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Everything posted by Groovenstein

  1. Woot! All you're missing is some kind of trippy light show!
  2. (bold mine) I don't think you'd have a 1983 claim. A 1983 claim requires state action. If the phone company was acting on its own initiative, even if it turned over its stuff to the gub'men, that isn't state action. You can have state action where private parties are involved, under the standards set forth in Lugar, which as far as I know is still good law. From part III:
  3. I am tentatively scheduled to be back in Boston from 11/25-28. Feel free to PM me if you'd like to try to schedule some sort of rendezvous.
  4. [Nigel Tufnel]What are the hours?[/Nigel Tufnel] What, sNerd? No multicolor rotating congratulations?
  5. Just found out I passed the bar in Massachusetts. Three years of law school, followed by two months of living in a cave, aka studying for the bar, and I passed. I'm not officially a lawyer until I get sworn in in a few weeks, but that's a formality. I'm in, baby! Woot! (Hey JMS, don't forget about that Avril Lavigne you promised me. I hope she's thawed by now. )
  6. My younger brother is in the Army and recently arrived in Iraq. I'm sure it's weird enough for him as it is, it doesn't help that he works for the JAG, and thus is in the unenviable position of having to enforce military rules on his fellow soldiers. Anyway, in part because I'm curious in general, but mostly because I'm a little worried for the guy, I'm going to learn a little about his new home. He lives at FOB Iskan. Though it means something else to my fellow commercial law geeks, in military parlance "FOB" stands for "forward operating base." Here are links to a very short Wikipedia article and an article from the Dallas Morning News: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forward_Operating_Base http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dw...fe.32f033b.html The Dallas Morning News article refers to FOB Iskan as "relatively rugged" and added that it "surrounds a working power plant that burns crude oil. Dirty smoke floats across the base, and pools of spilled crude form black, reeking ponds. 'Our own little Love Canal,' [Lt. Col. Pat Donahoe] said." One soldier blogs that the base is on the south end of the "triangle of death," though he adds that he's told that "t's not as bad as it used to be here." It was written in August. Hopefully the situation has improved. http://people.tribe.net/shooter-666/blog?page=4 A report for the Air Force Times states in March that FOB Iskan "can only be described as an industrial hazmat nightmare." Thankfully, the author added that "I need to point out that improvements are on the way . . . ." The article was written in March, so I hope those improvements came, but it does not paint a rosy picture. In fact, it paints a disgusting picture, like a Jackson Pollock. According to a forum, back in February soldiers found roadside bombs and weapons caches. http://www.hannity.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-55921.html Here's a story in April about a couple soldiers from this base who died from a roadside bomb: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/ir...n.4f25618e.html The above article also adds that the base is along the Sunni-Shiite fault line. Great. I'm done searching this stuff for now. Not a great outlook so far, but Aaron doesn't think it's too bad. Aaron, don't die you little punk. If anyone stumbles across any more recent information about Iskan, I invite you to post it here.
  7. As another illustration, the world's population on all the land in Texas would be roughly 60% of the population density of Manhattan.
  8. I don't mean to put the cart before the horse here, but I'm going to point this out because I think it should be addressed after more preliminary issues are resolved. The merger doctrine. Attempt and solicitation are said to merge into the completed offense. For example, if you commit murder, you can not be charged with attempted murder of that same person. The attempt crime "merges" once the crime you were attempting is completed. Same for solicitation. Conspiracy, however, does NOT merge. You can be convicted of both conspiring to murder a person AND actually doing it. What do Objectivist principles suggest about this approach?
  9. I think this discussion would be served by considering the two inchoate offenses in addition to attempt: conspiracy and solicitation. For those who don't know, conspiracy is an agreement between at least two people to pursue an unlawful objective. Some jurisdictions also require an "overt act" in furtherance of the conspiracy, which generally is not much. For example, if two people agreed to rob a bank, purchasing weapons for the job would constitute the necessary overt act. Solicitation is generally broadly defined, and includes a laundry list of verbs like "agreeing" or "encouraging" someone to commit an unlawful act. The classic example is asking an "escort" to provide her services in exchange for money. I don't think more precise definitions are required for this discussion, but if that ends up proving true then go ahead.
