Monday, August 30, 2004


Take a walk with the new dog and teach it an old trick! It's time for the Carnival of the Capitalists at John Wark's place in California. Kick back, read the different entries, and listen to blues! Don't forget Reason Roundup at Charlotte Capitalist.


I will write a post on voting for John F. Kerry or George W. Bush in a later stage of the election campaign. I will also point out why a third party candidate is not a real option. In the meantime, please take a moment and think about the next candidate for the Republican Party. Here is a comment by Robert Tracinski on John Fund's article, Tryout Time:

The convention is a good opportunity to assess potential Republican candidates for 2008. This article lists some of the likely leaders, and they range from bad (the powerlusting John McCain) to mixed (Rudy Giuliani, who is good on terrorism and abortion, but launched his career by persecuting businessmen) to some who seem very good (the pro-abortion, anti-big-government Mitt Romney). (TIA Daily, What Is This Election About?, 08/30/04.)

Here is a trend search by Intelliseek's BlogPulse:

[Hat tip to Anita Campbell.]


Read Joseph A. D'Agostino's article, Leftist Radicals Plot GOP Convention Disruptions:

International ANSWER is perhaps the largest radical group organizing protests in New York. It took the lead in organizing anti-war rallies around the country after the Afghanistan invasion until its connections to pro-North Korean Communists became too embarrassing. Then the more mainstream United for Peace and Justice was formed in October 2002, and which also will be protesting in New York. (Human Events Online, 08/30/04.)

Ah, you could always count on the hard-core communists... Partisan Protesters like the Protest Warriors will infiltrate the march. [Via InstaPundit.] For more on Alan Lipton & Kfir Alfia's, read Steve Miller's article, Protest Warriors fuel rage on left.

Urban Blights

Go to The Detroit News if you want to comment on this editorial cartoon.
UPDATE 08/31/04: They included my comment. [Editor's note: Hat tip to Libby Spencer for informing me about Detroit News' Weblog Feedback page.]

Talking about protests, it was a very small group of protesters during George W. Bush's visit to my former hometown Troy, on August 28. [Editor's comment: It's pretty amazing that the rally gathered a crowd as the same size as the population of Troy.] From Gregory Korte's article, President preaches to choir along I-75:

In Troy, uniformed Secret Service agents and a phalanx of Miami County sheriff's deputies dressed in full riot gear held off three-dozen union activists and anti-war protesters who were neatly corralled into a protest area three blocks from the square. The event itself was by ticket only. (The Cincinnati Enquirer, 08/29/04.)

A friend of mine reports as follows:

I don't know where they got the protest info. I don't know of any protesters! There was "no protest" area! Everybody that I know of was thrilled to see him! He gave a great speech here in Troy! On the way to Lima he actually stopped in Sidney @ the Spot Restaurant & got hamburgers, onion rings & pies!


The Swedish daily, Svenska Dagbladet, has started a blog called "PJ Just Nu." PJ Anders Linder is chief political editor. [Hat tip to Stockholm Spectator.]

Sunday, August 29, 2004


EGO is featured in this week's PowerBlog review. Thanks to Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends for taking time to check out my blog.


So many people dislike poetry nowadays because of the state of poetry. In the nineteenth century, men knew that definition implied exclusion - that is, a chair was a seat with legs, not anything. A book would not be called a chair, because it was not a seat with legs. Similarly, a poem was something which had meter, and, oft, rhyme - a poem was not just some random collection of grunts which any fish recently evolved to walk upon land could split into lines chosen at whim. So sad are the lengths which the "poets" of our day have fallen from the lofty heights of linguistic Olympus that what once would have been known as foul drivel is now revered as "enlightened," "politically correct," "relevant."

Western society once valued objectivity - objectivity, that titan pronunciation that A is A, that glorious armor which walls truth from the depredations of falsehood, that swift and steely sword which defends good from the assaults of evil. In losing objectivity, we have lost poetry.

Nothing is poetry which is not metrical. No amount of whining, discombobulating, or "feeling" can change that or any other definition, the arguments of modern bipeds aside.

As to poetry, this is my idea of a "favorites" list, which focuses more on the poet than on the poem. As I could have kept going, I set myself an artificial limit (7) of poets whom I could mention.

For Style Alone (and not necessarily Content):

-H. P. Lovecraft, e.g. Despair. Amazing master of the modern English tongue, and in particular an overlooked poet, though his content (as in the cited poem) is oft evocative of a malevolent-universe feeling, and many deliberately attempt to evoke horror.

-William Shakespeare, e.g. Sonnet No. 116. The classic master, still unmatched for meter and for empathic (though oft tragic) treatment of human subjects.

-Christopher Marlowe, e.g. The Passionate Shepherd To His Love. A Renaissance poet on par with Shakespeare in style, though not usually content.

For Content (and Style):

-Rudyard Kipling, e.g. If. If was Ayn Rand's favorite poem, and I, too, like it quite a bit, having learnt of it through reading of her liking for it.

-William Ernest Henley, e.g. Invictus. I learnt of Invictus through a page which once was at ARI, which I can no longer find. It has become one of my favorite poems since.

-Matthew Arnold, e.g. Dover Beach. One of my most enduring favorites.

-Robert Frost, e.g. The Road Not Taken. Considered by some to be the last of the great poets, and if indeed the last, he was one of the most masterful.

As an example of my own amateur work, here my most recent poem, Cantvs Corvi Vicesimi Qvarti, which I wrote in memory of Sergeant Maayan Naim, whom I did not know, but whose story touched me deeply.

