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DavidV

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  1. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from William O in Greetings from the Founder   
    Although I am no longer active on this forum, I was recently sent a moderation request.   I decided to post this brief introduction to my involvement with the site in case it is of interest to some of the current users.
    I created Objectivism Online in February 2003.  The original vision was much more ambitious but has gradually narrowed in scope and various social media platforms have superseded some of the original features.
    The initial membership came largely from connections I made at the 2003 Objectivist Summer Conference.
    For a number of years, this site was the primary online community for students of Objectivism on the Internet.  
    I have not been active on the site for over 10 years, but it has continued thanks to a succession of administrators:
    RationalEgoistSG - he helped complete the original vision for the site in 2003.
    AshRyan - he organized live events and supported the forum through the rapid growth phase in 2005.
    softwareNerd - he has been the de-facto leader of this forum since 2006.
    JASKN - has been running the site since softwareNerd retired in (2015?)
    I'll close with some other sites that I run on the server which hosts this forum:
    WalletRecovery.info,  my Bitcoin Wallet Recovery business
    Vellum Capital , a cryptocurrency hedge fund (in which I am a partner)
    The Free Capitalist Network, a WordPress blog network with a few dozen (free) blogs.
    RationalMind.net , my own blog, which was active from 2001-2013, until I co-founded Liberty.me , and set up my blog there.
    In addition to these projects, I am the Director of Marketing and Technology for the Foundation for Economic Education, a free market think tank founded in 1946.
    As I'm not currently active on the forum, if you want to contact me, you can find me on Facebook.
    Let me end with a plug for The Objective Standard (I've been helping Craig run the site), and the TOS-Con 2018 conference, where I will be presenting content from my forthcoming book on personal finance.  It's in Richmond, VA August 16–19 2018.
  2. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from Boydstun in Greetings from the Founder   
    Although I am no longer active on this forum, I was recently sent a moderation request.   I decided to post this brief introduction to my involvement with the site in case it is of interest to some of the current users.
    I created Objectivism Online in February 2003.  The original vision was much more ambitious but has gradually narrowed in scope and various social media platforms have superseded some of the original features.
    The initial membership came largely from connections I made at the 2003 Objectivist Summer Conference.
    For a number of years, this site was the primary online community for students of Objectivism on the Internet.  
    I have not been active on the site for over 10 years, but it has continued thanks to a succession of administrators:
    RationalEgoistSG - he helped complete the original vision for the site in 2003.
    AshRyan - he organized live events and supported the forum through the rapid growth phase in 2005.
    softwareNerd - he has been the de-facto leader of this forum since 2006.
    JASKN - has been running the site since softwareNerd retired in (2015?)
    I'll close with some other sites that I run on the server which hosts this forum:
    WalletRecovery.info,  my Bitcoin Wallet Recovery business
    Vellum Capital , a cryptocurrency hedge fund (in which I am a partner)
    The Free Capitalist Network, a WordPress blog network with a few dozen (free) blogs.
    RationalMind.net , my own blog, which was active from 2001-2013, until I co-founded Liberty.me , and set up my blog there.
    In addition to these projects, I am the Director of Marketing and Technology for the Foundation for Economic Education, a free market think tank founded in 1946.
    As I'm not currently active on the forum, if you want to contact me, you can find me on Facebook.
    Let me end with a plug for The Objective Standard (I've been helping Craig run the site), and the TOS-Con 2018 conference, where I will be presenting content from my forthcoming book on personal finance.  It's in Richmond, VA August 16–19 2018.
  3. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from Marzshox in Local Forum Creation Prerequisites   
    I’ve been thinking about the requirements necessary to create local forums, and the oversight that local members will have over that forum. I believe that some prerequisites are necessary to create forums that will be used appropriately.

    Regarding forum creation:

    By default, three local members must request a local forum before it is created. They can either second and third the original poster, or a single requester can name the other two members. There are some exceptions: If you’re from a major urban area (million +) only two member requests are necessary, and only one request is necessary from members with 500+ posts, patron members, or moderators.

