Help High School Teachers Teach Ayn Rand's Fiction

DianaHsieh's picture
Submitted by DianaHsieh on Sun, 2006-06-18 13:58

A few years ago, the Ayn Rand Institute surveyed high school teachers and discovered that the major reason many don't teach Ayn Rand's fiction in their English classes is the simple lack of books. The bureaucracy makes it difficult to obtain them from the school, and they are expensive to buy out-of-pocket. So ARI started its "Free Books for Teachers" program to remedy that problem.

Recent Comments:
FINE. FINE! — by Michael Allen Yarbrough on Wed, 2006-06-28 07:13
Two-For-One Matching — by DianaHsieh on Tue, 2006-06-27 11:17
Question — by Michael Allen Yarbrough on Mon, 2006-06-19 21:26

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Nailing the lie of the evil Empire.

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Sun, 2006-06-18 10:46

Great article from the times criticizing those that want to demonize the former British Empire.

"British society was intolerant of injustice, cherished individual freedom and believed that the world was moving onwards and upwards."

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New Poll: How did you find us?

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-06-18 05:42

Left sidebar and down. Please vote!

Note: If you vote Other, then please add a comment as to what that Other was Smiling

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Linz Live! Radio Live Editorial, 2006-06-18

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-06-18 03:16

Ronald Reagan used to tell the story, though not to Mikhail Gorbachev, of the fellow in the late unlamented Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, who bought a car. He was told by a clerk behind a desk that delivery would be seven years three months and five days away. “Morning or afternoon?” asked the buyer. “Morning or afternoon?” echoed the clerk … what difference does it make when it’s seven years three months and five days away?” “Well,” said the buyer, “it has to be the afternoon. The plumber’s coming in the morning.”

5:40 minutes (1.95 MB)
Recent Comments:
Lindsay — by Michael Allen Yarbrough on Thu, 2006-06-22 08:09
I'm not one of the "locals". — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-06-21 05:03
Serendipity — by Craig Ceely on Wed, 2006-06-21 04:08

What responsibility do Objectivists have to fight the erosion of Civil Liberties?

Peri Sword's picture
Submitted by Peri Sword on Sat, 2006-06-17 15:52

Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that evidence gathered by the police who did not use the "knock and announce" rule can be admissible in a court of law. This is yet another erosion of the rights of the individual, a trend that has been going on for years, but has certainly gathered momentum since 9/11.

What public response, if any, should Objectivists and Objectivist organizations make to this disturbing trend? Unlike other organizations, I don't hear their voices raised against this in public. On all of the Objectivist online communities, I've seen a lot of raging and rants directed at various Objectivist "denominations" or "parties," and their adherents, which means zilch to anyone but the "initiated" and does nothing to stop the very real threat to individualism that we, as individuals, face.

Recent Comments:
Penelope — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-06-18 19:26
Smile — by eg on Sun, 2006-06-18 04:20
Brant, I just *knew* someone — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-06-18 03:56

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Bill Gates retires - and should be a hero

Scott Wilson's picture
Submitted by Scott Wilson on Sat, 2006-06-17 09:52

Bill Gates recent announcement that he is stepping down as CEO of Microsoft (but not Chairman) to focus more time on his charitable foundations gives cause to admire the man – not so much for his charitable endeavours (although there is little doubt that his charities will be better focused, less corrupt and more productive than most, given his own acumen in delivering results for his business), but for his contribution to the world. His own personal wealth, it is not fortune (which comes from the word “fortunate” implying luck), is a tiny fraction of the contribution that his company and the products he has promoted and produced, have done to global productivity.

Recent Comments:
On Gates — by F L Light on Sun, 2006-06-18 04:22
Flirting or not, there's — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-06-18 03:45
Ross, please see my agent, Jennifer... — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-18 03:18

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A Nonpartisan Farce

DianaHsieh's picture
Submitted by DianaHsieh on Sat, 2006-06-17 00:08

Chris Sciabarra's Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (a.k.a. JARS) describes itself in the following terms:

    The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies is a nonpartisan journal devoted to the study of Ayn Rand and her times. The journal is not aligned with any advocacy group, institute, or person. It welcomes papers from every discipline and from a variety of interpretive and critical perspectives.
Is JARS the nonpartisan scholarly forum it claims to be? Should serious Objectivists publish in it? I think not.

