11/14/2010

The GOTea Party & Ayn Rand - Sermon on the Amount



Ayn Rand is a favorite author of GOTea Partiers and Wisconsin's newly elected Senator Ron Johnson. Those keepers of family values no doubt could Rand's book "The Virtue of Selfishness" in their list of favorites.


I find it very curious how the "big thinkers" on the TEA Party side of the borderline can push the self-righteous, philosophy of Ayn Rand and, at the same time, embrace the teachings of Jesus. Then again, I don't pretend to be judge and jury. That ain't my job.

Stranger ingredients have been blended together to make a fruitcake philosophy that appeals to groups of individuals who do not know the facts and think for themselves -- regradless of which end of the political spectrum you hang your hat. Think lemmings...

Below are a few interesting quotes from the "The Virtue of Selfishness." This is a slim paperback that can be picked up cheap at most used bookstores. You can get a good idea about the single-mindness of Rand's philosophy by watching the movie "The Fountainhead." You can see her philosophy in words OnTheBorderLine blog site and in action at the Hudson school board meetings. I suggest, after you watch "Fountainhead," watch "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Ghandi."

The words of Ayn Rand...$$$$$$$$$

On faith:

Faith is a malignancy that no system can tolerate with impunity; and the man who succumbs to it, will call on it in precisely those issues where he needs his reason most. When one turns from reason to faith, when one rejects the absolutism of reality, one undercuts the absolutism of one's consciousness -- and one's mind becomes an organ one cannot trust any longer. It becomes what the mystics claim it to be: a tool of distortion.

On reality:

There is only one reality -- the reality knowable to reason. And if man does not choose to perceive it, there is nothing else for him to perceive; if it is not of this world that his is conscious, then he is not conscious at all.

On pride:

Pride is one's response to one's power to achieve values, the pleasure one takes in one's own efficacy. And it is this that mystics hold as evil.

Pride has to be earned; it is the reward of effort and achievement; but to gain the virtue of humility, one has only to abstain from thinking -- nothing else is demanded -- and one will feel humble quickly enough.

On humility:

Humility is, of necessity, the basic virtue of a mystical morality: it is the only virtue possible to men who have renounced the mind.

On sacrifice:

A sacrifice, it is necessary to remember, means the surrender of a higher value in favor of a lower value or of a nonvalue. If one gives up that which one does not value in order to obtain that which one does not value -- or if one gives up a lesser value in order to obtain a greater one -- this is not a sacrifice, but a gain...But if sacrifice is a virtue, it is not the neurotic but the rational man who must be "cured." He must learn to do violence to his own rational judgement -- to reverse the order of his value hierarchy -- to surrender that which his mind has choosen as the good -- to turn against and invalidate his own consciousness.

On selfishness:

The root of selfishness is man's right -- and need -- to act on his own judgement. If his judgement is to be an object of sacrifice -- what sort of efficacy, control, freedom from conflict, or serentiy of spirit will be possible to man?

23 comments:

From The Valley said...

You might find this interesting, concerning Ayn Rand and Christianity.

The link is: http://www.tektonics.org/qt/randayn01.html

Ayn Rand: The Ayngriest Roguette

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Missive on the Ayngry Prophetess of Objectivism
"Safari Man"
In Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things the author briefly mentions that at one time in the United States the influence of the writings of Ayn Rand was second only to the Bible. I can well believe this statistic because Ms. Rand's writing has unquestionably had a tremendous influence in my own life. It is no accident that her best-selling works have often been written and spoken of in biblical proportions. To my perspective, Rand's books can serve to temporarily fill the void in the life of a person who has rejected religion, as I did when I was an atheist years ago. The Webster's World Encyclopedia 2000 (Multimedia Edition) ironically refers to Rand's book Atlas Shrugged as "the bible of her Objectivism [philosophy]." Ms. Rand was somewhat of a heroine of mine in my college days and I recall quoting bits and pieces of her writing back then as if they were scripture verses.

