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The American Flag--is it worth respecting?

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4 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

I haven't seen that one before. It's very good.

After having lived in strange cultures, I do realize that imposing my culture on others is not very effective. If I want to effectively get my things done, then it's just a matter of fact that it's often better done following the other culture.

For context (I apologize if you already know this) John Adams (who eventually was our 2nd President) was meeting with King George III right after the U.S. won independence from England.

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Just now, New Buddha said:

For context (I apologize if you already know this) John Adams (who eventually was our 2nd President) was meeting with King George III right after the U.S. won independence from England.

Thanks. I grasped it after a short while it had to be something like that. I guess it's from a movie. Is it worth watching?

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31 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

Thanks. I grasped it after a short while it had to be something like that. I guess it's from a movie. Is it worth watching?

It was a mini-series on HBO (television).  Very much worth watching.

Adams had been sent from France to Holland to England during the Revolutionary War because he wasn't a very effective diplomat, and the Colonies were trying to gain financial and military support.

I chose it relative to my preceding post because it shows the importance of decorum and manners - especially in difficult situations.  Adams was of Puritan descent, and the Puritans had chopped off the head of one Anglican/Catholic English King (Charles I) and chased another off the throne (Charles I's son, James II).  It must have been a difficult situation, lol.

 

Here he is in the decadent French court.  That's Ben Franklin watching him.

 

Edited by New Buddha

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44 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Nationalism is dangerous when it goes beyond a general benevolent celebration of sharing good values like freedom and individualism.

Unfortunately, through an Orwellian abuse of language and political correctness it's now understood by too many as:

Nationalism = bad vs. Multi-Culturalism = good

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25 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

Unfortunately, through an Orwellian abuse of language and political correctness it's now understood by too many as:

Nationalism = bad vs. Multi-Culturalism = good

It becomes the false dichotomy where we are asked to choose if we want to be the soccer hooligan, violently attacking the other team's fans, or the wishy-washy parents who want both sides to win and every child to be an MVP.

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51 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

It becomes the false dichotomy where we are asked to choose if we want to be the soccer hooligan, violently attacking the other team's fans, or the wishy-washy parents who want both sides to win and every child to be an MVP.

Mult-Culturalism is a vicious circle.

When it's taught in the U.S. (as it was for 8 years under our University Dean in Chief) it amounts to: America is no better than France, England, German, Italy, Greece, etc.

When taught in Germany it's:  Germany is no better than America, France, England, Italy, Greece, etc.

When taught in England it's: England is no better than America, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, etc.

And around-and-around it goes.

Moral and Cultural Relativism.

So the equation then becomes Multi-Culturalism = Globalism.  Which, if you know your late 19th and early 20th Century history, is exactly what International Socialism intended all along.

Rand's epistemology is so important because it's the answer to the extreme form of Nominalism to which language was reduced by the Left =  Concepts have no objective meaning.  Language is just a social construct.  Everything is just a narrative.

Edit:  Does anyone every ask why the Leftist Leaders are so "pro-Islam"- even though I'd be willing to bet 95% of them are Atheists?  It's because if is Islam is admitted to be objectively "bad" (and not just another competing narrative as is claimed) then it would have to be admitted that "something" objectively "good" exists.

Edited by New Buddha

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On 6/17/2017 at 9:31 AM, New Buddha said:

So the equation then becomes Multi-Culturalism = Globalism.  Which, if you know your late 19th and early 20th Century history, is exactly what International Socialism intended all along.

Would you mind explaining what you mean by "globalism", in more concrete terms? As far as I know, the main two causes politicians who are dubbed "globalists" (Clinton, Obama, Tony Blair, Angela Merkel, etc.) have promoted on the international stage are free trade agreements and fewer restrictions on immigration. The far left (Bernie Sanders and the like) is opposed to "globalism" precisely because of that.

There are some global warming related agreements as well, but they tend to be non-binding (which makes them almost irrelevant).

Anything else I left out, that would be considered "globalism"?

Edited by Nicky

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On 6/17/2017 at 9:31 AM, New Buddha said:

Edit:  Does anyone every ask why the Leftist Leaders are so "pro-Islam".

Which leftist leaders are pro-Islam? I know leftist politicians tend to refuse to condemn Islam or blame it for terrorism, but does that make them "pro" Islam? Are they choosing/promoting Islam ahead of other belief systems?

Edited by Nicky

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On 6/17/2017 at 2:31 AM, New Buddha said:

So the equation then becomes Multi-Culturalism = Globalism.  Which, if you know your late 19th and early 20th Century history, is exactly what International Socialism intended all along.