Another beautiful, bright flower
Consumed by evil b'yond her power.
Her mother, surely, must have asked
In what bright light her daughter basked,
For at her birth, I'm sure she cried,
And swore to stay at her child's side.

But lasses grow, and leave their homes,
And each on her own way then roams
To places where her parents fear
Some man could come and hurt their dear -
The parents think of clubs and bars,
But not of simple motor cars.

O parents of this girl who's dead,
Who never got to see her wed,
Whose tools to keep this child safe
Will now do naught but their souls chafe -
I fight for th'day when no one new
Will die for simply b'ing a Jew.

Am Yisrael Chai.

By Jackson Crawford.

[Editor's recommendation: Poems I Like-And Why by Leonard Peikoff.]


With the last day of the Olympics in Athens, it could be interesting to speculate about the increasing cost of hosting the games. Kyle James of Deutsche Welle is asking: Cash Cow or Money Pit?

Analysts say the evidence is just not clear on whether hosting the Olympics brings a city an important or lasting economic boost. Thanks to new funding strategies and revenue sources, the dark high-deficit days of Montreal will most likely remain in the past. (

I want to hear from my Canadian readers how it is to still pay the bill for games in Montreal in 1976, via a tobacco tax. According to the Underground Royal Commission:

The 1976 Games ran $1 billion deficit. The city of Montreal still owes $300 million.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Michael Moore's (a.k.a Big Fat Stupid White Man) movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, had première yesterday. It is a relief to read the mixed reviews. I don't intend to watch the movie, but I like Erik Helmerson's suggestion to laugh at the "wrong" jokes, e.g., Al Gore acting as a stuffed ostrich! ;) The Pro Veritas network has set up a campaign based on Dave Kopel's report, Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11. [Via Stockholm Spectator.]


I enjoyed hosting this week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities. [Editor's comment: Have you seen the movie Vanity Fair?] I want to thank the participants, commentators, and blogs that have linked to CotV. For an overview of the carnival meme, read Wayne Hurlbert's post, Going to the Carnivals. I have added Beth Donovan's Carnival of the Recipes to the List of Links Category.

I will start doing more photoblogging and catblogging when I have found a program that is compatible with my digital camera. You are welcome to send me tips on Linux (Red Hat 9) programs, e.g., multi media player and video conference / telephone communication. [Editor's note: Thanks to my brother who put together the new computer.]

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


I want to thank Bigwig of Silflay Hraka for giving me the opportunity to host this week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities. Here is a great quote from the first carnival:

If we didn't think we had something valuable to say, we wouldn't be doing this. (Bigwig, 09/25/02.)

I hope you had a good summer break and that you enjoyed the samba dance at Fringe blog.

As your carnival instructor, I welcome you back to school.

Support This Site

Please enter the School of Athens [editor's note: scroll down to the bottom of page and click on the links to /] and take a seat. Here we go, time for the Carnival of the Vanities 101! I have put the entries in different categories but please note that some of the posts could have been in several categories. Integration is the key to your studies!

School of Athens

School of Athens
Buy this Art Print at

As a host, I took the liberty to comment on some of the posts, giving book recommendations, and linking to some of my posts. [Editor's note: If you have any problems with my privilege, send an email to the headmaster... ;)]


[Editor's note: My readers are welcome to submit entries for this category later on. For a great introduction to this branch of philosophy, go first to Chris Howard's site and read Aristotle's Metaphysics and then read Kevin Delaney's interview (Aristotle: "Our Teacher's First Teacher") with Dr. Robert Mayhew.]


King of Fools is venting at yet another symptom of the misplaced focus of education in the United States. [Editor's comment: Should I highlight his entry, Missing the Point, in purple, red, or maybe gold? ;)]


Mr. Fielek gives his young daughter advice in his post, The Dating Years! [Editor's comment: Lily should read this post when she is an adult.]

Sha Ka Ree is comparing and contrasting Relativism and Pluralism:

Because of relativism and political correctness, Americans hesitate to call someone wrong, or to call them a liar, or immoral. Many in the Middle East see this.

Chuck Simmins is asking the question: What Would You Do? [Editor's comment: How would you solve this ethical dilemma?]

Interested Participant has found out that rats are protected in Germany. [Editor's comment: Related: My post, ATTACK BY AN ANIMAL "RIGHTS" GROUP.]


Elliot Fladen has a moving story about a Stanford Law Student Going to Iraq By Choice.

Watcher (of Weasels) is asking J.F. Kerry four questions. [Editor's comment: Don't hold your breath for an answer... [Via Instapundit.]]

Nikita Demosthenes is inviting John McCain for a debate regarding J.F.K's statements on "Nam."

Erick-Woods Erickson argues that we should look beyond the swift boat veterans ad and focus on J.F.K's political career instead:

So, here is the process: for thirty years John Kerry used his lefty anti-Vietnam status to climb the political ladder of lefty politics in America. Then, after thirty years, he immediately tried to claim the mantle of war hero in a war he condemned and used, for thirty years, to condemn most all military activity.

McQ is (questioning and) observing the relationship and coordination between J.F.K and MoveOn. [Editor's comment: For more on this issue, read my posts, MOVEON.ORG: TIME TO MOVE ON... and FINANCE THE EGO CAMPAIGN REFORM & LONDON CONVENTION.]

Dean Esmay has written an open letter to Senator Kerry, asking about his "web of connections."

D-42 managed to include two entries.: Scrolling Past Swift Boat Vets and Twice Vote, Twice Shy.

Wally of Irreconcilable Musings has A Suggestion for the RNC Bloggers:

I look forward to seeing what the RNC Bloggers will cover that the mainstream media will not because they're off communing with the anarchists. I also look forward to seeing the real face of the protestors, not the filtered image that the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune will try to pass off as genuine.

