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Machan's Musings - America, The New Switzerland

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Sun, 2006-01-01 00:47

Back in the mid-80s I lived a while in Lugano, Switzerland but I had
traveled in the country and through it several times before. And while
there are innumerable desirable features of the place—the great Alps, the
brilliant lakes, the clean neighborhoods everywhere, the efficiency of the
train system and the general abundance rarely found elsewhere in Europe
even back then—one runs across a few irritants as well. One of them I used
to find comical was that in Swiss restaurants one had to pay for
everything—well, maybe not the use of the napkins. But if you wanted
water, you had to pay for it. The same thing for bread, then butter, and

Recent Comments:
It's so unfair! — by Marcus on Sat, 2005-12-31 12:18

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Holiday Reprise: Iran Earthquake - God Dunnit

David Bertelsen's picture
Submitted by David Bertelsen on Sun, 2006-01-01 00:33

Strike up a few more lives to the death toll reaped by religion this century. Another 40,000 plus, whose philosophy of "God will protect us" failed, dismally, despite an all-pervading religious state, temples pointing in the right direction, week-long sessions of chanting, fasting, self-flagellation. One can safely assume that in Iran, that haven of Islamic correctness, whatever the wise script-readers interpreted as being his Almighty's preferred form of suffering has been preached, tested, implemented. And yet ... still, he chose to direct the full brunt of his anger at the very source of his most fervent faithful.


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Holiday Reprise - Thirty Great Crapolae of our Time

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2005-12-31 01:49

1) That wisdom resides in Academia.

2) That modern "intellectuals" are not Lenin's "useful idiots," driven by vanity and besotted by flattery.

3) That an MBA graduate has a brain; that an MBA degree has something to do with entrepreneurialism.

4) That flow charts and spread sheets are a substitute for kicking ass.

5) That pedantic, nit-picking clever-dick smart-asses who ejaculate to arcane masturbations about the meaning of the word "meaning" are authentic philosophers.

6) That wisdom's face cannot be joyous, or angry, or anything other than impassive.

7) That the world owes one - and pedantic, nit-picking clever-dick smart-asses - a living.

Recent Comments:
"14) That contemporary music — by Grey on Fri, 2005-12-30 17:05
31 — by Kenny on Fri, 2005-12-30 16:36
31) ... — by Summer Serravillo on Fri, 2005-12-30 13:01

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Prodos interviews Lindsay Perigo

administrator's picture
Submitted by administrator on Fri, 2005-12-30 05:49

[Listen to this interview] Prodos (an Australian radio presenter & Objectivist radical) interviews Lindsay Perigo ...

Recent Comments:
This interview was my — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2005-12-28 22:00

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Need Appropriate Suggestions to Understand Philosophy

Wazir Ali Baber's picture
Submitted by Wazir Ali Baber on Thu, 2005-12-29 20:47

Hi...

I need an appropraite suggestions to understand Philosophy and also refer me some basic books as i can be able to improve my knowledge in this subject and i want also be expert because i got more intrest in this field..

I am studying Philosophy as my major subject in the university. So do fever me

Recent Comments:
I've re-categorised this post ... — by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-01-09 09:23
Philosophy — by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2005-12-29 23:04

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Machan's Musings - Critics of the Halfway Free Society

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Mon, 2005-12-26 05:09

Most of us who champion a certain political system concern ourselves mainly with showing why its full implementation would be best. Few people argue for a halfway house—socialists, libertarians, welfare statists, and so forth all tend to find their system of political economy to be sound when it is in full bloom.

Yet hardly anyone expects a full blown actualization of the theory he or she has conceived as the best. This is because we are all aware that millions of people make up a society and there is a great deal of disagreement among them as to what is the best kind of human community. Although whatever system one defends, one will make the case that it is indeed right for everyone, that will not suffice since many will no be convinced and will continue to support others.


