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  1. I think there is more to "man qua man" than people who like to philosophize are willing to dive into. There are certain rational shortcuts and superficial calculus' we like to throw at things like the trolley problem or the definition of a human (recall the story of the throwing of a plucked chicken to ridicule "featherless biped" as the definition of man). IF man WERE cannibals, by nature, by flavor, by urge, by intuition, by evolution, culture, and institution, then what makes a person thrive should probably involve some cannibalism, as well as some virtues for avoiding being supper. BUT our nature is NOT cannibalism. Letting defenceless babies of our own nature, other individuals, other persons, other ends in themselves whose natural life includes parental or adult care, simply die for the want of it... when each and every one of us was provided... had to be provided with it ourselves... offends our very nature. It is not simply emotional... nor outside the realm of rational... it is part of what makes humans what we are. No matter what kinds of rationalizations people bandy about to support dehumanization , or inhuman existence... they imagine we can be anything, but an anything is nothing in particular. We have natures, and the order of nature is in us, we are human, and at the root ARE things like our our innate ability to respond and to care for children. So to be sane, to be healthy, flourishing humans... we are our children's keepers. Parents first, family second, friends and local people, and the rest of us at large if only temporarily, until someone takes over.
    4 points
  2. There are no long term studies on mRNA covid vaccines, none. You are no different than people who place blind faith in institutions. Fear is a mind killer , you are fully boosted , right ?
    2 points
  3. Stephen Boydstun provided the following as an example of the government's attack on the gold standard. “Genuine free banking, as we have noted, exists where entry into the banking business is totally free, where banks are neither subsidized nor controlled, and where at the first sign of failure to redeem in specie, the bank is forced to declare insolvency and close its doors.” Doug, it looks like Murray Rothbard's book The Mystery of Banking is a good resource on this controversy, including the historical record. The book is available online. Pages 197-234 of the book (220-257 in the PDF pagination) look to be exactly the pertinent material, though it is challenging and probably requires some portions earlier in the book to understand it well. (i would suggest starting one page earlier.)
    2 points
  4. In each of the following your friends may have additional questions, so try to be prepared to answer such. "Ayn Rand’s raped-girl-decides-she-likes-it novel, “The Fountainhead.”" "Rand’s hero Roark, in fact, “raged” so much in her novel that he blew up a public housing project with dynamite." It can help in both these cases to provide context from the novel. Also, make the point that the encounter between Roark and Dominique is an unusual encounter between unusual people, not a guide to ordinary relationships. "Only billionaires should rule the world, Trump has suggested. And he tried to put it into place, installing a billionaire advocate of destroying public schools in charge of public schools, a coal lobbyist representing billionaires in charge of the EPA, an billionaire-funded oil lobbyist in charge of our public lands, and a billionaire described by Forbes as a “grifter” in charge of the Commerce Department. Trump’s chief of staff said that putting children in cages and billionaire-owned privatized concentration camps (where seven so far have died) would actually be a public good." No one should rule the world. Such positions should be eliminated, not just filled by someone from a different faction. "Trump’s chief of staff said that putting children in cages and billionaire-owned privatized concentration camps (where seven so far have died) would actually be a public good." Neither "illegal" immigrants nor anyone else should be put in cages or concentration camps. Imprisonment should only be for people convicted of serious crimes, which does not include "illegal" immigration, and should be done in a properly thought-out manner, especially if children are involved. Rand's personal life is not relevant to evaluating her philosophy. If anyone insists on digging into her personal life, we need to sort out actual imperfections from smears. " Rand believed that a government working to help out working-class “looters,” instead of solely looking out for rich capitalist “producers,” " The working class are producers, not looters. The looters are politicians who seize people's wealth. Government should not "help" anyone at anyone else's expense. Its sole proper function is to keep physical coercion out of it, leaving everyone free to produce and trade and to enjoy the fruits thereof. Of course Ayn Rand disagrees with the traditional Judaeo-Christian ethic of self-sacrifice, for reasons which she has explained. It might be helpful to explain about metaethics here, for those people that are willing to listen. "Ironically, when she was finally beginning to be taken seriously, Ayn Rand became ill with lung cancer and went on Social Security and Medicare to make it through her last days. She died a “looter” in 1982," Government takes a lot more from us in direct and indirect taxes and reduced economic efficiency than it ever gives back. Anyone who leads a basically productive life and does not vote or advocate for government handouts is entitled to take whatever government is willing to give back to them. Ayn Rand first explained this in "The Question of Scholarships", written long before she got cancer. "over a million dead Americans from Covid" I don't think Ayn Rand would be a vaccine denier or a vaccine skeptic. Lockdowns kill people too. "an epidemic of homelessness, and the collapse of this nation’s working class." This is the result of mixed-economy statism, certainly not of laissez-faire capitalism, which we haven't even approximated for a long time. (Here you may have to persuade people that this is a well-thought=out position, even if they still don't agree.) "the Republican Great Depression" (If people want to argue with the following, you may have to research it.) The gold standard provided a natural discipline which prevented monetary and financial matters from getting too far out of balance. The government sabotaged the gold standard and moved further and further away from it, giving more and more control to the