Monday, February 28, 2005


This week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog. It is categorized in a great way and sponsored by the "ACME" corporation. [Editor's note to my female readers: Don't miss Mrs. Meyer's (Kate Groves) colorful handbags! When will we see handbags / mini attaché cases for men? Ah, maybe that's a new business idea?! ;)] Don't forget to check out Reason Roundup at the Charlotte Capitalist.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


I have three new books on my night table. I will update this post with short reviews, excerpts, notes by the authors, and comments from readers. Please send me your comments on the following books.

From Betsy Speicher's CyberNet:

The GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY OBJECTIVIST CLUB, with the generous support of the AYN RAND INSTITUTE, will present a live event: "Ayn Rand and the Song of Russia Communism and Anti-Communism in 1940's Hollywood," to be recorded for C-SPAN.

The speakers are DR. ROBERT MAYHEW, author of _Ayn Rand and the Song of Russia_ and JEFF BRITTING, Associate Producer of the Academy Award-nominated feature documentary "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life" and author of the Overlook Illustrated Lives biography _Ayn Rand_.

In 1947, Ayn Rand testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about life under communism & the impact of communists in the motion picture industry. This talk will examine Ayn Rand's testimony, analysis of the pro-Soviet films to come out of 1940s Hollywood and history's verdict of Rand's much-maligned testimony. The material presented will allows for a re-evaluation of the role of communism in Hollywood, the nature of the HUAC, and even the Hollywood Ten.

When : Wednesday, March 2nd, 7:30PM
Where : George Mason University
Fairfax Campus Johnson Center
3rd Floor Meeting Room A

UPDATE 03/02/05:

Here is an excerpt from Nicholas Provenzo's article, Hollywood's Communist Ties.

In the 1940s, the U.S. Congress convened a panel, known as the House Committee on Un-American Activities, about the impact of communists in Hollywood. Historians have long held that the work of this panel was unfair; that it was nothing more than a witch-hunt that played to people's unfounded fears of communist infiltration.

Robert Mayhew and Academy Award-nominated documentarian Jeff Britting will argue differently. The two will be visiting George Mason University this Wednesday to make their case that the Cold War committees missed the true depth of communism's sway over Hollywood and the American government. (George Mason's student newspaper, The Broadside.)

I have read the two first chapters (Song of Russia: A Synopsis and The Making of Song of Russia) of part I (Distorting Facts: Song of Russia) of the book. The next chapter is about the reactions to the movie. The part II of the book is called Naming Facts: Ayn Rand's 1947 HUAC Testimony. Here is an excerpt from the introduction.

It is my hope that this book will help to open Hollywood's eyes to its unconscionable neglect to tell the truth about the Soviet Union-to do what Song of Russia claimed to do, but did not. In Europe-where Communism has always been take more seriously than in the United States-the film industries are beginning to make movies that accurately portray the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (for example, the 1994 Russian film Burnt by the Sun, and the 1999 French film East-West). (Page XIV.)

Fellow blogger, Jim Woods, commented on February 24:

For some time portions of Valliant's drafts were available on-line. When reading them, I was struck by how clearly the text reflected his methodogy in comparing conflicting sources of information. Thus, I think there are two benefits from ready the book: (1) clearing away some smoke regarding Rand's life, and (2) absorbing the rigorous analytic methodology Valliant uses.

Although I have not yet read Britting's new biography of Rand, I plan to see him speak as part of a panel at George Mason University on 3/2 with Robert Mayhew on Rand, Communism and Anti-communism in 1940's Hollywood. This event may be tape by C-SPAN for later broadcast.

I also recommend the Sures' book Facets of Ayn Rand. (EGO, WORKING TITLE AND DRAFT, 02/23/05.)

I have read the first two chapters (Less Than Zero and Rand and Non-Rand, at the Same Time and in the Same Respecet) of part one (Biography and Myth) of the book. The next chapter has the scary title, Mullah Rand? The second part of the book (Documenting the Rape of Innocence) has material from Ayn Rand's private journals. Part two is almost 200 pages long. Before this section, you find about 10 photos. Here is an excerpt from the introduction.

It must be remembered, however, that these private journals were written by Rand for herself, in order to clarify her own thinking, and that Rand never intended that they be published. For that reason, they cannot be considered definitive statements of Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. Nevertheless, they provide important insight into Rand's own perspective on the Brandens and her break with them-the very perspective which the Brandens uniformly ignore. Indeed, it is upon ignorance of this perspective that the Brandens' these critically depend. (Page 8.)

Kirkus Reviews has published a review. I received a copy of the review from Holly White. The first paragraph reads as follows:

In the "heroic-capitalist" novelist's centenary year, prosecuting attorney Valliant skillfully cross-examines two previous biographers' accounts of her tumultuous love affair with a younger man. (Kirkus Reviews, 02/15/05.)

Here is an excerpt from The Autonomist.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this book is the total vindication of the character of Ayn Rand, the positive aspects of her personality, her incredible patience, profound insights and benevolent dealing with others all previously so badly misrepresented. (The Autonomist, 02/01/05.)

It is a great honor to be included in their new book. See pages 238 - 241 for my interview with John Cox & Allen Forkum. Please swing by Cox & Forkum and wish them a happy blogiversary! (Second Annual Report.) Here is an excerpt from the preface.

Black & White World II differs from our first book in a number of ways. Besides having four times the cartoons, this book is also arranged chronologically, picking up where the last book left off-September 2002 to November 2004. That means we have forgone categorizing the cartoons in the thematic sections with accompanying commentaries by me and John Cox. Instead, comments here appear as captions beside individual cartoons and are written by me unless otherwise noted. To learn more about John and me, and how we work together, see the interviews in the back of the book. There's also an index for finding cartoons by people, countries, characters, and organizations. (Page VII.)


DoubleLight could be a band for all you Rush fans out there. [Hat tip to I.E.'s post at HBL, 02/26/05.]


It was a long time since I updated the deck of cards of Iraqi Most Wanted. Saddam's half-brother is now captured!

