Sneak Peak of Edward Cline’s New Novel: A Crimson Overture

The New Romanticist has a sneak peak of Edward Cline’s forthcoming novel, A Crimson Overture. Writes Cline about the novel:

I was asked by The New Romanticist to provide a sneak preview of my new Cyrus Skeen novel, set in January 1930, A Crimson Overture. Those of you familiar with this series of novels set in late 1920′s San Francisco will know that Skeen is a private detective and the son of East Coast wealth. He is a successful and well-liked short story writer under a pen name, and collects material for his stories from his cases. Dilys Jones is his wife, his former secretary, and is an accomplished painter. This series begins with China Basin, and moves chronologically to The Head of Athena, The Chameleon, The Daedâlus Conspiracy, and now to A Crimson Overture. I expect to finish the latter in the Fall.

Nineteen-Thirty was the end of the Roaring Twenties and the beginning of the Red Decade, thus the title. Fiona Nesbitt, whom readers will meet in these first two chapters, turns out to be a British spy carrying crucial information about the Soviet penetration of and influence in the American and British governments. Skeen, who in The Chameleon has already tangled with nascent American Nazis, becomes embroiled in his first, and, he hopes, last adventure in espionage. So, please enjoy this preview. I know I enjoyed writing it.  

Read the preview.

ANTHEM Spread the Word Campaign

From Anthem the play: Spread the Word:

ANTHEM is a futuristic story of a young man who asserts his individuality in a world of total conformity.  Based on Ayn Rand’s best-selling novel, ANTHEM will be staged this fall in a major professional, Off-Broadway production to run at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.

Austin Shakespeare developed this successful, 2011 production of Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM, which was adapated by Jeff Britting.  Playing to sold-out audiences in Austin, we added performances with people coming from around the U.S. and aboard.  Austin Shakepseare, a professional theater entering its 30th year, is taking ANTHEM  to New York, with previews beginning Sept. 25, and running through Dec. 1.  

Get Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM into the center of culture — New York City — this fall in time for the novel’s 75th Anniversary.  You can help us get people outside of New York City interested, too!

Link: Indiegogo

 

The Beauty of America.

Writes Om Malik:

In the first episode of the second season of British television show, The Hour its protagonist, Freddie Lyon upon returning from America explains why he was intoxicated by the new world:

“Being nobody in a country where everybody thinks they can be somebody…”

That one utterance by a fictional character sums up why every immigrant wants to come to America and that does include me. This is the country where Albert Einstein and Nicola Tesla were somebody. This is the place where Kim Kardashian and Alex Rodriguez are somebody. Kanye West and Steve Jobs, they are somebody. At one point they were nobodies. This quirky, burger munching, frappuccino swigging, football loving, gas-guzzling cross between utopia and Disney Land is a nation of nobodies who are on their way to be somebody.

And that is the beauty of America.

On a globe, America is a landmass, a country. In an immigrant’s heart it is a belief that future is almost always better. It may not be perfect and it is certainly not equal, but it still is one of a kind — the only place where an absolute stranger with a funny name and a funny accent with no friends or contacts can show up, work hard and actually get to do what he was destined to do.

That America is the place, I can now officially call home.[iAMerican]

The Rule of Thug

Quoting Obama Presidency A Lengthening Legacy Of Lawlessness:

[…] the Constitution requires the president to “faithfully execute the law.” That’s no editorial opinion, but Article 2, Section 3, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “(The President) shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Our founders conceived and established in that document three co-equal branches of government to preserve our individual liberty and restrain the unlimited power of government. But this president and his administration have routinely ignored the divisions of power between the presidency, the Congress and its legislation, and the Supreme Court and its rulings.

[…]Whether one agrees with [a] law or not, its legal authority lies within the constitutional powers of Congress, not the executive branch. And that’s the issue. It’s part of a growing litany of presidential lawlessness […]

Obama’s Banana Republic

Charles Krauthammer identifies the lawlessness of the Obama Administration:

“The point is whether a president, charged with faithfully executing the laws that Congress enacts, may create, ignore, suspend and/or amend the law at will. Presidents are arguably permitted to refuse to enforce laws they consider unconstitutional (the basis for so many of George W. Bush’s so-called signing statements). But presidents are forbidden from doing so for reasons of mere policy — the reason for every Obama violation listed above.

Such gross executive usurpation disdains the Constitution. It mocks the separation of powers. And most consequentially, it introduces a fatal instability into law itself. If the law is not what is plainly written, but is whatever the president and his agents decide, what’s left of the law?

The problem is not just uncertain enforcement but the undermining of the very creation of new law. What’s the point of the whole legislative process — of crafting various provisions through give-and-take negotiation — if you cannot rely on the fixity of the final product, on the assurance that the provisions bargained for by both sides will be carried out?

Consider immigration reform, now in gestation. The essence of any deal would be legalization in return for strict border enforcement. If some such legislative compromise is struck, what confidence can anyone have in it — if the president can unilaterally alter whatever (enforcement) provisions he never liked in the first place?

