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Posts posted by Topliner

  1. 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.

  2. A large body of novels exists for the Civil War, the Indian Wars, even World War II. The colonial period's list is pitifully, almost scandalously short. Representative of this specific subgenre is James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. The Sparrowhawk series of novels represents, in part, an ambitious attempt to help correct that deficiency.

    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.

  3. The character of Mal could not be an Objectivist because the man who created him doesn't understand the philosophy. In fact, Whedon has publicly stated his antipathy towards non-liberal ideas.

    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.

  4. That's the peace of cowards, and a contradiction. Peace is living in a state of being free from the initiation of physical force or the threat of it. Slavery is constantly living under the use of force. Those who accept that state are cowards because they don't fight for peace and freedom.

    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.

  5. Turkey is secular to the point that government employees cannot freely practice their religion. If you work for the Turkish government (including being in the military) , and are seen going to the mosque too often, or if a coworker visits your home and sees that your wife wears Muslim garb and you have Islamic symbols displayed on your walls, it can seriously impact your livelihood, to the point of losing your job. This is true even if you keep your religion separate from your work and lead a totally private Islamic life. That is taking secularism way too far.

    But that isn't secularism. That is totalitarianism.

    I say that it could result in bringing the Dark Ages back to Turkey because those kinds of practices could (and are, in some cases) causing an Islamic backlash. A lot of people who aren't really Islamic fundamentalists will actually end up supporting a fundamentalist movement, because they view it as the only way to protect their own religious freedoms.

    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.

  6. You can't have one without the other. Freedom is only possible with the prospect of peace.

    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.

  7. . . . nuclear technology was given to Pakistan by USA

    That's the first time I've heard that, and I don't believe it.

    and the war on terror and global terrorism is because of US foreign policies.

    That is just standard Islamist propaganda.

    Pakistan is just a small country caught in the crossfire. Although, dozens of innocent people are killed by the militants in Pakistan, yet Pakistan is considered a terrorist state. Pakistan is not a terrorist state, but a state under attack by the terrorists, which were created by USA. Disarming Pakistan's nuclear arsenal might bring peace of mind to the west, but has west ever thought of people of Pakistan?

    Are you suggesting it is the West's responsibility to take care of Pakistan? Are we our brother's keeper?

    I think that if we are going to talk about nuclear disarmament, then we should talk global disarmament, lets start with Pakistan and India together. The two countries don't have any major threat from any other countries and then do the same with all other countries that have nuclear arms. West thinks that they have a right to retain their WMDs and Muslim world should stay unarmed. That sounds a bit suspicious!

    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.

    Pakistan needs support from the world to fight this terrorism. They don't need threats. Our soldiers are fighting a battle against Al Qaida, our innocent people are dying at the hands of suicide bombers. People are scared. Our children are not safe. We are the ones who are under threat not the west. If one bomb goes off in the west its a big deal... we are humans too. Every life lost in Pakistan is as important as any other life in the world.

    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.

    Nuclear disarmament should not be a issue right now... Helping Pakistan and countries like Pakistan, who are fighting terrorism, should be the foucus. Don't call Pakistan a terrorist state, we are peaceful people who love our children and want global peace.

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Hitchens isn't an agnostic with respect to the Judeo-Christian God anymore than he's an agnostic with regards to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. His position, which I agree with, is that it is impossible to prove that something does not exist, but that there's no reason to believe in any sort of supreme being. That makes him an atheist. An agnostic is someone who thinks there is no principle which allows us to make a judgement one way or the other. Hitchens makes the judgement.

    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.

  10. No, it wasn't format. You have to go right at the bad premises right away and Hitchens didn't do that. I suspect because he is an admirer of Hume, whom D'Souza used. But this is not surprising, since the only people who can really take on Hume are Objectivists. Ayn Rand is the one who effectively answered both Hume and Kant, where no one else could. I think it's interesting that D'Souza brought them out, and I like the fact that he has, because once they are vanquish, it's all over but the shouting.

    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.

  11. I thought Toilers of the Sea was magnificent. It blew my mind. I think that is one of the greatest examples of pure heroism, of man vs. nature, in the artistic world. Whenever I am dealing with an obstacle, I always think of Gilliatt for inspiration. Although Ninety-Three is still my favroite of his. By now I've read everything except for Hans of Iceland and Bug Jurgal. I'm interested to hear reviews from other Hugo readers, because I have yet to hear anything at all about these two.

    I've been looking everywhere to try and find Ayn Rand's introduction to Toilers but I can't find it. I'm really curious as to what she thinks of it. Can anyone give me some info or a link or a paraphrase?

    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.

  12. 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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