[Editor's comment: Related: my post, "RECLAIM THE CITY" OF GOTHENBURG?]

Last One Speaks is discussing the issue of medical marijuana in Oregon. [Editor's comment: Check out the Ashcroft v. Raich case.]

For "a digest of developments in medicine, technology, and society," go to Blogborygmi and read the post, Lawyers, Time, and Money. [Editor's comment: Read my post, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE.]

John Ray is keeping himself busy with at least four different blogs: Dissecting Leftism, Gun Watch, Greenie Watch and Political Correctness Watch. You will find:
Dissecting Leftism has an interesting comparison between the Iraq situation today and Britain in 1940.
Gun Watch says that doctors are a lot worse for you than guns.
Greenie Watch says that it is dumb to see current bad weather episodes as evidence of climate change.
Political Correctness Watch says that official anti-racist policies only make racism worse.


Wayne Hurlbert of Blog Business World has written a post with the title, Creating businesses with bloggers. [Editor's note: I am interested in joining a future blog business venture when I have returned to the Land of Opportunity - America.]


Aunty Goob of Goobage has written a "a response to the Declaration of Independence." [Editor's recommendation: The Declaration of Independence: America's Heroic Saga by John Ridpath.]

The Monk explains why the Electoral College is the key to stability in America:

The Electoral College, and the winner-take-all allocation on a state-by-state basis, is one of the great mechanisms of the US system. Why? Because it works in variety of ways.

Bussorah of Wicked Thoughts has a thought-provoking newsflash for the year 2035. [Editor's comment: Back to the Future?!] Here is an example:

Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.


Da Goddess gives examples on why "men are weird" in her post, Crockett Man. [Editor's comment: Back to the 80's! I enjoyed Miami Vice, but I wouldn't go so far as the "Crockett Man"... ;)]

Extracurricular Activities

Tim Worstall has the scoop on George W. Bush and Yale Rugby. [Editor's comment: On a related note, read my post, WESLEY CLARK: A REAL PATRIOTS FAN?]

Northstar of The People's Republic of Seabrook describes a gameplan for his "pilgrimage back to the Motherland" in his post, Mohammed Goes To the Mountain. [Editor's comment: I am still trying to figure out the rules...]

Do you care for some gambling? Read Brian's post, Litigation Pool, for details.

Go to Dodgeblogium for a story (When being P.O.ed is a good thing...) on a "sensible guitarist."

Solonor (Solonor's Ink Well) describes (Keep behind me. There's no sense in getting killed by a plant.) the quiet joy that fills his heart whenever he thinks about cleaning his yard.


Fringe has a fashion insight:

Hats are coming back into style. Which means that manliness is coming back into style as well.

David of Israellycool has created a bunch of new Blog Concepts.

La Shawn Barber knows the rules of the game of "blog chess" and is declaring the following (Queen of My Domain):

I run this blog and no one else's. But what if you trash me on another site? What control do I have over that? Keep reading!

Steve Gigl of Helloooo, Chapter Two! is sending out a message to our newspapers:

A bit of pro-blog/anti-newspaper propaganda, prompted by the recent poor treatment of some highly respected bloggers at the hands of the Star Tribune.


Josh has published part I & II of his story, Great Dismal.

Alan K. Henderson is pondering on Machiavelli and Strauss and Hoew's Generations.

Evening Class

Paul Noonan [Editor's note to P.N.: Are you a "night watchman"?] sent me the following e-mail after the dead-line:

I don't know if a fisking is apropos for the Carnival, but in this one I contribute a lot of original material, and I thought it was quite amusing.

After long and tough negotiations together with "Mr. Brian Stimpson," the school board decided to include the late entry, I'll drink to that, at the carnival. Cheers!

Here is the schedule for the next semester:

September 1st: Blogo Slovo.

September 8th: Food Basics.

September 15th: Silflay Hraka, The Two Year Anniversary.

September 22nd: The Eleven Day Empire.

September 29th: Last One Speaks.

October 6th: Incite.

October 13th: Conservative Dialysis.

October 20th: The People's Republic of Seabrook.

October 27th: The Twins Tell the Truth.


I have been interviewed by Jackson Crawford of Horror Unheeded. Colt of Eurabian Times is also interviewed in the post, Interview with the Europeans.

By the way: Don't miss Jackson Crawford's interview with Allen Forkum.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Are you ready for a sightseeing tour around the blogosphere? Bring your mobile phone and jump into your transportation vehicle, it's time to go! First stop is "München" at Russell's Mobile Technology Weblog and this week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists.

After you have "fahren auf den Autobahn," participated in the Tour de France, and been riding the Trans-Europe Express, you have arrived to the great country "over there" and it is time to stay for a Reason Roundup at Andy Clarkson's place (The Charlotte Capitalist) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Do you need a break? How about something to eat? Check out the Carnival of Recipes.

Talking about memes, I am sorry to see that Memeblog is gone...

Tomorrow is time for the Carnival of the Vanities. Yours truly is hosting the event!


Here is an excerpt from a press release by PR Web:

(PRWEB) (DALLAS, TEXAS August 24, 2004) -- February 2, 2005, on the 100th anniversary of her birth, the world will hear the untold story of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand's life with the release of James Valliant's new book, 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics', a work that challenges the biased assumptions of Rand's critics previously held as truth. For the first time, Rand's never-before-seen diary entries are used along with the only in-depth analysis of the biographies written by psychologist Nathanial and his former wife Barbara Branden--the most widely read sources of information on her life-to reveal that they are riddled with errors and misconceptions, thus giving a long absent voice to Rand's defenders. By setting the record straight, this overdue work brings justice to one of the most prolific and influential thinkers of our time. (eMediaWire, 08/24/04.)

