Monthly Archives: August 2011

“Self Before Country”

Just read a great article about selfishness in The Undercurrent.

Excerpt:

“Consider the phenomenal success of Apple and the contribution it has brought to the lives of so many Americans. Steve Jobs was not motivated to serve his country and community as his primary concern when transforming Apple into a multi-billion dollar company. Rather, Jobs was interested in creating innovative and life-enhancing technology-and earning a massive paycheck to boot. And yet, his efforts have introduced billions of dollars into the American economy as well as an iPod or iPhone into the hands of millions of his fellow Americans. Had Jobs sacrificed his vision, instead enlisting in AmeriCorps, much of the technology we enjoy today would have remained a fantasy of science-fiction.

Steve Jobs accomplished something on a tremendous scale, but something we are all capable of. One does not need to be a billionaire to pursue one’s happiness and provide value to others in the process. Every day, electricians, soldiers, musicians, and countless others make possible our modern economy and all the relative luxuries it affords. And yet, the most successful among their ranks pursue their careers from personal, self-interested motives—not because they’re willing to toil for decades out of a duty to their nation. Had those millions of passionate individuals renounced their self-interested goals in order to put country first, we’d be missing out on the countless values created through their passion. Those who selfishly pursue their chosen endeavors, not those dedicating themselves to a vague “national service,” are truly responsible for shaping the world into a better place.”

Spot on.

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Filed under Ayn Rand

Sam Harris Versus the Self-Made Man

By Joshua Lipana

(In light of the most recent attack by Sam Harris on economic freedom, I am posting here my commentary, first published in American Thinker, that takes on an older of op-ed of his in the Huffington Post with the same collectivist spirit.)

Sam Harris recently published an article in The Huffington Post entitled “A New Year’s Resolution for the Rich” in it, he says:

“…devotees of self-reliance rail against those who would receive entitlements of various sorts — health care, education, etc. — while feeling unselfconsciously entitled to their relative good fortune.”

In the article, Harris makes no distinction between those who work and earn what they have, and those who rely on hand-outs or the expropriated wealth of others. Those who have worked hard for their money, regardless of how much, have the moral right to keep it. Harris decries those who praise the virtue of self-reliance because they feel entitled and enjoy the products of their mind. Hard-work means nothing to Harris; the moocher and the producer are moral equals.

He continues and states:

“…no one is responsible for his intelligence, range of talents, or ability to do productive work.”

The student who studies hard to get a scholarship, the athlete who trains without cease to better his performance, and the industrialist who masters nature to create the materials that make skyscrapers possible. These are the people who Harris claims are not responsible for their achievements. In one sentence, Harris was able to spit on the face of everyone in the world who has worked tirelessly to achieve their dreams.

Harris has continuously claimed to be an advocate of reason when it is precisely man using his rational faculty to enjoy life that he sets himself against.

In the last paragraph, Harris asks the readers the question: “…what’s to stop the wealthiest Americans from sponsoring a 21st Century Renaissance?” The answer is, you are Mr. Harris, you and your ideas.

(P.S: If you think the quotes I quoted were too evil and that it must be out of context, I advise you to read the entire article of Sam Harris in The Huffington Post.)


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Filed under Philosophy

Anne Hathaway on Atlas Shrugged

I’ve always liked her. I like her even more now.

Chelsea Handler: …I know you’re an Ayn Rand fan, right?

Anne Hathaway: Yeah, I am.

Handler: What’s your favorite Ayn Rand book?

Hathaway: Atlas Shrugged.  

Handler: Did you like that better than The Fountainhead?

Hathaway: I did. When I began Atlas Shrugged, I was really excited, because Ayn Rand said that The Fountainhead was the overture to Atlas Shrugged. I was like, “Ooh! What am I getting into?” Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand-and I have certain issues with some of her beliefs-the woman can tell a story. I mean, the novel as an art form is just in full florid bloom in Atlas Shrugged. It’s an unbelievable story. The characters are so compelling, and what she’s saying is mind-expanding. I really enjoyed that book, and it was kind of prophetic. I read that book for the first time during the Bush Administration and I was like, “People are governing with their feelings as opposed to their intellect. This is happening.” And she wrote this how many years ago?”

http://www.interviewmagazine.com/film/anne-hathaway-1/5/

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Filed under Ayn Rand, Favorites

Cheers to Big Tobacco for Defending Itself

By Joshua Lipana

First published in The Objective Standard Blog.

FoxNews.com reports that four of the five biggest U.S tobacco companies are suing the federal government to stop it from forcing them to use “new graphic cigarette labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker and a picture of diseased lungs.” 

They are right to do so: The government’s proposed regulation is an obscene attack on the tobacco industry.

U.S. tobacco companies make their profits through voluntary exchange; they do not force anyone to smoke. And everyone today is well aware of the risks of smoking—just as everyone is aware of the risks of driving, flying, eating Twinkies, and drinking beer. The government’s constant assault on tobacco companies is a violation of their rights and is contrary to the government’s proper function of protecting rights.

Kudos to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. for leading this lawsuit; kudos also to Commonwealth Brands Inc., Liggett Group LLC, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. for joining the fray in defense of their rights. More businessmen should follow their example and stand up to improper government force.

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Filed under Favorites, History

Yahoo Sports and CM Punk

Just read an article on Yahoo Sports about the title reigns of WWE’s CM Punk. This part was spot on:

“I don’t know why WWE constantly uses these twists with Punk. He is one of the most popular superstars with the fans and one of the best all-around workers in the company. On talent alone, he should be able to become a champion and hold the title for a long period of time, too bad the powers that be don’t feel the same way.”

Summer Slam was crazy. CM Punk not being champion just doesn’t make sense to me. He’s white hot right now, and is pure money for the WWE. He’s title reign ended way too soon.

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Made my Night

http://twitter.com/#!/michellemalkin/status/104184793331281920

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Filed under Favorites

No to ADB’s Tax Increase Proposal

By Joshua Lipana

The Agence France-Presse recently reported that the Asian Development Bank is championing higher tax rates in Asia.

Excerpt:

Asian countries need to increase taxes and improve their collection systems if they want to raise enough funds for much-needed social welfare programmes, an ADB study released Tuesday said…

“The review of tax policy… makes it clear that there is ample margin for higher tax levels in Asia through more direct taxation, especially private income tax,” the report by economics professor Jorge Martinez-Vazquez said.

The ADB’s advocacy for more confiscation of wealth is immoral and contrary to prosperity.

It is entrepreneurs and businessmen that drive economic growth, to confiscate what they’ve earned is an injustice and will hamper their ability to expand their respective ventures, thereby lessening job creation and productivity.

Asian countries, like all countries, should have the lowest possible tax rates.

This is because a low tax rate encourages foreign investment, creates a better environment for job creation, encourages businesses to expand, and most of all it allows people to keep more of what is rightfully theirs; the fruits of their labour.

I, without any reservation, oppose this call for more confiscation of wealth.

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