Quick Roundup 411

Monday, March 09, 2009

If you're from Houston, ...

... or know someone who is, be sure you stop by/send him to Live Oaks to consider virtual mayoral candidate Brian Phillips' petition for reduced government:

Whereas, the proper purpose of government is the protection of individual rights;

Whereas, individual rights can only be violated by the use of force (or the threat thereof);

Whereas, the City of Houston routinely violates the rights of citizens by seizing their money through taxation, regulating individuals and businesses, prohibiting voluntary interactions between consenting adults, and more;

We, the undersigned, call upon all candidates for Mayor of Houston and Houston City Council to take a public position on the following:

1. Privatizing inappropriate city services, such as water, wastewater, and trash collection;
2. Selling city assets, such as parks and libraries, that do not contribute to government’s proper functions;
3. Repealing all building codes, all land-use regulations, and all ordinances that regulate business conduct;
4. Repealing all ordinances that criminalize voluntary interactions between consenting adults;
5. Immediately reducing property taxes by 10%.
Follow the link at the upper right of the main page of the blog to sign.

Objectivist Roundup

In case you haven't seen it yet, Tito hosts the latest edition.

Faking Reality, Indeed

I completely agree with Andrew Dalton's reaction to Brian Dougherty's asinine take on Objectivism and a comic book character he claims represents an "Objectivist" "hero":
Readers interested in Ayn Rand's real ideas should discover for themselves, rather than taking the word of some snarky, shoot-from-the-hip libertarian.
Case in point:
[The character's] sense of justice may make him hate most of humanity (!) -- he brags to himself at the beginning that if mankind begged him to save them, he'd justly say "no." But by the end he sacrifices (!!!) himself in the name of avenging the deaths of millions who he doesn't know.
Amusingly, this paean to the sin of sacrifice -- be it merely a horrendous formulation or also accurate -- comes just before an oddly-capitalized reference to "Faking Reality," which is linked to the Ayn Rand Lexicon entry on "rationality".

Speaking of the Ayn Rand Lexicon, Dougherty should try boning up on justice and sacrifice before opening his mouth and "removing all doubt", as Mark Twain might have put it.

But I'd settle for him keeping his mouth shut and giving Atlas Shrugged another read-through.

Oh, and one more thing.... The whole idea of the heroes of Atlas Shrugged being re-cast as comic book-style heroes instead of normal men is completely inane. Atlas Shrugged is about the importance of man's mind as his tool of survival, and demonstrates this through the consequences of the withdrawal of man's mind from a society that routinely damns it.

Who needs super powers or a beltload of flashy gadgets and a cape when he has a weapon like that at his disposal? This device -- even for Ragnar Danneskjold, for whom mystery is far more compelling than any costume could be -- would actually undercut the above theme, and the fact that Dougherty entertains it at all is a confession of his own failure to fully grasp that point.

"Bread is a platform."

This post on food by Amy Mossoff amuses me because the below passage reminds me of the saying above, which I came up with while married to my first wife, whose enthusiasm for bread always baffled me.
To me, grains are not "real food." First of all, they have almost no flavor. I've never understood why people love rice, bread, cereal, and pasta. Even pastries leave me cold. I'll eat these things, but only as carriers for something that has flavor and substance. Bread is great for holding meat and mayonnaise, but the less of it, the better. Sweet, sugary deserts are nice sometimes.... [bold added]
Oh, yeah. Ditto for pasta!

-- CAV

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