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maus_merryjest [userpic]
The Fountainhead...
by maus_merryjest (maus_merryjest)
at August 15th, 2010 (08:50 am)



"That particular sense of sacred rapture men say they experience in contemplating nature- I've never received it from nature, only from. Buildings, Skyscrapers. I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pest-hole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body."

luke_wolf [userpic]
An Introduction
by luke_wolf (luke_wolf)
at June 9th, 2010 (08:28 am)

Well I figure it's the polite thing to do is introduce myself to a crowd of unknowns, but I will start off by saying I follow a brand of objectivism that may be quite a bit different than most are used to. I don't follow Ayn Rand, her theory was good, but I believe her conclusion was bad personally, and hold the belief that finding reality is the highest moral purpose. It is as one would suspect a very difficult task, because of the innate problem of biases made on incomplete datasets, which comes with two problems, the bias, and the incomplete dataset.. There is nothing wrong with theorizing or making judgements based on incomplete data so long as you are willing to change if you are wrong but clearly this means one must try to become objective. To see the world through unfiltered goggles if you will. That is the hard part, gathering datapoints is a relativistically easy thing to do, and the more puzzle pieces you find, the better you understand the greater picture.

This does not mean that I am against capitalism however, on the contrary one recognizes it though flawed (being that always ends up being corrupted through consolidation, the problem innately being people working together as opposed to against each other), is the only system that works for the population as a whole. A commune can work, but under very particular and special conditions, like what is set up with the Linux community. Obviously this is not practical for the entire populace. Socialism and communism aren't even worth considering as they are a disease to the entire system, to quote Khrushchev "No, you won't accept communism outright. But we'll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you finally wake up and find you already have communism", unfortunately he was very right indeed, America just hasn't woken up yet, we took on this disease bit by bit, until today when we have in true communist fashion the take over of private industries by the government.

I think that will work for giving a basic impression of who I am, now as to how I came into the furdom and the philosophy..

The Furry Fandom..
I'm a therian, which is something I don't honestly understand myself, as prior to 4 years ago I had absolutely no interest in wolves whatsoever, however I had anthropomorphized cats in writing and drawing before this point, so my recognition of therianthropy just officially at that point drew me over to the fandom.

Objectivism..
I developed my theory independent of Rand and the like, as I was unaware of her, until in an argument, another fur called me an objectivist, I was not certain what this term meant, and thusly looked it up on wikipedia, and I found that I agreed with the theory if not necessarily the conclusions.

Asher Wolfstein [userpic]
Second Life Debate Rejected
by Asher Wolfstein (asherwolf)
at February 5th, 2008 (04:58 pm)

In accordance with the Objectivist Institute (of Second Life)'s role as a facility for education, and not for advocacy, I wish to make a statement involving the situation with the (Second Life) Communist party. I was approached by Kain Scalia (Cofounder of the Institute, along with me) to debate with them, when the debate was still under consideration. For the record I said I would under four conditions: more than just The Herald had to cover the debate, no voice and no typing out of turn, no warping names of respect such as "comrade", and only one person typing out the final debate on either side.

We then decided within twenty minutes of more consideration, undistracted by the unprofessional conduct of both The Herald's representative, and the Communist party, that we would rescind our conditional acceptance and not engage in the debate at all. Kain, Aeon, and I felt that such a debate would send the message that the Communists have any moral credibility, and that their argument held any contemplative substance.

From our point of view, running parallel to the point of view expressed by Rand in her address to West Point graduates, we believe it is important to study viewpoints, and opinions that our not our own in order to understand why we have chosen our individual values and opinions. One could say the debate might have been used for educational purposes in helping to illuminate why an individual would choose to adopt a philosophic point of view such as Objectivism, but the inherent nature of debates and of this debate in particular does not lend itself as the optimum platform for such. It is my strong conviction that the Objectivist Institute can act far more efficiently by holding it's own discussions, and private debates, on an individual level. This is the level where the virtue of independence in intellectualism can be best expressed and applied.

