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About Wyatt70

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  1. I can't listen to Peikoff's speech yet, because I'm working, but I do have some thoughts about this. I would disagree that religious fundamentalism is a greater danger than socialism, for several reasons: 1) The elites in the US are overwhelmingly non-religious or hostile to religion. Numerous surveys over several years indicate that the news media, the entertainment industry and most college faculties are anything but religious. In the Information Age, the influence of these groups is much greater than the influence of religious organizations. 2) Even though many Americans say they believe in God, for the most part they only give lip service to religion. They like the idea that someone or something is watching over them, but they pick and choose which tenets of their chosen religion they follow. For example, the Catholic Church is continually frustrated by the actions of its American followers. Many of them only go to churches or synagogues for holidays and important events like weddings and funerals. Beyond that, most Americans don't give their religion much thought. 3) Most of the conservatives are cowards. They are afraid to stand up for what they believe in. That's why they have been unable to pass much of their agenda. They know welfare is wrong, but they dare not eliminate it. They vowed to shut down the government if President Clinton didn't meet their budget demands, but they quickly caved when the media started criticizing them. We are much, much closer to becoming a socialist state than we are to becoming a theocracy. That's why John Kerry is not an option no matter what I think of Bush. If I don't vote for Bush, I'll either vote for the Libertarian or I won't vote at all.
  2. This not an easy decision by any means, especially since I think this will be one of the most important elections in our nation's history. If John Kerry wins, I think it will be one of the most serious setbacks to capitalists since the election of FDR. I can't justify not voting as long as we have free elections. We may not like the choices presented to us, but at least we have choices. That leaves the question of who to vote for. Obviously, there is no way I could vote for John Kerry. The only candidates I can consider are Bush and the Libertarian candidate. Both choices have their pros and cons. Bush Pros 1) He's willing to fight terrorists and other dangerous regimes 2) He's in favor of free market reforms such as medical savings accounts and privatizing Social Security Bush Cons 1) He expanded Medicare and Medicaid 2) His religion leads him to make bad choices in how he fights the war and bad choices in domestic policies 3) He doesn't seem to know how to fight the propaganda war against the media elites and the liberals 4) Gives lip service to many free market reforms, but caves in on specific policies such as steel tariffs Libertarian Pros 1) The only candidate sworn to eliminate the welfare state in its entirety 2) The only candidate sworn to withdraw from the UN 3) The only candidate sworn to stop the destructive War on Drugs Libertarian Cons 1) No chance of winning 2) Unwilling to fight in Iraq 3) No underlying moral philosophy I'm leaning towards Bush at the moment, because we cannot afford to pull out of Iraq at this point in time.
  3. I'm surprised that no one on this forum is considering the implications of open immigration for fighting terrorism. I tend to side with the conservatives on this issue, if only on their point that we have look carefully at the backgrounds of those who want to come here. Many of the terrorists who attacked the WTC and Pentagon could have been stopped if we had only enforced the immigration laws we have. I fear that many of us on this board assume that everyone who comes to America does so with good intentions, but that is not always the case. How can we structure our immigration laws to protect ourselves from those who would do us harm, while respecting the rights of the majority of immigrants who genuinely want a better life in this country?
  4. You might want to take a look at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org and www.noindoctrination.org. The students strongly disagree. It's great that you know of other Objectivist faculty, but I have a question. Were you open about your support of Objectivism from the beginning of your career or were you discrete about it? Many convervative professors seem to be those nearing retirement or those who successfully hid their values until they received tenure.
  5. "I know that reason and capitalism are making a comeback in academia; but will it be fast enough to avoid the coming crisis?" They are? You could have fooled me. If anything, academia is getting even more socialist/communist. A faculty member who admits to being a capitalist will never get tenure, if he or she gets hired at all, especially in the social sciences. My greatest fear is what will happen as my generation (Generation X) and those that follow us will do as they move in to positions of power in our society. Many of us, especially those likely to seek public office, have been taught that America is wicked and deserving of punishment. Many of us can't debate issues without resorting to insults and threats, and see destruction of property and mayhem as legitimate forms of protest. Also, look at the public reaction to people like Martha Stewart. I never hear any of my friends and coworkers say anything positive about rich people. They're all criminals or corrupt heirs, as far as they're concerned. "Terrorism is threatening our security while the government commits little to national security; It is hardly succeeding in its global war on terror and its war in Iraq, no thanks to the inconsistent, unprincipled, apologetic and appeasing foreign policy of our President (which tragically may be the best we can expect)." I couldn't agree with you more. Most Americans can't even admit to themselves that Iraq and Afghanistan are two different parts of a war between civilizations. Furthermore, who thought up this absurd June 30th deadline to transfer power back to the Iraqis? They're not ready! It took several years before we could transfer power back to the Japanese and Germans after World War II. I try to be optimistic, but it's hard when you look at what is happening today.
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