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9thdoctor wrote: Meanwhile, imagine the rock/hard place position the landlord is in.  If there is an attack, with collateral damage, and their insurance company etc. finds out they knew about the threat, claims could be denied. end quote

Would you want ex-President Obama moving into your Washington D.C. neighborhood? It would give me pause due to secret service commotion and could elevate the brain waves of crazies and other terrorists, though there is some associated prestige. Would he raise or lower home values?

Peter 

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I see Ed Cline is mentioned in the following article.

Peter

 

The Cultural Ascendancy of Ayn Rand by Chris Matthew Sciabarra - Dec 31, 2003: Admirers of Ayn Rand's writings revel in the fact that two decades after the author’s death, sales of her combined works continue at a brisk pace. But Rand’s cultural impact can be measured in ways far beyond book sales. It stretches from academia to comic books to electronic media. In this year-end essay for the Atlasphere, I’d like to take a brief look at the extent of that impact by surveying both scholarly and popular references to the author — which, by any measure, have increased exponentially.

 

Of course, mere mentions of Rand do not necessarily translate into influence, especially when many of the mentions are negative. But there is truth to Oscar Wilde’s maxim: “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” The fact that Rand has so profoundly entered the Zeitgeist is something that needs to be celebrated. What we are witnessing is nothing less than Rand’s cultural ascendancy as an iconic figure.

 

As a Rand scholar myself, I continue to trace her growing impact on academia. Rand’s thought is the subject of serious treatment in more and more journals, encyclopedias, texts, and books. Her ideas have been discussed in publications as diverse as The Monist, Catholic World, Germano-Slavica, College English, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Popular Culture, and the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Encyclopedias that had previously ignored her — Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Encyclopedia of Ethics, American Writers, and so forth — now routinely include her among their references.

 

Excerpts from her work are also included in anthologies in economics, political science, sociology, and philosophy, while full-length book studies are being published by trade and university presses alike — an upsurge in scholarly attention that has been noted by such periodicals as The Chronicle of Higher Education and the now-defunct Lingua Franca. Even CliffsNotes includes three Rand titles in its series!

 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also point out that, as a founding co-editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, which is now well into its fifth year of operation, I’m seeing an inordinate increase in submissions from scholars all over the disciplinary and ideological map. The journal is now indexed by more than a dozen high-profile abstracting services in the social sciences and humanities, including, surprisingly, The Left Index and Women’s Studies International.

 

We have featured spirited discussions of Rand's theory of knowledge, her aesthetics, and even her influence on the counterculture and progressive rock (through the band Rush), and will be publishing two issues in honor of the Rand Centenary in 2004-2005.

 

In addition to the encouraging growth of Rand references in scholarly circles, there has been a remarkable growth in such references throughout popular culture. That development is not measured solely by her influence on authors in various genres — from bodybuilder Mike Mentzer (the late author of Heavy Duty) to fiction-writers Ira Levin, Erika Holzer, Kay Nolte Smith, James Hogan, Karen Michalson, Edward Cline, and so many others. It is measured also by the number of Rand-like characters or outright references to Rand that have appeared in fictional works of various lengths and quality.

 

Among these are works by William Buckley (Getting it Right), Tobias Wolff (Old School), John Gardner (Michelsson’s Ghosts), Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress), Don De Grazia (American Skin), Gene Bell-Villada (The Pianist Who Liked Ayn Rand), Matt Ruff (Sewer, Gas, and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy), J. Neil Schulman (The Rainbow Cadenza; Escape from Heaven), Orlando Outland (Death Wore a Fabulous New Fragrance), Laci Galos (Sacred Cows are Black and White), Victor Sperandeo (Cra$hmaker: A Federal Affaire), Mary Gaitskill (Two Girls, Fat and Thin), Sky Gilbert (The Emotionalists), Robert Rodi (Fag Hag), and Tony Kushner, whose play Angels in America, recently adapted for HBO, includes a discussion of the “visible scars” from rough sex, “like a sex scene in an Ayn Rand novel.”