It is unfortunate that the newspaper titled The Herald is biased and patronizing. Journalist Urizenus Sklar, of The Herald's National Affairs Desk, published an interview with 'Soviet Premier' Supercool Sautereau on January 30th, 2008. In this interview, Urizenus begins with the quote, "Forward thinking Herald readers may have feared that Soviet Communism was decomposing somewhere in the dustbin of history. But take heart comrades! It is not dead, but advancing on new frontiers and has now claimed its metaversal bridgehead on the shores of the Jessie Simulator." but later he states that "Dude, life in the soviet block sucked shit." He also uses the terms, "...and other racist fucktards, ..." "today their weapons include not just AK-47s, but orbits and other high tech tools favored by 21st century patriots." This journalist is obviously unfocused, ill prepared, and, to put it bluntly, oozes personal bias.

Likewise, while the ever eloquent Urizenus calls out Supercool on the state of Soviet Russia as previously noted, he does not call forth explanations on Supercool's use of the term "common people", for if there are "common people", then there must be "uncommon individuals". I believe it is safe to assume these are not as well protected nor receive Communist advocates rushing to their aid? Urizenus does not question why Supercool believes that capitalism "sadly followed this world", in terms of why it is sad. Nor does he ask how the Communists liberate the landless, nor the poor, and instead only focuses on griefers. He also doesn't seem to bother asking them how they can afford land on the Jessie Simulator, where many new comers "come here, for whatever reason," even though Supercool states that "(l)and is of course a necessary evil but [sic] we work to share anything we have with one another." I can only assume that the best land must be used for the best party. However, it's not the Communist's fault that their land is expensive, it's the "land tier fees, which are outrageous."

When Supercool later rebuts, "But the Soviet Union has done far more good than bad, and the Soviet people are owed by the history of the world a great debt for their wartime sacrifices," there is no further inquiry by the journalist.

In response to Urizenus' inquiry about outreach programs, Supercool states that the Communists have "political Brigades -- communists whose goal is to spread the word of the message." Here is an example of their political brigades, official or not.

A different Herald journalist, this time Pixeleen Mistral, contacts the Objectivist Institute (of Second Life) with the following invitation, "Some of the Communists would be interested in a philosophical discussion with you guys - they have a nice hall in Jessie that would be perfect for it." This quickly morphs into, "If we could host a debate I think the SL Herald would be able to cover it." For the record, Pixeleen offered for The Herald to host the debate.

It is also Pixeleen who then replies, after the request for a debate was initially declined, "But if the Objectivists are afraid to debate the Communists I can understand it." She also states, "If the Objectivists cannot debate the Communists it will tell us all something." Again, after a second declination, she rebuts, "I'm disappointed that the Objectivists are scared to do that, but whatever." After Kain questions her commitment to journalism and to her ulterior motivations, Pixeleen replies, "I'm sad for you Kain." Lastly, Pixeleen then has the gall to state, "The 'tardstar' (in reference to Avastar, quotes added) is far from neutral."

Let me remind you that Pixeleen is not the Premiere of the Communist Party, she is the journalist from The Herald who wishes to host this 'debate'. Supercool tries to cover his tracks by stating, "And they're not on our side either comrade Kain." However, after this dialogue I must seriously question whether that is true, given that on top of all of these transparent words, the Communist property (ha!) is practically adjacent to The Herald's headquarters, if not simply on the same simulation.

As you can see we can expect nothing of this debate with the Communists. From my personal, individual, point of view I believe that it is safe to say that we can expect very little in terms of serious debating in Second Life about Objectivist principles, let alone any principles, until the standards of debate and communications are raised. If anyone should feel sad about this state of affairs it is The Herald and the Communists, the first for interviewing the Premier but only offering us a scandalous debate, and the second for patronizing newspapers like The Herald so that they can then go and act as their intellectual bully on their behalf.

I challenge anyone to debate me, when I'm online, and when I feel like it. I might possibly, individually, participate in an open debate about other topics than Communism nor Socialism, such as the axioms of objective existence, or the pursuit of value, but I'm not going to prostrate myself in front of throngs of small minds bent on twisting my words and building up the credibility of their ideas by riding the coattails of mine. I will not engage in such dangerous games, and I hope that the Institute will never engage in such games now, nor ever. Objectivism is a philosophy about living life, and our pursuit of life needs no justification, nor proof by comparison.

