Mark

Geller and Brook to speak at Tea Party meeting

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Israel's politics are no worse than California's or New York's. They are the freest nation in the middle east and as such are a worthy ally of the USA.

So you say. And if somebody has a different opinion (or any questions about any Israeli policy) no doubt they are stupid or traitors or socialists or all three.

Anyway, America has a few 'special relationships.' First with hideous socialist hellhole Canada, second with the UK, third with NATO, and finally with the Jewish State. Firm and irrevocable relationships between USA defence, intelligence and 'deep government' arms -- and those arms of state in these three entities, by treaty and tradition.

But the angry honey badgers in their fall-out tunnels are also aware that some Freedom-lite places are also American allies. Pure global strategy: Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan.

American ideals and values were born from humanity, not a 'nation' apart from others. The values of freedom, democracy and rule of law are universal values. Human rights are universal values. Freedom from torture, arbitrary arrest, detention and curbs on civil liberties are values we share as rational human beings.

So, blackhorse, the criterion of 'Freedom' does not explain why America allies with the harshest religious regimes (Saudi Arabia) or other repressive autocracies (Uzbekistan, etc).

-- while Mark may seem a hardliner (anti-Israel) to you, it is likely that you each share deep basic values. Criticism of your own state (America) is second-nature to you both. What I wonder is where you may draw the line in criticism of Israel, and of course your take on the elephant in the room, the Occupied Territories under Israeli tutelage, blockade or control.

What kind of "Freedom" do you contemplate for them: a freedom under a One-State solution? A freedom under the Two-State solution? An internationalized Jerusalem? Expulsion? Right to return?

There is a content to criticism of Israel (and within Israel) that bears responding to, I think, if only to sharpen your own Israel First biases. Examining the content of inter-Israeli policitics is a good guide to what is OK to criticize and what is not. I wish you could move past the one-line declamations into a careful examination and disposal of issues that fester between the Likud-style bloc and the Labour-style bloc, even into an examination of fraught and pressing issues of security.**

But here's a question that might flesh out your opinions and presciptions, blackhorse -- if you only had one single choice, which country would you designate as America's greatest ally, who must be defended at all cost?

If one is too few, maybe could rank your top ten choices.

___________________________

** A story from Israel today, credited to the man who leads war in Israel, Ehud Barak:

Iran pulls back from nuclear bomb goal: Israeli defense minister

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:43pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran has drawn back from its ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, Israel's defense minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday, while warning that his country may still have to decide next year whether to launch a military strike against it.

Tehran denies its nuclear work has any military dimensions but governments in Europe and the United States are increasingly concerned over its intentions.

Diplomacy and successive rounds of economic sanctions have so far failed to end the decade-old row, raising fears of Israeli military action against its arch-enemy.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper that an immediate crisis was avoided when Iran chose to use more than a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes earlier this year.

He told the paper that the decision "allows contemplating delaying the moment of truth by eight to ten months".

"There could be at least three explanations. One is the public discourse about a possible Israeli or American operation deterred them from trying to come closer," he said.

"It could probably be a diplomatic gambit that they have launched in order to avoid this issue culminating before the American election, just to gain some time. It could be a way of telling the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) 'oh we comply with our commitments'."

Analysts say Iran already has enough low-enriched uranium for several nuclear bombs if it were refined to a high degree, but may still be a few years away from being able to assemble a missile if it decided to go down that path.

[ . . . ]

Edited by william.scherk

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Per the Gotham Tea Party website:

Pamela Geller & Yaron Brook are scheduled to speak at the next Gotham Tea Party meeting.


No news from Gotham Tea Party on their booze-up with Pam and Yaron, whether cancelled or not. Pam Geller's site says f/a about it (though she does have a decent set of New York inundation photos).

I sent a Twitter query to the Gothamites to see if the knees-up had been cancelled or rescheduled or whatever. No reply yet, but they are most certainly angry with the New Jersy governor! Here is a sample of their odd whining and snarling in re Sandy:

I got word back from Yaron Brook via Twitter that he had not been able to attend the Gotham Tea Party event.

He is going to be in the Carolinas shortly, it seems, appearing at Clemson. I wonder if our Robert Campbell will be an attendant:

Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond Institute on the Clemson University campus.