 

The Kushner drama is not the first time that Ayn Rand’s name has been uttered on television, however. Rand has made her way into so many television programs that I’ve lost count! From questions on Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to the canceled Fox series Undeclared and such current series as The Gilmore Girls and Judging Amy, the Rand references are plentiful. In the sci-fi series Andromeda, there is a colony called the Ayn Rand Station, founded by a species of “Nietzscheans.” In Showtime’s Queer as Folk, a leading character, free-spirit Brian Kinney, is described as “the love-child of James Dean and Ayn Rand.”

 

In the WB’s One Tree Hill, Rand’s work was practically showcased in an episode entitled, “Are You True?” The main character, Lucas, is given Atlas Shrugged by a fellow classmate. Increasingly frustrated by his troubles on the basketball court, Lucas is told “Don’t let ‘em take it — your talent. It’s all yours.” By the end of the episode, we hear Lucas’s voice-over as he walks to the basketball court: “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark.” Reading from the John Galt speech, he tells us, “Do not let the hero in your soul perish.”

 

Another barometer of Rand’s cultural ascendancy is the extent of her permeation into illustrated media, especially comic books. (And I’m not just talking about the classic 1991 Revolutionary Comics series about Elvis Presley, Elvis Shrugged.) Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man, is well known for his incorporation of Randian themes into his work. Among Ditko’s comic book heroes, one will find The Question and Mister A (as in “A is A”). His Randian-inspired characters have made their way into the work of Alan Moore, who rejects Rand’s ideology while integrating references to her in his comics, and Frank Miller, of Batman-Dark Knight fame, who credits Rand’s Romantic Manifesto as having helped him to define the nature of the literary hero and the legitimacy of heroic fiction.

 

Rand's impact on comics is fitting, as she herself was no stranger to illustrated media; she authorized King Features to produce an illustrated condensation of The Fountainhead, which began a thirty-installment run on Christmas Eve, 1945. Rand wrote much of the actual copy that was used for the series. The Illustrated Fountainhead was syndicated in over thirty-five newspapers from Los Angeles to New York to Chicago.

 

Rand understood the importance of using such a popular genre to spread her ideas. She recognized the comic strip as a legitimate literary exercise in fiction, “a variation of stage or movie technique,” which can successfully dramatize ideas (Letters of Ayn Rand, Dutton, 1995, p. 386). In fact, her own introduction to Romantic literature was The Mysterious Valley, an adventure story serialized in a boys’ magazine, with rich illustrations of its hero, Cyrus, upon whom Rand based the physical look of her ideal male protagonists.

 

Her recollections of the power of illustrated media may have led her to express exasperation with “[m]odern intellectuals [who] used to denounce the influence of comic strips on children ...” (“The Comprachicos,” in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, Signet, 1975, p. 232).

 

All the more fitting, therefore, to find Rand showing up even in the Mother of All Illustrated Media: Cartoons! In an infamous South Park episode called “Chicken Lover,” Atlas Shrugged is presented to Officer Barbrady, who has recently learned how to read, and who, upon seeing the massive size of Rand’s novel, laments his achievements in literacy.

 

More philosophically astute, perhaps, are the Rand references on The Simpsons, the longest-running animated show in television history. As William Irwin and J. R. Lombardo tell us in The Simpsons and Philosophy (Open Court, 2001): n “A Streetcar Named Maggie,” Maggie is placed in the “Ayn Rand School for Tots” where the proprietor, Mr. Sinclair, reads The Fountainhead Diet. To understand why pacifiers are taken away from Maggie and the other children one has to catch the allusion to the radical libertarian philosophy of Ayn Rand. Recognizing and understanding this allusion yields much more pleasure than would a straightforward explanation that Maggie has been placed in a daycare facility in which tots are trained to fend for themselves, not to depend on others, not even to depend on their pacifiers. (p. 85)

 

When Rand has become so much a part of the vernacular that her ideas are filtered through cartoons and comics, fiction and film, I think it is safe to assume that she has not only survived culturally, but flourished. And for those who are enamored of Rand’s philosophy, the cultural apex will be reached when her ideas are so embedded in both academia and in the American psyche that they will have brought about a veritable intellectual revolution. Stay tuned.