Federal Reserve. In the buildup to the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve loosened money and banking up too much, creating a speculative bubble which had to burst sooner or later, creating a massive dislocation. The specific trigger that burst it was a combination of crop failure and financial panic. Then Herbert Hoover intervened in ways that may have been well-intentioned, but made things worse. He propped up wages and prices, pricing people, goods, and services out of the market. He signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff act, which restricted trade when it needed to be opened up, and provoked retaliatory restrictions from other countries. If Hoover had been a do-nothing President as some people say, the Depression would not have lasted as long or been as bad. "pitting Americans against each other, and literally killing people every day." It is mixed-economy statism that does this, not laissez-faire capitalism. Mixed-economy statism pits people against each other in pressure-group warfare and impairs the functioning of the economy. "get billionaires and their money out of politics" The way to do this is to get away from mixed-economy statism and the resulting pressure-group warfare, and establish laissez-faire capitalism. (Sorry, I can't get rid of the bolding here.)
    2 points
  5. No, I have never denounced Tony. Where do you get this?
    2 points
  6. Whenever the fetus has become capable of sustained survival outside the womb with or without artificial support, it is a living being worthy of adult protections and support (far beyond such worthiness of one's dog, for example). And adults willing to step up and provide that protection and support should have a right against interference with their project by other adults. As to when an infant or child becomes a person, that is a gradual process. We usually and correctly think of individual rights as belonging to (obtaining between) autonomous human persons and sourced in such personhood. In abortion rights and child rights, the question all along the way is not about rights of the little one not yet autonomous, but about rights of various adults concerning protection and support of the particular little one at all stages of development. Persons not the mother don't have a proper right to control the pregnancy until the fetus is capable of sustained life outside the womb with or without artificial support. It is only then that support-projects by persons not the mother can get underway without impressing the mother into service of their project. In other words, when does the fetus/infant become a person has always been a faulty and distracting way of looking at the rights that are actually in play over Law concerning abortion. Rights between various adults are the whole story.
    2 points
  7. Boydstun

    Guns in America

    "While the shooter, 20-year-old Douglas Sapirman, fired 24 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle, Dicken did not hesitate to use the Glock handgun he was legally carrying. Sapirman was "neutralized" within two minutes, police said." Hero Within that CNN story in the link, is a story of a shooting in Colorado in which police arrived, mistook the private rescuer for shooter and fatally shot him. A thing like that happened in the small country town where my Mom lived her whole life, in southern Oklahoma near the Red River. There had been an armed robbery of the bank going on, a local man wrestled the gun away from the robber and was holding it on the robber when the police arrived from a neighboring, larger town. The police shot the good guy, but fortunately, in this case, it was only a wounded arm, and he lived.
    2 points
  8. necrovore

    Guns in America

    My "conspiracy theory" is that people wrote books hundreds or in some cases thousands of years ago, and then died of old age, but many people today are still following those books, and their actions come out to be coordinated even if they do not communicate with each other at all, because they are following the same books. That may not be true for much longer. The environmentalists are now banning nitrogen fertilizer in places. If this becomes widespread, billions of people will starve, and I think the environmentalists would welcome that as "less of a load on the Earth." (Of course Peikoff quoted one of them as saying "we can only hope that the right virus comes along," and along comes COVID-19...) The selfishness of self-defense is a virtue. (I use "selfishness" here in the Ayn Rand sense, which could be described with redundancy as "selfishness without victims.") There is something in Atlas Shrugged (probably from Ragnar Danneskjold) about the killed attacker achieving the only destruction he has any right to achieve -- his own. And I suppose it's okay to regard it as a sad thing if someone commits suicide, perhaps more so if they do it at your hands, as it were... Technically the Left is correct that they are "more Christian than the Christians," in the sense that they are more consistent about self-sacrifice than the Republicans. The Republicans support both freedom and Christianity, even though consistency would make it an either-or choice. A lot of Republicans are too anti-conceptual to see the contradictions, and they don't want to see them. (They sometimes argue that such inconsistencies prove that reason is inadequate by itself and that religion is necessary, but this argument is circular, because it is religion that creates the inconsistencies in the first place.) In the past I have interacted with atheist groups, but was disappointed that they wanted to be "Good without God" which suggests that if you take God out of the Bible you can get something good. Thomas Jefferson also tried that, writing his own Bible with the miracles edited out, or so I've read. But if you secularize Christianity and make it more consistent, you get Communism, as Ayn Rand observed. Thomas Paine ended up a Communist, if I remember correctly... (I don't recall the chronology around this.) Ayn Rand was right to call selfishness (as she defined it) a virtue. American intellectuals have been unwilling to embrace what she said (or even read it I think), but what is left of the originally American sense of life seems to understand it perfectly (without reading Rand or knowing that she provides a logical basis for it). It is this sense of life that the Left seeks to destroy, and they are trying to use Christianity as a tool with which to do it. I hope this is not successful; I would hope it undermines support for Christianity instead, but far too many people would rather give up consistency.