Edited by william.scherk

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> ... word back from Yaron Brook via Twitter that he had not been able to attend the Gotham Tea Party event.

Did he give the reason?

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> ... word back from Yaron Brook via Twitter that he had not been able to attend the Gotham Tea Party event.

Did he give the reason?

"because of Sandy i could not fly into NYC" was what he wrote.

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Comments ...

1st paragraph: Any alliance with Israel harms the USA.

2nd: We ought to have an attention span longer than yesterday. Israel "up to any sneaky tricks" mocks its very serious past treachery costing many billions of U.S. tax dollars and hundreds of American lives.

As for recent Israeli treachery there is plenty described on ARI Watch and on the Israel section of the Links page.

3rd: Peacenik vs. Warmonger is not a helpful dichotomy. Both terms are as derogatory as they are undefined. The issue is America First vs. U.S Imperialism and Foreign Entanglement. "Picking up ones marbles" etc caricatures an America First foreign policy.

From the general tenor of whYNOT's post I suspect that by "self-interest" etc he means just the opposite of the true meaning of those words, very like the so-called Ayn Rand Institute/Center when they couch altruism (with the Israelis as beneficiaries) in the words of self-interest.

Interesting that Israel, fighting for survival and prepared to sell its own mother to that end, is your main bug-bear.

I suggest none of us know the full extent of assistance from her, to the USA.

(I also see you never mention Pakistan,a false ally, if there ever was one.)

Funny thing is we are on the same side, here. As a longstanding American-in-spirit, I've been 'America first' for longer than most Americans are alive.

Saying that, I am strongly opposed to 'America First'- as movement, as the irrational obverse to her 'unfortunate' policies/philosophy overseas.

You bring up altruism and false dichotomies. True! Then don't you see that the thrust of AF, toward an ideology of isolationism is altruistic-derived - overly-concerned with others - so therefore makes for a false dichotomy?

The third way (I've been going on about) is to NOT thrust gifts (dollars and democracy) on the world. Santa, Daddy, Policeman: enough already! America owes nothing, but to act with respect to those nations who merit it, and who you can do honest business with. All others should be left to their own devices, unless they pose

an immediate threat.

To hell with being accepted and loved by "The International Community" (whatever that is) - the US will draw

her real friends to her, naturally. Simply, through rational, consistent principles, and self-respect.

(I have been remembering a time when Americans had the most amazing innocence. Unwise, perhaps, but I miss it. To many of us, it spoke of self-confidence and benevolence. To exchange these for suspicion and retreat from the world, is another dreadful false dichotomy. But I've said enough and too much.)

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A comment on whYNOT’s choice of words.

He claims that Israel’s fight for its survival is my principal “bugbear.” Now “bugbear” is a disparaging epithet to be sure. An imaginary monster used to frighten children, bugaboo, hobgoblin, something that keeps annoying or worrying you, an object of dread or apprehension – these are some definitions and synonyms. The word belittles one's concern.

Speaking of bugbear in its denatured meaning of simply concern, obviously the fate of Israel very much concerns -- bugbears if you will -- whYNOT.

As for me, I do not address or care about Israel’s survival per se. I do care about the effect of Israel and its neoconservative supporters on America. The effect is a major loss, as I elaborate at length elsewhere.

Pakistan has nothing to do with what we’re talking about but naturally, if whYNOT wants to know, I oppose all foreign aid including to Pakistan.

The following is one of the most vicious pieces of bambysham I have ever read:

I have been remembering a time when Americans had the most amazing innocence. Unwise, perhaps, but I miss it. To many of us, it spoke of self-confidence and benevolence. To exchange these for suspicion and retreat from the world, is another dreadful false dichotomy.

There is “innocence” in the sense of not guilty of a crime, and there “innocence” in the sense of naïveté and ignorance. The author of the above means the later. This second sort of innocence is a negative not to be desired, ever, especially when you need knowledge to defend yourself against con-men who prey on the innocent in both senses.

Adults are suspicious when the occasion calls for it.

More and more people are waking up to the U.S. foreign policy fraud, including the “Israel is our ally” part of it, and this is what really annoys Israel Firsters. To them, failure to furnish Israel money and war materiel constitutes “retreat from the world.”

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Well, Mark, this looks like a virulent case of mutual- exclusivitis, to me.