Although Shermer goes on to asseverate in Weird Things that Ms. Rand manipulated her reverent "disciples" in much the same fashion that modern day religious cult leaders have, I do not wish to cover this subject in great detail in this paper. Nor do I wish to comment very much on her political views or to dissect her economic views on capitalism. It would be impossible to thoroughly analyze her ideas without mentioning a few of her political and economic views, but I intend to focus primarily on those elements of Ayn Rand's famous philosophy of Objectivism which are inimical to some of the core attitudes and beliefs of the Christian faith. In keeping with the humorous spirit of Tekton Apologetics, I have taken to impishly referring to Ayn Rand as The Ayngriest Roguette.

Back when I was in college, a clever fellow who worked for the campus newspaper once remarked to me after I had been ranting effusively about Ayn Rand that if I had read her smaller books first I wouldn't have needed to read her bigger books. To my chagrin, I soon discovered that he was absolutely right. If one has read Rand's small non-fiction works such as The Virtue of Selfishness or For The New Intellectual, her massive fictional works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged can be blithely ignored without missing out on a great deal of her philosophy. While I was at the bookstore recently, my heart sank as I realized just how elephantine Atlas Shrugged actually is. The paperback is 1,074 pages long!! After I made my purchases of this and some of Rand's smaller works I trudged away thinking, What have you gotten yourself into?

Whatever else one might say about Ms. Rand, she was forcefully articulate in her writing. Despite her atheism, her inflamed rhetoric was similar in effect to that of a modern day prophet with commandments set in stone. Her work has been practically canonized by her admirers. She tended to treat all opposing viewpoints in her path like a solitary intellectual juggernaut, deeming the best of them to be completely worthless and crushing all of them mercilessly. Rand's fictional saints of Objectivism all walked the moral high road with a palpably fatalistic air, while the lesser denizens of society merely wallowed in the muck by the wayside. The ethical sinners in Rand's universe were never content with their miserable lot; no, they were also hell-bent on corrupting the virtue of her paragons of righteousness.

Rand's selfish heroes and heroines always seemed to be lean, angular, and nattily dressed while running about being brilliant capitalists; her altruistic rogues, on the other hand, always seemed to be weak-chinned, slovenly, or spineless jellyfish carelessly sabotaging the human race with their incompetence. I can't really fault her for making use of complimentary physical descriptions to describe her champions and unappealing physical descriptions to describe her villains-- Hollywood has made an industry out of doing as much, after all. But the overall impression that Ms. Rand gave me in her writing was that “her kind of people” were right and everyone who disagreed were wrong.

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Selfishness is Good, Altruism is Evil
Ayn Rand is not quite as popular today as she once was. Even among atheists the late Ms. Rand has become a bit of a pariah. Perhaps it is because of the cult allegations swirling around Objectivists, or perhaps it is because people who are looking for a namby-pamby relativistic moral and ethical system will not find one in Ayn Rand's writing. Her ethical philosophy was couched in absolute terms and she presented it as starkly as a fist in the face of a society she viewed as ethically bankrupt. In an essay entitled “The Cult of Moral Grayness” she wrote:

One of the most eloquent symptoms of the moral bank- ruptcy of today’s culture, is a certain fashionable attitude towards moral issues, best summarized as: “There are no blacks and whites, there are only grays.” (1)
In other words, Rand argued that in order for there to be shades of gray, black and white MUST exist in matters of right and wrong. In this regard, Ms. Rand theoretically stands in agreement with Christian morality. But practically speaking, there is a big difference between Christianity and what Rand accepts as absolutely moral. In Atlas Shrugged, for example, Ms. Rand appears to have a peculiarly relativistic view of adultery. Among brilliant and passionate industrialists extramarital sex is perfectly excusable but among everyone else it is tawdry and contemptible. In The Fountainhead, Ms. Rand even comes dangerously close to sanctioning rape.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism is complex and wide-ranging, and this paper is not intended to be a complete treatment of it. Ms. Rand once summed up the essence of her philosophy, called “Objectivism,” while standing on one foot:

Metaphysics: Objective Reality
Epistemology: Reason
Ethics: Self-Interest
Politics: Capitalism
The very first component to understand about the Objectivist ethics which is inimical to Christianity is that selfishness, or "rational self-interest" as she would put it, is a virtue. "Greed is good... Greed works," was the sentiment of the villainous trader played by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street; but in the topsy-turvy ethical framework of Objectivism, such blatant avarice becomes understandable and even admirable.

