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Everything posted by Dismuke

  1. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    Ask yourself why the initiation of force is wrong. The correct answer is similar to why it is wrong to refuse to non-sacrifically assist an accident victim. Off the top of my head, I think I would consider such refusal to be more or less on the same level as the initiation of force - not necessarily an instance of it. Again, I emphasise that I am talking strictly about non-sacrificial assistance that one happens to be in a position to provide in order to prevent the needless death of someone in an emergency situation.
  2. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    I stated the essential principle in another posting. To save time, I will simply paste it below: "As a human being who demands that others respect your right to life and who demands that others respect your derivative rights such as your property, you have a moral and legal RESPONSIBILITY to respect and avoid endangering the life of ANY peaceful human being - and by making a conscious choice to walk away from an accident victim and refusing to summon available help, you are choosing to allow a situation to continue to exist where such a human life is endangered. By refusing to summon help and making a choice to evade the consequences, you are knowingly and deliberately endangering another human being - and that is criminal. " A choice to walk away from such a person and to evade the consequences of doing so may indeed be a "mental activity" - but we are legally responsible and liable for the choices that we make and their existential consequences. You do not have the right to knowingly endanger another human being's life - and one's choice to evade the fact that an injured person's life is endangered and refusal to summon available help or contact the appropriate authorities is a crime because, as a human being, it is your moral and legal RESPONSIBILITY to do so.
  3. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    Let's put this on a really personal level. Think of the person in this world that you love and value more than any other. This person is walking along on an empty street and suddenly doubles over from a heart attack and collapses out of sight behind a dumpster. There is a state-of the-art hospital a short distance away. The only person in the world who is aware of the situation is some punk with a cell phone. Instead of using the phone to call 911, this punk merely sneers and says "I don't like (insert the skin color of the person in the world you love and value the most) people" and goes off and plays video games. Two hours later, the person you value is found dead. Had an ambulance been called in time, he/she would have still been alive and had every prospect in the world of recovering and resuming a normal life. Are you telling me that this punk should be allowed to roam the street with the same rights that you and I have? I am sorry - but to say "yes" is downright sick. If so, then all I can say is I am sure glad that such laws as I am advocating have already been placed on the books by intrincisist Judeo-Christian types who accidentally got the issue right.
  4. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    If he is a proven murderer, it means one of three things. He will either be behind bars, in which case, you are not likely to encounter him in the first place. Or he will have served his sentence and has every legal right in the world to be out and going about his business. Or he will be an escaped convict, in which case you need to call the police. If the person is conscious and you believe that he might pose a threat to your safety, your first obligation is to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as you can. But, once you are in a safe place, you DO have an obligation to notify the appropriate authorities about the situation and about his condition. Even if he is a murderer, so long as he is not an imminent threat to the safety of others, the decision that he should die instead of live is NOT yours to make. You do not have a right to take it upon yourself to serve as his judge, jury and de facto executioner.
  5. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    Well, from a governmental standpoint, there should be (and probably exists) specific criteria defining such situations and providing specific procedures that government officials must go through. For example, in most states, there are laws which enable governors and mayors to declare that a "state of emergency" which temporarily expands the scope of governmental authority to the degree necessary to take care of the situation. Such authority, of course, needs to be specific and delimited and there needs to be provisions, procedures and checks and balances to bring about an end to that authority once the crisis has passed. In extreme cases, such as the breakout of riots, looting or anarchy, officials have the ability to declare martial law and even go to such extremes as shooting people dead on sight if they happen to be out wandering the street after a mandatory curfew. If the purpose of such measures is to restore order so individual rights and property rights can once again safeguarded and protected, they are entirely warranted under certain extreme circumstances. On a non-governmental basis such as when you or I might suddenly find ourselves in a life or death state of emergency, we pretty much have to use our own judgment and take matters into our own hands, making sure that we report what happened to the proper authorities once the crisis has passed. For example, suppose you are a doctor and you happen to be passing by when a building explodes and there are many injured people needing medical attention. Across the street is a pharmacy that has the medicine and equipment you need in order to save people's lives. It is the middle of the night and the pharmacy is closed. It would be entirely proper for you to break into that pharmacy and help yourself to the necessary supplies. It would be insane to expect you to stand around allowing people to needlessly die while you waste precious minutes frantically trying to find the phone number of the pharmacy manager in order to ask his permission to go inside. Once the emergency has passed, however, you are obligated to notify the police as well as the owner of the pharmacy about what you did and why. You would have been entirely justified in helping yourself to the needed medicine - but since the pharmacy owner has property rights, it is entirely proper that you be held fully accountable for such an extreme decision on your part and that you be able to justify that it was proper, moral and that the situation was a legitimate emergency.
