FROG Media Output: Fall 2008

 Posted by on 24 November 2008 at 12:26 am  Activism
Nov 242008

At the 2008 OCON conference, Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate issued a rousing call to Objectivists to engage in intellectual and cultural activism. This was the concluding message of their superb three-part lecture series “Cultural Movements: Creating Change”. A room full of over 400 Objectivists gave them a standing ovation.

Members of the Front Range Objectivism Group (FROG) here in Colorado have responded to their challenge. The following is the summary of our published media output between September 7, 2008 and November 22, 2008:

  • OpEds: 15
  • Letters to the Editor: 28 (including New York Times, Economist and Wall Street Journal)
  • Articles: 1
  • Media Citations: 2 (New York Times,
  • Television Appearances: 3
  • New Media — Online Contests Winners: 2
  • New Media — Online Debates: 1

(Full details are listed at the end of this post. I’ve done my best to include all the OpEds and LTEs that I know about, but if I inadvertently omitted someone’s contribution, then please let me know and I’ll update the tally.)

I chose this time period (Labor Day until just before Thanksgiving), because it coincided with people returning from their summer and Labor Day vacations and with the election season shifting into high gear. As many know, the news/politics cycle is relatively slow before Labor Day, heats up during September, October, and November, and then slows down again during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. In 2008, this time period included politically important events such as the bailout crisis and the election.

All of us at FROG are amateurs with regular day jobs, writing in our free time with a budget of zero dollars. Hence, no think tank in Washington DC can claim a better output-to-expenses ratio!

We all wrote on topics of our own choosing, based on our personal interests. We covered a broad range of topics, including the financial crisis, health care reform, abortion, church-state separation, and various state and local ballot initiatives, all with the purpose of applying Objectivist ideas to issues of importance to ordinary Americans. Each of us participated as little or as much as was appropriate within the full context of our busy lives, in a non-sacrificial fashion, according to the principles discussed by Debi Ghate and Tom Bowden in their 2008 OCON special workshop, “How to Be An Agent of Cultural Change”.

The list also includes some “new media” recognition from non-Objectivists, specifically the “Anti-Socialized Medicine Blog Post Contest”. This contest ran weekly for 4 consecutive weeks in September 2008, sponsored by the David All Group, a conservative media consulting firm in Washington, DC. It was open to all bloggers (not just Objectivists). The winner each week received $50 from the David All Group, as well as free publicity on multiple conservative websites and blogs. Members of the Front Range Objectivism Group were the contest winners for 2 of those 4 weeks.

Similarly, I’ve included the participation of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine) as a “Verified Expert” in the online forum “” as part of their “universal health care” debate.

This list does not include our own personal blog posts, online comments that we’ve left on news websites linking to material from ARI/ARC (or The Objective Standard), or private letters we’ve written to our elected officials.

Nor does it include some important activities prior to September 7, 2008, such as the “white paper” that Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh issued in August 2008 on Amendment 48 (“Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person”). Their paper has been downloaded over 3700 times, and has been cited by the national media at

Nor does it include the websites that Diana created to inform Colorado voters of various state ballot initiatives (and which generated multiple local media inquiries and requests for interviews).

The battle is not over by any means. But all the participants here in Colorado have greatly enjoyed our activism and we have experienced first-hand the truth of Ayn Rand’s adage, “Those who fight for the future live in it today.”

So as we get ready to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I’d like to extend my own heart-felt thanks to my fellow FROG members as well as to all the other Objectivists around the country who have been fighting for reason, individual rights, and capitalism.

And I also welcome Objectivists in other parts of the country to post on their own activism successes these past few months.

Thank you all, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Front Range Objectivism Group Media Output:
Fall 2008 (Sept 7, 2008 – Nov 22, 2008)


  • OpEds: 15
  • Letters to the Editor: 28
  • Articles: 1
  • Media Citations: 2
  • Television Appearances: 3
  • New Media — Online Contests Winners: 2
  • New Media — Online Debates: 1

Detailed List:

OpEds: 15

  • Paul Hsieh, “Free market reforms healthier than Amendment 56″, Rocky Mountain News, 9/19/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “‘Worthy Cause’ Tax, It’s Not Your Penny to Give”, Boulder Daily Camera, 9/25/2008.
  • Diana Hsieh and Ari Armstrong, “Abortion and Abolition”, Boulder Weekly, 10/9/2008.
  • Diana Hsieh, “Why Amendment 48 Is Polling 39 Percent”, Pagosa Daily Post, 10/10/2008.
  • Linn and Ari Armstrong, “Mark Your Colorado Ballot For Liberty”, Grand Junction Free Press, 10/13/2008.
  • Ari Armstrong, “Faith-based Politics Costs Colorado Republicans”, Capitalism Magazine, 10/15/2008.
  • Diana Hsieh, “Abortion is a Woman’s Right”, Pagosa Daily Springs, 10/23/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “It’s Not Your Penny to Give”, Colorado Daily, 10/26/2008.
  • Linn and Ari Armstrong, “Time to Speak Out for Free Speech”, Grand Junction Free Press, 10/27/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Vote No on 1B and Donate Your Own Money”, Longmont Times-Call, 10/31/2008.
  • Diana Hsieh, “There’s Nothing Wrong with Abortion, But 48 Is Wrong”, Rocky Mountain News, 11/3/2008.
  • Linn and Ari Armstrong, “Ayn Rand Doesn’t Need A Bailout”, Grand Junction Free Press, 11/10/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “How the GOP Lost My Vote”, Denver Post, 11/13/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “The Future of Social Security?”, Capitalism Magazine, 11/18/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Asking for Trouble in Health Care”, Colorado Springs Gazette, 11/22/2008.

