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    Excellent posts, Bill. I fully agree with your point, which according to my research is historically correct. Whenever I read the knee-jerk reaction that nulliification equals "civil war" or "revolution," and that therefore it can't even be contemplated, I just shake my head at how far we have fallen from the courage of the founders of this country. Here's an excellent article written by someone who was there at the time which traces traced the history of the development of the "Consolidation" problem. Thomas Cooper MD was an English immigrant and close friend of Thomas Jeffferson, and Cooper's work both on politics and religion was excellent. During the nullification crisis Cooper was one of the intellectual leaders, and later after the religionists forced him out as president of the University of South Carolina because he would not conform to the Calvinist orthodoxy, he was retained by the legislature to publish a new edition of the statutes of the state. He used the opportunity to include with that publication many outstanding documents that go into great detail about the history of the Constitutional period and the development of the federalist / antifederalist confrontation. That work is a great resource and is available free at google books here. But as an introduction to Cooper's work it's hard to be the first article I linked, "Consolidation." That article also serves as a great introduction to the history of why it is incredible that a number of Objectivists hold Alexander Hamilton in such high regard, as he is among the real villains of the "general welfare" argument that has led uss to Obamacare and many other disasters.
  2. Who is Pamela Geller?...

    Thank you for your very businesslike post, Carlos! This probably struck a nerve with me this morning not so much because I have been looking for an opportunity to defend Pam Geller. I think what has been percolating in my mind is that I am seeing some tremendously good work from her, and also in particular from Ed Cline, on this topic, but perhaps not so much from other corners from which I would have expected more. But even now I'll just stop here rather than be critical of others' priorities, and I'll just repeat that I appreciate the good work that Ed Cline, Geller, Wilders, BareNakedIslam, and Gates of Vienna, etc are doing!
  3. Who is Pamela Geller?...

    I have to come out of lurk mode to put in a word here in defense of Pamela Geller, whose blog I read daily. All issues of style aside, she is doing incredibly good work in educating people about the dangers of militant Islam, very likely at considerable risk to her own personal safety. I am quite surprised to see a general tone of negativity in some (not all) of these posts about her work. Betsy's posts have been very accurate in my reading, generally praising her for her work while expressing some reservations about her style of dress. Clearly Geller is not an Objectivist in that she is very religious - not even spelling out "god" in many of the posts that I see. Nevertheless, on the general issue of the threat of militant Islam, I see no inconsistency between her position and Objectivism. Edward Cline writes in almost exactly the same way about the issue. Leonard Peikoff has spoken directly and clearly on Islam in ways that are very similar to Pamela Geller's work. I therefore find it a little surprising that this issue seems to be on the back burner in Objectivist circles. For example, just scanning ARI's front page today I don't see any mention of Islam. Whether or not you think it's the most important cultural issue out there today, it certainly should rank pretty high. Again, I give credit to Edward Cline for some excellent writing such as these for example. And from what I can tell Geller's criticisms of Rick Perry are not out of line either. Even before reading these posts I emailed my local Rick Perry campaign workers about this Agha Khan connection, and have gotten nothing reassuring in reply -- actually, nothing at all. The whole issue seems to be developing as we post here, and so far as I can tell Geller deserves lots of credit for bringing it out of the shadows where some seem to want to keep it. I would like to think Rick Perry will handle it and explain it satisfactorily, but so far he has not. Now, back to lurk mode.
  4. Sorry if this has been posted before, but if it has I for one missed it. Great title but a little disappointing overall. Nevertheless, probably deserves to be better known in these circles. But here are the lyrics: I'M NOT MY BROTHER'S KEEPER The Flaming Ember I'm not my brother's keeper, though he be strong or weaker Before you judge me, why not try to love me? I'll try to help you when he's wrongin' us Don't point your finger, sayin' it's all of us If a man yells "hate," will my voice be heard? Does he speak for me when he chooses one bad word? When wrong is done under one person's name Should all the people have to share the blame? I'm not my brother's keeper, though he be strong or weaker Before you judge me, why not try to love me? If I do wrong, then someone make me pay But if I'm right, don't try to block my way Don't judge the story without opening up the book The good you find inside it many times is overlooked Being militant don't mean peace ain't in your heart Though we're most impatient for freedom to start I'm not my brother's keeper, though he be strong or weaker Before you judge me, why not try to love me? Don't cut into me with your knives of doubt Before you judge me, why not hear me out? Whoa, brothers!! (I'm not my brother's keeper) 9X I'm not my brother's keeper, though he be strong or weaker Before you judge me, why not try to love me? I'll try to help you when he's wrongin' us Don't point your finger, sayin' it's all of us (repeat to fade)
  5. Agora - The Movie - Coming in 2010