Six of diamonds (#36) - Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti, Presidential Advisor. It looks like it is only 11 people left on the Iraqi 55 Most Wanted list to catch.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


I have signed up for Geo-loc's geographical location map. I have to get help with the design of the map, so the width will fit the right column (Globalization category) on my blog. Read Neville Hobson's post, Mapping visitors, and Uwe Hermann's post, GEOLOC: Yet another world map.

I have asked Commissar of the Politburo Diktat for a copy of the "blog empire map." EGO is belonging to the "immediate imperial terrority" according to the map.

UPDATE 02/28/05:
I wonder if the flash function of the map is causing problem for the browser to load the page properly. I will send an email to Geoloc. In the meantime, read Molly Wood's article, The revolution will be mapped. [Via GeoURL Log.] For more maps, go to WebMapper.

Friday, February 25, 2005


One of the players of mainstream media, The Washington Post, has an article (Make Money off Your Blog) on how to make money on your blogging. As I said many times before, I don't think that I will earn lot of money from my blogging, but it is a great help then it comes to pay a part of the stuff I need in order to keep myself informed and educated, e.g., subscriptions to electronic newsletters and books. Here is an excerpt from the article, Bloggers add moving images to their musings.

"My sense is that a lot of bloggers, including people with a lot less traffic than mine, are finding that the blog ads let it be a hobby that is effectively free for them and maybe even generates a little beer money," said Glenn Reynolds, whose blog at gets just more than 5 million visits a month. "That seems to me to be a pretty good thing." (NYT / CNET, 02/23/05.)

Going back to the article in the Washington Post, here is the list in the article, included with links to related blog posts.

Political commentator Markos Moulitsa of Daily Kos has a "problem"...

The only drawback to being a professional blogger is the newfound celebrity. Moulitsas sometimes gets stopped for autographs. A few who disagree with his views send threatening messages.

"There's a celebrity aspect to it that freaks me out," Moulitsas said. "I wish in many ways I can go back to being anonymous." (Mercury News, Political blog becomes paying job, 02/22/05.)

Go to Wizbang and read Jay Tea's post, Perverted Blogging Economics. How could it be that the socialist (i.e., anti-capitalist) bloggers are the ones who are earning the most money?

Several of the biggest blogs on the left are wholly owned and operated subsidiaries of private companies. Atrios, Kos, Oliver Willis and others all blog for a paycheck. A purely capitalistic "payment for services rendered" system. On the other hand, the biggest conservative blogs (Instapundit, Little Green Footballs, Powerline, (ahem) Wizbang) are pretty much "vanity" sites -- the owners are the bloggers, and they do whatever the hell they want. They make some money off ads and donations, but they mainly do it "for the common good." They have the ability, so they provide. (Wizbang, 02/25/05.)

[Editor's comment: What's the "common good"? I can't find that word in my vocabulary...]

More reading material:

UPDATE 02/28/05:
Read VoluntaryXchange's post, A Forensic Evaluation of Blogging. [Editor's comment: How much value is EGO blog to you?]

UPDATE 03/06/05:
More companies are entering the blog advertising market. Kanoodle has a new ad service called BrightAds RSS. Is Yahoo creating a contextual ad program based on Overture technology? [Via Online Marketing Blog.]

UPDATE 03/07/05:
Check out the Blog Money Experiment. [Via The Blog Herald.]

Can an online amateur make money with a blog? This is the online diary of one guy's attempt to generate extra cash by blogging. Follow, advise and criticize a newbie as he tracks his "blogging for bucks" adventures, step by step. This is not "the money blog," it's the behind-the-scenes story... (


It is now 709 days since "Uncle Sam Tour" paid a visit to Iraq. Have you voted in the EGO poll yet? I hope that the members of Protest Warrior are preparing a counter-demonstration against International A.n.s.w.e.r.'s event called "Global Day of Coordinated Actions on the 2nd Anniversary of the "Shock and Awe" Invasion of Iraq." For a background on A.N.S.W.E.R., read my post, WAR NOW!

I will do a solo counter-demonstration on March 19. Here is an excerpt from my post, 100,000 SWEDES MARCHING ALONG...

EGO had a counter-demonstration! I stood peacefully and waved a Gadsden flag ("Don't tread on me") and a 1st Stars and Stripes (the "Betsy Ross Flag") for about 30 minutes. Several people walked by and looked at my flags. I heard a camera flash behind my back, so maybe I am now registered in the "black book" (or should I say, the "red book"). I saw plenty of "Palestinian" and Cuban flags, and flags with Karl Marx, Che Guevara, and Saddam Hussein. (EGO, 100,000 SWEDES MARCHING ALONG..., 02/16/03.)

Check out the following posts [Via Cox & Forkum and InstaPundit.]:

Read Michael Lopez-Calderon's article, The Silence of the Antiwar Protestors.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


As I said before, I have a couple of posts in the pipeline. I hope to publish them in the next few days, or during the weekend at the latest.

One has the working title, STATUS REPORT: THE WAR ON TERRORISM II. I will try to get a grip on the military strategy and do an attempt to figure out why the leaders of the U.S. defense forces and CIA are cutting deals with the "resistance movement" in Iraq and other terrorists, instead of focusing on the remaining members of the axis of evil... [Editor's note: Do a search on "anti, war, time" and you will find a person who thinks that Bush should negotiate with the enemy.]

I have received two books in the mail. Holly White sent me a review copy of James Valliant's book, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics: The Case Against the Brandens. Allen Forkum & John Cox gave me an autographed copy of their book, Black & White World II. I will write a post on why you dear reader should get your own copy of these two books.

In the meantime, read Adam L. Penenberg's article, No Protection for Bloggers. You could also try to answer Frank J.'s question: Who the Hell Do You Think You Bloggers Are? [Via InstaPundit.] Here is a quote from the post, The Truth is Out There. [Via InstaPundit.]

Now get out of here you magnificent, foolhardy bastard. And remember -- like all communiques of the Underground Reality-Based Resistance, this conversation never happened.



