Email received

Kenny's picture
Submitted by Kenny on Fri, 2006-03-31 13:41

This email got past Norton anti-spam (spooky!) and reached my inbox yesterday. It has been forwarded to Scotland Yard.

Dear Sir;

I am Abacha Blair, nephew of the Head of State and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom.

We have come into £14 Million Pounds which has been lent to us by noble supporters of the regime, which we must transfer to an account in your country before it is found by agents of the security services (The Electoral Commission, Parliamentary Standards Committee and Scotland Yard).

These moneys must only be used for the doing of good works which is why we have contacted you as an upstanding member of the community. As a trusted individual, please send us your bank account details and we will TRANSFER IMMEDIATELY the sum of £14 Million UK Dollars into your account. It is very important that you only spend these moneys on community benefit projects although as a consideration we will pay you a HANDLING FEE of 20 PER CENT and nominate you for a PEERAGE in the HOUSE OF LORDS in the British Parliament.

Recent Comments:
James, you've finally got it! — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 20:41
Blair in loans for peerages scandal — by James Heaps-Nelson on Sat, 2006-04-01 19:58
Peers don't wear wigs. On — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 15:26

It's April 1 in NZ ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-03-31 03:54

Standards NZ think this is funny. And it is. What's not funny is that if it were serious, no one would turn a hair!


MEDIA RELEASE New NZ Standard on Lift etiquette

Standards New Zealand has initiated a new Standard to govern the way in which people behave in and around lifts. The Standard will specify appropriate queuing behaviour, right-of-way rules for those exiting and entering lifts, and - most importantly - define appropriate behaviour when actually travelling in lifts.

"Standards NZ has become aware of concerns amongst the general public about an increasing tendency for rudeness that seems to be triggered by close proximity to lifts," says Rob Steele, Chief Executive at Standards NZ.

Recent Comments:
Rules to be extended — by Kenny on Fri, 2006-03-31 09:31
Must... resist... — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-03-31 04:45

UK Libertarian Alliance KASSes Again!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-03-31 00:28


The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil
liberties policy institute, today calls on the Crown Prosecution
Service to drop its investigation into the private life of the
well-known fashion model Kate Moss. Miss Moss could be charged with
possession of cocaine. If convicted, she could in theory go to
prison for seven years and face an unlimited fine.

Libertarian Alliance Director, Dr Sean Gabb, says:

"If Kate Moss wants to sniff cocaine - not that I would for a moment

Recent Comments:
Spot on — by Kenny on Fri, 2006-03-31 09:10

Proto Kyoto

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-03-30 12:15

Bangladesh, for example
The other week I was blogging about George Reisman, the economist.

I planned to come back to one of the very interesting points George made with respect to the global warming mumbo-jumbo and what it means for developing nations. Bangladesh, for example.

Have been waiting for a nifty lead-in but in all this time the best I can do is that a left wing and a right wing blog have each just done respective little environmental jigs. One is praising Michael Chrichton's "State of Fear" and the other is bemoaning the fact that the Gov isn't doing more to respond to climate change- take a wild guess for yourselves which blog is saying which!

Islamo-Fascist Filth Cows NYU

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-03-29 21:27

Story on Diana's blog:

NYU Cowardice

Recent Comments:
Diana — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 21:04
Check Your Facts, Kenny — by DianaHsieh on Sat, 2006-04-01 17:49
Objectivist Standard links — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 16:56

Letter to the NZ Herald re. Understanding Islam

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-03-29 21:04

Canterbury University is planning to scrap Islamic Studies. Today's Herald ran a handwringing story about it, quoting Ismail Waja as saying the course is needed "to create greater understanding". So, I wrote this letter in response. Care to bet whether they print it?

Recent Comments:
eqnauals — by 0 on Fri, 2007-01-12 18:30
You win. Glad I didn't take — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-04-19 03:14
Wonderful, Dunc! — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-03-29 21:25

Collectivism, Climate Change, and Economic Freedom

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Wed, 2006-03-29 02:10

An individual kills someone—for money, out of jealousy, as an act of revenge, or because he doesn’t like his victim’s looks. A chorus of left-“liberals” rushes in to excuse his act, especially if he is poor. He is not responsible, they say. The real criminal is “Society,” for having allowed him to live in the conditions that led him to kill.

