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Everything posted by SHerry

  1. More on Obama and his church

    I am with you there - with McCain, I think there be less will change for the worse. My fear is that if Obama or Clinton gets in the white house, the US will just travel further and further towards a more socialist government at a much quicker pace. McCain appears to be the one that may cause less damage than the other two. I read Obama's speech he gave last week - a pretty speech (he always speaks well when he has a speech in front of him) and I thought it was very well written. However, I cringed when he compared what Geraldine Ferraro said, and what his grandmother said (racial slurs he mentioned) to what his pastor was preaching from the pulpit. First, I don't think what Ferraro said was racist. I don't think someone with the short and not very exciting polictical record that Obama has would be in the position to run if he wasn't a minority. I do believe that gave him the exposure, this uniqueness, that he needed to become well known. When he won his sentorial election, it was covered in many national magazines - a huge story. Second, I doubt very much that his grandmother went around spewing racist thoughts in public and she certainly wasn't on stage speaking to numerous people that looked up to her as a leader. The comparisons were not applicable. What irks me a lot about this situation is how he says he is opposed to so many things that the pastor was preaching. Yet, he has been a member of the church for 20 years! If it were an isolated situation - a few foolish comments here and there, maybe it wouldn't bother me. But it isn't. And it doesn't seem to me that a person of intergrity could sit through listening to such sermons for 20 years ESPECIALLY when they were going into politics, and supposedly has an opposite view. If Obama didn't consider the man such a wonderful mentor to him, or was maybe someone that went to church here and there, maybe it wouldn't bother me so much. But he has several times mentioned in print and in public the positive impact the man has had on his life. I wonder if perhaps Obama has thought about leaving the church because of the garbage the pastor spouts. I wonder if he never did it because it would have been too painful and difficult. He cares for the man very much. Perhaps a lot of unearned guilt ("I should be loyal to him after what he has done for me") is what is muddling Obama's decisions in regards to the pastor and his church. And that, is another reason I cannot vote for him. If he cannot stand up for his stated views and integrity in an issue like this - how can I trust him to always do it as a president? Will he bow down to special interest groups or other groups that have supported him on his road to the white house if they want him to support something that isn't right? I don't think McCain is in anyway an ideal candidate, but I think he is a bit stronger than Obama right now. I will say one thing though: If Obama doesn't win (and I hope he doesn't) I would be willing to consider him 4, 8 or 12 years down the road if he actually does something useful in politics and drops some of his socialist agendas, and can show that he can actually stand up for what is right even when he has to stand against those he considers friends. I think he could be a great leader at some point in town if he could be more objective. He has a lot of potential, and it saddens me to think someone with potential is going to waste it with socialist politicals and misplaced loyalties.
  2. New Year's resolutions, anyone?

    Absolutely! There are just some things, certain pies and cakes, etc., that I don't bother with during the rest of the year. They are special treats, not just because some of them are a bit fattening/sugary, but I associate them with this holiday season, and don't really have a big desire for them during other times in the year. Perhaps this applies to only myself, so maybe is just my context, if you will. I appreciate what you were saying, and I absolutely agree. I have found that any real success that I have had when trying to lose some weight and get healthier has been when I was focused on moderate eating habits and exercise. Life is too short (and would be too boring in my opinion) to have to cut out foods you truly love altogether. You are so right on the nose when you talk about context, and I appreciate you clarifying what you meant. Good advice. For those quitting smoking in 2007, this is the perfect time to do it financially, as cigarettes are going to go up $1 per pack on Jan 1st! =p I just picked up two packs to get me through the next several days, and then I am done. I was going to work on it anyway in January, (not so much because it is a new year, but because there have been some other changes I have made in my life that I think will make it easier then), but the financial incentive is also a good motivator.
  3. I have never been so happy to hear of a person executed. I don't take executions lightly, I do believe there has been some mistakes in many cases, but this is clearly not one of them. My only regret is that Saddam had but one life to be executed. Hanging was too good for this man, but finally some justice was served. His death is truly one to celebrate.
  4. New Year's resolutions, anyone?

