Brian’s Column: Randy and Dianne for Producers of Liberty

A retrospective on two fine behind the sceners in the Libertarian Party of Michigan
By Brian R. Wright

Greg, yes, I’ve known Randy for a long time, going back to my early days as leader of the Ayn Rand fans on the campus of Wayne State University, that would be 1969/1970, then Randy and two others and I rented a house in Detroit in the Greenfield/Grand River area for about a year in the early 70s.

I ran meetings of the Wayne State Students of Objectivism while I pursued and got my mechanical engineering degree. Randy was an electronics technician for the Engineering School at Wayne. I remember in those days he’d occasionally give me a ride in his late-60s Chevy Impala SS from our house down to Wayne along Grand River, he was a good driver but his foot was nearly always on the floor—accelerator and brake, both. I had given up the ghost a few years before, so didn’t say any prayers, but do remember a few “Thank Gods” in my thoughts as I exited the vehicle onto terra firma.

Didn’t know Dianne as well in those days. But understood she came from sort of a liberal Unitarian-Universalist milieu, and really wasn’t that turned on by any of the Ayn Rand characters or literature. I think they were married slightly before I was in 1975. They both became reasonably active in the LPM, whether they were at  the founding convention in Taylor I can’t say, but they’d have supported the idea of a third political party on the landscape devoted to the nonaggression principle.

As the years unfolded, Randy and Dianne were definitely in the social circle of my wife, Rose, and me. I mean to the extent that they’d join us every once in a while—along with Rose’s sister Therese and boyfriend—on Friday nights to watch the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the Bob Newhart Show, and the Rockford Files. Actually, my memory isn’t that good as to whether these shows were all on Friday or Saturday or even on the same night. And we’d go to movies together, sometimes, too.

Further they were petitioners and good workers, in general. I remember particularly on our 1982 volunteer ballot access petition drive at the local Meijer in Royal Oak. They helped a lot, and we’d all come back to our house in Birmingham (Lite), where Rose and Dianne would prepare this hot cinnamon cider toddy with cloves in it. Wow! Many a cold day’s petition drive was cut short a few minutes on the basis we needed a warm drink.

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Movie Review: The Fountainhead (1949)

Ayn Rand’s sui generis movie still stirs the heart of passionate individualists

FountainheadIf I had to describe the A-list movie production of The Fountainhead in one word that word would be ‘unbelievable:’ it is literally beyond comprehension that such a stark silver screen portrayal of important ideas—with world class acting, directing, score, production design, costumes, and of course writing—could ever be made… much less a movie about the epochal conflict between the individual and the collective (and the parallel ethical conflict between reason-based egoism and faith-based altruism). The second word I would use is ‘moving.’

Lately, The Fountainhead is a DVD I’ve been watching with regularity, simply to recharge my emotional batteries and reaffirm my sense of life. As the astute reader knows, we live in a world where the collectivists of the Toxocracy are hammering the individualists right and left… trying to close in for the kill. [I believe the individualists—full humans—will win, however, and relatively soon, due to a powerful cosmic jujitsu maneuver that I’m happy to be a part of. Ref. esp. Thrive. More on that in my novel soon to be released, The Truman Prophecy.] Continue reading

Guest Column: Reminiscence: Dale Haviland (1929-2015) VIP, RIP

Early leader in the founding of the modern liberty movement dies
“… a light along the path toward a better way.”
Kay Augustin, et al

[Dale’s liberty archives presented to the Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI]

HAV_Toned1greyHAVILAND, DALE ARMOND, age 86, passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti. Born on September 11, 1929 in Pontiac to D.A. and Jessie (Prosser) Haviland. Dale was the youngest of 3 brothers (Harold and Gerald). He graduated valedictorian from Hartland High School in 1947 and later received a B.A. degree from Michigan State University.

Dale served in the United States Army during the Korean War. In 1957 he married his beloved wife of 57 years Nancy (Newberry) Haviland who passed away in January of 2013. In his early years he worked for General Motors and Bendix Corporations, but is best known as the owner/operator of Haviland Printing and Graphics, which he founded in 1973 and retired from in 2013. Continue reading

Book Review: Ayn Rand

… and the world she made (2009)
by Anne C. Heller[1]

AynWell executed book on an iconic figure by Ms. Heller, who certainly wasn’t an insider with the ‘Objectivist movement’ or blown away by Rand’s work—Heller bestows no glowing accolades on Ayn Rand or her achievements, yet respectfully reports on them with a discernible general sympathy. I find the author’s objectivity valuable, yet necessarily giving an incomplete Gestalt of ‘Who is Ayn Rand.’ Heller is too young to have experienced the rush that Rand’s passionate articulation of heroic individualism provided, mainly, in Baby Boomer prime time (late 1950s into the early 1970s)—with The Fountainhead (1943, movie 1949) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), then the nonfictional politics oriented writings from Rand and her coterie. Continue reading

Book Review: Atlas Shrugged (1957)

“So this is the little lady who caused all the fuss…”
by Brian Wright

Atlas ShruggedThose with a historical bent will recognize the subtitle in quotes as what Abraham Lincoln (president of the US, 1861-1865) was purported to have said to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin—a scathing indictment of slavery that many feel led to the War of Northern Aggression.[1] I’m using it here in a reference to Ayn Rand, who was, as it turns out, a diminutive woman, and to her majestic philosophic ideas… that have and will shake up what commonly has been regarded as proper human behavior for centuries. Briefly, her philosophy, known as Objectivism, stands for objective reality, reason, egoism (enlightened self-interest), and capitalism.[2] Continue reading

Movie Review: Atlas Shrugged, Who is John Galt?

Near perfect rendition of the Ayn Rand iconosphere__9.5/10

GaltSure, I know what you’re thinking, I’m just like a sports’ homey praising his pedestrian quarterback for a performance that gets the job done, but lacks the glittering brilliance of the Hall of Fame QB of a bygone era. Exactly! Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, the movie’s final installment, subtitled ‘Who is John Galt?,’ is not truly a masterpiece, but it is as inspired and imaginative a treatment of the literary-philosophical giant Ayn Rand’s magnum opus as can likely be created under practical contemporary constraints of budget… or realistic access to a full spectrum of creative talent who can convincingly present the essence of what Rand stands for, on film. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999)

The complete picture, esp. the humanity _ 9/10
Review by Brian Wright

The Passion of Ayn RandBarbara Branden: On March 8, 1982, a line formed outside a funeral parlor in New York City. I stood there in the cold with hundreds of people waiting to say goodbye to an old woman few of them had ever met. Yet most of those people would have said she changed their lives. I had been her closest friend, and she mine. But all of that ended a long time ago.

The critics had called her a leader of a cult, a dangerous threat to public morality. Her name was Ayn Rand, and I loved her. Continue reading