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The Durande

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Everything posted by The Durande

  1. I generally don't want or care to know if someone is an Objectivist or an Ayn Rand admirer when I first meet them. I have, throughout my life, had certain litmus test questions on certain issues that give me a shortcut to someone's true personality, without letting them know that the issue is of all importance as to whether I will continue dealing with them. It is usually a topic so specific that they would have no clue to its utter importance, and therefore, they wouldn't see any reason to be dishonest about their answer to it. For the last 5 years, the question hasn't changed. I always find some way to bring up the Elian Gonzalez incident. This question, better than any other I have used, cuts to the root of someone's personality and soul. Once I know where they stood on that issue, I know whether I want to deal with them. This issue is so important to me, there are many cousins and acquintances that I no longer even say anything more than a simple "hello" to. It literally makes me sick to even consider befriending someone who comes down on the wrong side of this issue. I would like to know if anyone else here has this type of system. And what issue is it that you would use? (Aside from asking someone' "Do you like Ayn Rand?) I think that is is much better to save Ayn Rand and Objectivism for a later point in relationships or friendships.
  2. I would say almost none. But, South American dancing is quite a phenomenon. It is popular worldwide. And deservedly so. If a couple is good at it, it makes even average looking people attractive. It is very positive and lively. Not a very deep topic though.
  3. There is a new TV drama called "House" (3-4 episodes so far) it is on FOX right now (Tuesdays at 9pm). I HIGHLY reccommend it. The lead character is a type of Sherlock Holmes/Doctor. He is highly intelligent, anti-social, quite ruthless, and commtted to solutions to medical emergencies that arise. He is a master at medicine, but not only that, there is also a genius in the way he handles the interns and doctors that are subordinate to him. Regardless of his lack of "people skills," he has the obvious respect for his subordinates. This show is an example of romanticism, while other medical shows in the past (ER, St Elsewhere) were very naturalistic (dealing with all of the hot social and political topics of the moment), this show deals with medical essentials. And, more specifically, it upholds the value of the scientific approach.
  4. ok. I agree that we should win. Since we can't go back in time and correct things, and nobody in office is going to take any lasting measures, a policy of isolationism is called for. But that isn't going to happen either. So let's not play make believe. We can only say that, relatively, Bush is better than a lot of the alternatives.
  5. It can be, and maybe, given enough time, the Britsh Empire would have let us go free as well. But I find it hard to say to another man what his breaking point should be. Ayn Rand herself said she would be ready to go "violent" regarding the potential of a new copyright law being passed in the late 1970's. She said it either in a taped radio show or a lecture that I happen to own, but can't pinpoint at the moment. The occasion was that there was some proposal in congress to take away an author's copyright to some degree or another. Now, I don't think that Ayn would a very good machine-gunner, but with a few rifle lessons, she might have made a good sniper.
  6. I beleive we are WELL past the point where it would be justified. But it would not be advisable. Unless those who undertake it can offer something better, I would not support such a revolt. If we had the likes of our Founding Fathers in our midst, and they had a decent chance of winning, I would join. If you look at the Constitution, it is violated so much as to not even being newsworthy. If you look at the reasons Jefferson gave in our Declaration of Independence, the British Crown and government were absolute saints compared to the human garbage that regulates our society. Even look back at feudal serfs, who were forced to give 20% of their crop to their lords. We give more than that by far when you add up every kind of tax. Having said all of this, I DO NOT advocate a violent revolution. I am just saying that this country has done enough to DESERVE one. The gradual spread of Objectivism is a thousand times better than just changing from one semi-statist sytem to another that may or may not be better.
  7. I think that Michael Paxton (A Sense of Life) mentioned that he thought Madeline Stowe would mke a great Dagny. I agree. But I love Julianne Moore. Nicole Kidman has become a good enough actress to do it as well. I do think that casting is VERY important. In my opinion, Gary Cooper was actually the weak link in The Fountainhead. **The key is that whoever plays Rearden will get the most onscreen time in the film after Dagny, and maybe even more than Dagny - as I consider some of the scenes of Rearden's home life - and life at his mills to be the most universal and translatable into film. If they cast Rearden as a character who even APPEARS to have feet of clay, the film will fail.**
  8. If my post led you to remind us of that, no need to bother. I know. It was a mere statement of fact, just like saying: If everyone were sterile, then... Or, if everyone ALWAYS opted for the anus or mouth, then . . . Or, if everyone were sexually attracted to sheep and only sheep, then . . . . . . the human race would have been gone long ago. I have nothing personal against homosexuality. I'm just staing the fact that in that ISOLATED sense, it could be viewed, in THAT CONTEXT only, it could be viewed as anti-life. It is the homosexuals that are vehemently ANTI-STRAGHT that don't seem to get it. And there are probably more of that type than you think. But those types aren't objectivists anyway. In my view, it IS possible for a homosexual to be moral. I am sure there are many instances of it. I am sure that many Objectivists here know homosexuals that are moral - and many who have a greater understanding of Objectivism than I do. All I am saying is that in Ayn Rand's context, and not a single one of us can know what that was, she was probably striving to convey valid reasons for her feelings about the subject. I am sure it was NOT just a blank-out into a unjustified bigotry on her part. What I really question is the motives of those who NEED to know Ayn Rand's opinion on every detail of life. And then they cry out " she didn't like my type of music. she's intolerant" or " She doesn't like Thomas Wolfe. How could she hurt my feelings like that??" or "She wouldn't want a woman president. How can SHE say such a thing??" or " Why did she like Charlies Angels?? Gee, I thout it was unrealistic and sexist!" Do you see what all of these complainers have in common???? THEY WANT A RELIGION OUT OF HER. NOT PHILOSOPHY. Now, is it any wonder why some misinformed jackasses would call Objectivism a cult? From what I can tell, it isn't Ayn Rand's fault at all that a good portion of those who allegedly are Objectivists are actally just second-handers. She answered questions in q&a sessions. M.any of those questions were off the topic of philosophy. She was gracious enough to answer them anyway. It is from all of the non-essential stuff that Ayn Rand's enemies get ALL of their ammunition.