[Editor's note to Holly White: I want to place a purchase order!]


Blogger started five years ago. Blogger is now pushing AdSense. Do you think that they have read Dan Gillmor's article, Company must now take steps to go beyond good? [Via Henry Copeland.]

Monday, August 23, 2004


Another example of the Shari'a law in action. On August 15, Ateqeh Sahaleh (from Neka, Iran) was executed in public. Go to Roger L. Simon's blog for comments on the story.

UPDATE 08/24/04:
From The Washington Times: Iranian child execution condemned.
From the Persian Journal: Filthy Islam's Legacy Continues in Iran.
Go to Dhimmi Watch for more comments.

Mullah Justice


In the news: Off the wall: daylight robbery a Screamer.
From the Broken Newz: Edvard Munch's "The Scream" Stolen; Officials Raise U.S. National Angst Level. [Editor's comment: I wonder if it was Mr. Bean who guarded the painting...]

The robbers have a poor taste in art according to my view, but maybe that is not a big surprise if you think about the act they have committed...

Yesterday I saw great works of art by Anders Zorn. For more great art, check out Bryan Larsen's new paintings, Steel, Glass & Sky and Power Plant.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Time to celebrate a blogging milestone. Stats from my Blogger user profile:
  • On Blogger Since: May 2002
  • Recent Posts: 46
  • Avg Posts Per Week: 8
  • Posts Written: 1,000
  • Words Written: 104,543
  • Outbound Links: 5,307
  • Profile Views: 668


UPDATE 07/21/05:
Blog 1000 by Shai Coggins. [Via Wayne Hurlbert of Blog Business World.]

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Have you heard the expression: "Jump the shark"? Wayne Hurlbert has written a fascinating post with the title, Can a blog "jump the shark"? [Editor's note: Commissar of the Politburo Diktat, please forgive us... ;)] I haven't followed many TV series lately. I enjoyed Frasier in 2002. This year I have watched Six Feet Under and Alias. After reading Monica White's review of Firefly, I have to watch it. Please state your favorite show.

UPDATE 08/20/04: The sharks are all over the place! I don't think that the shark will get a bite of Michele Catalano of A Small Victory. Read her post, Oh, the shark bites.


Bad news from Venezuela:

By destabilizing and replacing democratic governments in hydrocarbon-rich Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador, he also could achieve a regional energy monopoly that could support rogue regimes and frustrate U.S. interests in the hemisphere. Mr. Chavez brought Cuban intelligence advisers to facilitate what may become a Castro-style dictatorship plus petrodollars. (Venezuela: A flashing red light, The Washington Times, 08/18/04.) [Via TIA Daily, Commentary: Dictatorship Plus Petrodollars.]

Here is an excerpt from Thor L. Halvorssen's article, The Price of Dissent in Venezuela:

Col. Chávez has publicly stated that the results of the referendum are irreversible and permanent and that the revolution will now intensify. He is firmly in control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government; the armed forces; electoral bodies and two-thirds of the country's economy. (OpinionJournal, 08/19/04.) [Via TIA Daily, Commentary: Chavez Seizes Control.]

Read Andrew Dalton's post, The Emerging Venezuelan Dictatorship. For more on the situation in Venezuela, check out "The Devil's Excrement."

UPDATE 08/20/04: Read Nicholas Provenzo's post, The Venezuela Referendum.


I don't understand why it should be a "quiet period" before an IPO. The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have been criticized for being interviewed in the September issue of Playboy magazine. [Editor's note: Dean Esmay writes about Playboy, Body in Mind, and other things in his post, Rambling Essay On Sex, Violence, Manners, and Western Civilization.] [UPDATE 08/20/04: Editor's note: Here is another reason why you should get the latest issue of Playboy magazine... I have been told by a well informed reader that the magazine has published a letter by Robert Tracinski on the issue of innovation in the biotech. field.]

The initial stock price range has been slashed by circa 30%, but the market value is about the same size as General Motors Corporation or Ford Motor Company!

Trader Mike is following the action in his post, GOOG... Be Careful Out There..

Here are list of articles for your reading pleasure:


Here is a bit of a market wrap with comments on Google's first couple of days of trading.

AOL is one of the early winners with a 2% stake due to a deal to use Google's search engine instead of Overture.

I hope Google's employees had great time at their picnic:

The first purchase will be hotdogs and hamburgers for the company's annual summer picnic today. It promises to be a happy event, especially since around 1,000 of the company's 2,300 employees are now millionaires. ( / Investor's Business Daily, 08/20/04.)

What is Google's "fair" value price? Around $110? It went up 18% on its day of debut to $100.34. Today's it ended at $108.31. What's your guess for next week? Nicole Maestri of Reuters is probably right in her assessment that Google will be scrutinized by the stock research analysts.

What's in the future for Google? Here is an excerpt from Esther Dyson's article, Google's courageous, clumsy debut:

As for Google's own future: I don't think Microsoft or Yahoo will beat it at its own game, but I do think that this game (like operating systems, browsers and other things) will turn into a commodity battle. Google needs to keep on pioneering. If you look at where things stand now, it has acquired Picasa (photos) and Blogger (guess what?). And it has built Orkut and Gmail. Clearly, more user content--from shared photos and blogging to personalized search--is in order. (ZDNet, 08/20/04.)

