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I will not debate the merits of Ayn Rand with you online, but would encourage anyone interested to pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, or any of her other works and decide for themselves. I do, however, take great offence to your suggestion that her writings encourage racism. In this area, her own words can do much greater justice than I can. From her book; The Virtue of Selfishness;
"Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.
Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination."
A final excerpt I especially enjoy...
"A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race—and a moron is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin."
One can take those words and apply them to your other claim, that "It is class warfare -- pure and simple -- pitting the hard-working middle class against the "lazy and unproductive" lower class." Ayn Rand's philosophy is about individualism and 100% intolerant of any type of collective discrimination, including that of income class, ancestry, or skin color.
We'll have to agree to disagree there. When a department (like the EPA) which is largely political can act as the legislative, executive, and judicial branches all under one czar, than I consider that political will enforced by gun. Political and legal are inexplicably intertwined. Besides, I believe the conversation here is NOT about CHANGING laws at the point of a citizen-held gun, but of PROTECTING the 2nd Amendment right which allows such a thing to theoretically happen. A necessary right for balance between citizens and their government. Again, I have yet to advocate for anyone to actually fulfill this right, but for the need for it to remain intact.
Since you feel inclined to drag my name into another thread, I will respond. The U.S. Federal, State, and Local Government's use guns every single day to achieve a political end. If you doubt this fact, stop paying taxes in protest to whatever cause you don't support and see if the guys who come arrest you are carrying a weapon. They will start with a sternly worded letter, and end with a gun to your head. This is not a partisan issue, both sides use the threat and actuality of force to achieve whatever political ends they deem fit. It is neither literally or politically impossible to use guns to achieve a political end, you just usually have to get yourself elected first.
The reality is that the threat of citizen-led force, which is the precursor and retainer to a citizens power to vote, acts as the balance between citizens and their government. What you advocate is essentially censorship or revocation of the 2nd Amendment because it's enactment makes you uncomfortable. I do not share that problem. I would suggest that your position opens you up to rule by dictator and fiat, something I will not accept.
Inclusive to Freedom Conference only. Does not include 1773 Meeting speakers...
• Congressman Mike Pence
• Robert Woodson
• John Fund (WSJ)
• Dan Mitchell
• J. French Hill
• Grace Marie Turner (Galen Institute)
• Tony Blankley
• Mario M. Carrera (Univision)
• Marcelo Gaete (Univision)
• Michael Reagan
• Prof. James Humes
• Congressman Michele Bachmann
• Patrick J. Michaels (Cato Institute Climatologist)
• Prof. William M. Gray(CSU Climatologist)
• Marc Morano (Journalist)
• Kirsten Fedewa (Public Relations)
• Grover Norquist
• Virginia Thomas
• Sharron Angle (US Senate candidate)
• Peter Brookes (Heritage Foundation)
• Cliff May (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
• Claudia Rosett (Foundation for Defense of Democracies/ Editorial Board WSJ)
• Christopher Horner (Author/ Competitive Enterprise Institute)
• Karl Rove
• Yaron Brook
• Kellyanne Conway (TV Personality and Public Relations)
• Amy Oliver (Talk Show Host)
• Robert Goldberg (Center for Medicine in the Public Interest)
• Michael Tanner (The Cato Institute)
• Brian Ivers (United States Marine)
• Jason Mattera (Author/Editor of Human Events)
• U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (by video)
• Newt Gingrich (by video)
• Ambassador James K. Glassman
• Attorney General John Suthers
• Attorney General Greg Zoeller
• Attorney General Alan Wilson
• Kevin Jackson (Author)
• Jonah Goldberg
• Congressman Todd Rokita (IN)
• Congressman Joe Walsh (IL)
• Congressman Bob Schaffer
• Congressman Bob Beauprez
• Hal Scherz, M.D. (founder of Docs4PatientCare)
• John Harpole (Founder and CEO of Mercator Energy)
• Jim Geringer (Governor of Wyoming)
• Lt. Col. Steve Russell (Author)
• Steve Moore (Senior Economics Writer for the Wall Street Journal)
• Thomas McDevitt (President Washington Times)
• Ann McElhinney (Movie Producer)
• Prof. William Black
• Mary Katharine Ham
• Ambassador John Bolton
• Congressman Earnest Istook
• Matt Spalding (Heritage Foundation)
• Sally Pipes (Pacific Research Institute)
• Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
• Hannah Giles (Journalist)
• Michele Malkin
As a final response...
Thank you for your suggestions. The Steamboat Institute has been evolving for many years and will continue to do so. If you would like to discuss the viability of those topics I will be happy to do so with you at our next meeting. BTW, it is not ironic that I'm thankful for the lack of violent protest when President Obama won. I'm also thankful that Democrats didn't flip my car after the 2000 and 2004 elections. As Americans, we all have the right and responsibility to take up arms and overthrow our government if we deem conditions require it. Under Democrats and Republicans government has grown uncontrollably and infringed upon just about every right we hold sacred. There is some cause for revolt but I am thankful for every year since 1865 that Americans have not exercised that right. If you'll recall our last civil war, about 2% of the American population died. That's roughly 6.2 million Americans if a similar situation were to transpire today, a cost we should all be thankful to avoid.