    Regarding forum ownership:

    By default, local forums will be treated as part of the rest of the site. However, leaders of local Objectivist groups may request to become local leaders, and become moderators for the forum.
  4. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from softwareNerd in Help me with my investment strategy   
    Let's do that now:
    I split my portfolio into 3 equal parts at start of 2009.
    Gold: 86 to 183, down to 128 : 49% up International securities: 29 to 52, 45 now: 55% up S&P 500: 825 to 2173 : 163% up I would have done better if I had gone 100% S&P 500.  It's fair to say my doomsday predictions were quite wrong (or at least too early).  I did quite a lot better than the markets in 2009 and 2010, but did not sell when gold crashed in 2013+, and slightly trailed the market from 2011 on when foreign markets stalled while the USA boomed.    In conclusion, while I had some good and bad luck, I mostly matched the overall market.  My superior returns were mostly due to luck.  The one smart thing I did was to invest every penny I had when the market was worst, specifically in the assets which suffered the most.   I that again in January 2016 with similar success.   This post and the upcoming one cover the lessons I learned from investing on my own.
  5. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from Nicky in Peak Oil / Oil Reserves   
    The deeper answer is that the human mind is the ultimate resource -- and it's one we'll never run out of, as long as men are free.
  6. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from softwareNerd in Help me with my investment strategy   
    One reason is that if there is a major recession in my field, I could lose my job and face a decline in my standard of living. Investing in unrelated industries lowers my risk.
  7. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from Nicky in Is the Electric Universe theory a better integrated cosmological view?   
    The "electric universe" theory is unscientific nonsense.  I'm closing this topic to discourage real science from being posted here to give it an air of legitimacy.
  8. Like
    DavidV reacted to Reidy in What is ARI's current explicit view on "libertarianism"?   
    Brook's explanation smacks of rationalization.  The Rothbard / Hess brand of libertarianism lost its dominance about forty years ago.  The ARI people wanted to make some strategic alliances and had to explain away their past statements.  This is what they came up with.
  9. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from mdegges in 10 years of Objectivism Online!   
    I am the sole founder, but there are four people without whom this forum absolutely could not have happened. (I will not reveal real names out of respect for their privacy.)

    RationalEgoistSG - he helped complete the original vision for the site in 2003.


    AshRyan - he organized live events and supported the forum through the rapid growth phase in 2005.

    HaloNoble6 - he helped provided content for the main ObjectivismOnline.com site.

    softwareNerd - he has been the de-facto leader of this forum since 2006.

    Also of course none of this would be possible without the admin and moderator team.

    About me:

    I am a technical leader working mainly in software development in Shanghai, China. I was born in Ukraine, then lived all over Texas and in New York City before moving to China in 2011. I got married in 2009 and am expecting my firstborn next week :-)

