The coming strike on Iran

Pete L's picture
Submitted by Pete L on Mon, 2006-04-10 03:43

For those who follow the rublings of the Pentagon, and the recent public statements of neoconservative officials and pundits, it is well known by now that the critical mass is gathering to carry out a military strike against Iran. The lessons of the American experience in Iraq seem to have to eliminated the scenario of carrying out a full scale ground invasion and subsequent occupation (especially when you consider that Iran is three times the size of Iraq in both size and population). Instead, air strikes on suspected nuke sites and other strategic assetts seems to the modus operandi put forth. Regime change, while desirable, seems more likely to come about by arming dissident groups (similar to what happened in Afghanistan).

Recent Comments:
Pete... — by jtgagnon on Mon, 2006-04-17 04:53
I'm back now... — by Pete L on Mon, 2006-04-17 01:08
Sandi & jtgagnon, I'm — by Pete L on Fri, 2006-04-14 04:04

( categories: )

A reminder that we're still at war with barbarism

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2006-04-09 20:44

Death to Marxism! Death to Fascism! Death to Islam! Death to all forms of tyranny over the minds of men! And shame on those who would appease or apologise for the evils these disgusting and barbarous ideas represent.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for cowards to appease it - and Islam is the locus of evil in the contemporary world." If that statement from The Free Radical's Lindsay Perigo is not true, then the death and destruction of September 11 did not happen; then Theo van Gogh was not murdered; then the Danish cartoonists are not in hiding in fear of their lives; then hordes of stone-age barbarians did not take to the streets in reaction against those cartoons to say "Europe, you will have your own Holocaust soon," "Behead those who would insult Islam" and "God Bless Hitler"; then Bali, Madrid and London were not bombed by maggots who show those threats need to be taken very seriously indeed.

It's still not clear to some people that war was declared in the name of Islam some five years ago by representatives from the dark ages who hate the West for its wealth, for its happiness and for its material success. This post is yet another reminder for those people.

Recent Comments:
I'm all ears — by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-04-16 04:20
Spoon Feeding, Rick Giles — by Wayne Simmons on Sat, 2006-04-15 18:27
Muslims from your "Muslims" — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-04-15 03:10

Perigo smeared

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2006-04-09 20:44

A local blogger has attacked Lindsay Perigo's 'Death to Islam' editorial as "bigotry" and "hate speech."

Recent Comments:
Well it's obvious the real — by gregster on Tue, 2007-07-10 04:52
Wow — by Andrew Bissell on Mon, 2006-04-10 01:55
You have at best — by Utility Belt on Mon, 2006-04-10 00:45

( categories: )

Binswanger on Immigration

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Sun, 2006-04-09 20:32

Harry Binswanger has posted to his blog a superb clarification of the ethical and legal issues in immigration. In view of the unhealthy reticence with which this issue is treated by many "libertarians" and wanna-be-"Objectivists," here and elsewhere, go read.

Recent Comments:
We already have open immigration... — by atlascott on Mon, 2007-08-13 16:24
A hypothetical question — by Erik Christensen on Mon, 2007-08-13 03:28
Actually, the Atlasphere Isn't an "Affiliate" of Anyone — by Joshua Zader on Thu, 2006-04-13 19:51

Character psychology, stimulus for development

Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-04-08 23:42

I started this topic on Objectivist Living (and later moved it to Rebirth of Reason)


I've been rereading a book I bought quite a while ago lately. It's called "Comic Writers on Scriptwriting" and it has about a dozen or so interviews with a number of writers.

The writers in this book discuss the particular tricks different writers use. Some go out of their way to bounce ideas off people, others purposely hole themselves up like a hermit while in the creative process etc. But one thing that caught my attention was an interview with former Bat-Title writer Devin Grayson.

Since to make a living as a comic writer you have to write several titles at once (it usually averages out to having to write one or two issues a week of various titles) she has a lot of characters operating in her head. Not in the literal sense mind you, but a big part of her writing is just partitioning part of her mind off to BECOME the characters she's writing, they have their favorite spots to write in and more importantly their favorite music. This works in the sense that in order to be fully functioning as Dick Grayson, Selina Kyle, Natasha Romanav (etc...) she has to follow their musical tastes. She specifically listed how Selina (Catwoman) is kind of a suave smooth sophisticated person who just emanates grace, but oddly she has rather loud tastes in music. You see Selina likes music like Garbage, Alanis Morisette and "all those other rock chics."