 

Chris Matthew Sciabarra is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Politics at New York University. He is the author of the “Dialectics and Liberty” trilogy, which includes Marx, Hayek, and Utopia (SUNY, 1995), Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (Penn State, 1995), and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (Penn State, 2000). He also co-edited, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (Penn State, 1999), and is a founding co-editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. He maintains an expansive web site, which includes links to his frequently updated “Not a Blog.”

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As I was perusing the GoFundMe site I saw a plea that has resulted in generous donations for Jeff Kuss' family who died during work recently in Virginia. I dont see Clines fund much differently than that with the exception that possibly much less is known about Cline. We may suspect we know the military man in a way. I suppose I could rail on about a lack of meaningful military survival benefits arguing my tax money already went to him, what the definition of hero is, why he wasnt able to save as much on a paltry salary, or require a full and justified accounting of his families actual vs asked for needs that never arrived.

Im glad Cline weighed in describing his situation and time being taken up with a move to Texas. If I recall it was someone who asked and was answered with a reasonable response. That, at least adds a note of real to the equation. But was it really he? )

I get the sense that those who are up in age are less likely to cast aspersions. At 70, most are ripe for that life altering visit to a hospital that in Va averages $1700 per day and $10k per stay. I spend most days here figuring out my self made dilemmas and how not to ask for assistance. I offer pay when I absolutely cannot do something myself. Ive gotten the refrain, "You dont have to do that" on occasion. Its made me think about how generous are my offers. I live in the Bible belt and most seem willing to give for nothing. Then again Im not asking for actual money but time. Who can put a price on that? ) 

Maybe the next iteration of donation seeking web sites will be to offer a refund when dissatisfaction results, or a payback scheme if the person finds their feet and prospers. Now, wouldnt that be all the rage? Maybe a move to Texas would qualify as such given it would probably use the entire donated amount to date. What I like about such sites is, the giving is voluntary and  under "emergency" circumstances likely avoid to some extent the necessity of public welfare.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is Ed Cline's last blog post (at least for now):

Last Call

He mentioned this thread in it.

I'm sad to see him so down. We all respond differently to bad situations in life. Read the blog post and you will see Cline's way. I wish it didn't hurt him so much.

I'm not sure how appropriate it is to discuss the following, but what the hell. It is true so here goes. But before, let me reaffirm my good will toward Mr. Cline and extend my sincere hopes he manages to resolve his trouble.

Now to the issue. Here is a quote from Cline's post:

Quote

Whatever you think of Donald Trump as a candidate and possible President, I do not think he can make much headway against an entrenched political establishment dedicated to reducing Americans to obedient ciphers of the State who need to be pacified with various goodies.  He hasn’t the intellectual equipment. I don’t think he has the moral certitude or fortitude to stymie what is happening to the country. I would like to think he has, but wishing is not my forte, either.

It's no secret I am a huge Trump supporter. Cline is an orthodox Objectivist, so his rightful place would be to oppose Trump just like the ARI leaders (see Mark's ARIWATCH article from a week ago here: Leonard Peikoff on Donald Trump.) Yet here he is almost crossing the line.

Getting smacked hard by reality tends to do that to you. It sure did it to me in other situations. :) 

As I have said many times, I look at what people say and what they do. When I find a discrepancy, I look at what they do as the better indication of their true intentions. That usually works well. No doubt, Cline believes the ARI folks have "the intellectual equipment" and the "moral certitude or fortitude" to deal with the Islamist terrorist problem. That's based on what they say and his own acts up to now. But here's the money question: What have they effectively done about it?

Just talked. Just talked within a very small circle of influence. And that's all.