In the beginning of The Virtue of Selfishness Ms. Rand began with a defense of the title of her book by saying:

In popular usage, the word "selfishness" is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures up is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends, who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratifi- cation of the mindless whims of any immediate moment. Yet the exact meaning and the dictionary definition of the word "selfishness" is concern with one's own interests. This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interest is good or evil; nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests. It is the task of ethics to answer such questions. (2)
I do not know which dictionary Ms. Rand used for the definition of “selfishness” here. But assuming for a moment that there was only one dictionary with only one definition for “selfishness,” is it not apparent that the brute in Rand’s illustration is at least excessively selfish at the expense of others? If so, such an analysis would indeed involve a judgement based on ethical considerations. One can haggle over the semantic usage of the word “selfish” in the popular or unpopular mind ad infinitum, but most reasonable people would agree that this particular brute has gone too far to further his own interests and is indeed selfish. But Ms. Rand argued vociferously that it was not a semantic issue at all and that the popular definition besmirched the purity of the concept she wished to convey. Ms. Rand might view this “modern-day” definition of “selfish” as a corruption of the simplistic one from her dictionary given above but I offer this entry from Webster's World Encyclopedia 2000 (Multimedia Edition) to the reader for consideration: selfish “deficient in consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure; actuated by self-interest.”

In the Christian hierarchy of moral service, serving one’s fellow man and serving God are considered higher virtues than merely serving one’s own self. But the higher can not exist without the lower; thus, serving one’s own interests selfishly does have value and can be put in its proper place at the lowest rung of the ladder. According to this view, the morally (some would say spiritually) advanced Christian practices serving one’s own interests while being constantly mindful of the needs of one’s neighbors-- and vigilantly springing into action to help whenever possible. In doing so, the Christian also believes that such moral service towards others is also serving God by extension. Meeting one’s own needs thereby becomes a virtue insofar as it is done so with an overall attitude of service to others. Preferably one does not remain at the lowest rung of the ladder forever.

But Ms. Rand would have none of this. Such an attitude was in her eyes the product of savages and wild-eyed mystics and therefore thoroughly contemptible among so-called rational men. As Dagny Taggart, her heroine in Atlas Shrugged, put it “I’m not interested in helping anybody. I want to make money.” Such a criteria of behavior, taken alone, would make no distinction between being Vice President of a railroad and or a drug dealer selling heroin. To be fair, Dagny Taggart would never do this in Ayn Rand’s eyes because her heroine would never do anything which furthers the destruction of another individual. But an unwillingness to harm others is not quite the same as a willingness to help others; such an individual has a foot halfway between the rung of service to oneself and the higher rung of service to others-- but never quite completes the next step. Such people are, as my dictionary definition suggests, deficient in consideration for others.

Ms. Rand also made a rather astonishing statement early on in The Virtue of Selfishness regarding altruism:

Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one’s own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value--and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes. (3)
Since Ms. Rand did not specifically give a dictionary definition for altruism here (if she gives it anywhere in this book I missed it and I apologize) I must conclude that she is giving an explication of the popular definition of altruism--with all of the built-in ethical “package-deal” that she decries in the definition of “selfishness.” Again, drawing my handy Webster's World Encyclopedia 2000 (Multimedia Edition) I offer the following definition: altruism is a “regard for others as a principle of action.” and “unselfishness; concern for other people.”

I submit here that nowhere in this definition is it implicit that as long as the action is taken for the benefit of someone else, anything goes. Regard for others is ”a” principle, not “the only” principle to be guided by. Giving money to a male heroin addict, for example, might benefit him if he chooses to buy food with it; however, it would be wiser to give food rather than giving him money, wouldn’t it? It might be wiser still to refuse giving anything to the heroin addict at all until he has taken some very drastic measures to kick his destructive habit. Would refusing to give money or food be selfish or altruistic? I submit it would be altruistic if such a refusal is based not on a miserly attitude, but on a desire to see the addict rehabilitate himself. So I must here chop this assumption that ”anything goes” off at the knees. It is necessary to do so because the entire book is based on angry assumptions such as this one; reasonable people can see that they are unfounded.