    My background in Objectivism comes from co-founding the Objectivism Club at Texas A&M University (2000-2004) and participating in the Ayn Rand Institute's OAC (Objectivist Academic Center) 2002-2004. I met some of the leaders of this forum when I was an intern at OCON 2003. In addition to founding Objectivism Online in 2003, I have been the webmaster/technical architect of Mises.org since 2004. I also co-founded the now-defunct Objectivist Club Association.
  10. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from Eiuol in 10 years of Objectivism Online!   
    ObjectivismOnline was created 10 years ago on 03 February 2003. Here is the first post, in which I described my plans for this website.
    In 10 years, we've received 270,156 posts from 8,962 members.
  11. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from Dante in 10 years of Objectivism Online!   
    ObjectivismOnline was created 10 years ago on 03 February 2003. Here is the first post, in which I described my plans for this website.
    In 10 years, we've received 270,156 posts from 8,962 members.
  12. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from FeatherFall in 10 years of Objectivism Online!   
    ObjectivismOnline was created 10 years ago on 03 February 2003. Here is the first post, in which I described my plans for this website.
    In 10 years, we've received 270,156 posts from 8,962 members.
  13. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from Nicky in Reblogged: Us and them   
    Human beings naturally group people into those we identify with and “others.” We understand and empathize with “our” kind of people, but simplify others into stereotyped models. We treat our family, school, city, country, race, sport team, political or sexual identity, or whatever with various degrees of familiarity.
    And then perhaps we travel to another city or country or social circle and meet some people who are different. Perhaps we get to know some of them. And when we return to our old grounds and see someone from the new group we have gotten to know, perhaps we feel a little different and a little less “otherness” about them. Perhaps we repeat this process a few more times. Everyone does this to some extent.
    I think some people always feel a need to categorize other human beings into “us” and “them.” But travel allows some of us to make a generalization about human beings: there is no “us” and “them.” There are only human beings, and we all have dreams and fears and hopes. You can call that awareness empathy — the intellectual and emotional integration of the knowledge that other beings have a consciousness just as you are conscious. Even animals and plants, in their own ways. Maybe for some people this is natural, but I think for the vast majority it is something that has to be learned. This is one of the virtues of travel. Unfortunately, I think many people are never really aware of their own consciousness, so cannot see it in others. They see only the meaningless, superficial traits of physical appearance and cultural trivia.
    I think once you see parts of yourself in others, it changes how you treat people. If you come to learn that you are flawed and believe in and love the good in you nonetheless, you will love it in others. You still see the good and the bad — without expecting the same understanding in return. You will not feel hate or anger because they are different from you. You will celebrate their values just as you celebrate yours and maybe feel some sadness when you see the consequences of bad ideas, but only in the sense of a lost opportunity, not as a wall between you or a fault which you must correct.
    To accept the values of others as inherently justified is to accept other people as ends in themselves, just as your life is an end in itself. Accepting that others are ends in themselves means accepting self-ownership, and this is the key to peaceful, non-violent coexistence.
    To recognize the commonality of life is also a means come to terms with mortality. Your life is important and unique, but it is just one combination of many. That particular combination will never exist again, but many other sets containing the same values and ideas will. The meaning of life is creating an aesthetic and authentic expression of elements, not mere survival.
    Does the idea of universal empathy seem like a utopian dream? It’s an ideal — not a destination, but a direction. But I think it’s a path which contains some truth and practical usefulness.
    Self-understanding is a requirement for other-understanding. We build models of other people’s consciousness by applying our self-image to them. At the same time, we form our own self-image by observing and interacting with other people. It’s necessarily synergistic process. As we come to know others, we discover ourselves. As we discover our own nature, we better understand the actions of others. And if we learn to love ourselves (and I believe that value is a necessary facet of all knowledge), we learn to love others — all others.
    When I speak of universal love, I do not mean an abstract, unconditional, and ignorant kind of love, but of love which comes from understanding and seeing our ideas and values in others. And not just a few values which our conscious mind labels as important, but all values — values as such. Not that thin slice which is a shared background, but everything that makes us — us. We may disagree with ideas on the abstract level but still appreciate the broad base we all share. The taste of our favorite foods, and the hugs of those we love, and the reason we go to work every day, and the hero-worship and the starry nights and taste of the water we drink. To see and to value this in all people on a deep intellectual-emotional level is an essential part of self-understanding.


    Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/LjqPAOTGdMI/
  14. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from SapereAude in Incorporation and Limited Liability   
    Corporations are obviously not people –they are groups of people who share a common purpose. However an individual does not lose his rights by acting on behalf of a group. The purpose of the group is irrelevant - whether a group exists for the purpose of prayer, or political advocacy, or profit does not change the rights of the people involved.