    Hard to be sure, but this movie looks like it deserves a word of mouth campaign. Check out THIS poster (a larger version is available here)
  6. I searched for other mentions of this movie on the forum but did not find any, so this is just to note that this appears to be worth watching: Be sure to select the English menu at the bottom, and watch the trailer under the multimedia section. Here is more info: Of the little that is known about Hypatia, the following account by Socrates Scholasticus, which was written about AD 450, is the best and most substantial. "There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not infrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in coming to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more. Yet even she fell a victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes, it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace, that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop. Some of them therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles [oyster shells]. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them. This affair brought not the least opprobrium, not only upon Cyril, but also upon the whole Alexandrian church. And surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, fights, and transactions of that sort. This happened in the month of March during Lent, in the fourth year of Cyril's episcopate, under the tenth consulate of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius [AD 415]." Ecclesiastical History (VII.15)
  7. The Theory of Elementary Waves

    Mine just arrived and I see it's dedicated to Stephen! Congratulations Betsy!
  8. The Theory of Elementary Waves

    Note that this is being published by stock market guru Robert Prechter of Elliott Wave fame, who is also a long time fan of Ayn Rand. In regard to Prechter, regardless of what else you think of his theories, he has NAILED the current economic situation and had it pegged as coming for years in such books as "Conquer the Crash." Some say he was too negative for too many years, but now that his predictions have come to pass it's easier to see how insightful he was. I've followed Prechter's work closely for more than ten years and as far as I am concerned he is a brilliant example of following logic and evidence in whatever direction they lead. Prechter's interest are wide and varied beyond the market, and he has published in the past on the parallels between his Elliott Wave theories and the Elementary Wave theory. That probably explains his getting behind this publication now. Here's the blurb from the Elliott Wave newsletter: Don't Be Surprised If Prechter Surprises You Quantum Physics For (Not) Dummies By Robert Folsom If asked to name the world's most complex topic, I'd probably say something like "quantum physics." Not that I have any expertise on the subject -- but the thought of studying matter so tiny that it's called "subatomic" is (so to speak) a challenge too minuscule for me to figure out. Maybe you feel likewise. If so, you can understand why "quantum physics" would NOT be my answer to the question, "Name a field of study where the most basic assumption has recently been proven wrong...." That's right. I don't mean a small miscalculation; I mean wrong in the way that the study of astronomy had it wrong before Copernicus -- massively, totally backwards. If this intrigues you in the slightest, please believe me when I say that my description is one small taste of an extraordinary meal that Bob Prechter revealed today in his just-published Elliott Wave Theorist for January. If you never imagined you would learn something truly interesting about quantum physics, please keep reading. I trust you won't be surprised that Bob is the guy who surprises you. Lewis Little’s long-awaited book, The Theory of Elementary Waves: A New Explanation of Fundamental Physics, is due off the press in three weeks. This book will revolutionize the science of sub-atomic physics. It is as ground-breaking as Benoit Mandelbrot’s Fractal Geometry and even more radical in overturning 80 years of bad science. Little writes for the intelligent layman, so you can follow his discussion of a field that has often posed as being too obscure and anti-intuitive for the common mind to grasp. But anything real can be explained, and Little spares no words in tearing down the edifice of magical thinking that permeates quantum mechanics and then erecting a new structure of reasoning from real, physical action and reaction that, as he puts it, “any 8th-grader can understand.” [T]his book provides more elegant revelations than any science book you have read. You should have a first-edition copy of this book on your shelf so when your grandkids ask about it you can say, “I was there.” I can't put it any better, though I am obliged to say that I've read a pre-publication release of Dr. Little's book: his explanations are indeed straightforward and written plainly. Yet, the insights are uniquely deep. Read it only if you're willing to be challenged about the way (literally) the world works. The book's Amazon page went up yesterday, and already it has climbed into the top 150 by sales rank -- that page is here: The Theory of Elementary Waves: A New Explanation of Fundamental Physics.
  9. I do not believe you will find in these or any other of my posts any hostility toward Leonard Peikoff or ARI, and nothing here was intended as such. It is my professional experience that last wills and testaments are public and generally intended by their authors to be recorded by the probate court for purposes of seeing that their instructions are carried out. There is nothing sinister involved in asking the question as to what were the last statements and instructions of the person whose work we all on this board care so much about --- ESPECIALLY since Ayn Rand would have been well aware of the public nature of the document and therefore expected that those instructions would be public. Since most things she wrote were so insightful, anything she wrote for the public record is of interest. If she wrote one line saying "I leave everything to Leonard Peikoff" or if she somehow had her will sealed from the public, those facts are themselves both of interest to those who are "fans of Ayn Rand" and seek to apply her examples and thoughts to their own lives. And certainly I am not demanding anyone produce anything -- if it's available on the internet then it would be of interest, if it's not then so be it -- I'm certainly not driving to New York to look it up. If it's not available on the internet I'll likely never read it and it will never have any effect on me one way or the other -- which is also the point why it's desirable to make all of Ayn Rand's work as easily available as possible. Also, as to Phil, I have never met him nor spoken to him -- my cite to his comment was purely to attribute the idea and avoid the implication that I was passing it off as my own. I have great respect for the work he has done and the value that his CDROM has been to me, and I agree with the thoughts he has expressed before on this subject and the need to expand computer access to Ayn Rand's work. Obviously if Leonard Peikoff or others own the copyrights through will or otherwise, then as stated originally it would be a matter of attempting to purchase those copyrights for a price acceptable to him.
  10. And as to my question about what Ayn Rand's will said about the subject? A copy of that showing Ayn Rand's full intent as to the future of her work is available where on the internet?
  11. Darn I pushed the button too fast and was unclear. Of course my question as to "is that a known and established fact" refers to the part about whether it "helps fund the ARI operations". Does it really? Is ARI now the copyright holder for all of the work of Ayn Rand?
  12. Is that a known and established fact? Does anyone know what the last will and testament of Ayn Rand says about this? Anyone ever seen a copy of her will posted on the internet? Presumably it is a public document in the probate files of the county in which she lived in New York(?)
  13. I posted recently about the following issue in the middle of a long thread on another topic, but I think the issue is so important that it merits a topic of its own. The current flap with Obama criticizing the virtue of selfishness screams for Ayn Rand's introduction to her book by that name to be sent out far and wide to everyone who can read. What would prevent that? I presume the current copyright situation. Phil Oliver brought up the point in relation to the Objectivist CDROM that he pioneered: If no one agrees that the copyrights need to be purchased and the work released to the public domain, then I'll just shut up! But I, for one, think Phil Oliver's point is correct and gets more important by the day. Anyone else thinking the same?
  14. The Peikoff Endorsement

