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Everything posted by FeatherFall

  1. My argument requires no chain of like-minded property owners. I didn't bring it up; that was your invention. Such a chain is irrelevant to this discussion. Voting procedures need to be set to ensure that people have a hand in their government. The best way to establish such procedures is open for debate. Such a debate will never include a mechanism by which people are disenfranchised for how they might choose to vote. That's naked tribalism.
  2. HandyHandle, I didn't introduce a new argument, but rather I clarified the right to freely associate. The immigrant's right is one side of that coin, the native's right is the other corollary side. Thanks for trying to give me the benefit of the doubt regarding what you saw as the first flaw in my argument. I respect that you imagined my argument in the best possible light - with an unbroken chain of property owners from the border to my doorstep. However, my argument requires no such chain of cooperative property owners. The right to use a property includes the right to travel to and from it and the larger world. If someone purchases the area around my house I retain the right to travel through that area - and to have guests. Imprisonment is an act of force. The law will properly define a passageway that I may use. I will skip the second perceived flaw for now and address it at the end of this post. Your third perceived flaw rests on the assumption that I assume an immigrant will stay on my property. I make no such assumption. This issue can be addressed by the same principles of free association and travel that I mentioned in the above paragraph. If an immigrant has a right to be on my property, and I a right to provide hospitality, then the same is true for that immigrant and everyone else in the world at large. They need not know each other before hand; the immigrant has a right to seek them out. He must make sure to avoid all properties properly marked by "Private property: no tresspassing" or "No foreigners allowed" signs. But otherwise he may go about his travel much like you or I may and for the same reason: Rights impose an obligation to refrain from using force until force is used. Your assertion that force is initiated simply by illegally crossing the border stems from your second perceived flaw. Your argument seems to be that because the US has a welfare state, illegal entry is sure to impose a net burden on the welfare system and that burden amounts to force. You are right only in the sense that the welfare state is a use of force, but many other aspects of your argument are false. Firstly, consider that each immigrant represents a different net welfare outcome; some illegal immigrants actually pay more than they will receive. Even if we could assume that an immigrant will be a net drain on the welfare system, there are a couple of false distinctions to consider. One such false distinction is illegal versus legal status. If a(n) (il)legal immigrant is a net drain, then any and all immigration is an act of force. The second false distinction is that a net drain on the welfare system can be treated differently depending on the national status of the recipient. Your argument assumes that the moral status of the citizen recipient is higher than that of the immigrant recipient, but there is actually no truth to this assumption. A net drain represents the same risk to the system no matter who receives the loot. Acting on these false assumptions is the real use of force. Consider that, by your own admission, closing the borders is an attempt to protect the balance sheet of the welfare state. You are violating my rights and the rights of the immigrant to protect a welfare system that is itself immoral. And again, by your own admission, closing the borders is an attempt to control how people vote. If it were moral for you to use force to influence the outcome of a vote, why stop at immigrants? Why not use force to bar welfare recipients from voting, or their children from citizenship? There may be a good argument for non-automatic citizenship. But even so, voter rolls must not be determined by which party benefits from the particular demographics; rather, they must be determined by objective criteria.
  3. Handy, you're really side-stepping the issue of rights. Nicky isn't the only one who wants you to respond to that. What would you say if I told you that my rights (as a native Wisconsinite) are violated when you bar immigrants from my neighborhood? Have I no right to free association, to employ or rent my home to whomever I choose? Once we resolve that, we can discuss whether it is moral for you to disenfranchise people for how they vote. But I won't entertain that one until I hear your response to the issue of rights. I'm just going to ask you again if you avoid it.
  4. I have to strain myself to find what remains of the topic in some of the last few posts, so I've hidden them. Y'all can try again with less flaming.
  5. That may be true, but pseudonyms (and even lying about one's history) are not against our forum rules. So unless he's impersonating a real person or breaking a forum rule he will be allowed to post here.
  6. I don't think this accurately describes Rand's position. She believed that consciously holding a complete description of a concept is impossible. According to her, words are like an interface; they allow all of their referent properties, known and unknown, to be condensed into a usable form. The mental act of retrieving a word necessarily omits from the conscious mind almost everything that word could be used to represent.
