stat counnnter

Friday, July 09, 2021

New post on capitalism

 Here is a link to a good post on the importance of reversing our current slide to tyranny. This is from the website of Capitalism, a website I highly recommend. 

The ultimate goal of course is to bring about Laissez-faire capitalism i.e. a society not regulated by government but rather by the marketplace in which millions of individual choices determine almost everything economic. 

The government's only role is to protect individual rights by having a presence so it may be summoned if someone's rights are being violated.

Michael Neibel

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Critical Race Theory

 On the site of National Review today (6/13) I read a pretty good article by Michael Farris on the utter disaster of Critical Race theory. In it Mr Farris correctly points out:

"Parents have simply had enough of the politicization of their local schools and the attempts to turn their children into young but full-throated activists for the progressive movement."

I want to add that it was not only today's parents but all our parents and grand parents who lived here before us who are and were responsible for the politicization of our school system. We followed in their missteps by by insisting that government "do something" to fix all of our non-political problems such as transportation, health care, education, insurance, in all sciences and anything in the economy.  We did not realize we were inviting/demanding the government to politicize everything i.e. we asked for it.

So how do we correct this problem of ours? We have to realize the insanity of turning our problems over to an institution that has a monopoly on the legal use of  physical force. We correct this by looking for and supporting candidates who promise--and have plans--to start tearing down the regulatory state and replacing it with rights protecting laws.

Unfortunately, way too many people today cannot tell the difference between rights protecting laws and laws that violate rights. For that I highly recommend Ayn Rand's essay "Man's Rights" and an accompanying essay "The Nature of Government" in her book "Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal" still in print.

Critical Race Theory is nothing more than an attempt to teach students to tie a person's social, political and moral values to his skin color or nationality which is exactly what racism does. It's using racism to defeat racism, a logical contradiction and cannot work. The most critical regulatory agency to dissolve is the Dept of Education. We need to start now.

Michael Neibel

Saturday, May 29, 2021

To teach or indoctrinate, that is today's crisis.

 The Saturday May 29th edition of my local paper the Macomb Daily contributing editorial writer Cal Thomas wrote:

"Truth has become subjective and relative in modern times and is now personal. You have your “truth” and I have my “truth.” Even when they contradict each other, it doesn’t matter as long as we both feel good about it.

This flawed notion has contributed to our cultural decline.

Try this experiment if you want to see how far we have moved from objective truth. Go to any popular definition website and type in “truth.” They assume truth exists and can be discovered.

The truth is supposed to set us free, but if we can’t recognize or define it, we will be in bondage. Secretary Mayorkas should reread Orwell’s novel and then abandon any plans to indoctrinate schoolchildren."

I agree that truth exists and can be discovered. But what is being taught in our public schools today is subjectivism as Mr Thomas points out. This in turn leads to political and social relativism. For example: "Rioting should be legal for me when I'm frustrated but not for you." Which is what many Democrat governors and mayors have been allowing.

It was Ayn Rand who pointed out that truth is that which corresponds to reality. It's called the "Correspondence Theory of Truth" which she wrote about in her essays on epistemology and which I highly recommend. References below.

The only way to correct education and return it to a focus on objective reality is to begin  the process of getting the government out of education. As she also once pointed out "Mind and force are opposites." To mix the two as in public (government run) schools will lead to mind (learning) being forced out and replaced with indoctrination. 

Why must this be do? because when we turn our children's minds over to an institution with a monopoly on the legal use of force it's only a matter of time before government indoctrinates all its students with the value of government: how government control and government money will be the solution of all their future problems.

 Unfortunately, one or more generations of Americans have been thusly indoctrinated so that now whenever there is a problem say in transportation (infrastructure), in education, in health care, in any and all sciences, we reflexively turn to government and shout "Do something!"

When we do that we are saying in essence  'Go ahead government and use your monopoly on legal force and fix this particular problem.' This is insane.

Now is the time to look for political candidates who will promise to start privatizing education. It can be to non profit or for profit entities. The parts of the National Labor Relations Act that give unions the right to force teachers into union must be repealed. Teachers need to have professional organizations to represent them to the public. Not unions.

I highly recommend Rand's essay "The Comprachicos" in her book "Capitalism:the Unknown Ideal" and "Teaching Johnny to Think" by Leonard Peikoff. Plus "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" All should be available at the Ayn Rand Institute or Amazon. But we need to start now.

Mr Thomas has identified the problem, Ayn Rand identified the answer.

