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oso last won the day on November 23 2013

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  1. Are Bush, Kerry, Obama, McCain and Romney people you think deserve respect? Politics is a disgusting field full of disgusting people, who pander, lie and steal in order to win votes. Trump isn't turning politics into a gladiatorial field; it already is one. Simply witness the fevered pitch of anti-Trump propaganda being pushed out by every mainstream news outlet. That propaganda machine has always existed and has always been highly influential. By turning politics into a mosh pit of insults and lizard-brain persuasion, Trump is robbing it of it's undeserved prestige and appearance of intellectualism. It's also an effective strategy. Any attempt to use real arguments to influence the American people is just surrendering politics to the hoaxing media and the Obamas and Romneys of the world. In any electoral battle between logic and long-term planning versus propaganda and short-term gratification, the latter will always win. Finally the right is dropping politeness and adopting the tactics of the left. 4chan may be filled with nihilistic trolls, but if we're going to talk about brownshirts, look for the people who are actually committing political violence. Look at the media that focuses on every sucker punch at a Trump rally while ignoring or downplaying even the most sensational violence against Trump supporters. Approximately 92% of illegal immigrants desire citizenship. 71% of immigrants eligible for citizenship have naturalized. So amnesty is likely to automatically give the Democrats 1 million new voters assuming 30% of them vote Republican and 50% don't vote. You've convinced me that amnesty doesn't automatically mean 2020 is in the bag for Democrats. Considering 62% of households headed by an illegal immigrant consume welfare, and the obviously important fact that Democrats support amnesty and Republicans have opposed it, and it's a pretty shaky assumption that 30% of illegal immigrants will vote Republican. Again, I don't follow how the fact that Republicans are already losing means the creation of new Democrat voters is unimportant.
  2. 11*0.7*0.5*0.4 = 1.54 Is there some reason to believe illegal immigrants would be eligible to vote at a significantly lower rate than Americans in general? Also, how does the fact that Republicans are already losing mean we should be less concerned that new Democrat voters will make it impossible for them to win?
  3. My math was wrong. Assuming illegal immigrants are eligible to vote at a rate of 0.7 (American average in 2012) and turn out at just 0.5 (low), I get 1.54 million. Again, that's with the very conservative assumption that they will vote Republican at the same rate as the average naturalized citizen. Add in the status quo of a net of 100000 new Democrat voters being naturalized every year and the fact that Republicans are already losing does not seem to support your position that these new voters would be insignificant. That's also assuming new citizens will vote Republican at the same rate as the current average of naturalized citizens and turn out at just 0.5. We're also assuming that Hillary won't increase legal immigration which a good deal of Republicans appear to be in favor of.
  4. Hillary supports a pathway to citizenship. Bush won by 3 million votes. McCain and Romney lost their elections by 10 and 5 million votes so you're right if you're saying the Republicans are in a pretty bad spot to begin with. Even assuming a net of just 2 million new Democrat voters, that is very bad news for the already weak Republicans. That's accepting the unlikely assumptions that illegal immigrants will vote Republican at the same rate as the average naturalized citizen, and ignoring all other sources of Democrat voters that Hillary will have a strong incentive to bring in.
  5. Assuming she can pass amnesty, pretty close to zero percent of those 11 million (16?) new citizens will ever vote Republican. I wouldn't use those insults in my personal life, but that is because I'm not in the disgusting, gladiatorial field of American politics. Trying to use valid arguments is a good way to end up like Rand Paul.
  6. Trump is a pragmatic American nationalist. He's an incredible businessman who has no shame in fulfilling his fiduciary responsibilities. He has been a womanizer, yet has created what appears to be a happy, loving family. His self-esteem is clearly bulletproof. To me he doesn't closely resemble any of Rand's characters. We should probably be thankful for that because who he is, is exactly what America needs. His charisma, cash, name-recognition and willingness to pander has put him in a position to salvage America. His lack of any explicit libertarian ideology means any failure or perceived failure will not doom good ideas forever. It's a risk, but it's the best shot America has ever had at disrupting the status quo. If Hillary wins and manages to pass amnesty, it is game over for the Republicans. The next American populist may be a real monster.