Trump, just by talking so far, has got the entire country, nay, the entire world, in an uproar. Once he gets into office and can command the US military, if he acts with the same attention to rational goals and excellence as he does when he builds major projects (and there is no reason to believe he will do otherwise at 70 years old), there is no way he will not resolve the problem.

Generally talkers are mentioned as opposed to doers. Either-or. But Trump manages to do both with excellent results and with a huge impact on the culture where others consistently fail or fizzle out. How on earth can that be called lack of brains and morality?

I know this is a bad time, but I humbly suggest Mr. Cline check a premise or two. There's a reason Donald Trump gets magnificent projects done and O-Land intellectuals do far, far less. Trump is totally reality-oriented in his philosophy. He has very little time for abstractions qua abstractions. His abstractions always boil down to what he can observe. And before anyone dismisses this as concrete-bound, notice that Trump knows how to prioritize. His knowledge and abstractions are hierarchical, but always connected to observable reality.

That's one hell of an epistemological lesson for any who wants to see it.

Mr. Cline has a very respectable body of work written and published. His marketing has sucked so far. Reality says either learn marketing, get someone who does it well, or keep suffering with low sales figures. Believe me, Trump has no problem with his marketing. 

I mention this not to bash Cline or praise Trump. It's for the reader to ponder how important is the reality connection with thinking. The simple truth is if you want to do great things and change the culture, that connection is critical--not just to know and say, but to act on it.

If Mr. Cline ever reads this, I wish you well, sir. And please keep writing...

Michael

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He has offers of help for places to live but has turned them down for not being a "moocher," but seems amenable to funds to help with his moving costs. He could come to Tucson and such places and find a decent, inexpensive place with no concern about his income. Unfortunately, he has decided to be a victim.

It's one thing to have a philosophy and another to live it.

--Brant

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On 6/5/2016 at 3:57 PM, Brant Gaede said:

"Our People" is a little too collectivistic for me. It's as if Americans were one big tribe. (On March 28, 1945, btw, I became one year old.)

--Brant

something I've been slowly immigrating off of since 1963

In times of war against a foreign enemy who has been designate as evil doer, Americans do become on big tribe.  Vide  WW 2. The U.S. was largely isolationist up to and through Dec 6, 1941.  On Dec 8 the  enlistment offices were swamped by men ready to sign up for military service. The lines when several times around the block. 

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Still doesn’t pass the smell test.  If his income is such that he can’t qualify to get another apartment, how was he paying his rent before?  Being over 65 he’s getting social security, something (probably) in excess of $1.3K/month.  No veteran’s pension on top of that?  No royalties at all from his books?  And does he live alone?  Not willing/able to share costs with a roommate?  And what’s he talking about doing anyway?  He’s going to become a hobo? 

He says no lawyer will take his case.  Even for a fee.  Is that because he has no case?  If it were an eviction he could file a reply, cheaply, but if it’s not an eviction, simply a matter of his lease being up and his landlord chose not to renew, that’s another matter altogether. 

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My hopes are dashed. 

On 6/5/2016 at 6:55 PM, william.scherk said:

So, hope he gets a nice place and has an wild angry Anti-Islam rant or two left in him. I will be unimpressed if he does not give the entire story a writer's treatment, once the 12k is in the bag.  

A really disappointing final blog post from Cline.  He thinks that Google/Blogspot may intend to remove him from the Internet (buy a domain, Ed, jeez), and yet that does not explain deciding to go quiet and give up. His swan song does contain a wee bit of spirit, as he recounts exchanges with the landlord (whom he names):

