Kelley Video Commentaries on Atlas Movie Scenes!

David Kelley, founder and CEO of The Atlas Society offers video commentaries on scenes from Atlas Shrugged Part 1. Here’s the link for his commentaries and we invite you all to check them,

Dagny Confronts James

In this scene early in the film, Dagny Taggart confronts her brother James about the need to upgrade a rail line. The scene illustrates the difference between objectivity and second-hand thinking.

Rearden and His Dependents

Hank Rearden indulges his ungrateful brother with a contribution and gets a political warning from a friend. These scenes illustrate the meaning of money.

Rearden Metal is Not for Sale

Hank Rearden rejects a government offer to buy the rights to his new metal, a conflict dramatizing the difference between individualism and collectivism.

And while you’re thinking about the Atlas movie, read David Kelley’s thinking on “The Capitalist Ideal: The Moral Vision of Atlas Shrugged.”

And while you’re thinking about Taggart Transcontinental, read Frank Bryan’s review of the book Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869.

And while you’re thinking about a transportation revolution, consider David Mayer’s piece on “Completing the American Revolution.”

Humour: Monty Python’s soccer match of Philosophers

I am done reading a book by Levi Strauss titled “History of Political Philosophy” and the first thing that came to my mind was this video of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” with a World Cup of Philosophers playing soccer:

A Philosopher’s soccer match – Monty Python

Here’s a brief of what is Monty Python for those of you who are clueless about them:

The television series, broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974, was conceived, written and performed by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. Loosely structured as a sketch show but with an innovative stream-of-consciousness approach (aided by Terry Gilliam’s animations), it pushed the boundaries of what was then considered acceptable, both in terms of style and content.

The group’s influence on comedy has often been compared to The Beatles‘ influence on music.[1][2] A self-contained comedy team responsible for both writing and performing their work, they changed the way performers entertained audiences. The Pythons’ creative control allowed them to experiment with form and content, discarding the established rules of television comedy. Their influence on British comedy of all kinds has been apparent for many years, while in America it has coloured the work of many cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live through to more recent absurdist trends in television comedy. ‘Pythonesque’ has entered the English lexicon as a result.(SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA)

Iran is a menace to Humanity. Period.

After calm returned to Egypt and Tunez I decided to review history and went back to look the April, 2009  videos of the Conference on Racism that was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Here’s the video of the speech of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

Iran’s government is really a dangerous menace for the peace and stability of the world. Their philosophical fundamentals are founded on hate, historicism, military agression, backwardness, repression of individual rights and irrationality. There is no way a government can think of “negotiations” or “peaceful talkings” with a country like that; you have to really be against Reason and Humanity to support a peaceful approach to those assasins,

Obama in a video claiming that Iran is not a threat

Iran is a world menace and they are willing to eliminate anyone who opposes their religious destiny and political goals. Iran is a menace that will compromise humanity & peace; why is it that people decides to blind themselves of evident acts of hate? I just don’t get people…

Remember the Swine Flu chaos?

Here’s one more example of how Google Trends could be a useful tool to tell if something has been researched, talked or studied long enough to avoid a problem (in this case a pandemic health problem).

Image of Google Flu Trends (February 15th, 2011)

In the last 5 years there hasn’t been much news on swine flu in the news. Now the US and the rest of the world is trying to find out a way of stopping the pandemia; if lucky they will get to stop it soon enough before more people dies. A vaccine won’t be ready in the near future and once again the government seems to be failing to “miraculously solve” our problems.

In democratic systems like ours, it is in moments of crisis that civilians demand government intervention on their private rights. Those interventions include telling what we should do, how and when. Borders are closed and commerce declines. History has shown that this tendency has been present all over the last 4,000 years. Are we heading to the same mistakes or at least very similar ones?

It looked like the flu pandemic the world had been dreading for 50 years: A virus, seen only in animals for several decades, had made the leap to humans and, more ominously, had passed from person to person.

Yet for the first time in history, scientific knowledge and government funding might be able to stop the flu in its tracks, saving a million lives at risk. Within months, Americans were lining up to be vaccinated against the virus. Then, in another triumph of nature’s unpredictability over human planning, the flu virus simply disappeared.

Incubated in pigs but not seen in humans since the 1920s, swine flu broke out in February 1976 at an Army base in New Jersey.

However noble the sentiment, the National Swine Flu Immunization Program, announced by President Gerald Ford just a month after the virus had been identified, became a public-health debacle that probably cost more lives than it saved. (read more: Deja Vu: Politics greeted outbreak of swine flu in 1976).

Middle East and Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”

A couple weeks ago, chaos erupted in the streets of the main cities of the Middle East. People screamed for justice, democracy and freedom.  Meanwhile, a bunch of people tried to understand how it all happened (as if they didn’t know it).

Calm has returned and most of them realized that the problem that their sad & poor societies faced was the result of a historical process of killings, impunity and corruption.

They all said that the problem “the world” faces today can’t be fixed. And still, a new civil society with young leaders needs to appear in the political scene.  Some of them (so they said) are the future of humanity and considered themselves the future leaders of their countries (as some have appeared on the news, newspapers and radio).