    2 points
  9. Don't have sex with strangers. Link sex and romance by reserving sex for romantically significant others. Use contraception with planning and conscientiousness. Don't rely on abortion as contraception. These points are what pass for common sense among normal people.
    2 points
  10. Here is another to complement the Barber: Korngold Violin Concerto
    2 points
  11. The most important response to something like this is to explain, as fully as necessary, what Ayn Rand's philosophy really is. It would take a long time to refute every error in this rant, and I'm not sure how worthwhile such an effort would be.
    1 point
  12. The manner in which the crimes and corruption of the Biden Crime Family is discussed, is propaganda. Now that's the funniest thing I have seen this year! Thank you for that.
    1 point
  13. "Orderly election process" is the funniest thing I have seen this year. Thank you.
    1 point
  14. I used five examples to show that 'western' , 'main stream media' or 'corporate media' uses propaganda to persuade the public at large to believe their narratives and that the proof is the ridiculous situations that are manifest in the real world. These situations could only come about if enough of the 'public at large' was fed only so much biased distorted information. Biden sold his influence while in office to agents of foreign governments , if not the governments themselves. The 'proof' is in Hunter Biden's personal data that became public. The Biden's have not disputed the authenticity of the data it is prima facie evidence of corruption , it literally could not be more blatant. That information was 'publicly' available prior to November 2019. And yet Biden was elected by the highest popular vote total ever, I think. How did a provably corrupt official garner such popular support? Is Biden a successful demagogue , his soaring rhetoric and personal appeal won over the majority of the voting public ? His political and legislative career was so laudable and impressive that his 'track record' made him the obvious choice even in the face of the proof of his corruption?
    1 point
  15. (click on photo) That is a poem I wrote last autumn. I think it is true. All people live under this shadow, which at some level they know. Long ago I came to think one way of looking at people is as walking philosophies. So in getting to know someone it is sensible to ask to oneself What philosophy is here being walked? I don't mean What philosophical heritage is here being walked? but what particular set of philosophical theses are here in this person, especially in their practices. Now I add for myself of each one How are they dealing with the fact of absolute mortality?
    1 point
  16. 1 point
  17. EC

    Theory of Mind

    @dream_weaver Thankfully reality is the final arbiter of truth and not other Objectivists who keep their mind stuck in only one version of Schrödinger's cat box. Even the one's I highly respect 😉
    1 point
  18. Sakkijarvin Polka a cappella (The Swingle Singers) https://youtu.be/q98Y86jfXaY
    1 point
  19. tadmjones

    Follow-Up on 9/11/01

    On a balcony in Kabul visiting his family. It looks like suicide by drone.
    1 point
  20. You been taken to task for linking nothing but RT articles. If you linked other sources as well, or even compared and contrasted RT articles with articles from others, then I wouldn't have said anything. You haven't joined in on the skeptical analysis of RT articles, as you proposed we do. Worse, when we ask what your point is about linking a particular article, you don't really say. Read a bit more carefully, one notable thing that they have done here is take a quote and then chop it up within the same sentence, not as a simple gap like a pause in what somebody said. This is a way to get it to feel like a paraphrase, but it gives just enough room to exaggerate or minimize a phrase by the words the insert in between. "NATO should still “increase force presence in the east” but focus on “defensive” capabilities and re-evaluate activities such as drills “to avoid creating a false impression of preparation for offensive action,” the researchers said." See how the word focus is put just before defensive? We don't have any context for the word defensive, and the word 'but' is in there even though increasing force presence is not necessarily offensive. It's trying to suggest that NATO is obviously planning an invasion or assault and there's no way it could be defensive. The paragraph here by RT makes you want to believe that increased force presence is the opposite of defensive, and anything that appears defensive is actually an attempt to hide preparation for offensive action which is in the form of increased force presence. I think this kind of quote splitting is always on purpose, it is a pretty good way to notice a subtext. Your first reaction should be to look at the report that it is quoting, did you do that? Here it is: https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PEA1971-1.html This isn't some special attention I'm giving to RT because I hate it, I do this thing with any kind of article I read about world events. Democracy Now is not so bad as an information source for this conflict, or at least because it isn't one of the actual participants in the conflict.