Their international outlook was actually one of the few positives of the commies. In their case, the ideological motivation was not "equality of all cultures" (aka multiculturalism). A lot of philosophers have taken the view that all human beings are essentially the same at their core; that aristocracies and castes and nationalisites as layered on top of that human essence  are "add-ons". You see this in Christianity, and Buddhism. You can even see this in Islam: indeed it is this universalist message (rather than violence) that resulted in Islamic conversion in some parts of the world.

Of course, believers -- religious or communist -- routinely justify violent conversion: from "all humans are equal and our movement is open to all", they sometimes morph into "and they're evil if they do not join our ideology". (Sometimes, even with a generally universalist outlook, an ideology will exclude certain specific groups.)

Multicultural equating of cultures is wrong, and perhaps some people see it as globalist. In fact, it is the opposite of universalism: it breaks people into tribes rather than and tells them they're essentially different, even though their tribe and its ways are just as good as every other.

 

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11 hours ago, Nicky said:

I know leftist politicians tend to refuse to condemn Islam or blame it for terrorism,

This is what I was trying to convey.  I scare-quoted "Pro-Islam", but it would have been clearer if I had said something more along the lines of what you said.

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22 hours ago, New Buddha said:

This is what I was trying to convey.  I scare-quoted "Pro-Islam", but it would have been clearer if I had said something more along the lines of what you said.

Okay, then the answer to your question is easy: it's because American government officials are bound by the First Amendment not to favor or dis-favor any religion over another. Even if they privately have a negative view of Islam, it would be irresponsible of them to share that view in public, because it would create the appearance of religious discrimination every time one of their decisions goes against a Muslim person, group or country/countries.

Case and point: the anti-Muslim views expressed by Donald Trump during the election are being used (so far, successfully, I might add) in Court to challenge some of his administration's actions, especially the temporary ban on travel from several Muslim nations. This is an act  that a President who hadn't expressed a bias against Islam (Obama, for instance) would've probably been able to enact without any serious challenge...precisely because it would've been impossible to prove in Court that Obama is anti-Muslim. Even if, maybe, in private, he has some negative views about parts of Islam.

Religious debates belong in academia and the media, not in politics. Every time a politician opens his mouth on religion, he is threading on thin ice. Not just in the US...everywhere.

Edited by Nicky

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Nicky, A politician who speaks out against suicide-bombing, female genital mutilation and the second-class status of women in much of the Muslim world (and so on) is not violating anyone's Rights as guaranteed under the First Amendment.  We forbid all of the above in the U.S. and this is not a violation of anyone's Rights.

The Left is for "Pluralism" and "Mulit-Culturalism".  This is amorality .  And their views have nothing to do with a deep and abiding respect for the U.S. Constitution and the ideas of our Founding Fathers.

To them, truth and falsehood, right and wrong are competing narratives.  This follows from the ideas of philosophers such as Derrida, Feyerabend, Kuhn, Chomsky, etc. who themselves arose to prominence after the collapse of Analytic Philosophy and Logical Positivism.

Believe it or not, this has everything to do with the OP.

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On 6/19/2017 at 4:10 AM, softwareNerd said:

Their international outlook was actually one of the few positives of the commies. In their case, the ideological motivation was not "equality of all cultures" (aka multiculturalism).

This is context-dropping in the extreme.  International Socialism was predicated on Class (Owner vs. Labor) - not the Rights of Individuals as it is (and was) in the U.S.  I know that you know this, so I'm not sure what point you thought you were making.

Nowadays Owner Class vs. Labor Class has morphed on the Left into fractionalized groups with each clamoring to demonstrate that they are the greatest victims of oppression.  Rand saw all of this coming 40 years ago.  We are now living it.  And each group has its own "rights", "historical interpretations", "value systems"etc.  All supposedly equally valid.

Edited by New Buddha

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42 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

The Left is for "Pluralism" and "Mulit-Culturalism".  This is amorality .  And their views have nothing to do with a deep and abiding respect for the U.S. Constitution and the ideas of our Founding Fathers.

Eh not really, more like actual pragmatists. Derrida mostly questioned all things, so not really a multi-culturalist, more so a wildly skeptical person. Chomsky is pretty strong about his opinions on capitalism and is not saying all cultures are equal, plus not a skeptic like Derrida.

What you are thinking of is closer to neo-liberalism, such that cultures are all really equal. It's also why it is the philosophy of a mixed economy. Or at least don't think of "Cultural Marxism" which isn't a real thing. The thinkers to blame are the people who value pragmatism over truth and balance all people as equal. Rawls expresses this clearly in his book. They appear agreeably capitalist, but still not how we think of capitalism.

