he said about Fischer at the Summit. And I find it very interesting that a gathering of social conservatives picked Ron Paul in their straw poll for president over someone more obviously representative of their social goals, such as Rick Santorum. I certainly don't think the formerly Libertarian Paul could be counted on to support Fischer's views regarding homosexuality.

I personally find it unconscionable that people such as Kern, Fischer and LaBarbera continue to flog these straw men when it is so obvious that the number one threat to freedom today is a government that is out of control and too big at all levels. And I'm not just saying that because I'm Gay. It is clear to me that these people see a smaller government restricted to protecting individual rights as a threat to their power to impose their religious agenda by means of government force.

And I can and do condemn them for that.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Morality of Steve Jobs

If you think you're going to be upset by this, don't read it. I, like many of you, think that what Westboro Baptist does is ghastly. But when I read that Margie Phelps said that Westboro was going to picket Jobs' funeral because he "served himself, not God", I thought she had summed up perfectly the thing that unites all those who are opposed to genuine human progress and the thing that makes it possible: the individual human mind, which functions by means of reason and a code that upholds the value of the individual's own life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


On the anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001, I remember that the United States of America stands for one thing above all else:


Monday, September 5, 2011

Why businessmen require freedom of conscience

At his new blog, Individual Rights and Government Wrongs, Brian Phillips has posted yet another dazzling analysis of the wide-ranging impact of government intervention in the economy. This time his focus is on taxi services. While I urge you to read the entire piece, I do want to note that I was struck by a passage which illustrates Ayn Rand's famous assertion that state and economics should be separate "in the same way and for the same reasons" as the separation of church and state.

The issue is "freedom of conscience" - something often cited by those who claim to uphold church/state separation. Why is freedom of conscience required to run a business? Brian cites this example:
Claims of “market failure” are founded on an arbitrary assertion of how the market should operate. And when the market fails to meet this arbitrary standard, it has “failed.” This is no different than running massive computer models of the NFL season and declaring that, if the Cleveland Browns do not win the Super Bowl, we have an “NFL failure.” Individuals have free will, and we often make decisions that the so-called experts don’t believe we should. The experts said that Henry Ford should not pay his workers twice the industry average. The experts were wrong. His turnover plummeted, his efficiency rose, and his profits soared. And, he cut his prices by nearly sixty percent.

Because Ford was free to act on his own judgment, he could prove the practicality of his ideas. He was free to demonstrate the truth that he saw before others saw it. What would have happened to America’s automobile industry if Henry Ford had been prohibited from acting as he thought best? And how much better might the taxi industry be if entrepreneurs and businessmen could act on their judgment, rather than follow the dictates of politicians and bureaucrats?
Any regulation which restricts a businessman's freedom to act on his own judgement interferes with his freedom of conscience, and should be rejected on that basis.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Objectivist Round Up

Welcome to the September 1st, 2011 edition of the Objectivist Round Up!

As this is Labor Day weekend, I thought this well-known quote from Ayn Rand would be apropos:
"The issue is not between pro-business controls and pro-labor controls, but between controls and freedom. . . . Government control of the economy, no matter in whose behalf, has been the source of all the evils in our industrial history--and the solution is laissez-faire capitalism, i.e., the abolition of any and all forms of government intervention in production and trade, the separation of State and Economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of Church and State."

- Notes on the History of American Free Enterprise (from "Capitalism: The Unkown Ideal")
I've been using this quote for years on my other website, The Oklahoma Capitalist.

Here's the Round Up!

William N. Green presents Blowing Hard, posted at Proudly Selfish, saying, "a conversation with a friend regarding wind power".

Rational Jenn presents Insanely Great, posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "My tribute to Steve Jobs, a true hero".

Rational Jenn presents Time Travel Tuesday: Mythbusting Positive Discipline posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "This week's Time Travel Tuesday is a post that tackles some misconceptions about non-punitive discipline."