If all the world is not for me, it must all be against me. Babies and bathwater?

By all means, if the support for Israel is only "neo-conservative" altruism, break it off.

Afterwards, if it's possible, some genuine common self-interests may be found - if not, too bad. I recognize the basic morality of both nations, (and both have mixed political premises)

so they are, would be, honest allies. However I believe Israel could go it alone, just. Better so, than such unpredictable, begrudging 'charity'. Still, if one's moral judgment of who is good and bad is impaired, it's all useless, anyway.

So happens, I find worth in innocence, not as an end itself, but as a natural accompaniment

to personal strength: rationality, self-esteem, benevolence and a focused awareness.

Not so oddly, where I've seen a constant, blanket suspiciousness in anyone, it's accompanied by not much of those.

Innocence isn't ignorance, I think - it signals an alert mind which assesses each situation in its own context, and every person on his merits; also, it signals someone who lives by his own moral code, neither intending harm, nor expecting it from others (though awake to potential threat.) Suspicion passes one judgment on everything, once - and of course is seldom disappointed: it tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Would you agree?

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I find worth in innocence [i.e. naïveté] ... as a natural accompaniment to personal strength: rationality, self-esteem, benevolence and a focused awareness.

Not to mention it gets other people to do what whYNOT wants. How this guy can sling Objectivist phrases, turning them into cant.

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The Innocence of Earth

Tony had been remembering a time "when Americans had the most amazing innocence," and misses that time. This raises some difficulties.

Collectivizing words that have multiple meanings and assigning them to large groups is asking for cognitive error. Possible errors include the basics (Type One/Type Two errors) and the knock-on fallacies (false analogies).

Here's the problem from another angle: one can put forward a dominant connotation of the word as representative. We can guess Tony's intended meaning by context and by subsequent explanation. We can lay out clearly how assigning Good to a class of things can obscure an underlying beggaring of the larger question.

The word:

This is a strong word, with almost completely positive connotations: one can add many more synonyms to one's personal understanding of the concept, ramifications of innocence, aspects of innocence -- favourite flavours of the word. Guilelessness, openness, vulnerability, beauty, youth, incorruptibility and so on. So we can guess what wistful nostalgia Tony feels for this extended sense of innocence.

When this sense of innocence is applied to an individual, a child or youth, I think we can feel that kinship catch in the throat, looking on a young person yet free of having committed any painful offense against another; we can even have in mind a rather unlikely angelic being, who never pushed a sibling, who never bit another, who never raged, never lashed out unfairly. These are trifles when we look upon our own treasured ideal image.

Strong feelings attached to a concept, enough to pang in remembrace of this state of innocence. This individual has not committed any crime.

Of course, does the full power of the concept transfer to a collective of people? Let's think about it. Can we say there was a time when New York was innocent, when Antigua was innocent, when China was innocent, when Indonesia was innocent, when Europe was innocent, when Johannesburg and Buenos Aires, the Bowery, Chinatown and Harlem were innocent? Can we `reassign`the emotional valence to a larger collective at any scale -- neighbourhood, city, region, state, province, territory, nation and hemisphere?

When particular measurements are omitted, does the meaning accrue to every corner of the collective, or only in a summary sense, an average? Do we need to maintain a sense of scale between an individual and a grouping of individuals, and retain our perception of the dimension between one and many? If a nation can have had an Age of Innocence, can a continent or a planet? If so, what use is nostalgia for such an era, what is its fruit beside regret and painful memories of yore?

Anyhow, though Tony has moved on, I think the metaphor of an innocent America lingers on in his heart and mind, an ideal Happy Days of a nation. If not a mere metaphor, I could probably reason out for myself the epoch or historical moment that has passed.

Before I go on, I would like to know more about perceptions of that time that Tony treasures. Perhaps I too treasure that moment, that collective span of innocence. Maybe Mark too can feel what Tony feels, and try to understand.

In the meantime, I will go searching my emotional memory banks for that time perceived when I looked at my country with that same fine regard and appreciation: innocent Canada, young innocent Canada. When would that be? I will report back on my intropection, and maybe even look up bambysham, speaking of disparaging epithets.

Edited by william.scherk

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I find worth in innocence [i.e. naïveté] ... as a natural accompaniment to personal strength: rationality, self-esteem, benevolence and a focused awareness.

