Rebirth of Reason

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 7:50amSanction this postReply

"Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday. In spite of its religious form (giving thanks to God for a good harvest), its essential, secular meaning is a celebration of successful production. It is a producers’ holiday. The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production. Abundance is (or was and ought to be) America’s pride—just as it is the pride of American parents that their children need never know starvation." -- “Cashing in on Hunger,” The Ayn Rand Letter, III, 23, 1 Ayn Rand Lexicon: Thanksgiving.


'I give thanks for the fact that I bought all the food I have prepared at a local grocery store. I am so thankful that I have so many grocery stores to choose from -- stocked with a dazzling array of products sourced from around the world at competitive prices all created with an aim of making money." -- Jennifer Anju Grossman, CEO of the Atlas Society. "Objectivist Ode to Thanksgiving".


"Which brings us to what we do the day after Thanksgiving and the month that follows: We shop! We crowd the malls to buy gifts for others—and usually a little something for ourselves. Yes, some people complain about commercialized holidays, but the whole purpose of fall harvest feasts throughout human history was to celebrate production. How wonderful that we can make our lives comfortable with attractive clothes and fun toys, consumer electronics and interesting books, movies and music, fine furniture and furnishings, to say nothing of tasty treats! And we can share our regard for those significant individuals in our lives with gifts of the same.


"As to the "deeper" meaning of the holidays, that is found in the travel, family members, food, and stores full of goods. The deeper meaning is that we have the capacity to produce such wealth and that we live in a country that affords us our right to exercise the virtue of productivity and to reap its rewards." "The Productive Meaning of Thanksgiving" by Dr. Ed Hudgins.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 8:04amSanction this postReply

This year, we are celebrating with friends. I found the work of Denise Schmandt-Besserat about 20 years ago when researching tokens to write articles for numismatic periodicals. Her groundbreaking studies changed the way we understand the origins of writing and the origins of counting. That she is in Austin was a minor factor in my decision to relocate here when Laurel and I chose to move from Michigan in 2011-2012. Since then, we have had brunch with Denise and her husband Jurgen many times, but only several times a year. They both travel, often independently. She is a lecturer for tours in the Middle East. She just returned from Iran. Jurgen worked for many years with the George Mitchell Foundation. Mitchell is considered the father of fracking, a true "Ellis Wyatt" to my comrades on the Galt's Gulch Online board. Mitchell also supported the Club of Rome and Limits to Growth. That contradiction cannot be reconciled, except to take the words of his son who called him "complicated."  To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, they flew the grandkids from Europe to meet them at the Great Pyramid. Denise and Jurgen enjoy life and are a pleasure to be with.  So, this year for Thanksgiving, we have reservations at Fogo de Chao.

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