  7. Framed as triage, I still think you should re-evaluate where you put the monetary monopoly. The WOD is a heinous and separate problem; if I were to rank it I just might also put it above the monetary monopoly. But before I rank the problems I'd want to make sure I identify each one correctly... And here is where I think you're making an error with regard to taxation. Part of the reason your tax bill is so high is because of spending largess. That largess is made possible by runaway deficit spending, which is itself made sustainable by the monetary monopoly. Sure, the government could accumulate debt without the monopoly, but I doubt they'd rack up a bill as big as they have. Edit: Without debt financing they'd have to raise taxes alongside, right on the heels of, or just before new spending measures. People don't stand for largess when they know they have to pay for it (case in point, Obamacare). As it stands, the debt finance shell game buys lawmakers enough time to use the "Budget crises! We're already knee deep in this! Nobody knows how we got here but we'd better raise taxes or the economy will blow up!" excuse to raise taxes.
  8. Also, Batman Pranks Spider-Man. There isn't much to say about this other than someone thinks Peter Parker is the kind of guy who'd read Atlas Shrugged.
  9. As an addendum I'd like to say that I'm uncomfortable with the way scientists use the word, "universe." To me, that always meant everything that exists, or everything that has, does and will exist. And then they start talking about multiverses, which forces a redefinition of universe to describe a mere fraction of what that word used to mean. It also requires a new word, which I'm not sure has been coined yet. Omniverse, maybe?
  10. Others probably have a better understanding of this. I welcome their additions or corrections. Lawrence Krauss recently wrote a book called, A Universe From Nothing. I haven't read it, but I have listened to him speak on the subject. He argues that the void of space has properties, including (but, as far as I know, not limited to) being a sort of unstable state of energy. He describes it as a sort of zero-value state on a scale with both positive and negative values. At any given moment that void could spew out two oppositely charged particles, like a positron and an electron. This is as accurate as my cave-man brain can describe it. The point is that the void of space has properties, which supports the plenum argument. Inexplicably, Krauss gets upset with philosophers who tell him that this means the universe didn't come from nothing. Also, he says that the universe can propagate no faster than the speed of light. Because we know the approximate age of the universe, he says we know approximately how wide it is.
  11. I haven't read her whole article, nor am I familiar with her body of work, so my comments address only the passages cited in the OP. Patriarchies are less relevant today. With regard to power relationships, familial power relationships seem to have the biggest effect on how people develop into who they are (especially during the ages that they enter the porn industry). Familial relationships are varied, with most single-family households led (for good or bad) by a matriarch. I would be interested to see how many porn actresses grew up in single-mother households. Modern arguments for the existence of broader "societal" patriarchies appear to employ stolen concepts. It is demented to tell a five year old that her woo will rot off if she plays with it. However, teaching adolescent females to be selective about who they have sex with is a lesson in empowerment. I don't see how a career in porn necessarily contradicts that lesson.
  12. Is it possible to adjust the grey-scale of the image to make it darker? That might create sufficient contrast between the background and the text of the post header. Edit: I see that changes have already been made. I wondered why people were having trouble .
  13. I didn't see it. I just watched Captain Phillips, and that was very good.
  14. To clarify, I thought pre-emptive war (in the Iraq war context) meant that you were in a sate where large-scale conflict was suspended, but that you expected a resumption of large-scale hostilities to be likely and that the risk of the other side escalating before you outweighed the risks involved in escalating the war yourself.
  15. I have seen everyone in this thread implicitly agree with the two following statements: The initiation of force is always wrong. The initiation of violence is not necessarily the initiation of force. Skylab appears to disagree that "preemptive war" can be a response to an initiation of force, and therefore is itself the initiation of force. This is not what I understand "preemptive war" to mean, so maybe we should tease that out. This phrase started to be widely used in response to Iraq's noncompliance with UN inspectors. It applied to a war with a regime that was in regular armed conflict with the US for a decade (no fly zone fire, etc), had no moral legitimacy due to its routine violations of the rights of its citizens, and was intentionally violating various agreements meant to insure other nations that it did not have aggressive intentions. In this case, "preemptive war" was not the initiation of force; it wasn't even the initiation of violence. I don't know that I'd even call it a preemptive war. Maybe this is why we all have some confusion over the term?
  16. Do you understand that the way you argue this point screams out the implication that the monetary monopoly is ok because you (one guy) have the skills and means to minimize its impact on your life?
