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  1. Given the current alternatives, I'm better off with the US government in my life than I would be without it. But I want it all, a country whose government protects my rights from both street thugs and politicians and bureaucrats.
  2. If I say no, do I admit that the Federal government in its present form isn't a complete abomination? I don't think so. It only does a reasonable job by world standards of protecting us from violent criminals who are not among its own ranks.
  3. It's my own personal example. The FDA prohibits any doctor in the U.S. from administering a legitimately promising treatment derived from my body's own stem cells to treat the arthritis that is gradually robbing me of everything that makes life worth living. Earlier this year I traveled out of the country and paid $33,000 cash plus travel expenses to get this treatment in a jurisdiction that allows it—it's working great, but I only treated 1/3 of the joints that need it, and I need additional treatments in those joints. It took me a year and a half to save enough money to do that much and the reality is I will never be able to afford to get the improvements I need under today's laws. I just paid my self-employment taxes and they took a fifth of everything I was putting toward the next round of treatment to pay my share of Medicare recipients' medical expenses, to say nothing of the $3000+ in premiums I had to pay for a health insurance policy that covers my 33/M self for any medical expenses I might incur related to pregnancy complications and altzheimer's disease, but that the government won't let pay a dime for the only treatment in existence that can make any meaningful difference in my own condition. What a great country.
  4. I think you're setting the bar too low and my beef with the U.S. isn't that the police arrest people for pot. Today's government, in the name of "protecting" people, imposes real hardship on many, and in some cases actually makes it impossible to even have a chance of survival.
  5. Strike back by comparing them to people who are yet more successful.
  6. I think the bad outweighs the good. I don't know what to say about the U.S. military; I don't watch or read the news and the only commentary on foreign affairs I pay attention to is Yaron Brook's and even then I feel pretty much nothing but contempt and revulsion for the stuff he talks about. The police and especially court system are worse than mixed bags and those of us who have been on the wrong side of either at some point in our histories, either for some victimless non-crime or just doing what we needed to do to live, know they regularly do a lot of bad.
  7. Though it may still be better than most other countries, as I hold the present-day United States in low esteem due to its rampant violations my rights. Does the U.S. flag mean anything anymore? Should one who has lost all respect for the U.S. as a political entity respect the flag and only detest the voters who have corrupted the government? Am I justified in not wanting to salute the flag or stand for the national anthem, and wanting to remove the flag from the front of my residence?
  8. Obviously there should't be different sets of laws for men of different races. But what should be done about Indian Reservations? Should the laws recognizing them be repealed altogether? Should Objectivists support their existence in the context of the status quo since they provide some refuge from state and federal government?
  9. Is there any good reason to want to learn about ancestors you never knew and whose lifetimes didn't overlap with your own? Is it a form of tribalism?
  10. An example of the kind of observation and argument I'm talking about is "Usain Bolt ate Chicken Mcnuggets an hour before winning the Olympics; therefore, the 'empirical evidence' shows that eating Chicken McNuggets makes you fast." it is extremely common for people interested in exercise and physical training to follow the same reasoning to other equally stupid conclusions.
  11. In a field of interest to me, it's common for people make arguments like "the empirical evidence shows such and such" and proceed to ascribe their uncontrolled observations to whatever cause they want. Isn't all evidence based on observation, and aren't uncontrolled observations not really evidence at all? I read a question on Quora today that asks what would happen if children were raised with "empirical science" instead of religion. I was going to answer by saying that all science is empirical, but then it hit me that philosophy isn't—is it? So while all physical science is empirical, the statement I was going to make would not be true. Correct?
  12. What are the relationships between these things? To take my best stab at it... Faith: the acceptance of a claim without evidence Mysticism: the doctrine one has to accept without evidence Rationalism: the method of cognition used to conceive the mysticism
  13. Trump. I was uncertain up to the last minute and still am. It's horrible to see trump win, but good to see Hillary lose, and I can enjoy it for at least a few hours.
  14. Not sure how seriously to take this, but one's own death is not "bad" thing, but the negation of the context in which both "good" and "bad" things happen to him, the negation of the thing that gives meaning to those terms. You could also say it's the result of bad things happening to a person.
  15. I don't dispute or misunderstand anything you wrote here, and i'm not saying a crisis under the tenure of Democrats will automatically cause people embrace liberty, only that it will hopefully discredit the left, including authorities like central bankers and open people up to considering radical pro-liberty ideas in the long term. Is there an imminent danger that Americans will turn to a proverbial man on a white horse? Maybe, but as Peikoff noted in his book, Americans are still much more rational than Wiemar Germans. Regardless, what I was really getting at in my last post is that a financial crisis would bring richly deserved justice upon a lot of people. Those of you whose lives haven't been as badly and directly affected as mine maybe can't appreciate this, but not having been so lucky myself due to a health issue and healthcare policy, there are times when I would really just like to see some of the assholes driving that policy and gloating about their success get what's coming to them. For me, witnessing current politics is like watching the person who murdered your wife and kids get off on a technicality and walk free, and in my darker moments I say things like that I just want to see the sky fall on this country.