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Posts posted by emb021

  1. Could you give me some other titles Hiasson wrote. I remember a novel involving the Everglades.

    Tourist Season (1986)

    Double Whammy (1987)

    Skin Tight (1989)

    Native Tongue (1991)

    Strip Tease (1993)

    Stormy Weather (1995)

    Lucky You (1997)

    Naked Came the Manatee (1998) (Collaboration with 12 other authors)

    Sick Puppy (2000)

    Basket Case (2002)

    Hoot (2002) (young adult novel- Released as a movie in May 2006)

    Skinny Dip (2004)

    Flush (2005) (young adult novel)

    Nature Girl (2006)

  2. Striptease with Demi Moore

    I've only seen bits of it on tv. Its based on one of Carl Hiassen's books. While I haven't read any, he's also a columnist for the Miami Herald, a local paper. He's funny/sarcastic in his column, and I like his writting. Some good lines/scenes in the movie. Burt Reynolds as a weirdo politician. Ving Rhames as her bodyguard ("do I look like I follow politics?").

  3. Here is the chili recipe I use from my mom. No idea where she got it.

    Mom's classic chili

    2 lb lean ground beef (sometimes I go a little over 2.5, etc)

    1 large onion, diced

    1 green pepper, diced

    2 cans kidney beans (I use 1 dark, 1 light, I also drain them of most of the liquid, but not all)

    1 big can tomato juice

    2 cans stewed tomatos (I like better then diced. I split them up with my spoon, making them irregular)

    6 tablespoons chili powder (can adjust, but I go with 6. I consider this a mild chili, for spicyness)

    1 teaspoon garlic powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon cumin

    1 teaspoon marjoram

    1 teaspoon ground red peppar

    Cooking direction

    1. put onion with ground beef, brown, drain. I don't bother with oil. I usually toss in the green peppers as well, once the meat is really going.

    2. in big pot, put ever everything together, raise the heat to get it going, then lower heat and simmer. Be sure to stir every so often to keep mixed and prevent burning. I like to cook it down for a few hours before I eat any. Best is to cook the day before, then fully re-heat the next day. Allows everything to really come together.

    You can add:

    * crushed crackers (great thickener)

    * tortilla chips (now a days I use instead of crackers. I usually crush some in, and eat with the chili)

    * shredded cheddar cheese

    * sour cream

    * fresh chopped onions

    For those wanting it hotter, you can add hot sauce of your choice.

  4. Neil-

    Excellent review. While I have yet to read PARC (its not high on my list of 'books I must get'), and do want to, its not something I look foward to.

    For me, I think my issue with this book is summed up in a line of your conclusion:

    If Valliant believes that any criticism of Rand the person is in reality an attack on Objectivism, then he should say so.

    From where I see it (in seeming the threads that pop up on it over at SOLO), its not just Valliant's view, but that of most of the PARCfans, which I would summerize as "Ayn Rand was a perfect person, else how could she create the perfect philosophy, thus any criticism of Rand or indications that she was not quite perfect, is thus an attack on Objectism". With the further indication that any who would dare put forth such criticism is thus unmutual.

    Robert Jones seems to indicate the same in his reply:

    It is sad to see that PARC has become a litmus test on judging one's loyalty to the Objectivist movement.

    I see the same thing in the topics on SOLO. The latest is over those bemoaning the fact that the comments about PARC on Amazon are too anti-PARC. As is typical, it turns into another tirade against the Brandens, with obligitory appearances by Valliant et al for yet another rehash.

    One thing I've yet to see in any valid critic of this book was why it came from a non-major publisher. I believe the publisher is just one step up from a vanity press. One has to wonder why he couldn't get this published by a more legit (or higher profile) publisher.

  5. Kori:

    ~ Seems like some TV writers/producers took a hint from Lucas with his multi-episodic movies. With good enough writers like those for these series, they may have hit a new jack(bauer?)pot.

    I'd rather give that credit to others.

    JMS was doing this with Babylon 5 BEFORE Lucas did the 3 Star Wars prequels. B5 is a great but somewhat overlooked series. He had a 5 year story in mind and was able to do it in 5 years. Too bad he couldn't get the follow on series to catch on (in no small part due to meddling tv execs)

    This influenced some of the current and later Star Trek series, but more with overarching themes that would run for a full season (or more), and the occasional 2-3 parters.

    This has lead to the current crop of episodic series such as 24, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, etc. While I don't think this style is needed for all series, it gets a little tiresome that the characters of more dramatic series don't go thru some level of change/developmen.

  6. All-

    Am a little surprised there was no mention of this occurance here.

