Monday, February 27, 2006

The Savage Battleground of our Public Schools

This cogent editorial was found at Capitalism Magazine. An excellent critique of how our schools aim to destroy the self, and the tools needed, by the individual student, to successfully combat that battleground.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci

Found this wonderful website via Adding it to blogroll under DaVinci Drawings.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I've just returned from the bookstore, where I had a pleasant conversation with a fine looking young woman who, as it happened, was looking in the philosophy section at Rand's books :-) I couldn't let this opportunity slip by so I said, "excuse me, are you interested in Ayn Rand's ideas?" She said a friend had recommended her works to her and what would I recommend to her (!). I said she should read 'The Fountainhead' but then asked if she preferred fiction or non-fiction. She said non-fiction, and had 'Return of The Primitive' and 'Philosophy: Who Needs It?' already in hand, which I praised highly and also recommended to her 'The Virtue of Selfishness,' "which explains her theory of ethics". We then sauntered over to the Literature section, where I pulled out FH for her.
We continued our conversation about Rand and FH in particular briefly. I left before she did, but she had all four books in hand when we parted company.
Talk about a mood lift! I needed that!

Introducing: The Objective Standard

Craig Biddle's Introduction is now online. Is it ever worth reading! This is a landmark event in Objectivism's history and I welcome this quarterly magazine to the world arena of ideas.

Best premises!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Behind the Scenes on the Ports Issue

Federal Computer Week has a 'back story' on the Ports/Dubai issue. Speaking for myself, handing over our Ports to our avowed enemies is not "good for business". [Homeland Security Chief said that].
This isn't capitalism. It may be "crony capitalism", but it's not capitalism. It is suicidal. This is the perfect nightmare blend of altruism and appeasement. Bush is finally becomming more consistent in his policies, and that's not good.

Excerpt from FCW:

Last year, Bush tried to consolidate the port security program into the larger grant program, but Congress rebuffed him and chose to keep the grant program separate. TIP was created to enhance security at port, railway, mass transit and other critical infrastructure facilities.

However, officials from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), which represents 80 U.S. ports, said if the program is consolidated into a larger program, they would have to compete for funds against other transit systems, such as buses or rail.

Port security “needs will be marginalized or get lost in the shuffle,” Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer, said at a press conference today in Washington, D.C.

Officials said security needs for port operators remain great. Port officials want to implement wireless networks, interoperable communications equipment, a Global Positioning System, credentialing systems, closed-circuit television, surveillance cameras, radar tracking and other related technologies, they said.

But Bernard Groseclose, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) and AAPA chairman, said the grants program has been drastically underfunded despite the need to meet certain federal security requirements. The current level of funding for the program is $175 million. He said federal funds, which are supposed to pay for a larger share of security improvements, have only matched a small portion of what ports have spent on security so far.

Link to full story:

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blog Housecleaning

It's been awhile since I went through my blogroll and 'cleaned house' so that's what I've done today. Sites that haven't posted in months are gone and other sites, which are interesting, but not blog related, are gone [except for a few that are Objectivist related, of course].

New Model for Lara Croft Video Games [MMmmmmmm]

Karima Adebibe, an unknown 20-year-old model from London, has been unveiled as the new face of Lara Croft for publicity purposes for the upcoming Tomb Raider: Legend game, publisher Eidos announced.
[Image won't upload at this time. Go here.]

40% of British Muzzle-ims

Poll reveals 40% of Muslims want sharia law in UK.


Four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, a survey reveals today.

The ICM opinion poll also indicates that a fifth have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers who attacked London last July 7, killing 52 people, although 99 per cent thought the bombers were wrong to carry out the atrocity.

50pc said interracial relations were worsening
Overall, the findings depict a Muslim community becoming more radical and feeling more alienated from mainstream society, even though 91 per cent still say they feel loyal to Britain.


When you get there, see also "Related Links" where British Muslims say they want a 'state within a state'.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

'Atlas Shrugged' on UPN show

Ayn Rand's novel, 'Atlas Shrugged' was shown, and discussed properly, on a UPN sitcom [One On One] in January. I have taken the liberty of using the links provided at Noodle Food, who was given permission from Betsy Speicher at CyberNet. Copy and paste these in your browser.
I only hope more than a handful of viewers actually went out and purchased a copy to read for themselves. Now that would be great!