Also, even radical leftists hate neo-liberals, so "the Left" isn't quite accurate. They're just a form of neocon. 

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Eiuol,

After the collapse of AP & LP with its Verificationism (which was supposed to have been a scientific analysis of language following rules similar that of mathematics), the Left threw their hands up and declared truth and falsehood to be nothing more than social consensus.  You are correct that Chomsky is a little different, and I probably should not have grouped him with the others.

You are being overly generous towards Derrida, but then again I'm sure that he would approve since everything is open to interpretation....

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On 6/13/2017 at 9:04 AM, happiness said:

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? 

As to the last question, I'd say Yes. Patriotism and Nationalism could well be forms of altruism in which individuals are obligated to surrender their rights to the state, so participation in a pseudo-mystical cult of collectivist state worship is not ideal (nor is it conducive to reason). As an individual you are not obligated to conform by putting the flag up at your house. It can be argued that it is individuals who have rights and that freedom is not the gift of the state to the people, so you really owe no debt to the government to be obligated to celebrate its authority by flag waving anyway. it really depends on how you evaluate the importance of the flag as a symbol and political statement.

Edited by Laika

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/opinion/kamala-harris-islamism-senate-hearing.html

Excerpts:

When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.

Sitting before the senators that day were two women of color: Ayaan is from Somalia; Asra is from India. Both of us were born into deeply conservative Muslim families. Ayaan is a survivor of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Asra defied Shariah by having a baby while unmarried. And we have both been threatened with death by jihadists for things we have said and done. Ayaan cannot appear in public without armed guards.

In other words, when we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.

That’s because in the rubric of identity politics, our status as women of color is canceled out by our ideas, which are labeled “conservative” — as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left or right. This not only silences us, it also puts beyond the pale of liberalism a basic concern for human rights and the individual rights of women abused in the name of Islam.

There is a real discomfort among progressives on the left with calling out Islamic extremism. Partly they fear offending members of a “minority” religion and being labeled racist, bigoted or Islamophobic. There is also the idea, which has tremendous strength on the left, that non-Western women don’t need “saving” — and that the suggestion that they do is patronizing at best. After all, the thinking goes, if women in America still earn less than men for equivalent work, who are we to criticize other cultures?

This is extreme moral relativism disguised as cultural sensitivity. And it leads good people to make excuses for the inexcusable. The silence of the Democratic senators is a reflection of contemporary cultural pressures. Call it identity politics, moral relativism or political correctness — it is shortsighted, dangerous and, ultimately, a betrayal of liberal values.

 

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On 6/21/2017 at 0:08 AM, New Buddha said:

Nicky, A politician who speaks out against suicide-bombing, female genital mutilation and the second-class status of women in much of the Muslim world (and so on) is not violating anyone's Rights as guaranteed under the First Amendment. 

Of course not. But every politician I know of, left or right, is on the record as opposed to suicide bombings, genital mutilation and the second-class status of women. Who's refusing to speak out against these things?

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On 6/13/2017 at 11:12 AM, Nicky said:

By the way, most of the people who show their patriotism don't do so because they think their country (whichever country it is) is perfect. They know it's not. But they still see the good in it, and that's what they celebrate by singing the anthem or raising the flag.

Do you see the good in your country? Do you think the US military for instance is a force for good in the world? Or that law enforcement, the court system, etc., does a lot of good? Or do you think it's all bad?

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.  

Edited by happiness

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12 hours ago, happiness said:

The police and especially court system are worse than mixed bags

Are you saying that you'd be better off if they didn't exist?

Quote

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.

"bad" implies a choice. But cops, prosecutors, and even judges, don't get to choose which laws they enforce. Their only choice is between enforcing all laws, or quitting.

Did they make the wrong choice? Would it be better if the laws went unenforced?

Edited by Nicky

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On 6/24/2017 at 8:13 PM, Nicky said:

Are you saying that you'd be better off if they didn't exist?

"bad" implies a choice. But cops, prosecutors, and even judges, don't get to choose which laws they enforce. Their only choice is between enforcing all laws, or quitting.

Did they make the wrong choice? Would it be better if the laws went unenforced?

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. 

Edited by happiness

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2 hours ago, happiness said:

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. 

Are you thinking of some specific example?

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On 6/27/2017 at 0:19 AM, happiness said:

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. 

I wish you'd answer some of my questions. Especially the first one: would you be better off without a government?

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On 6/26/2017 at 5:14 PM, softwareNerd said:

Are you thinking of some specific example?

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. 

Edited by happiness

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