Not to mention it gets other people to do what whYNOT wants. How this guy can sling Objectivist phrases, turning them into cant.

Huh?

Which "people"? What do I "want"?

The misinterpretations of me are yours,

the false alternatives are yours,

the suspicious mind is yours,

(the insertion into my quote is yours, too.)

Cheers

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a meteor stracking Jerusalem or Meccha (preferably both),

Think of God popping a zit

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a meteor stracking Jerusalem or Meccha (preferably both),

Think of God popping a zit

Bob. I gather you survived the storm...

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WSS,

I got word back from Yaron Brook via Twitter that he had not been able to attend the Gotham Tea Party event.

He is going to be in the Carolinas shortly, it seems, appearing at Clemson. I wonder if our Robert Campbell will be an attendant:

I'll be giving a talk at Clemson on the 7th. If you live nearby I hope to see you there:
clemson.edu/capitalism/fly…
…— Yaron Brook (@yaronbrook)
October 31, 2012

Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond Institute on the Clemson University campus.

I'm planning to catch Brook's talk.

It's his second at Clemson—I was out of town several years ago, or I would have attended the first one.

Both were arranged by Brad Thompson, who is affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute but has booked a fairly wide range of speakers for this series: Virginia Postrel, Glenn Reynolds, Harvey Mansfield, and Tyler Cowen, among others.

Robert Campbell

PS. The boxes in your posts aren't agreeing with my attempts to use the quote function (in Google Chrome running under Mac OS 10.8.2). The quoted text cuts off after the first box, hence my workaround... Notice also how the internal box has vanished from the quote above.

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Robert, I used HTML in my post, which formatting does not always transmute.

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I attended Yaron Brook's talk this afternoon. First time I'd seen him in person.

Most of the audience consisted of business and political science undergraduates. Those in Brad Thompson's class were expected to sign in for course credit...

A few active or retired professors (most notably, Bruce Yandle) and a few local Rand fans were also in attendance.

Brook's talk was based entirely on his new book with Don Watkins (free copies were being provided to any students who wanted one). It was all about morality and domestic political issues; no urging that Iran be nuked.

Brook is a dynamic speaker, used to gearing his presentations to an undergraduate audience. He would have been a successful Finance professor, had he gone that route.

About Mitt Romney's electoral loss, he commented that he knew Romney was a weak candidate because Romney never explained what private equity does, "which is easy to explain. If he'd been running a hedge fund, he couldn't have run for public office. Everyone's convinced that hedge fund managers are evil."

The questions from students were pretty much as expected: Does Apple (a company much praised by Brook, who waved his iPhone around a couple of times) exploit workers in China? What about the danger of monopolies? What about immigration? Would McDonald's food improve if it was no longer regulated by the FDA and the USDA? Are property owners who want people in their neighborhood to get government-funded mortgage relief so as to prevent foreclosures and thereby prop up the value of their own homes really motivated by "unselfishness"? I moved here from India, but if Obama's reelection means that the United States will go completely socialist, does that mean I should move back? What about surveys showing Norway has greater gross national happiness than the United States?

I don't get the impression that Brook, who is reasonably well versed in economics and in recent history—he referred to the retreat of welfare statism in Sweden after the government went broke—has ever had an original idea of a philosophical nature. Nearly everything he said came out of Rand's writings, somewhere or other, though he does not use all of her jargon. And it is apparently now in vogue for ARIans to refer to eudaimonia, though Brook's manner of describing it suggested he'd learned it in executive summary from Bob Mayhew or Tara Smith.

The final questioner (not a student) asked about ARI-based activity in Objectivist epistemology. Brook made vague assurances, in response to this "insider question," that there was some (he did not mention David Harriman or his book by name, nor did he say anything about Allan Gotthelf's activities) but went on to insist that there is not a great need for "theoreticians" or for teaching people metaphysics and epistemology; if they are taught chemistry or economics or history in the right ways, they will learn metaphysics and epistemology "by doing."

I sympathize with this view, but I don't believe for a minute that Ayn Rand would have been amused by Brook's remark.

Robert Campbell

PS. The r/w thing is absolutely a speech impediment. Brook is fluent in English and after so many years in the United States has none of the varieties of Israeli accent that I've heard before.