Another individual owns a refrigerator, an air conditioner, and an automobile or SUV. This time, a chorus of left-“liberals” rushes in and pronounces him guilty. He is allegedly guilty of causing “global warming,” by virtue of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in connection with the fossil fuels required to produce and operate his goods.

On being Right

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-03-29 01:04

What does being 'on the right' mean to me?

The term is a broad brush stroke, a useful generalisation. The characteristic feature of a right winger's politics is his belief in the market. He believes 'good ends' come of trade, that the forces of supply and demand will reconsile their own natural level of production and consumption. He believes that there are laws, perhaps scientific ones, which allocate a never-ending array of various goods and services according to the qualities and quantities individuals choose for themselves. The right-winger has convinced himself, if imperfectly, that the left-winger (who seeks by degree to supplant this natural and automatic allocation process with an explicit human plan) cannot choose these rich mixtures for each of the many individuals, nor of society as a whole, better than the unfettered individuals can choose for themselves.

Recent Comments:
Both agree — by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-03-29 01:36
Nice one Rick. I have to — by JulianP on Wed, 2006-03-29 01:13

Machan's Musings - Impossible Egalitarianism

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Wed, 2006-03-29 00:59

Among my many acquaintances there are some avid egalitarians. Among these a few are very influential, a couple of them leaders in the global movement called “the capabilities approach.” They have written extremely well-published books and essays advocating global wealth redistribution. Some have even insisted that nearly all the resources possessed by those in developed countries need to be sent abroad to be used by the poor. As one has written, “On pain of living a life that's seriously immoral, a typical well-off person, like you and me, must give away most of her financially valuable assets, and much of her income, directing the funds to lessen efficiently the serious suffering of others.”

Recent Comments:
Tibor! — by eg on Wed, 2006-03-29 05:56
Magnificent — by Pete L on Wed, 2006-03-29 05:46

Bohemian Rhapsody

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Tue, 2006-03-28 17:02

On the "other forum," there's an interesting rebuttal of the book THE RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS, which is a call for government to spend more money attracting so called creative artists to rejunivate cities. As was pointed out by others, the author replaces cause and effect by government planning. I wrote,

Philadelphia is going through something of a renovation, and areas like South Street, famous for it's bohemian stylings, is slowly giving way to Starbucks and the like. Of course, all the dirty hippies complain about the area losing its charm, and such. But when that charm is manifest as punk rock shops and various holes in walls, you won't see me complaining.

Abortion is a Property Rights issue

Kamarat McWashington's picture
Submitted by Kamarat McWashington on Tue, 2006-03-28 14:12

Reposted from: Atlantis Blog

A wonderful little piece by Humble
B Wonderful

has lead me to ponder the abortion
issue again. Essentially her position is that abortion is a property
rights issue and provides a wonderful thought exercise on her blog in
regards to that position. I agree with her points. Further more I
agree with the Objectivist View that abortion is Pro-life and it is a property rights issue.
The right to property or ownership is the freedom to use and dispose
of one's property as you see fit. The first thing one owns as a
separate individual being is one's body. Therefore, the right to
property in this case is the right to use and/or dispose of ones body
as you see fit. A government that states or is given the power to
control what goes in or what goes out of your body, implies they have
a right to the use/ or dispose of your body. Government is only
a group of individuals. So lets follow this reasoning to its
conclusion. A group of individuals that controls the use of /or
dispose of your body implies that you are the property of this group
or government. This is just plain slavery. The rights of a fetus
would be the right to slavery. That's just not right at all.

For those of you looking for forbidden aural pleasure...

Adam Buker's picture
Submitted by Adam Buker on Mon, 2006-03-27 07:59

My new website will open this Saturday at midnight. You'll be able to hear samples, see what compositions I am working on as well as buy recordings of my music. So don't go out this Saturday. Stay home and surf your computer over to !

