Blog Roundup

Friday, January 19, 2024

A Friday Hodgepodge

1. Over the years, I have taken to task various installments of National Review's war on Ayn Rand. (Here's a good one I'd forgotten about.)

Scratch war on Ayn Rand in the name of accuracy: It's really a war against anyone learning what Ayn Rand had to say, and it began in earnest with an infamous non-review of Atlas Shrugged by professed ex-communist Whittaker Chambers.

I recently learned via New Ideal that Leonard Peikoff penned a rebuttal, in the form of a letter-to-the-editor.

National Review, true to form, elected to memory hole it, but now it appears as a chapter of the collection, Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged -- and as the blog post linked above.

It reads in part:

Mr. Chambers is an ex-Communist. He has attacked Atlas Shrugged in the best tradition of the Communists -- by lies, smears, and cowardly misrepresentations. Mr. Chambers may have changed a few of his political views; he has not changed the method of intellectual analysis and evaluation of the Party to which he belonged. And the National Review, an ostensibly [pro-capitalist] publication, permitted these tactics to be used on the first book which has ever provided a philosophic, rational basis for capitalism.
I am glad to see not only that this thorough rebuttal is now available for anyone to read, but also that it is now easy for anyone to ascertain the true character of the National Review, as exemplified by its treatment of Ayn Rand.

2. At How to Be Profitable and Moral, Jaana Woiceshyn asks, in the form of her title, a question she clearly hopes to make non-controversial one again. "Instead of ESG and DEI, how about value creation, justice, and independence?"

Here is an excerpt regarding justice:
Not all companies follow these principles, to their detriment. Destroying value instead of creating it, through deception, fraud, or exploitation is unsustainable because not only is it immoral but illegal. Companies that engage in fraud or coercion will be prosecuted and punished. Not trading value for value, even when not illegal, is unjust and leads to a loss of customers, employees, suppliers, and profits. Giving up first-handed adherence to reality is similarly unsustainable, resulting in copy-cat investment in such value-depleting programs as ESG and DEI that violate the principle of justice.
This essay is a much-needed corrective for both ESG/DEI and the alleged rationale for them, the latter of which is part and parcel of widespread ignorance about the nature of capitalism and suspicion of self-interest that permeate our culture.

Image by wirestock, via Freepik, license.
3. At Value for Value, Harry Binswanger economically addresses a couple of favorite conservative myths behind the ridiculous idea that there is a "border crisis."

Regarding terrorism, Binswanger reminds us of what really needs to be done:
One site breathlessly reports that 169 people on terrorist watch lists were spotted and/or apprehended. The same site reports 3.1 million "encounters." But the two facts are not put together: 169 of the "encounters" is 1 in 20,000.

So, conservatives want to stifle the lives of 19,999 people to block entry to 1 person on a terrorist watch list.

The answer to terrorism is not retreating to a bunker. It is moral certainty in the rightness of America combined with decisive, overwhelming military action against the states that sponsor terrorism.
I completely agree with his contention that, "The only crisis on our border is the outrageous refusal to recognize that 'All men are created equal, endowed ... with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'"

4. (Update: The legislation mentioned in this section applies only to restaurants in state-operated rest stops. While the state shouldn't be operating the highway systm, much less rest stops, it is not unreasonable for it to require its contractors to be open each day of the week. Forbes elaborates further on the bill here. HT: Shea Levy.)

Brian Phillips of the Texas Institute for Property Rights alerts us to a proposal in New York that is as obscene as his post title ("The Right to Eat Fried Chicken") is ridiculous:
The New York legislature is considering a bill that would require Chick-fil-A to be open on Sundays. The bill would essentially establish an alleged right to eat fried chicken. The bill's author said, "Look, if you want to eat fried chicken while traveling over the holidays, then Chick-fil-A should be open on Sundays." In other words, it is the responsibility a business to satisfy every consumer desire, regardless of the business' own desires. [link omitted]
As annoyed as this atheist is that Chick-fil-A closes on Sunday, I recognize and support the right of its owners to set their own schedule, and I am outraged that this little dictator in New York wants to set their hours for them.

-- CAV


: Updated Item 4 after commenter pointed to Forbes article about the proposed legislation.

1 comment:

Gus Van Horn said...


I agree, and thank you for pointing out the Forbes piece.