Rand’s violent hatred of altruistic morality is difficult to understand at first. After reading an essay of hers called Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World I found a clue. Rand admits in this lecture to Harvard students that the Christian view of altruism (self-sacrifice for one’s neighbors) is not as bad in her opinion as the Kantian view of altruism. At least in the Christian view of altruism, whenever a man or woman sacrifices something of material value for his or her neighbors they expect to eventually receive a reward of some kind from God. But in the Kantian view of altruism, one should expect no reward at all. To Rand’s way of thinking (and, I confess, to mine) giving up things which are valuable to you without expecting to receive something of equal or greater value is almost senseless. Almost senseless, I say. Even if I did not believe God existed, I could imagine wanting to give food or money to someone in need simply because that person was in need, even if I expected to receive no value in return. Why? Because I believe that helping others is oftentimes its own reward. This is because, unconsciously or otherwise, I have accepted the Golden Rule which states that I should do unto others as I would have them do unto me.

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Why Is John Galt?
Early on in Atlas Shrugged a somewhat lackadaisical train engineer rhetorically asks "Who is John Galt?" and a fireman explains this enigmatic question by saying "He means, don't ask questions that nobody can answer." Just as this recurring query is finally answered with vivid clarity in the monumental climax of the book, Ms. Rand also proposed to answer the "unanswerable question" of why society as a whole is not working. Incompetence is part of the answer, according to Ms. Rand. But the bigger problem by far was altruism, which she viewed as the root of all evil.

Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the accomplishments of Man, Mind and Money. John Galt leads a strike of the “men of mind” with the intention of stopping the motor of the world and establishing a Utopia of Greed. This is not merely inflated hyperbole-- one of the chapters of Atlas is entitled “The Utopia of Greed.” The climax of the book is a long, monotonous speech in which Rand (via Galt) explains the core of her Objectivism philosophy. Much of what she says does actually make sense. I can accept her premises that existence exists, that A is A, and that there is such a thing as objective reality which exists independently of my perception of it. I do NOT accept that it is impossible that a Deity created what is, or that faith in God is necessarily an abdication of Reason, or Rand’s bald assertion that money is the root of all good.

Although Rand credits only Aristotle with influence on her thinking, I submit that when Galt states that the most heroic kind of individual is the one with an “independent mind that recognizes no authority higher than its own and no value higher than its judgement of truth,” and that “Man’s Life is the highest standard of value,” and that believing in God is an act which “corrupts the mind,” she is simply rewording Protagoras’ declaration that “Man is the measure of all things.”

One recurring theme in Atlas Shrugged is that the evil men of this world are incompetent. How I wish this were true! Evil men can be ruthlessly skilled and efficient, as Hitler’s Nazis and the Stalinist regime have proven. Competency of action is not solely the property of the virtuous. Not only does Rand portray evil men as incompetent, but she also judges incompetence itself as evil. Obviously when undertaking a worthwhile task competence is preferable to incompetence. People do not generally stand in awe of and write songs of praise for shoddy work. Skill, efficiency and competence are praiseworthy means to accomplish good work in the Bible: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”

When Solomon commissioned the building of the Temple he did not call upon the incompetent but upon men of great dedication and skill to undertake the task. But the fact is that evil men and virtuous men alike can be equally competent; ultimately the value of the tasks they perform must be judged by considerations other than skill alone. As Christians, we believe that eventually God Himself will judge all of our works. Good works, competently or incompetently done, will receive their corresponding reward. But evil works, no matter how skillfully done, will be rejected. To put this in concrete terms: a skillful pickpocket is still a thief, an efficient hit man is still a murderer for hire, and (dare I say) a competent porn star is still committing a reprehensible sin in the eyes of God.

John Galt exists as the ultimate symbol of competence, selfishness and greed. Competence is a virtue, selfishness has it’s place, but I submit that greed has no value in a Christian’s life. Greed has been called one of the 7 deadly sins for a reason. The excessive desire to acquire and possess more material goods than one needs or deserves while turning a blind eye to the needs of others was precisely the sin committed by the rich man in Christ’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke chapter 16. Many people commonly misunderstand Christ’s attitude towards wealth. Merely having or working for wealth is not, in itself, a bad thing. But hoarding one’s wealth while it is in one’s power to relieve others'suffering is.

