khaight

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About khaight

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  • Birthday 01/30/1971

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  • Website URL http://www.leftist.org/haightspeech/
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  • Location San Jose, CA
  • Interests Philosophy, history, economics, psychology, politics, computer science, gaming, science fiction & fantasy.
  1. Atlas Shrugged Movie On Hold

    I agree. The more I heard about this project the more I dreaded the final result. This was doubly true after reading the essay on "Adapting The Fountainhead To Film" in Robert Mayhew's recent anthology; it contains a number of fascinating remarks from Rand on the problems and difficulties she had adapting one of her own works for film, and comments on the way that even seemingly minor changes like the ones Wallace was referring to above would make the whole screenplay disintegrate into triviality. Although I will admit I was kind of looking forward to the (hypothetical) Atlas Shrugged Happy Meal with Rearden Metal Toy Surprise!
  2. Neoconservatives and Altruism

    The fourth issue of TOS includes a brief list of forthcoming articles at the end; one of these is described as "C. Bradley Thompson on neo-conservatism: an obituary for an idea". I'm hoping Thompson is going to do the same type of analysis on neo-conservatism that he did on the conservative movement generally in his earlier article on "The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism".
  3. Penn & Teller - Bullsh*t

    Marge: Homer, for the last time, that's not God. It's just a waffle that got stuck to the ceiling.
  4. Ode to Joy: 4th movement of Ninth Symphony

    It's lovely music. The worst thing I can say about it is that it suffers a little from over-exposure. Not to the same extent as the first movement of the 5th, though.
  5. Competition Without Freedom

    Oh, naturally. That would have been a benefit provided only to people who could afford to pay the higher rate (i.e. to the rich) and is thus utterly unthinkable.
  6. William Westmiller made a run for Congress in 1998; he tried for the Republican nomination to run against Brad Sherman (D-CA). He got 18% of the vote in the primary, and that was that. I gather he was an Objectivist; ISTR Betsy Speicher supported his campaign. On a somewhat different tack, I've also heard that Republican party officials once approached John Allison (the Objectivist CEO of BB&T) about running for Governor of North Carolina. He turned them down because he has no interest in running for public office.
  7. Here I agree. The moral goal is the elimination of taxation. There is no level of government theft of property that is morally OK.
  8. Romney strikes me as very much a poll-driven politician. His positions seem to shift with the wind, based on what he thinks is necessary to get elected. When he was running for office in Massachusetts, for example, he was pro-choice. Now that he's running for national office in the Republican primaries, he's become pro-life. I get the same sense about a lot of his other positions -- they seem synthetic, proposed because he thinks they'll win votes and not because he believes them. If he won't define and defend his positions when faced with American voters, why should I believe he'll define and defend the values of the West against the Islamic totalitarians? He looks like a cream puff to me, not a leader.
  9. Stephen's Health

    This is Kyle's wife, Anne. My account here has not yet been approved, so Kyle logged me in as him. I only really became aware of Stephen last week (although I have known of Betsy for a while now, mostly through Kyle's relays of activities in the Objectivist community), when Kyle told me about Betsy's request for B-neg and O-neg blood donors (my blood type is B-neg). I didn't know Stephen, but what little I have heard about him in this short time has made me feel his loss like a truck falling on me out of the sky. The world has too many idiots, and not enough people like Stephen and Betsy in it. Strength, passion, intellect, all moving as one toward more and greater. I'm crying now, which I don't do for strangers. I felt a connection, never having known him. My husband Kyle also wishes to express his deepest condolences. He's not good with words in situations like this (neither am I). But our thoughts are with Betsy and her family.
  10. Heroes (2006)

    I can't speak for Free Capitalist, but my experience has been that if the show is good enough, I make the time. The most egregious example of this I can think of was my encounter with the first season of Alias, which my wife and I watched on DVD. We watched the first 14 episodes in a single block, all in a row, and only stopped because our eyeballs started to (metaphorically) bleed. That was an addictive program. (Later seasons went downhill, sadly.) These days, I have some time on Saturdays, because I'm working M-F and my wife is working Tu-Sa.
  11. Firefly (2002)

    I'm willing to forgive the Sci-Fi Network a lot in exchange for Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. (Eureka wasn't bad either; not deep, but light-hearted and fun.) Their mini-series The Lost Room was also a very pleasant surprise. I have absolutely nothing good to say about their original movies, though -- they're uniformly crap. It's like they're made by completely different people.
  12. Ditto. Just about every time my wife and I go shopping, I point out basic spelling and grammatical errors in signage in the stores. Not just hand-printed stuff either, but things that have gone through professional printing and are up in dozens or hundreds of places in national chain stores. Often the errors are ones that a spelling checker would have picked up, which makes me think it isn't even a reliance on inadequate tools. The people doing this stuff just don't care about getting the details right.
  13. Art of Thinking

    It's a worthwhile course. I think of it as "the rest of Understanding Objectivism". I haven't listened to my copy for quite some time, so I can't give you much in the way of details.
  14. Rudy on Hannity & Colmes

    Sadly, I do think that's the way to bet. The Republican party is usually very hierarchy-oriented in its presidential nominations, giving the nod to whoever came in second the previous time around. (George W. Bush is an exception to this general rule, but it holds true for just about every other open nomination race in the last several decades.) As the second-place finisher in the 2000 primaries, it's McCain's 'turn', and that gives him an advantage. His disadvantage is that he has royally pissed off a lot of the party activist base with his opposition to the Bush tax cuts, his antics on judicial nominations, and especially his assault on political freedom of speech. I think he can be stopped, but it will take work. Romney (who was asked about in a different thread) seems to be trying to position himself as the ideologically conservative candidate, hoping that McCain and Giuliani will split the centrist vote. Romney's problem in that regard is that he has a background of surviving in Massachusetts politics, which isn't a healthy environment for ideological conservatives, so he has a tough sell. He's also relatively unknown on the national stage, which is both a problem and an advantage, since it means he still has a chance to define his national image. He's also photogenic and articulate. I find him a bit too synthetic, personally -- I get the sense that his positions flow from what he thinks will poll well rather than what he thinks is right. But, as I said before, it's early days and I'm still watching what the candidates say.
  15. Rudy on Hannity & Colmes

    Giuliani has done some things in the past I disapprove of (his unjust assault on Michael Milken comes to mind), and he holds some political views with which I strongly disagree (such as his position on gun control). Nevertheless, he's far and away my current favorite out of the crop of Republican hopefuls for 2008. He's pro-choice, he's secular, he's got demonstrated executive and leadership skills, he understands the gravity of the war with Islamic totalitarianism, and he's willing to buck multiculturalism in its pursuit. The incidents you cite with Bandar and Arafat demonstrate more moral self-confidence when dealing with Islamic thugs than Bush has demonstrated in his entire term of office to date. Also, from a purely political "pop the popcorn and watch the show" perspective, it would be entertaining watching the Democrats try to paint him with the 'religious right' brush when it's so obvious that he isn't one of them. Giuliani getting the GOP nomination would serve as an automatic refutation of the Democratic meme that all Republicans are Christian religious nuts. He's a long way from perfect, but he's leagues beyond Romney and (spit) McCain. Definitely the best thing on offer to date. It's early days, of course, but so far I like what I'm hearing.