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Everything posted by mweiss

  1. J.S. Bach was in the Baroque Period, not the Classical Period, as defined by the span of time between Beethoven and Mozart, who lived in a much later time period. Addressing the Op's question, and it is a personal opinion, I find both of these composers interesting in different ways and for different reasons. Each one reaches me on a different level, stimulates different emotions than the other. Right now, I am enjoying a piece that was co-authored by Rachmaninoff and Fritz Kreisler, Liebesleid. I recorded it last Saturday, for a client who performed with the symphony here in a major CT cit
  2. If you think that's so bad, try to imagine what dealing with Jury Duty would be like! I just got summoned this week. Hoo boy, here we go again! I cannot vote to convict a defendant who broke an unjust law. They're not going to like to hear what I have to say about jury nullification. My only beef with Motor Vehicle people is that now they are asking for Social Security numbers. I went through a considerable hassle at my last license renewal because I told them it was none of their business; that SS is between a Subject and the Social Security Administration only. After a 15-minute delay, I go
  3. At about ten o'clock this morning, I heard Greenspan on the radio (he was participating in some sort of hearing--I caught portions of it while driving) giving his explanation for why the economy is in decline. Essentially, he stated that there was a flaw in the free market model that he had been using and which had "worked well for forty years." So now it becomes clear that this is his official 'swearing off' of Objectivist free market principles. For those of us who suspected that Greenspan had jumped ship from the Objectivist thinking, we can now be free of any doubt.
  4. The following quote from the article: For instance, an astronaut moving faster than it would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving. is a contradiction in terms. This is either a gross misinterpretation by a naive journalist, or, if it is a correct interpretation of what these two scientists stated, it raises serious questions about the veracity of the rest of their theory. The article was too superficial to draw any conclusion from.
  5. I don't take this as an indictment of sports by Miss Rand, but rather a decision she made that resulted from her determination that sports was irrelevant to the intended purporse of Atlas Shrugged. It would neither enhance nor detract from the story; it would be vestigial, were it to be included.
  6. We already have a system in which people have to pay a lump sum once or twice a year. It's called property taxes, and if you think people in my town would raise a stink over having to write two checks per year for $7500 each, you're in for a surprise. So even if it was income taxes, payable in full on April 15, the majority would consider it a 'moral duty' to pay them, just as they do with local property taxes.
  7. Not rare at all if your job is packing tampons in boxes for 12 hours on a rotating shift, year after year, after year. Your examples are just temporary boredom due to unanticipated idle time. I used to commute 90K miles a year when I was in consulting engineering, and my typical commute lasted over two hours for 'local' work and much longer for 'regional' work. I've done both in the course of my life, and I can tell you that the hopelessly-boring existence of a subsistence wage job, working in a factory environment that is uncomfortable, under pressure to keep up with machinery that is chuckin
  8. The best hypothetical argument I could dream up for "pro-God's existence" would be the question of how order in the universe came about. Now, Objectivists pretty much agree that a thousand monkeys, typing for a thousand years on a thousand typewriters, could not write Shakespeare's works. It is the nature of random forces not to generate coherent works. Taking that argument loosely, a religionist could argue that, like the monkeys, random events in the universe could not bring about organized and complicated life, ecosystems and the like. It takes an organized consciousness to write prose.
  9. Actually, this story was first filmed in 1964, under the title The Last Man on Earth, with Vincent Price in the lead role.
  10. mweiss