  6. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    The question makes perfect sense. Let's say I don't like you and let's say that you and I happen to be together alone when you suddenly begin to choke on a piece of food. I refuse to help you. You desperately try to dislodge the food on your own and are about to pass out. You have been arguing that it would be entirely within my rights to make the conscious choice to passively refuse to help and watch you die or to merely walk out of the room and go about my business knowing full well that it would mean your death - despite the fact that I might know how to dislodge the food and despite the fact I might be fully aware that there is a roomful of doctors a few doors down the hallway. You have been arguing that if I decide that your life is not of sufficient value for me to take such minimal steps towards saving it, it is entirely within my rights to knowingly walk away and allow you to die on grounds that you do not have a claim to one iota of my time or effort. Fine. Let's accept that as true for a second. If that is the case and I have such low regard for the value of your life, if, for some reason, I decided that it would be more convenient for me if you were dead and if I had strong reason to believe that I would never be caught and held responsible for your murder, why shouldn't I go ahead and murder you and obtain whatever benefits I might feel I would acquire from it? Because you have rights? Why should I care about your right to life if it is ok for your life to be of such little significance to me? Again, we are operating on the premise that I have strong reason to believe that I will never be caught. What would be the difference between my murdering you and my simply making a choice to refuse to take the simple steps that would be necessary to stop you from chocking? In the end, your death would ultimately have occurred as the result of my deliberate choice. The only real difference is a matter of the specific causation that started the chain of events. And if it is ok for me to have such little disregard for the value of your life, if I had the opportunity to steal from you without being caught, why should I care whether it violates your rights? If your very life is so totally insignificant to me, why on earth would I possibly regard your various rights which are derivative from it as being something of significance? If it is ok for me to be indifferent as to whether you live or die, why would it somehow be wrong for me to be indifferent as to whether that cool new computer that I really want happens to be your private property? Why shouldn't I take it? Because you have a right to life and the fruit of the efforts you have made during the time that makes up that life? Why should I care? After all, I want a computer and it has already been established that it is ok for me to regard your very life as being of less significance than that computer. I look forward to your answers to these questions..
  7. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    No. His life would be threatened. The only way that his right to life could be violated or threatened would be by the conscious decision of another human being.
  8. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    Yes, the assumption is that the accident victim is innocent. Why assume otherwise? And even if the person was, let's say, hit by a car because he was not looking where he was walking, how would that change the issue of the fact that he needs help or else he might die? As to the status of the passerby - I have made it VERY clear numerous times that I am talking about NON-SACRIFICIAL assistance, and have provided examples of such non-sacrificial assistance. And if an injured person is, somehow NOT innocent of something or another, that is NOT your job to decide. If he happens to be guilty of a crime, that is for a jury to decide. If he happens to merely be a nasty person, that is irrelevant to the case at hand. An injured stranger is presumed to have a RIGHT to his own life - and failure to render non-sacrificial assistance that you are in a position to provide or to alert other potential care givers is to KNOWINGLY and DELIBERATELY ALLOW that life to possibly go out of existence. That is not only profoundly IMMORAL, it is CRIMINAL. Again, I ask, if it is permissible to pass such a person up and potentially allow him to die when you could have easily taken non-sacrificial steps to save him, on exactly what grounds do you claim that it is not permissible for someone else to decide that they don't want to bother respecting your rights? If you don't place value on the life of a stranger, why on earth should strangers place a value on your life and why on earth shouldn't they disregard your rights when they consider it in their benefit to do so?
  9. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    Context, context, context. It is everything, you know. Correct, he does not have some sort of blank mortgage or claim on the actions of a passerby. Therefore, he doesn't have a right to pick your pocket or force you to listen to his sad story or to have a handful out of the bag of peanuts you happen to be munching on. But he DOES have a right to his own life - and because of that, in a life or death emergency, a passerby, if he is going to make any sort of claim that he has rights of his own, DOES have an obligation to lend any non-sacrificial assistance that he is in a position to provide. Note that I keep emphasizing "non-sacrificial." Obviously what constitutes non-sacrificial help depends on context. For instance, I do not know how to swim - so it WOULD be foolish and definitely a sacrifice for me to jump in deep water to save someone from drowning. But it would NOT be a sacrifice for me to call and alert a nearby lifeguard. It would NOT be a sacrifice for me pick up my cell phone and call 911. For me to refuse to do so WOULD be a whim - and would be tantamount to MURDER. Question: if you claim to have a right to walk past an injured accident victim you happen to stumble across and to choose not to value that person's life enough to make an effort to help him or summon help from someone else merely because you, for whatever reason, find it "inconvenient" to do so, then on exactly what grounds would you object to me deciding to violate your rights in some way or another on grounds that I consider it to be "inconvenient" to go through the bother of respecting them?
  10. Military Recruitment in Public Schools

