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Everything posted by Hakarmaskannar

  1. I am a prison officer, and have been for over 10 years. Objectively speaking, it is immoral to accept a job and then to abuse the trust put in you by your employer. Also, the officer may only be smuggling inconsequencial items at this time, but by even smuggling one item into the prison, he/she is open to blackmail to put pressure on him/her to bring in more substantial/dangerous items that could threaten both his/her own, and his/her collegues safety. Most prisoners do develop manipulative skills and quite a few like to trade knowledge for favours, so any guard smuggling for one person may soon find themselves attracting the attentions of less considerate criminals. If this guard sees no harm in smuggling weed, maybe a phone could be brought in (which will threaten the security of the establishment) or he/she could just pass on information that could lead to an escape. It is short-sighted, as well as dishonest, for any guard to give any help or succour to any criminal beyond those defined by his duties as an officer. You'll notice that I made no mention of the illegality of this guard's actions-this was do as to not muddy the waters with questions arising from the legality of the sentencing of the prisoner involved, as the discussion could degenerate into a "helping an innocent man wrongfully accused" senario, which should be dealt with(if you belive the prisoner) through assisting him/her through any legal means at your disposal.
  2. I'd edit it if I knew how, and I'm sorry that it's been mis-credited, but I only cut-and-pasted it whole from another page in a hurry, and didn't have time to check the credit as my internet's been on-and-off recently and I got kicked just after.
  3. For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
  4. Just thought some of you would like to see the latest news about the Upcoming Sword of Truth TV series. Terry Goodking has written a covering letter to the official SoT website. Enjoy
  5. I saw this and thought I'd share it...definitive arguement for Creationism.
  6. Just finished 'Deathly Hallows' recently and I am currently reading Tara Smith's 'Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics' on my work-breaks and James Bartholomew's 'The Welfare Stae we're in' at home. The last book is a very insightful and well-researched investigation into the appalling scale of destruction visited upon our (British) medical, educational, and financial systems by the Welfare state and how these, and social security/housing/pensions developed from their beginnnings here.
  7. I finally got the film and have devoured it four times recently. I absolutely loved it. It is such a great blend of all I love in a film. it has become one of my favourites of any genre and I can't recommend it highly enough
  8. I'll definitely be going to see it when it arrives in England as my wife and I both loved the first three. Mind you, I think Bruce Willis is the one person she'd be tempted to swap me for so I'll keep an eye on her when he's on-screen She almost refused to watch his earlier film, Hostage, just because he has hair and a beard at the start of it, but she persevered and was delighted when he went back to his smooth, shaven look
  9. Thank you both for your replies. The clarifications you have both provided are gratefully received and I just wish I'd been able to fully explore the situation with a focused mind. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, but I'm glad I at least realised there was a problem with some of my premises
  10. I have been in my current job for eight years now and over the course of that time I have had my wages increased from time to time. I work 13-hour shifts on a 2-on/2-off/3-on/2-off/2-on/3-off pattern which means I have long hours, but also plenty of time at home with my family. During the course of previous wage-negotiations I, and everyone else, have been awarded increases in my holiday entitlement in lieu of a greater financial increase to my salary. Some others work a more standard 40 hour day-shift (Mon-Fri) but we were all given, in four instances, "One extra day of Leave entitlement". No-one complained about the disparity as the people working eight/nine hour shifts, although getting less of an award technically, didn't have to work from 6am-7pm, 9am-10pm or 7pm-6am, and they also didn't have to work weekends or Bank (read National) holidays. A new manager has taken over at my workplace and he is implementing a change to the structure of the holiday-system and is having our leave entitlement calculated in hours rather than days and equalizing them (downwards) for all staff, regardless of previous arrangements. In effect, I and many other staff, who work 13-hour shifts, will lose out on a total of seven-days leave. Now I know that I am not owed a living, or even a job, but I took the job on a permanent basis and the contract of employment he is changing is a contract, voluntarily entered into by both parties and must only be changed with both parties' consent. I have not consented to the new change, as I do not agree with it and I will suffer a financial loss compared to my current situation by accepting it. Now I am in the situation where I will be released from my contract if I do not sign up to the propsed changes. I know where I stand with regard to British employment law-I have grounds to sue for Constructive Dismissal-but I am looking for an objective opinion on whether I am ethically correct in pursuing that avenue. As I see it (from my possibly biased standpoint) I have entered into an open-ended contract of employment whereby as long as I fulfill the terms I will continue to be employed (barring being made redundant due to tecnological or efficiency advances) and am now being asked to do the same work for less reward. Am I just clinging onto a remnant of British socialism in employment law, or am I viewing the situation objectively. Thank you in advance for any advice and feel free to ask for any clarifications I may have left out.
