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  3. Wolf, I'm baffled by the big bang. Lots of people have faith in it, though. And you do realize that predestination is a predominant theme in many denominations of Christianity... What all that has to do with literary style, though, is baffling... (Something tells me this topic is uncomfortable for you. ) Michael
  4. A recent passage from my blog... Baffles me how anyone can believe the absurdity of immaculate conception and virgin birth, resurrection of a dead man, and immortality bestowed by faith.
  5. Yikes. You realize, I hope, that Hugo's theme in "Notre Dame" was fatality (fate).
  6. I regard morality to be a personal question, inquiring What shall I do? There are numerous ethical guidelines, ancient and newly minted, but I'm a little stupid, so I'll stick to the Objectivist canon, i.e., rational self-interest. At the moment, I need to earn money for ordinary survival stuff like food, medicine, and payment of current obligations. It would be nice to hand my daughter money for college. Simple yardstick of right and good. But let's suppose I strike it rich, which is to say discretionary funds sufficient to let me choose how I might like to live out my remaining days. I had a long road trip to the Left Coast while I still had credit cards to burn, and I don't want to go back to California. I don't even want to go to Elko again, however much I like Elko. Long drive through Kansas, Colorado, and Utah. Nor am I convinced that I should tour Milwaukee, witness the wreckage and pine for the past. I don't want to reboot Central America. Don't want to fly to Australia. I lived in Europe several times, know it from end to end and top to bottom. I'd rather not rub elbows with the migrant hordes from hell. Three months in Libya was enough hell to last me two or three lifetimes. Alaska scares me (the cold goes right through me) but it's the right move to make. I'm famous in Fairbanks, and there's a Libertarian Party in Anchorage. Maybe a quick visit in summer, if Alaska has a summer. Okay, on the bucket list, toward the end, weather permitting. A stubborn mystery, something I'd like to do for my own sake. Visit Linda? - no. I'm old and ugly and embarrassed. Attend a writer's conference? - eeeuw. If I had any moral courage, I'd find Ali Massoud. Bucket list item equal to Alaska. Both are a call of duty owed to good men, not something to please myself or remove the burden of a personal ache. So. Where would I like to go? What would I like to do? I made a list of colleges to visit. Drake University, Des Moines. Newman University, Wichita. Hood College, Frederick MD. Defiance College, Ohio. PSU Allegheny Campus, McKeesport. Of all the attractions in the world, it would be thrilling to find a home in a rational world. If it's a leisurely road trip, I can take the dog with me. He likes to ride in cars, jumps right in. Of necessity, all my endeavors will be short. A seminar or two, no possibility of putting down roots. One does not launch a new career at age 70. Hard to accept the fate of health problems and failing competence. That's why I'd like to lecture while I can. I have a lot to say about the future. It's a great temptation to teach a course on filmmaking, but it seems pointless to start something destined to end quickly, a year or two at most, and to what end? The world is full of filmed entertainment, including hundreds of Golden Age movies and thousands of classic TV hours. Kojak and Columbo. The Muppet Show. Hill Street Blues. Get Smart. There's an iron ceiling I should consider. I have very few remaining years to spend. I need to lecture on liberty and justice, foundational American principles under grievous assault. It's a matter of personal honor to stand up for my body of work. Rats. I have to go to Alaska and agitate for secession. Whenever possible, I'll honor Ali in my public statements, hope that he hears it. Bad idea to risk my neck searching Detroit to thank him in person. There are others I'd like to thank and can't. We don't get everything we want in life. Top priority is to promote common law justice and common law liberty, inspire younger people to carry on when I'm gone. www.wolfdevoon.net .