Recent Comments:
Chris, I'm not clear what — by Fred Weiss on Tue, 2006-06-27 18:42
More on Mack — by Fred Weiss on Mon, 2006-06-26 00:00
Fred-- — by Chris Cathcart on Sun, 2006-06-25 17:37

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Socialized Medicine in Canada: The diagnosis.

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-16 22:55
Recent Comments:
"Bones! — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-19 20:45 — by Lanza Morio on Mon, 2006-06-19 19:16
Lance — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-19 15:28

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TOC vent

John Drake's picture
Submitted by John Drake on Fri, 2006-06-16 19:56

As a former TOC supporter and occasional participant in their summer seminar, I was originally very startled by Diana Hsieh's leaving their fold.  Although I was not very active with TOC, I still had a positive impression.  Diana's departure opened my eyes to the possibilities that something was fundamentally wrong with them.  I was determined to finish my PhD (still another couple years away) before re-visiting the philosophic issues stemming from David Kelley's departure from ARI.  But today I read TOC's mission statement and found that not only was it difficult to determine what exactly they meant, but that they are fundamentally changing what Objectivism is, beyond what even Kelley said was possible in his statement on open vs. closed systems.
In the first sentence of their mission statement they say "...the core Objectivist values of reason, individualism, freedom, and achievement."  Since when has individualism, freedom, and achievement become core values of Objectivism?  Even if you grant Kelley's argument that Objectivism is open, that list of values is certainly not anything core unless you fundamentally change what Objectivism is.  "Achievement"?  What the heck does it mean to say "achievement" is a core value.  This morning, I sat on the crapper and achieved a satisfying crap.  Is that a core value?  WTF.

“The Center promotes these values by articulating their meaning and implications..”  how does articulating a value promote it?  Don’t you actually have to – promote them?  Later in the paragraph they say: “We seek to influence the course of debate and the climate of public opinion in these arenas…”  Sounds to me they aren’t interested in winning the debate, only influencing it.  I suppose influencing toward the core values mentioned above, but it’s certainly not clear.

Recent Comments:
Homemaking and Yoga — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-06-17 22:45
While the world is perishing — by Penelope on Sat, 2006-06-17 03:13
Diana — by John Drake on Sat, 2006-06-17 00:49

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America and God: A Theocracy in the Making...

jtgagnon's picture
Submitted by jtgagnon on Fri, 2006-06-16 17:13

When the founding fathers declared the blossoming American nation to be “free and independent” they sought to create a limited government that existed to serve “we the people,” namely to protect the country’s citizens in their individual pursuits of life, liberty and happiness. The First Amendment of the Constitution enshrined the right of religious freedom – the right of every individual to live as he or she deemed fit, whether Catholic, Jew, Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, or Atheist. This idea – a secular government protecting individuals and their right of choice – was daring and novel, and structured a government that led, inevitably, to unfathomed success. Since the very founding of the American nation, however, such individual freedom existed as an affront to those who declared allegiance to the opposing view that individual freedom should be limited by religious edict, or, simply stated: that it was impossible to rightly govern “without God and the Bible.”

Recent Comments:
Declare war — by Rex Wilkinson on Wed, 2006-07-19 17:49
RE: Commerce Clause — by jtgagnon on Sun, 2006-06-18 15:04
Actually, Rick...for the sake of historical accuracy... — by jtgagnon on Sun, 2006-06-18 14:55

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Satire, Humor and The Good.

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-16 08:02
Recent Comments:
Satire — by Rex Wilkinson on Fri, 2006-06-16 16:38
and... — by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-16 15:42

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[Today's Reprise]: The “Right to Life” (This Time, Your Own)

James S. Valliant's picture
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Fri, 2006-06-16 05:17

[The following is a substantially reworked portion of an essay which was posted at the former website of my friend, Casey Fahy, in January, 2001, titled, "All Creatures Great and Small."]

While I agree with the Objectivist position on abortion –– namely, that a fetus does not possess “rights” –– there is another point to be made on behalf of keeping abortion legal which I think is consistent with Objectivism, but it’s one not made by Objectivists –– and, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why, since it cuts through much of the fog engulfing current debate on the issue.

Recent Comments:
Lastly (?)-2 — by eg on Sat, 2006-06-24 15:55
Sandi — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-19 06:11
Sure — by eg on Mon, 2006-06-19 06:05

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George Reisman

eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Fri, 2006-06-16 04:35

MSK on OL states that George Reisman does not submit his articles to SOLOP, but that they are lifted off of his blog. Is this true?


