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Easy Truth

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  1. First off, there is no point judging Ayn Rand as one would a President of the United States. Secondly Misogyny is not a virtue Thirdly. Rand, a female author, showed off admirable women with high self esteem, while Trump, a male President, focused on "bleeding", obesity, ugly faces, and insestuous feelings. To take a demonstrated flaw that Trump has and to find someone with the same flaw that did something good, does not absolve him of the evil. Furthermore, to elevate Misogyny to being a virtue is ludicrous, even shameful and heinous. If you want to argue what is good about him, you can be coherent and objective. 1. He did not move us into any major wars 2. He does not drink Alcohol 3. He has Kids that don't commit suicide or do drugs 4. He was the "different" candidate after Obama/Hillary 5. He pushed through "right to try" drugs 6. He wanted to have health insurance offered beyond state borders (and maybe others) These would be understandable, but elevating vices is losing one's moral compass and plain stupid.
  2. But this is making a case that Trump would do a better Job (objectively speaking). Question is, "are Democrats against such a policy?". What can be said with certainty that is a republican talking point. It started the wall Street Journal April 22, 2020 and ever since we hear more and more about it. "With the economy in shambles and the pandemic ravaging the country, making the election a referendum on China is perhaps Mr. Trump’s only chance to extend his White House tenure past January 2021." The argument will get some votes on the republican side but I wonder if it may in fact get just as many (or more) on the democratic side. Looking at the big picture, Obama strategically moved the US focus from the Middle East to East Asia, primarily to counter China and Biden was part of that Strategy. Trump moved it back to the Middle East somewhat thinking that he could Charm China and North Korea (i.e. that they are not as big a threat as we think). Can one say he took his eye off the ball? In reality, there is no point in saying Trump's effort was a complete failure, because it was a gamble and it may have worked. Now it is plan B. And on the other side of the coin, Democrats have NOT shown a special love for China unless you have some data on that. Biden personally has been a law and order and foreign policy hawk for a long time. Almost like a typical republican with his (past) friendship with Mccain and Lindsey Graham would attest. So it is a hard case to make that Trump the only one laser focused on this policy. Keep in mind, in the process of free trade, China has become a very fragile Communist system. The population wants more and more of the Capitalism that they have seen. You realize that there used to be 10,000 protests per year in China in the early 2000nds, and now more than 100,000 riots in China per year (180k in 2010). At any moment this house of cards can fall, mostly because the population was woken up to a better world. One one hand that is good that is weakens the leadership. On the other hand it is bad because the leadership has gotten aggressive to raise public support for itself with its aggressive moves in India and the South China Sea. It could lead to an invasion of Taiwan if pushed hard enough. So pick your poison. The actual and specific problem with trade with China is specifically the transfer of technology to improve their military which would be a concern for any party in our government, not just a Republican or Trump administration. Even the Green Party will not want to sell them weapons that would be used against us. Morally speaking, China has to pay compensation over COVID-19. And those countries that got hit, and got large Chinese Loans are the best way to cause a loss to China. Like Africa, Italy etc. If they can be encouraged to NOT to PAY China back, it would be great. But there is no talk of that by anyone it seems. There is no discernible advantage to Trump leading that effort, but it may have some political benefit to push that claim.
  3. SL, unfortunately that argument gives the opposition ammunition of "I told you so". The Socialists have been against free trade with China forever. They have been vehemently against it. That is a populist position that could have allowed Bernie to win, Trump used it for himself. But even Trump's position was not against their stealing intellectual property or dependence, it has been and issue "stealing your jobs". The Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Wing have been against free trade with China, Mexica, Canada and even the European free trade deal. It has and is against any free trade deal with any one. Sadly, highly regulated trade (or no free trade) is the cornerstone of the Democratic party.
