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Posts posted by emb021

  1. All-

    As a long time comic book fan, I recently came across this site: http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/index.html

    Its devoted to 'stupid comics' they come across. Why are they stupid? Bad artwork, bad writting, or just plan bad/stupid/idiotic concepts. (or all of the above)

    Every week or so they put up a new one, and you can read past ones organize into categories.

    A recent one that was pretty bad is found here: http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidco...dcomics116.html

    This one looks at a black and white european comic called (I kid you not) "Love amoung Europe's creative class". Its an artistic interpretation of a couple of seminars (basically a half dozen people talking about something) that was part of a larger project about "Research Processes in the Arts". This particular one focused on "research processes and the analytic methods that allow decision-making in terms of categoric or systemic or traditional technique and the methodic categorization thereof".

    The whole thing strikes me as utterly boring, and the whole concept stupid. As it does the people who do this site, who thoroghly skewer it. The whole 'conversation' reminds me of the leftist nonsense that certain 'intelligensia' seem to follow.


  2. Columbus.

    As noted, Columbus, like others of his time, knew the Earth to be round. Columbus, also as noted, had thought it smaller. To Columbus, he fealt he would hit Asia when in fact he hit the Americas. The issue for his men was that they didn't think they'd hit any land (ie, they didn't have the resources to take an ocean voyage from Europe to Asia had the Americans not been there).

    It was Washington Irving, in a fictionalize biography of Columbus, that started the idea that Columbus putting forth the idea of a round earth when everyone else thought it flat.

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

  3. FWIW.

    The Wendy McElroy site seems to take a (perverse) delite in trying to find issues with Ron Paul. http://www.wendymcelroy.com They seem to feel they are the 'only libertarian site pointing out why RP is not libertarian', and (I guess) why l'ists shouldn't support him.

    Personally, I find most of thier 'proof' a bit lacking.

    The LewRockwell site (http://www.lewrockwell.com/) is un-ashamingly pro-Ron Paul (not surprising, as LR knows Paul thru the LvMI). They have been making a lot of his articles available, and pointing out some of the attacks on Paul by the media (and others), AND pointing out how they are incorrect. I believe some of the stuff that WME's site has tried to use to attack RP, the LRC site has shown to be wrong or misinterpreted.

    So if this is the sort of thing you are looking for, I recommend you check out those sites.

    [edited to fix a glaring typo]

  4. http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1573421/story.jhtml

    Nov 2 2007 6:27 PM EDT

    "Thought Harry Potter was blasphemous? That was kids' stuff compared to the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, in which God is an imposter, angels are sexually ambiguous and the Church kidnaps, tortures and assassinates to achieve its goals, one of which is stealing children's souls."

    At least I know there is a movie worth seeing come December. Matter of fact, this might be a good activity for my Objectivist group. Right around Christmas time. Great timing! :)

    I read the trilogy about 4 years ago.

    Its not so 'blashpemous' as they try to make it out, and the movie actually downplays these elements.

    For more info, I recommend you check out the Wikipedia articles on the author and the books. There are some pretty deep philisophical/scientific backgrounds to this work.

  5. I think the term libertarian encompassed things that Rand was uncomfortable with. Cultural hedonism and America bashing are high on the list. I think Rand would have been okay with classical liberal.

    This is true for most libertarians. The term is used in the US for a broad set of people, not all of whom many of us would agree with.

    And then I see people overseas using the term to apply to beliefs that aren't always pro-liberty (communarism, and such)


    Friday November 2, 2007


    Eric Reynolds

    206.524.1967 x218




    On his 80th birthday, Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the June 2008 release of

    the first critical retrospective of Steve Ditko, the co-creator and original artist of the

    Amazing Spider-Man.

    In the wake of the astonishing success of Sam Raimi’s three Spider-Man movies, Steve

    Ditko’s status as a driving force behind the pop culture icon has been revealed to an

    audience the world over. But, in the context of Steve Ditko’s 50-year career in comics,

    his creative involvement with Spider-Man is merely the tip of the iceberg.