You Belong in the USA


People either love you or hate you

And you really don't care what anyone thinks

Big and bold, you do things your way


It looks like the bureaucrats at the Swedish "Competition" Authority have watched the Dallas TV series... The real problem is not the so-called oil "cartel" in Sweden. Read Brian Simpson's article, Who's Really to Blame for High Gasoline Prices?


Have you read the article on Robert Scoble ("Technical Evangelist" at Microsoft) in the Economist? Here is an excerpt from the article, Face value. Chief humanising officer.

Mr Pryor figured that the straight-talking Mr Scoble would make a reassuring pilot or “a great evangelist”. So he hired him. Mr Scoble, for his part, simply kept doing what he was good at. His blog—which he has kept outside of Microsoft's computers, and to which he usually posts in the wee hours after midnight—reads like a stream of consciousness. A reader might discover, for instance, that Mr Scoble's new wife just became an American citizen, or how to win a cheese contest. “A good blog lets you see the mess; lets you see behind the scenes,” he writes in one entry. ...

Inspired in part by Mr Scoble's success, executives at other companies—so far, mostly in tech—are starting their own blogs. ...

Will corporate bloggers start to get tongue-tied and sound just like tedious press releases? Mr Scoble, for his part, hates the question but concedes that, theoretically, Microsoft's corporate view and his own could come into severe conflict, and it is not clear what would happen then. (Economist, 02/10/05.)

If you want to find more blogs by top executives, read John Cook's article, Venture Capital: Startup tags along as weblogs go corporate. Here is an excerpt from the article.

But as more companies experiment with blogging, issues quickly arise about what information is meant for mass consumption and what should stay behind closed doors. Bloggers at Microsoft, Google and Wells Fargo have lost their jobs in recent years for disclosing too much.

That potential problem and others led to a new product from Seattle startup WhatCounts, which earlier this week unveiled what it called the "first technology appliance designed to address the growing need for corporate blogging." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 02/18/05.)

Fredrik Wackå of thinks that PR Becomes More Valuable With Blogging. Read BusinessPundit's post, The Proper PR Response for a Blog Attack.

Debbie Well of BlogWrite for CEOs is asking the following question: So... what's Robert Scoble (aka Scobleizer) like in person?

After reading Robert Scoble's post, More misunderstanding of RSS, I think I have to subscribe to his link blog. Dave Winer of Really Simple Syndication says: "No one got fired for supporting RSS". For more on RSS, read my post, EGO RICH SITE SUMMARY (RSS). For even more information, go to:

So, how do you keep up with reading all the blogs you want? Brian Gongol suggested in an email that I should try a tool for the Firefox browser called Sage. It will be interesting to learn more about the features of Internet Explorer 7. On February 16, a reader wrote this comment:

If you can't read the whole blogosphere, try Findory. It learns what you like and you will always read the most interesting (for you) articles of the web.

Now I'm only subscribed to a few RSSs: Findory News, Findory Blogs,, DayPop Top 40 and 4 or 5 feeds I can't live w/o. (EGO, SPOTLIGHT ON NEW BLOGS AND BLOGROLLING, 02/15/05.)


Tags [Hat tip to Blog Business World.]:

UPDATE 02/27/05:
Here is an excerpt from Dave Beal's article, Are blogs good for business?

Technological innovations are driving the blogging boom.

One is the "permalink," a one-of-a-kind Web address for every blog posting that enables bloggers to link to one another's posts and keep them up indefinitely.

Another is the "RSS" or "really simple syndication" feed, which enables a reader to quickly find a reference in a blog without having to scroll through endless chitchat.

A new business model — complete with blog search engines, raters who measure the popularity of blogs and ad agencies — has emerged. Power Line is among a relative handful of blogs that have built up a modest ad base, generating revenue of about $2,000 a month or more than enough to pay expenses, says partner John Hinderaker. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 02/27/05.)

UPDATE 03/05/05:
Read Bernard Moon's post, RSS: Real Simple Syndication or Really Saturated Space? [Via Pheedo.]

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


In the news: Global blogger action day called. [Via Bourque.]

The month-old Committee to Protect Bloggers' is asking those with blogs to dedicate their sites on Tuesday to the "Free Mojtaba and Arash Day".

Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are both in prison in Iran.

Blogs are free sites through which people publish thoughts and opinions. Iranian authorities have been clamping down on prominent sites for some time. (BBC, 02/22/05.)

Here is an excerpt from the article, Appeal court upholds prison sentence for cyber-dissident; another blogger imprisoned as court doubles bail.

In Saminejad's case, he was summoned to the Tehran Prosecutor's Office on 12 February 2005, where he was told his bail had been increased to 1 billion rials (approx. $US113,300; 87, 000 euros). The blogger was first arrested in November 2004 for reporting the arrests of three fellow bloggers in his former blog ( While detained, his blog address was rerouted to that of a group of hackers linked to the Iranian radical Islamist movement Hezbollah ( After his release, he re-launched his blog using a new address (, which may have prompted the second arrest.

The other blogger currently in prison is journalist Arash Sigarchi. Sigarchi was arrested on 17 January 2005 in the northern city of Rashat for maintaining a banned blog called Panhjareh Eltehab (The Window of Anxiety), in which he reported the recent arrests of cyber-journalists and bloggers. (International Freedom of Expression Exchange, 02/15/05.)

From the article, Bloggers rally for jailed Iranians.

Some notable members of the blogging community took up the cause. They included Jeff Jarvis, who runs the BuzzMachine site, and Glenn Reynolds, who's behind Instapundit.

Hopkins said the response was just as impressive around the world. Hits on the committee site jumped from a daily average of about 500 to about 3,000 just during the Asian daytime hours. "It's been going like gangbusters," he said. "We've had people from Brunei and Saudi Arabia, and Japan and Russia." (CNET, 02/22/05.)

Join Jeff Jarvis, Hossein Derakhshan, and Farin at the barricades...

[Hat tip to Penlog.]