    For those who don't read SOLO (another Objectivist forum), there has been a thread going on over there for sometime after NB's official website somehow got taken over by a porn site. The thread was kind of interesting. Posters used it to beat up NB about being 'sleazy', then saying he was incompanent for allowing his website to be taken over (when this happens, sometimes its the fault of the hosting company, not NB or his admin's fault), then got into 'yet another diatribe' on the Branden-Rand split.

    Personally for me the whole thread said more about the posters then it did about NB.

  7. Huh. My current (and prior) employer pushes the UW campaign, but not the degree being mentioned. I think we've gotten a couple of emails and that's it.

    I used to support UW, but due to the fact that several UW groups have given in to certain 'special interest groups' and defunded one of the groups I devoted a lot of time to (BSA), I don't support the UW. I only donate directly to the causes I do believe in.

  8. Here is something that was posted to a Ditko mailing list:

    ====begin quote=======

    Michael T. Gilbert wrote:


    > His love of a certain Miss Rand is well known, Mike. ;-)

    It was almost cetainly one-sided, though you never know.

    When Mort Todd got the green light for an ATLAS SHRUGGED series at

    Marvel. the Rand folks said Ditko could draw the characters any way he

    wanted. They knew very well who he was. Of course it was mainly

    because he was a high profile Objectivist. He presumably kept the

    mainline faith after the unpleasant split up, in the 70s.

    Apparently, Ditko did meet with Rand and her paramour acolyte, Nathan

    Branden. When they broke up, acrimoniously, who knows who she was

    entertaining socially.

    But I somehow doubt Mr D was seen around, after hours. He was just a

    lowly comic book artist, and Rand would have only just tolerated his

    company, in a public place. She preferred to hang around with captains

    of industry, daring financiers, and the ilk.

    Mike Feldman

    =====end quote=====

  9. All-

    Am not much for being a shill for others, but felt others might be interested in this.

    Steve Ditko's lastest collection of work, "The Avenging World" is available from his long-time friend/editor Robin Synder. This is a thick (~230 page) collection of comic work and essays from 40 years of work. Everything is reprinted from previous works, but most were not well known.

    Some of the stuff included:

    * revision of his "Avenging World" comic book, which is basically Objectivism in comic book format.

    * several short pieces from various sources on a wide range of topics.

    * several short fiction works that illustrate Objectivist concepts. Only one (H Series: The Screamer) is 'superheroey', tho you might think Libage (Liberty Agent) is too.

    * several essays on different topics. Most deal with issues within the comic book industry (who own original art, issues of who created Spider-Man, etc), but others are about other imporant issue ("Violence, the Phoney Issue", etc)

    * entire "The Safest Place" comic, originally published in color by Dark Horse

    Sadly, I am not aware of any on-line bookstore carrying it. This is a work I think that many in the [Oo]bjectivist world should aware of. I wish the TOC bookstore or even LFB would carry it.

    But you can order it from Robin Snyder for $25+ $3 shipping.

    Here is his address:

    Robin Snyder

    2284 Yew St Rd #B6

    Bellingham, WA 98226-8899


    Snyder has several other collections of Ditko work also available that may be of interest.

  10. I found some of the quotes interesting regarding the 'ownership' of Objectivism.

    I've read somewhere that Rand was pissed at the various libertarians because (amoung other things) they were "using" "her" ideas, as if they someone need to get her permission to do so (maybe pay her royalties). To me, it doesn't work that way. Yes, if you're writting a scholarly work, you cite your sources, but you need not get permission or the like. The whole attitude seems strange to me.

    I almost wonder if we have to say: Objectivism © ® ™ (sm) The Ayn Rand Estate, used with permission or the like. :)

  11. Here is something I've been wondering. (not sure if I'm presenting it correctly)

    Is this attitude that is shown by Rand (and I guess Peikoff et al) considered normal within the world of philosophy?

    That is, that an originator of a philosophy is somehow the sole owner and arbitor of their philosophy, and can determine who does/does not speak for their philosophy?

    This sort of attitude show by Rand ("Objectivism is what I wrote, and a select few others I approved), and later Peikoff ("Objectivism is only what Rand wrote, no one else counts") to me seems strange.

    Like others, I feel that Objectivism should be open. And I've read a few items by certain people that they feel that Objectivism is incomplete and that it must be expanded/filled out, which I think is also true.

  12. I find this info on the sales of the book kind of interesting. I also found it interesting to hear about the book's publishers. I took a look at their site as I had never heard of them (I'm a bit of a 'book nerd', if you will). PARC just doesn't seem to fit in with the others that they publishing. I would think that the ARIans would have lines Valliant up with a more important publisher, since they seem to like that book. Wonder why they didn't...

    Have also been reading the noted thread on SOLOP. Gee, I didn't know that I was a "hopeless psychophants of the Brandens throw themselves under the bus to defend them". Have never met either f2f or electronically NB, and BB responded to a post of mine. So that makes me one of their psychophants?? Riiiight.