Quote

This will be my last post, not because I was censored by the government or by the FBI or by Zuckerberg’s ilk, although I think that is in works. As many of you already know, fear of retaliation, reprisals, and the like have never tethered my language about Islam, about treasonous Obama, or about the many other enemies of freedom. My sites will remain silent for other reasons.
[...] 
Several blog sites have run stories about my eviction by the manager of Lawson Enterprises for having dared exercise my freedom of speech, quietly and without violent consequences to me or to other tenants, for years. But, somehow, in the insulated, hateful PC mind of Allison Otey, the manager, I endanger the lives of the her tenants. Throwing me to Mohammad’s wolves does not concern the landlord. She not once expressed the least concern about my fate at the hands of jihadists, or about uprooting my life with all the attendant costs. She may as well be an agent of ISIS, or of the Taliban, or of Iran.
[...]
I traveled to Dallas under the impression that it was a freer state, but its tenancy requirements in the way of income are as onerous as Virginia’s.
[...]
I’ve been blocked virtually everywhere I turn.
[...]
Doubtless, the government will seize all my property, including the blog sites.

This Cline quote is reported earlier at the Gates of Vienna blog:

Quote

“On May 18th, I was visited by the FBI/NCIS and told by the agent that my blog site, Rule of Reason, and I were on the ISIS radar, but that I was in no imminent danger of attack. The chances were minimal to nil.

Nevertheless, after I informed my landlord of this as a matter of courtesy, the landlord chose instead to evict me from my apartment, claiming, quite irrationally, that my presence posed a “risk” to the safety of all the other tenants. So I had to go. The landlord said I had to be out of the apartment by July 1st, relented and changed the date to July 31st, and then reneged on that and repeated the June 19th date. There was no arguing with the landlord, as her mind was completely closed to reason. I am definitely moving — to Texas — as the state’s [Virginia, he means] landlord/tenant laws favor the landlord, who doesn’t even need to give a reason (which is not cited in her three eviction notices). She in effect was acting like a proxy ISIS agent, throwing me under the bus for the most ludicrous of reasons. My safety and well-being were of no concern to her. In conversations with her, she didn’t like either my characterization of Muslim women as “brood mares” (there are Muslims living on the development property).

Brood Mares. Loose lips sink ships.

Edited by william.scherk
Punctuation fix.
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This has nothing to do with anything, but I got a lasting bit of cognitive dissonance when Cline insinuated that Mark Zuckerberg would remove his Blogger blog. 

It's not even worth mentioning, but it hit me like someone saying "Silence is silver" or "The patience of Noah." :) 

Michael

 

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I think the guy is deeply embarrassed that his attention getting "ISIS wants to get me, but the FBI/NCIS says it's okay" bit sunk his own ship.  If I were him I'd go bury my head somewhere in shame indefinitely.

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55 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

This has nothing to do with anything, but I got a lasting bit of cognitive dissonance when Cline insinuated that Mark Zuckerberg would remove his Blogger blog. 

It seems both of you are confused. Blogger is hosted by Google, not Facebook.

I do wish Cline well.

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32 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I got a lasting bit of cognitive dissonance when Cline insinuated that Mark Zuckerberg would remove his Blogger blog. 

For a fee, some patriot can put Cline on a Russian server, safely behind 1st Amendment lines.

Is there an element of self-thwarting involved, Michael? Self-thwarting is my rubric for when you end up punching your own face or trampling your own garden, lacking cognizance of cause and effect -- or fall into a hole you dug.  "Hey, guess what, landlady? -- I am on an ISIS list and the FBI/NCIS came to visit to tell me I am safe! Isn't that cool?"

Perhaps we could encourage Cline not to observe radio silence, to continue to offer fresh goods at his storefronts. It seems sad that he would shutter his own outlets just when he has acquired new support and a larger audience via the outlets that covered his eviction.

The last thing I am likely to remember of Ed Cline is him telling us that the landlady didn't really like his "Brood Mares" comment ... 

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35 minutes ago, merjet said:

It seems both of you are confused. Blogger is hosted by Google, not Facebook.

Merlin,

How am I confused? I said this caused me cognitive dissonance.

Everybody knows Blogger is owned by Google and Zuckerberg founded Facebook--and that they are competitors.

Jeez...

Here. Let's have some fun with this.

My statement: When I hear someone say they think the sky is on the floor, I find that odd.

Now do you want to correct me in a serious manner and say that the sky is actually in the other direction?

