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  1. The Sparrowhawk Flag

    Ed Cline, the author of the Sparrowhawk novels, has been presented with an authentic reproduction of the "Sons of Liberty" flag described in his books. Ed is shown on the left holding the flag with Bob Hill, manager of the Williamsburg Booksellers where he frequently appears to autograph his books. If Ayn Rand had ever written a historical novel of the American Revolution, Sparrowhawk would have been it. Further details may be obtained at: http://drurytrantham.blogspot.com/
  2. Happy Ayn Rand's Birthday

    I once tried to summarize my response to Ayn Rand's works, and I came up with this: The knowledge that once, on earth, there existed a mind that could conceive John Galt is sustenance for the psyche.
  3. Mencken vs Islam

    Ed Cline's latest: Rule of Reason Blog
  4. A Credo - H.L. Mencken

  5. Information for contacting CapMag is available here: http://www.capmag.com/company/index.asp If that doesn't work, let me know. I may be able to provide other leads.
  6. A Credo - H.L. Mencken

    You are correct. There is a category called "Quotes and Observations". I totally overlooked it when I scanned the list to determine where to add my post. I picked "Philosophy" because that is what the credo is in a most concise form. As for what I think a reader would get from the quote, I hoped it would pique the interest of anyone who had not read Mencken. He was not a philosopher or a great novelist. He was a self-educated and self-described newspaper man. But, what a newspaper man! He spent his life trouncing charlatans wherever he found them. He covered most of the major events of the first half of the 20th century. How many newspaper men are there who's work is still in print 50 years after they died? In addition to reporting, he became one of the most respected critics of the arts in his age, and he still had time to compile the monumental "Dictionary of Quotations" and "The American Language". He was a pleasure to read in his time and he remains so today. Of course, you know all that, but there may be some readers out there that can enjoy his works for the first time. If you can move the post to the "quotes" category, please do so.
  7. A Credo - H.L. Mencken

    If you can't simply take pleasure out of a notable person's statement of principals, then please just ignore it. Personally, I have a large collection of quotes that I have saved. However, I won't bother you with any more of them.
  8. A Credo - H.L. Mencken

    A Credo I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind-that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking. I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious. I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty... I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect. I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech... I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress. But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant. - H.L. Mencken
  9. Boycott Coca-Cola

    Thanks for the article on Apple and Nike. I was unaware of their resignations from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. However, the article brings up one of the points I am making: "the way that Apple and Nike are putting green political correctness above the long-term interests of their own shareholders" [and the well being of all Americans]. You are assuming that the "Hopenhagen" website is Coke's only contribution to the conference: "I approve of Coke's exploiting of the weak minds of the hippies." However, this is far from being the case. Muhtar Kent is Chairman, CEO and President of Coca-Cola. Picture James Taggart, in the flesh, sucking up to all the power elite. From an interview with Fortune: "He was one of a handful of Fortune 500 CEOs to come to Denmark to throw his support behind a global agreement to regulate carbon emissions. 'It is absolutely imperative that our commitment to a low-carbon future be fully understood,' Kent said. 'We’re here to lend a Coca-Cola voice to the public and political debate on getting to a fair framework, an inclusive framework, an effective framework so that we can achieve climate protection.'" A boycott of Coke is not "anti-market". The Coke management has decided that it is going to support a political cause. A boycott is the simplest way to make a political response. A boycott could accomplish the following: Average Coke stockholders are probably not aware that their investments are assisting in the destruction of the American economy. Perhaps, if it affects their business enough, they will decide to fire their board of directors or at least reign them in. Perhaps stockholders in other companies would start forcing their managements to fight cap and trade instead of grovelling for loopholes. If nothing else, being a simple action that millions of people could adopt, it would show the politicians the strength of the opposition. And we would not have to wait till the 2010 elections to get our message across.
  10. Boycott Coca-Cola