Asher Wolfstein [userpic]
by Asher Wolfstein (asherwolf)
at December 14th, 2007 (11:54 am)

Common myths about Objectivism:

"Objectivism is more like a cult than a philosophy in the demand that one believe fully in what Rand says and to completely sever ties to all others."

This is a myth. Individuals who think this is what Objectivism is all about are called the Randites, and Randroids, each with increasing derogatory. Objectivism is a philosophy, not a religion, and is always open to debate. There is no demand to believe in every word Rand has said, in fact there have been revisions and further elaborations on what Rand has said. No one 'owns' Objectivism, only a consistent presentation of Objectivism, such as the Ayn Rand Institute. There is also no demand to sever ties with all others. Individuals are free to value the company of anyone they wish, and they are free to choose whom they value. When a "new intellectual" (Objectivist) realizes that perhaps someone they thought was a valuable person in their lives wasn't, this is usually the complaint they receive. Heaven help us that someone may have made a decision for themselves.

While Rand was alive, the movement was prone to woman-worship. However, since her death, the "Objectivist movement" or popularity has been more based purely on her ideas than anything else.

"Objectivism encourages, even forbids, reading or educating oneself on opposing viewpoints while making judgments about those viewpoints."

This is a myth. Ayn Rand stated herself in a speech titled "For the New Intellectual" given to West Point Cadets/Graduates that one should make efforts to read viewpoints other than your own, so that you know why you believe what you have decided to believe in greater depth. As well, the virtue of independence as outlined in the Virtue of Selfishness includes the independence of the mind. As an independent mind, you educate and decide matters for yourself, and do not unload your responsibility to yourself to do so onto the shoulders of someone else.

"Ayn Rand is not a true philosopher, she is not respected in academic circles and often summarized as worthless."

These claims are not complete myths, however, they are gross simplifications and misunderstandings. First, what is a true philosopher? I'm not claiming that there is no such thing, on the contrary, I am claiming that the act of endeavoring towards the creation of a systematic view of the universe, among many other things, is of true importance. The mythical claim here is that a large number of 'experts' must ordain the title of philosopher on someone. It is simply not true.

There are two prevalent explanations for Rand's limited success in academic circles. One is that she wrote only a few academic papers, no dissertations, and some but not voluminous non-fiction mostly because she was not interested in doing so. Not that her ideas were unable to be expressed in such a manner (as they have been), it was that she was much more interested in creating and portraying her ideas in motion in worlds that her readers could learn from and wish to inhabit. She was a writer of fiction, portraying a non-fiction philosophy at work. Anyone claiming that this diminishes the quality of her intellectual work speaks more about themselves.

The second explanation is arguably the most challenging element of Rand's philosophy: everything required to truly understand her moral viewpoint. Her challenging views are often interpreted as polar opposite of what we consider moral because many explain her morality as the "opposite of altruism." In actuality, this is not the case. Both altruism and selfishness (in the Objectivist terms) on the surface work towards the same goal: non-victimization. However, one produces victims by the billions with ample evidence, while the other does not when consistently applied.

"Ayn Rand's philosophy is just an extension and rehash of Nietzche's Supermen philosophy, and as such has no moral basis."

Objectivism is not simply an extension of the übermensch, if it was, it would be terribly simple and derivative. In reality, Objectivism inherits many elements from Aristotle, and Neitzche. With these elements considered, alongside it's original innovations, Objectivism stands as a philosophy of "rational self-interest", in other words, selfishness. Many elements of Neitzche's philosophy nullified morality, as well as opened many doors for irrational consideration. This has been avoided in Objectivism.

"Ayn Rand's affair, emotional abuse of her husband, tirades and excommunications, exemplify her philosophy."

