Posted by on 31 July 2007 at 9:01 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 312007

While perusing the referrer logs for, I noticed a bunch of hits from StumbleUpon. It seems like a nifty way to find cool sites of interest to me. So I’ve signed myself up, downloaded the FireFox add-in, added “StumbleThis” links to every post, and rated a bunch of sites I like.

So … and here’s the real (i.e. selfish) point of this post … if you like NoodleFood, please do give it a thumbs up and maybe even a quick review.

The Wealthiest Americans

 Posted by on 31 July 2007 at 7:21 am  Uncategorized
Jul 312007

This chart from the New York Times lists the 25 wealthiest Americans ever, adjusted for inflation.

Green Consumerism?

 Posted by on 30 July 2007 at 4:11 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 302007

As much as I’ve been irked by the “green invasion” into consumer products, I imagine the true greens are so very much more upset by it. The millions of people buying recycled paper, organic strawberries, hybrid cars, and natural potato chips are just as much filthy capitalist consumers as ever! They just don’t understand the whole-life change that Mother Earth requires! So I’m glad to see that the true greens are fighting back, as that’ll alienate the pseudo-greens from the environmental movement that much faster, leaving it without substantial support.

Here’s the Ayn Rand Institute Press Release on the backlash:

Environmentalists Against “Buying Green”
July 30, 2007

Irvine, CA–With organic food in every grocery store and hybrid cars on every stretch of freeway, “green consumerism” has become commonplace. But a backlash against such allegedly “earth friendly” shopping is arising; critics within the environmentalist movement are condemning the trend as superficial and contradictory. Says one environmental activist: “green consumerism is an oxymoronic phrase.”

“This criticism is extremely revealing about the true nature of environmentalism,” said Dr. Keith Lockitch, resident fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute. “For decades, many environmentalists have insisted that protecting the environment is not incompatible with industrial civilization. To make their ideology more palatable, they regularly promise that living ‘sustainably’ doesn’t have to come at too great an economic cost or personal hardship. But when people finally begin to come on board and make allegedly ‘pro-environment’ choices, they are condemned as ‘light greens’ and ‘eco-narcissists.’

“The truth is that environmentalism is not compatible with human flourishing. It does demand economic destruction and unbearable hardship. The claim that its goal is to protect the environment for the sake of mankind is a Big Lie. Its goal is to protect nature, not for man, but from man–to preserve an untouched environment as an end in itself, no matter what cost or hardship that imposes on human beings.

“Anyone who thinks that ‘eco-chic’ is consistent with the principles of environmentalism had better think harder about the true nature of the ideology they are trying to support. What environmentalism truly demands is sacrifice to nature–the rejection of our modern, industrial civilization in favor of the decidedly un-chic, unglamorous hardship of a primitive, pre-industrial, stone-age existence.”

I’ll be teaching a class on “the value of nature” in my upcoming “Introduction to Philosophy” course. We’ll be reading Aldo Leopold’s 1954 essay “The Land Ethic,” a classic of environmental ethics. I’ve not settled on an opposing article yet, although I like Gregg Easterbrook’s “The Case Against Nature” found in the Sommers’ Virtue and Vice in Everyday Life. It’s a selection from his book A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism, which I’ve just ordered from Amazon. Other pro-man recommendations would be welcome.

Noumenal Self Returns

 Posted by on 30 July 2007 at 7:03 am  Uncategorized
Jul 302007

Noumenal Self has returned to blogging with some interesting posts: a defense of Ayn Rand against a lengthy post by an academic arguing against human excellence and its defenders (i.e. Objectivists), an exploration of the proper response to environmental torts, and a discussion of the open nihilism of the environmental movement.

