Ayn Rand, etc. ; Senator Olympia Snowe; SFUSD Summer Resource Fair …

by on March 5, 2012

To the Editor:

I got a kick out of Michael Hardesty’s letter (March 1), arguing that the future “belongs to objectivism.” I read “Atlas Shrugged” and the “Fountainhead” and saw the movie versions. The books were almost required reading for college students in the 1960s. Ayn Rand would probably vote Republican today and favor a free market economy devoid of regulation. In fact, Ayn Rand and John Galt, the fictional hero of “Atlas Shrugged,” appeared on signs at Tea Party protests. Rand had the particular genius of recasting the wealthy, the talented, and the powerful as oppressed.

Paraphrasing Gore Vidal: Ayn Rand gives moral sanction to greed and self interest. She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the “welfare” state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts. For them, she has an enticing prescription: altruism is the root of all evil, self-interest is the only good, and if you’re dumb or incompetent that’s your lookout. In sum, Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality.

We are in trouble if we look to Ayn Rand for solutions to today’s problems.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Most of the time Senator Olympia Snowe did not give us a “Snowe”Job, and it’s not easy being a Republican who will cross the aisle, even if it just a few times. I remember too many Democrats (mostly Southern) who voted for GOP ideas. I am old enough to remember Maine’s Lady Senator, Margaret Chase-Smith. At least she had human qualities missing on that side of the aisle, too. The important thing, especially with the brand of Right Wing GOP-HEADS today, she can be replaced by someone who thinks all Democrats and Independents are the enemy, and not the solutions needed for our nation’s woes.

Jerry Pritikin

To the Editor:

Regarding the Summer Resource Fair, if you are the parent of a child with a disability, the Summer Resource Conference is not helpful, and going to it is actually really depressing.

Most of the camps are not inclusive and do not enroll children with disabilities. They don’t really say they won’t, (that would be illegal) but they are not at all welcoming or accommodating. They direct you to look for camps for “your kind’ of kid. If you tell them that you don’t believe in marginalizing and segregating children, just because they have disabilities, that you believe in the full inclusion of all children in our community, they stare at you blankly.

Katy Franklin
San Francisco

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