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December 31, 2004

Song of the Day #127

Song of the Day: Auld Lang Syne is an 18th century Robert Burns poem, which has become a New Year's Eve anthem, thanks to band leader Guy Lombardo. It is also featured in the final scene of the 1946 film, "It's a Wonderful Life." Listen to the Lombardo clip here. And bring in the new year with health and happiness!

December 30, 2004

Song of the Day #126

Song of the Day: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, a traditional olde English carol that stretches back to the 18th century. Listen to an audio clip from Leontyne Price.

December 29, 2004

Rousseau, Kant, and Rand

I posted comments here and here on a thread inspired by Lindsay Perigo's SOLO HQ essay, "Rousseau and Kant: Partners in Crime." In these comments, I address the issue of philosophy as both an adversarial and investigative discipline.

Song of the Day #125

Song of the Day: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing had multiple origins, including the music from an 1840 cantata "Festgesang no. 7" by German composer Felix Mendelssohn and the words of such writers as Charles Wesley. Listen to an audio clip from Andy Williams.

December 28, 2004

Song of the Day #124

Song of the Day: O Holy Night, composed by Adolphe Charles Adam, is one of the most beautifully melodic carols of the season, and has been sung by countless artists. It's my favorite of the religious carols. Check out a popular Celine Dion version of it here. And listen to many other wonderful versions of this song here.

December 27, 2004

Song of the Day #123

Song of the Day: Feliz Navidad, lyrics by Kirby Shaw, joyful music and performance by Jose Feliciano. Listen to an audio clip here.

December 26, 2004

Ayn Rand Among the Religious

I posted a very brief comment to Neil Parille's SOLO HQ essay, "Ayn Rand Among the Religious."

Also left a brief comment on another SOLO thread here and here.

The Spirit of Christmas Past is Present

David M. Brown notes a Sciabarra Past Post in his LFB entry, "Chris Sciabarra on the Spirit of Christmas Present." Links to other past Christmas posts are here.

Song of the Day #122

Song of the Day: Merry Christmas, Darling, words and music by Richard Carpenter with the heartbreaking vocals of his sister Karen. The Carpenters made this original a touching holiday staple. Listen to an audio clip here.

December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas from Blondie!

Merry Christmas from Blondie!

Merry Christmas!

Check out Blondie's 2004 Christmas pics in Blondie's Photo Gallery here, here, here, and here. Also check out some ol' Christmas pictures here, here, and here.

Song of the Day #121

Song of the Day: The Christmas Song, words and music by jazz great Mel Torme and Robert Wells, as performed by the only Nat King Cole. Listen to an audio clip here. The warmth of his voice matches those chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Merry Christmas! Happy birthday to my friend JR! And let's begin the 12+ Days of Christmas Songs!

December 24, 2004

Song of the Day #120

Song of the Day: Barbara Allen is an ageless folksong whose origins go back to the 17th century. It has been performed in countless permutations by chamber groups and singers from every genre of music. I remember it today, on Christmas Eve, because it is featured so prominently in poignant scenes of the 1951 film version of "A Christmas Carol," with the incomparable Alastair Sim. For an equally poignant instrumental rendition, check out the audio clip on a very special album, "Christmas Jazz Guitar," by the terrific jazz guitarist Jack Wilkins. Meanwhile, don't forget to track Santa Claus!

December 23, 2004

Debating Iraq

There's a lot of repetition of points from previous discussions in a recent Atlantis II chat in which I participated. Nevertheless, I've collected my various posts and reprinted them here for archival purposes.

I've also posted a brief comment in response to Arthur Silber's L&P post on Iraq entitled: "No Kidding."

Song of the Day #119

Song of the Day: The Best is Yet to Come, composed by the late Cy Coleman, sung by a jazzy Sinatra in another fine collaboration with arranger Quincy Jones and the Count Basie Orchestra, from the album "It Might as Well Be Swing" (listen to that audio clip).

December 22, 2004

Blessings

I'd sent along a particularly insightful quote of Nathaniel Branden's to Arthur Silber, who mentions it in his essay: "Of the Past, the Future, Personal DestinyóAnd a Blessing." The essay says something important about blessings, and I can think of no better time of year to make note of them.