Recent Comments:
Don't fight her, Adam. I — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2006-03-28 06:18
Ack! — by Prima Donna on Tue, 2006-03-28 03:47
Fine! Have it your way, Ms. — by Adam Buker on Tue, 2006-03-28 03:37


Adam Buker's picture
Submitted by Adam Buker on Mon, 2006-03-27 07:41

*SEETHING WITH UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE* Ok, although I dislike Microsoft's software, I never did think that any monopoly case against them could be legitimate (like the Sherman Antitrust act itself) because of the possibliity of choosing an alternative via Apple (whose products I use religiously) or Linux. Now Apple is the big bad monopoly?! Granted they have dominance in the legal media download market, but is it really any wonder? The iTunes and the iPod are terrific products that are easy to use and cost effective. But if you don't like iTunes and/or the iPod, you can use Rhapsody or other such services as well as other types of mp3 devices.

Recent Comments:
I've said this on another thread discussing this case ... — by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-03-27 20:11

The Environmentalists Are Trying to Frighten the Natives

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Sun, 2006-03-26 08:10

In a manner reminiscent of witch doctors urging primitive people to sacrifice their sheep and goats in order to mollify the wrath of the gods, today’s environmentalists and their shills in the media and academe repeatedly urge the people of the United States and the rest of the modern world to sacrifice their use of energy and their standard of living in order to avoid the wrath of the Earth and its atmosphere. That wrath will allegedly take one form or another: a new ice age (recall the predictions of Paul Ehrlich) or, if not a new ice age, then global warming and a resulting rise in sea levels. And if global warming and a rise in sea levels of 1 to 3 feet over the next 100 to 150 years is not sufficiently frightening, then a rise in sea levels of 13 to 20 feet over centuries lying still further in the future is projected. Both of these sea-level results are supposed to proceed from a projected rise in average global temperature of 4 degrees, and of average temperature in the Arctic specifically of 5 to 8 degrees. (See “Melting Ice Threatens Sea-Level Rise” and “Climate Data Hint at Irreversible Rise in Seas” in today’s [March 25, 2006] New York Times.)

Recent Comments:
The climate is changing... — by Marcus on Sun, 2006-03-26 18:23

How I Philosophise

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-03-25 10:39

-- Click to enlarge

Philosophical appreciation is not the same as biographical appreciation. Why do people keep mixing them up?

Let me tell you right now that, philosophically, I don't really give a damn what Ayn Rand believed. Likewise, when it comes to Scientology I don't give a damn what Tom Cruise believes. What I want to know are the premises, the reasoning and the conclusions. Is it sound? Is it valid? Does it wash out harsh stains and leave my dishes squeeky-clean?

Recent Comments:
PARC is optional — by sjw on Sun, 2006-03-26 16:48
How to philosophise — by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-03-26 13:22
A game of two halves — by Tim S on Sun, 2006-03-26 11:47

Ni Idea

eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Fri, 2006-03-24 17:32

Roger Bissell on Feb. 18 posted the "only" review you'd need for PARC on Objectivist Living.

Recent Comments:
The least — by eg on Mon, 2006-03-27 15:07
Hmmm It would appear we have — by John M Newnham on Mon, 2006-03-27 13:42
And now MSK — by Casey on Fri, 2006-03-24 22:18

( categories: )

"Freedom Jacked"! Congress is trying to pass another Abramoff Deal

Kamarat McWashington's picture
Submitted by Kamarat McWashington on Fri, 2006-03-24 16:37

Reposted from: Atlantis Blog

Did you hear about the new lobbying scandal? It is an "Abramoff Deal". What is an Abramoff Deal you may ask? It is when a person or group of individuals try to gain an advantage by playing both sides. Similar to a Faustian deal, they both come back to bite you in the behind. However, an Abramoff Deal is worse. In a Faustian deal, you at least know that you have a good chance of the screws being put to you. Yet with a Abramoff Deal, they will support you and your adversary at the same time. This way they gain more money or advantages from the escalating conflict between you both.

Rousseau and Kant—Partners in Crime

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-03-24 08:41

"Kant is the most evil man in mankind’s history."