On August 18, 2002, I asked the following question:

I have added Badgett's Coffee eJournal to the Blog category. Please inform me if you find a Tea blog in cyberspace! (EGO, COFFEE, 08/14/02.)

Today I received an email from Stephane of Tea Masters in Taiwan. Isn't the blogosphere a great place, or what?! :) Here is an excerpt from the post, Robert Parker's influence.

We can see that true Teamasters, like Chih, Jung Sien, are following Robert Parker's path. Independent, we don't sell any tea and don't hesitate to say if a tea is bad. We believe in a more rational approach to understand and describe tea. (Tea Master, 02/03/05.)

During my trip to Asia in 1992, I visited Kwong Sang Tea Co., Ltd. in Hong Kong and ABC Tea / Sha Keng Tea Manufactory in Taiwan.

Monday, February 21, 2005


From Robert Tracinski's article, America's Best and Worst Presidents, Part 1.

Washington's most important quality, the one for which he was revered in his own lifetime, was his integrity. He was not an intellectual or a theorist in the way that Jefferson and Adams were. He is not known for elucidating the principles of Republicanism or designing the structure of the new American government. He was known for standing by those principles with complete consistency in action. ...

In the coming days, I will continue this series with a discussion of Jefferson's presidency. In the meantime, I want to invite comments from TIA Daily readers on their picks for the best and worst presidents. (Pick the five best and three worst overall, and also the best of the Founding Era, the best of the 19th century, and the best of the 20th century.) ...

Most (if not all) presidents after the founding era do not approach the same level as our first five presidents. The question is: why? Why did America fail to sustain the level of political virtue it achieved at its founding into its later years? (, 02/21/05.)

What do you say: Presidents' Day or Washington's Birthday? On my Saluté (a collection of vintage beverage posters) novelty calendar, it says: "Presidents' Day" and "Dia de los Presidentes (Puerto Rico)" on February 21, and Washington's Birthday on February 22.

Here is an excerpt from my post, PRESIDENTS' DAY.

On this day, I take the opportunity to "rattle" my tip jar. If you have a selfish interest in keeping this blog going, take some time and think about how much value this site is for you. You have several options to pick if you want to support my blogging. If you have a product or service you want to promote, place an ad through Blogads. If you want to give cash, use the PayPal button. If you want to buy me stuff, check out my wish lists at Amazon. Scroll down the page and look under the category titled "Support" for more ways to support this blog. Please explore the ways you could support my efforts, by clicking on the links and banners. I want to end this PR message by thanking all my readers for visiting my blog, subscribing to email updates, commenting on my posts, and for you who have purchased EGO products and books from Amazon (via affiliated links and wish lists). (EGO, PRESIDENTS' DAY, 02/16/04.)

UPDATE 02/23/05:
Go to InstaPundit for two book recommendations (Founding Father and Washington's Crossing). Have you read them? Then read the the post, A rare greatness, at Power Line.


From Betsy Speicher's CyberNet:

On Tuesday, February 22, 2005, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Kelo vs. New London, for what could be an historic turning point in the battle for an individual's right to his own property against the government's power of eminent domain.

The argument on behalf of property rights was written by Dana Berliner, senior attorney for the Institute for Justice.

On Monday, February 21 at 12 Noon, on the steps of City Hall in New York City, Develop-Don't Destroy, a Brooklyn based group opposed to the abuse of eminent domain will hold a press conference.

At this event, CyberNetter Joe Wright will be one of those speaking against eminent domain abuse. Joe will be speaking as the defacto New York City representative of the Castle Coalition, a part of the Institute for Justice. (CyberNet, 02/20/05.)

In the news:

The Constitution's Fifth Amendment allows governments to seize private property in a process called eminent domain, as long as the owners receive "just compensation" and the property is for "public use." Kelo and the other property owners involved in the case say the city's plan does not represent a "public use" for the land. The city disagrees and says all the town's residents would benefit from the project. (USA Today, 02/20/05.)

Here is an excerpt from the article, The tyranny of eminent domain, by Larry Salzman and Alex Epstein.

If the Supreme Court rules against the property owners in Kelo, then no one's home or business is secure. As Dana Berliner, an attorney for the owners, explains: "If jobs and taxes can be a justification for taking someone's home or business then no property in America is safe. Anyone's home can create more jobs if it is replaced by a business and any small business can generate greater taxes if replaced by a bigger one." (Enter Stage Right, 02/21/05.)


UPDATE: [Editor's note to Allen Forkum: Thanks for sending me the cartoon!]

Castle Coalition (05/26/04)

Charles Gargano, head of the Empire State Development Corporation, is considered by CC to symbolize eminent domain in New York State. (Black & White World II, Other Art, ETC., page 225.)

UPDATE 02/23/05:
Read the post All Your Base Are Belong To Us at Coyote Blog. [Via Accidental Verbosity.]

UPDATE 02/25/05:
Here is an excerpt from the article, An attack on property rights.

How safe is the ideal of private property rights in America? We may soon going to find out. ...

We are reminded of a point of view expressed by philosopher/author Ayn Rand: "The idea that 'the public interest' supercedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning - that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others." ...

If the Supreme Court sides with the city in the Kelo v. New London case, it can be safely assumed that no individual's home or business is secure from government seizure.

That is not only unfair, it is un-American. (Santa Maria Times, 02/25/05.)

Here is an excerpt from Collin Levey's article, Taking a wrecking ball to property rights.

There's a famous photo from Tiananmen Square that has long captured the public imagination: In it, a single man in street clothes stands down a line of Chinese tanks rolling in to put down a protest.

The image came to mind this week while the Supreme Court was hearing oral argument in Kelo v. New London, a property-rights case in which politics is being conducted by bulldozer. ...

Property rights were written into the Constitution explicitly to defend against this very brand of wrecking-ball politics. Respect for private land is what separated this country from others with a penchant for seizing and nationalizing things at whim.

So here's to property owners around the country who are standing up to the bulldozer's advance. Let's hope the Supreme Court gives them reason for a toast. (The Seattle Times, 02/25/05.)