Yet this president is not only untroubled by what he’s doing, but open and rather proud. As he tells cheering crowds on his never-ending campaign-style tours: I am going to do X — and I’m not going to wait for Congress.

That’s caudillo talk. That’s banana republic stuff. In this country, the president is required to win the consent of Congress first.

At stake is not some constitutional curlicue. At stake is whether the laws are the law. And whether presidents get to write their own.”

What is racism?

Best-selling philosopher Ayn Rand on racism:

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination. [“Racism,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 126]

Ayn Rand on Racism

Forbes has the entirety of Ayn Rand’s essay “Racism.” Definitely worth a read.

Racism by Ayn Rand

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination.

The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to “protect the family name” (as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)—the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder, or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator and her third cousin gave a concert at Carnegie Hall (as if the achievements of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)—the parents who search genealogical trees in order to evaluate their prospective sons-in-law—the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history—all these are samples of racism, the atavistic manifestations of a doctrine whose full expression is the tribal warfare of prehistorical savages, the wholesale slaughter of Nazi Germany, the atrocities of today’s so-called “newly emerging nations.”

The theory that holds “good blood” or “bad blood” as a moral-intellectual criterion, can lead to nothing but torrents of blood in practice. Brute force is the only avenue of action open to men who regard themselves as mindless aggregates of chemicals.

Read the rest.

New York premiere of the new stage adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel ANTHEM

Austin Shakes to Bring Stage Adaptation of Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM to Jerome Robbins Theater, Begin. 9/25

Austin Shakespeare will present the New York premiere of the new stage adaptation of Ayn Rand‘s novel ANTHEM. The production directed by Artistic Director, Ann Ciccolella, originated in Austin at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in 2011, where Austin Shakespeare is a resident company. Previews are to begin September 25 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Jerome Robbins Theater in New York City – opening October 4 and running for a ten week run through December 1, 2013

More Guns, Less Crime?

From Richmond Times-Dispatch: Central Virginia:

Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales. The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent. But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.

The numbers appear to contradict a long-running popular narrative that more guns cause more violent crime, said Virginia Commonwealth University professor Thomas R. Baker, who compared Virginia crime data for those years with gun-dealer sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

[…] “My opponents are constantly saying, ‘If you got more guns on the street, there’s going to be more crime.’ It all depends on who has the handgun,” Van Cleave said. “As long as it’s going into the hands of people like you or me, there’s not going to be a problem. Criminals are going to continue to get their guns no matter what.”[…]

“From my personal point of view, I would say the data is pretty overwhelming,” said Baker, who is new to VCU and studied under Florida State University professors Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, whose nationally recognized research on guns and homicides in the District of Columbia was cited in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2008 that overturned the district’s handgun ban. “But we’re pretty cautious in the social sciences in talking about causality. We only talk in probabilities.”

The multiple years of data for gun purchases and gun-related crime help strengthen the premise that more gun sales are not leading to an increase in crime. Using what Baker calls the “lag model,” the data show that an increase in gun purchases for one year usually is followed by a decrease in crime the next year.

[…] Gun-control lobbyist Goddard, whose son was wounded during the Virginia Tech massacre five years ago, doesn’t dispute the numbers but questioned their significance.”It’s quite possible that you can sell a whole lot more guns and crime is still going down,” Goddard said. “But is the crime going down because more people are buying guns, or is the crime going down because the crime is going down?”  [Gun-related violent crimes drop as sales soar in Va. –]

So is he saying that guns don’t cause crime, but criminals do?

Matt Damon Makes The Case For Private Schools

From Matt Damon: where did it all go right for the leftwing activist, devoted dad and intelligent action star? | Film | The Guardian

A father of four (three daughters, aged seven, five and three, and a stepdaughter, 15), this summer he is moving his family from New York to Los Angeles, and the challenge of giving them a childhood that remotely resembles the one he enjoyed is about to get even harder.

Choosing a school has already presented a major moral dilemma. “Sending our kids in my family to private school was a big, big, big deal. And it was a giant family discussion. But it was a circular conversation, really, because ultimately we don’t have a choice. I mean, I pay for a private education and I’m trying to get the one that most matches the public education that I had, but that kind of progressive education no longer exists in the public system. It’s unfair.” Damon has campaigned against teachers’ pay being pegged to children’s test results: “So we agitate about those things, and try to change them, and try to change the policy, but you know, it’s a tough one.”

Comments John Nolte:

Actor Matt Damon is a strong supporter of America’s public schools. Just two years ago, the star spoke passionately about the importance of public schools at a Washington DC “Save our Schools” rally. In fact, the actor is so impressed with public school teachers that he has demanded they receive a pay raise. That passion and conviction, however, does not apply to Damon’s own children, who will not be enrolled into the Los Angeles public school system.

[…]

This would probably mark the first time anyone has ever complained that America’s public schools, especially in Los Angeles, aren’t left-wing enough.  [Matt Damon Refuses to Enroll Kids in Los Angeles Public Schools]

Radicals for Capitalism

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