  7. These aren't the Objectivist perspective but the two most interesting takes I've seen on Trump are Stefan Molyneux's and Scott Adams'. Scott Adams doesn't believe in free will and thinks Donald Trump is a master persuader/hypnotist. A lot of his ideas and predictions are flawed and unreasonable. Nevertheless, I think he correctly identified pretty early on that Trump has incredible intelligence and persuasive skills which he has used in business and is using to beat the media and mainstream politicians at their own game. He also predicts that many of Trump's positions are opening bargaining positions which he will use to make deals. This wouldn't be surprising to me, especially considering his lack of any apparent cohesive principles. What is unpredictable is what those deals would actually come out to. Molyneux points out that Trump is doing tremendous damage to the reputation of the mainstream media and political correctness. He's also in favor of Trump's stance on immigration as a necessity to stopping the expansion of the welfare state. Also, he argues Trump's success as a businessman and a parent as well as his willingness to delegate suggests he will be less of a threat than his competitors who are all career-politicians. It's hard to tell exactly what kind of president Trump would be like, but I think it's proper to be cynical about the state of American politics and the persuasive power of reason and abstract ideas. If politicians were generally honest and voters generally listened to reason, Trump wouldn't be a competitor. Unfortunately, the only way to get close to the presidency is to be a completely dishonest person and that should be kept in mind when evaluating candidates.
  8. The biggest problem in my life has been procrastination and a lack of self-discipline. For many years I thought that the source of this problem was a lack of training in self-discipline and that the solution would be additional will power. Despite knowing that procrastination is irrational and destructive in the long term, I've continued to struggle with it. Until recently, whenever I allowed myself to procrastinate I would tell myself that my failures had been a result of personal weakness. That's true to an extent, but it's not useful. What has finally been useful to me is understanding what it is about myself that leads me to choose to procrastinate. I don't know yet, but I think that self-knowledge along with will power and philosophy is what's needed for success. Since discovering Ayn Rand and Objectivism, I had felt that it would give me the tools I needed to be happy. I think this is true, in the sense that Objectivist morality is valid and practical, but Objectivism doesn't tell you how to become a person able to hold yourself to proper moral standards. Objectivism doesn't tell a damaged person how to heal himself. That's the realm of psychology, not philosophy, but unfortunately for me, it has been a long road from discovering philosophy to realizing the importance of psychology and self-knowledge. I'm curious to know, has Objectivism lead you to self-knowledge? Do you think that the errors I've made are easy to make? If so, is there potentially a dearth of discussion of self-knowledge, psychology and childhood experiences within Objectivist literature and communities? These things seem particularly important in regards to the subject of happiness, especially since we live in a world where so few people have had entirely healthy childhoods. I'm not trying to beg the question, so if you disagree with my premises, I'd be happy to hear about that too.
  9. I think the Conservatives are clearly the lesser evil of the three main parties and there's no sense throwing away my vote on a party that has zero chance of electing a single MP. Beyond that, it's a good sign that libertarianism exists in Canada, but I doubt this kind of political activism can have much effect at all.
  10. According to Peter Schiff, the housing bubble was primarily caused by the lowering of the Federal Funds Rate to around 1 percent between 2002 and 2004 and the continued low, but gradually raising rates over the next two years. He says that now that interest rates have been at 0 percent over the last five years, plus QE, even bigger bubbles have been inflated, which when they pop, will lead to an even bigger collapse than in 2008. This is my understanding of his view and it's quite compelling to me. I've been looking at the historic Fed Funds Rate since 1954 (as far back as I can find) but it seems that these interest rate levels are pretty unprecedented with the exception of three short periods in 1954, 1958 and 1961. I'm wondering if these periods of lower rate were associated with any significant bubbles? If not, is that explained by the shortness of the periods of low rates? What about other factors that may have made low rates appropriate for the current economy? Also, is there anything in history like the period of 1% rates between 2002 and 2004?
  11. I buy gold so I can sell it if/when it's worth more so I can use that money to buy stuff. So far it's done much better than the Canadian Dollars I would have otherwise owned.
  12. I've noticed this a lot. It always bugs me when Objectivists feel there is value in stating "A is A" when the issue is not one of faulty metaphysics, especially if it's directed at another Objectivist.
  13. Because it is dangerous for the same people who have a monopoly on force to control anything else. By having both a school system and the police included in the same institution, controlled by the same people, the same processes and funded through a shared budget, it makes it very likely that force will become involved, even if it isn't to begin with. There's nothing wrong with a separate entity, funded through similar voluntary contributions and fees providing not-for-profit services, but it can't be tied to government.
  14. I'd answer no to both of those, but I'm not quite sure why you think they're important questions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you trying to ask why hasn't an Objectivist style strike occurred anywhere? To answer that I would say, very simply, there are very few Objectivists in the world. Exactly why that is and what it's implications are is an important discussion but you first need to recognize that this is the case. Yaron Brook estimated that there is somewhere in the tens of thousands of people who take Ayn Rand's ideas seriously.
  15. Do you care to explain how this calls the philosophy of Objectivism into doubt? You're making the mistake of assuming that today's world is as bad as the world of Atlas Shrugged and that Objectivism demands or even suggests producers go on strike today.
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