    Actually, I agree with you completely here. And if the military or some other legitimate entity was thusly discriminated against, it might be entirely appropriate for them to take the offending school district and/or State Board of Education to court on just such grounds. My only objection is the attempt to solve the issue through means that I consider to be thoroughly illegitimate - and which, indeed, go beyond merely prohibiting discrimination among entries for career day activities that schools might decide to hold but instead go so far as to mandate that such career days be held. Personally, I would consider any school district that did not hold some sort of career guidance program and did not actively seek out as wide a range of legitimate entries as possible to be doing their students a great disservice. But in this country, that is constitutionally a state and local issue, not a Federal one.
  11. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    One DOES have a RIGHT to the non-sacrificial help of others in an emergency situation where one's life is in peril. It is NOT a matter for "individuals to determine" - i.e. one does NOT have a right to sit back and ALLOW a person to needlessly die based on WHIM. A person in such a situation has a RIGHT to his own life and that RIGHT is what gives him the RIGHT to any non-sacrificial assistance that bystanders might be in a position to provide. For that very same reason, if you witness a crime or have information about one, you ARE obligated to come forward and provide the authorities with whatever information you might have which would help solve the crime. The victim of the crime and all of the criminal's potential future victims have a RIGHT to your non-sacrificial assistance. For the very same reason, if you are walking down a street and suddenly spot a developing situation (a terrorist with a bomb, an emerging safety hazard, smoke coming from a window, etc) that could jeopardize lives, you ARE obligated to take whatever non-sacrificial action you can without jeopardizing your own safety to make others potentially impacted aware of the threat. To not do so is to ALLOW them to needlessly die - and you DO NOT have a right to do that. By saying that a person in danger does not have a right to your non-sacrificial assistance, you are basically undercutting ANY moral claim to demand that others pay any respect at all to your life and rights. Rights exist ONLY on the premise that innocent human life is a value.
  12. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    That's right. It does not turn you into a means for someone else's life. But that doesn't change the fact that such situations are emergencies and that human lives are at risk.
  13. Military Recruitment in Public Schools

