Saturday, April 16, 2011

Make Them Pay . . . Less!

Tax Day, the day of the deadline to file your taxes, is normally on April 15th, but this year, President Obama decided to cut us all some slack and give us til the Monday after: April 18th.

Liberals, cheer led by Michael Moore, have cooked up a plan to scapegoat corporations who they claim are not paying their share of taxes, thus depriving the federal government of much needed income.

Obviously, that's only going to work if people really believe the government needs the money. The more money government takes in, the bigger it gets.

Of course, if smaller government is what you're after, then you would want it to have less money, not more. In which case, not only might you not mind corporations paying less taxes, you might weven want lower taxes for everybody!

Lower taxes means less money, so government has to make itself smaller! Well, that's the theory, anyway.

So here's the deal: on Monday, April 18th at noon, the "more money for bigger government" liberals will have a "Make Them Pay!" rally at the State Capitol - organized through MoveOn. After the rally, participants will drive to the Chase branch at NW 23rd & Western where they will "respectfully" ask Chase to pay its "fair share" of taxes.

Wouldn't it be fun if some people showed up with signs that read, "Lower Taxes for Everybody! Make Government Smaller Not Bigger!"

Just a thought.

ADDENDUM - 4/17: Mr. Moore needs to be reminded that 45% of Americans pay no income tax.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Washington returns to business as usual. Run for your lives!

The Senate has issued its report on the economic crisis and found that - aside from a few minor conflicts of interest involving agencies tasked with regulating the banking industry - it's all the banking industry's fault.

In other words, the government had nothing to do with making the banks hand out all those questionable mortgages in the first place.

No, the government had nothing to do with trying to get more people to buy homes and bullying banks into lowering their standards in the name of altruism. Oh no, absolutely not. Move along. There's nothing to see here.

And altruism had nothing to do with making the banks more compliant, more eager to do the bidding of their regulatory overlords. Or getting said overlords to look the other way while bankers made riskier and riskier loans because, after all, owning your home is good for the country!

Why, no. Of course not! Why would anybody ever even think such a thing?

So now, after
a two-year investigation . . . that included four public hearings and the collection of hundreds of internal documents
- according to the story on - everything's all better now, it was all those nasty bankers' fault anyway, and if the government did do anything wrong it was only because it wasn't regulating the banking industry enough!

So now it's safe for Washington to go back to business as usual. All we need, if anything, is more regulations.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Principles: Freedom: For Whom and From What?

The second in the series of debates between Demos and the Ayn Rand Institute takes place Thursday, April 7th, and will explore the nature of freedom.

Debating for Demos will be political theorist Benjamin R. Barber and for the Ayn Rand Institute will be Objectivist philosopher Harry Binswanger.

The debate will be livestreamed starting at 5PM Oklahoma time on Facebook at the page of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

Notes on the event and preliminary remarks by the debaters can be found at It's A Free Country.

Ideas matter

One of the challenges faced by Objectivists wishing to capitalize on the Atlas Shrugged movie's release is how to explain Ayn Rand's philosophy to those who may experience only a smattering of the political implications of her philosophy while watching the movie, due to the inevitable compression Rand's novel will have undergone to render even a third of the book into a reasonable length film.

Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute, recently gave an excellent example of how the current political situation relates to Rand's system of ethics - showing how political ideas rest on a deeper foundation of ethical, metaphysical and epistemological assumptions - and he did it in only 30 minutes!

The event was "Ideas Matter: Ayn Rand's Message to Today's World" - a webcast streamed to several college campuses across the country, in addition to being available on the Internet. It was organized by The Undercurrent, a national newspaper published by Objectivist students for distribution on college campuses. (Not to be confused with the paper of that name at OU!)

Unfortunately the video now available of this event begins with about 15 minutes during which the camera was on but the event had not yet begun, but you can just skip right past that and get to the main event. After Brook's speech, he answered questions from the audience for another hour or so.

Watch live streaming video from ideasmatter at

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Atlas Shrugged" movie coming to OKC

It's official: I received word from the folks at Harkins Theatres today that Atlas Shrugged Part 1 will be opening at the Harkins Bricktown here in Oklahoma City on April 15th.

Apparently the campaign by the film's producers to motivate fans to ask for the movie at their local theaters is working. In the past few days, bookings have jumped from about a dozen to over 80 theaters nationwide, and reports are already starting to surface of sold-out showings.

I plan to be there on opening night. You're more than welcome to join me! If you're interested, let me know on Facebook at Atlas Shrugged Part 1 in OKC!