    For various reasons, I've been looking for a used copy of PARC. I done some searching on alibris, and haven't found one cheap enought to pick up. Personally, I think the number of books out there also determines how likely one will find it in a used bookstore.

  13. Michael; You are probably right. I hope Ditko didn't have anything with Armagaddon comics which are a horrid combination of the characters engaging in explict sex after declaiming long speechs which are rip-offs of Ayn Rand.

    Not familiar with that comic. Was that the title or the company name? I came across a 3-issue series with that name from Last Gasp (an underground publisher), but Ditko never worked with any of the undergrounds.

    Ditko was the sort of person who would probably want nothing to do with something like that. When DC asked him to work on Captain Atom (a character he had co-created at Charlton and which DC now owned), he turned it down because "superheroes shouldn't replace the government" or something to that affect. (Capt Atom was an Air Force officer and many of his missions were for the government). After the 1970s or so, if there was anything he had a problem with on a title (themes, etc), he wouldn't work on it.

    As to an Atlas adaptation. I had never heard of this! I will have to ask around. Frankly, Ditko is probably one of the few artists I would want to work on it. He more cartoonish/abstract style would have been great to illustrate and expand on Galt's speach, etc.

  14. Miss Rand always thought that when Objectivist ideas began to appear in comic strips that her philosophy would have reached the general public. Steve Ditko is the first of a great many to follow.

    Actually, Ditko is probably one of the only who has done so. And many comics fans/pros feel that his Objectivism has done him more harm then good. Many feel his Objectivist works as fairly unreadable, and he has had problems getting them published. His attitudes has caused him to miss out on a lot of opportunities.

    I'm not aware of any other comic artist/writer who exposes Objectivism in any form, other then Hanther in his independent comic series Tandra. In this series, his heroes expose the philosophy, but very subtly. And the main villians in the series comes from what appears to be a sort of 'Galt's Gulch gone bad'.

  15. All-

    Most likely few are familiar with Steve Ditko, a comic book artist who has worked on several comic book characters, most notably, is the co-creator of Spider-Man.

    In the 1960s, Ditko got interested in Objectivism, and this has had a major impact on his work over the years, with several of his characters and stories being influenced by Objectivist ideas. He has also done some 'non-fiction' comics that basically exposes the philosophy.

    His first, and most well-known, "Objectivist superhero" is Mr. A. (tho one sees elements in The Question, which you will see mentioned in the below series)

    Here are links to a 3-part series on Mr. A, with a good deal of his artwork. Enjoy:




    Michael Brown

  16. Michael,

    On OL's Link Listing, if you scroll down, you will come to a section called "A Community Divided (Schisms & Criticisms)." You can find a link there to Olof Samuelsson's articles and the one by Chris Wolf given below.

    A series of online documents was originally published several years ago by a guy named Chris Wolf dealing with the Reisman-ARI schism called FAQ - What's REALLY Wrong With Objectivism?. It's an interesting read.

    To be fair, this has been discussed in other places and there are other perspectives. I don't have the time to look them up right now, but I will get back to this. But you might be able to find a couple more at the Objectivism Reference Center in the section called Criticisms of Objectivists. I like that site a lot.


    Thanks. I didn't know it was covered at other places. Pointing me to the right place is good enough. I found Chris Wolf's site answers my questions. I've read thru a lot of the ORC site, but hadn't seen this particular 'tiff' covered (or linked I guess).

  17. Dragonfly-

    I've seen so many stupid reactions on SOLOP in the few weeks I've read things there, that its hard say this is the stupidist. But I did notice that no one seems to answer the simple questions of the comparison of the 2 statements, which is too typical of what I've seen there.

    The matter of Rand's name is another. Ok, BB was wrong. She made a mistake. Does this make her evil or immoral? (I prefer to reserve those terms for other things) I do research with others I know. In doing research, new information will arise. What is more important is how this new information is handled. If its correct, you have to revise your views on things. For me, what would have been more telling was BB's reaction to the origin of the name. If 'Ayn Rand' was not based on a typewriter, but based on her Russian name, and if this is correct, what is BB's response to this? "No, I'm right", "Ok, I was wrong, I was misinformed", or what have you? It's one thing to come to a conclusion based on the information at hand a the moment. There is nothing wrong or evil about that. When NEW information comes along that requires a re-evaluation of the conclusions, the only wrong thing to do is cling to the old conclusion in the face of new facts. These new facts don't mean that your former conclusion was evil/immoral, nor does it make you evil/immoral for having that conclusion at the time.