    Absolutely true. But so long as the government does undertake the task of educating its populace, the sole purpose of the specific government funds which are earmarked for education should be to educate the populace - NOT force upon state and local officials other agendas and objectives that the Federal government might have, however worthy and valid those agendas and objectives might otherwise be.
  14. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    And exactly what is the basis of individual rights? What makes individual rights a value? Isn't it the fact that human life is a value and an end in itself? Keep in mind we are talking about temporary situations of extreme emergency where human life is in balance and we are talking about people taking steps which are easily open to them at no risk to their own safety to help bring such conditions of emergency to an end. Again, I ask, if a person does not value the lives of others, on what moral basis can he demand that others who are in imminent danger of losing their lives respect his rights and property?
  15. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    It is true that degrees of negative effects do not change the principles - but they sure as heck can change the CONTEXT in which those principles are operative. In extreme instances, the situation might be such that the context which made the principle valid in the first place may no longer exist. A one inch downpour is a pretty normal occurrence that people can properly be held accountable to be prepared for. In some localities, a twenty-inch downpour would be a catastrophe on such a scale that it is beyond the ability of even the most conscientious, rational and long range thinking individuals to deal with on their own. If it becomes necessary to evacuate thousands or millions of individual within a short period of time, the transportation infrastructure is NOT going to be adequate to suddenly handle a sudden, unprecidented and overwhelming uncoordinated flood of traffic. There is no way that you can personally coordinate your evacuation with that of millions of other individuals. It is an entirely proper function of government to ensure that such a mass exodus takes place in an organized and orderly manner.
  16. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    There is no way to protect property rights in a genuine, life or death state of emergency - nor should such protection be people's primary concern in such a situation. One cannot expect people to merely sit back, do nothing and allow themselves and their loved ones to actually DIE simply because somebody else has property rights and it would violate those rights if they were to help themselves to the food, water, gasoline, shelter, etc. that would otherwise enable them to live. Ayn Rand stated the relevant principle far more succinctly than I can so I will just quote her: "An emergency is an unchosen, unexpected event, limited in time, that creates conditions under which human survival is impossible - such as a flood, an earthquake, a fire, a shipwreck. In an emergency situation, men's primary goal is to combat the disaster, escape the danger and restore normal conditions (to reach dry land, to put out the fire, etc)." I would consider the gridlock situation that existed along I-45 leading out of Houston to be one that had the potential of very quickly turning into such an emergency situation. Had that gridlock not been cleared out and had Houston received a direct hit, that highway could have become a death trap to the many thousands of totally decent, innocent individuals who were stranded on it. Indeed, some people were already dying because of prolonged exposure to the heat. It would have been entirely appropriate for the government to do WHATEVER was necessary to bring an end to the emergency conditions so that things could return to normal and it could resume its proper role of protecting rights. For example, I would have had no problem whatsoever with the government, upon discovering a gas station that was closed because the owners had evacuated, breaking in and using the gasoline to help clear up the backlog. Nor would I have a problem with the government ordering gas station owners along the route who were wanting to hoard the gas in hopes of higher prices later to make it available in order to end the emergency. And, if enough gasoline was not available in time to clear up the gridlock, I would not have had a problem with the government ordering all motorists into buses and using tanks to move stalled vehicles out of the way in order to clear a path for the busses to take people out of the area even if it meant the stalled vehicles would be destroyed in the process. There would be plenty of time after the emergency is over to sort out damages sustained by gas station and car owners and to find possible ways to make restitution. And what about the gas station owners and their property rights? To again quote Ayn Rand: "It is only in emergency situations that one should volunteer to help strangers, if it is in one's power. For instance, a man who values human life and is caught in a shipwreck, should help to save his fellow passengers (though not at the expense of his own life). " Of course, here she is merely saying that a person SHOULD help in such a situation. She is not explicitly saying that they MUST. Must they? I think a case could be made to say yes. For example, suppose someone were the sole witness to a hit and run accident and the victim was lying on the ground severely injured and dying. Now suppose this witness decided NOT to use his cell phone to call for medical help on grounds that doing so would use up some of his airtime quota and, besides, as an environmentalist, he figures that it might not be such a bad thing if the other person were to die because he would no longer be in a position to consume natural resources. Such a person