  10. Bring in some numbers. You can't just say downhill skiing is dangerous with no regard for context. Sure, it's probably pretty dangerous to fire down a double black diamond when you're ten years old, have never skied, and lack proper safety equipment. It's probably not that dangerous for a trained professional with proper equipment and a properly maintained slope. Hmm. If we can find the data, I'm curious what things result in death and serious injury more frequently than skydiving. I'm guessing we'd see some surprising things on there. And how much injury are you talking about here? Is it okay by your standard to take on a small risk of a broken bone to have some fun skiing? Assume I can afford the medical care, and it won't interfere with my job. Am I immoral if I decide I can put up with a little pain and inconvenience to have a great few days on the slopes? You keep saying pro-life, pro-life, dangerous, dangerous. You give no context, you put no meat on your standards. You should probably resolve that before you continue taking clear or subtle jabs at people (e.g. "Then of course there is the whole issue of invasion and rationalization that might allow us to invent reason why the dangerous activity isn’t really that dangerous.").
  11. Wizard's First Rule, the first in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, is reportedly being made into a miniseries. Since we have so much fun casting Atlas Shrugged, and I just finished reading Wizard's First Rule, I thought I'd start a thread to cast this one. Please, please, please, do not discuss the substance of the books in here. I plan to read all of them and don't want any spoilers sneaking their way in here. We have threads for the substance of the books. Others may feel as I do. Also, it's probably best to use the characters' names in as short and simple a form as possible, so as not to give away any name changes that may occur in the story. So I'll start: Richard (strong-looking, handsome but not a pretty boy) - Viggo Mortensen ("older"), Christian Bale (younger), Paul Walker (younger) Kahlan (pretty, angelic, but can be fierce) - Cate Blanchett ("older"), Keira Knightley (younger) Zedd (old, smart, funny) - Christopher Walken* Darken (strong-looking, evil, smart, arrogant) - Vin Diesel* Denna (a gorgeous, tough, nasty woman) - Angelina Jolie*, Lucy Liu I included the older/younger thing in anticipation of discussion as to how old the characters should be. Suggestions with an asterisk were made by my friend.
  12. Mweiss, it may interest you to know that Nebraska permits legislative bills to contain only one subject. Link (at the bottom of the section labeled "Checks and Balances"). I would love to see such a requirement at the federal level, but I'm not holding my breath. Or we could have what someone I know once said, which is to allow 100, and only 100, federal laws. That's funny, of course, but sometimes I actually wonder if that wouldn't be better than what we have now.
  13. Wow, I think so. Let me take something that doesn't involve food to see if I understand. I like the Boston Red Sox. I enjoy following them, rooting for them, thinking about why they make certain managerial decisions, their statistical philosophies, etc. Why? I don't know. From 1983 (when I was 2) until 2002 I lived in the Boston area, and my family and I frequently watched them in our home. So maybe it's that. I don't feel about any other baseball team the way I feel about the Sox. I don't really care to psychologize myself, I don't think it really matters why I like them. Following them and cheering for them is a very positive leisure pursuit for me. I learn some things and get some relaxation and enjoyment out of it. If it were destructive, then I might wish to understand its cause and eliminate it. But it is not destructive. So, Matt Stein likes the Red Sox = objective fact (redundant, I suppose, but I'll leave it for clarity's sake). Whether someone else should like the Red Sox = question for them to decide based on what facts they know about themselves. Am I there? Or at least getting warmer?
  14. You say "real" life and death risk decisions. Do you have the numbers on the risk of death when driving a motorcycle, assuming proper safety gear and driving techniques? I will not consider it a "real" life and death risk until I know how much of a risk is really there. There's a risk of death in a car. As we saw from the other day, there's a risk of death in an airplane. There's a risk of death from slipping in the shower. That doesn't mean any of these things are likely. And unless you show me that riding a motorcycle carries a risk of death that actually matters, I will not consider it a "real" risk. Am I saying the risk isn't there? No. I am saying I don't know that the risk is statistically meaningful. As for the eggnog example, that was meant solely to demonstrate an example of a value I think is subjective. I have noted other examples of foods, such as meat, that involve a risk of illness or death. I am still curious how you address that risk, as clearly eating meat is not necessary for survival.