I think he has worked on the r/w, because there are words he uses a lot and pronounces correctly, such as "prosperity"; there are other words he sometimes hits and sometimes doesn't—I heard both "framing" and "fwaming"; and others that he never gets: "waising the level of the poowest among us," "mowal wights."

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PS. The r/w thing is absolutely a speech impediment. Brook is fluent in English and after so many years in the United States has none of the varieties of Israeli accent that I've heard before.

I think he has worked on the r/w, because there are words he uses a lot and pronounces correctly, such as "prosperity"; there are other words he sometimes hits and sometimes doesn't—I heard both "framing" and "fwaming"; and others that he never gets: "waising the level of the poowest among us," "mowal wights."

I wonder at what point and under what conditions a speech impediment becomes a serious moral issue for an Objectivist. With the importance that Objectivism places on intelligibility, precision and clarity, and with the righteous indignation that it expresses for inarticulate grunts, snarls and moans, I'd think that Objectivism might require us to make very strong moral judgments of adult Objectivists who have not overcome their impediments.

If there's not a legitimate physical cause involved -- if a person isn't missing his tongue or jaw or something through no fault of his own -- I'd think that one would be expected to promptly fix any psychological issues that he might have and quickly volitionally will himself to master the proper pronunciation of the letters of the alphabet, which any dull child can achieve.

I'd also think that any impaired Objectivist who insists on speaking publicly would be expected to practice the courtesy of always informing his audiences, prior to speaking to them, of the nature and cause of his impediment, the status of his efforts to correct it, and of apologizing for assaulting their senses with the monstrously tragic spectacle of a disgustingly incompetent, retarded or disabled human being.

Isn't that what Rand would demand of a handicapped speaker, especially one speaking in her name?

J

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I'd also think that any impaired Objectivist who insists on speaking publicly would be expected to practice the courtesy of always informing his audiences, prior to speaking to them, of the nature and cause of his impediment, the status of his efforts to correct it, and of apologizing for assaulting their senses with the monstrously tragic spectacle of a disgustingly incompetent, retarded or disabled human being.

Isn't that what Rand would demand of a handicapped speaker, especially one speaking in her name?

Jonathan,

The audience seemed to have no trouble following what Brook was saying. I saw some students taking extensive notes. Even though the r/w impediment is highly obtrusive to any English speaker, and is traditionally made fun of in our culture, I see no evidence that it's hampered his career.

From what I know of Ayn Rand's personal prejudices, she might well have looked down on his manner of speaking, but any such negative judgment would have been tempered once she recognized how smart he was.

Robert Campbell

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I attended Yaron Brook's talk this afternoon. First time I'd seen him in person.

Most of the audience consisted of business and political science undergraduates. Those in Brad Thompson's class were expected to sign in for course credit...

A few active or retired professors (most notably, Bruce Yandle) and a few local Rand fans were also in attendance.

I assume they know who you are, so, do they make you feel welcome, unwelcome, or (my bet) invisible?

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ND,

Brad Thompson has thanked me for attending some of the past events.

He didn't this time, but he knows I'm not a fan of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Bruce Yandle, who is also the former dean of our college, knows Brook. Dr. Yandle is, however, not a Randian and I doubt he knows the first thing about schisms within Rand-land.

Robert Campbell

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Jonathan,

The audience seemed to have no trouble following what Brook was saying. I saw some students taking extensive notes. Even though the r/w impediment is highly obtrusive to any English speaker, and is traditionally made fun of in our culture, I see no evidence that it's hampered his career.

Sure, but the fact that Brook's career hasn't been hampered by his impediment, and that his audience and society as a whole overlook it, is probably just proof that we live in a world of altruists who, as children, were probably repeately exposed and numbed to the horrors of the existence of disabled people and taught to believe that they are normal and should be allowed to come out in public and have careers. The members of Brook's audience were maybe even dragged down to the level of being forced to ride "kneeling buses," so they probably also believe that every cripple shouldn't have his potential career hampered by others' judgments of their defects.

From what I know of Ayn Rand's personal prejudices, she might well have looked down on his manner of speaking, but any such negative judgment would have been tempered once she recognized how smart he was.