I particularly recommend his two posts (one and two) on Robert Tracinksi’s continued defense of the Iraq War. (Then again, I’m not sure that any critique could be quite so devastating as Barbara Branden’s hearty endorsement of The Intellectual Activist. As Betsy says, “In the long run you get the kind of friends — and the kind of enemies — you deserve.” So true! The advocates of a kinder, gentler, and more tolerant “Objectivism” (like Barbara Branden and Robert Bidinotto) should be expected to support those defending the ongoing sacrifice of American soldiers in an altruistic-in-design and unwinnable-as-fought war. They should be aghast at those advocating lasting victory over the enemies who actually threaten us. And so they are.)

AT&T: Breakup and Reconstitution

 Posted by on 29 July 2007 at 9:00 am  Uncategorized
Jul 292007

This graphic pretty much explains it all.

OCON in the News

 Posted by on 28 July 2007 at 8:02 am  Uncategorized
Jul 282007

Ari and Linn Armstrong published a column in the Grand Junction Free Press about the then-upcoming OCON two weeks ago: Happy birthday, Atlas Shrugged. Also, Ari has altered his “Liberty and Prosperity Challenge” in ways that might of be interest:

As many of you have read, in response to calls to increase tax spending on food stamps, my wife and I proposed the six-month “Serious Food Economy Challenge,” during which my wife and I were prepared to spend no more than $3 per person per day on food. However, for every dollar we came in under budget, advocates of higher food-stamp spending had to donate $10 to our nonprofit of choice. The minimum amount to activate the challenge was $2,000. Unfortunately, only two people responded, pledging $200 combined.

But now there’s a new challenge:

Teaching Children Productiveness

 Posted by on 27 July 2007 at 8:48 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 272007

Thanks to my very own fabulous OBloggers list, I found this delightful post from Rational Jenn on teaching children the virtue of productiveness. Her morning question of “What is your work going to be today?” is useful for those of us past childhood too.

Question for NoodleFood

 Posted by on 26 July 2007 at 7:27 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 262007

I’ve had a miserable waste of a day, thanks to a horrid migraine. So I’m going to let you folks answer this “Question for NoodleFood” from Jeff Montgomery:

My question is: what is a proper capitalist assessment of offshoring and immigration with regard to jobs?

Because I work in the IT industry, this topic comes up a lot. There are actually 2 issues I have in mind: offshoring, where companies hire workers that are located overseas, and hiring temporary foreign workers on US soil (H-1B visa). On the one hand, I can hardly blame employers for wanting to reduce costs by hiring in this manner, and if someone can truly do my job for less, I can’t very well stand in their way. However this involves relations between countries and our government’s job is to protect us, so I may be missing something. And there is the potential for huge losses of American jobs here depending on what is allowed (or if hiring ever becomes totally unrestricted). How does one properly assess the benefits and losses and apply the principle of individual rights to these issues?

Well, I can’t resist one quick comment: The proper function of the government is not to “protect us.” If that formulation were right, then a big fat welfare and nanny state would be just and proper. The purpose of the government is, in fact, to protect our rights. Americans do not have a right to a job. They do not have a right to force companies to hire them when those companies would prefer to hire foreign workers. Rather, Americans have the right to trade, contract with, and employ whoever they please, whether American or not. That freedom is not merely the only proper application of rights, it’s also in everyone’s interest. It is an important source of economic productivity via the specialization of labor. For details on the philosophic roots of opposition to outsourcing, I recommend this op-ed on outsourcing by Onkar Ghate.

Jul 252007

Francisco Gutierrez, who I know from Front Range Objectivism, recently posted a good statement on why he no longer identifies himself as a libertarian. Some of you might have met Francisco at OCON. He was one of the 50 (!!) people from Colorado in attendance, out of a total of over 500 (!!).

Gus Van Horn also has a clear and brief explanation of the problem with publishing in a forum like The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, as well as some comments on libertarianism in a recent round-up.

Finally, since I can’t afford the time required to write a real blog post about this topic, I do recommend reading Mike (of The Primacy of Awesome) on how the secular Rudy Giuliani will help entrench even more religious fundamentalists in our judiciary by appointing more strict constructionists.

