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Nicky

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Nicky last won the day on May 6

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  1. I like these dystopian/alternate reality shows too (Man in the High Castle, SS-GB, all the way back to Amerika...1987 show with Kris Kristofferson and Sam Neill...I don't know if it still holds up now), but, for some reason, The Handmaid's Tale turned me off after 4-5 episodes. One interesting thing about it was that, as far as I remember, they stuck to the "first person narration" from the book...we only see what the main character sees. I just wish she saw something else from time to time, besides just creative, over the top, unrealistic ways in which women are abused by society. And sure, there was some kind of vague, mysterious plot, but it was moving along very, very slowly, because all the show-makers' focus seemed to be on laying the "message" on as thick as possible. Maybe that changes later, and I just wasn't patient enough for it. But it didn't seem like it would, from the episodes I saw.
  2. The most notable of the retirees is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan -------------- He's quitting that job, I don't think he's retiring from politics. He's probably doing it to avoid becoming permanently associated with Trump...because he's planning to run for President at some point. There's really not much Republicans can do, right now. Trump won the election on the Republican ticket, they can't openly oppose him, they just have to wait this out while trying to minimize the damage. But they are keeping him in check to some extent. The people running the DOJ, for instance, are Republicans, and they're standing up to him pretty well. The newest SCOTUS justice is a principled conservative as well, and he has a majority behind him when it comes to blocking anything abusive that Trump might try to do. Also note how there's no wall being built. The ideas Trump's been throwing around about tariffs against US allies are also being walked back. That's because there's no support for any of that, in the Republican Party. P.S. Also, Mitt Romney's running for Senate, and he's doing it in Utah, which is a conservative, anti-Trump stronghold. He's gonna be an automatic, high profile no vote on every idea Trump might have.
  3. Nicky

    Are Pick Up Artists Legitimate Artists?

    No. Ayn Rand agreed with what most of the world has believed since the Renaissance: art is something you do for its own sake, not for a utilitarian purpose.
  4. Nicky

    Are Pick Up Artists Legitimate Artists?