    It is true that many let the calender determine what goals are going to be accomplished and when. However, that doesn't mean the rest of us who are striving to live purposefully need not make New Year's resolutions if they are something we mean to keep. Alex Epstein's piece reminded me of the Craig Biddle lecture I attended not too long ago about living purposefully. I think New Year's resolutions can fit in with that. After all, a new year is often a time to reflect on the positive changes you want to make in your life for many reasons. For me, I have been trying to lose weight. With the holiday season, I know that with all the extra activities I wouldn't make it to the gym, and I didn't want to miss out on all the extra delicious (and not so good for you) treats that I don't normally eat during the rest of the year. So, I am just maintaining the little weight loss I accomplished in the early fall. Then, after all the major holidays are over, I will focus on losing more weight. Also, work wise, I have a contract position that is going to become full time on January 1st. I have new goals I will have to meet then for the company, so have set my own personal work goal a little higher starting on January 1st. Sometimes the calender does come in to play rightfully. But yes, there are a lot of people who do New Year's resolutions on a whim. As I said, though, we don't need to let other people treating their own resolutions as fads interefere with our own. I have only been studying Objectivism for about a year or so, so I can honestly tell you that my New Year resolutions for 2007 are going to be made purposefully, and I will work harder towards meeting them than I have in any other year past.
  5. Sushi

    I have a friend that eats a LOT of sushi. So much so her mercury levels are very high. She was told not to have any kids any time soon since it is so high. As I said...she eats a LOT of sushi.... I thought not all sushi was raw? I have only had it twice...the last time a few years ago. I enjoyed it, but my stomach had issues. I haven't tried it since, but I probably will in January with my mercury tainted friend.
  6. Tracinski on Editorial Page of Wall Street Journal

    Good editorial! I was just reading an article on ARI by him tonight, and noticed the blurb as well. Kind of makes me want to start referring to myself as a "non Denominational" objectivist. It has been become very clear to me, personally, over the past 6 to 7 months that being "approved" by this group or that isn't how one should rate a writer, but to do so by reading the article itself and taking things into consideration apart from any "official" Objectivist group. I don't necessarily agree with everything he has written, but he has written some great articles, and, honestly, I don't think he really needs any kind of association with ARI to continue to be read. (Please note: I am not anti-ARI at all; I hope this post doesn't give that impression.)
  7. Thanks to everyone that has posted. There is some good information here, that I will read over more. I am trying to keep in mind that a philosophy really gives us the tools for living, but as has some of you have pointed out here, no isn't pyschology. Perhaps that is my problem in how I am going about asking these questions.
  8. (I posted this on the local Objectivist group I belong to, but wanted to get feedback from others as well. I hope I posted this in the correct section.) I am re-reading Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I first read it about 12 years ago when I was going through a difficult time in my life, and it actually helped me quite a bit. I was a practicing Christian at the time, and I have to say that it helped me much more than the religious texts and bible reading I was encouraged to do and read. So, the book has always had a special place in my mind. (I may start another thread on the book as I get through it more if others would like to discuss it from an Objectivist point of view.) Anyway, I picked it up again to re-read, because I figured if it helped me once (setting priorities as a means of time management/life balance/values, etc.), then perhaps I could get more out of it this time. The reason I figured it was a good time now, is because since studying Objectivism, I find that I am starting to get a little better at picking this up. (I am not sure how exactly to word this other than, I think my thought processes and thinking are starting to get a little better.) ANYHOO...I have always remembered Covey mentioning Viktor Frankyl, and how he was able to mentally survive being persecuted by the Nazis. What I had forgotten is that he developed a philosophy called "Logotherapy". Apparantly being in a concentration camp he really refined and put his philosophy to the test. Now, I didn't have good ol' Google back in the early 90s, but I do now, so a-Googling I did go.... On the surface, it seems to have some similarities to Objectivism in that you need to take responsibility for yourself. The basic tenets I found on a quick search are as follows: 1. Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones. 2. Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life. 3. We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or a least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering. Frankl talks a lot about spirituality, but not necessarily referring to a God. Now, one thing I did find interesting, though, was an article by a psychoanalyst that had followed Objectivism for over 20 years, but when his parents died, felt that the philosophy had failed him. He didn't think it prepared someone for dealing with such a tragedy. He was given Frankel's book Man's Search for Meaning, and dropped Objectivism altogether. The first thing I thought was: What? Did you really understand to drop it when you may need it the most? I still have a lot to study, but I think I have a hard time explaining this to others. How would you say that following Objectivist principles can help you in time of need? I am not sure that telling someone just something like "it is reasonable, and you would understand why you are having these difficult emotions" would be enough. Any thoughts?
  9. Where are the bloggers on Peikoff's election commentary?