In a couple of months it is time for Earth Day (read: anti-man day), so it could be appropriate to talk about the costly hot air that is coming from Kyoto. Check out the Kyoto "count up meter" at [Via the Secular Foxhole.] Watch the global warming lecture at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. [Via Dollars and Crosses.]

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Robert C. Balling's article, Kyoto's Promise v. Climate Reality. Robert Balling is a climatology professor in the department of geography at Arizona State University.

The Kyoto Protocol will officially go into effect on February 16th, and negotiators throughout the world will rejoice given their triumph in international diplomacy. The implementation of the Protocol coincides with Michael Crichton's State of Fear emerging as a best seller, a book that strongly suggests that global warming is something of a political hoax. (Tech Central Station, 02/16/05.)

Recommended reading: My post, STATE OF FEAR. Go and read Tom DeWeese's article, The new religion is global warming.

In the news:

A trader who spoke on condition of anonymity said the activists ran around the floor, blowing whistles to disrupt trading on the exchange, which is the world's second-largest energy market. The trader said open outcry trading was stopped as a result of the protest, but that deals continued via the exchange's electronic trading system. (Forbes / AP, 02/16/05.)

More power to the traders at the International Petroleum Exchange!


The Swedish daily, Svenska Dagladet, has an article on how "political blogs get headlines" in the mainstream media. I wonder if the journalist (Karin Henriksson, Washington D.C.) has read Peggy Noonan's article, The Blogs Must Be Crazy. Robert Tracinski has the following comment on the article.

Peggy Noonan can be an annoyingly emotionalistic and undisciplined writer, but her column today gets close to making a very important point about the panic of the mainstream media (MSM) over the influence of "bloggers." (For an example of which, see today's vaporings from Noonan's equally emotionalist and even more insufferable liberal counterpart, Maureen Dowd, at .)

The point Noonan makes but doesn't explicitly identify: bloggers represent the power of the free market in the realm of ideas. In a free market, established firms can never afford to coast on their reputations--and any upstart innovator with a better idea can wield an influence far out of proportion to his meager resources. That's the intense competitive pressure that the blogs have brought to bear against the mainstream media. (, The Free Market of Ideas, 02/17/05.)


This week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by the Raw Prawn. [Editor's comment: I am getting a craving for sushi now! Note to Joshua Sharf: You are missing out on something if you haven't had prawns...] Don't forget the Reason Roundup at the Charlotte Capitalist.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Do you think that the gold price is on its peak? I have been interested in commodities for a long time. I think the interest came with my work as a purchaser of raw materials. As a "poor" capitalist, I haven't been able to trade on the commodity exchange yet. I have done some paper trading. I admit that I have read Ken Roberts's World's Most Powerful Trading Manual, but luckily I steared away from the "holy grail" and trader "gurus," before I "lost my ass"... After reading Trader Mike's post, Trading 101: Recommended Reading - 'Trend Following', and Michael Covel's posts, Greenspan's Crystal Ball and Ayn Rand, I decided to add the book, Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets, to my wish list at

Is it the right time to become a gold "bug"? Read The Glory of Gold by Jonathan Hoenig. Here is an excerpt from the article.

While gold's value might fluctuate, the fact that it has value hasn't changed for 5,000 years. In all practical terms, gold is money. It has no board of directors or debt. It will never rust, decay or file Chapter 11. Gold boasts no Ebitda, nonexpensed stock options, conflicts of interest or accounting tricks. Gold is beholden to no one. Gold is merely a store of wealth. It doesn't do is simply owned. (, 07/24/02.)

For more on the price of gold, go to the Gold Institute and the World Gold Council.

In the news:
Looking For Weblog Gold (Internet Week). [Via Trader Mike.] [Editor's note: This article is not about gold per se, but it is an interesting piece on blog advertising.]

Weblogs have yet to show much potential for attracting advertisers, but that doesn't stop people from looking for the path to that pot of gold. (, 02/06/05.)

Talking about advertising, please welcome back SJC Gold and Handicrafts as an advertiser. Please note that my friend Christer Sjöback has a new web site and URL. Check out his Dollar Sign Collection at


I got the following email message (Subject: Blogger Contest: get published in national Objectivist newsletter, dated 02/20/05) from Eugenia I. Gorlin:

Dear Objectivist blogger,

As you may or may not have already heard, a group of dedicated Objectivist students is collaborating on a new project to start a national campus Objectivist newsletter. The publication will be targeted largely toward honest, receptive college students not familiar with Ayn Rand's philosophy. The founders of this newsletter, currently proceeding under the working title _The Undercurrent_, view this as a sorely needed and enormously valuable project in spreading Ayn Rand's ideas. Our articles will apply Objectivist philosophy to specific issues, spanning not only politics but also cultural and aesthetic topics of interest to our readers. Given the critical state of today's culture, engulfed as it has become by the relativist-left/religious-right dichotomy, we want to emphasize the connection between reason and values on as wide a scale as possible.

We currently have a knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff on board for the project, including a number of past and current OAC students and campus club leaders. Work on our first issue is well underway. What we need most now are excellent writers with a thorough background in Objectivism, and an ability to apply Ayn Rand's ideas to specific issues in a fresh, layman-friendly, inductive way.

That is where you, the dedicated Objectivist blogger, come in. As part of our initiative to recruit highly competent writers, we are launching a Blogger Contest to solicit one of the most crucial articles for our first issue. Your prize will be, not only free publicity, but the honor of getting published in a promising new Objectivist campus newsletter.

Your assignment is as follows: Write an op-ed style piece, approximately 700-1000 words in length, of the sort we affectionately refer to as a "suck-in-the-right-and-spit-them-out" article.

In other words, attack a position--either political or cultural--held by the left (such as political correctness, or social security, or federally funded abortions, etc.), thus attracting the right; then identify the fundamental error behind the position (such as altruism, statism, etc.), which the left and the right ultimately share in common (e.g., both advocate limiting our freedom--the left, by using federal tax money for abortions, the right by denying a woman's right to *have* abortions); thus revealing that our position is fundamentally opposed to both camps. When necessary, articles should show evidence of thorough factual research.