    As natural languages evolve, words often end up referring to different concepts in different contexts. Take the word "man", for instance: it can be used to mean humans the species, a single human, or it can be used to mean a biological male. There's no reason to get hung up on it, you can get the meaning from context, and accept that no, someone using man in one sense is not trying to refer to the word's other meanings (unless you're a feminist, then apparently you lose that ability). Same here: artist is used to mean a master of a craft (an artisan). It simply denotes excellence in a field or activity, and has nothing to do with the modern definition of art in the context of Aesthetics. This (excellence at a craft) is actually the original meaning of the word, it only started being used to refer to the profession of someone who creates 'art for the sake of art' after the Renaissance.
  5. If the guy wants to learn how to read, there are easier materials to practice on than Atlas Shrugged.
  6. People can plan for falling into a punctuation mark of any kind, ( ), and put it in writing who they want making the decisions (with both their life and their property). If they don't, then, for lack of any better options, it's assumed that they would've wanted their closest relatives to make the calls. And it doesn't compare to abortion in any way. Abortion is a simply every woman's right.
  7. I'm not sure who you're talking about, but unless you are accusing me of turning a blind eye to some atrocity (and I can't imagine you are), I don't see how this is relevant to the topic at hand: the American far right. I've been to Germany, met a lot of people, and, as far as I've seen, Germans are extremely busy people, who occupy themselves with pretty much every activity imaginable (from extremely productive, scrupulous, hard work in the daytime to some of the most libertine expressions of sexuality I've ever seen, at night). Except for one: wallowing in shame. Haven't seen anyone do that. So I find it hard to accept that Germany's defining characteristics are self-denigration or any kind of wallowing. I also haven't come across any expressions of pride over that period of German history (and they really shouldn't be proud of it), but there was zero wallowing. To me, they appeared to have moved on from it, and are now occupying their time with entirely unrelated things. To the extent the people I met had some interest in politics, it was in the economy, and the various issues of the day, not anything to do with Nazi rule. There are of course activists on the far left and the far right who scream and shout their talking points all day, but every country has those. People like that don't define Germany any more than they define any other country. They're irrelevant extremists no one outside their little circle takes seriously.
  8. I agree with the fact that the American "alt right", and even the people who openly call themselves Nazis or white supremacists, are a joke. Immature idiots playing around, pretending to be big bad Nazis. They don't really mean what that entails, and would crap their pants the second they were asked to actually back up their pretend beliefs with action. But that's because the US is a prosperous, peaceful country with an effective judiciary that upholds property rights, free speech and religious freedom. Those aren't conditions a far right ideology would thrive in. Americans have it way too good to fully embrace an ideology that requires absolute submission to the state, and demands that individuals literally sacrifice their lives and their souls, in its service. Which is why it doesn't make sense to judge how dangerous the far right potentially is based on their current level of support. What makes far more sense is to judge the potential danger based on what happened in the past, when conditions became more accommodating to a strongman promoting this brand of fanatical, extreme altruism. What happened is exactly what the Nazi ideology means: millions of citizens of civilized, culturally rich nations willing to happily die and commit moral atrocities of the highest order in the service of the state, and do so with no regard to any of the values, decency or rationality that was integral to the culture of these nations for hundreds (or, in the case of Japan, over a thousand) years through their amazing, rich, benevolent history.
  9. Nonsense. The US has a long history of being a force for good in the world, and it's in its self interest to continue to be that. It may not always be done out of well articulated rational selfishness, but that doesn't change the fact that US foreign policy is contributing to a more free and more prosperous world, and that is to the benefit of the American people. Trump doesn't get that, because he doesn't understand what "good" even is. He has no principles. His idea of good leadership is what thugs like Putin are doing: a cynical, nationalistic drive to raise your country over others, without any regard to principles or decency. That's why he has expressed admiration for Putin.
  10. Objectivists are, as they always have been, opposed to both the collectivist right and the collectivist left. There is a third option your false alternative is seeking to obfuscate: individual rights. Objectivists are staying on that side. And Trump is just as far away from the side of individual rights as Obama was. Even further, if he ever gets around to implementing some of his deeply destructive, rights violating campaign promises.
  11. First off, "ordinary American" is demagogy, plain and simple. No point in even addressing it further. So, that aside, Trump is certainly "upholding" a specific segment of the population (not any more or less ordinary than any other segment) at the expense of others. But it's not really the segments you're describing (describing vaguely, on purpose). For instance, he's not upholding steel producers at the expense of Leftist intellectual elitists, he's upholding them at the expense of the individual rights of manufacturers who buy steel, all consumers who buy their products, and everyone who suffers from the inevitable retaliation to his tariffs. He's not upholding low skill American workers at the expense of college professors and Liberal politicians, he's upholding them at the expense of the rights (and lives) of economic migrants seeking to escape the misery of socialist hell holes. He's not upholding white nationalists at the expense of college professors, he's upholding them at the expense of 99.9% innocent Muslims and Hispanics. And so on and so forth. Whenever he "upholds" a neglected group, he does so by introducing laws that violate other people's rights, and almost never by eliminating laws that violate the rights of the people he's "upholding".
  12. It's hard for a rational observer to accept anything out of Trump's mouth as his honest views, but, to the extent his campaign platform had meaning, he was referring to the time before the Clinton presidency. His (supposed) gripe with American economic policy was mainly the trade agreements that promote a global marketplace. Just like the far left (the likes of Bernie Sanders) he blames the job losses that are an inevitable part of economic change and technological progress on supposedly "unfair trade". He also brought up the post-Reagan over-regulation and taxation, from time to time (and occasionally latched onto Reaganomics, just to placate economic conservatives), but it was mainly anti-globalism rhetoric.
  13. So you think the American government has been exactly the same degree of bad, for every second of its entire existence? You don't see a qualitative difference between let's say the Jefferson administration, the Lincoln administration, the FDR admin, or the Obama admin? No answer to the question which was best?
  14. What do you mean? When was the American federal government at its best? When was government in general at its best? When was American culture at its best? When was the American economy at its best? When was the so called "average American" at their best (although this one is still a pretty vague question, unless you come up with a decent way to define "average American")? When was the nation as a whole at its best? When were living conditions in America at their best? If you're asking "When was the nation as a whole at its best?", then the answer is either "right at the founding", or "late in the 19th century". The founding of the United States was the greatest achievement in North American history, and one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. So that would be the obvious answer. But founding something based on an ideal is one thing, and actually making it work, in a sustained way, is another. I think late in the 19th century, they were able to deal with some very major problems, like the civil war (and the divided political environment leading up to it), rapid (and therefor somewhat chaotic) economic development, and large scale immigration (also a source of instability), without severely compromising on the Founders' ideas of a limited government (that has to abide by rules as it attempts to keep the peace in a divided nation). How hard that is to do is evidenced by the fact that future generations failed to do it, and just allowed the government to ignore most of those pesky rules. If you mean something else, please specify.
  15. Nicky

    Socially competitive subtleties

    The concept of an "alpha" individual has a somewhat limited value in understanding human interactions (because one person doesn't always have a set alpha or beta role, they can play one or the other in different situations). And even where it does have value, alpha status isn't really obtained through conflict, it's obtained by being the best at cooperation. (this is true for other species, as well, btw....the "aggressive alpha" behavior is more often than not over-represented, a mistake usually stemming from people looking at the behavior of captive animals rather than animals in nature). In the scenario you describe, the "alpha" would be the person who makes good things happens for the others (i.e. makes sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time, acts as the "common denominator" everyone is friends with, everyone turns to with problems, the person who makes arrangements for parties or getaways, etc.) He/she is also the one who usually brings new people into the group, or welcomes newcomers brought in by others. When you play this role consistently (with or without hot girls around), everyone will turn to you for it, and you will have no problem being the acting "alpha" among your group of friends, at all times.
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