Recent Comments:
I totally agree. It always — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-04-09 05:43
Music just doesn't stimulate — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-04-09 04:57

( categories: )

The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson (reprised for Thanksgiving)

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-04-08 10:14

[The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson first appeared on SOLOHQ & in The Free Radical.]


President John Thomas Jefferson Smith turned to his uneasy secret service agents and waved for them to go away, outside, back into the night. He wanted to be left alone, in this dimly lit memorial, in this quiet place.

Recent Comments:
Have you ever tried to get — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-04-12 05:01
Whoa-eth! — by Prima Donna on Wed, 2006-04-12 04:59
Ah! — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-04-12 04:26

( categories: )

The Romantic Manifesto - Chapter 1: The Psycho-Epistemology of Art

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Sat, 2006-04-08 05:28

Hi all,

Recent Comments:
99.99% — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2007-09-15 13:19
There you go! :-) — by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2007-09-15 03:33
Gotta agree with Marcus here — by Landon Erp on Fri, 2007-09-14 15:59

SOLO Esthetics

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Sat, 2006-04-08 05:13

Welcome to this new SOLO forum, dedicated entirely to Objectivist esthetics. It is long overdue, and I look forward to many enlightening, and stimulating discussions here.

Recent Comments:
I'll say — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-04-08 22:12

( categories: )

On Human Origin

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Sat, 2006-04-08 03:02

The following proposition is a bold one for an amateur, but one which I believe may shed light on the special nature of human beings and perhaps demonstrate that there is, indeed, something special about human origin which is not shared by the rest of the animal kingdom. I must preface this essay with the confession that I am not a trained naturalist, anthropologist or biologist but I have studied these fields avidly from my armchair all of my life. And I'm an atheist, too.

Recent Comments:
Scientific reasoning . . . Objectivist style — by 0 on Tue, 2012-02-14 16:05
Re: Julian Jaynes and the movie "Altered States" — by 0 on Tue, 2012-02-14 14:52
WOW! — by Jules Troy on Tue, 2012-02-14 11:50

( categories: )

Aquinas and Kant on Masturbation

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sat, 2006-04-08 02:04

A spectre is haunting the philosophy of sex in the writings of Aquinas and Kant. It is curious, very curious, that Aquinas, Rand’s second favorite philosopher, and Kant, Rand’s least favorite philosopher (he was after all the most evil man in the northern part of southeast Koenigsburg) share a position (no, not the missionary)—masturbation. They’re against it. And there arguments are almost identical. Sex is made for procreation and no matter how good you get at wacking off, you’re not going to procreate. That’s the hard truth. Be erect, and take it like a man. Masturbation is a no-no.

Recent Comments:
Gavin — by seddon on Tue, 2008-08-12 14:29
Gilson — by Gaven on Tue, 2008-08-12 13:14
Gavin — by seddon on Mon, 2008-08-11 15:25

Kant on Belief in God

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sat, 2006-04-08 01:21

On pp.2-3 of Manfred Kuehn's book KANT: A BIOGRAPHY we read,
"Scheffner [an old friend of Kant's] was only too much aware of Kant's belief that there was nothing to be expected after death. Though in his philosophy he had held out hope for eternal life and a future state, in his personal life he had been cold to such ideas. Scheffner had often heard Kant scoff at prayer and other religious practices. Organized religion filled him with ire. It was clear to anyone who knew Kant personally that he had no faith in a personal God. Having postulated God and immortality, he himself did not believe in either. His considered opinion was that such beliefs were just a matter of "individual needs." Kant himself felt no such need."

Recent Comments:
Neil — by seddon on Mon, 2006-04-10 02:17
Fred — by Neil Parille on Sun, 2006-04-09 23:57
Jefferson — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-09 21:35

Machan's Musings—Teaching versus Preaching

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Sat, 2006-04-08 01:08

After having taught college for nearly forty years, I can report that a great many teachers use their class rooms to preach, not to teach. (The same is reportedly the case in secondary schooling but I am not qualified to speak to that.)