Anyone who truly believes this is ridiculous. Everyone is human, and they make mistakes and act imperfectly. The affair was mutual, and the individual's involved understood the terms. It was their personal choice. This does not mean their ideas are worthless. The movie portraying Ayn Rand's affair is only evidence of her societal influence, not as an accurate portrayal for two reasons. The first being that the film is a film, and not a biography, and with film there is creative license. The second being that, as far as I know, Barbara Brandon had much influence over the film introducing a strong element of bias. As well, Rand's affair ended two decades before her husband's death, not immediately.

"Even Nathaniel Brandon and Barbara Brandon condemn the philosophy."

This is a myth. Nathaniel Brandon has written pieces about the "psychological dangers" of a philosophy like Objectivism, the pitfalls if you will. However, anyone who is familiar with the Objectivist philosophy who has read Nathaniel's current works involving self-responsibility, particularly his book bearing the words directly, know that Nathaniel has internalized and still promotes in his works many of the moral principles of Objectivism. Although he may not call it Objectivism, or make reference to it directly for various reasons, the evidence remains. In his book about self-responsibility he devotes several paragraphs to the trader principle in his own words. As well, in the section about honesty you can read many of the same ideas involving honesty as is written in Objectivist literature.

As far as I currently understand it Barbara Brandon is still involved in Objectivism or "Neo-Objectivism" (which this group is not about). She may condemn Rand's methods, her personality, or the Ayn Rand Institute, but she still holds to her own version of the philosophy and her vision. You cannot fully condemn a philosophy upon which yours is based without fully condemning yourself.

"Objectivism is entirely selfish, and is used to justify thieves, abusers, war-profiteers, and other entities with large numbers of victims."

This is a gross misunderstanding and a huge myth. It is probably the most complex myth. This is where everyone wants to have their cake, and eat it too. Besides the stark difference between greed and selfishness (one is pure hedonism, the other a discerning, and principled, endeavor), there are two details that are completely overlooked in favor of ineffectual alternatives. The first detail is that Objectivism does not advocate the use of force in any form, shape, or fashion towards any human being acting on a human level. The use of force is the realm of anti-intellectualism, and submerges practitioners into acting on a sub-human level. When an individual is faced with force, with another acting on a sub-human level, then it is not an injustice to subdue, nullify, or eliminate that force (within rational limits). This is the virtue of justice: treating each individual for what they are and what they do. Individuals have rights because of their very nature, and those rights are only forsaken when one acts to violate the rights of others. How could such a stance ever be used to justify anyone with a victim?

It is because most individuals today cannot conceive of the concept of true private property and trade. People who make this claim about Objectivism commonly do not understand the moral efficacy of the trader principle. They want to claim moral superiority of the 'victims' rights, while at the same time nullifying the rights of others to dispose of the fruits of their efforts as they see fit. If I bake a dozen loaves of bread, I have no duty as an individual to give them away. When someone dies from hunger, those who claim the truth of this myth will blame me. You can't have one individual have a claim to a right, without giving that same right to the other. Yet, if I as the baker forced a loaf of bread I did not bake away from a starving family, the same advocates would cry out. This stance is tantamount to a lie, and produces far more victims than the principle of private property. Intellectual honesty prohibits this: you cannot have your cake and eat it as well.

This mythical claim is often voiced by economic protestors or "radicals" (although the economics they wish to employ are ancient at best). However, the economics of free market capitalism advocated by the Ayn Rand Institute and the philosophy of Objectivism are in line with many economics text books as having the potential to optimally increase potential production between trading agents. Although there are always unscrupulous sorts, many of those who 'take advantage' of the free market do so by their own skill. There are many more who take advantage of the regulated market that are forced to (unintentionally), or intentionally, victimize others, and there is endless evidence to support this. Many young economic protestors cannot make this distinction.

"... Objectivism is also racist, like that article on Native Americans ..."

The Native Americans had no concept of private ownership, they did not recognize that right. As well, they also entered into agreements with settlers that they also went back on. Objectivism does not completely justify every single one of the settlers actions, that is a gross and convenient over-simplification, but the actions predicated on agreements and on the fact that 'the victims' made no claim towards the ownership of their land are viewed as morally sanctified (with sanction).