The deadline for submissions is February 28th, giving you a little over a week. Should you need extra time, please let us know as soon as possible, and we will try to accommodate. Our main goal is to encourage you to contribute--so please let nothing stand in your way!

Please e-mail all submissions to this address (eugenia.gorlin AT as Word document attachments.

Whether or not your submission is published, you may, of course, post it to your blog. Finally, whether or not you submit an entry, we would highly appreciate your posting an announcement about the contest and the newsletter project, including our ongoing search for quality contributors. (If you wish, you may quote the message in this e-mail verbatim.) This will ensure that word gets out, and that we get first-rate submissions for our critical first issue.

We hope this will be the first in a series of such contests--but that will depend largely on the active participation of our contributors.

Thank you, and we look forward to reading your entries!


_The Undercurrent_ staff

UPDATE 03/15/05:
Read Gus Van Horn's column, A Bipartisan Crime.


The smoking ban will be enforced on June 1. Here is an excerpt from Alan Caruba's article, Do Smokers Have Any Rights?

It is essential to keep in mind that smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes is an entirely personal choice. No one is required to smoke. Millions voluntarily stop smoking every year. People have been smoking and enjoying tobacco products for a very long time, but now they have been demonized and ostracized. (, 02/04/05.)

In the news:

If you want to light up a bit after this depressing news, read Robert Tracy's post, The Social History of Smoking Cigarettes.



How do you think G.W. Bush has handled the power after the re-election? Richard Cohen has the following to say in his article, Onward and Upward and...

Bush said, "The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations." Kennedy could not have agreed more. He said, "All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin." (The Washington Post, 01/25/05.)

Here is an excerpt from Jackson Crawford's post, Tired of Silence.

I've had enough time to reflect on the wisdom of voting for Bush, and I must say that though I doubt that I'd have reversed my decision back in November if I could have seen forward through time to February, I have become more and more disappointed with him. This is not to say that I don't believe that being President isn't an extremely difficult occupation, or that everyone doesn't make some mistakes, but his overall philosophy seems more glaringly disagreeable than once it did. I have less and less confidence every day that our military is going to be allowed to do its real job of protecting America and will instead be deployed to help people who by refusing to help themselves have utterly failed to earn our assistance. Too, I am concerned over the growing religious influence on the right (and even on the left), which is what brought about societal acceptance of socialism, sacrificial foreign policy, etc. in the first place - "well, if it's for the poor, then I guess as a good Christian (or whatever else), I can't really protest it." (Horror Unheeded, 02/14/05.)



Here is quiz for my fellow bloggers. Almost a year ago, I did a similar test and got the result: Pundit. [Editor's note: As I said earlier, I have several posts in the pipeline and I hope to be able to publish some of them during the day...]

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


This evening I saw a program called "Faktum" (Fact in Swedish). The topic was abortion and they showed how plenty of pressure groups and organizations are lobbying their agenda in America and in the European Union. The "Silver Ring Thing" is an organization pushing the idea that Americans shouldn't have sex until marriage. I haven't seen this kind of group in Sweden. Here you could watch commercials for the "morning-after" pill, NorLevo, during the "reality" show, Paradise Hotel. [Editor's comment: Personally, I don't care for this kind of program, but luckily there is a thing called remote control... ;)] The program also showed how Catholics are taking more and more control in the European Union due to their stronghold position in countries like Portugal, Malta, and Poland. The organization Woman on Waves sailed a ship to Portugal, trying to pick up women who wanted to do an abortion, but government refused the ship to enter the harbor. The organization World Youth Alliance is really lobbying inside the European Union.

The American Life League has a problem with Chris Rock. The director, Erik Whittington, thinks that the stand-up comedian should be removed as the host of this year's Oscars, for saying: "Abortion, it's beautiful." What do you think? Have you seen the movie, Kinsey? Read Scott Holleran's article, Considering Kinsey: Let's Think About Sex.



Marc Eisenstadt has gone through eight years of email. [Via InstaPundit.] The article got me thinking on why I have to implement David Allen's methods so I could organize my life in a better way. My Dymo 1000 plus electronic labelmaker will soon be in great use for labeling the file folders I have bought. I have about 5,000 e-mail messages in my main inbox, covering a period of six months. I have about the same amount in my inbox at Gmail, but many of these emails are carbon copies from my main e-mail address. I know I have some email messages from fellow bloggers, readers and friends, that I have to answer in the near future. I am catching up on email messages from my time in Hungary. If you have any good tips on how to deal with e-mail correspondence, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


It is hard to keep track of new blogs entering the blogosphere. I have almost 50 blogs on my blogroll and I am not sure how many more I will add in the future. I wonder how many blogs the "crow epistemology" could manage? Having said that, I still want to put the spotlight on some new blogs.

* Sarah Beth of Reclaim Your Brain.

Ok, I have a new favorite: Front Page Mag. In yesterday's article Who's Afraid of Ayn Rand? Alec Mouhibian writes an excellent review of Ayn Rand's critics and gives a proper place to her philosophy. (Who's Afraid of Ayn Rand, 02/12/05.)

I catched this article through my daily Google search alert. I thought that the article was pretty good for the most part, but this paragraph is making me suspicious about the author's intention.

Rand's philosophy of rational egoism and individual rights certainly has its flaws, which mainly have to do with an overextension of her moral absolutism into inappropriate areas. (Although, viewed in the context of her Russian background, it is certainly not surprising that she was so fond of absolutes.) But those flaws are more than clouded by achievements that were remarkable both for her time and in themselves. (Private Dancer: More Than Youthful Fancy. Groundbreaking Novelist Deserves to Be Appreciated. Daily Nexus, 02/07/05.)

If you search on the author's name, you will find that he has interviewed Nathaniel Branden. I will talk more about this person in a future post. If you are interested in discussing the article, go to Front Page Magazine's commentary page.