In the tradition of liberal education, which is what is supposed to guide the profession of teaching, when professors enter the classroom, they are supposed to present to their students facts about the subject matter and, where appropriate, the variety of viewpoints that have gained prominence concerning it. The former approach is mainly associated with the natural sciences, the latter with the humanities and social sciences. Of course, facts are involved in both and even where there are different viewpoints afoot, it doesn’t mean they are all equally sound. But because they have all gained respectability, the professor is not supposed to take sides. He or she is supposed to familiarize students with these prominent perspectives and leave it to the students to decide which position is the most reasonable.

Miniskirts: The Fashion of Freedom takes on Progressive Education

Marnee's picture
Submitted by Marnee on Sat, 2006-04-08 00:40

What does the fashionable and freedom loving girl wear to a protest? Well, take a lesson from 10 year old Zoe Hinkle of Pittsburgh.

This little Dagny Taggart is making a bold fashion statement about her freedom to make choices. But the oh so Progressive School Board says no!

Recent Comments:
Im not advocating young — by Richard Wiig on Sat, 2006-04-08 07:58
Progressives & My Hyperbole — by Marnee on Sat, 2006-04-08 06:02
I know Gene. It was a great — by Jody Gomez on Sat, 2006-04-08 04:53

Open vs. Closed System Theory

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Fri, 2006-04-07 20:32

Open vs Closed System

I am an advocate of Objectivism as a "closed system" of philosophical thought. I've considered this issue from many different angles and degrees of complexity over the years, but now the answer seems surprisingly clear to me. Several years ago, I asked myself the questions: "If I view Objectivism as an open system of thought, then how exactly do I define the term 'Objectivism?' What are the referents of 'Objectivism' in reality?" Based on the open system theory, I found these questions to be unanswerable.

One must have epistemological precision with his concepts, particularly in the study of philosophy. I have found that one of the best ways to deepen my understanding of a subject is to go back and more precisely define concepts relating to that subject. The closed system perspective makes this possible with respect to Objectivism. Assuming a closed system, I can define exactly what Objectivism is, and what its referents are in reality. Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Recent Comments:
Mike_M said: Imagine that, — by ValueCritic on Sun, 2010-04-11 17:11
'names', Proper-names, and concepts — by Rowlf on Sun, 2006-04-16 05:51
ok then! — by Mike_M on Wed, 2006-04-12 05:06

Piss Off

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Fri, 2006-04-07 07:31

Another inspiring item from Philadelphia news:

Comcast is building a new skyscraper in Philadelphia. They've decided to go with waterless urinals, already tested in a public school with success. The new technology promises to save water and provide a more efficient system. Wow! Progress! Innovation! All's well, right?
Wrong. The Plumber's Union is fighting it. And they've come to a compromise that allows the union to install....unneeded pipes.

Recent Comments:
Flash Drive — by Jmaurone on Fri, 2008-10-10 15:10
Sorry to re-open a dead — by Callum McPetrie on Fri, 2008-10-10 08:36
It would be so nice... — by JoeM on Fri, 2006-04-07 22:59

( categories: )

Linz on Radio & TV

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-04-07 03:42

Radio Live: Fri April 14, 10am - 2pm; Sunday April 16, 12pm - 4pm; Monday April 17, 2pm - 6pm; NEWSFLASH!! - every Sunday thereafter, 12pm - 4pm!

TVNZ, Eye to Eye: Saturday, April 22, 8am, against Hone Harawira, MP, on his proposal to ban smoking altogether!

Recent Comments:
"Well you did poke her ..." — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-04-26 14:08
Well, you *did* poke her — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-04-26 11:16
Did the cameras .. — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-04-26 08:59

( categories: )

Is This What They Teach at the Ayn Rand Institute?

Robert Campbell's picture
Submitted by Robert Campbell on Thu, 2006-04-06 15:01

Since Diana Hsieh is remarkably quick to impugn the scholarship of her "detractors," I thought it might be worthwhile to go through one of her own recent public statements about Objectivist scholarship, to see what standards it actually meets.

Recent Comments:
See my new blog entry — by Robert Campbell on Mon, 2006-08-07 15:07
Generally speaking — by eg on Sat, 2006-08-05 00:47
Two Inaccuracies — by DianaHsieh on Fri, 2006-08-04 21:34

( categories: )

First, Witchcraft Trials; Now, Impending Health Insurance Fiasco: Massachusetts Leads the Way

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-04-06 14:09

Having just read today’s New York Times’ lead page-one article titled “Massachusetts Sets Health Plan for Nearly All,” I think I know what it must be like to live in some place like Caracas and participate in a popular celebration of the joyous wonders wrought by La Revolución. That’s certainly the spirit of the article.