    The recent Copenhagen Conference illustrated in no uncertain terms the real goals of the global warming zealots. The raucous attendees inside the conference halls demanded that the developed countries throttle their economies and pay trillions of dollars in tribute to the undeveloped countries. The screaming demonstrators outside the halls demanded the end of capitalism and the creation of a socialist world. What was not in evidence was any reasoned debate on the veracity of global warming and its possible impact. We are to believe that science has produced conclusive evidence that the world is in imminent danger. This, despite the revelations of manipulated data, ignored requests for full disclosure of data and models and the suppression of opposing views. Coca-Cola is one of the three founding members of the "Hopenhagen" website (http://www.hopenhagen.org/partners). The express purpose of this site is to encourage other companies and individuals to pressure their governments to adopt a treaty that would create a new world government to control all industrial development and energy use. This would mean that unelected international bureaucrats, through cap and trade laws, would control a major portion of the American economy. Who is supporting cap and trade legislation? industries that expect to profit from trading their emissions allotments cap and trade clearing houses that will arrange the trades politicians who will receive kick-backs (i.e., contributions) from the distribution of allotments and gain more control of our lives the main stream media that understands that hysteria sells and objective, reasoned science does not environmental fanatics who have been searching for decades for the perfect cause to advance their agenda demagogues world-wide who would like nothing better than to bring America to its knees Who is opposing cap and trade legislation? "We the People" - nationwide polls indicate that the majority of Americans are skeptical of the global warming claims and are aware of the massive impact that cap and trade laws will have on their well being Thousands of objective scientists world-wide who deplore this blatant attempt to politicize science More than one hundred companies have signed on as "Friends Of Hopenhagen", so why pick on Coca-Cola and why have a boycott? Coca-Cola has chosen to be a principal promoter of this new world order Coca-Cola has a limited line of products that are used widely and readily replaced by other products No matter how many people attend demonstrations to oppose the actions of our current government, they are ignored by the press and the politicians A nationwide boycott of a major company like Coca-Cola could involve millions of people and could not be ignored A nationwide boycott could help kill the cap and trade legislation and convince the politicians that America is fed up with "change" OK, so what do we do? Attached is an "Open Letter to Coca-Cola" Copy the letter and either email it or mail it to Coca-Cola at cocacolasupport@na.ko.com or The Coca-Cola Company P.O. Box 1734 Atlanta, GA 30301, USA Submit the letter to your local newspaper as a letter to the editor If you wish to write your own letter or modify this one, feel free to do so, but keep your comments calm and factual Copy this entire discussion including the letter and mail it to everyone on your email list and encourage them to join the boycott If you have an appropriate website, copy this entire discussion including the letter and post it on your website December 2009 An Open Letter to the Board of Directors The Coca-Cola Company Ladies and Gentlemen: I have been a life-long consumer of your company's products. I have always considered Coca-Cola the quintessential American company. But, no more. Coca-Cola is one of the three founding members of the "Hopenhagen" website. The express purpose of this site is to encourage other companies and individuals to pressure their governments to adopt a treaty that would create a new world government. This entity would control industrial development and energy use throughout the world. Fortunately, no treaty was signed in Copenhagen, but the effort will be renewed in Mexico City in 2010. I have no problem with Coca-Cola, as a private company, adopting whatever commercial practices you decide are appropriate for the operation of your business. If some of these practices include environmentally friendly changes to your operations, that is your choice. Of course, if your stockholders disagree, they have the option to try to change your practices or to sell your stock and move their investments into more productive ventures. Your support of this international treaty is an entirely different matter. The basis of this treaty is the report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC purports that the global climate is warming catastrophically, and that this is caused principally by human activity (i.e., anthropogenic global warming (AGW)). The “science” behind this claim, to put it most charitably, is highly questionable. I will not dwell on the recent revelations of manipulated data, destroyed raw data, ignored contradictory data, evasion of "Freedom of Information Act" requests and the suppression of opposing views in various scientific journals. The very idea that man's recent puny efforts have more of an impact on global temperatures than massive influences like sun spot cycles and the quantity of water vapor in the atmosphere is, not only ludicrous, but also contrary to the historical record. The earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years without any influence by man, and it will continue to do so as long as it exists. What is more ludicrous, however, is the idea that man can model this ecosystem accurately in computer programs composed of millions of lines of code and thousands of assumptions. All he can do is try to create models that reasonably track past history. This has not been accomplished. The computer models cannot even track recent history which shows no net increase in global temperatures over the last ten years and puts the lie to the silly “hockey stick” theory of continually accelerating global temperatures. Yet we are supposed to accept the model predictions of a future apocalypse if we don't take immediate action to control and reduce man's use of fossil fuels. The IPCC, in the latest treaty, is proposing a new governing body that would force all nations to control CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. Regulations would take the form of limits on CO2 emissions, penalties for non-compliance and massive aid from the developed countries to the third world to help them develop non-carbon based infrastructure. In the United States, for instance, cap and trade laws would enrich a favored few and result in higher energy costs, increased prices for all goods, higher taxes, lost jobs and a reduced standard of living for everyone. More importantly, this would mean the end of our representative form of government. Our Constitution is already becoming a meaningless document in the hands of our elected representatives. In the hands of a world government full of unelected bureaucrats our freedom would soon be non-existent. We would be deluding ourselves to think the powers of this new entity would be long constrained to its initial purpose. The Coca-Cola Company has decided to lend its full support and encouragement to this new world order. You are pandering to the politicians, radical environmentalists and demagogues from around the world. Contrary to these fear-mongers' claims, AGW is not proven. Also, considering the way this research has been conducted, it is not science. Until such time as Coca-Cola renounces all attempts to create a world government to control man's future and repudiates the cap and trade proposals, I will no longer purchase Coke products. What is more, I intend to circulate this letter as widely as I can in the hope that others will join me in this boycott. I believe you will find that there are many more people in this country who cherish their freedom than there are radicals who wish to destroy it. Signed, An American Citizen
  11. Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post. "No Country For Old Men" was an interesting movie and a real thriller. However, it is probably also the most nihilistic film I have ever seen. In discussing it with others, I found that everybody had the same reaction at the end: "What happened, and where did the money go?". To satisfy my curiosity, I skim-read the book. The movie was very close to the book. If you want to watch the movie, read no further because I am going to explain it to you. I hope this explains it to everybody, and you appreciate my efforts of sorting things out for you.
  12. John Locke by Edward Cline