    1 point
  21. How you answer a question probably has to depend to some extent on just what the question is, making it more difficult to give advice. You may wish to consider focusing less on the FDA's motives and more on the basic principles that say the FDA, and government in general, shouldn't have this kind of power. I might be tempted to say that with government agencies, resistance is futile, with the last three words delivered in a Borg tone. (If you don't know what that is, ask a Star Trek fan.)
    1 point
  22. I didn't say it's not, I'm responding to the weird notion that RT is relatively reliable and enough so that it is by far your preference for any new source. So, what, you're telling us to look at this propaganda just to bring us awareness of the different kinds of propaganda there are? Yeah, that's what we are saying: RT is a propaganda machine. Yet part of your disagreement is that RT isn't really that bad and it tells the blunt truth! If I start to tell you about how they don't tell the truth in any transparent way, you will then start telling me about how everyone is doing propaganda, and RT is no different. You are worried that people might read your opinion and agree with you without analyzing what you wrote? But you did the exact opposite just above with the video you linked! Different sources have different standards, for different topics even. I'm not too concerned about what RT has to say about new movies, or what it says about fashion. The fact that you don't see it as objective to judge the standards and motivations of a media outlet, makes me wonder if you believe that the standards one has with the truth has nothing to do with what a person claims the truth is. Like with epistemology, proper thinking standards lend themselves to truthfulness and reliability, even moral respectability. Indeed, which I guess explains why you have grown a fondness for RT.
    1 point
  23. I'm not talking chattel or slavery or any absolute right to "them" but a particular right to interact in a certain way. Ownership rights ultimately is a definition of the boundaries between people. How would you differentiate you're wife from the neighbor's? Basically isn't there a message "don't cross this line regarding my wife"? It's unwritten but isn't it there? Ownership of anything indicates an exclusive way of relating to it, that others don't have and shouldn't have. I would argue this type of exclusive relationship between you and to your body exists that should not be violated by others. That is true of a mother of an unborn too.
    1 point
  24. Just some information from the latest issue of SCIENCE NEWS (30 July 2022): The "fetal heartbeat" heard at around six weeks of pregnancy are not caused by the opening and closing of heart valves moving blood through heart chambers. The heart's chambers have not yet developed at that time. The ultrasound machine is creating the heartbeat-like sounds upon detection of fluttering of the heart-tube tissue, which is due to electrical activity in that tissue. So the ultrasound is detecting something new in the development that concerns tissue that is on the way to becoming a heart, but not the onset of a beating heart.
    1 point
  25. One of the problems that makes the issue extra difficult is that both in Objectivism and in Libertarianism, the role and place of children is not well defined. The other issue that you are making a case for "compassion" which on one hand is a behavioral but also an emotional response. If we go the evolutionary route, we have some monkey traits in us. The natural love of children is one of them. I have seen Christian apologists argue against atheists by saying "If there was no Christian morality, you would eat your children". And yet we don't … and we won't. Because, I would agree, it is not our nature. But why is it not our nature? The answer must be related to evolution. That answer is a "species" survival argument. Most here don't seem to want to follow that line of thinking and emphasize it, but it all seems to fall into that area. We are not ALL cannibals all of the time, because won't survive. We are not all sociopaths because societies can't form in the first place because of the anti social behaviors. So we have a nature that promotes our species to survive. That desire may be inherent like the desire to eat, and the desire to have sex most likely is part of that. But that is simply motivation, i.e. we are motivated to do that by nature. If survival of the species is objectively a human value, then we should take care of children and other humans, every chance we get. Boydstun brought up that Branden had said something positive about preserving one's species. I don't see it as being used as a core argument, while justifying sacrifice for a child may hinge on it. Furthermore, I would put forth the idea that emotions do count in ways that we may not allow (as Objectivists). As in, there is more to do around the question of "where do emotions in fact fit in" within the thought process. Not that we can feel our way to the truth, but our feelings must have a say in the final conclusion of the next steps we will take in our lives. So the current argument is something like: it would be disgusting, heinous, to willingly/on purpose, abandon/walk away from a helpless child. That is not natural. Fine. But if you see many children being abandoned do you have the right to force someone to take care of them is still the question. Even acknowledging our natural tendencies we don't have that right. Children don't have that positive right, just as adults don't have it. But they do have the negative right, as in, that of not being harmed by force. Love should not be legislated, as to make it duty. Love is a natural response and what is loved is in the eyes of the beholder. At the core of liberty is to not love, or to not respond as if you love someone. Meaning there is a right to indifference. It's just not mentioned very often.