C.W. presents Volatility, posted at Krazy Economy, saying, "Does volatility seem to be getting wilder? It will get worse. Fear and many uncertainties fuel it, including the failure of government solutions. Guess what the solution is."

Ryan Krause presents What Steve Jobs Did Well, posted at The Money Speech.

Roberto Sarrionandia presents The Harm of Conspiracy Movements posted at Roberto Sarrionandia, saying, "The harmful narratives in the conspiracy theory movements".

John Drake presents Division of time management tools posted at Try Reason!, saying, "I have given up hope of finding that one tool that will solve all of my time and organizational issues. It is time to divide and conquer."

Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela present Why Open Immigration is Moral posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, "If you haven't already seen it, check out Diana Hsieh's excellent video about open immigration. And be sure to check out her fun, live webcast every Sunday morning where she answers questions submitted by listeners. You can also participate in a live chat during the show."

Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela present Immigration Tension in the Deep South - An Excellent Guardian Article posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, "My brief comments on an excellent Guardian article about state-level immigration laws and the tension they are creating in the southern US, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era."

Paul Hsieh presents Thank You, Steve Jobs posted at NoodleFood, saying, "My short tribute to Steve Jobs was published in American Thinker."

Paul Hsieh presents Self-Defense in the UK posted at NoodleFood, saying, "How bad are gun laws in Great Britain? This is a follow-up post to one of Diana's webcast topics."

(Editor's note: Paul is currently recovering from a hip fracture he sustained on Monday. Get well soon, Paul!)

David C. Lewis presents Lowering Your Insurance Premiums By Buying Insurance To Cover Catastrophies posted at A Revolution In Financial Planning, saying, "I discuss solutions for lowering insurance premiums, even as government intervention into the insurance industry strengthens."

Atul Kapur presents Hazare’s “Solution” does Not Solve Anything posted at Wit Lab, saying, "I explain why the reforms being proposed in India by the anti-corruption protesters (led by activist Anna Hazare) do nothing to address the root cause of corruption, but merely add more bureaucrats with arbitrary powers."

Jason Stotts presents Range Report posted at Erosophia, saying, "A range report from my most recent trip to the shooting range."

Ari Armstrong presents Ayn Rand As Atheist: Skepticamp Talk posted at Free Colorado, saying, ""Ayn Rand As Atheist" is a 20-minute talk I delivered Aug. 27 at Skepticamp in Colorado Springs."

J. Brian Phillips presents Where is the fire? posted at, saying, "Many Americans believe that government must provide certain services, such as fire protection and emergency medical care, because private businesses can't or won't. The truth is, private companies are providing these services more efficiently than government."

David Masten presents The Case for Objective Morality posted at Blazing Truth, saying, "A look at the claim made in Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape": that science can determine moral values. Presenting the case for objective morality with conscious well-being as its standard. Is it in line with Objectivist principles? I think so!"

Edward Cline presents Our Post 9/11 World: A Ten-Year Retrospective posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "Here is my fictional recounting of post-9-11 history as it might and ought to have been."

That's it for this edition! Submit your blog article for the next edition of the Objectivist Round Up using our carnival submission form. EGO will be hosting next week!

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

For the Tea Party

I've been seeing some dangerous rhetoric floating around lately and, no, I'm not referring to the Tea Partiers who want to keep the debt ceiling from being raised. I am referring to those who say that opposition to raising the debt ceiling constitutes some kind of threat to the country and that those who oppose raising the debt ceiling should be censored. It is ironic that those who are now calling for such censorship have historically postured as defenders of the First Amendment, a la the "Free Speech Movement" and the Fairness Doctrine. While they are not yet openly calling for government restrictions on pro-Tea Party speech - which, by the way, is the only thing that qualifies as genuine censorship - they have finally revealed their true colors.

At such a time I believe it is important to be clear about where I stand.

I stand with the Tea Party.

