Archive for March 15th, 2009

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“Atlas Shrugged” Quote #5

March 15, 2009

golden-mic-smallThe whole radio speech of John Galt is worth re-reading. It runs 60 pages in the Plume edition. It, like the whole book, could have used more editing. (Although I seriously doubt that any editor could have forced Rand make changes she didn’t want to make!) Still it is a masterpiece of philosophical argument. Here’s one piece of it:

“The source of property rights is the law of causality. All property and all forms of wealth are producted by man’s mind and labor. As you cannot have effects without causes, so you cannot have wealth without its source: without intelligence. You cannot force intelligence to work: those who’re able to think, will not work under compulsion; those who will, won’t produce much more than the price of the whip needed to keep them enslaved. You cannot obtain the products of a mind except on the owner’s terms, by trade and by volitional consent. Any other policy of men toward man’s property is the policy of ciminals, no matter what their numbers.  Criminals are savages who play it short-range and starve when their prey runs out – just as you’re starving today, you who believed that crime could be ‘practical’ if your government decreed that robbery was legal and resistance to robbery was illegal.

“The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law. But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion agains disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of portector to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his.”

from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

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Tea Party Protest

March 15, 2009

boston_tea_party317204916_stdMy wife copied me an email going around telling people to send a tea bag to the White House before April 15, with the idea that it will send the administration a message that people do not like the way their taxes are being spent. Nice idea, but the last I knew all the mail for the White House, the Congress, and many other government agencies is still being diverted to an “undisclosed” post office location so it can be scanned for things like anthrax. I got that information from the instructions the Copyright Office gives out for submitting documents for copyright. They say the time it takes for processing is increased because of the safety scanning of mail.

So I doubt the tea bags will get through. I think it’s a great idea, but I don’t think Obama will ever even see them. It’s a pity, though…

By the way, there is a New American Tea Party, which is a different group, not the sponsor of this sort of protest. I do recommend them to you for your consideration.