    The attack on “corporate personhood” is an attempt to deny the rights (primarily the freedom of speech) of people working for certain non-politically correct groups – namely groups with the primary purpose of making a profit. This is just a veiled attack on capitalism and property rights.
  15. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from dream_weaver in Reblogged: Bob the Intelligent Designer creates the Universe   
    Bob the Intelligent Designer creates the Universe:
    People who claim that the earth is younger than it is (4.54 ± 0.05 billion years) tend to do so for two reasons: either because they claim the evidence points to it or because it was created recently but made to look as it were old. Considering that all the evidence shows the universe to be 13.75 (± 0.11) billion years, a claim that it is literally millions of times younger requires massive ignorance of obvious observations – such as starlight or canyons cut into bedrock. But let’s consider the other common argument – that the universe was only made to appear young. Perhaps the stars were put in place with the light beams already in progress. That is an interesting philosophical question. What are the implications of an Intelligently Designed universe?
    To avoid taking sectarian sides, let’s call our creator Bob the Universe Builder. How would Bob’s universe-creating activity change the way we look at the world? Let’s consider a few scenarios:
    Some people believe that Bob “got things started” via the Big Bang or some other mysterious event, and then let things run on their own, much as they would in a purely naturalistic universe. In that case, cosmology would certainly be different, but biology could generally be left alone. This view was plausible until recently, when physicists and cosmologists
    for how the Big Bang got started and why the laws of nature are what they are. Suddenly the starting point is not so mysterious as to need a supernatural explanation. What is the creation theorist to do – retreat once again to the next frontier of scientific discovery? Perhaps we can make a more general argument.Whether the universe was created 13 billion or 6 thousand years or yesterday, we can generalize the creationist argument and make some conclusions about it. Suppose we grant that the universe looks as if it evolved purely by natural laws, but in fact some intelligent agent created it more recently. What would that imply?
    Let’s first consider the universe going forward. If the universe is naturalistic from the present onwards (gravity causes rocks to fall, horses don’t become unicorns, etc.), then we can assume that it will remain so in the future. So as far as our understanding of new phenomena around us, the existence of a non-interventionist creator makes no difference. But what about the past? If we assume that all the evidence points to a natural universe (for example the stars look billions of years old, even if they were only put up there yesterday), then it makes no difference whether the universe only looks natural or it really is natural.
    Before he could create the universe, Bob would have to calculate the precise makeup of the universe on his computer (which could be his “brain” – the details are irrelevant) to determine the initial state of his Creation. For example, if he creates the universe after the Triassic period, he will have to figure out where to place all the dinosaur fossils. If he wanted to maintain the pretense of age, he could not place them just anywhere. He would have to carefully arrange sedimentary layers to simulate geological processes.
    The only way to do this consistently would be to simulate the entire history of the observable universe on his computer. There is no way to shortcut the process. So, for example, if a dinosaur fossil is 200 million years old, Bob must calculate its gravitational effect on every atom and subatomic particle in a light cone expanding to 200 million light years over 200 million years. Alternatively, consider the implication for evolution: even if did not happen in “real” reality, to create a plausible explanation for the variety of life on earth and their fossil predecessors, Bob would have to calculate the form of every ancestor by playing out the life of every plant, animal and bacteria in his “virtual” earth to derive their fossils and their present form. Because the present state of any object in the universe is the total of all the interactions of that object with all the other objects in its sphere of influence, and there is no way to know the sum of all these states without calculating all of them sequentially.
    To avoid glaring inconsistencies from being discovered by scientists, Bob would have to calculate the interaction of every entity in the universe with every other entity in its causal sphere to the minutest level of detail. And given the sub-atomic perspective granted by modern science, that detail must be very fine indeed. This would mean that there couldn’t be any observable difference between a simulation of the universe and the real thing. Whether the universe was ever a simulation in someone’s “imagination” or is simulation today makes no observable difference and this has no relevance to our understanding of reality.
    My conclusion from this chain of thought is this: There is no essential difference between “Young Earth” Creationism and the more “respectable” theory of Big Bang Creationism. Neither is there any point speculating about a perfectly simulated universe (aka various theories that the universe exists “in the mind of God”.) The only logical conclusion is to regard the universe as always having been purely naturalistic.


    Original entry: See link at top of this post
  16. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from realityChemist in Space Aliens Are Ignoring Us   
    This is not true. Radio waves fade in strength according to the inverse-square law. They are undedectable before they reach the nearest star. To communicate with our father-flung satellites (Voyager) requires massive antenna arrays that know exactly where to look - and they have not left the solar system. To communicate inter-solar distances would require massive concentrated EM bursts with energy draw on a Kardashev type 1+ scale.
  17. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from th3ranger in Space Aliens Are Ignoring Us   
    This is not true. Radio waves fade in strength according to the inverse-square law. They are undedectable before they reach the nearest star. To communicate with our father-flung satellites (Voyager) requires massive antenna arrays that know exactly where to look - and they have not left the solar system. To communicate inter-solar distances would require massive concentrated EM bursts with energy draw on a Kardashev type 1+ scale.
  18. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from aequalsa in Reblogged: Loving strange food or: how I learned to stop being picky a   
    Loving strange food or: how I learned to stop being picky and love food:


    Like most Americans, I used to hold some self-evident beliefs about food:

    The three dogmas of the food phobiac:


    There are foods I “like” and foods I “dislike” and I ought to stick to the things that I like.
    The better something tastes, the more unhealthy it must be and vice versa. You must choose between a long life of disgusting food or indulge yourself and die early.
    There is a value hierarchy for all the edible parts of any animal. For example, top sirloin is the ideal for beef. There’s a similar value hierarchy for animals themselves. Decisions about which animal and which part of the animal to eat are therefore a simple cost/benefit equation.

