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Halsey17

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  1. I'm just wondering about other Objectivist mechanical engineers as far as their industry or research area of choice. I'll soon be graduating and pursuing master's studies in mechanical engineering myself, and at this point my ideal industry is small arms (FN, HK, Colt...etc.). So what are you other MechEs doing? Anyone trying to design super efficient engines like JG in Atlas Shrugged or what? Is anyone doing research instead of industry? Any advice for kids like me?
  2. Halsey17

    Argentina Shrugs

    Yet every time I meet an Argentinian-American they are hardcore democrats all for heavily taxing the upper classes and corporations. They also call the Argentinian government greedy or corrupt but don't put two and two together when they are basically advocating the same government in the US. That's the power of socialism-nobody ever blames the poor for being greedy. No matter how much the Argentinian government gives their poor, the poor will never be outspoken in their gratitude-they'll just want more. Such is the nature of greed by its real definition. p.s. before some fool comes on saying "they're/we're not all like that" take 2 seconds to see that I didn't say "all."
  3. Halsey17

    Morality of Modern Police

    On another thought, RationalBiker, what laws would it take for you to quit the force then? What if a new law went into effect requiring you to round up Americans of Arabian descent into camps similar to Asians in WWII? What if flag burning came with an automatic 5 year sentence? What if a law passed allowing warrantless searches of homes thought to contain semiautomatic weapons after they become illegal? Surely there's a point when you'd just up and quit, but have you asked yourself when that point really is that you give up your 23 year career? edit: More importantly, when do you think your coworkers would quit? How many would stay on if America became a police state? I'll bet a frightening number of them would.
  4. Halsey17

    Morality of Modern Police

    Well, I didn't say to hurl a vile threat but a vile insult. It really gets old correcting people instead of reading legitimate criticism. I want to read criticism (that's why I'm posting) and not seemingly intentional misunderstandings of my posts. I'm also curious about if it was a cop holding that shotgun. So if the voters vote in a law making it legal to herd all of the nations Jews into concentration camps we can't blame the police for executing these actions? Would that be because you should not be Jewish on the street? Regarding the other statements, you are correct in that I'm arguing that in a not insignificant number of police departments joining the force does mean turning a blind eye to corruption. And if you dome some searching you'll see that police are corrupt, falsifying charges, and shooting pregnant women. You see I've been very careful to cite sources containing video, if not just photographic, evidence. I don't think that news companies are manufacturing false video tapes or photographs all that often. Also, when it's tons and tons of news articles reported by many news companies over spans of many years, I'm pretty sure that a significant portion of them are accurate enough. Uttering a single legal, nonthreatening insult at any other person on the street and getting a reaction is entirely different than getting a reaction from a police because you get in a hell of a lot more trouble defending yourself against a police whereas he'll get in none. If Joe the Plumber swings at me for insulting him then he'll get in trouble if I don't fight back, and we'll both get in trouble if I do fight back. If a cop swings at me for insulting him then he will not get in trouble regardless unless he really messes me up badly and gets caught on camera, and if I do fight back I'm going to prison which means he definitely wont get punished. Certainly not all departments behave as I've described, but evidence of the many, many news articles spanning many, many years indicates that enough departments condone unlawful actions to make it a problem. "In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit" Ayn Rand I'm not sure exactly. Helping to figure that out is part of what I get out of this discussion. I'd probably say that it was swallowable before the war on drugs, assault weapons ban, and Patriot Act. It's not that I'm not some gun-toting druggie terrorist. It's just that those laws are a few of the biggest causes of mass violations of individual rights enforced and perpetrated by police. Hmm, I might have to throw the New Deal in there too. Without those I could probably swallow the bad laws and corrupt police a lot more happily. I'm not saying that would be an acceptable compromise-just merely much more swallow-able.
  5. Halsey17

    Faith is Axiomatic

    I read the first few pages but admittedly not all of the thread. As many replies pointed out, the OP repeatedly misused the word 'faith' in ways that lead me to call it if it hasn't been called already. Troll Don't feed the troll
  6. Halsey17

