My Adventures in Sri Lanka

jtgagnon's picture
Submitted by jtgagnon on Thu, 2006-06-29 21:00

Inspired by Jason's posting of his trip to China, I thought I'd post some of my own pics from my time in Sri Lanka last year. I spent 2 and a half months working in Colombo and Kandy on judicial reform projects - easily the most memorable time of my life. Sri Lanka, as you may or may not be aware, has suffered from a 20+ year long civil conflict, which - despite a ceasefire - is currently spiraling backwards into what could very well become a state of all out war...again. I hope this doesn't happen, as "the Resplendent Isle" is truly a captivating place.

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Rand on Force and Foreign Policy

jtgagnon's picture
Submitted by jtgagnon on Thu, 2006-06-29 19:54

In the circles I run in (and around, occasionally), I regularly encounter the debate over to what extent a government should use force in implementing its foreign policy. This may very well be one of the most oft-recurring debates of the last 5 years, and certainly ranks up there as one of the prominent issues of the last half-century, especially in the aftermath of two world wars.

Recent Comments:
LW — by James S. Valliant on Sat, 2006-07-22 05:08
James — by LWHALL on Sat, 2006-07-22 04:03
LW — by James S. Valliant on Sat, 2006-07-22 03:19

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Free Radical 71: The Stolen Election!

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-06-29 08:45

The re-launched, re-shaped best and BIGGEST Free Radical EVER is about to be unleashed.

72 pages (count them, 72 pages!) of pithy, gripping, infuriating, enlightening and downright SHARP reading. Edited by Guest Editor Peter Cresswell, "This is arguably the best and undoubtedly the biggest ever 'Free Radical,'" says Cresswell. "No question."

Recent Comments:
Not too late — by gregster on Mon, 2008-09-15 03:10
Am I too late? — by Barry Jeenmaz on Mon, 2008-09-15 02:25
71 — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-07-11 11:49

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Libertarianz Leader Takes On Prime Minister

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Thu, 2006-06-29 08:28

Bernard Darnton, leader of Libertarianz, is taking on Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand! Bernard is taking Helen to court for misappropriation of funds, over the pledge cards which she published with tax money:

Recent Comments:
Well done Ross — by Rex Wilkinson on Fri, 2006-07-07 04:28
National vs. Labour — by Phil Howison on Tue, 2006-07-04 04:25
Of the two? I'd prefer — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-07-03 08:10

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China Trip Photos

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-06-29 05:54

Some of you have mentioned in the last couple of weeks that you would like to see some pictures from my trip to China. Ross was nice enough to explain to me how to do it here on the forums. So here are a few of the photos I took.

Recent Comments:
Interesting comparison — by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2007-03-10 03:09
If you want to Nippon — by Jameson on Sat, 2007-03-10 02:44
The Midde East and NZ — by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2007-03-10 02:10

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Credo Tweaked

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-06-29 02:36

I've just revised the wording of the Credo slightly, mainly to accommodate recent developments in the Objectivist world. Here is the tweaked version:

SOLO—Sense of Life Objectivists

"The total passion for the total height."

Recent Comments:
Linz, Fred, ARI ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-06-30 12:58
Linz, ARI hasn't moved away — by Fred Weiss on Fri, 2006-06-30 00:44
Diana ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-06-29 18:32

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New Freedom Tower Unveiled

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Thu, 2006-06-29 01:34

Well Hallelujah, good taste has prevailed. The new design for the Freedom Tower was unveiled today, and I find this clean, streamlined look far more appealing than the prior twisted monstrosity. It looked like a jagged shard of glass sticking out from the ground, and would have completely ruined my beloved skyline.

Recent Comments:
I thought they were going to — by reason_is_the_season on Wed, 2009-05-13 07:30
First time I ever saw the — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-06-30 01:17
I'm with you, John. — by Fred Weiss on Fri, 2006-06-30 00:58

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The Banishment of Charlie Chaplin

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Thu, 2006-06-29 01:05

[From The Free Radical, Issue 67]

Charlie Chaplin was one of first geniuses of cinema and had a career that lasted over 50 years and spanned over 80 movies. During the height of his fame in the 1920s and 30s he was one of the wealthiest and most famous movie icons in the US. And yet after the Second World War Chaplin was to provoke a moral backlash and frenzy over his alleged communist activities that would see him effectively banished. How was it possible that such a man who had become the most universally recognized icon in the world suddenly became persona non grata in his adopted country?

