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Posts posted by emb021

  1. DC Comics has a series of "Big Book of <something>" that came out in the late 1990s or so. These large format trade paperbacks had 2-3 pages of black and white art for each subject. This came out under their 'Paradox Press' inprint. Most are still in print:














    I have a couple of them (I think Urban Legends and Hoaxes). You can get more info on the series here: http://dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?cat=PARADOX+PRESS

  2. "To Whom It May Concern" is not an announcement that the Objectivist was being wrapped up. It was published in 1968. The magazine would in fact continue for another 3 years, under Ayn Rand's sole ownership.

    Rather, the piece is an announcement that Nathaniel Branden is no longer on board (and that the Nathaniel Branden Institute is therefore history). Had she left the matter there, in one paragraph, with no elaboration, then no one would have imagined that she was discussing the issue.

    Instead, she reeled off a long string of charges against Nathaniel Branden, many of them pertaining to grave moral faults--without ever coming out and saying what he had actually done. Some of the charges that she did specify (such as purportedly spending too much of his time on a dramatic production) were picayune, to use one of your words.

    I also recall the TWIMC also got in to claims of financial inpropriety, which I believe where shown to be incorrect. Either Rand misconstried what were normal financial transaction, or made claims out of whole cloth.

  3. As a former libertarian I am thouroughly enthused to see so many signs for Ron Paul for his domestic libertarian support and it's good to see a legitimate 'third' option (even though he is officially republican) getting so much attention. However, as that same 'former' libertarian, I despise Ron Paul's foriegn policy ides, and to me this trumps all his domestic libertarian stances. Also, his popularity is not coming from his libertarian stance, it's coming from his abandon iraq now stance, he is the only major truly anti-war candidate, so again my enthusiasm for Ron Paul signs is significantly reduced.

    well, that's your take on it. I find nothing wrong with getting out of Iraq. We had no reason to be there, and libertarians should never be pro-war. (pro-defense is something else, and invading Iraq was never pro-defence).

    They all like him for the wrong reasons. His stance on Roe V Wade, stem cell research, and affiliation with the pro-south evil lincoln libertarian contigent is rather dispicable as well.

    While I don't agree with him, I don't find his stance on Roe vs Wade as 'dispicable'. Its clear where he's coming from on RvW.

    And there is no such thing as a "pro-south evil lincoln libertarian contigent". That's a bit of BS spread by the compolian beltway 'libertarians'. Lincoln is not the great man that people want to believe he is. And not believe that myth doesn't make one 'pro-south' or 'pro-slavery'.

  4. M. Brown:

    ~ You forgot to add Dash's comment being driven home from school: "When everyone's 'special'...no one is."


    ~ For shame not appreciating the worth of this story about the 'best' (in abilities, and [ahem, need I add?] adeptness at helping others) being socially hampered from continuing such by...societal-envy (I think Rand wrote something on 'envy'). --- I'll bet you didn't like BATMAN BEGINS either.

    Yup, forgot that additional quote.

    And totally agree with your point. This, to me, is one of the big themes of the movie: that the 'good/best' must (because of society, etc) be forced to hide itself/be ashamed of itself.

    There is also the nice progression in the character of Violet, who goes from a shy, 'shrinking violet' character to a more mature, confident and self assured young lady.

    As a long time superhero comic fan, I have long been disappointed by the general poor quality superhero films. For me, the Incredibles are one of the best superhero movies. The problem I have with most superhero movies is the need to provide 'drama' in the movie with adversity, usually in the form of the hero loosing or beind defeated and thus overcoming this. While its good to show them overcoming difficulties, too often it strikes me as trying to give the hero flaws/feet of clay, and make them less heroic. While this may make them more human, to a degree it also makes them less heroic and admirable.

  5. Some quotes from "The Incredibles".

    Edna Mode on 'supermodels': "Supermodels - ha! Nothing super about them. Spoiled, stupid little stick-figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves. Feh! I used to design for GODS!"

    Edna Mode replying to Elastic Girl when Elastic Girl find that Mr. Incredible is someplace she didn't think (worried he is having an affair): "What are you talking about? You are Elastigirl! My God! Pull yourself together! What will you do? Is...is...is this a question? You will show him that you remember that he is Mr. Incredible! And you will REMIND him, who YOU are! Well, you know where he is... Go! Confront the problem! Fight! Win! And call me when you get back, dahling, I enjoy our visits. "

    Mr. Incredible on Dash's "graduation": "It is not a graduation. He's moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade."

    Mr. Incredible: "It's psychotic! They keep inventing new ways to celebrate mediocrity. But when someone is genuinely exceptional... "

    Mr. Incredible: "How could I betray the perfect woman?"

    "You are my greatest adventure - and I almost missed it. I swear I'll get us out of here."