    1 point
  26. Is a straw man hypothetical... like asking what a moral society for psychopaths or cannibals should look like.
    1 point
  27. I see, so it is the law of the land. Meaning, currently, the mother does not have complete control after the viability stage.
    1 point
  28. What exactly is your point with these links - clearly and succinctly ?
    1 point
  29. Right, about as socialist as they come. Which means do not read - ever! You might never recover. Something I've tried to get across, the cover doesn't represent the contents. I advise, read and consider a range of journalists' broader knowledge and deeper understanding in isolation from where you find it, and "who" they are. Within the context of this war and about the actors involved, as these do, at minimum: they are not espousing "socialism" here, but offer a contrarian view based on facts and evidence. Facts and evidence which one can learn from (and triple-check).
    1 point
  30. https://mronline.org/2022/04/19/one-less-traitor/ https://mronline.org/2022/07/22/how-corrupt-is-ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelensky/ https://mronline.org/2022/07/20/russias-campaign-in-ukraine-nearing-an-inflection-point/
    1 point
  31. That would be "physically speaking", rather than "philosophically speaking". Viability is purely a physical condition. That there are parties willing to support the viable fetus does not confer the status "viable". It is rather: passing the point of viability, others can take on the project of support without requiring continued pregnancy of the mother. To your question, ET: Yes, just as the volunteered custodian (or the agencies for such possible custodians) has rights in the matter of other people's children in the community. Their right is not over the body of the pregnant woman, but over a part of her body coincident with the whole. Specifically, it is a right over what anyone, including the mother, can do with that entity once it is assessed as viable. A right against the killing of the viable fetus, delivered infant, or young child is not a right those developing little characters hold against all the adults in the community, rather, it is the right of adults in the community against anyone killing those living entities. Admittedly, the right stems from the specialness of the project of making progeny of the human species. (The community would not have a right against our family killing at birth an undesired litter of pups from our dog.) (This way of looking at the abortion issue I have advocated [since first formulating it in 1984] was built around Rand's idea of what a right is, which partly but importantly included the point that rights are coordinating principles under which each person is left, vis-a-vis others, to their autonomous self-activity. Keeping moral obligations to others tied to potentials or actualities of the others making their own life, composed of certain sorts of projects, is also consonant with Rand's ethics. However, if one lets that idea of Rand's I mentioned above, near the end of her essay "Causality versus Duty" that the only rational obligations between people are those by promise, agreement, and contract, run everywhere; then one cannot go the way I have gone on this. With my outlook, of course, contract cannot be the only way under which governments can be legitimate. I'd like to mention, however, that while I have described all this as "my outlook", that cannot be a fully correct ascription. I have my own metaphysics now, and because of a couple of differences in its most basic part with Rand's in its most basic part, it seems likely that if I were to develop a value theory and ethical theory [partly] upon that new base it would differ from what can be drafted from Rand's.)
    1 point
  32. Those conflicting sources are rife. In almost all the mainstream media you get to see, I can be certain. Is it too difficult to entertain other conflicting sources? Something you don't admit to, that there exists, and has for a long while, an indoctrinating and largely Leftist, western reportage - which is for its adherents, generally accepted as Gospel. Sure, no one likes to acknowledge that their minds have been easily influenced. You don't approve of (Russian) government sources - despite many international broadcasters being Gvt. owned - fine and good; it should be simple for you to counter and contrast an (e.g.) Russia Today's report with some from western media. Why haven't you? Instead of negatively hiding behind "prove it" - be proactive, offer some contrary accounts (and definite opinions). I welcome any. I have seen nothing from you showing and linking to ¬msm¬ reports - perhaps too - critically questioning their factual evidence and clear bias. The belief that one side in this conflict alone is evidently, factually honest and the other side deceives all the time, aligns with the a priori belief that moral purity exists on one side - with only evil on the other. Both run against reality and reason, premised upon 'revealed' knowledge - faith. In all, I have simply been the messenger, indicating that there are other facts (or 'non-facts') and other viewpoints available "out there", ones suppressed in the West, not heard of. These ought to be welcomed by rigorous thinkers. Discussions and speeches I put up have not attracted any analysis or debate here. E.g. What merit are Mearsheimer's opinions of NATO and the Russian objections? Not a reply. In closing, I am under no obligation to "prove" anything that comes from media sources. Because - I was not there on the spot, to personally witness events. As nobody here is, therefore we have to painstakingly draw deductions from ¬all¬ we hear. But I take the view that Objectivists are independent thinkers who aren't timid about uncovering reality without fear or favor.