I don't know about that. Have you read her views on the handicapped? Also, I think there's a good chance that she would have taken a person's high intelligence as a reason to condemn him for a speech impediment. After all, someone of high intelligence should be able to use his intelligence to properly pronounce a single letter in the alphabet, no?

J

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Jonathan,

The audience seemed to have no trouble following what Brook was saying. I saw some students taking extensive notes. Even though the r/w impediment is highly obtrusive to any English speaker, and is traditionally made fun of in our culture, I see no evidence that it's hampered his career.

Sure, but the fact that Brook's career hasn't been hampered by his impediment, and that his audience and society as a whole overlook it, is probably just proof that we live in a world of altruists who, as children, were probably repeately exposed and numbed to the horrors of the existence of disabled people and taught to believe that they are normal and should be allowed to come out in public and have careers. The members of Brook's audience were maybe even dragged down to the level of being forced to ride "kneeling buses," so they probably also believe that every cripple shouldn't have his potential career hampered by others' judgments of their defects.

From what I know of Ayn Rand's personal prejudices, she might well have looked down on his manner of speaking, but any such negative judgment would have been tempered once she recognized how smart he was.

I don't know about that. Have you read her views on the handicapped? Also, I think there's a good chance that she would have taken a person's high intelligence as a reason to condemn him for a speech impediment. After all, someone of high intelligence should be able to use his intelligence to properly pronounce a single letter in the alphabet, no?

J

You, sir, are dastardly.

And I say that with the "r" just about growling through a thick, Midwestern accent.

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Jonathan,

The audience seemed to have no trouble following what Brook was saying. I saw some students taking extensive notes. Even though the r/w impediment is highly obtrusive to any English speaker, and is traditionally made fun of in our culture, I see no evidence that it's hampered his career.

Sure, but the fact that Brook's career hasn't been hampered by his impediment, and that his audience and society as a whole overlook it, is probably just proof that we live in a world of altruists who, as children, were probably repeately exposed and numbed to the horrors of the existence of disabled people and taught to believe that they are normal and should be allowed to come out in public and have careers. The members of Brook's audience were maybe even dragged down to the level of being forced to ride "kneeling buses," so they probably also believe that every cripple shouldn't have his potential career hampered by others' judgments of their defects.

From what I know of Ayn Rand's personal prejudices, she might well have looked down on his manner of speaking, but any such negative judgment would have been tempered once she recognized how smart he was.

I don't know about that. Have you read her views on the handicapped? Also, I think there's a good chance that she would have taken a person's high intelligence as a reason to condemn him for a speech impediment. After all, someone of high intelligence should be able to use his intelligence to properly pronounce a single letter in the alphabet, no?

J

Given that she never felt it necessary to align her Russian consonants with standard English pronunciation in her own speaking career (and sometimes made jokes about her accent), I can't believe she would be so hypocritcal as to expect others to adjust their speech.

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Jonathan,

The audience seemed to have no trouble following what Brook was saying. I saw some students taking extensive notes. Even though the r/w impediment is highly obtrusive to any English speaker, and is traditionally made fun of in our culture, I see no evidence that it's hampered his career.

Sure, but the fact that Brook's career hasn't been hampered by his impediment, and that his audience and society as a whole overlook it, is probably just proof that we live in a world of altruists who, as children, were probably repeately exposed and numbed to the horrors of the existence of disabled people and taught to believe that they are normal and should be allowed to come out in public and have careers. The members of Brook's audience were maybe even dragged down to the level of being forced to ride "kneeling buses," so they probably also believe that every cripple shouldn't have his potential career hampered by others' judgments of their defects.

From what I know of Ayn Rand's personal prejudices, she might well have looked down on his manner of speaking, but any such negative judgment would have been tempered once she recognized how smart he was.

I don't know about that. Have you read her views on the handicapped? Also, I think there's a good chance that she would have taken a person's high intelligence as a reason to condemn him for a speech impediment. After all, someone of high intelligence should be able to use his intelligence to properly pronounce a single letter in the alphabet, no?

J

Given that she never felt it necessary to align her Russian consonants with standard English pronunciation in her own speaking career (and sometimes made jokes about her accent), I can't believe she would be so hypocritcal as to expect others to adjust their speech.

Daunce: your point is what makes J's commentary so dastardly. He is actually poking fun at Rand, not Yawon Bwook. You are usually keen to such things!

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