    Dash: "You always say, "Do your best," but you don't really mean it. Why can't I do the best I can do?"

    Syndrome: "I'll give them heroics. I'll give them the most spectacular heroics they've ever seen! And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so everyone can be superheroes! Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super... [laughs maniacally]... no one will be."

  6. Grieb and sjw apparently accept Paul's claim that he didn't review the offending newsletters. I find that hard to believe, since they span something like ten years and this was a small, local organization, not a national campaign. Failure to read the material would explain at most a month's worth, at the end of which he would have fired the responsible people.

    FWIW, while the newsletters existed for about 10 years (I have yet to hear exactly how long they did run), I am not sure the items that people are pointed out existed over the whole course of those 10 years. For all we know, the bad items occured during a very small time period.

    I can kind of accept that he didn't review the newsletters himself, probably thinking he had left this to other, more capable hands. I wouldn't have done this, but I'm not him. I do wonder why he hasn't pointed out who was responsible for the content, and some have made some wild speculations that I don't think are well founded.

  7. Saw NT: Book of Secrets in a theater with my brother and dad. While a pretty good movie, not quite as good as the first. More puzzles in the first, IMO. More interesting personal elements in the first (DoI back in the Carpenter's hall, discussion about daylight savings, etc).

    The character of Mitch Wilkinson was a bit of a puzzle. Meant to be the 'bad guy', but with motivations that wheren't that clear. I was expecting a more sinister reason for him wanting the gold (which would have tied in with some of the things of the past. I'll avoid stating them here for those who haven't seen the movie).

    The intro of Gates' mom was interesting. From the first movie, you would think she was dead, but really she was just divorced from Gates' dad. The interactions between the 2 characters were interesting.

    Abigail Chase didn't marry Gates. Maybe after the movie ending, they finally did.

    Also unclear was how the matter of Gates ancestor was cleared up.

  8. Just think what will happen if donations Sunday exceed the Nov 5th record. Media coverage might just inspire many who will find the candidate of their dreams in Ron Paul.

    Just think... a candidate who is not the lesser of two evils... for a change!

    It is not too late to donate at 1 800 RON PAUL


    Why settle for the lesser of evils. Write in C'thulu in 2008.

    Ah, another member of the Elder Party.

    Remember, C'thulhu Saves. For when he's hungry later.

  9. An article in today's Wall Street Journal(p. W15) by Leslie Baynes entitled His Dark Material is an attack on The Golden Compass.

    The author call the books "bluntly anti-Christian". Those of you interest in the Dark Materials may wish to look at this.

    I read the books a few years ago. (basically looking for a good series along the line of the Harry Potter books).

    I really didn't find it anti-religion, anti-christian, or anti-Catholic.

    It IS anti-authoritarian. The Majesterium is similiar to the Catholic Church, but NOT in its beliefs/doctrines (ie, no mention of Christ, etc). Its similiar it terms of its abuse of power and desire to control people and basically eliminate free will.

  10. As a kid, I grew up watching the various christmas specials on tv. Over the years, I've seen many other christmas themed movies. Some of my favorites.

    Several of the early Rankin-Bass specials are pretty good. R-B made many of these, many tied to other holidays which frankly aren't as good, and which many I don't recall seeing and only now are seeing on tv. The ones I remember are "Santa Claus is coming to Town", "Rudolph the Red-nosed Raindeer", "Frosty the Snowman", and "It was a Year without a Santa Claus".

    Charlie Brown Christmas, despite its gentile religous overtones, has always been a favorite.

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The original one. Accept no substitutes!

    As to movies.

    I like "Miracle on 42nd St". Sorry, just do.

    I like "Its a Wonderful Life". Like a recent poster, I think some of the meaning of this story are topics such as an individual CAN make a difference (such as when Clarence shows George what the world would be like without him). I think it also touches on the idea of what makes a man a success. George thinks he's a failure because he wasn't able to do certain things, but Clarence makes him realize he is a success. Too often I think people latch on to a wrong idea of what makes someone a success (lots of money, big house, trophy wife, etc).

    Christmas Carol. LOTS of versions over the years. While the Alister Sims version is pretty good, too many scenes have him standing with a blank look on his face. My favorite is the George C Scott version. I also like the music version called "Scrooge", but don't like that they didn't show the full story.

    A Christmas Story is a favorite in my family and has been for years. We stumbled upon this movie years ago when TNT started to do their marathon showing of it.

    Nightmare Before Christmas is great. Tim Burton (along with Aardman) seems to be the only ones following in the steps of Rankin-Bass to do great stop-motion animation.

    Home Alone. Kinda of a Christmas story. Hilarious as h*ll.

    Christmas Vacation. Also funny. Another slated looked at christmas.