  11. Being a Brit I'm just catching up with American history, but I thought that the 3/5th Clause was introduced as a means of capping the influence of the slave-owning Southern states as they were pushing to have each and every member of their constituencies, regardless of race, accepted towards the total of people they represented...and thus, they would have a greater amount of sway in the newly-forming government. the Northern states realised that the numbers would indeed be unchallengeable, especially as the South could just buy in more 'people to be represented' to swing the balance in the future if needed. Therefore the North agreed to the 3/5th not as a seeming recognition of the (false) lesser-value of Blacks, but to control the balance within the government to allow them a chance to settle and deal with the problem at a later date. This doesn't mean that the North was abridging the rights of the Blacks with regard to their representaion, but rather an astute acknowledgement that those Blacks living under the state-governance of the South would not be allowed to have their views relayed fairly and impartially by the current and near-future governing-bodies in those southern states and so to allow their (full) sheer numbers to be used, but not their opinions, would be a travesty and an almost insurmountable problem to deal with in years to come.
  12. I loved 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' and 'Starship Troopers' but it's been a few years since I've read them and I'd love to find the time to reassess them (post-exposure to Objectivism, that is:) ) I'd love to see private enterprise taking to the stars (well, the moon as a start ) and also to see how many of those people who've bought plots of the moon's surface get to claim their titles.
  13. I'll second the recommendations for SotD and Hitch and I'll add Wimbledon. I really enjoyed the drive and ambition of the two main characters and it's a nicely developed romance too:)
  14. I've always loved Star Trek, mainly for it's depictions of rational (most-of-the-time), heroic men and women. Yes, the moral relativism emphasised by the Prime Directive is amongst several problems with the Federation, but, on the whole, the characters who exemplify great values are well-respected and, since the Federation allows all-comers to apply for officer-training, it shows that there is an explicit meritocracy within the system. My personal favorite episodes from each of the modern series are- STNG - I' Borg (for the same reasons as Miss Snow) DS9 - In Purgatory's Shadow/By Inferno's Light (In which Worf is forced to fight in an arena in mortal combat - each victory leading immediately to another, fresh, opponent until Worf faces the commander of the Jem Hadar who continues to brutally drop Worf to the floor. To accept defeat, all Worf must do is stay on the floor but he continues to rise and accept the challenge. In the end, the commander submits in admiration saying, "I can kill him, but I cannot beat him." Worf would not relinquish his personal honour.) STV - The Omega Directive (Nice to see the rational side of Seven-of-nine facing the rarely-seen fear of the unknown shown by Starfleet's Omega Directive.) STE - It's been awhile since I saw them, but there are quite a few moments from many of the 3rd/4th seasons worth watching.
  15. My copy has just arrived so I'll be devouring it soon. I've been waiting for an affordable copy since the book was first published in hard-back, so I ordered it as soon as I saw it for pre-order in paper-back
  16. Just of the top of my head (I'm busy babysitting at the moment) I'd say that a couple of the major problems would be - 1) After the most horrific modern-day attack on the free world since Pearl Harbor he declared war on a tactic, his "War on Teror", rather than on those who sponsor and supply the terrorists. This is not due to a lack of information, but rather from a basis that holds that we, "The West", cannot judge other cultures by our standards, even if those standards are reached rationally, and therefore we have to adopt a "who are we to judge them" stance. This continues even now, when Allied forces in iraq are being killed by insurgents supplied and trained by Iran, and still nothing but words are issued to protect the lives of the military personnel being put at risk for the ridiculous idea of spreading "Democracy". 2) His numerous comments with regard to his personal beliefs that flatly contradict his position, yet he cannot see his hypocrisy -see the recent article "Taking Faith Seriously" on this website for a perfect example. I'm sure others here on the forum will be able to give more specific examples with regard to such things as Supreme Court appointments/rulings and so on but being a back-water Brit I sometimes miss all the decent political stuff over in the US Edited to correct typo
  17. Well, after the "This product may contain nuts" on the airline complimentary nut packets I thought that the daftness inherent in having to protect a business from law-suit chasing consumers could not get much worse. That was - until my wife arrived home this afternoon with a gift for me. She had thoughtfully purchased for me the DVD of Peter Jackson's King Kong that I hadn't gotten around to getting for myself. I carefully examined the special-edition box to see what extras were added and there it was...in bright red letters half an inch high - "Caution! Metal Label. NOT Microwaveable" Now, I know that technology improves at an exponential rate but I am fairly sure that my DVD player and my cooking equipment are not only radically different in design and appearance, but also in location within my house. All the same, I felt safer knowing that, if I wanted to try medium-rare ape, local shop had already anticipated my stupidity.