    Two things completely changed by attitude on food: getting married, and moving to China.

    The psychology of taste

    Our perception of taste is closely associated with our memories of things such as the taste of past meals, our emotional states, and sensory associations with similar foods. We come to associate foods with sensory reactions based on many factors such as familiarity, the quality of most meals, the people we were with, etc. By dissociating taste as such from negative experiences we can learn to appreciate food for its inherent taste, without emotional baggage. We can learn to prefer the taste of healthy foods by the same process.

    Sensory integration therapy for food phobiacs

    The first step to fixing food phobias is to recognize the problem: it’s not OK to exclude foods because of food sensitivities. All the “most hated” American foods are delicious when prepared properly. Having recognized the problem, here is the program that worked for me:

    The strategy is to gradually introduce foods in different settings, gradually building exposure and positive associations with certain foods. For example, when my wife learned that I hated zucchini, she gradually introduced it into my diet starting with small amounts balanced by other flavors, and growing to having zucchini be the dominate ingredient. Here is what she cooked:





    Stuffed peppers with zucchini and sausage
    Potato and zucchini frittata
    Roasted vegetable meatloaf with zucchini
    Grated zucchini topped with marinara
    Lasagna with zucchini noodles
    Zucchini gratin
    Zucchini latkes
    Zucchini fried in butter with onions
    Parmesan crusted fried zucchini


    The same program was used for eggplant, brussel sprouts, avocados, cabbage, and okra. Once I learned to appreciate food for its taste and texture of foods rather than negative associations and new textures, it was no longer necessary to disguise the ingredients. When I have a negative reaction to something, I isolate the components of the food (source, flavor, smell, texture) and think about which aspect I reacted to. Oftentimes I react to negative memories and associations and not the food itself. Consciously understanding that a negative reaction has no rational basis is often enough to overcome it.


    The importance of ceremony



    The ceremonial aspect of dining is very important when learning to appreciate food. If you merely try to inhale as many calories as quickly as possible, any unusual tastes will be an unpleasant distraction. A proper sit-down meal is required to take the time to really analyze the taste of foods and form new positive sensory-conceptual associations to replace the old negative ones.




    A cosmopolitan attitude to dining



    One of the main differences between the Chinese diet and the Western diet is that the entire animal is considered edible. Whereas Americans stuff everything other than “choice” cuts into burgers, sausages, and McNuggets, the Chinese proudly consume the head, claws, organs, and other miscellaneous parts of animals as delicacies. This is not because they’re poorer – the head and feet are the most expensive parts of the animal. Neither do they restrict themselves to a few “blessed” animals – the entire animal kingdom is on the menu.

    The difference is that of the food elitist versus that of the food connoisseur. The elitist believes that only a narrow socially accepted list of foods is good enough for him. The connoisseur is an explorer, who uses his palate as the universe-expanding sensory organ it was meant to be. The elitist lives within the small dietary-social circle he was born into. The connoisseur traverses the biological and cultural realms.

    The approach I now take to eating new things now is exploratory one. Instead of responding with “like” or “dislike” I try to understand the flavor components and texture of food. I appreciate meals from many perspectives – sensory, anatomical, social, and historical, to fully integrate it with my worldview.




    Note: I have found that adopting a Paleo diet enhances flavor discrimination. For example, a carrot is actually quite sweet and delicious to eat raw, but a typical carb-addict wouldn’t know it.


    None of this is to claim attitude alone will make everything taste good. Meals must be prepared skillfully to taste good. The notion I want to dispel is that taste is either genetic or set by undecipherable psychological factors we cannot affect. Human culture has a rich history of many culinary traditions and we ought to learn to appreciate them without emotional baggage or provincial bias.