    Morality of Modern Police

    Thanks guys for thoughtful replies. I would contend however that major rights violations are actually far from rare, and the vast majority of "minor" ones go unreported. I grew up in a city reading about police shooting pregnant women, family dogs, and teenagers. When fully 1/5 of prisoners are in on a drug offense (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/prisons.htm) as their most serious crime you cannot say that individual rights violations are rare. Having been a bit of a hellion in my early teens, I've witnessed firsthand police falsifying charges (not against me) and outright lying and using coercion. Incidents like this (http://abcnews.go.com/gma/Story?id=4309643&page=1) barely make mention in the news and would go completely unnoticed if there wasn't video evidence. You can argue that these departures from what is technically legal are rare, but I'd contend that it is only in cases where they make it to a major news outlet with absolutely irrefutable evidence that real punitive action is taken. Do you think the officer in that video had his otherwise innocent colleagues rat on him? Being an officer and not reporting fellow officers for unlawful acts makes you just as guilty, and evidence indicates that that makes most officers guilty. We live in a nation where honest citizens are afraid of the police. Try exercising your free speech by walking up to a cop and hurling him a vile insult. Try doing that as a 20's or younger male in an area without a lot of witnesses, and you'll probably get your ass kicked and arrested. Then in custody try being uncooperative and insulting, and you'll probably get your ass kicked more. The brotherhood of police cover each other for things like alcoholism, theft, falsification of charges, and overt violence. Don't take my word for it-research the vast ocean of news articles about police corruption and brutality that apparently is largely routine and unpunished. You can argue that one can't condemn all police for these unlawful acts, but I'd say that when these actions are considered routine, even encouraged, one can. How often does the news article cite as a source a fellow officer? Never. Our current political system discourages cops from ratting on other cops, and the result is that eventually most are guilty of these unlawful violations on top of the lawful ones. Summing up drug charges, gun charges, alcohol charges, and various others, how many individual rights violations do you think a particular officer commits over the course of 10 years? 1,000? More? Compared to something like requiring teachers to join unions, this is a huge deal. It would take a very prolific career criminal to hold a torch to the amount of violations a typical officer commits. Lastly and most importantly, when do you draw the line? Violations of the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure (http://rawstory.com/news/2008/ACLU_highlights_ConstitutionFree_Zone_100_miles_1022.html) are already solid law (a contradiction I know)-this is a reference to the CheckpointUSA videos too. At what point do you start blaming individual officers for not refusing to uphold wrong laws? Is it when one gropes your wife after a warrantless search? Is it when they declare martial law and institute a nationwide curfew in cities? Is it when we enter a police state and these people who are upholding order and justice are no more than trained thugs? Surely everyone agrees there is a point where enforcing corrupt law and practices isn't acceptable?
  7. Halsey17

    Morality of Modern Police

    For the record I'm not saying we shouldn't have a police force or saying police force is inherently bad. This thread is purely about the current police force in the US and their actions. Also, the police aren't forced to violate rights by the state because they can quit their job at any time. I completely agree that police are absolutely necessary for a society, but in an ideal Objectivist society they wouldn't violate rights because punishing legitimate crimes isn't actually a violation of rights. I also realize that we aren't in an ideal Objectivist society nor are we even close, but police are still absolutely necessary for our current society. What I'm wondering is how it's possible not to condemn individual officers who routinely violate rights in ways that I outlined in my first post. It's not rare at all for someone to be arrested for guns or drugs. These are some of the most common "crimes". Consider further larger events like the People's Park police riots, Ruby Ridge, or the Waco Seige. The individual police officers who gassed and shot at the Branch Davidians for merely possessing weapons and defending their property could have refused and quit their jobs, but they didn't. Do you think any officers in any of those situations did simply refuse to carry out orders? Being as refusing to carry out orders is refusing to do their job, I doubt such refusals are common or anything more than extremely rare.
  8. Halsey17