  15. My gut tells me that I need to eat something. But seriously, I think there are some things that are in the realm of mere preference. A friend of mine greatly enjoys comic books. I do not. However, I think reading comics is an objectively valid means of recreation. I imagine that people enjoy it for the visual sensations and the stories. I prefer books and movies to comics. Those are my preferences among the objectively valid choices. I do not see how the possibility of preference renders all of morality subjective. In some areas, objectivity runs all the way down, and there truly is only one correct answer. A clear example would be whether it is morally proper to murder another person for no reason. In other areas, however, you can only get objectivity down to a point. For example, at a general level, people require sustenance. That is objective as can be. If you don't get nutrients, water, etc., you will die. At an uber-specific level, though, it is purely subjective, as far I am aware, whether you prefer nutmeg in your egg nog. It's not a harmful substance, that I know of, and its use is purely a matter of taste. Just because some things are subjective, does not mean all things are subjective. And I do not know how you feel, but I am not in the least bit uncomfortable with some things being subjective. It does not interest me at all to determine whether it is objectively proper to have nutmeg in one's egg nog. I am completely content to leave that in the realm of the subjective. That's my start to the question. I don't claim this to be Objectivism, just my own thoughts on the subject. If Objectivism or anyone else has something contrary to say on the subject, I'd love to hear it.
  16. RSalar, my main sticking point is that I have no idea what you consider an acceptable risk. From what I have read, you have not offered any helpful standards. I welcome you to correct me if I am wrong. Some foods are riskier than others. Must one always choose the safest food? Or must one go even further and consume only vitamins? Some cars have certain features that others lack. Say I have $10,000 to spend on a car, and I can choose a car with better safety features or a car that gets better gas mileage. Is choosing the better gas mileage irrational because it is less safe? Some people must make medical decisions involving a certain degree of risk. And so forth. We agree on the principle that pursuit of one's values should be governed by objective criteria. What I do not understand is how you think risk should be assessed. Living life involves risk. It is not enough to say that a certain activity is more risky than another and therefore irrational. Further analysis is required. On this point, we are not going around in circles because I have not seen you address it.
  17. Birthday wishes to the man who provides us with a wonderful philosophical resource. May our self-interests continue to intersect!
  18. Why do you think it matters who rides motorcycles? You have either ignored or misunderstood the part of my post to which this responds. I do not wish to drop any more of my time with this.
  19. I see that you have not yet responded to a post I made several days ago. You are not, of course, required to respond to something merely because I ask it. However, I would very much like to hear your response to the question I posed. It explores a crucial point. I'll add another question. Would you agree that some foods are riskier than others? For example, certain meats carry a risk of substantial illness. I am not aware of any such risk in, say, peanuts (assuming one is not allergic). Do you dispute this? Do you eat meat? Because that would be finding satisfaction in an activity known factually to decrease your chances of physical survival, and there are safer alternatives that would fulfill the reasons for eating it. Clearly peanuts have nutritional value, and have some protein content. Any other nutritional deficiencies between peanuts and meat could be compensated for in vitamins. And peanuts and vitamins would be cheaper than many meats. So if you eat meat, then you're decreasing your chances of physical survival solely for a sensation from your taste buds. Finally, when someone puts something in quotation marks, that often means the person intends to belittle what he puts in the quotation. RB has done a marvelous job of laying out his reasons in extensive detail. While I don't know whether I think he is making the correct decision (and I really don't care to spend my time on it), he at the very least makes out a plausible case. If you did intend to belittle him, I think that was highly inappropriate and merits an apology. If you did not intend to belittle him, what was your intent in placing the word "reasons" in quotation marks? I can not conceive of another intent.
  20. I'm closing this thread temporarily until I or another mod can sort everything out. Hate to see an interesting thread turn into a big mess. Look for it to reopen in a day or so.
  21. It's not so much the labeling as a terrorist that's the problem. It's more the being shot and/or spending a long time in jail. Not much of a dilemma for me.
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