    1 point
  33. d_w, the best place for this discussion IS because this is an Objectivist forum. This war and its global response demands objectivity, from many more outspoken individuals. Not that it is "essential to Objectivism", but that Objectivism is essential and fundamental to (identifying, explaining, judging, resolving) it. In short: O'ism's applicability. None other, and I've read and heard many erudite intellectuals on this war, has the unified principles and methodology. (I appreciate that opinions can be freely thrashed out here whereas, in other places one might be deplatformed and the site banned for daring to question the controlled, moral agenda). "'Tis not unreasonable to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger". David Hume This anti-philosophy is what mankind has absorbed and we are up against.
    1 point
  34. In other words you believe that Amnesty International is being bribed in some way to keep their mouth shut about any persecution or genocide? Is that your claim? If so, can you prove that?
    1 point
  35. Another quibbler. This link was in a reply to the "murdering" of Easterners. For many, it is not the veracity of facts that matters, it's the dislike of facts.
    1 point
  36. OMG, are you making fun of me? I asked you what did Stoltenberg exactly say. And you give me an article from... Russia Today (an a priory dubious publication, as it is by a governmental agency of one of the parties in conflict) with, supposedly, a quote from him, but also with a lot of many other irrelevant claims - I didn't even read. As if RT the only place it can be found! Couldn't you give me just the quote? Or you believe that if you refer me to RT, I would be more convinced of its authenticity?😁😁 I don't dispute the quote you gave: it happens😁 to be correct. Here it is, for reference: It is taken from where you should have quoted it, from the NATO site (see here). Instead, you took it from RT, together with the lying title "NATO's chief lets the cat out of the bag: US-led bloc has ‘been preparing since 2014’ for proxy conflict with Russia" plus other comments... Now, you implied that NATO had a plan to perpetrate provocations to induce Putin to invade. Two questions: a). How did you infer, from that quote, that NATO had a plan etc.? (b). Otherwise, on what other basis do you arrive at that conclusion?
    1 point
  37. Man, you gotta do your own digging and putting the pieces together. If you can source facts and form conclusions conflicting with my findings so far, I will be glad to hear and debate. I suggest stay with what's crucial and important. You already made one wrongful accusation, which I verified from Wiki concerning Putin's presence at Minsk . I can't be bothered to validate every trivial detail.
    1 point
  38. The authoritarianism by every western leader in response to the conflict, acting in dictatorial unison, without their citizens' informed consent or mandate while at their final cost, has been breathtaking. Yes. But explains the absolute necessity of the "propaganda machine" to keep an unprotesting public on board.
    1 point
  39. The Western propaganda machine that succeeded from the start and has been favoring one direction 99:1, has convinced nearly all people. Objectivists too, I am sorry to see. I don't expect them to run with the "me too" herd. Unheard, anything else, since RT was banned and very little from other media conflicts the mainstream narrative. The "other side" is publicized everywhere and I don't need to repeat it. 1. RT produces mainly simple stories putting forward facts and statements, not always favorable to Russia, that you can verify elswhere. 2. The discussion above is of opinions by three Americans, experts in their fields, one ex-Pentagon, hardly "Putinists" - did you notice? I think the arguments have objective merit. They would not get any airing on MSM. Try considering the words and ideas independently without prejudice. Break down their arguments and facts, if you can. Or reject anything from RT out of hand, with prejudiced evasion. This tiny amount published against a deluge of western indoctrination, and which upsets your fixed mindset, exposes what I've known: that finding the truth behind and rational solutions to the war is unimportant to many - not disturbing anyone's pre-existing bias and "moral feelings" is. You also similarly "judge the book by the cover", simple laziness.
    1 point
  40. Beware of axe handles. Anyone here approve of this behavior? Alas, it may well be that I'm the only one here with an axe, and I certainly do not approve of the attack on Jan. 6! Nor any of you guys making slight such behavior! Keep on with the the lol's, models of stupidity in more ways than one. Speaking of stupidity, you defenders here of the woe-is-me, poor-'lil-white-guy set, always rationalizing rioters you sympathize with by switching the topic to violence that was perpetrated in association with BLM public assemblies should notice that if a patrolman stops me for speeding, it is no defense to cry "but everyone was speeding." Break the law, get caught, pay penalty.
