Sunday, August 15

I am John Gault

I sit in astonishment and watch Puerto Rico beating the US men's Olympic Basketball team. Now up 22 at half time, 49 to 27. While I wait for the Oatmeal to cool down for consumption, I check some of the blogs. At Hullabaloo, Digby points to a Pandagon treatment of an Annie "the terrorists are coming, the Syrian musical terrorists are coming" Jacobsen, "interview" of "another terrified passenger" on the flight that made Annie famous, as she continues to flog her new Broadway production "the Bride of Paul Revere". A pretty fucking hilarious takedown of the ladies auxiliary of the "hair on fire brigade" ensues. Go see it for yourself.

After enjoying Annie's craven attempt to steal yet another 15 minutes of fame I am distracted, hearing in the background the sound of a coffin door ajar and contemplating in astonishment whether the wooden implement in Ben "those who would sacrifice liberty in the name of security deserve neither" Franklin's hand is an early prototype of a Louisville slugger and whether the look on what's left of his face is one of anger, derision or a combination of both. At least he's not looking at me, one of his eyeballs, dangling in a come hither way on Franklin's left cheek seems to have it's gaze planted firmly on Annie, folks I don't think that this is gonna be pretty........

Anyhoo I decide to head to the Pandagon home page and see what else of interest they might have waiting for me, besides that too damn cute panda playing with the beachball. As usual the youngsters astonish with their scope, insight, and acumen. Damn Kids, I wish I could blame their success on that logo of theirs..........mmmmmmmmmm but I can't. So on down the page a bit is a mention that a certain follower of Ayn Rand has endorsed Kerry. It had never occurred to me to check google and see if any objectivist sites were out there, and thanks to the gang at Pandagon I didn't have to. I read "Atlas Shrugged" after reading the Dagney Taggart vehicle "the Fountainhead" and a few of her other fiction and nonfiction works. I felt it necessary to read this somewhat influential writers work as a part of my intention to examine modern philosophical viewpoints.

........Update Puerto Rico 69 US 55 7:20 left...They were up 22 after 3rd quarter........

Back to Rand, so I head over to the site linked and find the Rand acolytes have met this news with the uncharacteristic formation of a panties bunched collective. One of the nice things about finishing Atlas Shrugged was the realization that most self identified adherents had it wrong. Ayn had it wrong. Her inspired Triumph of the Individual, ends up with a super smart collective of Individuals, living in an isolated utopian enclave of the elect, in a hidden mountain valley. You can't expect Gualt to raise all the tobacco, roll all those great cigarettes, raise the beef, grind it, and cook all of those fantastic hamburgers himself, can you. No, he needs help, like the rest of us.
...........Update, US looses to Puerto Rico 92-73. Hats off to PR they played well..............

In fact just thinking about the variety of skills necessary to live as an individual, forces me to have a lot of respect for the isolationist hermit, not that I or any of Ayn's acolytes would be interested in maintaining such an existence. In any event the news that one of their own has decided to endorse Kerry has ruffled a few Randian feathers:
Damn. So Peikoff would rather have a lying, quasi-socialist, professional politician as President?

Look, I'm no fan of President Bush's religion-based premises, and his advocacy of "faith-based" stuff is abhorrent to me. BUT - he is rooted in reality, has integrity, and whether or not he frames the "War On Terrorism" in terms of religion or reason, the fact is that he is ACTING on it, and getting results. He understands American sovereignty and that America is truly unique in the world, and is not willing to compromise America's leadership position for the sake of placating "old Europe."

Bush isn't perfect, but he's far better than the alternative. - dave
It's the delusion of intellectual grandeur, that plague these folks. The sense of entitlement that permeates the "I'm better than just about everyone I know" set epitomized by our friend Dave here. The observation that "he is rooted in reality...." is humorous at best, and demopnstrates that once one chooses to put on intellectual blinders, one tend to stop learning. As enticing as any philosophical viewpoint that paints the world in a black/white duality is, I have been unable to embrace it. It would be nice if the world became less complicated as I learned more about it but that just hasn't been my experience.
Oh Zeus. You used to be able to say "Well, at least the Ayn Randians are principled".

Peikoff's been an idiot for a long time, though.-Bo
I would really like Bo to explain a universe where "principled" and George W Bush, intersect. But I won't hold my breath.
This is ridiculous. If it comes to a choice of getting to keep what I earn while putting up with some religious based restrictions or giving up my money to a government that will squander it on it's own form or religion (read welfare and political correctness), I'll keep what I earn, thank you.
Kerry offers no more social freedoms than Bush, but comes at the cost of wanting to tax the people who Ayn Rand held in the highest regard even more than their current 40%+ burden. For this election (and all others) I'm a single issue voter, I vote on who will keep my taxes the lowest because freedom to keep what one earns is the most fundamental right.-Matt
Matt joins the party like a good libertarian, self absorbed and selfish, and quite fankly poorly informed. Matt apparently thinks that Ashcroft is a champion of civil liberties, me thinks that Matt spends too much time counting his money to notice what is going on. At least he's honest.
I listened to it. He spent at least 10 minutes talking about Bush's ties to the Christian right.

However accurate or inaccurate his portrayal of this relationship might be, a Kerry endorsement makes sense for this guy, I guess: He's picked his issue (religion) and he's voting accordingly.

Yes, I know, everybody on this forum could point out that Kerry is so much worse than Bush on so many issues. Well, this guy has decided, however rightly or wrongly, to be a single-issue voter. This is the sort of thing that happens when you vote based on a single issue: You ignore everything else.-thoreau
Yes, Kerry proposes taxes on the kind of money these guys are never likely to make, but other than that I am not sure what bush policies are worthy of endorsement. Attempting to suppress rights via constitutional amendment should be anathema to these folks, but I guess as long as male, white, and heterosexual are at the bottom of the list of groups likely to be targeted as "enemies of the state" in this neverending war on terra, I guess its OK.
That the Objectivists would rather elect a socialist rather than a capitalist who happens to be religious is unbelievable. Tells you how screwed up the Objectivists are.

As for Bush being a socialist - he's certainly a big spender, but look at the people he has advising him. Dick Cheney, Larry Lindsay, George Shultz - these were all people steeped in Chicago-school economics. They are followers of Hayek and Friedman. Anyone who believes in free markets should support this group of people over the likely band of socialists and societal engineers Kerry is likely to surround himself with.

A Kerry presidency will set the cause of free minds and free markets back years.

Shame on the Objectivists. You've lost your way, Peikoff. You don't have a frickin' clue.-Dan
Wow, I'm nearly convinced, 'cause I would follow Selma Hayek anywhere, oh he's not talking about Selma, oh well, damn. "Free minds and markets attacked by alien societal engineers" would make a nice weekly world news headline. I guess that if you want to support a guy who couldn't be bothered to read your favorite "philosopher", ............ Feel free to read the rest for yourself

I have always been into utopian enclaves of the elect. My version is called the Artfarm™. It includes a boatload of land, a boatload of gifted friends, off the grid power sources, a variety of barns for livestock and laboratories. A woodworking shop, machine shop, music, ceramics, and glass studios. Chemistry and electronics labs. I want to wake up in the morning and if I decide I want to build a telescope, Including grinding and silvering the mirror myself, I can. Yeah I know its a wet dream, but it is my wet dream.