    Tied to that seems to be an attitude amoung most of these OOs to refuse to read either BB or NB works, and fully base their view on The Split ONLY on PARC. That's dishonest. To get the full story, to come to conclusions on your own, you must look at all sides. I think it was Ms Hsieh who even said she refused to read either PAR or MYWAR, but read PARC and based all her views on BB & NB & TOC/TAS et al on it. Sad.

    There is an interesting saying in the Babylon 5 show, I think it goes like this: "Understanding is a three-sided sword: your side, their side, and the truth". That always springs to mind when reading this.

  18. Oh, I guess I should mention.

    Nietzsche is covered in issue #1

    Thomas Jefferson was also covered in issue #2: All-Sex issue

    Aristotle will be covered in issue #7: It's all Greek to you

    John Stuart Mill will be covered in issue #8: Senseless Violence issue

  19. All-

    Not sure if others are aware of this.

    There is a comic book called "Action Philosophers" that focuses on "the lives and thoughts of history's A-list brain trust in a hip and humorous way". They've published 5 issues so far (each issue usually has a theme, and covers 3 philosphers). The first 3 issues are collected in a trade paperback. the site is here: http://www.eviltwincomics.com/action/index.php

    Why bring this up?

    In issue #2 (the Sex issue), Ayn Rand was one of the philosophers covered as "Action Philosopher #6". This gives a short bio of her, covering her coming to American, working in Hollywood, writing her 3 major novels, and meeting Nathaniel Branden. The basics of her philosophy are also covered. And it deals with the Branden/Rand split and what came afterwords. Basically it ends after the destruction of NBI.

    Most issues gives a bio of works to consult. The TBP doesn't have one, and their on-line one only cites "The Virtue of Selfishness", but have to think they also used PAR as a source.

    Am sure the OOs are either unaware of it or ignore it.

  20. Since this is the Introduction thread, I'll add mine.

    I first got into reading Rand and libertarian works about the time I graduated HS and left for college, around 1981/82. I read all of Rand's fiction and non-fiction books at the time. I kind of 'hit a wall' with ITOE and never finished it, and while I got several of Rand's books (and what's I call the post-Rand books from Peikoff et al), I haven't read them. The only libertarian magazines I knew of at the time was Reason and The Freeman, so I missed out on the various Objectivist magazines/newsletters/etc. I have a few of NB early books, but haven't read them (only so many hours in a day).

    While I've liked a lot of Rand's philosophy, I've never considered myself an Objectivist, but a libertarian (and a few times a Libertarian). There are just certain aspects of the philosophy I don't go for. Esthetics is a major one (it smacks too much of one having to only enjoy 'approved' works of art, which I don't go for). I've also been turned off by the cult-like attitude by many of her followers, getting pissed at each other and declaring them 'unmutual', etc.

    FWIW, I have a copy of PAR, but have only read portions (not really big on biographies), don't have a copy of MYWAR yet (have one on order), nor PARC (I'll get it and read it, but already think its garbage).

    I've looked over the 3 major on-line objectivist sites: SOLOPassion, ROR, and this one. This one seems the more friendly. SOLOP is too-ARIan/'Orthodox Objectivist' for me. I'll read stuff there on occasion, but that's it.

    I've never had any face-to-face interactions with any Objectivist. Not something I've tried to avoid it. But nothing something I necessarily have looke for, if only because of some of the 'attitudes' I've seen displayed on-line by certain OOs.

    I guess where to comes to the ARI/TAS split, I'd probably be with the TAS. As if it matters, as I probably wouldn't be welcome at ARI. B) I agree with Kelley regarding Objectivism as an open system.

    I dislike getting too personal, but I will add that I have a fairly technical/scientific education background. So I understand things like how to do research, figure things out, etc.

  21. All-

    Am sorry if this is not the right forum for this question. Am sure the moderators will move it if so (and not delete is).

    In reading various items on-line, I read some items at the website of Per-Olof Samuelsson (Swedish translator of Rand's work) about his being 'shutdown' by Peikoff after daring to ask why George Reisman (and Edith Parker) were kicked out of ARI for who knows what. his site is here: http://www.nattvakt.com/onlineenglish/tjsconflict.htm

    I've looked at Reisman's site, the Jefferson School: http://www.capitalism.net/ and I've looked else where, but I can't see anything on-line that explains what happened. I have seen that sadly, the OOs (and ARI) have a bad habit of kicking people out they decided they don't like (Kelley, etc etc). I've yet to see any reason for any of these, and am so a little curious as to the reason for Reisman & Parker's 'dismissal'.

  22. Well, I liked the comment posted later on in that thread which seems to claim that to 'attack Valliant' (or point out the flaws in his book, which I guess is the same) is to basically support the Brandens, tear down Rand, and attack Objectivism. All at the same time.

    But your comments about Ms. Hsieh are spot on...