    1 point
  41. One officer died of a stroke that was a result of a pre-existing condition, he was the officer who lain in state at the Rotunda , what bullshit that was. And several others committed suicide , there may have been a cardiac event or two. It is more than a stretch to say these deaths are/were the result of violence on the part of attackers, it's propaganda/gaslighting bullshit .
    1 point
  42. No law enforcement officers were killed , one woman protester was shot to death by law enforcement , and one woman was trampled and died , most likely, as the result of not being given proper medical treatment at the scene. Where do you get the idea that law enforcement officers were killed , it is patently untrue , how do you come by this impression ?
    1 point
  43. So quickly a discussion of politics loses all sense of principle. Getting it wrong on either end violates rights of one or more humans, and the most important rights. Getting it right for those persons is more important than any amount of personal political posturing of any kind.
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  44. oh no now the Texas GOP is duped https://www.theepochtimes.com/texas-gop-passes-resolution-declaring-biden-not-legitimately-elected_4543841.html?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=whatfinger
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  45. Tony, when you said "here", did you mean specifically South Africa? Or are the news sources there pretty much the same as in Europe? We stopped watching TV for news a couple of years ago. The flow of information in talking is much slower than in reading. In the US, you never have to listen to a President giving an address or news conference; you can just look up the text later at Whitehouse.gov. I've never relied on social media (cauldrons for relished vicious big lies between its participants every day) for news. It is easy to discern biases in media, from the newspapers of past decades and centuries to CNN today. The prejudice of CNN television favoring H. Clintion leading up to the 2016 election was pretty darn obvious. In recent years, I read online news at BBC, CNN, and NYT. That last is by subscription; I had originally subscribed to get access to their digital archive of NYT in previous years, and that has proven very good for me: from the 1961 exchange between Sidney Hook and Nathaniel Branden over Rand's philosophy, to the 1957-58 coverage of the Asian Flu pandemic, to the public-intellectual responses concerning influences of German philosophy on German aggression in WWI. I wouldn't be surprised but what somewhere someone has opined, even hollered, that Germany was not the aggressor in WWI. I'm gonna go with the usual reports and textbooks that nail Germany as the agressor (and the loser), whatever its motivations and however prejudiced the anglophile element in America that eventually got America into the war on the side against Germany. The US was the agressor in Iraq (2003). Sadaam was the aggressor in Kuwait (1990). Russia was the aggressor in the Ukraine (2022). Has any of your sifting of news sources refuted any of that? Motives do not change who is the aggressor; aggression is not turned from wrong to right nor mitigated one iota by sympathetic motives such as benevolence or self-protection against possible future aggressions. I do think it is self-injury to approach all individuals and all media outlets with priority on building a circumstantial ad hominem case (that variety of informal-logic invalid case) against whatever they are reporting or arguing. That is, going around cooking up stories, top priority, of "Well of course so-and-so would say such-and-such given the circumstances of their life." And of course, I think it is self-deluding to pass off every view contrary one's own as being the result of biased media or education. You are probably familiar with that sort of distorting lens among Marxists, in which they would discount views opposing theirs as being the result of the economic class of their opponent. Self-blinding. Two things I've sifted from this war is that Putin has in the West an abundance of apologists for his aggression, and US Defense has a lot of information on Russian military manuevers and vulnerabilities, such as US ability to track Russian generals and US knowledge of a design weakness in Russian tanks. Think it through three times, Mr. Putin, before going nuclear.
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  46. “In granting this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court takes us all the way back to the heart of the matter, to whether a state can skip all the rigmarole and just impose a flat-out ban on some—or all—abortions before fetal viability. “Do I think the court will use this case to permit states to ban abortion entirely? No, not directly and not soon; there’s no need for the new majority, handpicked for that very purpose, to go that far this fast. The question the court has agreed to answer, as framed by the state’s petition, “Whether all previability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional,” suggests but doesn’t require an all-or-nothing response. “[Presently] what a state can’t do at the end of the day is actually prevent a woman with the resources and will to get to one of the diminishing number of private providers . . . from terminating her pregnancy. “Once the viability firewall is breached, it’s hard to see what limiting principle the new majority might invoke even if so inclined. . . . “Limiting principles usually matter a great deal at the Supreme Court, and it’s common during oral argument for justices to demand that lawyers articulate one. The justices need to know: ‘If we buy what you’re trying to sell us, exactly what are we buying? What’s the next case in line after yours?’” —Linda Greenhouse—20 May 2021, NYT I expect readers here know what’s in the long and growing line from state governments where appeals to mystical metaphysics of the electorate have seated officials committed to the end of all previability abortions (a fortiori, all abortions) in America. (90% percent of US abortions are performed before the 13th week of gestation; present technology for support of a fetus outside the womb is good for effecting live deliveries at about 22 weeks and on up to full-term.)
