Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Three Good Causes
(1) I'm a little late getting to this, but I'm sure Nick Provenzo would still be happy for any financial support you may wish to provide for his trip to the Berkeley City Council today to present his petition against its recent declaration that the United States Marines are unwelcome within its city limits. It is good to see that this inexcusable affront to the rule of law and our security from foreign threats will not go unchallenged.
(2) And taking a longer view, the Ayn Rand Institute now has a web page (via HBL) which will allow donors to directly support its new public policy and media center in Washington, D.C.
A major commitment from a small number of donors has provided seed money for ARI to open a public policy and media center in Washington, DC. The Center will serve to establish a public policy research and outreach group -- a center for the advocacy of individual rights, with an emphasis on the morality of business and capitalism. The Center's mission will include arguing the philosophical case for free markets to the public policy and business communities; the media and the general public; and to elected officials and their staffs. [bold added]This strikes me as a particularly urgent undertaking given the fact that no matter who wins the next presidential election, we will have a leftist President and a big government Congress.
(3) Last, but not least, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Medicine has done a stunning amount of work to fight socialized medicine in Colorado, not to mention indicating how to do this and providing a huge stockpile of intellectual ammunition for inevitable future efforts. All I could say when I first saw Lin Zinser's posting was, "Wow!"
How Much Proof?
Burgess Laughlin considers the question of how much proof a historian must offer when writing over at his blog, Making Progress.
Especially outside the field of philosophy, objective writers seldom need to prove their themes down to the level of explicit self-evidencies. The writers and their intended audiences share a context of knowledge which, in turn, presumably they can, on demand, connect to sense-perceptible reality.This is interesting, applicable outside the realm of historical writing, and pertinent to yesterday's post here on Ayn Rand's The Art of Non-Fiction.
A Few Interesting Blogs
Mike N. has added a few new links to his blog roll. Most you can find here already, but based on past recommendations from Mike, I am sure that these will all be worth a visit.
Update: Por que no te callas?
Awhile back, I noted that the only reason Hugo Chavez holds power of any kind is because the adults in charge of the countries who ought to reign him in are tolerating his childish antics.
Now that a few adults -- who happen to run oil companies that have been robbed by him recently -- are doing what they can to redress the harm this has made possible, Chavez is doing what all spoiled children do -- threatening to behave even more badly unless Mommy and Daddy bail him out.
"If you end up freezing (Venezuelan assets) and it harms us, we're going to harm you," Chavez said during his weekly radio and television program, "Hello, President." "Do you know how? We aren't going to send oil to the United States. Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger."Note how he is addressing the leader of the United States and note that he is accusing his own victims of the very crime he himself committed! Even Hugo Chavez is not so obtuse as to fail to realize that his regime is a kleptocracy or that it would be reduced to rubble in days if he succeeded in provoking the United States.
Chavez has repeatedly threatened to cut off oil shipments to the United States, which is Venezuela's No. 1 client, if Washington tries to oust him. Chavez's warnings on Sunday appeared to extend that threat to attempts by oil companies to challenge his government's nationalization drive through lawsuits.
"I speak to the U.S. empire, because that's the master: continue and you will see that we won't sent [sic] one drop of oil to the empire of the United States," Chavez said Sunday.
"The outlaws of Exxon Mobil will never again rob us," Chavez said, accusing the Irving, Texas-based oil company of acting in concert with Washington. [bold added]
His behavior can be explained entirely by the fact that he has a low -- and probably correct -- estimate of President Bush as a leader and as a man. Both of these failings are a direct result of Bush's own altruism, which causes him to regard Chavez's behavior as moral. Chavez needn't understand this to attempt to profit from it because philosophical ideas guide behavior.
Why won't Chavez shut it? Because President Bush will do his dirty work for him, probably by pressuring the oil companies he should have protected in the first place into not even fighting this pendejo in court.