would be brought up on charges of failure to render aid - and I suspect most of us would have absolutely no problem with that. I would put the refusal of a gas station owner to assist in the resolution of an actual, genuine life or death emergency in the exact same status as that sub-human accident witness. Both are examples of people who clearly do NOT value human life. And since such people clearly do not value human life, they are VERY shaky ground to assert a moral claim to property rights because property is a value ONLY because human life is a value. If such a person does not regard human life as a value, on what basis does he assert that others should regard his property rights as a value? In that respect, I think Abrams might have had a point when he said: "I'm talking about a very finite short period of time, period." I suspect that he might have been trying to discuss a context similar to the one I just mentioned. As for Dr. Bernstein and the Attorney General, where I disagree with the Attorney General and think that Dr. Bernstein has a valid point is the fact that such genuine emergency situations, even in the context of the Rita evacuation, are extremely limited in terms of time and geography. Most instances that the Attorney General would regard as price gouging would NOT qualify as an emergency situation - and, as Dr. Bernstein points out, such "gouging" would probably be a good thing if it occurred on a wide enough scale in response to market forces. For example, I live in Fort Worth, almost 300 miles from the impacted area and when I walked into a local supermarket on Thursday night, the place was a mess. Parts of the produce section looked as if they had been ransacked and the bread section had only about a quarter of its normal stock. The cashier told me that the store had long since run out of bottled water and that was also the case at other area grocery stores. Some of it was, undoubtedly, due to increased business as a result of evacuees being in the area and they and their local hosts needing to buy groceries that would otherwise not have been purchased. But a run on bottled water here in Fort Worth where, even under a worst case storm path scenario, we might have had a few isolated power outages and lots of rain? That is nothing more than pure, senseless panic buying - and price gouging would have gone along way towards stopping that. If grocery stores in Texas had been allowed to raise the price of bottled water from 75 cents a gallon to $5.00 per gallon, more people would have had an opportunity to buy some because those who went to the store early and purchased large quantities of 75 cent per gallon water would have been less likely to have done so at $5. Plus, such prices would have provided incentives for the grocery chains to truck in bottled water stocks from stores in other states further away from the situation. The bottom line principle is that nobody has the right to obstruct the resolution of a genuine life or death emergency. Property rights, like everything else, do not exist in a vacuum. They come about in the context of certain facts of reality. If the very conditions which enable property rights to be identified and be protected in the first place do not exist, then it is simply not possible to protect them and, in some contexts, it may not even be valid to claim them. Having said that, the number of situations with regard to the recent hurricanes that have risen to such a level are relatively few and far between.
  17. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    I really don't have a problem with going so far as to say that the government has a legitimate role to play in such emergencies. These hurricanes can be just as destructive and deadly as an invading army. And while it is true that, in the case of a hurricane, there is no foreign aggressor for the military to hold off and defeat, would any one of us here object to the same sort of civil defense procedures and resources used by local government officials to ensure the safety of the civilian population in the event of an air raid being used to ensure that same population's safety during a natural emergency that is potentially just as deadly? What we witnessed in Galveston/Houston/Beaumont over the past few days was, I suspect, possibly one of if not the largest and quickest mass migration in human history. I don't see how something of that scale could possibly be pulled off in an impromptu manner without at least some advance planning and coordination between authorities in the various jurisdictions involved. I think most people by now have seen or heard about the hundred plus mile gridlock on I-45 between Houston and Dallas with cars at a total standstill in hundred degree weather. There is no way that any government or private road operator could economically justify building a road adequate to handle such a once-in-a-lifetime flood of traffic. There is no way that the filling stations along that route could possibly justify maintaining a constant surplus of gasoline to supply all of the traffic created by such a situation. As a Texas taxpayer, I don't have any problem at all with the State of Texas sending out tanker trucks and distributing gasoline to stranded motorists who ran out of gas because they were stuck in traffic that was moving significantly slower than a person can walk. Not only were such stranded cars a potential obstacle for other people trying to get out of harm's way, quite frankly, that could very easily have been any one of us in such a predicament had we lived in Houston. Nor do I have a problem with my tax dollars being used to airlift and evacuate people in hospitals and nursing homes who are not capable of doing it themselves. As far as I am concerned, that is nothing more than a logical extension of the government's legitimate civil defense responsibilities.
  18. Proper role of the government on the Gulf Coast