Recent Comments:
Sorry for going off last night — by eg on Fri, 2006-06-16 15:01
That's interesting. What are — by Fred Weiss on Fri, 2006-06-16 14:51
Reisman and the Saddamites — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-06-16 09:32

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Not letting an image widen the page

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-06-15 09:28

If you include a large image, the page may widen by default to accomodate its natural width. This can be avoided by including "width=96%" in the img tag, like this:

<img width=96% src="http://site/picture.jpg">

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Who's on first?

waterclerk's picture
Submitted by waterclerk on Thu, 2006-06-15 04:16

Okay, so I'm a lapsed Objectivist. Haven't affiliated with any of the various branches which lead away from the original NBI/ARI trunk, nor with the original trunk. I need to be educated as to the difference between these different Objectivist followings to determine where I should be.

Can anyone objectively describe the differences and similarities in the Objectivist thinking of SOLO, TOC, ARI, OL, etc.

Recent Comments:
Aah I see now. I too have — by Jon Coster on Wed, 2006-07-19 16:42
No Problem — by Landon Erp on Fri, 2006-06-16 23:10
OK — by Greg Mullen on Fri, 2006-06-16 23:07

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Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-15 03:30


If human beings are born tabula Rasa, what is to account for talent? Or does this term mean only in regards to knowledge and ideas? Still, why is that some people are born with the ability to draw? It’s an ability that can be noted early in childhood and that is clearly well advanced from that of other children. They go onto be artists, while others can’t draw to save their lives. The same goes for playing a musical instrument.

Recent Comments:
Brian — by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-16 00:45
I've had a talent for — by Brian English on Fri, 2006-06-16 00:41
"I've been told many times — by Penelope on Thu, 2006-06-15 23:39

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A History of Violence

Olivia's picture
Submitted by Olivia on Thu, 2006-06-15 00:45

Has anyone else seen this film? It rocks! It stars Viggo Mortensen and is about an ordinary family man whose past descends upon him with a fury. Viggo truly kicks ass and the violence (self defense) is... well, very satisfying. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It also depicts the couples' sexuality in an interesting way. They start out with a coy, kind of self conscious playfulness which turns into something else entirely once the other side of Viggo's character comes out.

Recent Comments:
Saw it, I definitly thought — by Landon Erp on Thu, 2006-06-15 22:18
Love this film. A screenplay — by John M Newnham on Thu, 2006-06-15 16:06

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Freedom Is Slavery: Laissez-Faire Capitalism Is Government Intervention,

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-06-15 00:15

A Critique of Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy

Kevin Carson’s new book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy (Fayettvile, Arkansas, 2004, 409 pp.) centers on the incredible claim, self-contradictory on its face, that capitalism, including laissez-faire capitalism, is a system based on state intervention, in violation of the free market: “It is state intervention that distinguishes capitalism from the free market,” declares the book’s preface.” Capitalism, writes Carson, is “a system of privilege in which the State enable[s] the owners of capital to draw monopoly returns on it, in the same sense that the feudal ruling class was able to draw monopoly returns on land; or, as the left-Rothbardian Samuel Konkin put it, `Capitalism is state rule by and for those who own large amounts of capital (p. 92).’” Perhaps not surprisingly, in view of his description of capitalism, Carson hopes his book will provide a foundation for “free market socialist economics (p. 10).

Recent Comments:
Labor theory — by Chris Cathcart on Thu, 2006-06-15 22:18
I also recommend the other — by Aaron on Thu, 2006-06-15 16:21

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User hidden's picture
Submitted by User hidden on Wed, 2006-06-14 22:55

I have zero interest in the crazy thread going on with Phil, Fred, et al, but I am interested in Penelope's comment about flirting being bad and Lindsay's post diagreeing. Either of you care to post your comments here?


Recent Comments:
Brant — by Olivia on Mon, 2006-06-19 07:21
Sense of Life Protestants — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-18 06:09
Good point, Craig. Let's — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-06-18 03:41

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The Romantic Manifesto - Chapter 3: Art and Sense of Life

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Wed, 2006-06-14 09:05

I read and re-read this chapter about five times, each time learning something new.

