Archive - September 12, 2012

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Diplomats, armed with handshakes and briefcases, face uncertainty abroad
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The Last Word on Ayn Rand–From the Peace Corps Itself
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More on Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan
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Ambassador Stevens (Morocco 1983-85) Killed in Libya
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Would Ayn Rand Be De-Selected?

Diplomats, armed with handshakes and briefcases, face uncertainty abroad

Diplomats, armed with handshakes and briefcases, face uncertainty abroad 5:50 PM, Sep 12, 2012   |   Written by Robert Marchant  JOURNAL NEWS (Westchester, NY)       In this photo taken Monday, April 11, 2011, then U.S. envoy Chris Stevens takes a coffee before attending meetings at the Tibesty Hotel where an African Union delegation was meeting with opposition leaders in Benghazi, Libya. Libyan officials say the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans have been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) / AP They carry briefcases, not weapons, and seek to make peace, not war. But dangers from terrorism and other hazards can make the job that diplomats, United Nations personnel, Peace Corps volunteers and other foreign affairs professionals a dangerous one. Ambassador Chris Stevens, a former Peace Corps . . .

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The Last Word on Ayn Rand–From the Peace Corps Itself

Back in 1964-65, in those golden years of the agency when PCVs were all given book lockers, Jack Prebis (Ethiopia 1962-64) was responsible for complying several editions of  the books selected for the lockers. Jack worked at HQ from the fall of 1964 to the late summer of 1965 so he would have been in charge of, I think, the third and fourth versions. After reading the blogs about Rand and Ryan on the site today, Jack emailed me with this small piece of early Peace Corps trivia. Atlas Shrugged was included in the first booklocker given to PCVs but then the Peace Corps banned it from future collections after a Volunteer read the novel and invoking Rand message decided to ET.   “I was specifically told not to include Rand in any future lockers,” Jack writes. “And I got the message.” The Peace Corps had the last word. p.s. I wonder…. Do you think that young PCV who ETed was Paul Ryan?  Nah!

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More on Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan

[Below is an article published on informationclearinghouse.info that an RPCV was kind enough to forward to me. It is written by Uri Avnery leader of Israeli peace movement-Gush Shalom. The article is interesting and informative about Ayn Rand and her early years!] The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan by Uri Avnery I was not interested in Paul Ryan, the man about to be nominated by the Republican party for the office of vice-president, until the name Ayn Rand popped up. Ayn Rand, it was said, was one of the main inspirations for his particular philosophy. Since Ryan is being represented not as an ordinary, run-of-the-mill politician, like Mitt Romney, but as a profound political and economic thinker, the inspiration deserves some scrutiny. Like most people in this country, Ayn Rand first entered my life as the author of The Fountainhead, a novel that came out four years before the birth . . .

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Ambassador Stevens (Morocco 1983-85) Killed in Libya

J. Christopher Stevens (Morocco 1983-85) our Ambassador to Libya, was killed yesterday during an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Stevens, who had been in  Libya only since May, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate in Eastern Libya to try to evacuate staff. Stevens, a career diplomat, was 52 years old. Secretary of State Clinton said this morning, “I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago. He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa which began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans . . .

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Would Ayn Rand Be De-Selected?

I remember when Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957. In the  college dorm of my Jesuit University (St. Louis University) the book was passed about by all the business majors who decided the novel was better than the bible (not that Catholics ever read the Bible!). I attempted to read the book but couldn’t make it beyond the first page. Talk about ‘gag me with a spoon.’ I recently read about the novel (again) in a short and entertaining piece written by Henry Meininger,  the publisher and editor (of all things!) The Berkshire Home&Style.  This is a free give-away publication in western Massachusetts, a  magazine “of home and good living”…I kid you not! Writing about Atlas Shrugged in his magazine shows you where Henry is coming from. With all the talk by Paul Ryan, who made the novel required reading for his Congressional staff, I picked up the 1,168 page novel over the weekend and . . .

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