I want to end this post by giving you a friendly advice before you go and invest your money in new stocks. Read Jonathan Hoenig's article, The Secret of My Financial Success.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


The title of this post is taken from James Valliant's interview with Dr. Leonard Peikoff. If you are a student of Objectivism, you have to check out the new ad on my blog. I hope I will be able to attend the conference in London. Here is a sample of the schedule between September 24 - 27:

  • Ayn Rand and the American Founding Fathers: A Dialogue on Man's Rights by John Ridpath.
  • Ayn Rand: Friends and Family, 1926-51 by Scott McConnell.
  • To the Empire! A Vindication of Colonialism by Robert Tracinski.
  • The Failure of the Homeland Defense: The Lessons of History by John Lewis.

If you want to "chew" fundamental ideas and get proof on why you need a rational philosophy, read Diana Hsieh's post, Who Knew? [via Mark Wickens] and Noumenalself's post, Another heretic is created.

UPDATE 08/20/04: Read Nicholas Provenzo's (The Rule of Reason) post, The Evolution of Diana Hsieh.


You better have warm clothing at the first carnival stop. We are heading up north to MN for the Carnival of the Capitalists at Dispatches from the Frozen North. [Editor's comment: As a "viking" from Scandinavia and with a long-distance relative in Cannon Falls, MN, I should have participated in the carnival, but I couldn't come up with an econo/biz post... I think I will swing by BusinessPundit for some inspiration for the next week's edition at the Mobile Technology Weblog.]

I will host next week's edition of the Carnival of the Vanities. Now it's time to take off your winter clothes and put on the summer outfit. Travel south to Brazil and dance to the rhythm of samba music at the 100th Carnival of the Vanities Celebracion at the Fringe blog. Jeremiah Lewis has done a great job to get the participants in a good mood! [Editor's comment: Do you care for a drink and Bossa Nova?]

Don't forget to check out this week's edition of the Reason Roundup at the Charlotte Capitalist.


The Washington Post will announce the best blogs on October 25.

I picked the following blogs:

  1. Best Rant: A Small Victory.
  2. Best Democratic Party Coverage: InstaPundit.
  3. Best Republican Party Coverage: Right Voices.
  4. Best Campaign Dirt: Moxie.
  5. Best Inside the Beltway: The Rule of Reason.
  6. Best Outside the Beltway: US Election 2004.
  7. Best International: Watch.
  8. Class Clown: The Politburo Diktat.
  9. Most Original: Little Green Footballs.
  10. Most Likely to Last Beyond Election Day: Cox & Forkum.

Read Henry Copeland's post, Political blogs, now or forever?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


My Google news alert picked out this article: The call of the blog by John Kessler. Here is a quote from the article:

And he's a self-proclaimed political centrist — happy with the performance of President Bush but not embarrassed to admit he voted for Al Gore. He hates Michael Moore and makes him the constant butt of jokes. Since he started posting, other bloggers have turned him on to objectivism and the writing of Ayn Rand. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 08/16/04.)

Read Jim Peacock's post, Right wing? Ex-squeeze me?

Sunday, August 15, 2004


In the news:

Washington has said for some time that it wants to recast what is essentially a Cold War deployment into a modern force capable of addressing contemporary threats, such as terrorism. (Voice of America News, 08/15/05.)

Maybe Rumsfeld has read my post, MILITARY STRATEGY? I bet that The Command Post will keep an eye on the deployment. If the troops want to have a suggestion on where to go, they should read Andy Clarkson's post, Ticket To Tehran.

UPDATE 08/19/04:
Read Scott MacMillan's (A Fistful of Euros) article, Yankees Go Home—and Europe Will Miss Them.

Old War, New War


I added Feedroll's service on August 1. I will change feeds from time to time. The Command Post's "Global War on Terror" feed is up and running at the moment. You are welcome to give me suggestions on future feeds.

Chris Baker of The Washington Times is asking: What's all the blog about? I am interested to hear my readers views and comments on the blog phenomenon.

I read on the WT's Insider blog that Dick Cheney has been in my old neighborhood:

Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech in Dayton, Ohio mocking what can only be described as a gaffe by John Kerry when he used the word "sensitive" to describe how he would fight the war on terror differently than George W. Bush. (Hitting a nerve on Vietnam by Jim Lakely, 08/13/04.)

For more on blogging, read Elise Bauer's post, An Overview of the Weblog Tools Market. [Via Business Blog Consulting.]

Saturday, August 14, 2004


I try to avoid swearwords, but I am mad as hell! What's up with this mess in Najaf? Why don't the military forces pay a visit to the Imam Ali mosque and take out Al-Sadr? Read Allen Forkum's informative post, Sensitive War.

UPDATE 08/17/04:
From The Boston Globe: Delegates to seek Sadr concession. Dr. John Lewis has a better solution to problem. Here is the last paragraph of his article, House of God, House of War:

The only way to protect Americans--and, coincidentally, good Iraqis--is to bomb the Najaf mosque into a parking lot, and to announce that any building used for such purposes gets the same treatment. They chose to use their House of God as a House of War. The marching crowds agree. Admit the facts, and act accordingly. Continue aggressive investigations into mosques in America. And let those who will condemn the Americans choose their side openly. (Capitalism Magazine, 08/17/04.)

Thursday, August 12, 2004


This week's edition of the Carnival of the Vanities is hosted by Kevin of The Smallest Minority. [Editor's note: Maybe I should take advantage of his invitation and learn how to use firearms. I never have used a real gun in my life, but I have been shot by an air gun. A story from my childhood...] The Ayn Rand quote on his blog is from The Objectivist Newsletter: Volume 1 No. 1—January, 1962. It is an excerpt from her lecture, America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business. [Editor's note: I recommend you to purchase the Objectivism research CD-ROM: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, published by Oliver Computing.]