Dayaamm!

:)

Michael

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9 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I said this caused me cognitive dissonance.

Everybody knows Blogger is owned by Google

You didn't say why it caused you cognitive dissonance. No, not everybody knows Blogger is owned by Google.

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19 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

Is there an element of self-thwarting involved, Michael? Self-thwarting is my rubric for when you end up punching your own face or trampling your own garden, lacking cognizance of cause and effect -- or fall into a hole you dug.  "Hey, guess what, landlady? -- I am on an ISIS list and the FBI/NCIS came to visit to tell me I am safe! Isn't that cool?"

William,

It's a theory I would not discount. Self-sabotage is probably an element in Cline's troubles to jazz up and keep the storyline going. I believe it's a small one if it's there, but it probably is. That sounds true.

Think of it. You write and publish 50 books and very few people give a damn. Suddenly you are on a shitlist of the No. 1 military enemy of the United States and people are actually talking about you. You're old and you feel time is running out--that it's time to settle your affairs before you pass on. You don't choose this mindset on purpose, it just kind of crept up on you.

So this thing happens and it's not ideal like selling oodles of books. But you take what you can get to know you made a difference in the world.

I do hope that Cline reads this because I learned of a major mindset shift from a guy named Dan Sullivan (a coach to high-end achievers).

He said when people get in their 60s or so, they believe they have about 10 years left max to wind things up. This is the time when they stop striving, so they let early unfulfilled dreams go as follies of youth and try to make the best of what they have achieved in life. They see themselves at the end of their journey. And they don't even realize they are doing it.

Then he asked the million dollar question. What if you could have another 40 years? Would you start a new project? Learn a new skill? With the wisdom of your years, do you think you could make a mark on something important? With modern advances in medical science and technology, it's a very good bet you do have another 40 years.

When I heard that for the first time, I had just turned 60 and it was like drinking from the fountain of youth. The emotional impact was indescribable. He's absolutely right.

That's why I got real busy studying fiction writing. And I'm loving every minute of it.

I believe there are many things left for Cline to do in life. But he's going to have to walk away from this victimhood story after he milks it a little. :) 

Michael

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The lasting legacy will for me be Clines Sparrowhawk series and the theme - fighting tyranny. Not everyone can write a situational historically accurate character fiction and dramatize the American Revolution. It will be a book in my grandsons library. Growing up with examples like those and exposing oneself to ideas in the world was my salvation. Clint Lane, Red Reeders West Point series, Conan (Howard) Tarzan (Burroughs) are others.

Its the young that need inspiration of that sort. 

A good point has been made, imo, in saying strike while the irons hot. However, I dont know that it would bring more readers to his fiction.

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2 hours ago, turkeyfoot said:

... Tarzan (Burroughs) are others

Geoff,

Did you ever get into his Pellucidar series? Pellucidar was a land inside the earth that was upside-down to the one we live on and the very core of the earth served as its sun (which obviously never set, so there was never night). Gravity was a band that ran in between the outer earth and the inner one. There were dinosaurs on it and all kinds of cool stuff.

I haven't thought about that in years, but I used to love getting lost in that world. 

:)

Michael

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On 6/26/2016 at 6:47 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

In times of war against a foreign enemy who has been designate as evil doer, Americans do become on big tribe.  Vide  WW 2. The U.S. was largely isolationist up to and through Dec 6, 1941.  On Dec 8 the  enlistment offices were swamped by men ready to sign up for military service. The lines when several times around the block. 

I would have. Navy.

--Brant

sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and I'm coming for you--total alligator brain (the other side of that coin is sexual congress, pant, pant, pant!--ask your doctor if it's safe)

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7 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Geoff,

Did you ever get into his Pellucidar series? 

 

No, Michael, I didnt. What appealed to me were naturalistic gritty themes, sci fi was so over the top. Earl of Greystoke wasnt born of that world. )

Tarzan, the movie, and all its special effects, is out July 1st..

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