At it's moral core Objectivism is about the elimination of 'victims' at the hands of anyone, particularly the ever prevalent and fervent majority. To 'victimize' means to rob, or violate, an individual's rights, or to force into submission or enslavement any man or woman. Across all the consistent literature written on Objectivism and all of it's elaborations, not once will anyone find a passage advocating the victimization of anyone.

In the end, in my experience, most making these claims have never even heard of a virtue existing in Objectivist literature. When the seven virtues of selfishness are explained to those who listen, and how they have been constructed, many are surprised at the attempted and very principled moral examination.

(The seven virtues of selfishness are: rationality, independence, producitivity, honesty, integrity, pride, and justice.)

"Objectivism demands..."

In short... Objectivism makes only one demand: intellectual honesty. This means that if you wish to claim subscription, or adherence, to the Objectivist philosophy, you are honest about it in all terms.

Those who engage in any of the behaviors listed above are individuals who give Objectivism the bad name it doesn't deserve. Individuals who wish to honestly call themselves "Objectivists" are dedicated to honesty, the examination of reality as it is (no matter where it may lead), developing and pursuing virtues dedicated to this very same purpose, and above all, the celebration of life. Your pursuit of your life, and my pursuit, are valuable, and awesome, and it this pursuit that Objectivism is truly all about.

Asher Wolfstein [userpic]
by Asher Wolfstein (asherwolf)
at December 11th, 2007 (10:02 pm)

The Legal Immigrant: American At Heart, Endangered By Law
-by Asher Wolfstein

Nowadays, one needs only to to listen to the current batch of presidential hopefuls in order to ascertain what buzzwords are to play a key function in the presidential debates. While three years ago it was “marriage” that stood on the spotlight right next to “Iraq”, this year the constituency seems to have lost its apprehension concerning certain parts of the population being able to enjoy conjugal unions in order to look closely at the newcomer to the politicaly strawman circle: the buzzword “immigration”.

Readers will not be surprised to notice that every time a social or political topic is pounced upon by cadidates and politicians, said issue seems to become omnipresent, hijacking most forms of communication and becoming part of everyday discourse. True to form, nowadays one hears casual conversation concerning the status of illegal immigration, reactions vary from the calm and collected (the rare) to the loud and zealous (the more common), on one side some advocate amnesty for immigrants who have been in the country illegally for some time, while others hold that the panacea politicians are reluctant to adopt is completely hermetic borders and the stop of all immigration.

And yet, with all the heated discussion about immigration there are two vital points that hardly anyone dares to discuss: One is the status of the immigration system itself, and the other is the precarious positions in which legal immigrants invariably finds themselves trying to follow the aforementioned system to the best of their ability.

The average person is as familiar with the intricacies of the US immigration and naturalisation process as he is with the concepts behind the process of thermonuclear fusion. Both are highly specialized subjects that require a great deal of knowledge to navigate safely, both must follow a sequence of events and conditions in order to reach a desired conclusion , but unlike the immigration process, nuclear fusion is bound by the laws of logic and ultimately makes sense. An individual who wishes to immigrate into the United States will find himself in a position not unlike a tourist in a casino, where the odds are stacked against him by the house and his success is not so much dependant on his skill as on pure chance.

According to Immigration Attorney Shaun Shahmardian, the body of laws that make up the current system of immigration is a complicated and cumbersome mangrove thicket that owes its gordian proportions to constant partisan squabbling. A hypothetical example has the members of Party A perceiving a lull in the workforce in certain areas of industry. Party A wishes to increase the number of worker visas in order to fill the perceived lack of talent. However, Party B, acting on partisan politics, wishes to block the iniative and imposes the following condition: In order for said bill to be passed in full, Party A must include a provision in which only foreign nationals are allowed to be hired if no possible American citizen is available for that job (in order to satisfy the Unions, who wish to have an almost forceful control over who is allowed to be hired). It is immaterial to Party B’s concerns whether the lull in the workforce is caused not by absence of people but absence of talent (i.e: there may be people who can do the job, but not people who can do the job well or on an outstanding level), their priorities are given to partisan squabbling and blocking, and their other political allegiances (without questioning whether or not said allegiances have the right to exert authority over the issue).