Michael Neibel

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Pay workers on unemployment $1000 to take jobs and get off unemployment?

 I was amazed to see this article in the Detroit News of April 29 that calls for Michigan to use some of the COVID-19 relief money to pay workers on unemployment $1K for taking a job. The article starts:

"A House panel is expected to approve a plan Thursday that would use federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay unemployed workers a $1000 incentive to leave unemployment and take available jobs in Michigan."

It continues with:

"About 800,000 people remain on unemployment in the state, even as businesses are hungry for more workers and the state unemployment trust fund continues to dwindle, said Rep Thomas Albert, the Lowell Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee."

 Amazing to me is a Republican willing to pay workers to go back to work after watching government give extra money on top of unemployment to stay home!   You'd think those politicians would know not to make staying home more profitable than working. Evidently, logical thinking is not a requirement for political leadership in Michigan.

No the workers won't be getting the money first. The article adds:

"To qualify for the incentive, people would need to be employed for at least 80 hours over a four-week period after leaving unemployment."

This is what happens when modern politicians schooled in Pragmatism start making decisions based on nothing more than the expediency of the immediate moment. And if their pragmatic solutions lead to disaster, they can always sing their standard pragmatic excuse "What was true in the past is not true today and what is true today will not be true tomorrow. So we had to take action, to do something. We can't know the future so it's not my fault."

If Republicans want to prevent this kind of economic lunacy in the future, they would hasten to repeal any and all laws giving the governor emergency powers lasting more than two weeks with no extensions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The new world order is here.

 I'm sure all my readers can clearly see that the Democrat Party leadership has been taken over in its entirety by globalists seeking a one world dictatorship with them and international allies like the UN, the World Economic Forum, the World Health Organization et al in charge.

They even have a motto they are openly pushing: "You will own nothing, and you will be happy." Please consider the real meaning of those words. They very accurately describe the attitude of a rancher toward his herd of cattle, or a shepherd toward his flock of sheep.

That is exactly how they see you and me. They are saying in essence "We (Globalists) will feed and look after you and tend to your physical needs." But the happiness they provide will not be your real happiness but rather their idea of what should be your happiness.

In fact, it won't even be happiness. It will be a forced contentment. Animals including pets can feel a perceptual joy at seeing their master or shepherd nearby, or at feeding time. But in my view, it is a perceptual joy, not the kind of conceptual happiness we humans experience when we accomplish the goals we want to achieve. There will be no achievement of your goals but rather theirs.

In short, you will be expected to give up your happiness for a forced contentment which you are expected to enjoy. Not only is this an assault on the concept of happiness but on life itself. Since to live your life you need to acquire those things that sustain your life and you need the right to possess those things. That is what the concept of property rights means. 

If you don't own the things that sustain your life then you must be renting them. From Whom? The real owners of everything, the globalist elite. That's their goal. 

The only antidote to this is the concept of individual rights and for us to start electing candidates who will promise to start tearing down the regulatory state by privatizing some and completely shutting down others. Government has gotten way too big. By refocusing our government on the protection of individual rights we can regain our right to our life, our liberty and our pursuit of our happiness.

Michael Neibel

Sunday, April 11, 2021

I'm back blogging again.

  Sorry for not blogging recently. I've been busy with family and personal problems. The family problems seem to be subsiding for now as progress has been made in helping them out. On the personal side I've been somewhat in the dumps over the fact that so many people could still vote for democrats in federal and state elections. 

Are Americans really that stupid I wondered. But I know the mind numbing effect that Progressive Education has had on abut two generations of Americans in our colleges.

Prog Ed has refused to teach students to think in terms of principles which has had the effect of forcing them to rely on their feelings instead of their reasoning mind. But our feelings cannot tell us what is good for our survival and what threatens it. Only our reasoning mind can do that. No, I decided, today's citizens are not stupid but rather badly informed because of Progressive Education.

(Here I want to point out that this condemnation is largely confined to our college departments of the social sciences. They still teach some principles in the applied sciences.)

There is an excellent book still in print called "The Ominous Parallels" by Leonard Peikoff. It shows how the cultural ideas that were dominant in Germany in the 20 or so years before the rise of the NAZI party are ominously parallel to the ideas in today's Progressive America. It is truly scary. I highly recommend that book.

There will be more posts soon.

Mike Neibel

Monday, February 01, 2021

Victims of Whitmer?

