Critical Marx

communism

In the discussion on Ayn Rand’s works, the Lady Rowyn sagely suggests:

There are a lot of authors worth reading whether or not you agree with their conclusions. And whether or not people make fun of them.

Indeed. I’ve read much of Karl Marx, and am amazed that he has any followers at all. Especially […]

Denoting Bertrand Russell, “Red Emma” Goldman, Thomas Jefferson

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(This wound up being something of a scattered ramble on different philosophers in history.) I mentioned recently Ayn Rand’s definition of selfishness, as “concerned with one’s own interests.” It’s straightforward enough. In the ensuing discussion, I described this as less opaque than some of the definitions of Bertrand Russell. (I had miswritten his first name […]

Altruism and Religion

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Citizen Tom has a series of posts discussing altruism (as seen by Ayn Rand) and Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. I’m in the odd position of largely agreeing with him, ​and ​with Ayn Rand — despite his objecting to Rand’s writings. He describes well the dangers of enforced “altruism”: […]

These Things Think Upon

In the “Food for Thought” Sunday posts, by nomination of Citizen Tom, and snuck in barely on Sunday after a period of traveling: Philippians 4 has an exhortation that is appropriate for Thanksgiving — and it is a reminder to be optimistic, and to manage your thoughts. In the Young’s Literal Translation: 8 As to the rest, brethren, as many things as are true, as many as [are] grave, as many as [are] righteous, as many as [are] pure, as many as [are] lovely, as many as [are] of good report, if any worthiness, and if any praise, these things think upon; […]

A Spirit of Power, Love and a Sound Mind

I am traveling, but have a short note in the spirit of the Food for Thought series on Biblical verses. In 2 Timothy 1, when Paul is encouraging young Timothy to get out and get busy, he includes this line: 7 for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind No matter what one believes as to origins, there is no doubt that this combination — a “spirit of power” combined with love and a sound mind — is a very potent combination. These are the attributes shown by America’s inspired founding fathers, and they have been shown in other groups from time to time throughout history, though not with perhaps so lasting or consequential a result. But while it is rare for groups to employ this combination together for a joint purpose, we can each strive as individual to develop and maintain these qualities independently. We each face challenges, large and small — and that sense of the size of the challenge is very personal. What might appear small to an observer can be large enough to you when it is right in your way, and in your mind. […]

The Benghazi Orders

I see much activity from pundits and questioners demanding to know what orders President Obama gave regarding the attack on the Benghazi consulate, which apprently he was tracking within a half-hour or so after it began.

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That last quote from Matthew 12

In my musings Sunday, I left one connection out between the Bible’s Matthew 12 and presidential statements: Matthew 12:29 “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” […]

Sunday Verse 4: Presidential Musings

Matthew 12 is telling part of the story of Jesus, and two aspects of this chapter struck me. First, it has been the source of a number of statements that are commonly associated with US presidents, and second that it also contains a reference applicable to our current one. […]

Expecting Different Results

Barack Obama claims that he was prevented from solving the economic crisis be the fact that he was opposed in Congress. Congress was, of course, run by Democrats in the Senate, and Democrats in the House, for Obama’s first two years. And yes, they did not vote to pass a budget — at one point, Obama’s offered budget proposal got exactly zero votes from Democrats. […]

Sandy was Not a Major Hurricane

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One commenter asked about “major hurricanes” and why Sandy isn’t one. The term “major hurricane” is used by many to indicate those of Category 3 and up. It is used by the U.S. National Hurricane Center, which classifies hurricanes of Category 3 and above as major hurricanes, and is generally used everywhere from the weather […]