Ayn Rand, Earth Day and communists -- Oh my!

Plus: The Oklahoma City bomber waxes philosophical about vegetarianism. And: This is not a porn column -- really.

By Anthony York
Published April 17, 2001 6:23PM (EDT)

Anger management

If you were looking for the Ayn Rand Foundation to throw a big Earth Day bash, you can forget about it. I know, I know -- this changes all your plans. But judging from today's e-mail, you'd have better luck finding someone old enough to vote at a Britney Spears concert.

"Earth Day should be a celebration of the achievements of industry and technology, not of their destruction ... It's a myth that the environmentalists are saving the Earth for man -- they actually see human beings as the enemies of nature," said Dr. Andrew Bernstein, a senior writer for the institute. "Earth Day should be the occasion for celebrating the earth as a great value -- not in and of itself, but only as a means to achieve human values."

Bernstein said Earth Day 2001's theme of "Leave your car at home" expresses the environmentalists' fundamental contempt for industrial society, progress and human values. "Without automobiles there would be little commerce, communication or freedom," he said. "The goal of the environmentalists is to see man crawling back to the cave."

ARI is cooperating with the Virginia-based Center for the Moral Defense of Capitalism in a national campaign to protest Earth Day as anti-human life, and to celebrate the benefits to man of developing the earth. This joint effort will climax with a demonstration at the Washington Monument on Earth Day this Sunday.

The holiday received a similarly warm reception at the Free Republic. "Anyone want to join the anti-recycling party?" writes one. "I'm tired of everybody being pro this or that. I want to start a political party based on opposition to the recycling proselytizers. We will run negative ads and we will accept soft money. Actually we prefer soft money (checks, large bills, stock certificates) to hard money (pennies, nickels, etc.)."

Other Free Republic posters maintain that Earth Day is coming at the expense of some other holiday celebrations. "Easter is being assaulted from all sides -- you've surely seen the corporations desperately clamoring to get us to buy into the pagan Bunny/Egg/Candy instead of focusing us on the Resurrection," opines one such. "The pagans can't lose -- they are removing Christ from Christmas in our stores, schools and malls and they are removing Him from Easter every time we buy a chocolate bunny. I hadn't looked at it this way, but if the pagans are behind the Communists and the Corporations both they can't lose."


BuzzFlash.com: "Don't Cry for Christie Todd Whitman"
Consortium News: "The Washington Press Corps Is Back on Its Knees Again"
World Net Daily: "Probe Arafat Murders, Says Former NSA Op"
NewsMax.com: "Armey Says Congress May Act on Medical Privacy"
NewsMax.com: "They Don't Pay Me Enough to Read This Series!"

Big buzz

From our "Whoops, we did it again" department: Yesterday, this column provided an update on the ongoing tiff between Christopher Hitchens and Media Whores Online. The feud is just another example of how even though Hitchens has probably done better investigative work than most journalists on the left, he will forever be known among partisans as a treacherous Clinton hater first and foremost. But that is neither here nor there, for now. The point is this: In our efforts to link to Media Whores Online, we inadvertently used a link to MediaWhores.com. The latter, shall we say, places more emphasis on the "Whore" than the "Media." Red vs. Blue regrets the error.

Meanwhile, straight from one publicity whore to another, death row denizen Timothy McVeigh has responded to a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals demanding that his last meal be a vegetarian one. The letter from PETA was another nadir for the group in its shameless quest for a little ink. (Of course, we obliged.) And PETA's Bruce Friedrich, who wrote the letter, told the Washington Post he was surprised to get a response. But he did, so here it is:

"You gotta remember," McVeigh writes in the letter obtained by the Post, "this is meat-eatin' farm country; still, good job getting the attention to your cause (like protesting dead rats on 'Survivor') ... Truth is, I understand your cause -- I've seen slaughterhouses myself -- but I still believe in reasonable taking and eating of game (as an outdoorsman and hunter) ... My one main problem with the veg movements is this (besides the fact that I'm a libertarian): Where do you draw the line, and what standard is used to define that line? ... What about grubs/worms/etc.? (that chick on 'Survivor 2'). And finally, plants are alive, too: they react to stimuli (including 'pain'); have circulatory systems, etc.; so how about them? I cannot sustain a prolonged intellectual debate on the subject as my time is short, but I'd suggest hitting Ted Kaczynski up for his opinions on the subject."

Unfortunately for PETA, McVeigh is scheduled to die by lethal injection May 16.

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Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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