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Linz On Air!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2005-12-26 04:49

Monday December 26 I begin a 6-week stint on the Radio Live network in NZ. Mainly I'll be doing 10am-2pm/9am-noon, but in the last two weeks I'll be hosting the breakfast show, 6-9 am. Kiwi SOLOists, spread the word, and feel free to call in. Reason & freedom are back on the air! Smiling

Recent Comments:
"I especially enjoy how you — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2005-12-30 06:20
Listened for a while today — by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2005-12-30 02:08
Congratulations — by Marcus on Thu, 2005-12-29 17:40

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Xmas Xultations!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2005-12-25 22:40

I am writing this at lunch-time, Friday December 23 in New Zealand. A preposterously dark sky is being lit up by lightning flashes. Thunderclaps rend the air, and it's raining at a rate that would startle even Noah.

It's been that kind of year for SOLO!

The sun came out for SOLOC 4. Galt, did it blaze! Then, thunder and lightning, rain and more rain ... and weather-weary dejection.

I'm not going to look back on the year and pretend that it was not a great one!

Painful, yes ... excruciatingly so. But great.

How so?

The Credo speaks of sincerity, of the rejection of mind-games, of saying what one means and meaning what one says. It speaks to the "rationally exuberant and exuberantly rational." It disdains the reason/passion dichotomy. It is my provisional assessment that the floods have cleansed SOLO of those who embrace such a dichotomy. In particular, the especially pernicious notion that evil substance may be overlooked if the style is "good" (meaning "tempered") has been purged. Vileness can no longer expect to be applauded just because it is expressed politely.

Recent Comments:
Merry Christmas — by Marcus on Sat, 2005-12-24 19:56
Congrats — by sjw on Fri, 2005-12-23 22:36
Three cheers for loafing Linz! — by Joe Idoni on Fri, 2005-12-23 13:24

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Jimmy Wales

Ciro D Agostino's picture
Submitted by Ciro D Agostino on Thu, 2005-12-22 16:16

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wales

I wonder why on the English version of wikipedia it is not mentioned that Wales is an objectivist,while on the italian version it is  mentioned that he is an objectivist, and also that he was the moderator of an objectivist mailing-list forum.

He has a daugther named Kira!

Are people afraid to say that are onjectivists once they become famous?

 

CD

Recent Comments:
 I think he simply wants to — by Ciro D Agostino on Fri, 2005-12-23 21:04
Jimmy Wales — by James Heaps-Nelson on Fri, 2005-12-23 16:09

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Beer

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Thu, 2005-12-22 03:48

Since there has been recent interest here in beer, and since I'm the leader of SOLO Thrust, I decided to search out some internet information about beer. I did not get far when I stumbled upon this we

Recent Comments:
Jeff is right — by Kenny on Wed, 2006-08-30 17:42
Drink Locally Is Right — by jriggenbach on Tue, 2006-08-29 22:14
Think globally, drink locally. — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-08-29 20:57

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Silent Night

Derek McGovern's picture
Submitted by Derek McGovern on Wed, 2005-12-21 12:20

This is a cut & paste job from the forum of the world's greatest tenor (Mario Lanza Forum), but I'm sure the poster in question won't mind this festive indulgence!:

Recent Comments:
Pretty good, huh? — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2005-12-25 05:19
by Mario Lanza"My Suppressed — by Ciro D Agostino on Sat, 2005-12-24 02:10
Stille nacht, heilige nacht — by Robert on Wed, 2005-12-21 14:06

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Machan's Musings - Federal Judge Dictates Content of Biology Course

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Wed, 2005-12-21 06:02

Here you have it, the result of government education: Academic freedom is dead—a federal judge decided what Pennsylvania teachers may teach in biology classes.

As MSNBC reports, “The Dover [PA] Area School Board violated the Constitution when it ordered that its biology curriculum must include ‘intelligent design,’ the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled.” No, I do not believe Intelligent Design makes sense—you need to have a brain to design anything intelligently or otherwise, and since Intelligent Design is supposed to have created brains, the idea is viciously circular.