  4. I realise center vs extreme are too simplistic blurring the lines. Trump is the extreme in the sense of, "atypical" from a Republican, as in: against traditional alliances, against free trade, racially charged against non white (perhaps sometimes to protect whites but also overtly racist at times), a popular (a populist voting block) position. Trump is not typical of Republican who have been pro "appearance of decorum", respect for the law and rules being tradition based "conservatives". Whatever the analysis of the benefits of Trump has been, it has blinded people to the fact that if the impeachment had successfully gone through, the ticket would have now been Pence and Haley, and instead the Trump "very small chance of veto against Socialism", one would have had a strong noticeable push against Socialism. An actual one, not a fake one. Pence et. al, are religious, but their religious agenda would not be any different than Trump's. Economically Pence is very Libertarian friendly. There would be a theocratic supreme court no matter if it were Trump or Pence. Some may argue that a theocratic Supreme court is anti altruist. Now granted, this is not a justification for voting for Biden, et al. The fundamental case for Biden is to stop the fact that corruption is being embedded or being attempted to be embedded in our system of governance. It is not an ideological problem, but a process issue. Trump is destroying the makeup of governance, maybe in the name of getting rid of the deep state, the valid state functions are being destroyed. Supposedly he is for law and order yet he undercuts the FBI and takes Putin's word. His misogynist statements are normal, in many cases based on the idea that "the other guy did it", so I can do it openly now. The Democrats had a fair amount of unethical behavior, enriching themselves, and lying to the courts that should have caused an impeachment of Bill Clinton. But it did not. That got the corruption ball rolling. Now it is out of control with Trump doing all of those things (and more) openly without shame. We have a long record to watch Biden, other than his nepotism, most people don't attribute the idea of getting rid of the inspector general's office, asking to delay to the election, casting doubt on almost every institution (good and bad), pardoning people who violate the law in for his personal benefit, or destroying requirements for respectful communication. One can only hope that he will do some repairing. This is a structural problem that has to be addressed. It is like we are in a building that can collapse. It is VERY unlikely that Trump will address this, rather he will make it worse, build on it. Ultimately leading to civil war. The worst likely outcome is not communism, it is civil war. For authoritarianism to work, it has to control the machinery of government. Our job is to prevent the machinery to be controllable in the ways that they want. Trump wants that control to be set up. When a president can openly steal, bribe, influence jurors, openly invite outside forces to influence elections, constantly tear at the divides rather than trying to mend them, there is no protection against a dictator. The structure has to be repaired, it won't happen with Trump but someone other than Trump, be it Republican or Democrat. Just someone else! We need an inspector general's office, protection of a whistleblower at a minimum, and for a functional system to protect us. Trump is dysfunctional getting rid of checks and balances. Communism, Fascism, Authoritarianism in general, can only work when levers of governance have lost their checks and balances and are openly ignored. The argument against Hillary was a family, presidential dynasty that circuments or encourages circumvention of the rules, should not be allowed to be president. We initially say little evidence of this with Trump but now that we have seen clear and definite evidence of this behavior, it should be acted on. Escaping socialism and running to the safety of fascism is not an escape to to safety. We can't get into a habit of pushing socialism away by destroying the fundamental rules of conduct of the executive branch and Congress. We need these rules in place to allow Capitalism to rise eventually. Our individual responsibility is to change the culture with reachable arguments, arguments that people can hear, art that can seep into the consciousness of the majority. We should NOT be in need of illegal or immoral or unfair means to win. That was Rand's greatest contribution to mankind.
  5. Ascribing virtuous philosophical leanings to Trump now? The rhetoric does not get passed a decent examination Anti Altruist is one thing, narcissistic is another. A sociopath can be an anti altruist too. A meaningless virtuous attribution in this forum. To make statements like that is a major disservice to Objectivism. People end up thinking that Narcissism is the virtue that we promote, that when we say selfish, we mean narcissistic. Anti Altruism is a virtue only when and if it advocates rational self interest. Trump is a narcissistic president, not for rational self interest. The virtuous kind of Anti Altruism is an advocacy of self interest, it means Anti-Socialism. Trump is not an anti-socialist. His agenda is mostly socialist. The FDR type stuff, the Cares act and his lament that Biden Stole his economic plan are enough of an indicator. (one could go through a list including the tariffs etc)
  6. The argument has never been let us have a welfare state and then have open immigration. In the final moral analysis, even with a welfare state, as in any Liberty, you should be able to do whatever does not harm another. The Trump/Bannon case is an anti competition (anti capitalism) argument. The argument being made is that a lower wage, union busting person hurts your wages. Employers should not be able to employ the lowest wage worker they can get and consumers should not be allowed to get the best product they can get. A lower priced competitive product hurts our country. Which means Tariffs and Ban on immigration. Now, this is music to the ears of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. And don't forget the FDR like policies that we would see if both Congress and Presidency goes to Trump. (not that it would be any better with Biden) In final analysis, there may in fact be not much of a difference between Trump and the Alternative. Except we would not be the laughing stock of the world and we could count on allies better, with the press and intelligence agencies being more cooperative with the presidency. When it comes to complex large operations, any leadership requires this cooperation. Right now the President says one thing and the people implementing do their own thing. Hard to determine who is serious.