    I agree with Craig Biddle's comments as well, and was moved to re-reard the statement, keeping what he said in mind. But, I have to say...well...yeah, I still get that understanding from reading it (again) too. (Sorry I didn't reply to your earlier response; I haven't had time to come back here and post again until now.) I wish Peikoff would issue another statement if what he wrote just didn't come out right. I know, I know: if he didn't mean it, he shouldn't have worded it that way. Ah well....
  10. Where are the bloggers on Peikoff's election commentary?

    I attended a talk that Craig Biddle gave last night on Living Purposefully. It was wonderful. The reason I bring it up here is because he was asked about voting, and Dr. Peikoff's comments. He gave his own reasons as to why he was voting Democrat (which you can read on his blog over at TOS site). HOWEVER, he strongly encouraged those in the audience to make up their own minds regarding whom to vote for. AND he also didn't condemn anyone for voting a way different from his or Dr. Peikoff's. AND he also said that he was a little dismayed by the comments that there have been on the internet regarding what Peikoff has stated, that he wasn't saying that if you voted another way you weren't a good Objectivist. What he said was that we all need to re read that statement from Dr. Peikoff, and not leave out any words. That he chose his words carefully, but if we read it more carefully we would come to the conclusion that Peikoff isn't saying we are bad Objectivists for not voting the way he does. Personally, I will re-read it with that in mind. If this is the case, I do still think it was an unfortunate choice of words on Dr. Peikoff's part. But, I thought it was interesting to get another Objectivist heavy hitter's" opinion on that subject in person. A rare thing I normally would get to do. Anyway, I just thought I would pass of what I heard last night at the talk. I wish I had brought a tape recorder so I could directly quote how he put it, but Craig Biddle did do a good job of making me reconsider whether or no Dr. Peikoff is actually laying down judgement against those that vote another way.
  11. Happy Birthday to Betsy Speicher

    Very cool license plate!!!!!!! HAPPY BDAY BETSY!!!!!
  12. Gas prices dropping

    well, last week I read online that oil was at $60 a barrel, so that is a lot cheaper than where it was not too long ago. Saturday nigh I passed a gas station that had gas at 1.98 a gallon! Unfortunately it was closed (very late at night), but near my house you can find gas between 2.03 and 2.10 a gallon. I'm about 30 minutes north of Dallas TX
  13. My Mother

    Carrie, I am so happy for you! It is very difficult to be in a situation where you need to cut off a loved one for rational reasons. I very much respect the fact that you were willing to consider the new facts, and welcome your mother back into your life. Good for your, and your mother. I hope things continue well for both of you and your relationship grows stronger. That is an awesome story, truly it is.
  14. What's your favorite AR fiction *besides* her novels?