 Some people in Michigan are fighting back. There is now a blog titled Victims of where Michiganders can write in telling their story of how they and/or their families were hurt by the Governor's lock downs. I'll be complaining about my grand kids being denied in person school. Perhaps other states may follow if they haven't already done so.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Insane delusion

 Wow! I knew the collectivist media would be beside themselves with giddiness at Biden winning the presidency. The Sunday Jan 17th Detroit Free Press printed an editorial on the presidential changeover by its editorial editor Brian Dickerson.

His headline reads:

"Biden takes charge during America's Dunkirk moment."

Are you kidding me? 

To liken President Joe Biden's election as taking charge and saving a nation from a pandemic to Winston Churchill's authorizing a massive civilian rescue of over 300 thousand British soldiers is, well, insanely delusional. It is the height of disrespect to Churchill.

He goes on to say;

"Not even the most deluded imagined that Donald Trump will devote another minute of his fleeting tenure to stemming the virus spread, or accelerating the manufacture, distribution and administration of the vaccine for which he claims primary credit."

I wouldn't say Trump claims primary credit. But he did fast track the development of vaccines for which he has the right to take a bow--provided the vaccines turn out to be as effective as the seasonal flu vaccine.

President Trump has done some praise worthy good for Americans like the "Choice" program for veterans, cutting taxes for the rich and the poor, creating record low unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics, and other benefits.

It has been said that an honest man gives credit when and where credit is due. I know Mr Dickerson hasn't given a summery of Trump's total 4 years (as far as I know). So I'll wait and see.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Certain thinking not allowed?

 My local paper, The Macomb Daily,--in Macomb County Michigan--carried an editorial by Joan Bregstein, a health-care worker in a New York hospital extolling the arrival of a covid-19 vaccine as if it were another V-Day. But she laments the idea that there are others who declined the vaccine.

"But I was shocked to discover that several health care workers I know declined their vaccine dose. In the staff lounge this week, I heard: “Too early; I’ll wait and see.”

“Not interested.”

“Not for me.”

It’s the same attitude you find among people who don’t vote: “Too much trouble.”

“One more vote won’t count.”

“Someone else will do it.”

We cannot allow such thinking to take hold. As with voting, the only way our nation can succeed in moving on from this pandemic is if we all do our part."

What is meant here by "not allow such thinking to take hold"? Does she mean government should force everyone to get the vaccine? Or does she mean we must advocate--use persuasion--for the benefits of the vaccine? 

In a rights respecting nation people are not "allowed" to decide for themselves but have an inalienable right to do so. This right needs to be protected, adamantly.

So what is meant by "do our part"? Does that mean submit to government authority i.e. legal force? Or does she mean we should agree with her view of the virtue of vaccine?

Thankfully, she tell us:

"In March, we asked you to stay home to help us save lives. Now we are asking you to get vaccinated. Next phase will be the elderly and essential workers. When you are called, please say yes."

So persuasion is her preferred MO and that is a good thing. But we need to be careful of our choice of words, to qualify their meanings to avoid confusion like in the meaning of "allow such thinking", and "do your part" and  the vaccination is not enough. We need to get 61% of the population or herd immunity. 

While I disagree with this last, I think the vaccination should protect others from contagions from you since the vaccine is supposed to be preventing the virus from reproducing thus killing it. It's my hope that legislators will remove the governor's authority to order lock downs to fight viruses.



Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Promoting Objectivism

 Here is a copy of a letter from Tal Tsfany reporting on the growing success of the Ayn Rand institute. I reprint it here because I'm a big fan of Rand's ideas. This growth is great.

Dear friends,

A few weeks ago, Ayn Rand Institute board member John Allison wrote an eloquent letter describing how, regardless of the state of the world, Ayn Rand’s ideas can transform your life for the better. And, he noted, ARI is helping countless people around the globe use Rand’s ideas to do just that—transform their lives for the better.

One of the things I discovered when I became CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute two and half years ago was how much I, a long-time supporter, didn’t know about the scale of ARI’s impact. ARI was founded 35 years ago to advance the philosophy of Objectivism. As we near the end of 2020, I want to give you a brief glimpse into our achievements—and an indication of what lies ahead. 

From the start, ARI has believed that the best spokesman for Ayn Rand’s ideas is Ayn Rand. And so, a core part of our strategy has been to promote her books—especially to young people, who are actively forming their philosophic convictions. 