For the Clip:

For Betsy's newsletter:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Weekend Conference on Law in Colorado

Diana Hsieh has asked many of her fellow bloggers to post a link to Front Range Objectivism's Weekend Conference on Law, Individual Rights and the Judicial System.
Taking place on March 4-5 2006, in Denver Colorado. I city I love and would dearly like to revisit someday.
It looks to be an awesome gathering of 'New Intellectuals' and therefore worth the effort to attend.

My apologies for posting this 'late'. Early registration [where you could've saved $75] deadline was yesterday. My bad, and I'm sorry. Still, what price freedom?

Snow anyone?

Nor'easter dumped about 20 inces of snow here in central Connecticut today. Still snowing lightly. It was an adventure driving home from work this morning, let me tell ya! [I work night shift].

Now the @#$%^*U#@$@$%^@$ clean-up begins. I hope my teeny snow blower is 'man enough' to get this outta here!

Snow. It's beautiful to look at, hell to shovel.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

History: Taught is it might, and ought to be...

In other words, history taught by Objectivists, for Objectivists [and for that matter...anyone who cares to Think].

Announcing a new lecture series...

Hat Tip: Capitalism Magazine advertisement

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Simplest Thing...[and In Protest!]

I had not realized, until today, that Gus has been linking to, and quoting from Bruno's Blog "The Simplest Thing". Bruno has posted two great quotes from two great authors concerning the Muslim protests about the cartoons that this illiterate mob is 'offended' by.
Anyway, I visited his blog because of Gus's reference and found, to my delight, Bruno has a link to The Secular Foxhole. Well now! I must return the favor and tell all my readers to go and visit his blog, now posted in my Blogroll of Fame.
Here are the two quotes I favor so much...

From "The Lord of the Rings":

“Hold your ground, hold your ground. Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! For all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”

From Ayn Rand's "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal":

"The only power of a mob, as against an individual, is greater muscular strenght--i.e., plain, brute physical force. The attempt to solve social problems by means of physical force is what a civilized society is established to prevent. The advocates of mass civil disobedience admit that their purpose is intimidation. A society that tolerates intimidation as a means of settling disputes--the physical intimidation of some men or groups by others--loses its moral right to exist as a social system, and its collapse does not take long to follow." (bolds are mine)

To join the fray, in protesting the protester's, I say this:

Mohammed, I spit in the drunken derelict sperm that made you and your pathetic faith.

You can quote me.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Two of My Favorites..

Here's song lyrics to two of my favorites. They're under copyright protection from their publishers, so watch it!

1] How Long


How long has this been goin' on
How long has this been goin' on

Well, if friends with their fancy persuasion
Don't admit that it's part of a scheme
But I can't help but have my suspicions
'Cause I ain't quite as dumb as I seem
And you said you was never intendin'
To break up our singing this way
But there ain't any use in pretendin'
It could happen to us any day

How long has this been goin' on
How long has this been goin' on

---- musical interlude ----

Oh, your friends with their fancy persuasion
Don't admit that it's part of a scheme
But I can't help but have my suspicion
'Cause I ain't quite as dumb as I seem
Oh, you said you was never intending
To break up our singing this way
But there ain't any use in pretendin'
It could happen to us any day

And how long has this been going on
How long has this been going on
How long

How long has this been going on
How long has this been going on
How long has this been going on
How long
How long has this been going on

2] Capitalism

Oingo Boingo [Danny Elfman]
from the CD "Only A Lad"

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with free enterpirse
Don't try to make me feel guilty
I'm so tired of hearing you cry

There's nothing wrong with making some profit
If you ask me, I'll say it's just fine
There's nothing wrong with wanting to live nice

I'm so tired of hearing you whine
About the revolution
Bringin' down the rich
When was the last time you dug a ditch,

If it ain't one thing
Then it's the other
Any cause that crosses your path
Your heart bleeds for anyone's brother
I've got to tell you you're a pain in the ass

You criticize with plenty of vigor
You rationalize everything that you do
With catchy phrases and heavy quotations
And everyone is crazy but you

You're just a middle-class socialist brat
From a suburban family and you never
really had to work
And you tell me that we've got to get back
To the struggling masses(whoever they are)
You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain
Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain
What the hell do you know about suffering
and pain...

(Repeat first verse)
(Repeat chorus)

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Gideon's Back

Armchair Intellectual has a post from friday, Feb 3rd, on Israel. It is excellent and you should go check out his blog.