Letters to the Editor: 28

  • Paul Hsieh, “The Massachusetts Way”, New York Times, 9/7/2008.
  • Ari Armstrong, “Amendment 48 Smoke Screen”, Pagosa Daily Post, 9/19/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “The $700 Billion Plan”, Boulder Daily Camera, 9/27/2008.
  • Tom Hall, “Fate of Her Unborn up to Each Woman”, Rocky Mountain News, 9/29/2008.
  • Gina Liggett, “Amendment 48, the ‘Personhood’ Measure”, Denver Post, 9/29/2008.
  • Diana Hsieh, “Amendment 48 Would Fabricate Rights for Fertilized Eggs”, Grand Junction Sentinel, 9/29/2008
  • Paul Hsieh, “Markets and Bailouts”, Denver Post, 9/30/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Keep government out of benefits arena”, Rocky Mountain News, 10/2/2008.
  • Diana Hsieh, “Eggs Aren’t People”, Colorado Daily, 10/7/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Amendment 59 Raises Taxes”, Denver Post, 10/7/2008.
  • Ari Armstrong, “Carroll too quick to invoke Depression”, Rocky Mountain News, 10/13/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Count on taxes rising if Amendment 59 passes”, Rocky Mountain News, 10/14/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Running for cover”, Economist, 10/14/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Obama’s plan would move us toward government health care”, Rocky Mountain News, 10/16/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Mandatory Voting is Immoral”, Boulder Daily Camera, 10/18/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Freedom to Choose”, Economist, 10/23/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Capitalism and Socialism”, Boulder Daily Camera, 10/25/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Whose Health Plan Is Best?”, Denver Post, 10/26/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Beware Udall’s Health Care Policy”, Boulder Daily Camera, 11/1/2008.
  • Hannah Krening, “Surprised By Election Results”, Rocky Mountain News, 11/5/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “GOP Recipe”, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/11/2008.
  • Joe Collins, “On Freedom”, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/12/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Voters Still Want Small Government”, Rocky Mountain News, 11/13/2008.
  • Paul Hsieh, “Compassionate Conservatism Is Dead. What’s Next?”, Wall Street Journal, 11/14/2008.
  • Gina Liggett, “The Republican Party Has Gone Bankrupt”, Denver Post, 11/15/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Stop the Bailouts, Try Freedom”, Boulder Daily Camera, 11/15/2008.
  • Bryan Armentrout, “Disgusted with a GOP that’s ‘Democrat Light’”, Rocky Mountain News, 11/17/2008.
  • Brian Schwartz, “Amendment 59 backers should send refunds to schools”, Rocky Mountain News, 11/21/2008.

Articles: 1

  • Paul Hsieh, “Mandatory Health Insurance: Wrong for Massachusetts, Wrong for America”, The Objective Standard, Fall 2008.

Media Citations: 2

  • Ari Armstrong/Diana Hsieh paper mentioned in “Did You Just Call Me A Zygote?”, Salon, 9/16/2008.
  • Diana Hsieh mentioned in, “For Atheists, Politics Proves to Be a Lonely Endeavor”, New York Times, 10/17/2008.

Television Appearances: 3

  • Brian Schwartz, Channel 54 (CCTV), “Worthy Cause” Tax interview, 10/8/2008.
  • Ari Armstrong, Channel 31 (Fox), Amendment 59 interview, 10/13/2008.
  • Ari Armstrong, Channel 4 (CBS), Election Night commentary, 11/4/2008.

New Media — Online Contests Winners: 2

  • “Anti-Socialized Medicine Blog Post Contest”, Week 2 winner, Paul Hsieh, “UK Doctors Withholding Treatment Information From Patients”, 9/8/08.
  • “Anti-Socialized Medicine Blog Post Contest”, Week 4 winner, Brian Schwartz, “Single-Payer Health Care: Immoral and Deadly”, 9/24/08.

New Media — Online Debate: 1

  • Opposing Views: “Should the U.S. Have Universal Healthcare?”, 11/14/2008.
    (FIRM participated as one of the “Verified Experts” on the “No” side of the debate.)
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