  9. I just bought a copy of USA Today, damn, I hope its not a fake!
  10. Attention deficit disorder is not a real medical condition. It is invented by non-scientists and those who work for the benefit of pharmecutical companies. People have free will. Predispositions like you mention are deterministic fallacies. To illustrate, ask yourself: What drugs did cavmens' brain chemistries lead them to? And what, god forbid, happened when those cavemen weren't able to locate crystal meth in their surroundings. I guess they just had to go without and lead normal lives. You may as well say that some are predisposed toward crime based upon brain chemistry. -Or any other behavior that people need excuses for.
  11. You must have a different idea of what "attack" means. It does not merely mean "to disagree with, or put forth a differing view. It means attack. Plainly it is wrong in this forum.
  12. what most people don't understand is the fact that means are ends. In other words, if enslaving me is a means to a better society, it is also ends in my perspective. I end up a slave. Anyone saying that the ends justify the means definitely aren't the ones being marched into gas chambers, starved in the Ukraine, or sent to jail for violating anti-trust acts.
  13. I think the most she ever said was that is was a psychological problem - it was during a q&a on a taped lecture somewhere. But this is just an example of personal opinion, not objectivism. She didn't like beards either. I wouldn't want to be in the position where everything I ever said is to be analyzed forever. What is important is her written work. She was a writer, and it seems to me that anything she ever considered important, she wrote about. Or was studying to do further writing about. The fact that she wrote about everything from Marylin Monroe to chess, but never wrote about homosexuality, I think proves that it was not an important subject to her.
  14. As one who has been around, I can say that you might sometimes get frustrated and want to leave - and by all means if you can afford it, try it for a while - but there is absolutely noplace like the U.S.A. Comparatively, this is a paradise.
  15. It doesn't need to fit with the rest of her philosophy. It is not a part of the body of Objectivism. It may be an improper or proper application of her philosophy - depending upon whether she actually used the word "immoral" to describe it. If she merely thought it was disgusting, then its irrelevant. As irrelevant to philosophy as when I occasionally say that I hate NASCAR. I hate any "sport" where people frequently get killed. It is a personal opinion. It relates to her psychology rather than philosophy. Homosexuality, from a strictly biological standpoint, could be considered anti-life in the sense that if everyone was homosexual, nobody would be here. Also, it may be disgusting from a health or hygenical point of view. Some, or even many, homosexuals engage in what can be objectively called inherently disgusting behavior. But I don't want this to get into a graphic debate. PS : from the above you may get the idea that i thik that if she used the word immoral to describe homosexuality, she misapplied objectivism. I am not willing to say that. I havent studied the nature of homosexuality at all, and for all I know, it may be the end result of a process of evasion- which would make it immoral. Ayn Rand had a context when she was speaking, and I suspect that whomever quoted her may have dropped that context, so it would be helpful if you knew where you read the quote in question.
  16. If you are going to regard cigarettes as a drug - then THEY must be the leading cause of drug induced death. But why context-drop? Why did you blank-out the fact that I said occasional alcoholic beverages???? Obviously- and there can be no possible reaasonable doubt what I meant was: Occasional alcohol use and cigarette smoking that Ayn Rand mentioned a few times in the MILLIONS of words that she wrote is NOT and advocacy of taking drugs! For christ's sake, look at the labels on just about any manufactured or processed food we eat daily, or even how produce is raised and fed - I could CONTEXT-DROP and easily say that just about ALL Americans are ON DRUGS!
  17. Obvious misrepresentations of what Ayn Rand wrote and said should warrant banning. I don't mean mistaken interpretation of what she wrote. I mean a dishonest attempt to rewrite her views. I can almost tolerate anything but that.