    Ditko is known amongst the cartooning cognoscenti as one of the supreme visual stylists

    in the history of comics, as well as the most fiercely independent cartoonist of his

    generation. From his earliest days in the 1950s, working for the notorious low-budget

    Charlton Comics (the Roger Corman Productions of the comics industry), Steve Ditko

    broke every convention in comics, with his innovative special designs and imaginatively

    hallucinatory landscapes of Dr. Strange, the almost plebian earthiness of The Amazing

    Spider-Man, and his black-and-white views on morality and justice through his

    uncompromising vigilante of the late 1960s, Mr. A (inspired by the work of Atlas

    Shrugged author and Objectivist philosopher, Ayn Rand).

    Why will this book appeal to such a broad readership, to those who may not even be

    comic-book, or Steve Ditko, fans? “For the non-comic-book reader,” says author Blake

    Bell (author and essayist for the Marvel Comics’ line of Ditko-related Omnibus reprint

    projects), “we tell the narrative of Steve Ditko, the artist, from humble beginnings in

    Johnstown Pennsylvania; to the dizzying heights of co-creating Spider-Man; to the

    spectacular Howard Roark-like determination, and tribulations, in bringing his personal

    and philosophical vision to a recalcitrant audience. There’s a fantastic, dramatic storyline

    running through Ditko’s career; the artist having walked away from the Spider-Man

    franchise (and the billions it was to generate) as it was reaching the height of its

    popularity. What price did Ditko pay, and what was the impact on his work?”

    Comic-book fans have also been waiting for a definitive examination of Ditko the artist; a

    chance to have the entire artistic scope of his career in one volume. “Fans of Ditko, and

    comic art, will not be able to put the book down,” says Bell, “as we explode many of the

    myths surrounding key moments in Ditko’s career, as well as present reams of rare and

    unpublished Ditko artwork. For the comic art scholar, we also break down the “hows” of

    Steve Ditko as a great sequential storyteller, dissecting his work in depth for the first time,

    also with analysis and commentary by some of the most skilled and articulate comic

    creators of the day.”

    While Steve Ditko himself remains absent for the World Wide Web (minus a summer

    back in 2001, when Bell himself worked for Ditko as his official web site designer),

    Strange & Stranger will assault the ’Net with similar intensity to that of the creator


    In addition to updates to Bell’s unofficial Steve Ditko web site at www.ditko.comics.org,

    readers will be able to keep abreast of updates with pages on Facebook, MySpace, and a

    dedicated feature page at the Fantagraphics web site, found through the portal

    www.steveditkobook.com. This will have a web log offering on-going commentary on

    the process of creating the book, with commentary by Bell and the staff at Fantagraphics.

    It will also publish commentary by professional comic-book creators on Ditko’s career

    and artwork, and feature artwork that won't make it into the book. As the book speeds to

    its June 2008 release date, teasers, convention appearances by Bell, as well as book store

    signings will be featured on the site.

    2008 will mark the year when Steve Ditko fans the world over will have the opportunity

    to celebrate the artist’s 50-plus year career with this definitive volume from Blake Bell

    and Fantagraphics Books.

    A selection of images in a variety of formats is available for publication. For additional

    information, contact Eric Reynolds at the numbers above.


    Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko

    By Blake Bell

    $39.99 Hardcover

    220 pages, full-color, 9” x 12”

    ISBN 978-1-56097-921-0


  7. All-

    While searching on lulu.com (a major Print-on-Demand publisher. FWIW, the Ludwig von Mises Institute uses them) for various topics, including libertarianism, I came upon this work:

    Title: Are Capitalism, Objectivism, and Libertarianism Religions? Yes!

    Author: Dr. Albert Ellis.

