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Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • Letter: Why shouldn't I? 
Atlas Shrugged  | I am the cofounder of the Ayn Rand Society for Individual Rights of Naples (ARSIRN). With government becoming this intrusive, it’s no wonder “Atlas Shrugged” is selling better today than ever.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

• • Here you go 
To answer Ron Smiley’s Jan. 1 letter, the issue seems real simple. The letter stated Republicans are followers of Ayn Rand, a Russian philosopher who does not believe in God. I think he has the Republicans mixed up with the Democrats.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

• • • Not so fast there 
Ayn Rand Institute  |Individualism  |Personal life  | Recently letter-writer Barry Willoughby explained that he is a member of the Naples Tea Party for reasons seemingly based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand. [....] No one enjoys paying taxes, and portraying them as robbery, as Rand and Willoughby do, has a certain appeal, especially around April 15. However, without the services provided by taxes, there would be no social context to make it possible for anyone to exercise individual freedom. We would, in short, be living in chaos. If one wants good examples of freedom from governmental intervention, one needs to look no farther than collapsed states like Somalia!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

• • • Movie premiere generates more than a shrug 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Individual Rights  | Where is John Galt? In Naples on April 15, as it turns out. With a determination worthy of Dagny Taggart, Amy Schiffer has seen to it. Schiffer, marketing specialist for Silverspot cinema at The Mercato, made it her mission to get the film “Atlas Shrugged” shown in Naples on April 15, the day of its limited national release. The film, based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand, is more than just another independent film with a modest budget looking for an audience. The politically charged nature of Rand’s work, which celebrates the supremacy of the individual over the collective, gives it a ready-made fan base anxious to see if filmmakers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro managed to compress the voluminous book into a watchable movie.

Monday, November 15, 2010

• • The evil of compromise may be shown in Congress 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Individual Rights  | Now that the Republicans will be taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, we are hearing calls for them to “compromise” with the Democrats to “get things done” and avoid “gridlock.” The implicit assumption is that compromise is an unqualified good. Nothing can be further from the truth. “In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit” (Ayn Rand).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

• • Sink vs. Scott: Down to the wire, candidates trade barbs, tout credentials 
Atlas Shrugged  | The race between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink [for governor of Florida] remains a toss-up [...]. [....] While serving in the U.S. Navy, Scott said he read a lot while at sea; books like Norman Vincent Peale’s “Power of Positive Thinking,” the Bible, and Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” the dystopian novel about society’s innovators and industrialists going on strike and stopping the motor of the world. “I liked ‘Atlas Shrugged’,” Scott said. “I bet I’ve given away at least 1,000 copies of ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ My kids have read ‘Atlas Shrugged.’”

Friday, August 27, 2010

• • Monopoly on morality? 
The Virtue of Selfishness  |Objectivist author  | I agree that giving Collier County’s middle- and high-school students uncoerced access to moral teachings has value — especially with all the financial uncertainty and moral ambiguity around us. But if Jerry Rutherford, president of the World Changers of Florida, is to have a table with Judeo-Christian Bibles free for the taking, won’t this obligate the school system to allow Rasim Kut, president of the Islamic Center of Naples, to offer the Quran, and the Ayn Rand Society for Individual Rights of Naples to offer Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness” as well?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

• • Fiscal responsibility versus altruism 
Altruism  |The Virtue of Selfishness  | Altruism is the principle “that service to others is the only justification for (one’s) existence, and that self-sacrifice is (one’s) highest moral duty, virtue and value” (Ayn Rand). For well over a century, our politicians have won elections and governed by advocating and practicing this “virtue” — with other people’s money.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

 Recommended reading 
Atlas Shrugged  | After the tea party members read “Atlas Shrugged,” they should then read “Animal Farm.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010

• • Of BP, Obama and Bush 
OK, I will come clean; I usually vote Republican. Even worse, I consider myself to be a “libertarian.” Even worse than that, I am really an “objectivist” (yes, part of that loony Ayn Rand movement that believes our Founding Fathers got it right the first time and everything that has happened since is really, really bad). Now then, as a self-described objective person, I have to say that BP’s oil spill is not President Barack Obama’s fault.