    I have no clue who owns these copyrights or the background of that ownership, but Phil Oliver is making a hugely important point here. If a fund-raising campaign needs to be undertaken to buy out the copyrights, so be it. It ought to be a prime focus of organized Objectivism to get the work of Ayn Rand freely available and organized on the internet in its fullest possible extent, in as many languages as possible, as soon as possible. If this is not near the top of the agenda for ARI, I wish someone would explain why it isn't so we can get to work and deal with the problem! One more thought -- I think I've read comments like this from Phil before, and yet I've never seen much followup from others. Phil, I want to publicly volunteer to sign on and contribute to any effort you might decide to put together to carry on this effort, and I publicly challenge others on this board to do the same! This goal is too important, and time is too short, for this issue to remain in the shadows.
  15. Epicurus and Ayn Rand

    Here is one more particularly apt quote from Lucretius I meant to include (De Rerum Natura Book IV, line 449). Ayn Rand fans should find the argument familiar: Moreover, if someone thinks that he knows nothing, he also does not know whether this can be known, since he admits that he knows nothing. So I shall not bother to argue with him, since he is standing on his head already. But nevertheless, conceding that he does know this, I would also ask the following question: since he has never before seen anything true in the world, how does he know what it is to know and what it is not to know? What could have created the conceptions of truth and falsity, and what could have proven that the doubtful is distinct from what is certain? You will discover that the conception of truth was originally created by the senses, and that the senses cannot be refuted. For one must find something with greater authority which could all on its own refute what is false by means of what is true. But what should be given greater authority than the senses? Will reason which derives from a false sense perception be able to contradict them, when it is completely derived from the senses? And if they are not true, all of reason becomes false as well. Will the ears be able to criticize the eyes, or the eyes the touch? Furthermore, will the taste organs of the mouth quarrel with the touch, or will the nose confute it, or the eyes disprove it? In my view, this is not so. For each sense has been allotted its own separate jurisdiction, its own distinct power. And so it is necessary that we separately perceive what is soft and cold or hot and separately perceive the various colours and see the features which accompany colour. Similarly the mouth's taste is separate, and odours come to be separately, and sounds too are separate. And so it is necessary that one set of senses not be able to refute another. Nor, moreover, will they be able to criticize themselves, since they will at all times have to command equal confidence.