Recent Comments:
From within the fiasco — by Stephen K. on Tue, 2006-04-11 04:12
This won't fail. It won't be — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-04-07 04:47
I hope this is seen as a failure very quickly. — by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-04-06 14:39

Barbara Branden and TOC

William E. Perry's picture
Submitted by William E. Perry on Thu, 2006-04-06 13:50

I think that the invitation of Barbara Branden to speak at The Objectivist Center summer seminar was inappropriate based on her recent conduct. I attempted to stop the invitation based upon judgment of her by the standards of David Kelley in _The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand_. Although my views on judgment are far different than Kelley’s I was attempting to function within the context of the organization and its views.

Recent Comments:
Ciro, — by Casey on Wed, 2006-04-12 08:05
Ciro — by eg on Wed, 2006-04-12 05:04
Mr. Valliant, what if BB — by Ciro D Agostino on Wed, 2006-04-12 04:39

( categories: )

Vote for BBC "Moving Words"

Scott Wilson's picture
Submitted by Scott Wilson on Thu, 2006-04-06 07:59

On the BBC website there is a poll for the most Moving Words quoted in English for all time. The poll is here:

The results so far are:

Results so far:
1: Woody Allen: To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition
2: Dalai Lama: You can't shake hands with a clenched fist
3: Sir Isaac Newton: If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants
4: Saint Augustine: Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

Recent Comments:
Of Those Listed.... — by Dan Edge on Sat, 2006-04-08 02:46
~~ Since 'The List' doesn't — by Rowlf on Sat, 2006-04-08 02:40
Yeah! — by Fraser Stephen-Smith on Fri, 2006-04-07 15:35


Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-04-06 03:23

Click here for their homepage Click image for link to Frontline's website

We don't know how lucky we are. We don't know how proficious are the circumstances, Kiwis.

I know that since I've been away Paul Homes left TVNZ, and for a while there were three post-news current affairs shows. But thankfully we in Enzed have not yet devolved to the state of presenting and consuming tabloid news shows among ourselves.

Recent Comments:
Ain't no doubt — by Rick Giles on Fri, 2006-04-07 04:43
Frontline was brilliant. As — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-04-06 06:29

Duck Duck Goose

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Thu, 2006-04-06 03:22

Watching the news here...there's a Home Depot in Cherry Hill, New Jersey where a goose has decided to take up residence on the roof. Said Goose is swooping down at customers in the parking lot, being a nuisance and potentially a danger. So why is it still there? Home Depot has to file paperwork with the government and have the goose removed humanely. Then, on speculation that the goose is guarding ducklings, we get to see an interview with an real authority on why the goose should be allowed to remain, a little girl who wants the goose to be safe.

Foi Gras, anyone?

Recent Comments:
Bastards! — by Prima Donna on Tue, 2006-09-19 01:20
Foie Paux — by JoeM on Tue, 2006-09-19 00:29
Foi-ble — by Prima Donna on Mon, 2006-09-18 14:35

( categories: )

It's concrete, Jim, but not as we know it.

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-04-06 02:38

Progress is unpredictable. Great ideas and advances in one field can impact unpredictably in others. And some of the best ideas are often obvious once they're done. Exhibit A: light-transmitting concrete.

Just add optical glass glass-fibres to concrete and, hey presto, light-transmitting concrete. I can't wait to use it. Smiling

Recent Comments:
the Jefferson memorial — by mvardoulis on Tue, 2007-07-03 01:02
Credits and Correction — by Stephen Boydstun on Sun, 2007-07-01 17:11
More Light — by Stephen Boydstun on Sun, 2007-07-01 13:03

( categories: )

One more nail in the ID "theory" coffin.

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Thu, 2006-04-06 02:20

Though as we know, ID is a modern euphemism designed to make creationism more stealth-like, so I'm not sure if nailing the coffin shut will ever silence this living-dead creature.

transitional life forms

The Bigger the Better?

