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the tortured one

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the tortured one last won the day on August 22 2011

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  1. Animals

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10318347/ animals is the only word that comes to mind when describing these thugs, but then again, I've never known animals to electrocute and gang rape women, or torture 14 year old boys to death in front of their fathers, so perhaps I am insulting animals by refering to Saddam Hussein and his cronies by such a term. He clearly refuses to accept reality, dismissing any allegations against him as American pandering. His hope is martyrdom, so he is sticking his own neck out. He refuses to see any evidence as valid because he asserts that kind of stuff can be altered and faked. How did his defense attorney react when a witness calls him out on murdering a 14 year old kid? "go to hell" death is to good for them.
  2. Ancient Chinese History Thread

    My understanding is that Roman legionnares marched into battle carrying short spears or javelins, and only drew their swords after they had expended their spears.
  3. Ancient Chinese History Thread

    Actually all legionaries did have a gladius, even in the Republic when they had to pay for it themselves. the point that I was making was that I was making a conjection based on my limited exposure to the field of ancient Chinese military outfitting Legionnares are famous for their gladius, but it was a secondary weapon, as the sword was throughout it's life as an applicable military tool. Same with the Katana, which was a companion weapon to the Samurai's primary arms, the Yari and the longbow, despite the Romanticized cult of the sword that developed during the relatively peaceful Tokugawa Shogunate. Persian proto-philosophy was definatly a throwback to the tribalism of the rest of the world, unlike the egoism of the Greek culture, and it reflected in their prefered style of warfare. However, the Chinese had always been innovators in technology, even in ancient times. Of course Europe eventually eclipsed them when Aristotlean logicism returned during the Renaissance, but the point remains that, when compared to other independently developing civilizations, such as the African tribes and the American empires (the Incans, Mayans, and Aztecs) China was very advanced. How do you reconcile their innovative nature with a philosophy which you assert shares similar properties to Persian philosophy, which existed in the same petrified state as the regional civilizations that preceeded it?
  4. Determinism vs Free Will

    Donnywithana, are you permitting multiple people to participate against you? because your question regarding freewill was interesting to me enough to the point where I did a little research, and I feel that I could contribute to the debate. With your permission of course, because I understand others have expressed interest.
  5. Ancient Chinese History Thread

    interesting. As one who has studied modern and future warfare more than old warfare, I caught the flaws in my thinking. I am a cadet at a military college, and have studied and researched the fighting power of different military units based on environment. Take the 10th mountain division, the Navy SEALs, etc. America's armed forces do extensive research into topography when training, and everyone involved with ground forces, even basic infantryman, can navigate land to an extent. American soldiers, from the division down to the fire-team level, are given a large degree of autonomy, and training in specific terrain plays a large part in this. Further specialized troops recieve extreme wilderness survival training, and some troops train specifically for a certain type of environment. SEALs, for example, are trained to view water not as an obstacle, but a maneuverable type of terrain. Not to mention the War Colleges and the Pentagon, who endlessly wargame every concievable type of warfare should such conflict arise. Says something about America's war philosophy, no? So I would say that the primary factors that determine the choice of troops in the army are not some environmental circumstances, but first and foremost the moral outlook of the soldiers/generals, and secondly the economical corollaries of that outlook. Interesting conclusions, ones I would like to elaborate on. Having focused more on economics in my college education, I am inclined to say the second factor as more important (an army can only function so long as it has the capital to support it.) I'm sure if they had the economic resources, the Persians would have outfitted all of their men in high quality armor, but the economic implications would have been too great to be practical. and as much as I would like to further elaborate on those two factors in western civilization, the thread is titled "Ancient Chinese history" so I will keep it there. You said So it's not the environment that determines the layout of an army, but the way the soldiers view themselves and the nature/purpose of war. The same goes for how the Chinese, and every other people. How does masses conscripted infantry formations correlate with the Chinese philosophy of war, which was based on the writings of Sun Tzu, as explained in other threads in this message board? Admittedly I know little of Chinese style of warfare, from tactics to armaments, hence why I am asking. Having seen pictures and descriptions of the Terra Cotta army, I can conclude that they were moderatly armed and armored, but I realize that's like saying all samurai ran around with their Katanas or all Legionnares with their Gladius. What do you conclude the Chinese war philosophy as being, and how is that integrated in their military organization?
  6. Ancient Chinese History Thread