  18. I've been comparing the two websites for ARI and TOC, and assuming that the websites give an accurate view of the approach of each organization, here's what I find. ARI is far more Ayn Rand-focused, while TOC is far mor anybody who ever wrote anything about Ayn Rand-focused. ARI focuses on primary sources, while TOC focuses on interpretations. ARI is not a linksy site, while TOC will give you 0-2 degrees of separation to links of those who routinely disparage Ayn Rand. Their "objectivist links" page will lead you to those who advocate of just about any position you could ever imagine. At ARI, where there are links, you always get Objectivism. But again, the focus is on Ayn Rand's works at ARI. At TOC, the focus seems to be: What do we want Ayn Rand's works to mean? There is no real reason to patronize TOC, unless you want a place that softens itself enough to include just about anybody. If you want to hear or read what a variety of approaches to philosophy lead to, then okay. But if you want Objectivism, go to ARI. By the way, this goes FAR deeper than just approaches to Libertarianism. It is about approaches to thought and action themselves.
  19. Galt is portrayed as having sex w/one woman, for all we know, ever. ditto for Francisco Rearden - his wife, then dagny Roark - Dominique Kira - leo and andrei not in any case without love. The use of the word "partook" implies "casually" None of them took mind-altering drugs. Ever. Don't try to say that cigarettes are mind-altering. If they had a drink at some party in any of the books, it wasn't to the point of drunkenness except for the case of Leo. He was trapped in Russia! It was also noted in his first meeting w/Kira that it was NOT his habit to drink. Cigarettes and occasional alcoholic beverages aren't "taking drugs." Don't put them on a par w/marijuana and cocaine. She never "championed" cigarettes and alcohol in her personal life. If one makes references to enjoying holding the fire of a cigarette in one's hand, or the enjoyment of a new, exotic drink, that is not "championing." What you have said above amounts to a bunch of lies. Not just any lies, but about Ayn Rand. You do not deserve to exist in the same universe in which she once did, much less come to a forum that is dedicated to her acheivement. Cowards like you thrive on the anonimity offerered here. You are like a vandal with a can of spray paint. Nothing to offer but destruction. Please leave us out of your misery.
  20. it is a positive step, but unless the debate starts about the proper functions of government, it is no where near a solution. As long as they can print up the money for their welfare schemes, then they really wont shrink the gov. Inflation will get us if taxation doesnt. See : Egalitarianism and Inflation. One of Ayn Rand's best articles.
  21. Then just sweep them away again when they reveal themselves. Demeaning Ayn Rand, Objectivism, ARI, and its supporters should not be permitted here. That is why I have stayed here as long as I have. But, nevertheless, the board can be made better by burying these obnoxious clowns as soon as they show their heads. I do not mean people who just disagree, but people who promote Kelley, Libertarianism, and the like, or who bash Miss Rand, Objectivism, or ARI, should never be permitted to stay here. I agree, but the moderators here do work free of charge. More work for them would be tough. But you're right.
  22. I very much doubt the validity of even having a thread like this (drugs and objectivism do not belong in the same universe, much less a discussion), but, I will say to any "potential" Objectivist who is struggling with, toying with, thinking about drugs (those that cause loss of focus and coherence), - DONT LIE TO YOURSELVES. Don't even pretend that you deserve to breathe the same air that Ayn Rand once breathed if you see any value in mind-altering drugs. *I am not talking about medication* If you want an anything-goes world, go out and join it. Reap its rewards! I will admit - deuces are wild these days. But you cant be a double agent here. You give yourselves away too easily. The TOC will accept you.The Libertarian Party will accept you. Any university will accept you. But real objectivists won't. A thread like this is like a gift, a sanction if you will, that you don't deserve. When I think that we discuss the defense of this country, constitutional issues, art, economics, and other important topics on this board, and then someone comes along, somewhat like a streaker, and says that drugs make the world more fun or interesting - why not just say what is obvious - you hate yourself and this world. This is a sanctuary for many of us. I live in an area with about 600,000 people. I couldn't find 20 objectivists around here in a lifetime. I come to this board because I could meet 20 a day sometimes. Why are you and your ilk here? I certainly dont want or care to have everybody agree with me. That would be an out-of-cotext and irrational desire. But there has to be a modicum of decency. I don't want to hear about your LSD trip - or any other similar whim. I can go to a local university coffee shop and watch the freakshow anytime I want.
  23. Yeah but they'd just keep coming back under different names. From my experience on all of the "Objectivist" boards in the last couple of years, it seems like this one is the best. In my estimation, for every hard-thinking, real Objectivist, there are probably 3 or 4 pretenders. And if the pretenders aren't openly obnoxious it isn't so bad. It is the few at the top (branden's, etc.) that really make me ill. They had about 13 years to make their case against her while she was alive. They didn't. She was very capable in debate. They didn't test her then. But look at them now. Vermin is the right word.
  24. Okay, to the point. If you think it will be fun, then do it. It has no philosophical importance. Freemasons have nothing important to say or offer that isn't dealt with elsewhere. It is a hodgepodge. It won't ruin your life to jion. It will just be a waste of time. Since life is composed of time, then it will be a waste of life. But if you don't put in too much time in on rituals and nonsense, then its not much worse than say, occasionaly going to palm readings for fun. Why ask opinions on something that has no importance. Why not ask us what you should have for breakfast tommorow?
  25. What is the cause of a deity???????? See, that approach doesn't suit the "law" of causality at all. An infinite regress or any form of circular reasong should lead you to sense an error. That error is that the law of causality does not apply to the existenceof matter. It has always been here. How it has changed forms is causal - but not the fact of its existence.
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