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Wed, 2006-04-05 23:23

No, this is not for SOLO Thrust... Smiling It's an interesting study recently published by Swiss researchers:

The Bigger the Better? Evidence of the Effect of Government Size on Life Satisfaction around the World

This paper empirically analyzes the question whether government involvement in the economy is conducive or detrimental to life satisfaction in a cross-section of 74 countries. This provides a test of a longstanding dispute between standard neoclassical economic theory, which predicts that government plays an unambiguously positive role for individuals' quality of life, and public choice theory, that was developed to understand why governments often choose excessive involvement and regulation, thereby harming voters' quality of life. Our results show that life satisfaction decreases with higher government spending. This negative impact of the government is stronger in countries with a leftwing median voter. It is alleviated by government effectiveness - but only in countries where the state sector is already small.

Recent Comments:
If this is true, then look — by Pete L on Wed, 2006-04-05 23:59

Staff Only -- The chat software

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Wed, 2006-04-05 22:01

I was on just and I noticed they have their own chatroom. I couldn't test all of the functionality, but the software seems much better then what we are using now. I'm not sure how easy it would be to integrate this into SOLO but this is the kind of thing we should look into using.

Recent Comments:
I've just realised that this — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-04-19 04:29
Yup. I concur with Ross. — by JulianP on Thu, 2006-04-06 02:42
Jason, it does look better, — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-04-06 02:12

( categories: )

Fighting Terrorism and Intimidation

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Wed, 2006-04-05 21:05

There is disagreement on this in Objectivist circles on everything from the War in Iraq to how to deal with the Danish cartoons issue and the threat of intimidation to whether we should nuke Teheran and more broadly whether we are fighting terrorism properly. It's not a set of debates primarily over theory or over Objectivism, but over practice, application, concretes. Over everything from the nature of Islam to when and how to apply force in countering threats and aggression.

I'm going to start by pulling over a post I just made regarding Borders' bookstore withdrawing a magazine carrying the cartoons from its shelves. [This was over on the 'Announcement' thread, where it started with a post by Diana Hsieh. I'm moving it because it's not the real topic of that thread, the reasons someone left an Objectivist organization or the organization itself.] That topic will follow immediately, but anything on how to fight terrorism, whether in an outright war, what to do about intimidation, issues of civil liberties such as the Patriot Act would fit on this thread.

Recent Comments:
Proper 'tactics'-vs-Evaluations of tacticians — by Rowlf on Thu, 2006-04-06 02:29
Pulling Magazines off the Shelves; Giving In to Intimidation — by PhilipC on Wed, 2006-04-05 21:16

( categories: )

Synaesthetics: Tasty Tunes

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Wed, 2006-04-05 17:31

"Like a little music with your meal, Tuco?
Yes, very good for the digestion."

-The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

In Celebration of Jennifer Iannolo's podcasts appearing on iTunes (yeah!), and her collaborations with Adam Buker (New York Cheesecake):

What kind of music do you recommend with a fine meal? Is there a preferred genre of music for certain varieties? Do you find that music does, indeed, aid in the digestion? Do you tip the violing player at the table to play or go away?

(If you have the white trash pedigree like me, you've probably come to associate "Sweet Home Alabama" with backyard barbeques!)

Recent Comments:
Right on! — by Prima Donna on Thu, 2006-04-06 03:37
Oh, lots of Creedence for — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-04-06 02:51
And I have to add — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-04-06 01:49

( categories: )

Rhythm Versus Melody continued: Extensional versus. intensional

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Wed, 2006-04-05 17:16

Rhythm Versus Melody continued: Extensional versus. Intensional
By Joseph C. Maurone

( categories: )

Getting no (musical) satisfaction?

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-04-05 01:02

Reading a puff-piece the other day about the Rolling Stones' impending world tour, a piece of research was quoted that suggested our 'cultural choices' (or some such phrase) are all made between the ages of fifteen to thirty, following which we all apparently seek to recapture and reprise the thrill first felt in the first flush of adulthood.

This, said the journalist about the research, explains such phenomena as the constant repackaging and re-selling of CDs and albums of arthritic rockers, the $umpteen squillion Jimi Hendrix Rock'n'Roll Museum in Seattle (paid for with Paul Allen's Microsoft winnings), and the bland dreck played on expensive sound equipment emanating from the car windows of too many highly-paid middle-aged middle executives - 'life in the fast lane' - 'I can't get no satisfaction' - 'all in all we're just another lame-brain in the wall' - bleecch.

Recent Comments:
James V:I "hear" sincerity, — by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-04-12 07:45
Sincerity — by James S. Valliant on Sat, 2006-04-08 13:40
Hey James... — by Lanza Morio on Sat, 2006-04-08 05:02

Syndicate content