Recent Comments:
The funniest comment about — by 0 on Wed, 2008-07-16 07:24
Chaplin had a great sense of life! — by Marcus on Fri, 2006-06-30 19:38
This is an excellent — by Derek McGovern on Thu, 2006-06-29 01:39

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Revelation #2: “the Emperor’s New Clothes” fallacy

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Tue, 2006-06-27 20:45

A few months ago I attended the first small meeting of the Oxford Objectivist Society. They were showing a video of the Leonard Peikoff ford forum lecture:
“Why Should One Act on Principle?” (1988). I have never heard a talk from Peikoff before in my life. I was keener on meeting the members of the society than hearing the talk actually.

I got there after the video had already started, but even then it seemed pretty monotonous and nothing much new. However, near the end he made a point that really struck me as being quite self-evident, but also profound. (It is always the self-evident things that startle me the most).

Recent Comments:
Basking in the sunlight of others — by Marcus on Wed, 2006-06-28 17:13
"They remind their audience — by JoeM on Wed, 2006-06-28 02:37

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Lawmaker Legislates Against Fluffernutter

MJ's picture
Submitted by MJ on Tue, 2006-06-27 01:50

"The escalating war on junk food in schools has targeted a new enemy -- that gooey, sugary, and often irresistible sandwich spread known to children everywhere as Fluff".

Philip McKenna, The Boston Globe

Another Nanny Stater in action. I love the quote from 12 year old Simone Rivard. "There shouldn't be laws saying what you can and can't eat".

Recent Comments:
Actually... — by Prima Donna on Wed, 2006-06-28 02:51
Nephews? — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-06-28 00:53
Jennifer's Rant — by MJ on Tue, 2006-06-27 07:38

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Scientists playing God? Good!

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Mon, 2006-06-26 21:59

A good article in The Times about the amazing abilities of scientists to detect genetic disorders in embryos:

Scientists playing God? We should rejoice
Minette Marrin
"What a piece of work is a man!" as Hamlet says. "How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! . . . In apprehension how like a god!" Usually I think rather less enthusiastically than that about humankind, but sometimes I am reminded of the nobility of man and of woman and it is often by scientists.

Recent Comments:
What am I - Chopped Liver? — by Olivia on Thu, 2006-06-29 06:28
An extremely well written — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2006-06-27 01:38

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The New York Times: It Just Can’t Stop Hating Success and the American Way of Life

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Mon, 2006-06-26 04:44

To combat climate change, we need to break our addiction to consuming oil, while developing countries need to break their addiction to selling it. We need a different lifestyle model . . . . —Thomas L. Friedman

The biggest problem with our bounty of coal is not what it does to our mountains or the atmosphere, but what it does to our minds. It preserves the illusion that we don't have to change our lives. Given the profound challenges we face with the end of cheap oil and the arrival of global warming, this is a dangerous fantasy. — JEFF GOODELL

Recent Comments:
Ditto. — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-06-28 06:45
Professor Reisman in full cry... — by Robert on Tue, 2006-06-27 03:38

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In Vino... Veritas?

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-06-26 01:08

At a cost of €2.4 billion—that's 2,400 million—the European Union will pay grape growers to pull out their vines to reduce a glut caused by over-production.


The EU wants to have a go at "building quality and competitiveness". So what they are going to do is pay growers to rip out one-eighth of their vines. The same vines that the growers were encouraged to plant via the current subsidies.

Recent Comments:
Probably quite a bit. But — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-06-26 06:29
I wonder how much of this — by Marnee on Mon, 2006-06-26 04:00

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Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-06-26 00:02

[reprised from SOLOHQ]

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the Constitution of any State or Federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

Recent Comments:
True, but for eloquence, the — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-06-29 06:33
This reminds me... — by Olivia on Thu, 2006-06-29 04:44
This is excellent... — by jtgagnon on Tue, 2006-06-27 02:55

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Separation of Marriage and State

MJ's picture
Submitted by MJ on Sun, 2006-06-25 06:41
Recent Comments:
"Mind you, the article to — by MJ on Mon, 2006-06-26 01:02
Wow, all I have to do is — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-06-26 00:17
By Overwhelming Public Demand ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-06-26 00:07

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Bosch Fawstin's response to the possibility of meeting Theo Van Gogh's fate

Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-06-25 04:37

This was posted on his site's forum recently in response to a poster asking if the murder of Theo Van Gogh after the production of the film "Submission" (about Islam) had stirred any fears in him about his upcoming project "The Infidel" As well as a response to a side comment I made about concealed carry laws."

Recent Comments:
Good to be here, thanks. — by Bosch Fawstin on Thu, 2006-06-29 14:11
And ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-06-28 01:58
He's just awesome! — by Marnee on Sun, 2006-06-25 04:47

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Linz Live (not)—Radio Live Editorial, June 25

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-06-25 01:00

Apologies for lack of audio. I didn't make it to the studio today after several hours of bad angina. These are the remarks I had prepared.