  7. Yesterday
  8. But, Michael, Rand wasn't an angry atheist. I know the kind who are bitter and twisted about Christianity, pointing to all its evident flaws from back then til today, and I think they are largely missing the boat. The supernatural over reality? Dogma above reason? Submitting self-value to a higher deity? Check. But mysticism, anti-mind, and altruism, is the trio that has always been around. It's not limited to the religious (and from Christians came many accomplishments) NewLeft secularists rate, in modern times, much more blatantly corrosive in all departments, including sacrifice and power: "Mystics of muscle" are as "mystical" as any. And what do they produce? I like informing those atheists - "For all your contempt, you will miss them when they're gone.(Not that Christians are going anywhere) Who else can hold together the values of a civilisation.(Not you gumptionless, self-less, mindless weaklings)." Obviously, Christians are under concerted attack from the Left-progressives-socialists who hypocritically and cravenly align themselves with anti-Western Islamists, while turning a blind eye to anti-Christian violence and destruction. More validation of Rand and her "Witch Doctor and Attila" needing each other and combining forces. I believe on principle Christians should be morally supported, not meekly looked on as they are sacrificed to any New World Order.
  9. How’s that for a click-bait thread title! The topic at hand is the recent reappraisal of Kate Smith, who recorded the most famous version of “God Bless America”. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/21/us/philadelphia-flyers-kate-smith-statue/index.html A couple other recordings she made in the 1930’s are now deemed racist, so it’s the down the memory hole with her. I sought them out, they are readily available, and suggest you give them a listen before reading my commentary, which will be below the lyrics. Brother, sister, ever since the world began, There was work to be done. Always seems that someone Left it to the colored man. Brother, sister, what must be must be. Though the balance is wrong, Still our faith must be strong. Accept your destiny. Brother, listen to me: Someone had to pick the cotton. Someone had to plant the corn. Someone had to toil and be able to sing. That’s why darkies were born. Someone had to laugh at trouble, Though they were tired and worn. Had to be contented with any old thing, That’s why darkies were born. Sing, sing, Sing when you’re weary and sing when you’re blue. Sing, sing, That’s what you taught all the white folks to do. Someone had to fight the devil, Shout about Gabriel’s horn. Someone had to stroke the train that would bring God’s children to green pastures; That’s why darkies were born. To me it’s obvious this is a protest song, it’s satire. If you feel doubtful, seek out Paul Robeson’s version of it. Her other racist song (mind you, she didn’t write them, only performed them) is quite cringe-worthy, but I’m ready to extend the benefit of the doubt that it was for children and well-meaning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq0HH9d_lHk Pickaninnies feasting on watermelon when they go to heaven…well, those were very different times. Which all calls to mind this recent interview with John McWhorter. He doesn’t mention it here, but he earned extra points with me (I’ve read a few of his books) for his piece on the Virginia Governor black-face imbroglio. He wrote that in the early ‘80’s, when he was in grad school, he went to a Halloween party with a white friend, and they went as the Jeffersons. He went as Louise Jefferson (in drag), and his friend went in black-face as George. Top that.
  10. To you, too. I haven't time for more now, but I resonate with what you're saying in the post. Ellen
  11. Ellen, On another point re this thought, which is outside of writing fiction like Rand, but maybe not so much. The Notre Dame cathedral fire brings some fundamentals into relief. It is Easter today. I learned from Rand that Christianity was one of the things wrong with the world, and that its altruism led directly to human horrors like collectivism, communism and subsequent piles and piles of bodies. Now I disagree--not about the despicable nature of collectivism that grants way too much despotic power to rulers, but about altruism being the main cause. I've studied too much modern psychology and neuroscience to oversimplify the human mind like that. In fact, looking at the world from the perspective of a deposed official in some African