Galt arrogantly declares that Man must live for his own sake and never for the sake of others. The famous oath which Galt makes all of his like-minded followers swear in his dreamed-of Utopia is “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” This is simply the old lie that the individual alone is God of his own universe and that there is no deity, community or cause which is greater than one’s petty desires. Clearly no Christian can swear an oath like this and still dedicate his life to the service of Jesus Christ and to his fellow man.

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Conclusion
I have always disliked the attempts by some theists to label atheism as a religion. But in some cases I wonder if the shoe fits. For an atheist, Ms. Rand displayed a knack for appropriating religious symbolism in her writing. In Atlas Shrugged steel mills are described as “holy temples,” a railroad slogan is deemed to be “holier than any biblical commandment,” and the sacred sign of the dollar conspicuously replaces the sign of the cross. Rand contemptuously flings this barb at Christians:

If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that Man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a “moral commandment” is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational and reason accepts no commandments. (4)
To this I respond with MY kind of language:

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8 NIV)
One positive benefit one can gain by reading the works of Ayn Rand is an awareness of just how important a sound philosophy of life really is. At times, Rand can be breathtakingly eloquent and persuasive. In an address given to the United States military academy at West Point in 1974 entitled “Philosophy: Who Needs It?” she has this to say on the importance of philosophy:

As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation--or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind’s wings should have grown. (5)
I respect Rand’s insistent claims that Man must have a coherent philosophy in order to live moral lives. I too believe that a sound philosophy which takes the commandments of Christ into account is a valuable thing. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, good philosophy must be learned if only because bad philosophy must be answered. But in the final analysis I have rejected Rand’s materialistic and egoistic philosophy of Objectivism because I can not accept any philosophy which elevates the wisdom of man above the wisdom of God and summarily reduces all consideration of the needs of my fellow man to absolute zero. Rational self-interest does have its place but individual or collective greed, no matter how economically efficient it may be for those who practice it, is excessively selfish and antithetical to the spirit of Christianity. In spite of what Rand preached, the commandments of Christ and my neighbor’s need DOES have a claim upon me whether I like it or not. I close with my scriptural justification for believing as I do:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)
Notes

Rand, Ayn, The Virtue of Selfishness, Signet, New York, p. 87, 1964
Rand, Ref. 1, p. 7
Rand, Ref. 1, p. 8
Rand, Ayn, Atlas Shrugged, Signet, New York, p. 936 ,1957
Rand, Ayn, Philosophy: Who Needs It?, Signet, New York, p. 5, 1982

Anonymous said...

The thing that "From The Valley" fails to mention is the pragmatic harm Rand devotees have done to our culture and society. I would love to see the statistics on how many Evangelical Christians voted for Ron Johnson. I would put my money on most of them being unaware that Johnson is a Randist and most have probably never heard of Ayn Rand, despite the fact the they often parrot her anti- government sloganeering which they have unwittingly adopted from the likes of Rush Limbaugh (drug addict, and thrice devorced), and Glen Beck.
It really isn't that surprising since many evangelicals, believe you only have to read one book, and for the most part have given up on "the world".
Here's and article these people should read.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/september/2.36.html

daniel noe said...

I believe Rand is using a different definition of pride, humility, faith, and sacrifice than the norm. She's not necessarily wrong.

Gotee said...

Dear Anonymous, many Evangelicals vote strictly Republican because they are pro life. Likewise, since Evangelicals are pro life, they generally support the death penalty because people who take a life deserve to die or forfeit their life.

Ron Johnson is no Randist. He simply knows what buttons to push to get sensible people to vote for him. It worked. The problem with the Foolsgold followers is that they have read too many books. Obviously, their brains have been stuffed with so much liberal non-sense that they wouldn't not common sense if it nailed them to a cross.

Obviously, Wisconsinites are tied of the liberal way or life and chosen to take a step back to sanity. With two ex-wives and a record of voting for ultra-liberal legislation that appeals to Madison revolutionaries, it's about time Wisconsin got a senator who really understands the cheese belt.

You can take your cheap shots at Rand and Christians, but we understand what the bottom line is. The people-before-profits liberal are clueless when it comes to understanding the basic realities of providing for one's family.

I think Ron Johnson will make a fine senator. Perhaps he can work in the same conservative vein as Joe McCarthy but will avoid the ideological lynching suffered by the old Tail-gunner.