    I haven't finished all of The Early Ayn Rand yet, but I have to say that Good Copy is my favorite so far from the what I have read in that book. It was really light hearted, and very enjoyable. It reminds me a lot of some of Agatha Christie's style actually, some of her stories she has written. Also, I cannot remember the name, but the one where the guy is an escort, I enjoyed that one too. You can really see how O. Henry influenced her in that one.
  15. Founders College: Full Website Unveiled

    It's good to see that the program is coming a long. I was a little disappointed though, because I assumed that there would be actual art classes offered. I didn't realize it would be more along the lines of art appreciation. No biggie...they are taking on a huge project, and I hope it was successful. The only reason I cared about the art part is because my brother is an art instructor. I think he is up to Associte Professor right now, but the last time he and I talked he was looking for another position. I just thought it was be neat to say, hey, check out THIS school! =)
  16. Founders College Receives Degree-Granting Authority

    Excellent! I am glad to see that things are progressing for Hull and the college. I hope everything goes well and they can get past any hurdles that still exist. I had been following this up until a month or so ago, thank you for posting the updates!
  17. I have read a few of the threads on this, but will use the search feature and read further as you suggest.
  18. Stephen, thank you for posting that, because I don't have that book yet. I will now push it up on my list of ones to get. However, I still don't agree with Ayn Rand on this, and it seems to be it is a question of pyschology, as she stated, and it seems that is probably why she wisely didn't write anything about further in essays. And perhaps that is why there is so much disagreement on this subject (at least as far as I have seen talking to Objectivists in person and reading online forums such as this and others, etc..). (Again, if anyone else can point to any other works Ayn Rand has written that do address this issue besides her fiction, I would greatly appreciate it.) Even what is posted here, though. doesn't seem to show that it is something that could be stated as an Objectivist principle, even from that interview with Ayn Rand. But you have given me some more material to research, and I appreciate that, thank you! As far as a physical fact...I disagree with that statement. That are plenty of things that a couple can do as long as there is participation from both parties. If a man isn't "in the mood" yes it can effect things, why would that make him a superior sexual being? If a woman isn't in the mood, she can still work things out for her part if she CHOOSES to, and so can a man, if he CHOOSES to. Therefore, I fail to see how that makes a man "superior" to a woman. They are equal. They are different, yes. I agree with that statement of reality. I guess this would bring up another question: What about with holding sex? under this view, if a male is supposedly "sexually superior", does that mean that it is moral for him to with hold sex from his partner? I ask, because in one of Ayn Rand's essays, (I believe it was the one dealing with the Catholic Church and birth control "On Living Death" I don't have my Voice of Reason book handy) she discusses that withholding sex in a marriage is wrong. Now, I am not saying she said give it out whenever it was demanding. (Or should this question be split in another thread?)
  19. The Sound of Music (1965)

    This is one of my all time favorite movies. It has drama, comedy, muisc, love stories, and such a hopeful message. A really well done movie. There are few musicals, I think, that were able to have polictical elements to it as this one. Unfortunately when they show it on tv they often edited out some of the political parts.
  20. I wish there were more books for kids that empahised reason. I wish I had the skills and creativity to write them. I always wanted to be a writer, but lack the talent. Anyone read the Great Brain series? I loved those when I was a kid, because the kids were very smart, BUT the one the main charachter wrote about was always scheming. The brilliant thing was he didn't get away with taking advantage of others, so there was a lot of justice in those books as well. I am on a quest to find used copies of these books at my Half Price book stores in the area.
  21. Again, where in Ayn Rand's essays does it say that?
  22. Tara Smith talk in Houston, October 14th

    I saw this posted on the other day. I am seriously considering making a road trip for this from Dallas. I really enjoy Tara Smith. I hope I can make it!
  23. I loved Richard Scarry's books when I was a kid. It should all sorts of people being productive! I have Anthem on audio tape, and I play it in the car sometimes while driving my young daughters back from school. The 4 year old doesn't really get it (but she likes books on tape) but my 6 and 8 year old really enjoy it. When the main character was talking about the forbidden word, my 8 year old exclaimed "I bet he is talkinga about 'I'!" Some Objectivist friends that I have at a local Objectivist group I attend are working on putting a list together of pro Reason books that would be good to share with our children. One friend, that owns the Montessori school that my two younger kids attend suggests "The Girl Who owned A City". Has anyone read that?