Monday, April 26, 2010

• • • New ‘rights’ are wrong 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Objectivist author  | The Declaration of Independence holds that rights are “self-evident.” However, it is the failure to grasp the true nature of rights which has brought this country to its current condition. It remained for the 20th-century philosopher Ayn Rand to explicitly identify rights as “moral principle(s) defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context.”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

• • How, why we have grown 
Atlas Shrugged  |Objectivist author  | I had never demonstrated in public before last year, when I decided it was time for me to stand up publicly to be counted. I had heard Chicagoan Rick Santelli, a financial reporter on CNBC, make his famous statement on the air that he and his colleagues were going to protest the movement of the U.S. government toward statism by dumping tea into Lake Michigan. He had frequently made public reference to Ayn Rand’s famous novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” and how she had, 50 years ago, shown how and why this statist trend occurred. Being an objectivist myself, I could not agree with him more. I went out to the first local tea party and have been to every one since.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

 A different recipe 
Capitalism  | The Daily News treated us with a guest commentary from Jack Tymann on Feb. 17 — another repast of “Tymannomics.” This dense polemic pudding has as main ingredients the road kill of Ayn Rand and archaic laissez-faire economics. Neither of these nourished us very well under former presidents Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. History has shown this recipe produces indigestion because markets are not self-regulating. Tax cuts don’t work. Trickle down is really trickle up.

• • Apology philosophically 
The Virtue of Selfishness  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | To act selfishly means to act in your own self-interest, which includes both the short term and the long term. If [Tiger] Woods is truly “dedicated to making sure” that he helps “young people achieve their dreams through education,” then he should start by recognizing the “Virtue of Selfishness” as first identified by author philosopher Ayn Rand and available in her book of the same name.

Friday, February 12, 2010

• • Big day 
Atlas Shrugged  | Two interesting things happened on Feb. 6: The first was the tea party at U.S. 41 and Seagate Drive, where the traffic passed the crowd with honks, waves, cheers and thumbs up. Those who looked silently and stoically straight ahead were in the minority. My favorite sign, among many, was “Where is John Galt?” referring to the novel, “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. If you haven’t read it, you should. The second was Sarah Palin’s TV speech at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

• • Reason, not tolerance, is the answer 
In her Dec. 27 guest commentary, June Sochen seems to think that the ability to simultaneously believe contradictory things is a normal human state. It may be prevalent, but it is hardly normal, and no one should be fooled into thinking that tolerance of both sides of a contradiction is the answer. When you find a contradiction, a red flag should arise. You are being challenged to think logically. “To maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind” (Ayn Rand), your ability to use your reasoning powers. To suggest that you do otherwise displays the core problem to which many people fall victim: compartmentalizing conflicting ideas until critical thinking becomes impossible. To tolerate such a state leaves you without the intellectual tools necessary to solve any problems at all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

 I’ve done my homework 
Capitalism  | I have deeply invested in exploring the global-warming hyperbole since 1989 and have considered the dramatic benefits of capitalism from my first reading of Ayn Rand in 1980.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

• • Use your brainpower 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | A recent letter from Marilyn B. Doherty repeated that one should reread “Atlas Shrugged,” a fiction book published in 1957, wherein, she said, “government controls industry.” My advice: Do not. Rather read nonfiction versus fiction. (Your librarian will be able to help you here, if unable to do it on your own). Then, instead of 1957, look instead at 2007, when government did not “control industry” in Detroit or on Wall Street. We all know how that turned out.

Monday, December 14, 2009

 Do this first 
Atlas Shrugged  | Here are three suggestions to help liberals, conservatives and the vast group of undecideds understand the background of our leadership and where the direction they are taking our nation is likely to lead: [....] 2. Read or re-read the novel “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, published in 1957, to understand the consequences when government controls industry and redistributes wealth.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

• • Why dumb down? 
Altruism  |Capitalism  | At my advanced age, I can remember when there were smart conservatives around. Although I did not often agree with them, their speeches and writings made good sense; their sentences parsed. I could respect them for their intellectual honesty. Today, the leadership of the conservatives shows none of these virtues. For example, here in Southwest Florida many Republicans are ardent followers of Ayn Rand. She was a bitter, unhappy émigré from the Soviet Union who espoused an economic philosophy designed to denigrate the Soviet Union, but also disdained our own American Judeo-Christian history and culture. She and her followers proclaim that “greed is good” and “altruism is bad.” While this certainly is not socialism, it is not good Americanism or even conservatism.