Here is an excerpt from Gus Van Horn's post, Happy Ayn Rand Centenary!

Because I care about ideas. And I care about ideas because, thanks to Ayn Rand, I understand their paramount importance in shaping the world that I live in. I'd like to improve that world by helping others understand the many profound insights that Ayn Rand left us with. Loving my own life, I'd be thrilled if, on top of making the world better for me to live in, what I had to say might help someone else live life more fully -- and at an earlier age than myself. I learned via the Martin Lindeskog post I referenced above, that Sarah Beth, the author of "Debunking the Debunkers," is young and relatively new to Objectivism. Seeing her article reminded me of when I was younger and first became interested in Objectivism. I was reminded of the feeling of infinite promise that comes with youth. More importantly, I was reminded of the idealism that so many jaded, dying "adults" like Cathy Young dismiss as being "of youth," as if it were some kind of passing phase to be outgrown. Some people say that you're only as old as you think you are. They're right. Those of us who keep that "inner spark" (as I think Ayn Rand called it) alive never grow old in the sense of becoming tired of being alive. I think that's why I enjoy blogging so much. Thanks for helping me realize that, Sarah! You're beginning a fascinating journey and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little bit jealous! (Gus Van Horn, 02/02/05.)

* David Stone of MLM Today and Excelsior!

* Felipe Sediles of d'Anconia Online.

Monday, February 14, 2005


It is not easy to be a romantic in Saudi Arabia. Read Cox & Forkum's post, Isn't It Romantic.

[Editor's note: Personally I don't fancy red roses because of the connotation to the party symbol of the Social Democrats in Sweden. The good thing is that you could find other colors. How about a gold, silver, or a platinum rose from]

Robert Tracinski is commenting on the enemies of Valentine's Day.

Muslims are not the only ones opposed to Valentine's Day; so are Hindu fanatics in India. This poorly written report is not clear on why, describing the motivation as a general prejudice against Western influence. But the specific reason for attacking Valentine's Day is not hard to guess: the concept of romantic love contradicts the institution of arranged marriages--and, more deeply, it contradicts a traditionalist culture's premise that the individual must sacrifice his personal happiness for the sake of his family. ...

The common element: the feminists, like Muslim and Hindu fanatics, want to destroy Valentine's Day because it focuses on individual happiness--rather than the subordination of the individual to some "higher good," whether religious, ethnic, or biological. (, 02/14/05.)

I wrote the following two years ago:

Valentine's Day is celebrated in different ways around the world. But the religious leaders of Hinduism and Islam think the day is a threat to their culture. (EGO, VALENTINE'S DAY, 02/14/03.)

The staff at The Times and Democrat has adapted Dr. Gary Hull's op-ed, Love and Selfishness.

Every Valentine's Day a certain philosophic crime is perpetrated. Actually, it is committed year-round, but its destructiveness is magnified on this holiday. The crime is the propagation of a widely accepted falsehood: the idea that love is selfless. (, 02/13/05.)

Read Michael J. Hurd's Valentine's Day Reflections.

Valentine's Day is a great way to celebrate a love you already have. But if it's a way to make up for your lack of appreciating your love the rest of the year, you better do some thinking.

A true love relationship is one that is worth celebrating all year long. If your life is better because of your love relationship, then Valentine's Day is nothing more than a way to reinforce, and celebrate, this already obvious fact. (, 02/14/05.)


I have some posts in the pipeline for this week. I will discuss the documentary, Talking to the devil. It is about CIA's (e.g., Robert C. Ames) cooperation with PLO terrorists, e.g. Ali Hassan Salameh and Jibril Rajoub. I will connect this strategy with today's dealing with the Axis of evil (Iran and North Korea) and other terrorists states like Saudi Arabia. I will also comment on G.W. Bush's first 100 days after the election and the election in Iraq. I will look ahead a bit and plan my solo counter-protest for the upcoming demonstrations against the war on Iraq. It is soon two years since the attack started against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And yes, the A.N.S.W.E.R. crowd is still protesting against the war...

To end this post in a positive way, I could tell you that I am also planning on writing a Valentine's Day post. In the meantime, please read my post, POSTS IN THE "PIPELINE"...

Sunday, February 13, 2005


This week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by the Weekend Pundit. My entry is under the section Editor's Picks.

Martin Lindeskog says he wouldn't mind trading places with one of the many leftist Americans moving to Canada. He'd give anything to leave the socialist paradise of Sweden and make it to the Land of Opportunity – the United States.

After you have visited the carnival in New England, move on to the Carolinas for the Reason Roundup at the Charlotte Capitalist.

Welcome to this week's Reason Roundup. Lots on "the religion of peace", the war on beauty, reason number 694 why I am not a libertarian, and your new gateway to Austrian economics.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


From Betsy Speicher's CyberNet:

Peter Schwartz, chairman of the board of directors of the Ayn Rand Institute, is scheduled to appear on C-SPAN 2 tomorrow morning Saturday, February 12, 2005 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Mr. Schwartz was taped by C-SPAN giving a speech and answering questions on The Virtue of Selfishness at the recent Ayn Rand Centenary celebration. (CyberNet, 02/11/05.)

I guess that this event will be discussed at the new Forum for Ayn Rand Fans.

Friday, February 11, 2005


In the news and from the horse's mouth:

"After 23 years at CNN, I have decided to resign in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq," Jordan said in a letter to colleagues. (CNN, 02/11/05.)

[Editor's comment to Gerard Van der Leun: Enjoy the "hat meal"! ;)]

Go to for more information.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


How did you celebrate New England Patriots' victory? To get in a good mood, read Thomas A. Bowden's article, The Joy of Football: The Super Bowl Offers a Too-Rare Celebration of Goal-Achievement. Did you watch's ad with "Nikki Cappelli" (Candice Michelle)? It looks like the ad has managed to achieve the first two letters in the marketing rule, A.I.D.A (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). We have to wait and see if they get a return on their investment of $2.4 million. JimK (Right Thoughts) is noticing a "Streisand Effect." Read Go Daddy's founder and president, Bob Parson's post, Was the Banned Go Daddy Super Bowl ad indecent? You could see more of Candice Michelle / "Nikki Cappelli" if you go to "Funhouse Foxes of the week" (image 11 - 15). I wonder if Donald Wildmon (American Family Association) is pleased with the fact that Bob Parson has evolved from selling Bible software to domain names... Read Todd Shields's article, Activists Dominate Content Complaints.

