Friday, April 17, 2009
Tea Party Updates
There is too much commentary on the tea party protests for me to attempt a roundup, and that's even if I confine myself strictly to activity by Objectivist bloggers, which I see as a very encouraging sign.
I also got sidelined from joining the protests myself, thanks to several obligations that fell on or immediately around tax day. These included my first encounter with Massachusetts Form 1 -- why am I not surprised that the state chose that number for its income tax form? So instead of joining friends to protest in Houston, where I am most of the time these days, I wasting energy on such questions as whether it was indeed okay for my wife and me to file jointly at the federal level, but separately at the state level. Believe me: I was there in spirit!
So I'll content myself with a sort of uber-roundup, pointing to selected commentary and other roundups. Certainly, feel welcome to mention your own story or commentary here in the comments, but you should also visit at least one of the roundup posts below and do the same if you do.
Briefly, Diana Hsieh plans a roundup later today at Noodle Food and C. August has already posted one at Titanic Deck Chairs. Both are soliciting comments and links. The photo at right, taken by a television station in Houston, I obtained from a link at Noodle Food, and I am pretty sure I know who it is! (Pertinent to the issue brought up by the sign is an excellent short post by Amit Ghate on the impropriety of the whole question of, "How would you run the economy.")
Speaking of Houston, Brian Phillips spearheaded participation by local Objectivists, and, in a post about "Tea Parties and Coalitions," has some pertinent commentary about where the protests might go, and why:
While many pundits have predicted that the Tea Party movement will duplicate the Republican Revolution of 1994, I am doubtful. First, that revolution was electorally successful because it had a clearly stated set of principles. Second, when that revolution abandoned those principles it fell apart and ultimately gave control of Congress back to the Democrats.This is a long-term view, and contrasts sharply with the libertarian view, put forth in a recent column by Glenn Reynolds -- who makes the grave mistake of forgetting about principles and falls into the consequent folly of supporting the idea of a new political party. That didn't work for the fledgling abolitionist movement back in the mid 1800's, and it won't work for advocates of individual rights today.
They say that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I'd prefer that we learn from one era of our history -- the American Revolution -- and repeat that by declaring an intransigent devotion to the principle of individual rights. If the Tea Party movement does that, it just might realize its potential and launch the revolution that is truly needed -- a moral revolution.
And what of the short term? I have my disagreements with the source he cites, but Myrhaf notes that the protests do get the word out to politicians that a significant portion of the population is unhappy with Obama's economic policies. Galileo further offers that this is a chance to make a moral stand against the monstrous injustice of this administration and Congress. This was Galileo's first protest.
Doug Reich and Brad Harper each note the predictable -- if very disappointing -- "news" "coverage" typical of the leftist media establishment. Reich pretty much says all that needs to be said about this: "The news that the news doesn't take the news seriously is not news."
I'll end by embedding video shot by Harry Binswanger of part of a speech at the New York protest by someone he called "one of the better speakers."
If you know who this is, let me know directly or in the comments, and I'll pass the information along, if you don't subscribe to HBList.
All Hat and No Cattle
I'd like to thank Myrhaf for saying exactly what needed to be said about Texas Governor Rick Perry's opportunistic and irresponsible recent babbling about secession:
States should not think of separating from a free country. I know that the federal government is expanding like some monster in a bad 1950’s science fiction movie, but America still has free speech, free elections and a (hampered) free market with a system of prices for making economic calculations. The task before us at the moment is to use our free speech to move America in the right direction.This is not just irresponsible. It is a confession of intellectual impotence. If Perry had any clue what a great value freedom is, he would realize that he should at least try to offer it to the rest of his countrymen before writing them off or choosing to "go down fighting". But, appearances to the contrary, he really did neither: His proposal is so patently absurd that we can safely conclude that he never even thought that far.
Is Governor Perry prepared to go to the mattresses, as they say in The Godfather? ... Are Texans ready to go to war with the USA?
If he is not ready for all that, then the Governor is all hat and no cattle, as a Texan might put it. Rick Perry should shut up.
Rand in Court
Amit Ghate points to an ARC blog posting by Thomas Bowden on a legal first:
For the first time in American legal history, a judge has explicitly endorsed important principles of Ayn Rand’s political theory in a published appellate opinion.Read the whole thing.
Stop by Tito's Blog for the latest collection. I count something like seventeen posts, but I've trained as a mathematician, so you should stop by to make sure I'm right!
Following a link from GeekPress yesterday, I became interested in seeing a chef toss pizza dough and learned that there are competitions in the art. Here's a video of a champion, who juggles two crusts at one point.
2-15-10: Added a hypertext anchor.