Song of the Day #118

Song of the Day: I Get a Kick Out of You, composed by Cole Porter, with a playful Sinatra singing to a kickin' Neil Hefti arrangement, from the album "Sinatra & Swingin' Brass" (listen to that audio clip). (I also have another playful version from Dinah Washington; listen to an audio clip from "The Jazz Sides."

December 21, 2004

Social Security Links

I recommended to Arthur Silber (Eureka!) a host of links on Social Security reform, posted by Ari Armstrong at Colorado Freedom Report. It's good reading.

Invisible Casualties

As 19 more US troops have been slaughtered in Iraq, I've posted a new essay at L&P: "Invisible Casualties." In it, I discuss the emotional stresses of war that strike at a soldier's need for certainty and efficacy.

Update: Check out follow-up discussion as well.

SOLO Christmas

I left a brief comment at SOLO HQ, where Matthew Humphreys tells us "Why Objectivists Should Celebrate Christmas."

I also left SOLO HQ comments here and here on the subject of sensitivity and toleration. That discussion continues here.

Song of the Day #117

Song of the Day: Come Fly with Me, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, sung by a carefree Sinatra to a smooth Billy May arrangement, from the album of the same name (check out that audio clip). The Winter Solstice arrives today at 7:42 a.m. ET, and what a nice way to celebrate it: Above the clouds, "where the air is rarefied ... weather wise, it's such a lovely day!"

December 20, 2004

Song of the Day #116

Song of the Day: You Make Me Feel So Young, music by Josef Myrow, lyrics by Mack Gordon, performed by Sinatra to a finger poppin' Nelson Riddle arrangement, from the album "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" (listen to that audio clip).

December 19, 2004

What is Radicalism?

A very lengthy discussion about the nature of radicalism has developed from my exchanges with Michael Moeller and Roderick Long at L&P. Start here.

Song of the Day #115

Song of the Day: They Can't Take That Away From Me, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, sung by Sinatra to a George Siravo-Nelson Riddle arrangement, from the "Songs for Young Lovers/Swing Easy" collection (listen to that audio clip).

December 18, 2004

Song of the Day #114

Song of the Day: All the Way, music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn. This Oscar-winning song from the 1957 film "The Joker is Wild," is performed by a relaxed Sinatra to another terrific Nelson Riddle arrangement. Listen to the audio clip at amazon.com.

December 17, 2004

Song of the Day #113

Song of the Day: All or Nothing at All, music by Arthur Altman, lyrics by Brooklynite Jack Lawrence, performed with a sense of tragedy by Sinatra to a fine Don Costa arrangement, from the album, "Sinatra and Strings" (check out that audio clip).

December 16, 2004

Best Wishes to TOC

I posted a brief note to Kernon Gibes' entry at SOLO HQ: "The Objectivist Center Moves to D.C."

L&P Discussions on Schwartz Continue

Objections to some aspects of my recent series on Peter Schwartz's foreign policy book continue; see my exchange with Michael Moeller at L&P: "Rand's 'Radical' Legacy??"

Ayn Rand's Contribution to Liberal Thought

The International Society for Individual Liberty is gearing up for the Rand Centenary, which it will celebrate with a conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, 10-15 July 2005.

In the interim, take a look at Robert White's discussion of "Ayn Rand's Contribution to Liberal Thought," which mentions some Sciabarra scholarship on the topic.

Song of the Day #112

Song of the Day: I've Got You Under My Skin, yet another Cole Porter classic, sung with ease by Sinatra to a breezy Nelson Riddle arrangement, from the album "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" (listen to that audio clip).

December 15, 2004

Song of the Day #111

Song of the Day: One For My Baby, music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, a "suicide song" performed by an achingly pensive Sinatra in a subtle Nelson Riddle arrangement, from the album, "Only the Lonely" (listen to that audio clip).

December 14, 2004

Song of the Day #110

Song of the Day (b): My Buddy, lyrics by Gus Kahn, music by Brooklynite Walter Joseph Donaldson, sung by Mario Lanza (and also by Frank Sinatra with the Harry James Orchestra) and dedicated here to my pal Lindsay Perigo. Happy Birthday, Linz! Many more healthy and happy returns! Check out an audio clip here.

Song of the Day #109

Song of the Day (a): I Concentrate on You, a Cole Porter golden nugget, performed by Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman. Bliss. Pure bliss. Listen to the audio clip at amazon.com.