    I am not sure what the issue of "price gouging" has to do with it. Suppose by government mandate all filling stations were required to sell gasoline at only 80% of the pre-emergency price. Is the predicament or the moral issue facing the person who cannot afford even the discounted price somehow different? The only impact I can see that a "gouged" price might have is a greater number of people might find themselves in such a predicament. But how would that, in any way, impact the basic moral issue confronting such a person?
  19. Military Recruitment in Public Schools

    While I admire your concern for the interests of that minority of taxpayers who pay a disproportional share of the tax burden and for your concern for the military's ability to find qualified volunteers, I am afraid I don't consider your logic here to be valid. What if it turned out that the majority of those who paid such taxes are also predominantly conservative Christians who believe the world was created in seven days? Would that be grounds for demanding that "creation science" be taught in science classes so that those who are paying for the classes might be able to reap some reward for their support? Again, the end does not justify the means. The same power and authority to use Federal tax dollars to armball and blackmail state and local officials into conforming to an agenda that you happen to agree with is the exact same authority and power that enables such Federal tax dollars to force onto local officials all sorts of agendas that you and I find quite repugnant. As to whether or not the military should be allowed to recruit on campus - that should be properly decided the local school boards. Perhaps that might mean that in some parts of the country such as the People's Republic of Berkeley the military might not be allowed to recruit on campus. Somehow I rather doubt that the pickings are all that profitable for recruiters in such places to begin with. Besides, if the purveyors of things such as ridiculously priced "fashionable" sneakers and tee-shirts, junk food, recreational drugs, piercing parlors, rock music and freakish hairstyles are somehow able to successfully push their wares on hoards of today's teenagers without free access to school campuses and student mailing lists, I think with a bit of imagination the military can come up with ways to effectively get its message out to the type of teenagers who are potentially receptive to its message. As to the Cindy Sheehans and John Kerrys of this world and the rest of the nihilistic "Hate American First" crowd, this does NOT mean they have a point or are right about anything. They have merely seized upon a legitimate issue and are twisting it to suit and deflect attention from their real agenda: to see that the United States and all the "cowboy" types who love it get "cut down to size." It is no different than the exact same crowd's opposition to the draft during the Vietnam era. The draft was a grotesque violation of individual rights - essentially it was involuntary servitude. But the John Kerry types, based on their own words and agendas, didn't care jack diddly SQUAT about individual rights. For them, the draft was an issue that they could exploit in order to get people to go along with and tolerate their wider agenda. People with dishonest and irrational agendas will get nowhere if the majority of people recognize that they are dishonest and irrational. In order to succeed, it is essential to create the appearance that they are rational and have confidence that the facts are on their side. But since they, in fact, do NOT have facts on their side, their ONLY recourse is to resort to a campaign of massive deliberate context dropping. They will seize on some isolated fact or piece of evidence or legitimate issue and blow it all out of proportion and, thereby, divert people's attention away from the actual relevant facts and issues, which, of course, they would be totally incapable of dealing with or addressing. That is exactly what the nihilists do anytime there is bad news of some sort out of Iraq. That is what they did with the very legitimate issue of the draft in Vietnam. And it sounds like that is what they are trying to do with regard to the concerns over the NCLB strings as they relate to the military. These people don't care squat about abuse of Federal power and they sure as heck don't care squat about the rights of parents to have say over what sort of sales pitches are directed towards their kids. All they care about is trying to undermine the military and, along with it, the entire country and everything it stands for. For them it is nothing but a game of the ends justifying the means. It is very crucial that, in or opposition to such repugnant nihilists we, too, do not fall into our own "ends justifies the means" trap.
  20. Military Recruitment in Public Schools

    And, of course, the real reason such unsanitary little nihilists are against the war and the military is because they HATE AMERICA.
  21. Free Trade with Countries that Deny Rights

    Yikes! I think I need to be more observant! (It's Bush's fault! Ray Nagin, Cindy Sheehan and Barbra Streisand all said so! ) I KNOW that this Forum is listed in there because I did see it awhile back when I discovered the site and briefly played around in it one evening to see what sort of "scandalous" ideas I could bring up in it. I have no idea what search terms I entered at the time, but one can force it up by entering "The Forum For Ayn Rand Fans" making sure it is quotes.
  22. Free Trade with Countries that Deny Rights

    The Chinese government apparently do not make much, if any, sort of effort to censor Ayn Rand's ideas. If you go to the number one search engine in China, http://www.baidu.com/ and type in "Ayn Rand" it will bring up an odd assortment of results - but you will find ARI's website listed somewhere in the middle of the first page and even this Forum is listed at the end of the second page of results.
  23. Military Recruitment in Public Schools

    I hope you get a good grade on it!
  24. "Don't join the wrong ideological groups..."

    There is nothing wrong with making that one's career choice. But the most that one could possibly hope to accomplish by it is to articulate and fight for the better sort of sense-of-life political principles that vast numbers of people in our present culture already accept and to try and obstruct those who seek to, in some way, destroy the country. We do need decent and honorable people in elective office to do exactly that so that those who have better ideas can have the time and freedom to fight for the cultural changes that are needed in the long term. I just rather doubt that most knowledgeable Objectivists would have the stomach for such a task and its inherent limitations. (Plus, imagine having to sit in the same room with and listen politely to the likes of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy without wanting to either throw up or start throwing things!) If a knowledgeable Objectivist had the sort of charisma, communications skills and "people" skills that are needed these days to successfully run for office, he would be much more effective and free to make a larger impact if he instead used those skills to do something else - such as become a radio talk show host.
  25. Military Recruitment in Public Schools

    Check out the title essay in her book Philosophy: Who Needs It. The essay was delivered to the 1974 graduating class at West Point. In it she had several comments in praise of the US military and made a brief, disapproving mention of "bloody college hoodlums [who] scream demands that R.O.T.C units be banned from college campuses." That is about as close to the subject you mention that I recall her writing. I certainly don't think there is any basis to believe that she would have had a problem with such recruiting. As for government run schools - well, that she had a problem with.