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  47. Boydstun

    Atlas Shrugged

    I’ve followed up on the last paragraph of the preceding post. My American Heritage dictionary defines volition as: An act of willing, choosing, or deciding. A conscious choice; decision. The power or capability of choosing; the will. On their surface, one might slide into thinking those definitions come to free will. The debates over free will/determinism/compatibilism, however, are about whether and what sorts of freedom are behind willings, choices, and decisions. So in common usage volition is not equivalent to free will in a full-bodied sense. That is, volition does not mean free volition, but leaves open the controversy of whether and which volitions are free. When one looks in the index of The Virtue of Selfishness or of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand for free will, one is simply directed to see volition. Peikoff speaks of free will in OPAR (55), but clearly volition (meaning free volition) is his preferred term of art in expressing Rand’s theory. He remarks at the end of his discussion (55–72) that Rand’s layout of (free) volition, joining it inalienably to the conceptual power, fits this fundamental sort of freedom smoothly into the natural world and removes it from its modern refuge in constructs supernatural. Because of its common residence in distinctly religious frameworks, one might think it better to shift its name from free will to (free) volition in shifting the thing itself from its religious sanctuary into the light of plain day. Rand and subsequent Objectivists have used the term volition idiosyncratically in taking it to mean always free volition. Some of us, when young, first learned the term volition from writings of Rand and Branden and were not awakened to its meaning in the wider educated culture until we opened the dictionary on the term. This disparity is no great problem, I’d say. Blackwell’s A Companion to Ayn Rand (2016) indexes free will, and under volition the Index simply directs one to free will and to the subsidiary volitional under the entry reason. In his Chapter “A Being of Self-Made Soul,” Onkar Ghate has a subsection titled “Free Will” (107–12) with an endnote 9 in which he states: “Rand uses the terms ‘free will’ and ‘volition’ interchangeably, and I will follow suit.” (I see that incorrect conjugation of the verb to be, first person, simple future, in many scholarly books from some high class presses these days. Still, if you would like to avoid irritating some of the elderly, please use I shall and we shall for simple future tense when writing formally.) Ghate’s presentation is good (107–12), and he relies on and quotes from the Rand and Branden compositions that are included among the Objectivist references on free will that he lists in that endnote 9. Among those references, Rand, Peikoff, and Binswanger, had stuck with volition in preference to free will. Branden had traded expressly in free will all along. The Rand references are to Galt’s Speech and “The Objectivist Ethics,” and the Peikoff is OPAR. The Branden references are four articles in The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist journal. The Binswanger reference is to a 1991 monograph in which he redrafted those Branden contributions and made some additions and cast all in a nicely biocentric way. Branden’s compositions were incorporated into his The Psychology of Self-Esteem – A New Concept of Man’s Psychological Nature (1969). That book indexes volition, and has for free will: see volition. Binswanger’s monograph treatment is incorporated into the “Free Will” chapter of his How We Know – Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation (2014). That book simply indexes free will/volition. (Binswanger’s monograph and book and Peikoff’s OPAR never write the name Branden, but with the Blackwell book, that dark public stamp of personal animosities in major Objectivist scholarly work has been dispelled with honest light.)
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  48. This idea ignores the fact that the intellectual property is not the physical object (although that is the concretization of the idea) but the idea itself. The belief you mention is the result of a concrete-bound mentality that cannot handle abstractions.
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  49. I only have a copy of The Ayn Rand Lexicon but I believe the essay is in CUI. Thinking of it another way: a copyright or a patent or a trademark (intellectual property) is the result of a contract between you and the government in which you say, "I've created this <something that constitutes intellectual property> and I would dearly love to publish it, however, I need some sort of guarantee that I will be ABLE to profit on it before I will do so." The government says, "That's great, and we recognize that intellectual property rights are absolutely necessary for the furtherance of a society, so we will recognize your right to this <something> for <this duration>." No government on earth (or anywhere else) could guarantee those rights FOREVER. It can't be done. And what, precisely, is the nature of a contract where one party claims they will do something that is, in fact, physically impossible? I'd call that fraud. As for the converse, if the government doesn't respect your intellectual property for a duration that you consider tenable: don't engage in the contract. No one FORCES anyone to file a patent, copyright, or trademark. This is one circumstance where the government is acting simply as the guarantor of a contract. However, unless your invention (and I'm going to dismiss copyrights and trademarks because those are so easy to copy it's not even funny) is so revolutionary that you could not reasonably expect someone to figure out how to reproduce it even through reverse engineering you'd quickly discover why the government MUST act as the guarantor in these situations.
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