December 13, 2004

SOLO Discussions Winding Down

Discussions at SOLO HQ on my five-part foreign policy series are winding down (I think). I have posted additional comments: here, here, here, here, and here.

L&P Rules!

Perhaps there is a promising shift in the political-culture wars when so many of the writers at the Liberty & Power Group Blog are editing some of the most important journals in the libertarian universe. Congratulations to Roderick Long for his appointment as new editor of The Journal of Libertarian Studies. I posted a comment too in reply to Aeon Skoble's observation that "L&P Rules!"

Song of the Day #108

Song of the Day: Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words), music and lyrics by Bart Howard, performed by Ol' Blue Eyes at the Sands (check out that audio clip) to a swinging Quincy Jones arrangement with the Count Basie Orchestra.

December 12, 2004

Bernie, Rudy ... and George

With the sinking of the Kerik nomination for Homeland Security chief, I post a brief entry at L&P: "Bernie, Rudy ... and George."

Schwartz Discussion Continues

Discussion of my series on Peter Schwartz's foreign policy book continues here, here, and here, where I field questions and comments on everything from ARAMCO and libertarianism to the issue of colonialism.

Song of the Day #107

Song of the Day: Angel Eyes has been recorded by artists as varied as Sting and Nancy Wilson (check out her awesome 1968 "Welcome to My Love" album for an audio clip). But as my colleague David Hinckley recalls: "Frank Sinatra used to create a magnificent moment in his concerts when the lights would dim to black at the end of the Earl Brent [lyrics]/Matt Dennis [music] song ... and Sinatra would sing, 'Excuse me while I disappear' ." Check out an audio clip here. What a nice way to kick off our celebration of Sinatra's birthday, which is today, and which we'll mark with a couple of weeks worth of favorite Sinatra song highlights.

December 11, 2004

Machan, Schwartz, and Foreign Policy

Part V of my series on Peter Schwartz's new foreign policy book has additional follow-up discussion. Take a look at this exchange with Kenneth R. Gregg, which discusses "Schwartz' Platonism" and the more context-sensitive foreign policy contributions of Tibor Machan. There's additional discussion here.

Also, check out this SOLO HQ discussion, which deals with rationalist tendencies in the writings of some Randians.

Song of the Day #106

Song of the Day: Beautiful Sadness, words and music by M. A. Leikin and L. Holdridge, as performed by Jane Olivor on her album, "Chasing Rainbows." As a paean to the end of a romance, this is what we call "slit-your-wrist-music" at its best.

December 10, 2004

Robert Campbell on USM

My friend and colleague Robert Campbell has been doing quite a job analyzing the problems at the University of Southern Mississippi. I comment briefly on his newest L&P post: "University of Southern Mississippi's Accreditation is Threatened."

Peter Schwartz Series: Indexed

Readers of my five-part series, "Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Rand's Radical Legacy," which critiques Schwartz's new book, The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America, can follow the links to each of the five parts with this convenient index:

Part I:
Introduction
Schwartz's Core Argument
Part II:
Foreign Aid and the United Nations
Part III:
Saudi Arabia
Part IV:
The History of U.S. Foreign Policy
Part V:
The Current War
The Folly of Nation-Building
The Inextricable Connection between Domestic and Foreign Policy

The series is also indexed at SOLO HQ, and includes further discussion at that site.

Each of these links has follow-up discussion, and I encourage readers to post their comments.

SOLOing

George W. Cordero writes a piece on SOLO HQ, "SOLOing," and I offer a comment.

Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Randís Radical Legacy, Part V

The concluding fifth part of my five-part series has been posted to the Liberty and Power Group Blog: "Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Rand's Radical Legacy, Part V." See also continuing discussion of Part IV, here, here, here, and here.

Update: Comments on Part V can be found in these threads: "Libertopia vs. positions on U.S. foreign policy," "Schwartz's Statism," and "Schwartz' Platonism" (which discusses the contributions of Tibor Machan, and here.

Song of the Day #105

Song of the Day: Moondance, words, music, and performance by Van Morrison. Saxophone, flute, piano, percussion, and a walking bass never sounded so jazzy, sexy, hip. Check out the the title track of the album.