    Original entry: See link at top of this post
  19. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from rebelconservative in On Ron Paul and Awlaki   
    The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to make a fundamental and clear statement about the rights of man. The rights are fundamental because all Congressional acts are subservient to them and clear because, unlike the complex legal code, the basic rights were intended to be known by all.


    Having lived through war, the Founders recognized that during war, it is necessary to suspend the normal function of law, as "law" is a concept that is only possible in civil society. But they also recognized the danger of allowing any exception that would lead to the violation of rights. So, they provided strict limits: the President is the Commander in Chief, but he may only act with the consent of Congress, and that consent expires after two years. Furthermore, Congress has the power to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal, which authorizes specific individuals to attack specific groups and bring them to admiralty courts. In both cases, enemies were to be explicitly identified by Congress and enjoyed the protection of the rules of war.

    We may argue about how practical these principles are and how earnestly they were followed from the start, but it is worth considering how grossly they are violated in the so-called "war on terror" going on today:

    There is no actual war: "Terror" is an emotion, not a group of people. Therefore, no actual "war" (which requires clearly identified parties) is possible. This makes a congressional declaration of war impossible.

    There is no enemy: The Constitution provides for Letters of Marque and Reprisal in cases where a war is not possible or desirable. But there is no enemy in the "war on terror." "Al Qaeda" is a quasi-mythical entity which has more existence as an entity in the minds of those who hate/fear and/or admire it than as a physical organization of material command and support. Most of its "followers" are non-violent. Many more advocate violence (not admirable but not an act of war) than practice it. Many of those killed as "terrorists" have only some vague emotional bond with its ideology, others none at all. Certainly there is no physical network in which all such individual can be proven to be involved.

    Killings are extra-judicial: The executive branch has created a new category of enemy: the "unlawful combatant." This person is exempt from both civil protections as well as the rules of war. (By the way, the purpose of so-called "rules of war" is not to protect the enemy, as in any conflict at least one party is by definition willing to violate rights. Their purpose is enable peaceful coexistence possible afterward. By contrast, the historical purpose of disregarding the laws of war is to dehumanize the enemy and thus make post-conflict peaceful coexistence impossible.)

    No one is off limits: in a war, combatants and non-combatants are clearly defined, and non-combatants are off-limits. While this is never perfectly practiced, at least the enemy and the conflict are clearly identified and so are violations can be exposed. But by identifying an emotion as the enemy, no end to the conflict is possible, and no one is off-limits.

    For example, the U.S. government has no problem killing its own citizens without any judicial process for advocating violence outside of the country. That is a crime within U.S. territory, but not an act of war when conducted abroad, so it violates both the legal rights of U.S. citizens and the sovereignty of other nations.

    Most "terrorists" tried in the U.S. since 9/11 were actually recruited and provided with their targets and plots by the FBI. They are not guilty of plotting any attack, as the government did that for them, but of the emotion of hate and/or the desire to spread fear in the public. In fact it is the U.S. government that terrorizes the public by finding peaceful but angry people and training them to be terrorists - and then prosecuting them for the same thing.

    Guilt is tautological: While the "war on terror" is nominally against "terrorism," it is actually defined not in terms of any particular action, but by the potential emotion created in the (hypothetical) victim. The ultimate result is that anyone may be imprisoned or assassinated for the sole reason that something they thing did scared someone. Until there is a fundamental change to human nature, no end is possible for such a conflict.

    Why was Anwar al-Awlaki (and his 16-year old son) killed? Because he is a terrorist. How do we know that? Because he is dead. If he were not guilty, he would not have been assassinated. No legal proof is needed because this is a military decision, and military decisions are outside the realm of civil law. Why is killing unarmed U.S. citizens for their violent rhetoric a military matter? Because we're in a "war on terror" and fear is now an act of war.