    Morality of Modern Police

    Hmm, as far as the People's Park riots go, it's my understanding that it didn't begin with any pillaging or looting, and I don't think there was much of that anyway. I believe that it's actually often cited as a police riot. As you'll see in photographic evidence, police were firing lethal shotguns at people on rooftops-people who, though probably trespassing, were unarmed. The incident was followed up by bringing in the national guard, fencing up the park, instituting curfews in the city, and there's even a photo of an army helicopter dropping teargas onto the campus. Given that they were protesting the right to do something on public land makes it sort of unclear morally (public ownership of anything being ridiculous). I'm really not sure what you meant by that last quote, but I'm guessing it's about the riot. Again, I don't think this particular riot had a bunch of looting. This wasn't like the LA riot or something, and downtown Berkeley isn't filled with a bunch of jewelry stores-they'd be pillaging t-shirt stores and cheap restaurants. As far as the alcohol laws go, I was referring to minor in possession laws, distribution laws, and production laws. Of course drinking and driving should be subject to private street rules. I realize that anger should be directed at lawmakers, but police are still voluntarily violating rights. Nobody forces someone to become an officer. I'd really like to see this in a different light, so maybe some useful feedback would be nice. edit: oh, and please don't insult my understanding of fact and history. We don't know each other, but you're probably neither a historian on this subject nor someone who dwarfs me intellectually. Let's try and converse like equals.
  9. Is morality a factor when violating individual rights is part of your job description? Obviously police are a fundamental function of government. However, being an officer today requires one to be willing to violate an individual's rights in countless ways. Regularly officers are required to enforce drug and alcohol laws, firearm laws, and freedom of assembly laws. To cite a few more major things, recent and old, here is a nice site <http://www.peoplespark.org/69gall4.html -bottom of page links to more photos> about the People's Park riot and here is a YouTube site <http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA> about some Homeland Security stuff. If you're a police officer you must accept orders into a situation like the People's Park riot. No law enforcement officials were ever punished for the acts there that had police using 00 buckshot against unarmed and innocent civilians that resulted in one death and multiple injured. Daily unlawful search and seizure is perpetrated by border patrol police miles inside of our borders-police that are just doing their job. Considering these indisputable facts about what police are required to do as part of their job, how can we not condemn them in the most harsh way? Police probably violate more rights in the US than criminals. I'm just wondering if others feel as strongly against them as I do. I'm not suggesting that we don't need police, but I'm saying that surely these people, who voluntarily and knowingly enter into a contract that will have them personally violating the rights of countless individuals to the point of murder, are among the worst human beings in our country.
  10. Halsey17

    I Like Games

    I really love the outdoors too, but unfortunately I live in a place far from any real forest or wilderness. Having grown up spending most of every summer in the woods, I'm always shocked when others can't spot deer trails or poison oak. So, I've actually always wondered how much I really would choose to play games if I lived in the middle of the forest. I'm sure I'd still game often, but it'd probably be significantly less often with a couple of hundred acres around me and a good pair of dogs. On another note, it'd be great if people knew of a more Objectivist oriented game-probably it'd have to be an rpg. I know about the whole Bioshock thing, but that's certainly a mixed message.
  11. Halsey17

    Gulching: Can we create an Atlantis?

    It seems like most posters, at least the ones who stay on topic, think the whole idea of gulching or escaping is to punish society, be a martyr, or some similar form of self sacrifice. Aside from stating facts about population demographics, I didn't attack those who advocate continuing this political and philosophical battle for morals in America. In fact I commended them. So why attack the idea of opting out? Did I miss some tenet in Objectivist philosophy that requires me to push for a better society? I and probably the others who feel similarly desire escape because we're tired of fighting a losing battle and being surrounded by people who think we're nuts. Plus, I've got no close ties in America, and I enjoy the outdoors (not like a yuppie but like a real woodsman). If you're one of many people who couldn't design a log cabin or has a ton of friends and family here, then striking out on your own in a foreign place probably isn't for you, but please then just don't post instead of posting how escaping isn't realistic. I was hoping to get a discussion on how others have achieved this or hope to achieve this. If you want to debate the plausibility of America becoming Objectivist, make a thread for it in the Debate Forum. I was initially going to make that thread, but by now I've had my fill. Thanks a lot.
  12. Halsey17

    Zoot Suit Riots

    But what is your position?
  13. Halsey17

    Gulching: Can we create an Atlantis?