Sunny Badger said...

Daniel:

I didn't know we get to make up our own definitions as we go along. Are you saying you agree with Rand, whatever she was trying to say? Perhaps that is why so many people have so many interpretations of the Constitution and the Bible? I guess it depends on what you mean by "is."

daniel noe said...

I would have to read more to be sure, but I suspect that Rand and I would agree on much if only we were speaking the same language.

Definitions are like accents, there is no "correct" one. This becomes very frustrating at times, but the only other option is that everybody do everything my way.

Anonymous said...

Gotee,

It's time for a shave my friend. Before you go making comments like
"Ron Johnson is no Randist" you should check the facts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/26/AR2010052604760.html

Instead of shrugging, Ron Johnson is running for office

By George F. Will
Thursday, May 27, 2010

MILWAUKEE

"Before what he calls "the jaw-dropping" events of the past 19 months -- TARP, the stimulus, Government Motors, the mistreatment of Chrysler's creditors, Obamacare, etc. -- the idea of running for office never crossed Ron Johnson's mind. He was, however, dry tinder -- he calls Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" his "foundational book" -- and now is ablaze, in an understated, Upper Midwestern way. This 55-year-old manufacturer of plastic products from Oshkosh, Wis., is what the Tea Party looks like."


http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/104751759.html

Rand's book describes a dystopian America where the leading innovators leave society out of frustration with rules and regulations. It is a book that Johnson says he admires and has been a driving force in his political philosophy.

Asked by a panelist about the book, Johnson said "Atlas" represents the producers of the world, while "Shrugged" represents how overburdened the producers are with rules, regulations and taxes.

A DRIVING force in his political philosphy, and Atlas Shrugged his "foundational book"??????

My guess would be that most Christians would call their foundation book THE BIBLE.

Ron Johnson is a Randist. If you can PROVE otherwise I'd like to see the evidence!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

One more thing Gotee: If your prime reason for voting Republican is because you're pro life, maybe you should check the success Republicans have had on this issue since 1973.
The fact is, if Republicans ever were successful in overturning R v Wade, they would loose the issue that garners them the most votes.
If you really want to do something about abortion how about making a donation to:

St. Croix Valley Lifecare Center
713 County Road 5
Stillwater, MN 55082

Donors and Volunteers: Donorvolunteerinfo@scvlc.org

Resurrecting Joe McCarthy isn't going to stop a single abortion.

Gotee said...

I believe Johnson has rightly characterized those two Rand books. I'm sure Johnson meant "Atlas Shrugged" was a "foundational" book after the Bible and the Constitution. At least I hope he meant that.

What books did Feingold read? The Communist Manifesto?

I don't recall mention abortion any where in my comments. Perhaps you assume that is the only issue Republicans care about. Stopping abortions, illegal immigrants and the gays and stopping the libs from taking our guns away. Those are noble goals, but the Republican Party is a much bigger tent. I personally want the Democrats to keep the limp wrists off my hard earned money.

Most Democrats I know can't balance a checkbook and have no clue as how to read a profit and loss statement. It's easier for them to walk around wearing "People Before Profits" buttons than to actually take an accounting class.

This country is all about business. If you don't like it move to Canada suckle the tit of socialism up there. If the Democrats have their way, this country will end up being a damn soup kitchen where equality means destitution for all.

Anonymous said...

My Dear Friend Gotee,

Part 1 (Google wouldn't let me publish all in one post)

1.Excuse me for assuming you were referring to abortion when you said:
"Dear Anonymous, many Evangelicals vote strictly Republican because they are pro life." I guess I don't know what else this could mean?

2. I never remember Russ Feingold refering to the Communist Manifesto. If he has, again, I say show me the eveidence!

3. Talk about making unfounded presumptions: "I personally want the Democrats to keep the limp wrists off my hard earned money."
I guess all democrats are homosexuals in your view. God, what foundation do you have for an assumption like that?

4. The only time business is mentioned in the Constituion is in Section 5. And that refers to Congress.
"Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting. "

6. I also find it ironic that you "rugged individuals ignore the opening phrase of the Preamble.
"We the People". It's not "Me the individual".