    what a fascinating thread. I am somewhat of an amateur historian (I research for purely entertainment purposes only) so if you guys don't mind, I'd like to participate. the conjecture between China and Persia raised an eyebrow with me. It is my understanding that Persia was a huge Steppe region, with vast expanses of wilderness. Troops, therefore, needed to be mobile, because such a region would allow for large troop maneuvering. So an army favoring speed would be lightly armed and equipped. My understanding of Chinese topography only comes from research that was centered on studying modern Chinese economics. You have a woodland central and eastern region, jungles in the south (towards the indochinese regions.) Mountains towards Tibet, and Steppes towards Mongolia. So besides the basic idea of raising a large army of cheaply maintained peasant conscripts, where do you correlate any similarities between China and Persia? And I agree with you, Free Capitalist, on the impracticalities of arming an army that numbers in the 100,000s in comparable equipment to the Greek Hoplite or the Roman Legionnare. The economic implications are tremendous. And if anyone knows, how were ancient Chinese militaries led? One of the innovations of Alexander was making his army leadership independent but cohesive, allowing the army to continue functioning without depending entirely on Alexander for leadership, whereas the Persian one was very hierarchical, and any break in the chain caused mass confusion. My understanding is that Alexander knew this, and used it to great effect in his battles. Would the Chinese have been similarly vulnerable to this, or would have Alexander had a more difficult time breaking their backs?
  7. Atlas Shrugged Mentioned On Neal Boortz Today

    I've read it. Bastiat is one of my favorites as well. Not up to AS like a previous poster mentioned, but still good. As far as political books go, it is a light read. Anyone with any degree of sophistication in economics or politics could finish it in one sitting. I can see why he would recommend the book to his audience, it's easy to read, uses plain langauge, and takes a very rational, easy to conceptualize approach to Capitalism; which makes it perfect for a first timer, who's looking for an introductory book to capitalist politics. Boortz happens to be one of my favorite politcal commentators. He takes a very common sense approach to things without getting loopy like certain libertarians. Him, John Stossel, and Larry Eldar are my favorites.
  8. Who Are The True Objectivists?

    Is there a written exam that must be taken in order to become a certified Objectivist? I'm going to throw my hat in with the "what's in a name?" crowd. The only time I really have to call myself an Objectivist is, incidently, when I am in the company of other Objectivists. For everyone else I call it the "philosophy for living on Earth." I am more familiarly known as the atheist, and the Libertarian (from my days of association with the party.) I'll explain it if someone asks, but since it is my own philosophy, I see no reason to wear it on my sleeve.
  9. What is your favorite comedy?

    I'm not a huge TV person, but there are a few things I love. King of the hill is my favorite animated show. Hank is so pure, so upright, so unflinching in his convictions that it can get him in some crazy situations, but he always wins in the end. Though he is a christian, and therefor the morals are based on the christian ethic, the fact that he is portrayed as a virtuous and morally couragous man is inspiring in this day and age where moral relativity reigns supreme. Who wasn't rooting for Hank when he painted "Diminished Glutes" on the side of his lawnmower for the annual lawnmower race? I loved the Kings of Comedy. D.L Hugley, Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac were the stand ups who let it all hang out. I like to see people in the spotlight who have the gall to be confident and proud about who they are. And Bernie Mac's tirade about kids was classic. as far as stand ups go, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Chris Rock go without saying, but I'd like to add someone new to the list: Robin Williams. His stand-up comedy acts are some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen. And finally, something I have just jumped into with both feet foward, is the Dave Chapelle Show. What is it about Dave Chapelle that makes everything he satires hilarious? He is the master at drawing his own jokes out long enough to remind people of all the times they've laughed, but never to the point of overdoing the joke. His satire of Lil' John, Rick James, George Bush, among countless others will have you laughing for hours. Anyone who hasn't seen the show needs to watch it. The fact that people are killing his jokes by overusing them does nothing to belittle the original comedic value of this ingenius show.
  10. Nuclear Fission Improved

    The problem with so called "renewable" energy sources like wind and solar energy is that their economic value is negative. The reason they aren't built is because no one makes money on them. shameless capitalist profiteering, a socialist might say, but there is a reason for that. a Wind turbine or a sheet of solar power costs more in terms of oil energy than it will ever produce in it's lifetime. Our technology just isn't at a point where we can harness that type of energy efficiently. Not to mention that it would take over a thousand acres to power a city the size of Anchorage. I dare not contemplate a city the size of New York or Los Angelas. Nuclear power is our best hope for the future, though don't be looking for it to replace the number 1 energy producer, which is coal. Coal reserves are expected to last far longer than oil reserves. This is wonderful news, if we can discover a type of nuclear energy that doesn't produce toxic waste, it would be a huge blow to the anti-nuclear lobby.
  11. Ten Most Harmful Books Of The 19th And 20th Centuries

    one of the main reasons the Nietzche is compared with Nazis is because after his death much of his work was altered by his nationalist sister to be more in tune with the feelings of the time. to further illustrate this point, Nietzche actually broke all ties with his long time friend Wagner, because Wagner was a raving anti-semite, and Nietzche despised semitism. The Ubermensch theory, much like most of Nietzche, is some of the most misunderstood writing in all literature. He describes three levels of his Will to power: the lowest and most primitive is the "blond beast" which seeks to dominate others. the second tier is the will to dominate one's passions (how many people do you know spend their entire lives in the pursuit of the opposite sex?) the third and highest tier was what he called the Ubermensch, which is the will to become self-actualized. It's far more complex than this, but this pretty much covers the essentials. Objectivism has roots in Nietzche, so my view of Nietzche is slightly more favorable than most. as for most harmful books, I would have placed Hegel at the top, for two reasons. A: because Kant published in the 18th century and B: Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, and modern Collectivism have their philosophical backrounds in Hegel. and for the Record, Adolf Hitler was Catholic, and according to my ethics professor (who spent his youth studying the relationship between the Catholic church and the Nazis) the Catholics were in support of the Nazis. Yes there were instances of brutality against the Catholics, but on a whole Catholic support of Hitler is a dark chapter that most have too soon forgot about.
  12. Favourite Computer Games

