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5 Responses to About

  1. Merle Patterson says:

    Sometimes an individuals’ philosophy based on personal knowledge or life experience(for good or bad) can be a dangerous thing. A methodology (either personal, philisophical or political) as a “means to an end” can seem irrational, but if it leads to a more rational state of mind or being through rigorous conversation and/or debate, was it irrational to begin with? For example: Social media and the internet can make a person seem guilty in the court of public opion via tidbits of information expounded upon by social bloggers and individuals with large followings without the benefit of empirical evidence. If a person can now be found guilty in the court of public opinion via the internet, what does that say to the future of the justice system? Is it the duty of individuals to police their own government and/or question authority? Or should we all just “Go with the flow” and see how things wind up? Personal responsibility should extend to corporations, just as it should to individuals, if in fact, corporations want the same rights as individuals, that the supreme court has ruled.

  2. Jim Blass says:

    Dear Dr. Machan:
    I watched your 3 hour interview on CSpan. My watching was a bit spasmodic for family things interfered. Anyway, what I heard was very interesting.
    As an aside, I too was at Andrews AFB. I was there from 1959 through 1978 both as an airman and a civilian. I worked in the Air Traffic Control Tower. Sorry, I never became involved with your thespian activities. I worked shift work which made such activities difficult. I also was in Germany, probably when you were there, 1954-58. I remember the ’56 Hungarian uprising.

    I too have libertarian political views. Though not as erudite as you, nor as well read, I believe I have developed much of the philosophy which accompanies libertarian thought. My main reading of history was the 12 volume history written by Will Durant. That and my time outside the U.S., Korea 1953-54 and Germany, has informed my political thought. As example see below. Also find my thoughts at my website silvertealeaf.net.

    I now must read your writings and those of Ms. Rand to see if my thoughts conform with either of you.

    James M. Blass
    Mechanicsville, MD



    There are some issues of social significance which have become intractable and divisive within our society. Though we are a culture which resolves our differences by commonly arrived at laws rather than fiat of one persons desires, there are some who would like to end the discussions and arguments with a final solution.


    Present western societies, most of which are based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, have accepted that certain reasons, personal and private, require some women to terminate their pregnancies prior to the fetus reaching term. Those who are closest to ardent belief in the written or expounded basis for religion are in the main opposed to almost all reasons for allowing abortions.

    Even though the two sides of the issue are so adamant in their positions and that no matter the secular laws position and that at certain points in time various laws favoring one or the other position have been controlling, women will continue to have abortions, that is the bare known fact, nothing will change it.. There is no societal solution which includes the desires of the total population.

    For those whose ethics require them to oppose abortion, the majority of the referenced population must listen to your view, even though rejecting your solution to the issue.


    Alcohol – Marihuana and other mind altering substances–

    I can add little to the arguments on either side of the debates. Consumption of alkaloids is endemic in the population of this earth. Even many Muslims, though prohibited by the tenets of their religion, consume alcohol.

    My observation is this: There is no way any society has prohibited, successfully, consumption of any natural substance. The United States attempted such an edict in the 1920s, it failed, miserably. And Jews eat pork and Muslims drink alcohol, etc.

    The best any society can do is to decry their inappropriate use, punish those who become violent or criminal while under the influence of alkaloids and tax and control commerce in them.

    FAMILIES – or lack of them –

    The human experience of recorded history shows that the most successful family condition of young humans is with a combination of male/female parents. This form of family contributes both genders attitudes and attributes to the education of the young.

    Though other combinations of parental genders is supposed not to be deleterious to the upbringing of the young, biological and historical evidence suggests otherwise. Therefore the encouragement of a combination of male/female parenting should be of prime interest to any society.

    A side issue is that of marriage and all the monetary and legal issues which derive from that institution. The simple, at least it seems that, solution is to allow any two humans, whatever their gender, to commit themselves to a legally binding relationship with provisions for sundering such a commitment.


    Those of a religious mindset constantly refer to the “Almighty” and its written and revealed word as the final rule to which all society must adhere in any given circumstance. The stone tablets of Moses or the golden tablets of the Angel Moroni are not extant in the physical world . Therefore we peoples must accept the word of some other human that they exist or existed and are the controlling authority in societies rules.

    We can conclude that all religions and their tenets are mans attempt to know and explicate the unknowable and conform those unknowables to the accumulated knowledge of the human experience.


    One can conclude that though the issues mentioned above are intractable, they should not inform our politics in toto.

    Remember, politics is merely a way we select the managers of our collective affairs. These managers must be honest and able to express that honesty. They must be principled, but, not be blinded by those principles to the exclusion of being able to do the common good. They must acknowledge, by acts as well as speech, they believe they are our equals and not our betters. They must be able to admit their judgments and ideas are wrong when they are so. Above all they must believe in the precepts which created and are outlined in our Constitution. These are but the basic attributes of those we should elect to manage our societies affairs.
    We are constantly confronted by “new” problems brought about by advances in our knowledge of the world. Who argued about cloning during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt? There are no “new” problems between humans. They have all been argued and resolved before, many times. Just a little reading of history will put the “new” problem in perspective and show the solutions.

    Our basic problem is our increase. There are now 6 billion of us and we are increasing that number at an exponential rate.

    The answer will come by the laws of nature.
    What are the effects of overpopulation in any finite space?
    There is the answer.

    JMB – 2007

  3. szatyor2693 says:

    Thanks, Mr. Blass. Sorry I got to this so late but I rarely check the comments–I just forget that they are made. TRM

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