7. You actually ignore other portions of the Preamble as in "promote the general welfare"

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. "

8. I'm certain Jesus would be the first in line to give taking an accounting class a higher priority that caring for people. Right!

Anonymous said...

Part 2

9. Let's see how the U.S. Stacks up against the "tit" suckers in measures like infant mortality.

The CIA interestingly ranks the worst (Angola) #1 and the best #lowest or best (Monaco ) #224, so you have to count backwards find the real rating.


(Google won't let me publish URL as it's too long)


USA 47th

Canada 37th

Denmark 25th

Finland 10th

France 9th

Iceland 8th

Sweden 4th.

Let's try "Ease of doing Business"
The "tit" suckers don't seem to be in the "soup kitchen" category here either.
According to Doing Business. org
http://www.doingbusiness.org/


United States 5
Denmark 6
Canada 7
Norway 8
Ireland 9
Australia 10
Saudi Arabia 11
Georgia 12
Finland 13
Sweden 14
Iceland 15United States 5
Denmark 6
Canada 7
Norway 8
Ireland 9
Australia 10
Saudi Arabia 11
Georgia 12
Finland 13
Sweden 14
Iceland 15

Let's face it. The facts don't support your opinions.

Gotee said...

Anonymous:

It's interesting that you post some rankings taken from the mainstream media. Rankings are the simplest form of statistics. #1 and #47 could be 0.002 of percent away from each other.

That's the thing about Foolsgold and the cult of personality that Obama is engineering, they don't mention the Communist Manifesto because then everybody would know what their game plan is. Where didn't Foolsgold get most of his votes? Madison, a cesspool of socialism if there every was one. Every time I go to Madison, I have to set my watch back to the 1960s. That city needs to take a bath, get a hair and look for an honest living. The whole city suckles the public tit!

Where in the Constitution does it say "abortion?" It says "welfare" but it doesn't mention free lunches, cellphones and rent for those too lazy to get a job. It's about time Congress puts an end to welfare so these so-called "unemployed" get there lazy asses back to work.

I'm cheering for Ron Johnson and Paul Ryan to work for the elimination of the minimum wage and bring the free market back to American.

I don't need the facts supporting my opinions. You got your "facts" and I got mind. Too bad that the voters believed my facts in the November election. The Democrats better start digging for another suave guy who can read lofty phrases from a TelePrompTer if they hope to win in 2012. After the utter pounding the lefties took in the election, the Dummycrats should change their mascot to a piece of burnt toast with a fork stuck in it.

Anonymous said...

"You got your "facts" and I got mind."
Yes Gotee, I got mind. That came from reading books etc. Perhaps your problem is you haven't read enough books.
Yes, let's get rid of books that we don't like so we all think the way you do.
Yes, let's get rid of the minimum wage and lower our standard of living to that of the Chinese or Indians. That's what your "free market" crap has wrought on this country so far and it's only going to get worse.
I wish I could wave a magic wand and put you in the place of "
these so-called "unemployed" get there lazy asses back to work." folks. If you new some of them they've worked their entire lives only to be put in a position where they can not find work and support their families as they have for years.
You my friend are WAY out on a right wing limb. Another fact you can deny, (since denial of reality seems to be your Modus operandi ) This recession is the doing of the Bush policies and the bank bailout was conducted in his term by his appointed Secretary of the Treasury
Paulson.
If you believe every Democrat goes home to read the Communist Manifesto to his little ones at night, I wouldn't be surprised if you spend your spare time translating the Old Testament into "Hillbilly".

Anonymous said...

Gotee,

Upon further examination of you last post, I feel the irresistible urge to append my retort.

You, being a fan of Ayn Rand might appreciate one more fact.
The following are both irrational statements. Ayn Rand would have a field day with these.

"I don't need the facts supporting my opinions. You got your "facts" and I got mind. Too bad that the voters believed my facts in the November election."
I thought you didn't need any "facts". Which "facts" are yours that the voters believed? How is that possible since you haven't given any "facts" only opinions, and have stated categorically that you don't need facts to support your opinion. Perhaps what you meant to say was that the voters supported you "opinion".
Irrational statement #2:
"Where didn't Foolsgold get most of his votes? Madison, a cesspool of socialism if there every was one."