Here is an except from Scott Holleran's newsletter The Concord Crier.

Remember the nipple that launched the free speech smackdown? Turns out that the complaints about the fading pop star's desperate attempt to get some Super Bowl-driven CD sales ­ which caused CBS to be punished by the government with most severe fine in U.S. history were caused by a grass-roots organization whose mission is to control content on television.

As their mission statement declares: "We serve as the conscience of the entertainment industry" and they mean it. Lucky for us the FCC and this band of moralistic morons were caught in the act ­ they'll cover up more concisely in the future ­ but not before the damage had been done. Meanwhile, as conservatives rise, other arcane laws may also being enforced. (The Concord Crier, 12/09/04.)

It is time to do something drastically with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). I agree with Rich Ord's statement:

Isn't it ironic that an ad that mocks the garment issue from last years game and in effect mocks censorship gets censored itself? This is an ad that didn't even show anything.

Does this set a precident that FCC controlled TV now should censor content that even suggest potential nudity? (, GoDaddy Super Bowl Ad Controversy, 02/08/05.)

Go and read Robert Garmong's article, Grant Howard Stern's Wish: Abolish the FCC. Talking about Howard Stern, Jeff Jarvis is informing us that the "the star of the commercial" has been on the Howard Stern Show. Read Dwayne Bell's post, Three world capitals of beauty fall in the war against women.

UPDATE 02/19/05:
From Adam Crouch's post, The Top 10 Superbowl Ads. is a domain name registration and hosting service. They had two primary objectives with this ad: 1. Achieve some name recognition, and 2. Drive people to their website.

How did they do it? They created an ad that really stood out from the crowd, and created a bit of controversy. The "wardrobe malfunction" during last year's Superbowl caused Fox and their advertisers to be hypersensitive, and the result was a bunch of highly sanitized ads. ...

The commercial focuses on a tank top that starts to fall off of a dancing model, and then at the end it says, "see more coverage at". The result: their website traffic increased 378%. (The Raw Prawn, 02/13/05.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2005


Here is an excerpt from Farouz Farzami's article, Blogger's 'Crime' Against the Islamic State.

"Do you accept the charges?" the interrogator asked.

"What charges?"

"That you have written things in your Web log that go against the Islamic system and that encourage people to topple the system," he said. "You are inviting corrupt American liberalism to rule Iran."

"I've tried to write my ideas and opinions in my Web log and to communicate with others in Farsi all over the world," I said. (, 02/09/05.)

Robert Tracinski of The Intellectual Activist is commenting on the article in the following way.

This is an interesting first-hand account--published under a pseudonym--of the legal harassment and intimidation that is an "occupational hazard" for Iranian journalists who criticize the government. Note that her interrogator seems convinced that the Iranian bloggers are a conspiracy funded and organized by the US. That doesn't seem to be true, which is bad for us, because it means that our government is not actively undermining the mullahs' regime. But it's also bad for the mullahs--because it means that the dissatisfaction with their regime is so widespread and spontaneous that the US doesn't have to summon it into existence. (, Commentary: An Iranian Blogger's "Occupational Hazard, 02/09/05.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2005


In today's issue of TIA Daily, Robert Tracinski is commenting on Rick Lyman's article, Some Bush Foes Vote Yet Again, With Their Feet: Canada or Bust. [Editor's note: Register on, or read the article on the International Herald Tribune site.]

The last big emigration for the US to Canada was in 1783, when more than 10,000 people decided that they preferred to be British subjects rather than free men. Today, there is a new exodus of somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 leftists who are reacting to the election of George W. Bush by moving to Canada, which they apparently regard as a kind of giant, friendly socialist commune where everyone agrees with them.

The most interesting detail in the story below is about a leftist who moved to Virginia decades ago to convert the conservatives--and who now longs to withdraw from the debate. The left is not yet clearly outnumbered--certainly far less so than Objectivists. Yet we keep fighting while they flee. Why? It's not about numbers but about ideas: the left is no longer confident that it has compelling arguments to offer. (, Leftist Loyalists Flee to Canada, 02/08/05.)

I would be happy to switch places with a leftist American. He or she could come to the socialist "paradise" of Sweden, and I could go to THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY. To say it frankly, I wouldn't mind going to Canada myself if that could lead to my return to the United States of America sometime in the future. I am positive that the Canadians have a better sense of life than the Swedes. As you probably understand by now, I am a pretty movable person and I could go to a new place if I see an opportunity to do so.

More reading material:

UPDATE 02/13/05:
The Canadian television network is mentioning (Website proposes marriage to 'Bush dodgers') a web site called "". [Via's guide, Americans Immigrating to Canada.]

UPDATE 02/16/05:
I wonder what the American leftists and expatriots will say if they meet the members of the Red Ensign Brigade in Canada? [Via InstaPundit.]


Bloggers won't keep a secret, so it is now official: Ask Jeeves has bought Bloglines. The search engine has now entered the "web log market." Go to Ask Jeeves blog and read the post, Welcome, Bloglines! This is an interesting quote from Mark Fletcher's Letter to Bloglines Subscribers. [Editor's note: I have emphasized the word, gold standard, in bold text.]

Our users have been amazing help in guiding the evolution of Bloglines, and we hope you will continue to give us input so we can remain the gold standard in blogging, search, and news aggregation. (

For more on P.G. Wodehouse's character, Jeeves, read my post, BOOKS BY P. G. WODEHOUSE, and C.A. Wolski's article, Seriously Funny Business: The Comic Fiction of P.G. Wodehouse.