These are the main impressions I was left with:

Art flows from the artist's sense of life, expressing: "This is what life means to me." In particular, an artist decides what is important about reality, according to his sense of life (revealing his metaphysics), and distils that into his art in a style compatible with his sense of life (revealing his psycho-epistemology - his view of man's consciousness and its efficacy.)

Recent Comments:
Having just looked through — by Matt on Fri, 2006-07-14 14:30
More Toiling — by Lanza Morio on Fri, 2006-07-14 11:59
Jon, — by Banned User on Thu, 2006-07-13 04:35

Questions about Objectivist Rage

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Wed, 2006-06-14 01:52
Recent Comments:
Fred Sucks — by Gerald on Tue, 2006-06-27 19:43
Jeff, get a new writer. — by Fred Weiss on Mon, 2006-06-26 21:48
Thinking — by jriggenbach on Mon, 2006-06-26 15:29

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Chaos Theory and Objectivism

Mike_M's picture
Submitted by Mike_M on Tue, 2006-06-13 23:43

Is anyone familiar with chaos theory? The other night I had an objection to certain parts of Objectivism raised from the perspective of chaos theory. I had to say I didn't know enough about chaos theory to comment. The objector is VERY good at math (a genius, literally) and a relatively good friend. He is also an intellectually honest person from what I have observed and interested in Objectivism. I think he deserves a good, solid answer or at least beginning of an answer.

Recent Comments:
. . . — by Stephen Boydstun on Wed, 2010-01-06 04:43
. . . — by Stephen Boydstun on Wed, 2010-01-06 04:42
Nothing comes from something — by eg on Fri, 2006-06-16 06:49

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Revelation #1: Nothing is a matter of opinion by my standard.

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Tue, 2006-06-13 23:11

Recently, I have had some philosophical epiphanies, independent of Objectivism, that I want to reveal to you here, that others may find them useful too.

The first of these I discovered when reading a book by the NZ philosopher - Jamie Whtye.

In the book he states that nothing is in fact “a matter of opinion“, that a statement is always either true or false.

You might think this should be obvious to any Objectivist, i.e. that A=A. Existence exists. What is true is true. What is false is false.

Recent Comments:
Zen and the Art — by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-06-21 10:10
Marcus — by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-06-21 10:07
Speaking of intrinsicism, I — by Matt on Mon, 2006-06-19 19:46

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Personal news

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-06-13 07:05

All of you probably noticed that I haven't been on SOLO as frequently as in previous years. I teach at California State University, Los Angeles, and I was in the final months of the tenure process. And I did get tenure, with promotion to full Professor of Information Systems. The tenure process is strenuous enough to test the stamina of a man in his twenties or thirties. In my youth it was said that no man got tenure after age 35. I left Bell Labs at 54, a few month before the Lucent swindle came to the surface, so I was up for tenure at 60. I would congratulate myself, except that one of my department colleagues, now 78 and still teaching full-time and still brilliant, got tenure at 66. Somehow messing with computers works like a fountain of youth.

Recent Comments:
Congratulations, Adam — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-18 02:02
Rock on Adam!!! — by User hidden on Wed, 2006-06-14 22:38
Congrats — by John Drake on Wed, 2006-06-14 18:58

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Extending Your Optimism

Lanza Morio's picture
Submitted by Lanza Morio on Tue, 2006-06-13 07:03

This excerpt is from Ayn Rand's working notes on Atlas Shrugged. The rest can be found in Leonard Peikoff's intro the 35th anniversary edition.


...Dagny is committing an important (but excusable and understandable) error in thinking, the kind of error individualists and creators often make. It is an error proceeding from the best in their nature and from a proper principle, but this principle is misapplied...

The error is this: it is proper for a creator to be optimistic, in the deepest, most basic sense, since the creator believes in a benevolent universe and functions on that premise. But it is an error to extend that optimism to other specific men. First, it's not necessary, the creator's life and the nature of the universe do not require it, his life does not depend on others. Second, man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it's up to him and only to him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be. The decision will affect only him; it is not (and cannot and should not be) the primary concern of any other human being.


Recent Comments:
Thanks for the clarification — by Ryan Brubaker on Sat, 2006-06-17 22:47
This hits way too close for home. — by Adam Buker on Sat, 2006-06-17 16:53
Ryan — by Penelope on Sat, 2006-06-17 14:37

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Studying Objectivism

Penelope's picture
Submitted by Penelope on Tue, 2006-06-13 05:10

Okay, so for my very first SOLO blog post, I want to ask a do you all go about studying Objectivism? Or maybe I should first ask: DO you study Objectivism? Do you engage in a systematic process to improve your understanding of it? Or do you just read her books once or twice?