Recent Comments:
No disagreement — by removed on Fri, 2005-12-23 15:27
Truth in Teaching — by AdamReed on Fri, 2005-12-23 07:48
AF again — by removed on Thu, 2005-12-22 23:55

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Ayn-Rand: My Fiction-Writing Teacher

Erika Holzer's picture
Submitted by Erika Holzer on Wed, 2005-12-21 01:50

“Ayn Rand: My Fiction-Writing Teacher,” by Erika Holzer. Madison Press, 2005, 303 pages.

Reviewed by Stephen Cox

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was her generation’s largest influence on libertarian thought. She was also a powerful novelist and a king-sized American personality. In this year of Rand’s centennial, many of her friends and acquaintances are communicating their memories of her. I think it’s especially fitting that Erika Holzer, herself a novelist (“Double Crossing,” 1983, and “Eye for an Eye,” 1994), has contributed a memoir of Rand as a writing teacher. To tell the truth, I am on record as one of the many people who urged Holzer to do it.


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Clapton on Robert Johnson: In the flow

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2005-12-20 18:42

What an odd mix is Eric Clapton. A reserved, almost donnish Englishman, and still one of the world's great guitar heroes. Born and raised far from Mississippi or Chicago, yet he wields unquestionably one of the finest blues guitars the world has heard.

And he understands the psychology of creativity too, about which more below.

Recent Comments:
Mvardoulis — by HWH on Sun, 2007-06-17 03:14
Most definitely. — by Prima Donna on Wed, 2007-06-13 19:02
No tangent — by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-06-13 04:42

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Friend of a Friend

Marty's picture
Submitted by Marty on Sat, 2005-12-17 10:25

 

It mattered that he lived and died -

A wild, kicking stallion,

Who lusted, laughed, defied and cried

He roared like a battalion.

 

Friend he was to a friend of mine -

A rock! a tower! giant of a man!

In a flash, he lost life number nine

But he left a trophy in the race he ran  

Of wisdom and warmth, of dance and song

Of memories, legends, wise words to impart.

His scroll unfurls in a banner so long

Writ with his soul and sealed with his heart.

 

Soar to the stars, friend of my friend

Recent Comments:
Art — by Marty on Wed, 2005-12-21 09:26
This is beautiful Marty. — by Tim S on Tue, 2005-12-20 10:13

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Machan's Musings - Capitalism and Environmentalism

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Fri, 2005-12-16 19:37

Political outlooks rarely get put into practice completely, without many compromises made in their principles. Even Soviet-style socialism had a lot of free market elements interspersed with it when nearly 40% of farming was done on the black market. And there is no such thing as capitalism in America or anywhere else, not full-blown, no-holds-barred laissez-faire capitalism.

Still these political visions can be tested by way of thought experiments and some careful history, to see which would be best to try to achieve in practice. And one of the major challenges put before champions of a fully free, capitalist political economy comes from those worried about environmental degradation.

Recent Comments:
Correct, Tibor, and let's — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2005-12-17 08:51

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Machan's Musings - Hollywood, History, and Economics

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Fri, 2005-12-16 01:58

When Plato warned that artists cannot be trusted about truth because they deal with images, fantasies, not facts, he could have been talking about today’s Hollywood celebrities who are making movie after movie feeding the public half-truths and out-and-out misinformation. The latest one to join in this orgy of anti-capitalism and Neanderthal economics is George Clooney. Frankly I liked Rosemary much better since she tended to stick to what she knew something about: singing. George is now out there, taking over Martin Sheen’s role as the wise political sage who will awaken us to what we need to know about world economic and political affairs.

