Speaking of environmentalism, I just remembered hearing about a t-shirt that said (if memory serves): “EarthFirst! We’ll pave the other planets later.”
The following e-mail was by far the strangest and stupidest I’ve ever gotten as Nathaniel Branden’s webmaster:
Subject: I want Nathan
To know I think he is the biggest farce on the planet….I recently watched the movie “The Passion of Ayn Rand” and I think it’s appalling how he treated his wife Barbara…..it’s disgusting! I would never seek your services or respect in the profession of helping or teaching others anything. You are no example…you should read the Book by Scott Peck “The Road Less Traveled” and take responsibility for your wrong doing, your self-fulfilling selfishness, self centered and EGO.
He calls himself a psychologist? How could he profess to help anyone, and on the phone no less, what a farce. It’s men like you Nathan that make people like me revolt against therapists like you. Are you still easily lead by the head between your legs?
I am one person you cannot fool for I know exactly what lurks behind that phony smile and shiny teeth. EVIL, defined as sacrificing another human being for the sake of maintaining your image of perfection, even if that sacrifice means Death! I hope Barbara is doing better now without you!
My reply was brief:
I’m really impressed that you’re judging someone based upon what you saw in a movie… a movie that all parties agreed was not even remotely accurate where the character of Nathaniel was concerned.
Good lord, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Update: The e-mailer sent back a one-word reply: “egoist.” Well, yeah, but that’s not exactly a moral condemnation where I come from.
Well, this is good news about the third Lord of the Rings: we’ll get to see the first two in the theater again before the final movie is released.
Tim also has a longer policy analysis entitled Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Preserving Our Liberties While Fighting Terrorism which seems to delve into these and related issues in more depth.
Arianna is complaining about Arnold’s sexism on her blog:
Going through the morning papers, I scan over the pictures of Arnold’s team of economic advisors — not a double X chromosome among them. In a state where there are tens of thousands of women in positions of power, including both U.S. Senators, there was not even one woman who Arnold thought worthy of adding to the mix?
We need greater diversity, not more of the same old boys club — emphasis on the boys — that got us into this mess in the first place.
It’s not just a matter of gender. It’s a matter of priorities. A woman governor, particularly one who is also a mother, would bring a whole different perspective to the problems facing California.
My priorities would be the priorities a mother has for her children: a quality education; affordable and readily accessible health care; and a safe clean world to live in. No mother in California should have to send her kids off to crumbling, decaying, rat-infested schools – as hundreds of thousands of them currently do. No mother should have to sit in a hospital waiting room for 20 hours waiting for a doctor to see her sick child because she can’t afford health insurance for herself and her kids – but that’s the case right now. And no mother should have to worry about whether her children will grow up in world choked with polluted air and water, which is why we need a sane energy policy that protects the environment, stresses fuel efficiency, and invests in clean and renewable energy.
This seemed like a dubious argument to me, until it hit me: Fathers are insensitive clods who care not a whit about their children’s education, health care, and living conditions. In fact, fathers are pleased when their children are sent to “crumbling, decaying, rat-infested schools”, when their children have to “sit in a hospital waiting room for 20 hours,” and when their world is “choked with polluted air and water.” Silly me; I forgot that fathers (and men generally) are evil.
But I’m not just not sure how to square that with the fact that Arianna’s kids left her house to go live with their father when she decided to run for governor. Maybe they’re all boys, a.k.a evildoers-in-training.
More seriously, it’s just as disgusting for a woman to argue that she ought hold some political office because she’s a woman as it would be for a man to do so. It’s sexism, plain and simple. Blech.
Yup, this timeline of the story on the crocodile army pretty much says it all. Okay, well, it doesn’t mention Stephen Den Beste’s long historical essay on reptilian armies, nor Eugene’s commentary on the constitutionality of quartering crocodile soldiers. The bit on our beloved Professor Reynolds was, however, quite perfect.
This article, entitled An Organ Donor’s Generosity Raises the Question of How Much Is Too Much, concerns a man’s thoughts about giving away his second kidney (and thus ending his own life) on utilitarian grounds. By his own calculation, his life — when compared with that of “a dying scientist who was the intellectual driving force behind a breakthrough cure for cancer or AIDS or on the brink of unlocking the secrets of cell regeneration” — isn’t worth much. He’d be “a schnook” not to give such a man his second kidney because “he could save millions of lives, and I can’t.”
And his kids must just be thrilled to hear this when he tucks them into bed at night: “I love my children, I really do. But I just can’t say their lives are more valuable than any other life.”
But no, he’s not crazy. He’s just a fully consistent utilitarian.
I found the article thanks to Peter, one of my fellow grad students at Boulder, who forwarded it to the grad list with the subject line “Those kooky utilitarians.” I couldn’t have summed it up better myself!
Tonight, I was cleaning out my bedroom closet, deciding which clothes to trash, which to donate, and which to keep. (I’m a bit late with my spring cleaning.) Though it all, my overriding thought was: What would Carson say? Sometimes, I must admit, (my imagined version of) his comments were pretty biting. That’s when clothes got chucked.
Oh, and if you don’t know who Carson is, you need to start watching Queer Eye. It’s, well, fabulous.