A Very “Sandy” Reality Check

I saw a few comments here from the discussions around Hurricane Sandy, the efforts to help afterward, and the apparent previous discussions around what should or should not be done for those in need. Allow me to admit up front that I have not had the time to go back and read all that was written in the back and forth comments here at SUFA regarding this issue. But I saw enough that I felt like I wanted to weigh in and offer my thoughts on what I am seeing and what I think the proper role of the government is in this situation.

Let me first say that I do not believe that the answer to this situation is “people should have better prepared and if they didn’t, then screw them.” As most of you know I am a strong proponent of personal responsibility. That does not mean that I believe everyone should rely on themselves only at all times. Extreme circumstances call for a different way of looking at things. When I talk personal responsibility, I am talking about pulling up the bootstraps, working to improve your life, and not waiting on government to fix things for you. YOU are ultimately responsible for your own success or failure. I absolutely believe that. I think that overall most people do believe that.
Compassion and Preparedness are Equally Important

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Objectivism Discussion Continued

Normally, the Thursday night post would be our guest commentary. This week will be a little different. Just A Citizen has been discussing some things with folks over at the Huffington Post. While there he was able to get a guest commentary from someone over there. However, the author is unable to participate here on Friday. Therefore I decided to post the guest commentary on Saturday night. He should be able to check in during Sunday and perhaps throughout the coming week. Instead tonight I will answer some of the comments from the articles presented on Monday and Tuesday of this week based around Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism. I got some comments from folks that my participation was not enough, which is a valid observation. Even if I hadn’t gotten that, I would have wanted to follow up. Those two articles were important to me personally. As such, I wanted to answer some of the thoughts offered. So I will post this thread and throughout the next day or two I will post replies to the article and my comments to those. Please feel free to follow my lead and bring forth any discussions that you wanted to continue.
Click Here to Continue the Rand Discussions

Defending Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism – Part Two

Last night we began this discussion by talking about Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The fictional novel was based around a philosophy called objectivism. Tonight we resume our discussion by talking about objectivism. I will admit that I am a fan of objectivism. I am a fan because it makes sense to me. Further, in practice, it is the only philosophy that actually has a base in reality. I think  that the most important aspect of what I need to cover this evening will be actually defining and explaining objectivism. It appears that the most common error that I have seen when discussing it is that those who are opposed don’t really understand what Rand was attempting to lay out with objectivist theory. They have a false idea of what it really is. I don’t think that it is simply because people are too dim to understand (although that is true in some cases). I think, instead that the problem comes from the mistake of forming opinions without really attempting to understand and the fact that Rand didn’t necessarily do a great job of covering some of the aspects that were important.
Click Here to See USWs Defense of Objectivism

Defending Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism – Part One

I promised everyone that this particular article would be coming, and as promised, I deliver part one of it to you this evening. I initially thought that this would be a single article. As I began to write, I realized that it could not be. Therefore, I am offering the defense of Atlas Shrugged as part one this evening. Tomorrow, part two will publish and will focus on Objectivism. As many of you are well aware, I am a big fan of the fictional story, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. I know that there are plenty of opponents that frequent the site and I have allowed them to take their little shots at my favorite piece of fiction. And I will grant that some of those shots are deserved. But many of them are not. Just as opposed is the philosophy behind the novel, objectivism. What I intend to do this evening is offer my defense of Atlas Shrugged, followed tomorrow by my defense of objectivism. I then open the topic for debate. And I really do open it for debate. I want to hear what others think and debate the ideas honestly. I am never unmovable in my positions. And there are plenty of smart people who frequent SUFA who may just shake my belief tree a little. I guess we will see.
Click Here to Read Part One: A Defense of Atlas Shrugged

Building a Foundation for Resurrecting America Part V

Philosophy CursiveJust when you think that you have gotten away from the philosophy stuff, we come along and drag you back in. I know that we are finding ourselves sometimes having to read this stuff more than once to let some of it marinate and sink in. That is the case for me as well. So don’t be intimidated by big words and that fancy city talk. But try to grasp the big concepts that are important and move on. To that end we provide a brief summary to what we have gleaned from Ayn Rand thus far. Philosophy degree or not, I think that she provides some stimulating thoughts and we could all do far worse than to follow her line of reasoning and try to understand it and subsequently discuss it. 
A Summary From the Mouth of Rand Herself

Building a Foundation For Resurrecting America Part IV

Philosophy CursiveAnd back to the philosophy we go. This series is going to jump around a bit. We took a couple of days off and dealt with some other topics. But now we are back to it. We have now begun to understand why philosophy is important and gotten a grasp on some of the terminology and thought processes as they apply. Now we will get a chance to see some of that philosophy applied to the founders. We often are taught to believe that the founders were infallible geniuses who we just had the good fortune to have around when we needed to form a country. Not so. They were merely men who did the best they could with what they had…
Time To Get the Brain Back in Gear

Building a Foundation For Resurrecting America Part III

Philosophy CursiveBack to it this evening folks. I think that the day off was a good thing. It allowed everyone to discuss the topics some more and re-read the articles and hopefully get a better grasp on the subject matter. I will be able to participate in the conversations a bit more on this article. Yesterday was golf with some friends I don’t see enough of and it was also my wedding anniversary. Another year of my wonderful wife putting up with me. It should be a national holiday. With my Celtics and Bruins both successfully eliminated from the playoffs, I am down to just baseball, although everyone who knows me knows that I am consumed by the sport. 
Our Final Philosophy Article for This Week

Building a Foundation for Resurrecting America Part II

Philosophy CursiveSo we started down the philosophy trail last night with an introduction to why philosophy is important. I have to be honest and say that I was a bit surprised by some of the reaction to the comments once I was able to jump in and take a look at what people were saying. Some folks took umbrage with the thoughts from Ayn Rand. I hadn’t realized that her thoughts alone would stir a bit of controversy. There were not a lot of comments overall, which was not surprising to JAC, BF, or Myself. We anticipated the first article would be that way. There really wasn’t a lot to discuss there. It really was about presenting a case for why it is important to understand and embrace philosophy.
And Away We Go With a Continuation of Philosophical Discussion

Building a Foundation for Resurrecting America Part I

Philosophy CursiveAh the beginning of a new series. Always an exciting and tense time for me. In the short time that I have been writing this blog, I have often found myself in a very uncomfortable position… one of trepidation. Each night when I get ready to hit the “publish” button on whatever article I am submitting for the night, there is a little moment of trepidation. Because I am worried.  I wonder what people will think of what I post. I wonder if I am taking the right stance. I wonder if what I am about to say is going to be the thing that drives people away, rather than towards, the site. Then I take a Deep Breath, and remember that I am just me, and I am OK being judged. And I hit the button….
The Beginning of Another Series