Seems it’s over before it’s begun. This show, I mean. As you know I broadcast out of one of Canwest’s Wellington studios—now it seems the studio is about to be reclaimed for some other purpose. Mitch Harris has promised to try to find me another slot, but at this point I can’t say when I’ll be with you again.

Recent Comments:
Linz, I recall that soon — by Mark Tammett on Thu, 2006-07-06 00:10
Joe wrote: "I think the — by Derek McGovern on Mon, 2006-06-26 02:33
Claudia wrote: "It took — by Derek McGovern on Mon, 2006-06-26 02:02

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PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Sat, 2006-06-24 16:12

The prefix "pseudo" means not genuine but having the appearance of. For example, a pseudo-intellectual is someone with pretensions to be an intellectual but whose attempt at it or "front" of being one is so deeply flawed that he is actually not an intellectual in the full sense. Someone who constantly uses big words in an attempt to impress and attempts to sound as if he reads and keeps up with the world of ideas, but does not actually understand those words and has not done the lifelong thinking that a real or thorough intellectual would do might be called a pseudo-intellectual if he gives the appearance of being one - for example, he's always talking about intellectual matters and refers to many books as if he has read them and digested them.

Recent Comments:
I also don't see the problem — by Fred Weiss on Sun, 2006-06-25 05:36
Neo-illogism — by Marnee on Sun, 2006-06-25 03:32
Phil! Spelling! — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-06-25 02:03

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Yet Another Muslim Atrocity

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Sat, 2006-06-24 14:27

   Two brave and noble American soldiers in Iraq were recently obscenely violated, horrifically tortured, and savagely beheaded by the usual inhuman Muslim jihadis. The reaction by most Americans -- as is natural and healthy -- was one of outrage and fury at this most recent Muslim monstrosity. Such fiery anger is a great motivator to rethink things and come up with fresh answers. But as the cousin of one of the mutilated soldiers helplessly noted: "We're very angry, but we don't know who to be angry with. Or who or what to blame." This almost universal view is both admirably honest and contemptibly pathetic.

Recent Comments:
Jeff — by eg on Mon, 2006-07-03 07:07
The State Is a Protection Racket — by jriggenbach on Sun, 2006-07-02 23:12
Vote for Jeff — by Fred Weiss on Sun, 2006-07-02 22:34

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The Religion Question

atlascott's picture
Submitted by atlascott on Fri, 2006-06-23 12:38

Julian contributed a wonderful C.S. Lewis quote  here:

Linz responded that it is a "[s]hame Lewis became a barking mad Christian."

And that got me thinking...

So does the fact that a person holds some religious belief mean that all of their contributions and thoughts are suspect?

Or can we compartmentalize the religiosity, put it aside, and enjoy the individual and his accomplishments without being immediately suspiciousof the underpinning of his ideas and the validity of his reasoning?

Recent Comments:
Good comments — by 0 on Wed, 2007-05-02 19:45
Is a religious founding — by User hidden on Wed, 2007-05-02 18:45
Eh, I think you gotta judge person by person... — by atlascott on Wed, 2007-05-02 03:06

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Ross picked a peck of pickled peppers . . .

User hidden's picture
Submitted by User hidden on Fri, 2006-06-23 11:55

Here is your pepper thread, Ross. I wasn't sure whether to put it here or in SOLO thrust after your Hungarian Horntail comment. (I know that wasn't the name but I can't remember it and naming a hot pepper atter a pretty cool dragon seems liike a good idea.)

Since I just moved into an apartment with only a small, totally shady porch, I have my tiniest garden ever, in containers, on a friend's back porch. I am growing red, purple, and orange bell peppers, brandywine tomatoes, basil, thyme, cilantro, and dill. I got my first purple pepper yesterday.

Recent Comments:
Two Options — by Marnee on Sat, 2006-06-24 02:58
What's soft & velvety? The — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-06-24 02:08
Wow, Kelly, you're starting — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-06-24 01:03

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Malice in masquerade.

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-23 03:15

Rober Campbell writes: Ultimately, Mr. Perigo sets the tone on this board. He can make into something besides a pig-rasslin' venue, if he wants to.

He speaks only of 'pig-rasslin'...what about malice? What can be done about that?

Recent Comments:
— by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-23 03:20

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Quote: President George W. Bush on the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and its Lessons for Today

MJ's picture
Submitted by MJ on Fri, 2006-06-23 01:46

George Bush as quoted in the New York Times.

"The sacrifice of the Hungarian people inspires all who love liberty, America honors your courage. We've learned from your example, and we resolve that when people stand up for their freedom, America will stand with them."