Faced with this scenario, Party A can capitulate and include the required amendment, or scrap their plan altogether. Then, in the future, when Party B comes up with an immigration reform or bill, Party A will move into the antagonist square and the dance will begin anew. This constant push and pull of political interests has resulted in new laws being passed that many times contradict or are in direct conflict with previous regulations, requiring deft consolidation and juggling in order to solve the conflict. The unfortunate result of this process of stacking legislation is a system so complex and cumbersome that it is a miracle that it does not entirely suffocate under its own weight.

The standard wait period of a U.S. citizen petitioning citizenship for their foreign child can now last up to eight years. A green card for a foreign national may take up to six years in processing. After obtaining a green card, the immigrant may be lucky to acquire his citizenship by the ninth cummulative year.

Because of all the different hoops and scrutiny immigrants are faced with, it is no wonder that many who arrive here on a student visa (which in itself is an expensive thing to acquire), tourist visa, or some other method, end up becoming illegal immigrants after their visa period has expired and they have not been able to secure a way by which they could gain permanent residence. It is not because they are unwilling to work difficult labors, quite the contrary, many immigrants are willing to do arduous labor, but unfortunately it is the aforementioned partisan chess games that make it difficult for migrant workers to do certain jobs legally: Regulations place a limit on the areas in which the foreigner can work, limiting the immigrant to work only in the fields in which he has a certifiable degree, placing no relevance on talent, skill or experience that is extrinsic from his area of academic specialization. While an American citizen is not beholden to stay within these narrow confines and may work equally as an agricultural worker or a vice-president (provided someone wants to hire him for either job), immigrants cannot stray from a narrowly-defined limit, no matter how much an American employer may wish to hire them.

In his April 2, 2006 article, Harry Binswanger of Capitalism Magazine wrote: “To forcibly exclude those who seek peacefully to trade value for value with us is a violation of the rights of both parties to such a trade: the rights of the American seller or employer and the rights of the foreign buyer or employee. Thus, immigration quotas treat both Americans and foreigners as if they were criminals, as if the peaceful exchange of values to mutual benefit were an act of destruction.”

Binswager is referring to the government regulations that dictate who an American employer is allowed to hire. Shahmardian spoke of several cases in which desperate employers had called him, seeking advice. Very often employers will have foreign workers that they value highly and who they consider to be real assets in their business. The scene varies from construction work to retail or privately owned stores, but the story is always the same: Due to government immigration regulations, the business owner or employer is incapable of granting legal status to their workers in order to keep them in the country and under their employment. It is hard to believe that in a capitalist society an employer is not empowered to hire whomever he wishes to hire, but rather finds himself facing immigration quotas and union quotas -the unions claim that immigrant workers steal their jobs, while refusing to acknowledge the fact that in order to have something stolen from you, you must first posess it!

Shahmardian observed that the general belief that many employers resort to illegal immigrants for work in order to save money proves to be false in the majority of cases. He knows of an exhaustive list of employers who have illegal immigrants in their work forces and who spend copious amounts of money on their welfare- in one case, the worker’s wife fell ill with cancer and since neither she nor her husband could qualify for work medical insurance, the employer himself footed the bill for chemotherapy sessions and hospitalization. There are many cases like these, in which the employers will spend more than they’d normally have to because they value their employees and do not wish to see them go.

Binswager points out the core of the issue in his article: “If the fear is of non-working immigrants, why is the pending legislation aimed at employers of immigrants?”

One thing to keep in mind, adds Shahmardian, is that just like any population anywhere, there are corrupt and criminal immigrants, and there are good, honest and hardworking immigrants, no different from what one might find within the native composition of the country itself. Nevertheless, the current political climate is creating an ever-growing sense of xenophobia, to the point that some Americans would rather do away with immigration altogether.