Here's what I've been doing for the last three years, starting after I read Atlas for the first time:

1. Obviously, read Ayn Rand's books, as well as the books by other Objectivists.

Recent Comments:
Challenging someone for — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-19 20:17
How to Learn — by Rex Wilkinson on Mon, 2006-06-19 18:32
I don't entirely agree. When — by Matt on Mon, 2006-06-19 16:58

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QUANTUM PHYSICS: Objective or Subjective Universe?

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-13 04:24
Recent Comments:
Victor Pross... — by Olivia on Fri, 2007-09-21 03:19
I can't see the text... — by Emma Kathryn on Fri, 2007-09-21 03:02
I didn't. The great — by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-22 23:08

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To Victor

Rex Wilkinson's picture
Submitted by Rex Wilkinson on Tue, 2006-06-13 00:16

I tried to add to the comment on the page but access denied so further to you definition of terms:Agnostic,the ultimate cop out too frightend to make a decision either way.The middle of the road,the place were all the agnostics go!and comment on the angry Ayn rand,Reality does not change regardless of how we percieve it and it is that which is not mere opinion but fact that I seek and my philosoph

Recent Comments:
Marnee — by Rex Wilkinson on Tue, 2006-06-20 21:23
Take a fundementalist and shove it — by Rex Wilkinson on Tue, 2006-06-20 21:12
Worse — by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-06-13 22:23

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Monsters for the Sake of Being Monsters

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Mon, 2006-06-12 23:00

I just found this on NRO by Deroy Murdock citing in part an article in the Daily Telegraph:

[telegraph] Falafels [following after] alcohol, pop music and foreign films [have been ] labelled theologically impure by the country's growing number of Islamic zealots...militants visited falafel vendors a fortnight ago, telling them to pack up their stalls by today or be killed. The ultimatum seemed so odd...until two of them were shot dead as they plied their trade...said Abu Zeinab..."I said I was just feeding the people, but they said there were no falafels in Mohammed the prophet's time, so we shouldn't have them either." ...[This is] just one of many Islamic edicts to hit Baghdad in recent weeks, prohibiting everything from the growing of goatee beards to the sale of mayonnaise - because it is allegedly made in Israel....News of the latest strictures surfaced 10 days ago, when the coach of Iraq's tennis team and two players were shot dead for wearing shorts...Another group of traders to have felt the Islamists' unexpected wrath is Baghdad's ice merchants, who sell large chunks of ice for storing food and chilling drinks. In a city facing constant power cuts and summer temperatures of up to 50C (122F), the service they provide is little short of essential...they too have fallen foul of the claim that their product was not a feature of life during Mohammed's time. Akram al Zidawi, 19, an ice seller from al Dora, thought the threats were too ludicrous to be true - until it was too late..."My mother begged him to quit the job, but he laughed, he thought it was impossible they would kill him. But they came back two days later and shot him dead, along with three other ice sellers nearby." Meanwhile, barbers have been inundated with young men anxious to shave off their goatee beards. Last month, Mustapha Jawad, 17, was allegedly killed for wearing one, which Islamists deemed a Jewish facial hairstyle.

Recent Comments:
Sharia Shaves — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-18 02:00
Monster Madness — by Rex Wilkinson on Fri, 2006-06-16 22:17
It seems Iraqis don't have — by Laure Chipman on Tue, 2006-06-13 17:34

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Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-06-12 22:27

I don't know if any of you here have read this but there's been an interesting development in DC comics recently.

In all their publications they just finished a big mega crossover and immediately after finishing it pushed all the company's books one year forward. The premise is that for one whole year Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman were totally MIA and the aftermath.

One series entitled 52 (as in weeks in one year) is being published in Real time and filling in the gaps. A good reason for Objectivists to check this out is Steve Ditko's Question is getting a lot of face(less) time, he's hevily involved in a storyline with lesbian police officer Rene Montoya.

Recent Comments:
I did have a point though, dammit. — by Landon Erp on Tue, 2006-06-13 22:32
— by Chris Cathcart on Tue, 2006-06-13 21:18
Victor: — by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-13 19:05

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