Recent Comments:
Hollywood and political fantasy — by removed on Mon, 2005-12-19 16:53
Hollywood as Fantasia — by Mark Humphrey on Mon, 2005-12-19 00:45

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"Tailgunner Joe" reviews King Kong

tailgunner_joe's picture
Submitted by tailgunner_joe on Thu, 2005-12-15 22:09

Peter Jackson is an odd animal. His first three movies proved that, given dedication, drive, vision and a sense of humour, he could indeed make amusingly bad, unconvincing, off-the-mark parodies of splatterpunk movies. Heavenly Creatures was good, but he went straight from that to a harmless bench-piece he knocked out to demonstrate that he had the chops to re-do King Kong—but had to take a long, involved, three-picture detour when the re-make of Mighty Joe Young monkeyed Hollywood out.

His most notable failing, however, is his singular inability to grasp or respect any pre-existing narrative. The Parker-Hulme murder is a fascinating story, but he filmed it as a vehicle for Richard Taylor’s blandly impressive special effects. And this is, let’s not forget, a man who just spent five years trying to make a comic-book movie out of a 1,100-page discussion of socio-linguistic teleology. Giving him one of cinema’s most beloved properties as a vanity piece is an odd move indeed.

Recent Comments:
TGJ, Proof of One Thing — by Jeff Perren on Wed, 2005-12-21 20:50
PJ has balls! — by Marcus on Wed, 2005-12-21 20:03

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The Pope, Objectivism ... and "The Best Within."

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2005-12-15 05:18

[Reprised from SOLOHQ]

Recent Comments:
O/ism & Xianity — by 0 on Wed, 2011-10-19 11:40
Good — by James Heaps-Nelson on Sun, 2005-12-18 02:36
That which is true of — by Robert Malcom on Sat, 2005-12-17 22:20

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Gay Films

Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Wed, 2005-12-14 19:53

I started a thread on this at the old SOLO. Got a lot of informative info thought it was worth reposting.

I may as well be honest about my reasoning for this... in my comic the first and highest profile romantic couple in my comic is a lesbian couple... not being a lesbian myself, I'm positive that without proper research I'm going to be getting things wrong right and left.

Recent Comments:
Beautiful creatures? — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2008-01-14 06:39
Transgender Films — by thewingmaker on Sun, 2007-04-08 19:21
Priest — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2007-04-01 23:44

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Machan's Musings - Journalists et al & What Justice Needs

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Tue, 2005-12-13 03:38

Someone help me out—why do journalists, priests, psychiatrists and such folks (I can understand about attorneys) get a pass when they obstruct justice? Yes, that’s what they are doing when they refuse to tell who told them about some crime.

It is my impression, and correct me if I am wrong, that the laws of a free country require that no one be complicit in the commission of a crime, neither before nor after the fact. Aiding and abetting criminals is itself criminal, or so I thought. But over the years I have been witnessing this exemption which I just don’t understand. It is my impression, too, that the laws of a free country are supposed to apply equally to all citizens. So, if my friend tells me of a crime, and I am obligated to notify the authorities, I don’t see why if a person tells a priest of a crime the priest gets a pass. Or the psychiatrists. Or, especially, a journalist.

Recent Comments:
"Compelling" testimony — by removed on Sun, 2005-12-18 22:39
Bad laws and the press — by removed on Sun, 2005-12-18 22:33
Isn't 'compelling' a person — by Robert Malcom on Thu, 2005-12-15 15:12

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Machan's Musings - Death Penalty for a Reformed Man

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Mon, 2005-12-12 22:32

The decision by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger not to commute the death penalty sentence of multiple murderer Stanley “Tookie” Williams was as right and it could be under the circumstances. The case had attracted much attention because the man had been something of a model prisoner though not because he had asked forgiveness—he never admitted to the crime—but because he had become a rather well-regarded children’s book author.

Whatever the details of this case, there should be no death penalty, however. Not because some people do not deserve it or it’s cruel or barbaric but because we ought to reduce the chances of a mistake as much as it is possible. It’s a matter of prudence, not justice. (If we had infallible knowledge, it would make sense, though. But we do not.)