Recent Comments:
Ah! — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2009-08-19 22:46
The proof of "most evil" — by Ptgymatic on Wed, 2009-08-19 22:44
That is Great — by gregster on Tue, 2009-08-18 09:40

( categories: )

Notes on the Psycho Epistemology of Acting

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Thu, 2006-03-23 23:15



This essay is an attempt to explain, in more detail than has been presented in the past, the psychological processes involved in acting. I'm going to define some basic concepts in psychology and psycho-epistemology and apply them to the realm of theatre, specifically to Stanislovski's method of acting.

Recent Comments:
Emotions are a response to — by JennaW on Tue, 2006-03-28 23:50
Try It Your Own Way — by Dan Edge on Sat, 2006-03-25 20:13
Brow crinkling — by sjw on Sat, 2006-03-25 18:23

( categories: )

Stanislavski Quotes

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Thu, 2006-03-23 23:03

Stanislavski was a Russian actor/director/teacher who worked in Moscow until his death in the early 20th century. His "method" of acting is today widely revered and implemented around the world. He was the first to popularize romantic realism in theatre. I would like to write an essay on his life some time in the near future, but for now I wanted to present some quotes of his that moved me:

- "What does in really mean to be truthful on stage? Does it mean that you conduct yourself as you do in ordinary life? Not at all. Truthfulness in those terms would be sheer triviality. There is the the same difference between artistic and inartistic truth as exists between a painting and a photograph: the latter produces everything, the former only what is essential; to put the essential on canvas requires the talent of a painter."

Meat and Mushroom Clouds on Doves' Feet

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-03-23 04:13

DPF at Kiwiblog, and commenters, have been reacting to the work of Dr Marc Wilson of Victoria Uni (and his student/s).

The Dominion today reports on Wilson's latest work into social psychological factors influencing peoples' food preferences. DPF says....

An academic study on meat eating has found that a partial reason why men eat meat is to "express dominance or masculinity".

Silly me. I thought I ate meat simply because I enjoyed the taste. But what would I know.

Riveting Rand

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-03-23 00:33

I’ve spent the past day reacquainting myself with Ayn Rand, via the recently-published Ayn Rand Answers—the Best of her Q & A.

I’ve spent the past day in Atlantis.

Recent Comments:
Musing on artists as art — by Newberry on Mon, 2009-10-05 17:15
The Parrish verdict — by Ellen Stuttle on Fri, 2009-10-02 07:15
Undeserved Charity — by jriggenbach on Thu, 2009-10-01 22:49

( categories: )

Humour: George Carlin's Rules for 2006 - Corrected!

Robert's picture
Submitted by Robert on Wed, 2006-03-22 19:59


Actually, George Carlin didn’t write the rules that were originally posted here. It has been pointed out to me that Bill Maher invented the "New Rules" comic device. These particular rules aired on Bill's Real Time program. It aired on HBO between March and September 2005.

You can actually read Bill's rules "New Rules" here.

You can read the rules that used to be posted here at this website.

And well you should read them, because there are some bloody funny ones there. But don't take my word for it, I've posted by favourite rules below.

All that remains is to offer a red-faced mea culpa.  I offer my apologies to Bill Maher and George Carlin for misattributing their work and for posting something without checking the copyright issues around it. I shall now go and eat some boiled Brussels sprouts as punishment.

Let this be a lesson to the rest of you. Never believe any E-mail you receive from an Australian. Those bloody sheep-shagging sons’s of sheep-rustlers couldn't lie straight in bed.

Recent Comments:
URLs — by Robert on Fri, 2006-03-24 16:36
So why didn't those urls — by Luke H on Fri, 2006-03-24 10:30
Tone — by JoeM on Fri, 2006-03-24 06:23


Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-03-22 19:48

Diana's account of her history with the Brandens:

Recent Comments:
...and Philosophy. — by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:37
You mean ... — by eg on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:16
Good. — by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:11


Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-03-22 02:40

(Click to enlarge)

Recent Comments:
My my count, it's 25 years — by Rick Giles on Fri, 2015-01-30 19:25
Sorry Ross, short term — by JoeM on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:20
Yep, I did actually post on — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-03-26 04:17

Dr Chris R Tame RIP - Founder and President of the Libertarian Alliance passes away

Kenny's picture
Submitted by Kenny on Tue, 2006-03-21 17:30

Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, has distributed this email message this morning:

"It is with the deepest regret that I must announce the death of Dr Chris R. Tame, Founder and President of the Libertarian Alliance.