However, I am sure they don’t know Whitman and would not understand what a poem like “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” could teach them.

Here is it, please sit and enjoy it:

It avails not, time nor place -distance avails not,

I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations ence,

Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,

Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,

Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refresh’d,

Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the stiff current, I stood yet was hurried,

Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the thick-stemm’d pipes of steamboats, I look’d.

Visions of History: Ways of Seeing the Past by Stephen Davies

I listened for the first time a lecture by Dr. Davies in 2005.  Since then I’ve been an admirer of his work and his eloquence for teaching and sharing his ideas on history, entrepreneurship and liberty.

Here’s a great dissertation by Dr. Davies that is worth watching,

Dr. Steve Davies presents:

The way we think about and understand the past shapes the way we view both the present and the future – Orwell’s famous slogan from 1984 captures this. Most of us without realizing it have a unique vision of the past, a way of thinking about it that predisposes us to look at current events in a particular way. In general, we focus on power and its workings while overlooking other aspects of human existence such as voluntary exchange, cooperative interaction, innovation, and discovery. When these are brought to the foreground, a different kind of historical narrative emerges and transforms our ideas of important dates and significant figures in history.

Luego de 4 años de prisión para un bloguero

Hace cuatro años un amigo me contó la historia de Kareem.  Desde entonces, publiqué muchos artículos con su historia en mi blog (hackeado en agosto, 2009).  Kareem, es un blogger egipcio que fue encarcelado con tan sólo 19 años de edad.  El gobierno egipcio lo acusó de de traición por escribir en protesta por la dictadura presidencial establecida en Egipto por Hosni Mubarak. La sentencia fue emitida el 22 de febrero de 2007 bajo los cargos ataques contra la religión Islámica suní (3 años de prisión) y 1 año de prisión por difamar al Presidente.  Su tiempo en prisión lo terminó y lamentablemente me he enterado que sigue preso y ha sufrido palizas y tortura por la Inteligencia de Seguridad Estatal Egipcia.

Mi apoyo a este escritor me hizo percatarme por primera ocasión hace cuatro años del poder que la palabra escrita es capaz de generar.  Y a la vez, fue una prueba clara de la importancia que el derecho de libertad de expresión tiene para los ciudadanos de cualquier sistema de gobierno.  Kareem se encuentra preso acusado del crímen de HACER VALER SU DERECHO DE LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN.

El 06 de noviembre de 2008, movimientos alrededor del mundo se organizaron y apoyaron con manifestaciones enfrente de las embajadas de Egipto.  Desde entonces muchos mitines se siguieron organizando y participé en dos ocasiones.

Acá les dejo un link a post previos que he escrito luego de conocer la historia de Kareem: posts sobre Kareem.  Recuerden que la mejor manera para evitar la violación de nuestros derechos es defender el derecho de todos a expresarse en libertad.  Divulguemos esta historia y expliquemos a quienes conozcamos cuan valiosa es la libertad de expresión para continuar en la búsqueda de nuestra felicidad.

¡Recuerden que son libres de expresar sus ideas y sentimientos sin que el gobierno pueda censurarlos!

On Liberty!

Artículos (en inglés):

Your Blessings, O Azhar!
Date written: October 28, 2006
Original (Arabic): بركاتك يا أزهر !!!!
English translation: HTML or PDF
Italian translation: HTML (Translated by

● There Is No Deity but the Human Being
Date written: September 11, 2006
Original (Arabic): لا إله إلا الإنسان
English translation: HTML or PDF
Italian translation: HTML (Translated by

● The University of Terrorism… And An Exposed Security Connivance
Date written: May 7, 2006
Original (Arabic): جامعة الإرهاب .. وتواطؤ أمنى مفضوح
English translation: HTML or PDF

● Posts on the Al-Azhar Investigation and Expulsion
Dates written: March 15 & 17, 2006
Original articles (Arabic): وقائع محكمة تفتيش أزهرية and وحطمت القيود الأزهرية !
English translations: HTML (Partial translations by ‘Free Copts’)

● I Passed the Test, Successfully
Date written: November 20, 2005
Original article (Arabic): وإجتزت الإمتحان … بنجاح
English translation: HTML (Partial translation by ‘Egyptian Blogger’)
Note: This was written shortly after his release from his first arrest in 2005 because of his condemnation of the 2005 Alexandria riots.

● The Naked Truth about Islam As I Saw It In Maharram Beh
Date written: October 22, 2005
Original article (Arabic): حقيقة الإسلام كما شاهدتها عارية فى محرم بك
English translation: HTML (Translated by J. Ahmed Salib)
DISCLAIMER: The creators of the Free Kareem campaign would like to stress the fact that they do not agree with the contents of this article.

● Al-Azhar University and Its Apartheid Policy between Male and Female Students: Shut Down Al-Azhar University
Date written: November 11, 2004
Original (Arabic): جامعة الأزهر …. وسياسة الفصل العنصرى بين الطلبة والطالبات – أغلقوا جامعة الأزهر
English translation: HTML or PDF