Talking about Ayn Rand, check out the new Artist's Studio project at Cordair Fine Art.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Monday, August 9, 2004


I thought that Audible looked like an interesting service, so I have joined the affiliate program provider called Commission Junction. ValueClick recently acquired the Swedish company Pricerunner. I have often used this site to compare prices on books, CD albums, etc. I am happy to see that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is on the best-seller list. Go and listen to a sample of the audiobook, purchase the first volume and then join their membership listener club and get $100 off an iPod, PDA, or some other handheld device. Read Beth Kirsch's (Affiliate Manager) post, $275,000 Raised from One Blog: Politics, Blogging, and Affiliate Marketing.


You will find carnivals in different places during the summer period. Start out with a trip to the "left" coast and see how the "war on drugs" is going in California at the Carnival of the Vanities, hosted by "Seldom Sober." [Editor's note: I will host the carnival on August 25.] Next carnival is located "deep down south in cowboy country," but first we have to do a detour in outer space and buy a couple of "Latinum" bars. Steven Taylor (PoliBlog) is hosting this week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists. We end our tour on the east coast in the Carolinas and get a dose of reason at the Charlotte Capitalist.

I wish I could attend the Festival of Nations in Troy, Ohio. If you are still hungry for carnival stuff, read Anita Campbell's post, Cotton Candy Out, Sushi In.


In the news: Taiwan-China row reaches Olympics.

Is communist China punishing Taiwan for the referendum? Isn't time to change the location for the next Olympics?

Track & Felled

On a related note, here is an excerpt from Andrew Bernstein's article, The Olympics Represent the Best of Western Civilization:

The return of the Olympic Games to the country of their birth is an appropriate reminder of their deeper meaning.

The Ancient Greeks founded the games because they valued the spectacle of a great athlete striving for victory. But the veneration of athletic achievement is not a quality one finds in all human cultures. Why did the games begin in Ancient Greece as opposed to, say, Ancient Egypt? And why were they revived in 19th-century Europe, rather than, say, Medieval Europe? (, 08/06/04.)

Sunday, August 8, 2004


Al Tompkins writes:

The old idea of eminent domain was that cities, states, and federal government could take property that was needed for "the public good" such as roadways, parks, and sewer lines. But now governments are taking land and handing it over to other private owners. (Poynter Institute, 07/20/04.)

My question is: what's the "public good"? I wonder about the origin of the word "emiment domain."

At least in Michigan they understand the meaning of property rights. From Detroit Free Press:

In Hathcock v. Wayne County, the court overturned a 1981 case that allowed Detroit to bulldoze a Polish neighborhood to make room for a General Motors Corp. plant. The Poletown case is cited by state courts nationwide in allowing governments to condemn private property and give it to businesses for "public use." Numerous legal textbooks also mention Poletown. (, 08/07/04.)

From the Institute for Justice:

According to Dana Berliner, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, which filed a brief in the Hathcock case, the case has profound nationwide implications. “Poletown was the first major case allowing condemnation of areas in the name of jobs and taxes. It is cited in every property textbook in the country. The Court literally rewrote the book with this decision,” said Berliner. The use of eminent domain for private development has become increasingly common throughout the United States. According to Public Power, Private Gain, authored by Berliner, there were 10,000 properties either taken or threatened with eminent domain for private parties in the U.S. between 1998 and 2002. And state supreme courts from Nevada to Connecticut have relied on the Poletown decision when upholding the condemnation of land for private parties. (, 07/31/04.)

Saturday, August 7, 2004


I have joined an affiliate marketing network called I am starting with ads by Zinio and Sharper Image.


Better to ask or tell? by Burgess Laughlin.

In a conversation that turns to philosophy, which is the better approach to follow?

Should you concentrate on telling the other person what you believe and why you believe it?

Or should you try to identify his position, uncover its foundation, expose the error in his thinking, and then point the way to a better conclusion?

One example situation is a cocktail party sponsored by an academic department. Let's say I am a graduate student, and most of the individuals in the room are professors in my field, History. Some have the power to derail my career or, at the least, make my stay in academia miserable.

Imagine the chairman of the department, now drinking his fifth glass of wine, says, "Bush is going to wreck the country, abandon the poor, and start a world war -- isn't he?

Here I would take a dialectical approach. I would try to understand, first, what he means. For example, I would ask, "The 'country'? Do you mean the economy or are you speaking culturally and socially?"

Then, I would try to find out how he arrived at his conclusion. "So, your idea is that special-interest groups -- such as oil men from Texas -- use the power of government to increase their income?"

I would then follow his answer to wherever it leads. I would hold my own view -- that George Bush and John Kerry are equally corrupt -- in reserve, for just the right moment, if it ever came.

At the end of the conversation, I would know a lot more about the Chairman of the department -- at least his general view of politics, ethics, and -- if only by implication -- his epistemology and metaphysics. That information might be helpful if, years later, he is a member of the committee that reviews my dissertation.

A second example situation is participation in an on-line discussion group that has a moderator, but one who acts only after someone violates guidelines for etiquette.

Here, as a member of the group, I would not engage in "public" conversation with other individual members as individuals. The results of that approach are usually destructive: sliding from disintegrative copy-and-comment posts down to direct personal attacks.

Instead, a better approach -- better for my own learning and for providing ammunition to those who already agree with me but who can't yet articulate their position -- would be to expound my own views rather than question another individual in public.