    Designer Babies

    Having just watched the Spielberg movie "Artificial Intelligence" about robot children who look, act and love like real children, this topic caught my eye for a few reasons. Assuming one could choose all or most of the attributes of a their children raises some interesting questions: How does this affect the natural balance of genetic traits distribution among the population? Would a large number of parents choosing a certain set of attributes have the effect of reducing the available pool of humans with other genetic attributes by gender, and hence reduce the possibility of certain
  11. I too noticed that I could no longer find my posts in the 'recent' list and did a search, only to find that they were in the Trash folder as well. And they were not spam or links with no text. They were thoughtfully-written comments about things that happened to me. Worse than BroadbandReports.com, ObjectivismOnline's moderators don't even bother to send you a note that you've broken some rule. Instead, one ends up wasting time hunting for a post that no longer exists where it was posted. I know that the board's admin has contempt for me as a person, ever since I pointed out last year that
  12. Yes, naive of me to even think that they who don't even read constituents' letters can't read a novel.
  13. I've got an idea: Why don't we all sent a copy of Atlas Shrugged to ever congressman and senator? I think that would be more effective.
  14. My wife listens to the radio and all she mentioned was that computer glitch on the Dow-Jones, not this... I found more information on the topic of Cameron's new documentary here: http://www.plastic.com/comments.html;sid=0...13231591;cid=43
  15. This ought to really shake up the religious world: http://urbansemiotic.com/2007/02/25/jesus-...d-in-his-grave/ What if enough of the Bible is exposed to prove that it is nearly all, if not all, fiction? What then will the religionists cling to? Anyway, if there is a movie coming out as this article suggests, then I'm going to be interested in seeing it. Why isn't this all over the major news media? Has anyone else heard of this discovery?
  16. In answer to this very question at a lecture I attended of Ayn Rand's sometime in the late '60s, someone from the audience asked this question, in general terms. Her very general answer was this: "The system is already there. Use it."
  17. One can probably argue that it may be 'immoral' to single out those less physically gifted, but then it depends on the criteria. If it were Miss America pagents, where the objective criteria were based on appearance, physical proportions, weight, etc., then the concept of "moral" would be in conflict with the objectives of the pagent. However, in a scholastic environment, I would find it more difficult to defend a decision which eliminates people based on given physical appearance. But it is a microcosm of the macrocosm. Being born ugly DOES limit your job opportunities, ability to sell your
  18. I don't understand your absurd comparison. What the Seastead project is attempting is a free society outside of the many tolatiarian nations' control and since there isn't anymore land available, the new fronteir is the ocean.
  19. And here's a modern alternative to Galt's Gulch: Seasteading: http://www.seastead.org http://www.seastead.org/commented/paper/faq.html
  20. This site is very interesting. If the wealthy are leaving the US to escape rising taxes on the wealthy, then we may be seeing a version of "Atlas Shrugging" going on right now. This article has facts, figures and links to specific US code to back it's statements. Poor and middle class could be paying over 300% more in income taxes once the top wealth earners leave the US. A fascinating read: http://www.actionamerica.org/taxecon/tickfast.shtml
  21. It appears that the Ludwig von Mises Institute supports Ed Brown: http://blog.mises.org/archives/006190.asp
  22. There are right ways and wrong ways to enter a country. If the Mexicans are invading by coming over the border in droves, then they are short-circuiting the acceptable means of entry. My parents escaped Germany in the run up to Hitler's regime and they came through Ellis Island and it took months, but they did it by the law and respected the new country's laws. I myself brought my immigrant wife here from Asia and I went by the laws and didn't try to smuggle her in, despite the hardship those laws created for me due to my low income. But I am glad we have a screening process, however defficien
  23. I think it was quite clear as to whom Antonio was referring to in his comments about dogmatic application of Objectivism. This is a beef I have with the college students who read a couple of Ayn Rand books and right away proclaim themselves to be Objectivists. They, unlike Miss Rand, as I knew her in the 1960s, are arrogant and so sure of their opinions as being "Objectivist". As I comb through the Internet in the present day, I find there are "factions" of people who claim to be "the true Objectivists" and the major camps are divided between the Brandens and ARI, and in each camp are su
  24. Two points: 1: This was a violent felon drug smuggler that was shot--a violent criminal. 2. When stating that these are people who just want to make a better life for themselves, you need to ask "at whose expense?" Yes, America was built largely by immigrants. However, the Italians who immigrated in 1909, vs. the street gangs who immigrate from Mexico today are two totally different groups of people. The former were self-made men who had goals and a sense of personal responsibility. The second group are ferocious animals who are claiming territory and killing everyone who stands in th
  25. It's been all over the news, and it reminds me of the cases where our servicemen are being given long sentences for killing the enemy. Here's a summary from Mike Galagher's site: The wife of jailed border patrol agent Ignacio Ramos had been told by her husband how a group of Hispanic inmates had beaten him bloody a few days earlier. The inmates had watched “America’s Most Wanted” on TV which featured a sympathetic host, John Walsh, telling the tale of the two border patrol agents who shot a low-life drug smuggler in the butt and how those agents wound up with long jail sentences while t
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