  18. I just saw the film last night and I loved it! As for Ephialtes's asking to be allowed to help, Leonidas offered him tasks that all the other Spartan soldiers had to undertake. The 300 had no seperate logistics/supply/clean-up corps - all necessary tasks were carried out by the warriors themselves during lulls in the combat. The only thing Ephialtes would not be allowed to do was take part in the actual fighting. I know that some have commented on the amount of one-on-one fighting that took place in the film as a missed opportunity for Leonidas to make use of Ephialtes but none of the 'single' combat would have been possible without the charge-breaking abilities of the Phalanx. The phalanx formation is shown as the true strength of the Spartans as it is used time and again to break the initial assault of Xerxes' troops, allowing the Spartans to then counter-attack in a manner consistent with their superb training. They don't really fight 'one-on-one' but tended to pair up or just spread out, with each watching his comrades and the ebb and flow of the attackers. If the Sparatn phalanx had not held each time it was tested then nothing would have been able to stop the oncoming masses, no matter the individual skills of the defenders.
  19. Richard Dawkin's book 'The God Delusion' does a fantastic, and fascinating, job of dissecting ID/creationism and also of explaining to new-comers the beauty of Darwiin's theory. ID is shown to be the self-defeating arguement that it really is, and completely incompatable with any reasoned view of reality. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks that ID is a reasonable position to adopt from an intellectual stand-point.
  20. I also rate Casino Royale as probably the best movie of the year. I missed Pursuit of Happyness at the cinema but will be buying it when it is available on (non-pirated ) DVD. Casino Royale really raised the bar for espionage/action movies (which it had to, I suppose, with Jason Bourne's recent triumphs) but I couldn't believe how well they had kept to essentials and produced a well-scripted (and acted) plot-driven action movie.
  21. I couldn't find a link to the research quoted in this article (printed in the Daily Mail on Feb 13th 2007) so I'll have to type it in - "The Open Univeristy's Science of climate programme provides graphs showing the way carbon dioxide concentration changes in the atmosphere and the resulting change in mean global temperature (mgt) over a period of 170,000 years. The information is derived not from dodgy computer simulations but from obsrevable facts- from leaf fossils, tree cores and ice core-samples taken in Arctic and Antarctic ice fields. Plotted as graphs, they show a close correlation between carbon dioxide quantity (parts per million by volume [ppm(vol)] in the atmosphere and the change in average global temperature. Over a period of about 135,000 years, the mgt runs from -6c at 192 ppm(vol) of carbon dioxide to +2c at 312 ppm(vol), corresponding to a wolrd mainly covered in ice to one with rampant vegetation. About 150,000 years ago there was little or no vegetation to use up the carbon dioxide and it, therefore, increased. The world's temperature takes about 2,000 to 4,000 years to catch up with the carbon dioxide change causing it. For the next 10,000 to 12,000 years, carbon dioxide and temperature rise to 315 ppm(vol), by which time the mgt stands at +2c and vegetation is rampant, rapidly using up the carbon dioxide for it's growth. Eventually, this results in a fall in carbon dioxide concentration with the mgt falling back down, over the next 125,000 years to -6c, with the vegetation being killed off by the cold, so starting a new cycle. Humanity's contribution to the carbon dioxide cycle is so small that human action has very little to do with it. Global warming is controlled by vegetation growth or decline. it is not controlled by mankind. G.E. Miller " I was quite surprised to see this article in a national newspaper here in the UK as we are being bombarded by the press in the papers, and on the T.V. about the horrors to come that we humans have created and will suffer unless we 'Do something' to mend our evil ways. Hence we now pay a punishment tax to fly on planes from the UK and may soon be punished for driving alone, with no passengers, and also taxed more heavily on our property if we don't use energy-saving bulbs and other devices. It's such a shame that no-one in the media will openly contradict the offcial dogma of all parties in the government about the new religion of 'Green' but feel they must put conflicting views on page 63 of a neswpaper or on a second-rate channel late at night.
  22. There can't be that many atheists around who would get angry because of a discussion about religion (most just give up trying to get the religionists to see reason)- and to get angry enough at someone that for them to diverge from your stated views would earn them death would definitely seem to indicate someone of a less rational persuasion
  23. These might not be what you are looking for but are worth taking a look at. This site is heavily influenced by Miss Rand's philosophy and quite a number of authors here refer to her works and, implicitly or explicitly, many share her world-view due to their beiing exposed to her revolutionary system of thinking. I hope they are useful and good luck with your paper.
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