    Description: Dr. Albert Ellis thoroughly debunks Capitalism, Objectivism, and Libertarianism as espoused by Adam Smith, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Alan Greenspan and his mentor Ayn Rand. This brilliant foray into politics and psychology examines the major tenets of capitalism, objectivism and libertarianism. Dr. Albert Ellis explores these philosophies to unravel their basic premises, and show how ultimately they are not rational, but religious in nature. Dr. Ellis writes, “On the surface, Ayn Rand makes excellent points about humans and their potential for rational behavior. Unfortunately, she postulates on individual and social psychology in such an extremist, fanatical, dogmatic, high-flown moralistic and irrational manner as to destroy much of its sense and effectiveness.” Former president of the Albert Ellis Institute in New York, the author of the book, Dr. Ellis, is the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), the first of the Cognitive Behavior Therapies.

    This is a free download of a 248 page work. No, I haven't bothered to download it and read it.

    Now, I have never heard of Dr Ellis. He is apparently a prolific author, and from what little I have read about him, is probably critical of the psychology views of Nathanial Branden (which may have been a cause for this work). But let's be honest. Capitalism is an economic system, not a religion. Libertarianism is a political philosophy, not a religion. Objectivism, while some have called it a cult, is a philosophy, not a religion. (I don't think any who have called it a cult have called it a religion). So this work sounds to me like a criticism of some of the cult-like aspects of the Objectivist movement (and prehaps Branden's ideas of psychology), which someone is trying to present as a criticism of capitalism, libertarianism and Objectivism. (which is why I'm not inclined to waste my time with it).

    But I was curious if anyone else was familiar with this work or this author.

  8. LFB has finally put an announcement about things on their front page, and stated that the ISIL (International Society for Individual Liberty) will be taking over LFB from the Center for Liberatarian Thought.

    So LFB should continue.

  9. I, too, had heard of their coming demise on another forum. I had just taken advantage of their September book sale as a 'birthday gift' to myself. :)

    I discovered LFB way back when I got into libertarianism/objectivism, and have gotten their catalogs ever since. I recall they had a separate catalog for their anarchist works. I would pour over the catalogs, checking off the books I had, and marking the ones I wanted. Being a poor college student at the time, it was a while before I started to make a dent in that list. :) Being from southern Florida, during a time where most bookstores weren't as extensive as what we have today with Borders, B&N or BAM, LFB was pretty much my only source for most of this stuff, and more importantly, one of the important sources for what DID exist. The only recourse one had to find out what other works existed would be to go over the bibliography lists of l/o works you had. There were few lists of 'recommended' reading, and those that existed, while good, were seldom up to date as to sources or new works. (another source of such info were libertarian magazines, but again, if you didn't know they existed, or you got involved after their hayday, you missed out. The only libertarain mag I've subscribed to from day one has been Reason. When I learned of Liberty (long after it started), I got that as well. But I missed out on Inquiry, Libertarian Forum, the various Objectivist mags, etc).

    LFB says the changing bookmarket is what's killing them. I think they need to transform. Stop being a bookstore/catalog. Be a virtual bookstore. Have your list of books & reviews, but have the customers then click thru to Amazon (&/or other on-line stores) to purchase the books. If books are out of print, point them to alibris and other sources. Ordering books should not be their 'strength'. Their strength is in the information on what books to get, both old and new. This means that there will need to be recommendations and book reviews of new and upcoming works. Use the revenue generated by the click-thrus to pay for the website and for new reviews.

    Another service that LFB has done is their Fox & Wilkes publishing, which published, (many times bringing back) important libertarian works. Keep F&W, but turn it into a print on demand imprint. LvMI is doing something similiar. They have a whole line of classic liberal/libertarian works kept 'in print' via print-on-demand publisher Lulu (which you can order from either Lulu or LvMI store). Making F&W pod, they could also seek out additional works to keep 'in print', as LvMI also seems to do. But be complementary to what others are doing. If, for instance, LvMI is keeping something in print, don't also make it available.

    I plan on emailing the above ideas to LFB.

  10. FWIW, I finally recently got a copy of Kelley's Contested Legacy book (took advantage of LFB's September sale as a sort of birthday gift to myself. I also got his "A Life of One's Own").