  11. I just finished the first part of Pullman's trilogy (btw, in Britain, it was entitled "Northern Lights") and now I can go see the movie which I will do either this afternoon or tomorrow (G-D willing and the bridge don't collapse). I hope it will do justice to the book, which is the best page turner fiction work I have read in the past five years (I don't read all that much fiction). Whoooweeee! It is a blast.

    I think they did justice to the book. Some purists are upset that they 'watered' things down. Yes, they had to make some changes in some stuff to help move the movie plot along, but I don't think they heavily altered things. (Pullman isn't upset about these changes, so why should we?). The Magesterium is still a sinister, evil group, who want to control people and basically eliminate free will. It will be interesting if they do the next 2 movies and how they handle the issue of angels, the Kingdom of Heaven, more about Dust, etc.

  12. "'PC Load Letter'? What the f*ck does that mean?"

    "Why does it say 'Paper Jam' when there IS no paper jam? I swear to God, one of these days, I just kick this piece of sh*t out the window! "

    "And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry... But then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll, I'll, I'll set the building on fire... "

    And the best is: The Bill Lumbergh Soundboard:


  13. Its 'daemon', not 'demon'.

    Problem is that most people think of 'demon' they think of 'devils'. 'Daemons' are helper spirits. That is why on unix, the background processes are called 'daemons'.

    Of course, that didn't stop some people from making a big stink about the term being used in UNIX back in the early '80s.

    I know. there is a great little anechdotal story about the reaction someone got when wearing a t-shirt with the little BSD daemon (a little cartoon devil with a pitchfork).

  14. I read the books a couple years back. You can get the entire trilogy in one volume, which some additional notes by Pullman.

    Quite frankly, I didn't see the Magisterium as being specifically the Catholic Church. It seemed just their world's version of any other authoritarian/autocratic organization. I was puzzled by comments on the back cover and in the book flap that claimed stuff like the "gobblers may turn out to be the good guys". Sorry, but AFAIK, they turned out to be amoung the true villians.

    I saw the movie this past weekend. Overall very good. There are some very good lines of dialog on the matter of freedom and free will, so you understand the evil of people like the Magisterium (who felt that what they were doing was 'good', because it would make sure children didn't turn away, which really meant they wanted to end free will and that people would do what they were told. because others knew what was better for them.)

    Mrs Coultier was very evil, both her and her golden monkey daemon. (I always wondered who the hell Mr Coultier was. He never appeared in the books...). Daniel Craig was great, as was Sam Elliott. Ian McKellan did a good job as the voice of Iorek, the Armoured Bear that held Lyra. I think they did a good job of showing the Golden Compass working, and touching on the matter of "Dust". I think they did a decent way of showing this as another world, and hopefully explaining what daemons where. I didn't like that they pronounced the word 'demon'. I prefer to pronouce it 'daemon', with a clear 'a' sound, to differentiate it from 'demons', which most people think of devils.

    I do hope this film is successful, as only then will they do the next 2.

  15. Its 'daemon', not 'demon'.

    Problem is that most people think of 'demon' they think of 'devils'. 'Daemons' are helper spirits. That is why on unix, the background processes are called 'daemons'.

    In the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, all humans have their souls as separate beings called 'daemons', who take the form of animals. These beings are like companions, who stay with you and speak with you. Children's daemons can change shape at will, until they reach adolescent, in which they take one form. In many ways, the form they take is symbolic of the soul of the individual. (the witch's daemons are always swans, the Cossacks are vicious wolves, others are of small insects, dogs, cats, and othe small animals).

  16. I can't endorse anyone who thinks our troubles in the Middle East are our fault for our being there and that they would evaporate if we would leave. The Muslims/Arabs will respect strength and kick us if we seem weak. I despise Ron Paul and all appeasers. Evil is the fault of the would be victim?

    That's an oversimplification of the matter.

    Ron Paul never said all our troubles in the Middle East are our fault or that we are to blame for 9/11.

    However, our actions overseas has lead to further problems. Its little different then from past decades when we would prop up 'right wing' dictators because they were anti-communist. This lead much of the population to be leftist and anti-US and anti-'capitalist', because they identified the US and capitalism as behind the local dictator oppressing them. We just make things worse.

    Ron Paul made several suggestions on works to read to back up his point, several of which are from people connected with the CIA. So obviously his view is based on the views of others in the intelligence community.

    This is way Paul quotes GW: "Peace, Commerce and Honest Friendship with All Nations, Entangling Alliances with None."

  17. It wasn't until sometime in the early 1800 that certain religious extremists brought back the idea of a flat earth.

    They were not "religious extremists."

    What I know of the various Flat Earth groups that existed from the 1800s to the present have by and large been christian fundamentalists. If you read Gardner's work, he speaks of several of these groups. There may be FE groups that don't base their belief on religion, but most that I have heard of are.