    Ok, I guess gulching is something few people consider let alone pursue. The cost and work required definitely make it prohibitive to many. I agree that scratching together a country is largely a fantasy, but the ideas I mentioned would work for an individual up to maybe a dozen or two people. For most peolpe who were raised in the city and have never chopped wood or been anywhere without bathrooms, gulching is probably a fantasy. However, there was a time when your average fellow (like my dad) could hunt, fish, fix cars, build houses, and figure stuff out. Being a year away from a degree in mechanical engineering (Go Bears), I can say building and fixing things on your own isn't impossible. If you do consider living remotely, a pilots license and small 3-seat plane suddenly makes the world a lot smaller. Seriously? From an admin? This pointless martyrdom, if you read the thread, is beneficial in that one is free of the ridiculous laws, notions, and opinions of this society. Again, if you read the thread-actually the original post-you'll see that I said gulching is most plausible after you have retired. Also, I don't want this to become a debate about the likelihood of the US becoming Objectivist, but based on the fact that we make up probably less than one one hundredth of one percent (that's about 30,000) of the nation, there is an extremely low probability of the US becoming Objectivists. I really don't think there's a big need to defend gulching being as the word was invented by Rand in Atlas Shrugged and applied in a way almost exactly like we're discussing.
  14. Halsey17

    I Like Games

    I thought of posting this in the psychology forum, but I wasn't sure if it would really head in that direction. I like video games, computer games, board games, ,bar games (pool, foosball, ping pong), and poker. These are the sports that you can do with a cigar and cognac (or whatever you prefer) at hand. To clarify, I like good games and will read reviews and ratings from users and experts before investing my own time and money. Most people hear/read board games and think of Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble and such, but you'd be interested to know that board gaming is far from being so stagnant what with new board games coming out about as frequently as video games (www.boardgamegeek.com). A nice game of War of the Ring which takes 4-5 hours is a great Friday night. The only reason I ever go to bars is to play pool or foosball, and I can happily play for 3 or 4 hours. I've happily spent entire weekends video gaming almost incessantly. I appreciate the competition, mechanics, lore/plot, challenge, and escape that good games provide. A real gamer isn't someone who buys the coolest looking or most advertised Xbox games and plays them constantly. I see a gamer as one who appreciates games as opposed to one who just likes games. So,I'm wondering if anyone else enjoys games to this degree. What do you think constitutes being a gamer? Why does gaming seem like the ultimate in leisure?
  15. Halsey17

    Zoot Suit Riots

    I'm wondering how people feel about whether or not the Zoot Suit Riots were ethical for the government to do. For those who don't know, my picture of said riots is US soldiers during WWII who were posted in LA clash with local gang members. The initial fight was a handful of guys, and one navyman got stabbed. Obviously parts, such as storming private theaters, are unethical. However, what I see is a domestic act of war against the US assuming a pachuco did initiate the original fight. Obviously this is complicated because in a truly Objectivist society gangs wouldn't flourish because citizens would be allowed to defend themselves. So, how should the government have reacted to this? Seemingly the pachucos won the initial fight and got away, so calling the police to arrest them wouldn't have worked. Certainly the mass beating on possibly hundreds of technically innocent young men can't be fully condoned. However it boils my blood to hear of US soldiers fighting against the nazis (find a more just war since our revolution) having to deal with street punks while home on a furlough.
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