    I have been an avid player since I was 5, and my parents got me a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. Before I get into favorites, I had to give it up for the game that single-handedly saved the industry from itself. I currently caught the MMORPG bug, but amazingly, Everquest 2 is my drug of choice, not World of Warcraft. I tried World of Warcraft, and I found myself coming back to EQ2. EQ2 is a more community-centric game, with a greater emphasis on 6-man teams than WoW. And because the community is smaller, it's more tightly knit. I love roleplaying my characters, and whenever I do, I find people will usually jump right in. Wether it's my cocky "daughter of Nietzche" Dark elf shadowknight, or my Objectivist Dark Elf Paladin, where I have been chastized (or complimented, depending on your point of view ) for combining traditional values of nobility with dark elvish selfishness. And yes, I love Dark Elves. Finally, a race of elf that don't act like a complete bunch of sissies. Enviro-commie hippie sissies at that. Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2, I played the heck out of those games, and still play them from time to time. what is it about Star Wars that, despite bad movies and bad philosophy, keep me coming back again and again? probably the emphasis on heroism and adherence to values. I know alot of people prefer KOTOR 1 over 2, but I enjoyed 2 immensly, because it tore down and questioned the traditional Christian altruist morality. What Objectivist didn't get a smile on their face when your mentor chastized you for giving money to a begger? oh yeah, and for everyone who played Knights 2 on the PC, Make sure you follow the restoration project, which is restoring alot of the cut content. http://www.team-gizka.org/ Neverwinter Knights I liked alot, but there was something about the single player campaign that I couldn't put my finger on till I reread "The Art of Fiction." Ayn Rand observed that the 20th century has seen a greater emphasis placed on Characterization rather than plot or theme, and I think Neverwinter Nights illustrates that perfectly. Great Plot, decent theme, poor Characterization. Baldur's Gate 2 goes without saying... great plot, great theme, spectacular Characterization. And while I didn't like Jak and Daxter, I LOVED Jakk 2 and 3. Jakk is a badass who perfectly falls in line with Objectivist ideals. It was like Grand Theft Auto minus the bankrupt philosophy and gratuitous violence. Halo 2 for the Xbox is, IMHO, one of the greatest games ever made. First of all, it's the story of a technological minded, rational Human society vs a fear and ignorance worshipping Alien theocracy. Now that I have your attention, I must point out that even though the story line and single player mode is one of my favorites in a video game ever, the multiplayer mode is insane. I live in a Barracks, and there is nothing like grabbing 10 friends and have everyone play on the LAN. it's so much fun I can't describe it in words.
  13. Oh The Games We Play...

    I considered FFXI. From what I've heard, it is the ultimate grind game. I know this is probably a gross simplification of the game. so I took it with a grain of salt. I know EQ2 had that happen to them as well. In the early months of WoW, people left it by the thousands. Overtime, they slowly trickled back in. Of course, this is not "let's bag Blizzard and WoW" time. They are a brilliant company, who is to be admired for always delivering a superb product. Ever heard of Starcraft: Ghost? They had the completed product, sitting there waiting to be manufactured, and they canned it and started over from stratch, because they wanted to tap the powe of the next-gen console. If that isn't dedication to one's values, I don't know what is.
  14. And The Man Did Science

    ahhh, progress. Everytime I hear about something like this, I can't help but feel invigorated. they cured ulcers! man when I was a kid it seemed like everyone had an ulcer! When I think about how many diseases that were so commonplace as few as 100 years ago, like measles and mumps, which are all but nonexistant now, one can't help but marvel. I extend a hearty bravo to these pioneers.
  15. Oh The Games We Play...

    on a large scale, no it isn't. Usually I only get those kind of delays when my LAN is operating at peak hours. When my outgoing network is busy, then I get the lag. That's not a horrible thing because usually I am studying or occupied otherwise during those hours. But alas, it is a huge computer sink. You really need a rig in order to play it well. But let me tell ya, those graphics will astound you if you happen to own a computer capable of playing it on higher graphics settings. And I have yet to find a character designer on any game as intricate, yet easy to use as EQ2's problem is that it isn't nearly as popular as WoW, so you miss out on some of the social aspects. But then again, more people play EQ2 than they did EQ1, so for me, I'm socializing more than ever
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