  7. Many scenarios are possible when extra parties are added but generally: Extreme, meaning the extreme left in the case of Democrats, and Extreme right in the case of Republicans. When the Center Loses, the extreme gains converts and power. When the extreme loses, the Center gains converts and power. If Trump Loses, the center Republicans (Romney etc) Gain converts and Power. If Biden Loses, the extreme (socialist/Bernie) Democrats Gain converts and Power.
  8. In principle, as long as it does not infringe on other people's rights, it would be similar to any freedom. So, no trespassing, no criminals, spys, no transmissible disease etc. The question is where does a government get the right to infringe on people's freedom of movement? (but I think this is going to need its own thread and has been discussed already) My bottom line is this. I have employed engineers from India and China and Pakistan and some eastern European nations using the H1B system. It is already a grueling process. You cannot bring in anyone you want. And the ones available are incredible in talent. To restrict it is motivated by an anti immigrant policy (that gets votes). Otherwise, it is simply authoritarian. It is also part of a union mindset, form a union, prevent others from working. Similar to licensing laws. We can also add Rand's thought on this: "You want to forbid immigration on the grounds that it lowers your standard of living — which isn’t true, though if it were true, you’d still have no right to close the borders. " https://ari.aynrand.org/ayn-rand-on-immigration/
  9. You don't see the fascism in that statement? I am the employer. I could understand the government checking if they have a disease, but other than that it is an infringement of my rights.
  10. The problem is that he has replaced the previous deep state with his own deep state. Bill Bar, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone are from the Nixon Era. Fortunately they were plucked out by the deep state. The Crony-ism has increased under Trump, not decreased. You think his proposed FDR type public works would decrease the size of "the deep state", or make is gigantic? As in Mussolini size. The attack on the deep state has turned into a Maoist type cultural revolution, where they would destroy whatever was built, just to start from scratch. Telling Putin that he believes Putin over Trump's own intelligence agencies is what should be the norm? Are you arguing that Trump's immigration promises "should" have been kept? Not sure where you are going with this.
  11. So the government is to determine "immigrants who are needed here", not the employer. What brand of Capitalism is this?
  12. Are you saying that quarantine is not effective and we should prevent the most talented human capital from entering now? What is the justification for banning healthy people that will improve our lives in the long run? Because of an anti immigrant core belief. "You know, mass illegal immigration, which the chamber of commerce pushes all the time, and more legal immigration and trade are just two sides of the same coin, right? The two sides of the same coin, it’s suppression of workers’ wages, OK? Mass illegal immigration is to flood the zone against predominantly black and Hispanic working class so that you’ve got unlimited, you know, unlimited labor pool, and you can keep wages down for higher margins. Immigration and H-1B visas are the same thing in the tech area, that you don’t have to hire American citizens; I can do it with these visas to increase margins." https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/interview/steve-bannon-2/ The attempts to get rid of H1B visas was starting day one. "BANNON: Where are we in the Trump campaign with the H-1B visas? Because we got the oligarchs down there, man, and they have got Karl Rove and literally hundreds of millions of dollars, and they are coming with one reason. And they are coming for unlimited ability to go throughout the world and have people come here and compete with kids coming out of engineering schools and IT jobs. If you are in your 40s and 50s right now, people will tell you, they haven’t had a raise in decades in IT. What was supposed to be a great career turned out not to be a great career. It’s because of these visas." https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/2/14472404/steve-bannon-legal-immigration-problem This is an actual anti immigration core belief.
  13. A cardinal Characteristic of the Trump Presidency is an anti immigrant stance. The idea that they take our Jobs (they are rapists etc). This is clearly unambiguously supported by Steve Bannon as a populist, vote getting position. People who saw a stagnant economy after the real estate crash were swayed by this rhetoric. Especially in swing states. Even with Steve Bannon gone look at the Trump administration's position on H1b visas. "Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak" The most talented immigrants cannot come here based on this view of the world. This is not inexperience, this is core beliefs. It is also a huge loss to us as a nation. It comes across like racist, but it is the basis of the America First Policy. In addition to mercantilism. The anger at the outsider, the "other" (a key element of Fascism) is part of the political makeup of this presidency.