  17. Government printing money is analogous to a stock split without the rule that an individual's stake must be maintained. Therefore, though AAPL stock can fail for many reasons, it can't fail because of a stock split. The Dollar can. We've gone round after round over the monetary monopoly, and you're wrong that it isn't enforced by law. It is the mechanism by which wealth is taxed, business subsidies are granted or denied, FDIC participants are insured, vast sectors of the home loan industry are guaranteed, etc. You are correct in that you are free to barter or contract without it under limited circumstances. But your property and capital gains will be converted into dollars and taken from you for the express purpose of propping up the "good faith and credit" of the US. If you want to make the argument that "there's no law" requiring that each and every transaction involve dollars, then you won't have an arguing partner. But I won't let you use that argument as a semantic life raft to escape the sinking ship Innocent Dollar. She happens to be as seaworthy as her name is candid. Before this analogy runs away on me I want to make it clear that I am making no predictions about fed policy or the value of the dollar. In other words, though I remain open to the idea, I don't share Schiff's and Paul's convictions that the demise of the dollar is imminent. But if the value of the dollar were to sink like the Spanish armada, the State's monetary monopoly will make this a very messy affair for anyone with any wealth to lose. And, yes, that too will be temporary.
  18. DonAthos, do you worry that your choice might not be between a candidate who employs faith versus one who unsuccsessfully but honestly employs reason, but rather one who employs faith versus one who bows to appeals to authority and emotionalism?
  19. Many leftist appeals to reason and evidence amount to nothing more than cargo cultism. Lysenko comes to mind. This kind of pretend "reason" is no less creepy or destructive than biblical literalism. It is also an appeal to faith, dispite the dishonist and emotionally manipulative objections of the people who use such appeals.
  20. I think you identified the razor in the original post. At this point we need only apply it to concrete situations. Is there a particular scenario that interests you?
  21. What I mean is an investor that correctly interprets all data and is good enough at obtaining data that he always makes profitable decisions. It's as valid a concept as is a Unicorn. That neither can exist is a separate matter. Regarding the rest of your post, do you mean to imply that dollar inflation won't cause a retraction in business loans? Edit: I already said that I have no argument with you regarding how investors treat the dollar when trading commodities. But the fact is that when an AAPL stock split occurs, your shares aren't diluted. You can't say the same of the dollar. The point I'd like you to stop dodging pertains to how this difference effects businesses. Because there is no requirement that monetary inflation be paired with a distribution scheme that maintains each individual's asset value, and because it's the law that people trade in dollars (not AAPL shares), monetary inflation signals something fundamentally different and causes different things to happen. One of those things is a retraction in loans. Can you name another investment instrument that could have this effect? I can't. I briefly considered oil because energy is one of the few things that could effect a whole economy. But if oil prices took a nosedive, again, that would indicate an abundance of value. It certainly wouldn't cause a fog that prevents businesses from obtaining loans.
  22. If your point is that a perfect investor will always make perfect trades, then fine. I've got no argument, but I don't see any broader implications in your posts than that. The point I was approaching is this: "Informed investors" making good decisions by fleeing the dollar is exactly the danger. This will cause an economy-wide retraction of liquidity for businesses. If you can't see how this will affect you, then good. It means, on some level, you understand why central planning doesn't work. But you must realize that it's not just the "uninformed investors" who suffer. When people are forced to use a particular currency, the inflation of that currency is fundamentally different than the inflation of a real commodity. When gold devalues it's because we have more gold or a suitable alternative. In other words, the devaluation indicates a relative increase of value in the economy. All monetary distortion does is cloud signals, which will result in less value over time. Ron Paul understands that bitcoins aren't inflatable, but he's found a poor way to make that point. One of the reasons I don't believe that bitcoins will rival the dollar any time soon is that they aren't forced on us. I'll start believing in them when people start trading them for real estate.
  23. People who invest in loans are afraid of US dollar inflation.
  24. Nicky, again, sources would help clear up the matter. The important details to source would be the specific people he placed in government and their relationship to the bombings you previously sourced. Once we have that information we can assess how much power Mandela actually had to put these people on trial and what the results would have been if he tried, or who would be the last man standing if he broke ranks from other leaders. We'd also have to weigh that against any moral legitimacy his presence gave to what came after him, and whether that was a consequence he could have predicted. A comparison of the regime the MC was fighting against to the replacement regime Mandela wanted to set up is necessary to obtain a complete moral evaluation. To get that we have to source some relevant figures about each side, and we've only begun to source the info from one side.
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