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Post-Kyoto talks at Montreal ends with more talk

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2005-12-12 21:57

The Post-Kyoto Montreal 'save-the-planet' 'we're-all-going-to-die' Global Warming conference has come to an end. (I blogged about the conference last week if you recall). Below is a round-up of the outcome and some related stories from various sources. Many of the sources are disappointed at the lack of any substantive outcome except the promise to talk again. I'm not.


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Trade versus Conquest

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2005-12-12 21:47

Here's a lesson from history on the subject of trade and conquest, and which one of the two methods of inter-human interaction works best. Think about it:

Recent Comments:
That's presuming — by Robert Malcom on Sun, 2006-01-08 22:51
A very eloquent example — by Phil on Sun, 2006-01-08 06:46
Excellent Post — by Jason Quintana on Wed, 2005-12-14 19:48

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Reprise—Provocative Post!

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Sat, 2005-12-10 21:15

[Note from Linz: Here is a gauntlet being laid down by Casey Fahy.

Recent Comments:
Hmmmmm... — by Michael Stuart Kelly on Sat, 2005-12-17 19:52
Edit — by eg on Sat, 2005-12-17 17:02
The same to you — by Michael Stuart Kelly on Sat, 2005-12-17 10:10

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Homosexuality and Feminism in Objectivism

Stephen Whittington's picture
Submitted by Stephen Whittington on Sat, 2005-12-10 10:47

From my limited readings of Ayn Rand's novels, it seems to me that her view of the female (as lesser than the man - at least, that's the case that Nathaniel Branden formulates) is somewhat bizarre. If this is the case, does this suggest women are of less moral worth than the male? If that is not the conclusion one can draw, then what is?

Recent Comments:
Ted - "Tekla" — by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-10-05 18:12
I'd love to pick your brain at dinner some time — by Ted Keer on Thu, 2006-10-05 09:37
Ted - "Sookin" — by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-10-05 07:34

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New Web site for TOC

bidinotto's picture
Submitted by bidinotto on Fri, 2005-12-09 18:30

The Objectivist Center has unveiled a brand-new Web site -- updated, more contemporary, far easier to navigate -- at:

www.objectivistcenter.org

The Objectivist Center

A vast archive of information about Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and TOC is available on the site -- including all past issues of its magazines Navigator and The New Individualist. The separate Web site of The Atlas Society has also been folded into the new design.

Enjoy!

Robert Bidinotto, Editor,
The New Individualist

Recent Comments:
New TOC web site — by Kenny on Mon, 2005-12-12 21:15
Latest TNI — by bidinotto on Mon, 2005-12-12 18:49
I assume that latest issue — by Robert Malcom on Mon, 2005-12-12 03:03

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purrrrr

katdaddy's picture
Submitted by katdaddy on Fri, 2005-12-09 13:20

Property of the Colonel, if found please return to the kitchen.

Recent Comments:
Bloggin' togetha' — by Michael Stuart Kelly on Sat, 2005-12-10 07:17
*shakes a box of kibble and — by stormyeyes on Fri, 2005-12-09 15:01

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Sorry, I won't be attending my trial today...

atlascott's picture
Submitted by atlascott on Wed, 2005-12-07 15:03

Can someone explain to me how an accused who is already under arrest can simply refuse to go to his trial?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200...

This trial is shaping up to be a complete farce, and the evidence is mounting that it should have been done outside Iraq by the UN or some other body.  The Iraqis do not understand enough about it to understand that they have the stinker in custody.  "I'm not going to my trial" is not an option.

Recent Comments:
Correct, Bob. I've always — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-06-02 02:22
Ross: How Hermann Goering Died — by bobkolker on Fri, 2006-06-02 01:59
The story of the Nuremberg — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2005-12-07 22:22

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More weasel words [on vilification law reform]

Andrew Bates's picture
Submitted by Andrew Bates on Sun, 2005-12-04 22:47

 

[Australian State of Victoria] Premier Bracks fails to deliver on his promise to soften his racial vilification laws. ...

In a deep hole, Bracks has called for a longer shovel. And with it, he'll bury your right to free speech.

 

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,17427573^25717,00.html


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