I would try to essentialize the issue, and then use the communication skills I had learned, particularly from Objectivists I admire, such as Leonard Peikoff, Harry Binswanger, and Peter Schwartz. Their personalities and speaking styles differ, but they have this in common: They are effective in communicating difficult ideas to rational minds who have enough background to understand them.

A third example situation is being a member of a single-issue political action committee. An example would be a group of local people dedicated to preventing the re-introduction of a military draft in the United States. Let's say the steering committee includes Objectivists, Christian pacifists, libertarians, and democratic socialists.

Here I would combine a brief exposition of my own position -- "I oppose a draft because it is an assault on the three basic rights of life, liberty, and property" -- with questioning designed to explicate (not change) the positions of others in the committee. "What do you mean by 'draft'? Are you opposed only to a draft for the current fight against Islamo-fascists or under all conditions? Do you extend the principle to all forms of forced labor? Why?"

These questions would make clear what common ground we have -- if any -- that would allow us to work together on this single-issue campaign while setting aside our fundamental conflicts.

In summary, the question -- To ask or to tell? -- implies a false dichotomy.

I can choose either alternative, neither alternative, or some combination of both alternatives. What should determine my choice? As always, the main determinants are the circumstances -- the facts of where I am, how much time I have, and to whom I am speaking -- and my purpose, both short-term and long-term.

My toolkit of communication should include a wide range of instruments for a variety of circumstances and purposes. Sometimes I need the skills of persuasively and concisely presenting my case to any receptive audience. At other times, I need dialectical skills -- the skills in asking questions that will reveal the other person's position in full form, including its assumptions and consequences, along with its weaknesses.

With a full toolkit for asking and telling, I am ready for any situation involving dialogue.

Friday, August 6, 2004


I think it is a great sign that the Statue of Liberty reopened on August 3. I will definitively pay a visit to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island on my next trip to the Land of Opportunity. I will travel through both red and blue states, but not exactly in the same fashion as "Blogs Across America."


Thanks to Robert Tracy (Illustrated Ideas) for creating this image:

Thursday, August 5, 2004


I have added Jackson Crawford's blog, Horror Unheeded, to my blogroll.

This weblog was created in response to those who, whatever their political alignments, insist that the United States of America, the State of Israel, and their allies do not have sufficient basis for waging war on the Islamist nations, and who furthermore insist that the United Nations is a benevolent organization through which peace can be attained. The author of this weblog maintains that the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, were a declaration of war against Western Civilization by barbarians the menace of whom cannot be quelled by simple legal prosecution. By the very proclamations of their religion, these savages seek death for themselves, a death which we must grant them if we are not to witness the deaths of more innocent people. (Jackson Crawford (Corvvs), 08/05/04.)

Read Mr. Crawford's short story, The Innocent.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004


Duncan Black (a.k.a Atrios) is commenting on Glenn Reynolds' wardrobe [Editor's comment: Do you pronounce it "war-drobe"?!]:

The caption is "celebrate diversity." The colors of the caption are commonly used pan-African colors: red, yellow, and green. While, for many, the "joke" (though, I'm not sure why it's funny) is that here diversity is a diversity of guns. Ha ha. But, look, the clear message here is that the way to celebrate diversity, particularly that pan-African diversity, is to buy a bunch of fucking guns. In other words, celebrate diversity by arming yourself. (Eschaton, 08/03/04.)

If only Mr. Black had spent "just one minute" with Google:

The colors are as represented on the flag, Red, Black and Green (not Green, black and red ) and did indeed evolve from Marcus Garvey's UNIA movement. However, the colors were adopted by an international assemblage of 25 countries of the African diaspora, thereby making the colors international. African Americans have held proudly onto their banner for the past 78 years hoisting it under various titles: International African Flag, The African Flag, Pan African Flag, Liberation Flag, Black Flag, African American Flag, Afro-American Flag and others. Yes, the colors were hoisted first in the United States and, it represents all peoples of the African Diaspora regardless of land of birth. Rasta colors and The Pan African (Garvey Flag) colors not the same and should not be confused. Rasta colors are the Ethiopian colors of green, gold and red. (, Beatrice C. Jones, 11/16/98.)

Now go and purchase one of "those t-shirts"... Do you know if they accept international orders?

UPDATE 08/05/04: Read Jeff Goldstein's post, The Atrios Buys a T-Shirt poem. [Editor's note: How about a t-shirt with the EGO logo by the authors (John Cox & Allen Forkum) of Black & White World?]

Tuesday, August 3, 2004


On 3/11, the terror attacks came closer to our neck of the woods. I have a classmate from Spain and I asked her about the situation and what she had heard from the local news and relatives and friends.

From AlertNet:

In Madrid, a judge probing the bombings formally accused Lebanese national Mahmoud Slimane Aoun, who uses multiple identities, of collaboration with a terrorist group and ordered him jailed without bail, judicial sources said. (Reuters, 07/30/04.)

Do you think that M.S.A. received support, aid, and instructions from the Mullahs?

According to the Los Angeles Times, European investigators and court documents point at Abu Mu’s’ab A-Zarqawi as one terrorist who is allegedly linked to Al-Qa’ida and is thought to have operated in Iran. Mu’stafa Setmariam Na’sar, who the Spanish police believe might have planned the Madrid attacks, may also have links to Iran. (Media Line, 08/03/04.)

Will the new national intelligence director be able to connect the dots, or will it be a never ending story of chasing the shadows of global terror?

UPDATE: Read Lawrence Wright's article, The Terror Web. [Via Little Green Footballs.]