  14. That is arguably the most dangerous issue that we are dealing with as a country. To hear that Trump has been talking about removing the two year limit for a President, was terrifying. Then his believe in complete presidential immunity and the fact that he pardoned people convicted of doing his dirty work. I thought this type of thing only happens in third world fascist systems. When Trump recently tried to remove the position of inspector general, the GOP revolted. I admit, I was a Trump fan for a generation, watching the Apprentice and trying to learn something from him and yet, from day one of his presidency, claiming his crowd was bigger than Obama's first inauguration, not acknowledging that it is hard to beat an actual first African American President in the History of the United States was shockingly disappointing. You are assuming that Trump is not a socialist. He wants to create public works like FDR, having the government become the biggest employer. When the Covid first bailout was being negotiated, he wanted the government to have equity in the bailed out companies (even Bernie had not pushed for overt communism). What will Trump Veto?? He claims that Biden has stolen his economic plan. Currently he is exacerbating racial tensions, appealing to a silent majority mob, and acting like he fights the evil that he already embodies. People are worried about a highly unlikely journey to communism with Biden and his Supreme Court nominees, while the worst Americans will tolerate is what it is like in Canada or the UK or Sweden. We are not headed to Communism. But, we are already a crony capitalist, fascist lite country. Full blown fascism is any easy next step. Trump will not stop it, in fact he is opening the door to it (potentially for the next racist leader that actually likes to kill people). The other possibility is civil war. Again, who is best equipped and temperamentally suited to bring factions together?
  15. I will challenge you on that (mainly in regards to one's own perspective or experience of self because the above statement my apply to others experience of you(as a self)). Let us say, one day you wake up and you have lost memory of a lot of your past. Do you not have a self? Are you not yourself? Did you lose part of yourself or all (as in you are a completely different self) Or, you simply lost your memory, you are fully intact, an "I". I think you would agree, that you still have an "I" that decides, observed, etc. Does the law of identity not apply to "I", as in you lost a bunch of your memory, yet you still have an "I"? The same "I" as before. The other question would be: If there are small "I" and a large "I". That "I" that never changes in me through all the memories, vs. At 10 am I am NOT hungry At 12 I am hungry Same I, but a different experience of the world. But, after the huge meal, some will say, that was a different me that ate the food because I am so full right now, I could puke. Don't tell me about hungry. I don't even know what that is. And Finally, there is the self that you never see that other see. They see your twitch on your face while you don't notice. They see you slight frown of surprise while you were trying prevent them from knowing. And they know how loud your snoring is but not you.
  16. Just to confirm, isn't "I" self? If so, I is a power, or "the power". Based on that definition. "I", implies "the power". (in me (but that may be redundant)) It has interesting psychological effects. Also, to be selfless is to be powerless. I was just entertained by it, not making any assertions here.
  17. This was pretty comprehensive and well done. A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease https://newideal.aynrand.org/pandemic-response/?utm_source=ARI+Email+Updates&utm_campaign=759db4061d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_02_09_01_03_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3753df5893-759db4061d-289411181
  18. Here was a man chocking to death right in front of each of us. Granted he was black and protests are in the name of that. But the core reaction of each of us is: I don't want a knee on my neck or my kid's neck. No race issue there. You may not say it (or people on the news have not have said it), but self interest is at the core. So in that sense, I dispute it. As an aside, I was excited if defunding police meant annihilating the police union but it probably does not mean that.
  19. What is the relevance of any of this? The cops were laughing so hard they forgot they had handcuffs that could be used. Actual counterfeit bills would have changed everything. And then I woke up. If you forget that he was black, you may have a glimpse of the fact that people are protesting against authoritarian rule in general.
