Thursday, September 24, 2009

Amadinejad a Guest at the Essex House

By Joseph Kellard

I learned from the Harry Binswanger List that Iran’s puppet dictator Mahmoud Amadinejad stayed at the Essex House in New York City on Wednesday, when he took part in denouncing America and Israel during his speech at the United Nations. This morning, I dashed off the following email to Jumeirah, a UAE-based company that owns the Essex House, and sent it to I would suggest that you do the same or something similar.

To Jumeirah,

I just learned that Iranian dictator and avowed Holocaust denier Mahmoud Amadinejad stayed at your New York City hotel, the Essex House, on Wednesday. As a New Yorker, I've never had the need to stay at your hotel, but I plan to suggest to many others that they never patronize the Essex House so long as your company owns it.

As an American, I consider Amadinejad and the theocratic, murderous regime he represents to be grave threat to this great nation where you do business. During its 30-year history, that Islamic regime has terrorized and murdered hundreds of Americans from Teheran to Lebanon to Saudi Arabia to Iraq, and is thereby at war with America. Further, the regime allows congregants at its mosques to regularly chant "Death to America,” and Amadinejad vows to wipe our important ally, Israel, off the map in the Middle East, where it is the only free nation in sea of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.

I can’t think of a worst guest to keep at your hotel, and I plan to let many others know about this injustice on your part, and hope they follow through by boycotting the Essex House and your company.

~ Joseph Kellard

Friday, September 18, 2009

Newsweek's Ralph Nader-John Galt Comparisons

By Joseph Kellard

Newsweek features a review on Ralph Nader’s new book that draws comparisons to Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged.

“During our real-life moment—when center-left health-insurance-reform proposals generate comparison to Nazism—Nader's dramatic imagining of an even bolder progressive revolution doesn't look irrationally exuberant as much as obstinately out to lunch. The irony is that Nader has become a Galt-like figure himself, preferring to go on strike from an imperfect two-party system rather than live in it. Utopianists of all stripes should take a hard look.”

Below is a reply I dashed off early this morning and left in the comments section. It looks like my comment is the first to appear there. So get in while you can.


At the end of his book review, Seth Colter compares Ralph Nader to John Galt, the hero of Atlas Shrugged, in that Nader goes on strike from “an imperfect two-party system.” But in reality, Nader is nothing more than a poser, trying to disguise that he’s an outgrowth of the individual rights-destroying, altruism-worshiping political left that has long dominated the Democratic Party (as well as the GOP). So, Nader brands his politics by a different name, but his so-called ideas and solutions are fundamentally not different than the Dems: use state force to make others, esp. the wealth producers, act according to your leftist ideals.

Unlike Nader, John Galt was a productive genius who upheld each individual’s right to be free from force to pursue the right to his own life, liberty and happiness. Unlike Nader, who rose to notoriety as a “consumer advocate,” Galt understood and championed this fundamental fact: before you can consume, you must produce. Galt was, in effect, a “producer advocate.” Nader’s politics consists of forcing the producers to give to those who put consumption before production – that is, the parasites – to, in effect, force the producers to live for the parasites.

I recommend Newsweek readers shrug off any interest in Nader’s tired, unjust philosophy of altruism and statism and bask in Ayn Rand’s innovative philosophy of Objectivism, as projected in her greatest novel, Atlas Shrugged, in which the producers – [the] individuals who hold up the world – are properly glorified and the Nader-like parasite-advocates are exposed as the evil men they really are.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Michael Jordan Scores One For "I"

By Joseph Kellard

Michael Jordan was inducted in the Hall of Fame on Friday night. His speech stood out.

Sports fans know all too well the anti-individualist bromide: "There's no 'I' in 'team.'" Well, Jordan challenged such so-called wisdom. During his speech, he told a story about one of his coaches. "I could never please Tex … I can remember a game … we were down five or 10 points, and I go off for about 25 points and we come back and win the game. And we're walking off the floor and Tex looked at me and said, 'You know, there's no 'I' in 'team.' I said, 'Tex, there's no 'I' in 'team,' but there's 'I' in 'win.'"

(The audience applauded and laughed -- as if to say: how bold.)

"I think he got my message: I'll do anything to win. If that means we play team format, we win, if that means I have to do whatever I have to do, we're going to win."

As Jordan described his love of basketball, he said: "It's provided me with a platform to share my passion with millions in a way that I neither expected nor could have imagined in my career. I hope that it's given the millions of people that I've touched the optimism and desire to achieve their goals through hard work, perseverance and a positive attitude."

The 46-year-old concluded as follows: "One day you might look up and see me playing the game at 50." (The crowd chuckled.) "Oh, don't laugh. Never say 'never.' Because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion."

With this, I was reminded of Andrew Bernstein's 1998 ARI op-ed entitled "What Young People Really Need: Not Volunteerism but Happiness and Heroes":

"What do you think young people find more inspiring: the sight of Jimmy Carter building churches in the jungles of Guatemala, or the vision of Michael Jordan soaring through the air, winning championships and earning millions, then flashing his joyous, brilliant, life-giving smile? The truth is that Michael Jordan's extraordinary success has inspired far more young people, poor, middle-class or rich, black, white or Asian, to strive for their own dreams than an army of social workers could ever think possible. As Ayn Rand puts it in Atlas Shrugged, 'The sight of an achievement is the greatest gift that a human being could offer to others.'"