Monday, August 2, 2004


I haven't been posting so much on my other blogs lately, but I have now updated Lukeion and Martin Lindeskog's Weblog. I want to try to get some help with Lukeion and develop it to a group blog in the future. I will post more regularly on my personal blog later on, playing around with things like photo / audio / video / mobile-blogging. Please send me suggestions, tips, comments and reviews on tools, e.g, Flickr and Picasa.

UPDATE 08/03/04:

Time for participating in Lisa's meme called RE: Blogs.

RE: Blogs #14

1. YES! It’s the return of RE: Blogs! I’ve just been too preoccupied with SO much - I missed a week. I’m dreadfully sorry! So spank me already and get it over with! With everything I have going on - - I’ve been sorely neglecting my blog. Are you ever guilty of blog neglect? Do you feel bad? Guilty? Do you just NOT blog at all? Or try and fill your blog with stuff just so that there are regular updates? What is a busy blogger to do?? Do tell!

I don't feel guilty for not updating my blog, but I want to keep it going and fresh with news and commentary as much as I can. This meme is a good exercise. At this moment I am feeling a bit "paralyzed" by the news of terror warnings in New York City's financial district and I have a hard time to write something at all. I calmed down after reading Commissar's live report from Citigroup Center.

2. Speaking of blog content . . . do you have things you have been meaning to blog about - but just haven’t gotten around to it yet? Share your top 5 “Blogging To Do” list with us!

I more or less did a "copy & paste" edition of Lisa's answers! ;)

1. My fascination with ancient Greece. It sparked my interest again after watching the first episode ("Death or Glory") of Antony Thomas' documentary, The Real Olympics.

2. Writing more book reviews, starting discussion threads, highlight the Book of Month category and ask for future book recommendations. Add titles to All Consuming,, and my wish lists at Amazon.

3. Linking to more posts by fellow bloggers on my blogroll, searching for new columnists and guest writers to my blog.

4. Posting more fun news and inspirational pieces. Searching for positive things going on.

5. Personal stuff. Write more about my career, studies, activities and hobbies.

3. Come on - I know this gets redundant - - but linky love is NEVER over done, is it? Besides - it’s been almost two weeks since the last one. Give us your top blog posts that have tweaked the ol’ grey matter this week.

* How to be creative by Hugh Macleod.
* Theory of Blogilution by Monica White.
* Philosophy Kills by Robert Tracy.

I want to end this update and say thanks to Anne of Blogliners for her nice greeting.

Mother Theresa? Oprah? Tony Buzan? Your parents? Tell us about someone who inspires you in your life.

Mother Theresa is not an inspiration at all. She is standing for altruism.

I don't have any special opinion about Oprah, but this story looks interesting. I think that Parkinson is a pretty good talk show host.

Yes, Tony Buzan is an inspiration with his graphic technique called mind mapping.

You could find plenty of inspirational individuals in Edwin Locke's book, The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators and in Michael Paxton's documentary, Ayn Rand: Sense of Life.

Yes, my parents have been a great source of inspiration. They have encouraged me to become a free thinking individual.


Jon Strande (Business Evolutionist) is hosting this week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists. [Editor's "note to self": I have to check out Mr. Strande's e-book, The Cash Register Principle.] As a kind of natural evolution, or maybe we should call it a spin-off effect, Andy Clarkson (The Charlotte Capitalist) has started the Reason Roundup:

Are you still watching those network Sunday morning old media political shows? Forget about them! Grab your cup of joe and step into the Reason Roundup! A little joe, a little radical capitalism....

[Editor's comment: I wonder why both Jon and Andy are mentioning coffee in their posts. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't say anything. Here is an excerpt from my edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists:

Please enter EGO coffee-house, kick back and relax and have a cup of java! Jour de féte! Here we go, time for the entries! (CARNIVAL OF THE LAISSEZ-FAIRE CAPITALISTS, 06/28/04.)]

Sunday, August 1, 2004


In the news: Iran Says It Will No Longer Honor Nuclear Promises. Here is an excerpt from Michael Ledeen's article, A regime built on terror:

Alongside the new news about Iran's support for terrorism is the ongoing comic routine about Iran's nuclear program. Here again, the facts are not in dispute. Iran acknowledges its nuclear program, which it claims is necessary for domestic energy generation, even though Iran has a near-inexhaustible supply of natural gas and huge petroleum deposits. The regime faithfully promises to provide the United Nations watchdogs with all the details, and to provide full access. But time and time again the inspectors find the regime has lied, and has lied about components of a program to build atomic bombs. Whenever the International Atomic Energy Agency asks to visit a sensitive site, the Iranians either declare it off limits, or delay the inspection. They talk like virgins, but act like streetwalkers. (National Post, 07/31/04.)

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.


Did you watch the first episode of the American Candidate? I got the following message when I tried to access the reality TV show site:

Sorry. We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States.


You could now find the links to the monthly archives (28 at the moment) in a drop-down menu.


I have added Daypop Top 40 list of links to the EGO RSS category. [Editor's note: You could see the first 10 items.] This service is powered by Feedroll.


Peter Schwartz's book, The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America, is displayed @ the Book of the Month category. Here is an excerpt from Harry Binswanger's review:

Without harangue, shrillness, or needless polemics, this booklet makes a case--and defines a program--so solid and complete that it could serve as the foreign policy Bible for America and any other free society. It ought to be read, studied, and internalized by all our political and intellectual leaders, from resident Bush on down. And it would be a wonderful thing to get into the hands of our troops. (Capitalism Magazine, 07/05/04.)

Have you read Michael L. Addicott's e-book, Strategicon: Ancient Strategy Secrets that Saved Western Civilization, or Maurice's Strategikon: Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy by George T. Dennis?