I believe that, by definition, participation in the Steamboat Institute would imply that I do not rely solely on politicians to fix America.
Ryan and Scott,
We have invited Haley Barbour (twice I think). As a sitting governor, he is very difficult to schedule. We have also invited Harry Reid when we invited his opponent, Sharon Angle. I have listed past Freedom Conference speakers below. As you peruse it, you will see a diverse mix of speakers of various areas of expertise. Pick apart as you like, but the fact remains that, if you hold our set of core values as your own, you will have no trouble finding something to enjoy at our conference. If the premise doesn't fit, neither will the results.
Scott and Ryan,
The speaking fees for Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks are in the ranges of $25,000-$50,000 and $20,000-$40,000, respectively. I agree completely that they are worthy speakers and would be valuable presenters in our town. If you have an interest in seeing those speakers in Steamboat, I invite you to produce your check book and we'll be the first to produce an invitation. The speakers the Steamboat Institute provides are wholly funded by grants from other like-minded private groups and individual donations. We are at the mercy of those who believe in what we do, and we provide content which both aligns with our 5 core principals and is of interest to those same contributors.
If you were to look through our speaker list for last year's Freedom Conference, or this years 1773 Club meetings, I believe you would find a diverse group of speakers. Are some polarizing? Absolutely. Do most disagree with the direction that President Obama has led this country? Of course, but that is because the current administration is guided by a different philosophy than we are. One can have respect for the office of the President or Vice-President and still vehemently disagree with the direction of those who hold that office. The fact that 47% of Americans went about their day peacefully on November 7th is an incredible testament to that respect.
I appreciate your interest in the Steamboat Institute and, albiet negatively, your interest in the keynote speaker to this year's conference, Former Vice President Dick Cheney. As a board member to the Steamboat Institute, I helped play a role in determining this year's lineup. Like you, I had some reservations about bringing Vice President Cheney to Steamboat. As a strong fiscal conservative, I have concerns about the size of all elements of our government today, including our military. The Bush/Cheney years are known for a lot of things, fiscal conservancy not leading them.
However, whatever reservations I had have been short-lived. The simple and important truth is that Dick Cheney was Vice President of the United States. Period. Steamboat is a town of around 12,000 citizens in North-West Colorado. About 0.004% of the larger U.S. population. It is an incredible testament to the hard work of all members of the Steamboat Institute that a tiny town in Northern Colorado could secure a speaking engagement from a former Vice President. I may not agree with every decision made in the Bush/Cheney years but I have tremendous respect for the office held. The former Vice President and I have a great many things on which we agree, and I will be honored to meet him. The beauty of our system is that we can routinely toss-out those we disagree with and try again. I assume you exercised that right in 2008 and 2012.
Finally, as a board member to the Steamboat Institute, I can tell you with complete honesty that I hope you attend our conference this year and bring any and all tough, respectful, and engaging questions you may have. At our monthly meetings I have routinely challenged our audience to bring guests of opposing viewpoints. The Steamboat Institute has a strong set of core values and we have an unwavering respect for the individual rights which allow us to espouse those. We do not, however, wish to classify our audience. If you desire a different Freedom Conference, we would be interested in your thoughts.
I, for one, will be honored to meet the Vice President. I will be interested in his thoughts, critical of his words, and proud that we have the freedom to be both.
P.S. The Keynote Speaker last year was former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, not Ann Coulter. Ann was the dinner speaker at our winter dinner last year.
Coincidentally, we have spent many hours recently working on bringing a Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow, or Bill Maher to Steamboat in the form of a debate. Unfortunately, those speakers demand fees in the many tens of thousands of dollars. Something we simply can not afford for a speaker on either side of spectrum. If you have other debate suggestions, please feel free to let us know. I would rather stack bricks on my head than listen to Michael Moore, so you'll probably have to look elsewhere for that one.
In response to the concerns you have listed above, I have taken a few minutes to post a few pictures of the Yampa Meadows property both before and after Bald Eagle Ski Lake was built. The first picture is an aerial from the 1997 run-off. The second was taken yesterday. In both pictures it is clear that the source of flooding around the tree farm and Super8/Steamboat hotel is the river exceeding its banks and following the floodplain to the North of Bald Eagle Lake. The ditch structure which acts as a "conduit that is bringing water eastward from the river over toward the development along route 40" has been in place since well before the lake was constructed. When the river exceeds the banks to the north of the lake, the entire field floods, including those ditches. It should be evident from the first picture that the lake is not the cause of those ditches running water, they have always done so during these types of events.
If we could reasonably act to prevent the current flooding of business and property downstream of us we would be happy to do so. However, we cannot berm those ditches now for the same reason we could not berm them when we built the lake, you can not fill wetlands without the appropriate permits and process. The idea of a floodplain is to let the water spread when necessary. I believe that you would agree that confining a river with berms at its average borders would only pass the problem downstream.
The pictures can be found at www.nativeexcavating.com/ym.html
If you have any other concerns regarding the Yampa Meadows property, I can be reached at our office at 879.6231
Last login: Friday, May 10, 2013
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