December 09, 2004

SOLO Discussions on Iran Continue

There's lots more discussion on the question of Iran at SOLO; I posted comments here, here, here, here, and here.

Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Randís Radical Legacy, Part IV

The fourth part of my five-part series has been posted to the Liberty and Power Group Blog: "Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Rand's Radical Legacy, Part IV." See also follow-up comments here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Song of the Day #104

Song of the Day: Another Star, music and lyrics by Stevie Wonder. This Latin-tinged extravaganza is from an essential Wonder-ful album, "Songs in the Key of Life" (check out the audio clip). What a career for this gifted musician.

December 08, 2004

SOLO Discussions on Iran

At SOLO HQ, I respond to those who are itching to decimate Iran. This is a continuation of a discussion archived in my post on "The Problem of Iran, Again."

Collecting on a Bet

I just came upon this hilarious Stephan Kinsella post at the LewRockwell.com blog: "Curse you, Raico!" Yes. Kinsella lost his bet on Election 2004. I do intend to collect.

Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Randís Radical Legacy, Part III

The third part of my five-part series has been posted to the Liberty and Power Group Blog: "Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Rand's Radical Legacy, Part III."

Update: I have an exchange with Geoffrey Allan Plauche and Pat Garret who add their thoughts on "Schwartz's unquestioning nationalistic state idolatry." I discuss inconsistencies in Rand's own stance on the Middle East, among other issues.

Libertas Quote of the Day

I comment briefly in response to Geoffrey Allan Plauche's Libertas post: "Quote of the Day (and for the Times!)."

Song of the Day #103

Song of the Day: Do I Do, music and lyrics by Stevie Wonder, in honor, today, of his receipt of Billboard's Century Award. From his album, "The Original Musiquarium" (listen to the audio clip at that link), it features the incomparable be-bop jazz trumpeter, "Mr. Dizzy Gillespie."

December 07, 2004

Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Randís Radical Legacy, Part II

The second part of my five-part series has been posted to the Liberty and Power Group Blog: "Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Rand's Radical Legacy, Part II."

See comments also in this thread: Randian Collectivism.

New Terror Alert Levels

I report on a new cartoon at L&P that depicts the "New Terror Alert Levels."

Total Freedom Reviewed in RAE

The Review of Austrian Economics has published a review, written by Steven Horwitz, of my book Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism. Excerpts from this rather good review are posted to my site here. RAE is published by Kluwer Academic Publishers. (See also Roderick Long's L&P post on the new RAE issue here.)

Song of the Day #102

Song of the Day: Don't Rain on My Parade, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, performed by Barbra Streisand on Broadway and in the William Wyler-directed film on the life story of Fanny Brice: "Funny Girl." Streisand tied for a 1968 Best Actress Oscar with the equally brilliant Katherine Hepburn, who played Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter." This song has also been performed in a rousing swing arrangement by Bobby Darin, whose life is dramatized in the 2004 Kevin Spacey film, "Beyond the Sea." Check out the Broadway audio clip or film audio clip. It's been raining for two days in N.Y.C., but this song's lyrics transcend the weather: "Don't tell me not to fly, I simply got to. If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you. Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade?"

December 06, 2004

Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Randís Radical Legacy, Part I

The first part of my five-part series begins at the Liberty and Power Group Blog: "Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Rand's Radical Legacy, Part I." And take a look at the follow-up discussion.

Also, check out the ongoing dialogue on SOLO dealing with "The Problem of Iran, Again." My newest contributions here and here deal with nuclear proliferation.

Song of the Day #101

Song of the Day: I'll Be Good For You had the input of quite a few songwriters, including Kevin Antunes, long-time singer Teddy Pendergrass, Reginald and Vincent Calloway (formerly of the group Midnight Star), and Justin Timberlake himself. From the 'N Sync album, "No Strings Attached" (check the audio clip at that link), this track has an easy R&B groove with velvet harmonies.

December 05, 2004

The Problem of Iran, Again

I comment here, here, here, here, here, here and here on George W. Cordero's SOLO HQ article, "One Down, Two to Go." Additional SOLO HQ comments on Iran are indexed here and here. For those interested in my recent writings on Iran, here's a convenient index to my various posts:

"Inside Iran: Twenty-Five Years After the Islamic Revolution"
"Laissez-Faire in Iran"
"Iran Update"
"Iran: The Anti-Beard Revolution"
"More Kristof, More Iran"
"Kristof's 'Nuts with Nukes'"
"Iran and the War on Islamic Terrorism"
"The Problem of Iran"

I will also address Iran very briefly in my upcoming five-part series, reviewing Peter Schwartz's book, The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America. The series begins tomorrow at the Liberty and Power Group Blog.