It may seem shocking to hear anti-immigration rhetoric in a country that, more than any other country in the history of the modern world, has reaped great benefits from those who have sought a new life on its shores. Nevertheless the anti-immigration sentiment is strong and it is rooted in the conception that being an American and staying in America is not a right, but a priviledge. But to be accurate, it is neither… as it currently stands, the status of citizenship is granted in accordance to two congenital factors: geographic location and the citizenship status of one’s parents. Later it can be acquired through heterosexual marriage (gays and lesbians are denied the rights to be sponsored by their partners, as their unions are not approved by the federal government) or through the daunting process of work visas and other similar processes.

Those who would claim that American citizenship should be birth-bound are, in fact, the ones who understand America the least. The ideology of this country was founded upon the rejection of monarchy, tyranny and oppression, discarding all notions that some mystical, authoritarian element was carried over through bloodlines and down family lineage. It sought, instead, to uphold the ideal of achievement, that those who were willing to work, diligent, honest and with integrity, would someday reap the fruits of their labor, and be free of all oppression, to seek ultimate contentment and fulfillment within the goals they have established. This is known as the pursuit of happiness.

It is under this principle that immigrants such as Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Ayn Rand , Igor Sikorsky, Arthur Rubinstein, Bob Hope, An Wang, and many others, forged their paths and enriched America as a country for having had them. Isn’t citizenship, then, best given to those who strive to live by the principles and ideology of this land, entering into an ideological commitment that is reflected in a lifestyle of achievement and freedom, rather than just reserve this status for a new breed of genetic aristocracy, who will not necessarily work towards preserving these ideals?

“Because our government is reactionary,” says Shahmardian, “we usually wait until the issue becomes a problem to do something about it.” Instead of creating a comprehensive and fair immigration system in lieu of the current Rube Goldberg-esque machine, the government merely tacks on new reforms, adding a new floor to the Tower of Babel. It is too early to predict who will sit on the presidential chair by next November, but one thing is certain: if he (or she) conveniently forgets the buzzword of ‘immigration’ once power is within grasp, or simply contents themselves to continue adding floors to the INS madhouse, a lot of deserving Americans will never get to call this country theirs, and that is perhaps one of the saddest tragedies, and one that the majority of the soundbite-tossing world of politics will not even notice.

Asher Wolfstein [userpic]
If you're into voting...
by Asher Wolfstein (asherwolf)
at November 15th, 2007 (11:10 pm)

Not everyone is into voting...

I'm not into voting.

But if you are, and I know this is most likely OLD news to most all of you, you might be VERY interested in Ron Paul.

A man who can say, "Rights cannot be determined by a majority of votes, once you do that you destroy the rights of the minority," deserves a look from Objectivists.


So, food for thought.

Asher Wolfstein [userpic]
Did You Know?
by Asher Wolfstein (asherwolf)
at September 27th, 2007 (09:23 pm)

That of the 35% identified as non-political / other in the University of California survey, the dominant choice stated, being 17%, was Objectivist.

That is, for the non-political furs in a general survey most identified (nothing larger) as Objectivist.

maus_merryjest [userpic]
Column from "The Atlasphere"
by maus_merryjest (maus_merryjest)
at April 18th, 2007 (08:10 am)
cold

current mood: cold

Do We Want Socialized Medicine?

Opinion Editorial   by Walter Williams - Feb 14, 2007

Problems with our health care system are leading some to fall prey to proposals calling for a nationalized single-payer health care system like Canada’s or Britain’s. There are a few things that we might take into consideration before falling for these proposals.

London’s Observer (3/3/02) carried a story saying that an “unpublished report shows some patients are now having to wait more than eight months for treatment, during which time many of their cancers become incurable.”

Another story said, “According to a World Health Organisation report to be published later this year, around 10,000 British people die unnecessarily from cancer each year — three times as many as are killed on our roads.”

The Observer (12/16/01) also reported, “A recent academic study showed National Health Service delays in bowel cancer treatment were so great that, in one in five cases, cancer which was curable at the time of diagnosis had become incurable by the time of treatment.”



==============

This article, and others like it, can be found at The Atlasphere      , an online objectivist website with published articles, forums, and more.  The URL for this particular article can be found HERE, Professor Williams' articles are always extremely interesting.

