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Everything posted by Topliner

  1. That is excellent. You should notify the Ayn Rand Institute of the existence of these recordings. They may not be aware of them.
  2. A search on Amazon turned up several other movies set in or around the American Revolution. The Howards of Virginia, starring Cary Grant as an American who joins the colonial army. His wife has Tory sympathies. The movie includes Jefferson and Patrick Henry, evidently some recreation of Henry's speeches, also. Johnny Tremain, a Disney movie from 1957, about a boy who becomes freinds with Samuel Adams. John Paul Jones, starring Robert Stack, an actor admired by Ayn Rand. Only available on VHS, unfortunately. George Washington and The Forging of a Nation starring Barry Bostwick, also available only on VHS, used. A CBS miniseries extending to 5 VHS tapes. The Crossing, starring Jeff Daniels, and Benedict Arnold, starring Aidan Quinn, both A&E made for tv movies. I didn't like The Crossing and haven't seen Benedict Arnold. Still pretty slim pickings.
  3. There were several historical novels set during the Revolution written by Kenneth Roberts, including Arundel and Rabble in Arms. He also wrote Northwest Passage,which was made into a movie starring Spencer Tracy. I haven't read any of them yet. But he evidently had an ax to grind, in that he was a great admirer of Benedict Arnold.
  4. That doesn't make sense. It's like saying Ayn Rand couldn't create a character like Ellsworth Toohey, because she isn't a collectvist. You don't have to be an Objectivist to create a character with Objectivist virtues. What does Whedon not understand? That Objectivists are rational, egoist, and capitalist? I'd say he understands that perfectly well. He has said he is liberal, and yet he has indubitably created a character in Malcolm Reynolds who is not a liberal in any way.
  5. I completely agree. Pacifists are using a stolen concept when they call for world peace, because what they want is not genuine peace, but exactly the opposite.
  6. But that isn't secularism. That is totalitarianism. It would be a backlash against totalitarianism. That is similar to blaming atheism for the atrocities of communism. The blame falls on statism/totalitarianism/communism, not on atheism or secularism.
  7. But you can have peace without the prospect of freedom. Slaves have existed throughout history, in times of peace, and times of war. There exist many people, pacifists, socialists, communists, environmentalists, Islamists, who are perfectly willing to live as slaves (indeed, are willing to fight in order to be slaves), rather than fight for freedom.
  8. That's the first time I've heard that, and I don't believe it. That is just standard Islamist propaganda. Are you suggesting it is the West's responsibility to take care of Pakistan? Are we our brother's keeper? The US does have the right to retain their nuclear weapons. And the Muslim nations, as long as they are a threat to America, should be prevented from acquiring and/or keeping any WMD. American soldiers, and American money, shoud be used only in defense of America. Sometimes that means fighting in foreign countries. It does not include sacrificing Americans for Pakistanis, or Iraqis, or anyone else. We are not the world's police force. When there is a potential Islamist coup in Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament of Pakistan is a very big issue. Just as it is in Iran. Global peace is not a primary aim, either. Freedom is the goal. Peace is secondary.
  9. How can a nation be too secular? And how can being secular cause a return to the Dark Ages?
  10. I haven't read it yet, but Monetary Policy in the United States by Richard H. Timberlake seems close to what is wanted. Quoting the back cover: "In this extensive history of U.S. monetary policy, Richard H. Timberlake chronicles the intellectual, political, and economic developments that prompted the use of central banking insttutions to regulate the monetary system." And it says it is written in nontechnical language, too.
  11. Nevertheless, he must be agnostic in regards to God and to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is inherent in skepticism. A skeptic holds that no knowledge is certain. He therefore can neither affirm nor deny anything, he cannot distinguish an assertion from a proven fact - except through the use of stolen concepts. A skeptic is by definition agnostic about everything. If he claims to be an atheist, anyway, he is using stolen concepts, and therefore contradicting himself.
  12. I wouldn't say either person won the debate. Both were awful on the level of principles. Hitchens' fatal flaw is that he's a skeptic. He believes with Hume, just as D'Souza does, that reason is unable to establish certainty in anything. For the same reason, he is an agnostic, since he can't prove there isn't a God. Philosphically, he is in the same anti-reason boat wtih D'Souza and all religionists.
  13. As already mentioned, AR did not write an introduction to Toilers of the Sea. It was reportedly the favorite novel of Thomas Edison. While Hans of Iceland and Bug Jargal are not as polished as Hugo's later novels, they are still excellent novles with lots of dramatic value conflicts. Hans of Iceland is interesting in that it has (if I remember correctly) a character named Ragnar, and another character named Danneskjold. Seems likely that is where AR took the name Ragnar Danneskjold from.
  14. Books I finished recently: The Case of the One-Eyed Witness, by Erle Stanley Gardner. A Perry Mason mystery. Gardner is the best selling mystery writer of all time. The Perry Mason tv show was one of Ayn Rand's favorites. The first season and a half are now available on DVD. The Merry Anne, by Samuel Merwin, co-author of Calumet K. I was rereading this book for a third time. Because you just can't find this kind of novel anymore, where businessmen are the heroes. Books next in line to read: Monetary Policy in the United States, by Richard H. Timberlake. " . . . chronicles the intellectual, political, and economic developments [from the founding of the country] that prompted the use of central banking institutions to regulate the monetary system." His perspective is anti-central banking. A Secret Life, by Benjamin Weiser. A biography of a Polish intelligence officer during the Cold War who was a double agent for the CIA. "A spy story for the ages, one that is not cynical, but uplifting. The anti-Le Carre."
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