Song of the Day #100

Song of the Day: I Burn for You, words and music by Sting, performed with The Police for the soundtrack of the 1982 film "Brimstone and Treacle," in which Sting starred. By far, the best version of this track, however, is on the hard-to-find B-side of the 12" vinyl version of "Russians" (not to be confused with the live version from "Bring on the Night"). This superior version from Sting's post-Police "Blue Turtles" band, includes a scintillating saxophone solo by Branford Marsalis.

December 04, 2004

Song of the Day #99

Song of the Day: 25 or 6 to 4, music and lyrics by Robert Lamm for the jazz-infused rock band Chicago (or as they were once known, the Chicago Transit Authority). The original 1970 album version of this track (from Chicago II; listen to the audio clip) sported a terrific integration of vocals, brass, and guitar, making it a signature tune of a classic band.

December 03, 2004

Blog Update

A number of people have wondered why they can't use the comment function at "Not a Blog." I try to remind my readers that this is "Not a Blog." :) Well, okay, it's more blog-like than ever! But it is still primarily an index to writings that appear in other venues, and at those other venues, all of you can comment on my work as often as you like! I encourage it! And I usually respond! (Unfortunately, you'll still see the word "comment" accompanying every blog entry here, even though the function has been disabled. But that's just something that can't be avoided; it's part of the software with which NYU provides me.)

Of course, if any reader would like to send me personal comments, my email box is always open: chris DOT sciabarra AT nyu DOT edu

I have been busy with a number of tasks this week, including my editing of the forthcoming Spring 2005 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (our second Centenary symposium issue, which will focus on "Ayn Rand Among the Austrians"). I've also been proofreading the forthcoming issue of The Free Radical, and involved with various research and writing projects. One of these is a review of Objectivist Peter Schwartz's 2004 book, The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America; the review will be posted in five parts at Liberty & Power Group Blog starting Monday, December 6th.

A few other updates to mention: My pal Chip at Binary Circumstance has a few links to all the hoopla over the film "The Incredibles," which refers to my various posts.

And I posted a frivolous reply to Lindsay Perigo on a SOLO HQ thread dealing with Joseph Rowlands' "Transitioning to Self-Interest."

My "Song of the Day" ritual continues uninterrupted, however; expect tributes to some of my favorite Frank Sinatra songs starting December 12th (Ol' Blue Eyes' birthday) and tributes to some of my favorite holiday songs starting Christmas Eve.

Song of the Day #98

Song of the Day: Into the Groove, music and lyrics by Madonna and Stephen Bray, performed by Madonna, who also starred in the hilarious 1985 film "Desperately Seeking Susan," from which the song comes. A 12" dance classic that was released as the B-side of "Angel," it was later included in an extended remix version on the compilation album, "You Can Dance" (check out the audio clip at that link). But there's nothing like the original mix.

December 02, 2004

Song of the Day #97

Song of the Day: Walk Right Now, music and lyrics by Michael Jackson, Jackie Jackson, and Randy Jackson, from The Jacksons' album "Triumph" (track not featured on the new MJ "Ultimate Collection"). The remix of this track on 12" vinyl (not the album version) is one of the most powerfully disco-charged danceable tracks in the entire Jackson repertoire. I've danced to this with my dear friend Gema, who also helped me run parties back in the day ... when I DJ'ed in college. Happy Birthday, Gema! And happy birthday to my pal, Stan, too!

December 01, 2004

Song of the Day #96

Song of the Day: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, music and lyrics by Johnny Marks, has a fascinating history as a modern holiday classic. It is also the title track, sung by Burl Ives, to one of my favorite annual animated holiday specials, which, tonight, celebrates its 40th anniversary in a CBS television network showing. (The track was, of course, first recorded by Gene Autry in 1949.) Just a prelude to some of my favorite holiday songs, featured later this month. Check out the audio clips to the soundtrack here. And happy birthday to my red-haired friend Cameron!