Asher Wolfstein [userpic]
Visibility Issues
by Asher Wolfstein (asherwolf)
at April 17th, 2007 (03:19 pm)

Look, conservative furs have their group.

Liberal furs have their group.

Hippy/therianthropic/whatever furs have their group(s).

They're all visible.

Hell, Nazi (real/imagined) furs are visible, and they only have four entries of people under wikifur.

I submitted an article on furries who are objectivists, and the article is now a redirection to my article "Asher Wolfstein."

Let's make a shout for visibility, there are furry objectivists, such as the author of "Better Days".

I'd like to see a category on wikifur for "Furjectivists".

Anyone?

Brent William Friendshuh [userpic]
Death sucks... It sucks worse if you don't go down fighting.
by Brent William Friendshuh (general_winter)
at April 16th, 2007 (06:53 pm)
cynical

current mood: cynical

http://www.mn1.com/members/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=13878

LACKSBURG, Va. (April 16, 2007) – A gunman opened fire on two different locations at Virginia Tech University this morning, slaying at least 32 before turning the gun on himself, university officials revealed in an evening press conference.

Details are slowly coming forward regarding the shooting, which started at a residence hall around 7 a.m. In a press conference held earlier this morning university president Charles Steger said that the first 9-1-1 call came in around 7:15 Monday morning, where emergency personnel were alerted to a shooting at a dormitory.

This evening Steger said that by 9:26 a.m., the school had disseminated an e-mail to students and faculty alerting them to the situation. Less than 20 minutes later, a second 9-1-1 call came in reporting more shooting at Norris Hall, an engineering building.

“We were actually in a meeting about the first shooting,” Steger said.

Prior to the police arriving at Norris Hall, the gunman apparently chained the doors to the building shut. Steger told reporters Monday evening that the police made their way into the building, and heard gunshots, which stopped as they reached the second floor.

The gunman apparently turned his gun on himself, Steger said, adding that he “never engaged” police.

VA Tech police chief Wendell Flinchum told reporters that police have recovered two weapons, and that they have a preliminary identification on the gunman. However, he adamantly refused to provide that until “we’re sure,” he said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is also comparing ballistics evidence from the scene to other crime scenes.

Flinchum would also not confirm the absence or presence of a second gunman. He did say, however, that after the first shooting, investigators did find one person of interest. That person, Flinchum said, “remains a person of interest.”

Both Flinchum and Steger said securing the crime scene was difficult, as was handling the aftermath of the two widely spaced shooting periods.

“When we first got there, we had to determine what exactly we had,” Flinchum said. “It’s probably one of the worst things I’ve seen in my whole life.”

Flinchum said that with more than 2,600 acres of campus space and 100 buildings, and a population of more than 20,000 at any given time, pulling everything together was difficult. “But our police force is adequate,” he insisted.

The beleaguered police chief said that the timing of the shootings made things difficult as well. Between the first and second shooting scenes, people were coming in to school and work, and it was hard to notify them, he said, adding that it is hard to secure campuses like universities and colleges because they’re open and “people are free to come and go.”

“You really only have minutes to take action,” Steger agreed.

It is believed that the majority of the fatalities were at Norris Hall, with one fatality and several injuries at the first location, a dormitory. At last report, an additional 21 are being treated for gunshot wounds and other injuries, according to two local hospitals.

“We don’t know how the shooter is connected,” Flinchum said. Some of the shootings at Norris Hall happened in a classroom. Flinchum also said that there was more than one crime scene inside Norris Hall, but that “the whole building is being treated as a crime scene.”

The shootings come on the heels of two separate bomb threats this month – one Friday that resulted in the cancellation of classes in three buildings and another April 2 that caused the evacuation of another building.

I've already posted my feelings on death. We're all going to die someday, but I would rather have people say that I did something about it. Spat it death's face or somesuch thing. Would it be fatalistic to say that if a nut  at my school decided to shoot the place up I would do my damndest to grab a weapon, any weapon, doesn't matter what, and try to kill him first?

What are your thoughts on the issue?

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