    It is interesting how Mr. Kolker selectively chooses his references in order to denigrate Locke. Even in the quote he uses, he ignores this statement: "Locke, along with Shaftsbury and many others bought shares...". Since commerce was the principal means of investment in that period, there were probably few people of means in England who were not indirectly invested in the slave trade. To use this to insinuate that Locke condoned slavery is rather tortuous. Here is another quote from the same reference (n.b., I have not bothered to correct spelling or grammatical errors.): "Slavery, however, was different things for different people at different times. In 1492, while there were some moral qualms amongst Europeans about slavery, slavery was a widespread institution accross the world. Part of what is intersting about the history of slavery is how the moral judgement of slavery changed in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, so that now, if you ask almost anyone, they will tell you that chatel slavery is one of the most morally obnixous practices they can think of. This process was gradual and had a variety of different causes. In the end, however, the transformation in our moral assesment of slavery was so dramatic, it is hard to think of another concept which has undergone similar moral devaluation." Note the statement "the moral judgement of slavery changed in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth century". Since Locke died in 1704, I would contend that his writings were a major influence in changing this moral judgment. Finally, the reference that Kolker uses appears to be a college course study assignment. The student is directed to read Locke's Second Treatise among other works and then write an essay based on a choice of one of four hypotheses. The first three suggest that Locke opposed royal autocracy and condoned slavery in various circumstances, but: "A fourth hypothesis says that [Locke's] ... theory of slavery explains both why royal autocracy and chattel slavery are wrong -- for they represent 'the same tyrannical principle.' Just as the efforts of the English king to illegitimately enslave his people is wrong, so the efforts of African and English slave traders and slave holders is illegitimate." Anyone who has read the Second Treatise can only agree with this last hypothesis. Kolker writes: "When I re-read Locke's -Treatise-, I will be sure to hold my nose." Mr. Kolker, try reading it for the first time, particularly Chapters IV and XVI as suggested by the teacher you have quoted. You can find it online at http://www.constitution.org/jl/2ndtreat.htm
  13. A review of Sparrowhawk

    There are a few scattered references to the Edward Cline's Sparrowhawk novels on this site, but I have found no real review of the books. I have found a great review that I would like to recommend here: http://www.titanicdeckchairs.com/2008/07/b...awk-series.html The author starts with: "Where can you turn if you love reading books that portray man as a heroic being, with a brilliant plot, great dialog and soaring themes? For most readers of my blog, the immediate answer is Ayn Rand. But after you have read and re-read her works over the years, where else can you look for romantic realism that isn’t muddied by the prevailing altruism, naturalism, or logical and ethical confusions of most current and past authors? There’s not a lot out there." and ends with: "Great books – the ones that have a profound impact on you – are like dear friends, and they hold a place in your psyche, as a touchstone and means of reference in your daily life. You can refer back to them, and reading the stories again is like a happy reunion. "I read the first pages of Sparrowhawk with a jaded eye, not expecting much, and came up for air two thousand pages later cherishing what Cline had created, knowing that these books would be my lifelong companions." If that doesn't whet your appetite, nothing will.
  14. John Locke by Edward Cline

    Actually, this quote is not the conclusion of the Locke essay. It is part of another post on the Sparrowhawk website: http://drurytrantham.blogspot.com/ The Locke essay is strictly a history of Locke and his influence on the founders and not a plug for the Sparrowhawk books. However, if you have not read the Sparrowhawk books, I urge you to do so. Ayn Rand could not have written a better novel on the founding of America.
  15. John Locke by Edward Cline

    OK, you win! Let's just keep talking about slavery and not discuss the subject at hand.