Chris founded the Libertarian Alliance in the early 1970s. During the next 30 years, he worked tirelessly to recover the British libertarian tradition as a seamless heritage of freedom. He took issue with those Conservatives who saw freedom in terms purely of pounds and pence - and often not even as that. He took issue also with those who demanded freedom in all matters but those involving the getting and spending of money. He believed that freedom should be defined in the traditional English sense, as the rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property.

Recent Comments:
Thanks Tim — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-03-21 21:17
Very sad news. — by Tim S on Tue, 2006-03-21 20:51
Thanks Chris — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-03-21 17:39

Hudson Leick

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Tue, 2006-03-21 06:20

Some thoughts on "powers that be" who think we mere mortals on the ground can't run our own lives with our own money....

This is actress-sex-goddess-babe-evil-fighter-bandit-Xena-nemisis Hudson Leick/Calisto. Xena: Warrior Princess, we all remember, was a ratings hit involving our own Lucy Lawless. The Yanks made it, I think, in West Auckland or some such. It was a fantasy TV show set in a fictional Ancient Greece.

Calisto was our heroine's, Xena's, arch-enemy. She fought with her sword, her sexuality, and her dirty and siniser mind games- always driven by her vengeful lust toward Xgirl. She was sort of a cross between a hateful Drew Barrymore and a horny Wolverine. Powerful performance. I wish I watched the show more now....but I digress.

Below is a picture of Leick on another show around about the same time Xena was still on, Touched By An Angel.

I used to watch both of these shows sometimes, but the latter, the one about angels rocking down from Heaven and fixing our lives, dropped off my watch list one day. That was the day Ms Hudson Leick first joined the show and just ruined it for me.

Letter to the NZ Herald re. the cost of being blind

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-03-21 05:05

I just sent this letter to the Herald, in response to their article Blind have to fork out extra $61m a year:

The Soul of Science Vs. the Ghost of Intelligent Design

Kamarat McWashington's picture
Submitted by Kamarat McWashington on Mon, 2006-03-20 14:42

Reposted from: Atlantis Blog

    The most frustrating thing about the
Evolution vs. Intelligent design debate is the voluminous research
both sides have done. How can either side condense that information
into a paragraph or sound bite in order to persuade the other side.
When it comes down to it, the essential driving force of both groups
is philosophy. It deals with two main branches of philosophy,
epistemology and metaphysics. Epistemology deals with the theory of
knowledge. In other words, how do we gain knowledge and how do we
know it is true. Metaphysics tells us what kind of universe we live
in. Your answers to these questions will determine the quality of
your science and whether something should be considered science at

    Starting with metaphysics, do we view the
universe as something that has always existed, with everything having
a set identity and nature. This would entail that based on each thing
having a set nature, set consequences would occur by different things
interacting with each other. In other words, cause and effect is the
expression of the set nature of things applied to action. Which in
discovering the set nature of things and observing the cause and
effect of their identities in action, allows us to find universal
principles that apply to many things besides the ones we are
observing. For example, water boils when the right amount of heat is
applied. On the other hand, do we view the universe as something a
all powerful being created. Things did not always exist only the
powerful being was eternal. This universe would not have set
identities and natures. It would have the natures that the powerful
being or beings (god or gods) would give it. If the nature of
something is created by a god, it can be changed by that god. So a
car could be turned into a living human being if a god decides to. A
house is a lion if god wishes it so. Observe the different views of
life those two different ideas create. The universe that
always existed(UAE) suggests that studying every
thing's specific natures and their interactions with each other will
lead to an ever growing knowledge that uses past knowledge as a
stepping stone to reach new heights. A universe that was
created(UWC) suggest that we can never really know the
truth about anything because god can change the nature and identity
of something, by simply wishing it so.

Women at war with the mullahs

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Sun, 2006-03-19 20:51

There's a great piece in The Times about Dr Wafa Sultan, the outspoken critic of Islam, as well as other prominent Muslim/ex-Muslim female critics of Islam. Here are a few choice quotes from Dr Sultan:

"We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."

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