Reading his post triggered a memeory of mine. I wish I could remember the exact quote and what Greek spoke it, but it went something like this:

"He who controls definitions, controls the world".

If anyone knows the actual quote, please use the comments and provide the source.
Thanks ahead of time.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Final Salute

Every military family dreads the knock on the door, or phone call giving bad news.
Here's the story of the men and women who have a painful duty.

Hat tip: The Rule of Reason

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Write your congressoids...

Hat tip:

Five Things You Should Know Before Privacy Becomes Optional

I'll let this blogger explain:

I'm always grateful...

to those who can express issues better than I can. Here's a great example from the Ayn Rand Institute.

The Injustice of Saddam's Trial
By granting Hussein a trial, justice is perverted.
By Elan Journo

The American-endorsed trial of Saddam Hussein is touted as an opportunity to render justice and lay the groundwork for an Iraqi transition from the arbitrary courts of a dictatorship to a proper legal system. But the trial will accomplish neither goal.

A trial that presumes Hussein's innocence can achieve nothing but a travesty of justice.

Saddam Hussein is not a private citizen, whose guilt requires proof in an objective court of law, but a dictator whose incontestable evil was manifest to any rational observer of his tyranny. The Bush administration, after all, determined that Hussein was so vicious that we had to go to war to topple his regime.

Once we defeat and capture a militant dictator like Hussein, he deserves to be definitively condemned as evil and then executed--immediately, or after any valuable information is extracted from him. Prior to his execution, there can be a legitimate reason to hold a public hearing--not to establish his guilt, but to fully expose his secretive dictatorship by publicly cataloguing its myriad vile deeds. Such a hearing would recognize that, unlike a private citizen, a dictator is responsible not merely for his own individual acts of violence but for all crimes committed by his regime, whether or not in any given case he himself pulled the trigger or gave a direct order to murder the victims.

But the trial now underway evades Hussein's incontrovertible culpability, absurdly presumes him innocent, and demands that his "command responsibility" be established for particular acts of murder. In the case that began Oct. 19, the prosecution is required to prove that Hussein specifically ordered his thugs to carry out the 1982 massacre of some 140 people. This is as perverse as presuming Hitler, Stalin, or Mao innocent in the millions murdered by their regimes--and then groping for evidence that they personally ordered the execution of a handful of dissidents in one small village.

It is outrageous that after more than two years into a war that has cost billions of dollars and thousands of American lives, we regard as legitimate the possibility that Hussein could be found culpable for only some minuscule number of murders or even not guilty. It is outrageous that he is given a defense team of 1,500 lawyers, that he is granted the right to appeal a guilty verdict, and that he is allowed to address the court. In one more injustice against all his victims, domestic and foreign, Hussein has eagerly exploited this international stage--paid for with American money and blood--to challenge and scold his Iraqi victims, to rail against the United States, and to cheer on the insurgents murdering Americans.

And yet this trial, the epitome of injustice, is defended as paving the way for a truly just legal system. Proponents argue that, whatever one thinks of the specifics of the trial, it marks the transformation of Iraq's judiciary from courts subservient to a dictator's whims, to courts objectively determining guilt or innocence. But the trial does no such thing.

Observe that only Iraqis were deemed qualified to decide Hussein's culpability. With President Bush's encouragement and blessing, the Iraqi leadership was given full control of the proceedings--and deliberately excluded American judges. Though there are plenty of American judges with decades of experience under a proper legal system--and few, if any Iraqis with comparable experience--American participation was viewed as unacceptable. Why were only members of Hussein's ethnic tribe deemed fit to judge him?

Because justice, on the premise of the trial, is determined by the tribe; the tribe alone is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, good and evil, innocence and guilt. On this view, a meticulously logical assessment of universally available facts has no bearing on justice. Whatever the tribal group feels is just--regardless of evidence or logic--is just. A trial conducted on this premise is a repudiation of justice as an objective principle.

The trial is not, in essence, a departure from the subjective courts of the former regime. Instead of Hussein capriciously prescribing a "just" verdict, that arbitrary power now belongs to the Iraqi tribe--or any sub-tribe (whether Sunni, Shiite, Kurd) that wrests control of the courts.

This trial is irredeemably corrupt. The United States--which gave Iraq millions of dollars and sent lawyers and forensic investigators to launch the proceedings--must immediately withdraw its moral sanction from this travesty of justice.

Elan Journo is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Institute promotes the ideas of Ayn Rand--author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and originator of the philosophy of Objectivism.

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