    Conclusion:

    The ultimate purpose of making an emotion the enemy is to take the rules of military action (which are properly outside the realm of civil law) out of the limited context of war and allow them to be applied to anyone. Thus is justified endless war, unchecked expansion of the power and size of the state, and a total end round around Constitutional checks on the State's power to violate individual rights.
  20. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from softwareNerd in New Layout   
    You are welcome to provide a better image. It was the best I could find on short notice. I'll post the PSD if you like.
  21. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from bluecherry in Penn & Teller use of Profanity   
    The forum rules prohibite "profane" content, which means "to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt. They do not prohibit profanity. I would futher say "we are not children here," but I do not accept the premise that secrets (or concepts) should be kept hidden from children either.

    So I will say that I believe in effective communitication, whatever that entails. If your communication is full of fallacies, emotional appeals, dishonesty, or irrelevancies, then it doesn't matter how decorous it is. But as we are human beings with different levels of maturity and education and strong emotions, I do not object to appropriate use of profanity. And I think it's silly to self-censor the name of a television show.
  22. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from CapitalistSwine in Campus Media Response: WikiLeaks and the New Face of Nihilism   
    http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=1245
  23. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from themadkat in Is Wikileaks morally right?   
    Many people are uncritically accepting the government's and the media's lies without doing much research. Some facts:

    WikiLeaks is a four year old organization based outside of the U.S.
    Over the last four years, WikiLeaks has published many leaked documents, most of it having nothing to do with the United State government.
    WikiLeaks does not obtain any information, illegally or otherwise. It only publishes information which is provided do it anonymously by third parties.
    U.S. law applies within the United States. The United States is not a global dictatorship (yet.)
    A group of foreign citizens doing something in a foreign country cannot be guilty of treason. Treason is something that applies to U.S. citizens living under United States law.
    Major U.S. newspapers are publishing the same materials which was published by WikiLeaks without any consequences. This is because the U.S. government feels that there will be less of an outrage if it violates the rights of a group of unknowns rather than a major newspaper.
    The Supreme Court has ruled that publishing secret government documents by the media is protected by the first amendment. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers
    There is no evidence of anyone ever being harmed by the leaks. The leaked cables are carefully selected and edited before release.
    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people died and are still dying because the U.S. government lied.
  24. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from 2046 in Is Wikileaks morally right?   
    Many people are uncritically accepting the government's and the media's lies without doing much research. Some facts:

    WikiLeaks is a four year old organization based outside of the U.S.
    Over the last four years, WikiLeaks has published many leaked documents, most of it having nothing to do with the United State government.
    WikiLeaks does not obtain any information, illegally or otherwise. It only publishes information which is provided do it anonymously by third parties.
    U.S. law applies within the United States. The United States is not a global dictatorship (yet.)
    A group of foreign citizens doing something in a foreign country cannot be guilty of treason. Treason is something that applies to U.S. citizens living under United States law.
    Major U.S. newspapers are publishing the same materials which was published by WikiLeaks without any consequences. This is because the U.S. government feels that there will be less of an outrage if it violates the rights of a group of unknowns rather than a major newspaper.
    The Supreme Court has ruled that publishing secret government documents by the media is protected by the first amendment. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers
    There is no evidence of anyone ever being harmed by the leaks. The leaked cables are carefully selected and edited before release.
    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people died and are still dying because the U.S. government lied.
  25. Like
    DavidV got a reaction from CapitalistSwine in Is Wikileaks morally right?   
    Many people are uncritically accepting the government's and the media's lies without doing much research. Some facts:

    WikiLeaks is a four year old organization based outside of the U.S.
    Over the last four years, WikiLeaks has published many leaked documents, most of it having nothing to do with the United State government.
    WikiLeaks does not obtain any information, illegally or otherwise. It only publishes information which is provided do it anonymously by third parties.
    U.S. law applies within the United States. The United States is not a global dictatorship (yet.)
    A group of foreign citizens doing something in a foreign country cannot be guilty of treason. Treason is something that applies to U.S. citizens living under United States law.
    Major U.S. newspapers are publishing the same materials which was published by WikiLeaks without any consequences. This is because the U.S. government feels that there will be less of an outrage if it violates the rights of a group of unknowns rather than a major newspaper.
    The Supreme Court has ruled that publishing secret government documents by the media is protected by the first amendment. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers
    There is no evidence of anyone ever being harmed by the leaks. The leaked cables are carefully selected and edited before release.
    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people died and are still dying because the U.S. government lied.
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