To date, our essay contests have attracted submissions from more than 440,000 students—and some of the best intellectuals we have today started as participants in our essay contest program. Our Free Books to Teachers program has distributed 4.5 millions books to students and we estimate that, in total, more than 9 million students have read these books as teachers reuse those books. With the awareness of Ayn Rand’s ideas that this program has created over the years, Rand is more widely regarded as an important writer today than she was during her lifetime. Her books keep inspiring young minds toward better, more fulfilled lives.

Once someone has read Ayn Rand’s books, it’s vital that they have avenues through which they can increase their understanding of her ideas. On our YouTube channel, for example, ARI has made available nearly 1,000 videos, covering every topic from art to epistemology to morality to politics to current events. These videos have collectively been viewed over 7 million times and our channel is growing faster than ever. Last year, we saw our subscribers increase from 30,000 to 45,000; this year the number is more than 64,000. Thousands of people discover Ayn Rand and her ideas every month and go on to watch hours of Objectivist content on our YouTube channel, our mobile app and our online campus.

ARI is charged with preserving Ayn Rand’s legacy, which includes storing, cataloguing and maintaining tens of thousands of items in the Ayn Rand Archives. We are currently heavily investing in upgrading the infrastructure, the systems and, eventually, the presentation and accessibility of the treasure trove that is the Ayn Rand Archives. Both the physical and digital items of the archives are managed with great care to ensure that Rand’s legacy is preserved for generations to come. We plan to bring forward many more collections that will allow interested individuals to learn more about Ayn Rand’s genius and the heroic life that she led.

For the community of people who agree with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, we offer an array of products such as advanced courses and ARI’s annual summer conference, OCON, which this coming year takes place June 29–July 5 in Washington, D.C. For those who choose to become supporters of ARI, we offer a series of web meetings called ARI Donor Roundtables, where we dive into different aspects of the Objectivist philosophy and feature community members who are successfully applying Rand’s philosophy in their lives and productive careers.

For those who are serious about careers as professional intellectuals or intellectual professionals, we’ve created the leading training program on Objectivism: the Objectivist Academic Center (OAC). Participation in the OAC has never been higher, with 120 students and auditors taking classes on Objectivism, philosophic thinking, and objective communication. In our view, the OAC is the best school of philosophy in the world.

Starting with the Objectivist Graduate Center, the precursor to the OAC, more than 1,000 students have taken part in our training programs. Some of those students have gone on to become professors. Others are working at influential think tanks or have started their own successful think tanks. And yet others have launched or are engaged in successful businesses, careers in the arts, activism efforts, and other endeavors. 

Finally, ARI believes that in order to help people to properly approach and grasp Ayn Rand's radical system of ideas, we need to offer meaningful educational engagements. Last year, despite the pandemic, we gathered the largest number of conference attendees (both in person and online) we’ve had in any year: 2,874 participants. The year before that, our in-person conference attendance reached 1,547. We are planning to continue to offer the unique experience of an Ayn Rand Conference in the US, Europe, Latin America and hopefully other regions of the world. 

We are rightly proud of these achievements, and we’re grateful to you for helping make them possible. But the question we ask ourselves each and every day is: what more can we be doing? 

I’ll be talking about this in our annual report, which you should be receiving in a few weeks. For now, I’ll just say that as we enter 2021, our core strategy is to better leverage our strengths—and to grow our skillset and become even better at reaching people. There are many exciting projects in the works.

I’m an optimist. But I’m not blindly optimistic. My optimism about the future is based on the fact that Rand’s ideas are true—and that there is clear evidence of a continual increase in interest in Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. We see readers and viewers around the world discovering Objectivism and, with your help, we’ll continue to demonstrate how her ideas help people around the world live richer, happier, freer lives. 

But I want to underscore “with your help.” Right now, the enemies of reason, individualism, and freedom are able to raise billions by appealing to duty, fear, guilt, and the phony moral superiority that comes with endorsing socially popular causes. What I’m appealing to is your self-interest. 

Today is “Giving Tuesday”—though we prefer to call it Trading Tuesday. On this occasion, if you believe that Ayn Rand’s ideas are true, if you believe they are important, if you would like to see thousands more trained by the OAC and millions more reading and studying Ayn Rand, then please consider trading with ARI by increasing your support. We will make sure that whatever you rationally allocate to supporting this cause will be used effectively and efficiently to create a better world—for you and the people you love. 

What could be more selfish than that?

Tal Tsfany
CEO, Ayn Rand Institute