dictatorship or other I once knew in Brazil (I don't remember which African dictatorship since this was from my drug days), he said wherever Christianity predominated, the society generally progressed. He claimed the unifying and forgiveness messages of Christianity lowered hostilities among people and this allowed then to organize and cooperate more. He said his own country was still backward because it had hundreds of tribal religions constantly at war with each other for centuries. This has stayed with me and informed my general softness toward Christianity over my O-Land writing. In fact, my mind is currently more in line with what Stephen Molyneux tweeted today than it was when I started posting online: This is a biggie if an aspiring author wishes to write like Rand or in Rand's style. And not because one has to agree with Rand. I see it as a booby-trap since this is where many newbies will put their main focus. Yet learning to write, especially write more or less in the style of a master like Rand, involves many techniques that have nothing to do with religion or even philosophy. If bashing Christianity were that important to her style, Victor Hugo would not be someone she learned her own style from. So is it possible to write in Rand's style and make room for Christianity? Resoundingly yes. Is it possible to ape Rand and make room for Christianity? Resoundingly no. A newbie writer has to decide what he or she wants at the time of learning, learn to write or learn to imitate? And that is not a false dichotomy. After one learns the techniques, one can decide on how to position issues like specific religions. Doing it the other way around leads to the disasters of fiction we keep seeing (with a few exceptions). But even outside of learning how to write, I no longer believe burning down Christianity like the Notre Dame cathedral is such a good idea. And with that thought, Happy Easter -- and Happy Easter to all. Candace Owens stated something today I really like. I hold it symbolically pertains to the human spirit (including the human spirit in a most Randian manner) and not just the Christ story. I can't find the exact quote so I paraphrase. You can kill truth and put it into the grave, but you can't keep it there. It will resurrect. Michael
  12. Jonathan, Bomb bomb bomb... Bomb bomb Iran... Bomb bomb bomb... Bomb bomb Iran... Bomb bomb bomb... Bomb bomb Iran... Groovin' baby... Boy, did we dodge a bullet with that sucker. I voted for him, but knowing what I now know, I'm glad he lost. I'm not glad Obama won, but at least Obama's term of office brought the ruling class's socialism, deep state organizations, and elitist nature into the mainstream. McCain would have kept a veneer of respectability over it all like with Bush. In other words, he would have fooled most people by mouthing what the people wanted to hear and acting "presidential." But behind the scenes he would have hardened the elitist crony ruling class system of endless war for profit. Maybe even started WWIII. At least Obama made the rot that needs fixing visible to the man and woman in the street. Michael
  13. So true! And of McCain as well.
  14. Fight Barry? Team members don't fight.
  15. Last week
  16. Here is the lyric: AVE MARIA (Ellen’s Prayer) Ave Maria! Maiden mild! O, listen to a maiden’s prayer! Thou canst hear though from the wild, thou canst save amid despair. Ave Maria! Ave Maria! May safe we sleep beneath thy care, though banished, outcast and reviled. O, maiden! Hear a maiden’s prayer, Let thy protection hover there, The murky cavern’s heavy air shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled; Then maiden hear me as I pray, Ave Maria, Maria, Ave! (After Walter Scott)
  17. As long as I am doing the Trump tweet thing, here's one for Mitt-mouth. Michael
  18. This... This was retweeted by President Trump. As Mark Levis says, the second part of the Mueller Report is crap. It's an OpEd and nothing more. Michael
  19. This is President Trump's form of keeping the pressure on by explaining things in language a 7 year old can understand. This is a mass audience communication technique at its most persuasive. Michael
  20. Kevin Poulsen has a different perspective, based on the Mueller Report itself: Mueller Report: Assange Smeared Seth Rich to Cover for Russians Julian Assange repeatedly blamed Seth Rich, the murdered DNC staffer, for Russia’s leaks. The Mueller report shows that Assange was lying from the start. See the Axios utility for searching the report for the details, page numbers, etc:
  21. Even more searchability ... from Axios: "Explore a detailed view of the Mueller Report."
  22. On the intellectual side, here is a video of an interview a couple of days ago with Victor Davis Hanson. He has an exceptional understanding of President Trump's character and the context of his political existence. I have read Hanson's book, The Case for Trump, which I cannot recommend highly enough. The only point where I disagree with Hanson is on his characterization of Trump as a tragic hero. He talks about this in the book and in the video. And even then, I don't disagree with the archetype in Trump's current situation, but with his prediction of outcome after the term of office is up. The tragic hero in Hanson's view is the loner who comes into town, cleans it up and throws out the human rot, then moves on (or is even crucified) because decent people--who now have their problem solved--don't want to live next to him. Think of the ancient Greeks, Achilles or Sophocles’s Ajax or Antigone, or the good-guy gunslinger in the old west like Shane or Sheriff Will Kane in High Noon, who was there, but had to show his outsider dark side to clean up the bad guys. I agree with Hanson that this is Trump's current archetype. He is an outsider draining the swamp and it's not pretty. (I like Hanson's image that he is not a statesman, but a bird of prey in fighting cultural issues. ) I disagree that Trump will be shunned in the future, but not because of the nature of the archetype, which has enough examples to be sound. It's because of President Trump's understanding of persuasion and process. Trump is highly sensitive to phases of a process and the differing ways of being during each phase. Notice that he is a ruthless predator in getting a deal going to build a hotel, but he's a single-minded rational Randian producer in building it, and all business to the point of boring in running it to high standard of excellence. He's done this too many times for it not to be evident. So, following Trump's patterns, I believe his post-Presidency life will be full of honor and completely public the world over with USA stamped all over him, but essentially boring. Other than that disagreement, I can't think of anything Victor Davis Hanson has said that rubs me the wrong way. In fact, I have learned many things I didn't realize from his analyses. I really like this guy. Michael
  23. This video was just posted on President Trump's Facebook account. It's probably made by a Trump super PAC, but it's on his personal account. Notice that in this calling out, the video doesn't say Obama was behind spying on Trump's campaign and Deep State activities to take Trump down. The video takes the premise of the anti-Trumpers, that the Russians meddled in the presidential campaign, and also uses it as a premise. But it says Obama knew about Russian meddling in the presidential election and did nothing because he was pandering to Putin about the Iran nuclear deal. This takes a familiar suspicion of anti-Trumpers and reframes it with a fact everybody knows (Obama sought Putin's cooperation for the Iran deal), but nobody expects to be connected. The propaganda defenses the anti-Trumpers have in place are against Obama attacking Trump, not Obama knowing and doing nothing for non-Trump related reasons. Suspicion and familiarity plus surprise. On a logical level, this seems like light fare. But on an emotional level, it's a killer way to create cognitive dissonance with Obama supporters and those in the middle. The undermining of Obama's reputation to his followers (and to the middle) begins. Trump generally calls this type of persuasion "setting the table" for what is to follow. Michael
  24. Jon, Let's put the first two tweets in there, also. First this: Then this: And, finally, to repeat the one you posted: I kinda like it when President Trump not only says "bullshit," but says "total bullshit." And, like you mentioned, the bad guys are now going to discover on their own hides what happens when they strike at a king and don't kill him... Michael
  25. “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.” Emerson They didn’t kill him.
  26. Obama knew of Russian interference for years. He chose to do nothing because he thought their election cheat plan would be a sure thing, it would succeed like it always had, and so there was no need.) “With Congressional Democrats tantruming over redactions, presidential candidates out-virtue-signalling one another in denigration of Trump (for what it is unclear) calling for impeachment (again, for what is unclear) and the liberal media desperate for a distraction from the embarrassment of their two-year harassment in lieu of the main headline - "no collusion, no obstruction;" few if any among the mainstream have noticed (or mentioned) one tiny little detail in the Mueller Report... the 'confirmed' interference by Russia in the 2016 US Election took place - knowingly - under President Obama's watch.” ... ”The Mueller report flatly states that Russia began interfering in American democracy in 2014. Over the next couple of years, the effort blossomed into a robust attempt to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. The Obama administration knew this was going on and yet did nothing. In 2016, Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice told her staff to "stand down" and "knock it off" as they drew up plans to "strike back" against the Russians, according to an account from Michael Isikoff and David Corn in their book "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump".” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-19/cnn-admits-muellers-report-looks-bad-obama-op-ed
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