  20. As if the government's response to Covid did not do that. As if printing money has not done that. As if gerrymandering has not done that. Which eutopia do you live in? I thought you did not believe in the supernatural. There is no evidence of a business on the site of a riot has done anything wrong. And in that sense they are innocent and there is no justification for them being harmed. Agreed in principle. That applies to a "just society" where laws are equally applied, individual rights exist, not privileges for this or that group. In our mixed system some free market, some fascism, some socialism and a history of racism the "just society" and its rules of conduct are not present. There is evidence of black people being stopped by police far more than white people. There is evidence of drug offenders mostly being black. There are far more black in jail than white. There is evidence that blacks die of covid at rates like in Italy. And now and again, video evidence of them being treated different by the law. The evidence is evident. We as objectivists did not cause it, we are innocent. But we live here. Where the injustice exists. Are any of us innocent when drug laws exist the way they do? Are any of us innocent when churches have their privileges? Are any of us innocent when we allow our taxation system to be the way that it is? Are we innocent when we allow some to have forced monopolies with tariffs or licencing laws? Are we completely innocent when we watch some lose their assets due to eminent domain laws? Not completely. There is no justification to hurt innocent people, granted. The question is around innocence in this type of society. Am I innocent when we bomb children in Syria or Iraq etc? I had nothing to do it. But if I were there, they would have some (maybe miniscule 1/350000000) legitimacy to hurting me. But it is reasonable for me to expect that they could. If it was a white person that was killed like Floyd, even with instigators, it is doubtful riots about "treatment of white people by police" would spread to other cities. If there was some rioting, it would be objectively illegitimate. "BE careful of the Justice you advocate for lest you find yourself on the wrong side of some flawed system you helped create." EXACTLY, ignoring the connection is going to lead to bad consequences. If leadership does not pay attention to grievances, real grievances, not fake ones' instigated by a few, it will experience social disturbance. If we follow the logic of no evidence, no connection, then nothing must be addressed. We can look forward to perpetual curfews, lockdowns and yes riots too. After all there is no evidence of any legitimacy to the grievances.
  21. This is at the core of the issue. If one sees NO evidence at all, i.e. no connection at all. What you are describing is something with little legitimacy and perhaps there is a threshold. But saying there is NO connection, no, none, zero is not true.
  22. I have to digress first: The situation cannot ONLY be described in terms of retaliation, as some of it is random and illegitimate simply blowing off steam. Some are people trying to find something to express their frustration with. Young men being bored, people being upset at losing their jobs and wondering about their future. Aggression will go up. So to prevent it, other pressures have to be alleviated too. Having said that, back to the current thread: If this violent activity is reduced to the premise that "this is only justified if it were retaliating against the officer who was on Floyds neck", then this is not retaliation. But ... that would imply that retaliation is only justified against the necessary and sufficient cause (which can't be true). Amount of legitimacy in retaliation is based on destroying a proximate cause (anything that supports the existence of (the harm/damage/effect)). To defend yourself against a larger assailant you have a right to hit them where you can, not only the hand that contains the weapon. And yes, the closer to the necessary cause, the more legitimate the retaliation. A proximate cause could be the "supporting police", or the employing police station, or the state that has the police force, or the nation or society that finances it. Now, if these people went to Senegal/Africa and brunt their police cars, they had nothing to do with the Floyd Killing. That would be retaliation that was absolutely and objectively illegitimate (zero amount of Legitimacy). What is going on in cities in the US has "some" legitimacy as retaliation. Therefore it "eventually" requires and deserves some sort of non violent alleviation. The areas where it had zero legitimacy it deserves aggressive retaliation by the government.
  23. The current high emotion is due to political failure. Could be Covid, could be racism, could be other frustrations or fears, and in politics, perception and emotion are far more central to outcomes vs. the philosophical view, where reason takes center stage. One does not win political campaigns without influencing emotions of voters and a mob is not an entity with a faculty of reason. Where there is pent up anger, sometimes violence erupts. Philosophically it is usually wrong. Politically it is natural and expected. In times of high emotion, since the faculty of reason is diminished, the ethical thing to do is to either avoid discussion in times of high emotion, or to avoid high emotion at times of discussion. But right now, it is too late for prevention of violence. High emotion does not allow reason and opens the door to demagogues. (as an aside, Trump and Bannon are a masters of that). The only thing that can be done is either actively try to calm emotions or to wait for the storm to pass, to settle down, and then have the discussion.
  24. Yaron goes into that. I have set it up to play at that point
  25. It is hypocrisy but what are you aiming at with the question? Hopefully you are not trying to justify looting because corporate welfare exists.
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