    I haven't yet started reading in beyond the intro (am in the middle of Goodkind's "Naked Empire"), but thanks to this thread, I took the time to print out the articles that started his book and their 'responses'.

    I will only say that Kelley's writting were IMO very reasoned and resonable, unlike his attackers. Considering some of the vitriol sent his way, its a wonder he hasn't responded in kind at some point.

  11. I thought the Atlas Society sold them.

    Not as a DVD, and not as a single DVD.

    TAS's bookstore is offline right now, but ARI has 3 videos available with the Mike Wallace, Phil Donahue (2 of them) and Tom Snyder interviews. (I know LFB used to have them as well, but I didn't see them listed).

    I'd like to see them available on a single DVD for a reasonable cost (not the $30-60 per video).

  12. Further article.

    I just discovered the Chris Sciabarra wrote an article entitled "The Illustrated Rand" which touches on Ditko and Frank Miller. It was published in JARS v6#1 and can be read on-line here: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/essa...stratedrand.pdf

    Overall, his section on Ditko's work is fine, but there is a lot more that could be said about Ditko's work. I think he deserves his own article(s). :)

    As to Frank Miller, I'm a little mixed as to his 'Objectivist' influences. I have several of his works that are mentioned. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is an important one. There is some interesting philosophy behind it, especially in the conflict we see in this comic between Batman and Superman. In the sequal, Miller included several other DC heroes, and not always flattering. I wasn't too keen on his portrayal of The Question (Ditko's more 'friendlier' version of Mr. A.), as he seem to portray him as a 'right wing nut'. When the leftist Green Arrow calls the Question a 'Randian', the Question replies that "Rand didn't go far enough".

    Another long series of work that Miller did is his 'Martha Washington' series, which also has Randian influences. I think in the second series she discoveres and joins a sort of 'galt's gulch' group, working to save the world. But it appears that in further stories, especially the most recent one-shot 'Martha Washington Die', that things seem to have gone wrong. Hopefully when the completed Martha Washington series is reprinted (very soon), I can re-read them and come to a better conclusion.

  13. ~ "Mike" Donahue?

    Phil Donahue. My mistake.

    I wish someone would put out a SINGLE DVD with all these interviews on them, rather then having to get 3 or 4 video tapes. (that's so last century).

  14. Morning:

    The "news" photo presentation of the "cache" of weapons confiscated in the "young man's room" in Penn. displays an upright copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook", one of the seminal books in anarchism.

    Hmmm, is someone sending a subliminal message?

    Yeah, that the police are idiots.

    I would not call the "Anarchist Cookbook" as a seminal book of anarchy. Its sort of like the would-be kids into wicca getting the 'satanic bible' or the like.

    I've read things which has claimed the 'recipes' in the cookbook would get you killed, as they were intentionally done incorrectly.

    (I recall an episode of Law & Order:SVU used it as a prop)

  15. Is this an official Ron Paul website?

    Doesn't appear to be.

    Line at the bottom of the page says: "An Online Grassroots Social network supporting Ron Paul". No info on who is behind this site, but this is not an official Ron Paul site. There are several of these out there.

    The official Ron Paul site is www.ronpaul2008.com, which is run by the campaign committee.

    He also has a website at the House of Representatives, as well as official YouTube Channel, MySpace, and Facebook.

    I thought the article was a little strange to mention Reason magazine negatively at the begining, making it seem there is a link between Reason & Cato, which I don't believe there is.

  16. Confessor, the third part of the 'Chainfire' Trilogy, will come out in November. Frankly, I have been working thru these books (I got into reading them earlier this year. I had never heard of them, as I'm not a big fantasy fan. After seeing an article about them in TAS's New Individualist mag, I thought I check them out). As I hate hardbacks, I plan on reading this final trilogy only when I have all 3 in paperback.

    The last book I read is "Faith of the Fallen", which has been noted (and I agree) as the most 'Objectivist' of the books so far.

    I have the next two books in the series, but haven't yet started to read them. Hopefully soon.