Yes, I have been critical of the Tea Party in the past and I reserve to myself the right to continue to be so. The Tea Party movement was founded by Rick Santelli on the recognition of the fact that the growth of government was out of control. The movement has succeeded in reshaping the debate on the role of government and returning it to the goals of the Founders, who wanted to guarantee the freedom of the American people. A government with access to unlimited funds is a government with access to unlimited power, and Tea Partiers recognize that restricting the government's access to power means restricting its access to funds - not just taxpayer dollars, but the ability to borrow against those dollars. I whole-heartedly support the Tea Party when it opposes raising the debt ceiling - just one of the ways it has helped to re-focus the debate on the role of government.

Ultimately, the goal must be to reverse the growth of government and cut it back to something which poses no threat to the freedom of the American people. I hold that this can only be done by restricting government to the protection of individual rights. This is one of the reasons why I oppose evangelicals who would usurp the movement for their own religious ends, which will result not in freedom but in religious dictatorship - whether they choose to recognize that or not. I regard those evangelicals as aiding and abetting the liberals in bringing about the runaway growth of government.

The United States of America was NOT founded as a Christian nation.

The United States of America was founded as a FREE nation.

The Tea Party movement is big enough and healthy enough to withstand such criticism. I certainly do not regard the presence of factionalism in the Tea Party as grounds for censorship. I regard the fact that it has generated the kind of desperate opposition represented by those who are calling for censorship as testimony to its success, and I stand with the Tea Party in its opposition to those who would obliterate the First Amendment by forbidding media coverage of and access to information about the Movement.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Zero-sum morality

While the pie metaphor has been abused by Keynesian economists, the argument behind it has been abused by those who promote the altruist morality as well. The standard criticism of selfishness is that the selfish person gets what he wants by taking it away from others. This is as false as saying the wealthy get rich by stealing from others.

There is no such thing as a fixed or limited supply of value. Just as wealth is created by productive effort, which leads to economic growth rather than a static economy where there is only a fixed amount of wealth to be "redistributed", so moral value is achieved by one's own productive effort, so that the morally successful person does not achieve happiness by causing pain in others.

Altruists, on the other hand, would have us believe that the alternative to sacrificing yourself to others is sacrificing others to yourself. The rationally selfish person comprehends that sacrifice serves no one's long-term interest, and that genuine happiness can only be achieved by his own effort, not at the expense of others. He understands that taking pleasure in the pain of others is immoral.

In fact, it is the happiness of others - as evidence of their moral success - that gives him a profound motivation to achieve his own happiness. The achievements of others are a crucial demonstration that such things are possible in reality - or, as Ayn Rand might put it: "in this life, on this Earth".

The rationally selfish person knows that "sacrifice or be sacrificed" is a false alternative and a false view of genuine selfishness, which requires no sacrifice on anyone's part whatsoever. It is altruism and sacrifice that are, in fact, the zero-sum game.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ayn Rand on Original Sin

I saw this quote on the Ayn Rand Facebook page this morning & just had to post it:
To hold, as man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man’s nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.
It's from John Galt's Speech in Atlas Shrugged (also reprinted in The New Intellectual).

The passage on Original Sin in Galt's Speech covers several paragraphs - this quote is just part of one of them.

Be sure & check out the comments on Facebook, too!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Collective" health and individual value

Oklahoma City needs plan to improve its collective health

Oh really?

Here's the comment I posted:
"OKLAHOMA City needs a collective plan to improve its collective health."

If Oklahoma City residents had the chance to learn to value themselves as individual human beings, they would also value their own health. Apparently The Oklahoman thinks we only have value collectively - which makes sense, considering the anti-rational morality they're always pushing.

Did they consider that claiming Oklahoma City needs a "collective" plan to do anything is an insult to anyone who is confident of his competence to think for himself? Or would they simply respond that we should all be relying on a "higher authority"?
Need I point out that collectivists don't care if the "higher authority" is the government or God, as long as it's anybody but yourself.

All they care about is turning us into another Detroit.