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Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-06-23 01:21

Recently there was an obvious instance of plagiarism here on SOLO. Since we didn't have a specific policy in place regarding plagiarism we gave the user a stern warning as per our general guidelines and have allowed him to continue posting following a public apology. This apology is accepted by the SOLO staff. In this particular case it may have been a mistake. 

This will not be our policy moving forward. Anyone who the SOLO staff believes is guilty of plagiarism on the SOLO forums will be placed on moderation permanently. Property rights and honesty are critical elements of the Objectivist philosophy and acts of plagiarism run contrary to both.  I want to make it clear that plagiarism will not be tolerated here on SOLO.

- Jason


Recent Comments:
I thought Victor was OK — by Rex Wilkinson on Sun, 2006-07-02 04:10
Over on OL — by eg on Sun, 2006-06-25 07:45
Wayne, you are mostly right. — by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2006-06-24 07:38

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James M. Buchanan: Constitutional and Post-Constitutional Political Economy

younkins's picture
Submitted by younkins on Fri, 2006-06-23 00:41

In 1986, James M. Buchanan was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics for his efforts to study the public sector within the same microeconomic analytical framework that is used to study private economy. Buchanan applies economics to understanding how individuals interact in the public square to formulate collective decisions. His Public Choice research program offers a foundation for understanding and analyzing the behavior of persons in public choosing whether they be voters, politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats, or other public servants. Buchanan’s contributions to this field can be found primarily in his The Calculus of Consent (1962) with Gordon Tullock, The Limits of Liberty (1975), and The Reason of Rules (1985) with Geoffrey Brennan.

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Quote: C.S. Lewis

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Thu, 2006-06-22 23:50

"What I want to fix your attention on is the vast overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence -- moral, cultural, social or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how 'democracy' (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient dictatorships, and by the same methods? The basic proposal of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be 'undemocratic.' Children who are fit to proceed may be artifically kept back, because the others would get a trauma by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT. We may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when 'I'm as good as you' has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish. The few who might want to learn will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway, the teachers -- or should I say nurses? -- will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men."

Recent Comments:
"I don't want to have my — by Fred Weiss on Sun, 2006-06-25 06:03
I love it! That's a — by JulianP on Sun, 2006-06-25 05:52
Yes, excellent quotation, — by Derek McGovern on Fri, 2006-06-23 23:22

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Envy of success exposed?

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Thu, 2006-06-22 20:38

From Reason magazine:

Burn the Rich

An old Russian joke tells the story of a peasant with one cow who hates his neighbor because he has two. A sorcerer offers to grant the envious farmer a single wish. "Kill one of my neighbor's cows!" he demands.

Research by two British economists, Daniel Zizzo of Oxford University and Andrew Oswald of Warwick University, suggests there is a good bit of truth behind that joke. In a recent study, Zizzo and Oswald ask, "Are People Willing to Pay to Reduce Others’ Incomes?" "The short answer to this question is: yes," they report. "Our subjects gave up large amounts of their cash to hurt others in the laboratory."

Recent Comments:
Related The Fountainhead — by Marnee on Fri, 2006-06-23 22:53
Was that an aboriginal cow? — by Rex Wilkinson on Fri, 2006-06-23 21:26

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Check elastic before jumping

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Thu, 2006-06-22 12:51

Here is a very short fiction story from the latest issue of nature. Projecting dissatisfaction with current statist trends into the future. For those that don't know NHS = "National Health Service" and HSE = "Health and Safety Executive". Enjoy.

Nature 441, 1026 (22 June 2006)

Check elastic before jumping
Neal Asherl

Standing before the museum display case, I listened to the cracking of stun rifles outside as CCM — Combined Corporate Military — engaged with the few government troops who could be bothered to fight.

Recent Comments:
Nice. Reminiscent of Robert — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-06-22 23:56
OK — by Marcus on Thu, 2006-06-22 13:15

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Shilling for Gilded Coins

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Thu, 2006-06-22 00:44

Well, after a squillion hours of work, and months of hair ripping-outing and what not, the Gilded Fork Online Boutique is at last open for business.

We've put together quite a decadent collection of caviar, truffles, foie gras, fine vinegars, and oodles of other treats for you to savor. My particular favorite is the set of Tahitian vanilla beans, but I'm also a fiend for the truffle oil. Smiling

Recent Comments:
God and quality control — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-25 01:00
Speaking of God... — by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-06-25 00:40
Thank God... — by Boaz the Boor on Sun, 2006-06-25 00:27

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More cartoons: "Going Places", "What Makes Us Tick"

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Wed, 2006-06-21 23:07

Going Places:

"Cold War cartoon defending the profit motive against anti-capitalist critics." Cartoon in public domain and available at 1948.

What Makes Us Tick:

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