Hmmmm, does this mean Foolsgold didn't get most of his votes from Madison, the cesspool of socialism. Gee, if he were a real Communist, you'd think he'd head for that cesspool PRONTO!
My advice to you Gotee. First, learn the official language of the United States, English. Then feel free post you opinions unsupported by the facts in that language. Until then you're pretty much incommunicado.

Sunny Badger said...

Anon:

Thanks for the ranking lists and the link. That looks like a good source for finding out the facts...even if they are not in line with Gotee's fantasy world.

A site I link to check out with polling information is PollingReport.com. Here's the link:

www.doingbusiness.org

Roadkill said...

Sunny,

"I didn't know we get to make up our own definitions as we go along."

I agree. The Liberal penchant for re-defining government spending as "investments" is another one.

Anonymous said...

Roadkill,

Here's a more recent redefinition.
"All taxation is theft".

>"I didn't know we get to make up our own definitions as we go along."

Can you be more specific as to what or whom you're referring to?

From where I stand, it seems Rand has redefined selfishness.

On the other hand, the meaning and connotations of words do evolve over time. If they did not we would all be speaking like Chaucer.

Sunny B said...

What about the definetion of "liberal?" That doesn't mean the same.

What about the definetion of "red state?" That used to refer to a communist country tied to the USSR. Now it refers to a US state that votes Republican. Somehow the Republicans became "reds."

Anonymous said...

Sunny,

When you think about it Republican and Red are really new, that is as in Red Neck!

Roadkill said...

OK, folks, here we go…

Theft: the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another.

There is nothing new or redefining in the idea that taxation is theft; it is the taking, under threat of force, of the fruits of someone else's labor without his/her consent. It is not a free exchange. The government demands money, and the taxpayer must pay (or else). Not exactly a gun in the face, but the prospect of prosecution and jail usually shakes the money free. The element of force involved – police, jail, public censure, and prison – is real. There is no choice in the matter. Just shut up and hand over your money to the politicians.

Contrast that with a free exchange. For instance, if you elect not to buy something in the free marketplace because you think its utility or service is poor, you can do so without consequence. But if you elect not to pay taxes because you think government service is poor, or that your rate of taxation is higher than others who enjoy the same (poor) service, or that politicians are just plainly squandering your money in payoff to special interests, you will probably go to jail. Almost like a gun in the face. Essentially same thing as theft.

As for the “Red State, Blue State” thing, we can all thank NBC news for that. Personally, I think they were doing Democrats a favor in not opting to color them Red, since – lets face it – many of their “progressive” policies are halfway measures on the road to socialism. I suppose they could have colored them pink…

Anonymous said...

Roadkill,

Please refrain from driving on the public highways as you go on your way to garnering the funds that sustain your "self sufficiency" this coming Monday morning as they've build constructed with stolen funds, and you would not not want to use them for your personal gain as they've been taken by coercion from others for your benefit.



"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Ben Franklin


Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.

Sunny Badger said...

RK:

Of the definitions I looked up concerning the word "theft," the majority of them use the word "unlawful."

Definitions for law include the following: the collection of rules imposed by authority; legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity; rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society.

I interpret these definitions to point to something that is communally developed through a political process that is in place to govern the community, state, country, etc.

With this in mind, tax laws are not theft. You may not like having a portion of your money skimmed off the top, but it is essentially the price you pay for living in the society the make the tax laws.

Fortunately, in America, if you don't like the law(s), you can work through the political process to get the law changed or removed from the books. Likewise, with our system of checks and balances, you can address the law in question through the court system.

If there is no law for the taxes being levied against you, that would be theft. If there is a law for the taxes being levied against you, it is not theft.

That there would be laws that people dislike, doesn't surprise me. However, in the compromising requiring to hammer out solutions in the USA, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Roadkill said...

More food for thought on the subject, served up by some rather accomplished thinkers:

”When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
Benjamin Franklin

“To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association -- the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses, subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the right to employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right to relief, the right to the tools of production, interest free credit, etc., etc. And it the aggregate of all these plans, in respect to what they have in common, legal plunder, that goes under the name of socialism.”
Frederic Bastiat

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
Sir Alex Fraser Tytler

“Democracy is a form of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury, and bankrupt the nation.”
Karl Marx