Ward Churchill, Begone!

 Posted by on 25 July 2007 at 7:33 am  Academia
Jul 252007

Thank goodness:

TO: CU-Boulder Students

FROM: Office of the President

SENDER: [email protected]

DATE: 07/24/07

SUBJECT: Communication from President Hank Brown on the Board of Regents Vote

Dear Students of the University of Colorado,

The Board of Regents today voted to accept my recommendation to dismiss Professor Ward Churchill from the faculty.

I made the recommendation for the good of the university. CU’s success depends upon its reputation for academic integrity. A public research university such as ours requires public faith that each faculty member’s professional activities and search for truth are conducted according to the high standards on which CU’s reputation rests.

We are accountable to those who have a stake in the university: the people of Colorado who contribute $200 million annually in tax dollars, the federal entities that provide some $640 million annually in research funding, the donors who gave us more than $130 million this year to enhance academic quality, the alumni who want to maintain the value of their degrees, the faculty and staff who expect their colleagues to act with integrity, and the students who trust that faculty who teach them meet the high professional standards of the university and the profession.

Given the record of the case and findings of Professor Churchill’s faculty peers, I determined that allowing him to remain on the faculty would cast a shadow on our reputation for academic integrity.

Throughout the case, we have adhered to shared governance procedures as determined by the CU Faculty Senate Constitution and Bylaws and adopted by the Board of Regents. During the course of two-plus years, Professor Churchill presented his position in writing, in person, with his attorney and with witnesses of his choosing. He was afforded full due process.

More than 20 tenured faculty members (from CU and other universities) on three separate panels conducted a thorough review of his work and found that the evidence shows Professor Churchill engaged in research misconduct, and that it required serious sanction. The record of the case shows a pattern of serious, repeated and deliberate research misconduct that falls below the minimum standard of professional integrity, including fabrication, falsification, improper citation and plagiarism. No university can abide such serious academic misconduct.

Professor Churchill fabricated historical events and sought to support his fabrications by manufacturing articles under other names. His publications show more than just sloppy citations or using the work of others without crediting them. The Investigative Committee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct found multiple instances of falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. Any student engaging in such a wide range of academic misconduct would be seriously sanctioned. We should hold our faculty to a high standard of professionalism

While Professor Churchill’s peers on the faculty panels were unanimous in finding research misconduct, views on the appropriate sanction varied. Some faculty recommended dismissal while others suggested a less severe penalty. My obligation as president is to recommend to the Board of Regents an appropriate sanction that is for the good of the university.

Some on the Boulder campus and beyond claim Professor Churchill was singled out because of public condemnation of his writing about September 11, 2001. They see this case as a referendum on academic freedom. The university determined early in the process that his speech was not at issue, but that his research was. The prohibition against research misconduct extends to all faculty, regardless of their political views. We cannot abandon our professional standards and exempt faculty members from being accountable for the integrity of their research simply because their views are controversial.

Professor Churchill’s activities not only run counter to the essence of academic freedom, but also threaten its foundation. Academic freedom is intended to protect the exploration and teaching of unpopular, even controversial ideas. But that pursuit must be accompanied by the standards of the profession. Academic freedom does not protect research misconduct. After his research misconduct was identified, Professor Churchill did not admit any errors or come forward to correct the record, as is expected in the profession.

CU’s most important asset is its academic reputation. Professor Churchill’s actions reflect poorly on the University of Colorado, but we will not let the research misconduct of one individual tarnish our reputation. Our faculty members take pride in their work and demonstrate their respect for the high standards of their profession and this university day in and day out. Professor Churchill’s research misconduct is an affront to those who conduct themselves with integrity.

We will remain accountable to those who have high expectations of Colorado’s flagship university. And our faculty will remain true to high professional standards to ensure our reputation for academic integrity remains intact.

Hank Brown

I think I’d like to throw a party!

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha