Saturday, August 16, 2003

I was talking on the phone to my sister in Oklahoma today. She has been taking care of our mother who has been partially..., well mostly, paralyzed by arthritis. I want it understood that, as an objectivist, I think that Teresa is earning her keep and doing what she believes in most, by doing this. If she changes her mind and does something else for a career, I will value her no less than I do now. But I find it hard to say if I could ever value her more than I do now.

I love you, sis. Follow your convictions.


I'm reading a thing by Nathaniel Branden right now and I found a list of virtues I thought I'd like everyone to pursue:

The values and virtues that I have in mind include rationality, realism, respect for facts, self-esteem, independence, autonomy, initiative, creativity, innovativeness, self-responsibility, personal integrity--all of which are celebrated in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as in Ayn Rand's nonfiction writings.

America's Holy Writ, The Declaration of Independence, says that our rights include the rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. If you pursue Branden's (and Ayn Rand's) virtues, you get respect from family, friends, aquaintances and strangers, as well as career and financial success.

"If you're so smart, how come you ain't rich?!"

Always a valid question.

I have applied these virtues to my family life and my job. I am a beloved son, brother, husband, father and coworker (or so they tell me). I have not applied them to my friendships or aquaintances, nor to my personal passions. Hence, I am not successful in extrafamilial relationships, nor in my vocations or avocations.

Here is another important message to ponder, courtesy of

Free institutions are not the property of any majority. They do not confer upon majorities unlimited powers. The rights of the majority are limited rights. They are limited not only by the constitutional guarantees but by the moral principle implied in those guarantees. That principle is that men may not use the facilities of liberty to impair them. No man may invoke a right in order to destroy it.
--Walter Lippman

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