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Everything posted by FeatherFall

  1. Bills aren't written in response to crises, crises are leveraged to pass bills. Even if a bill hasn't been proposed before a crisis, you can bet that some hack is sitting on one that's already written, biding his time for the right moment to propose it. The same with a committee; they aren't going to pass a bill until the right political climate for a vote. Such a climate could consist of a congress willing to pass it (admittedly a long shot for this one; one website gives the bill a 20% chance of passing). The climate could also consist of a populace ready to punish politicians for refusing to pass such a bill; in other words, it can be used as a wedge issue in the next election. Piece's like Armstrong's can be valuable tools in reducing the effectiveness of such wedge bills, or in taking that 20% down to 15%.
  2. S. 150 And you know damn well that federal laws aren't the only ways for politicians to violate rights. These are just the others I found in the first minute. Executive Order California Maryland If you know anything about the man you're criticizing, you would know he is politically active in Colorado, where recent gun legislation has lead to the recall of two state legislators. Just because a bill is not in committee doesn't mean gun control isn't an issue in the state. Do you think Democrats won't try to repeal concealed and open carry in Wisconsin if they took back control of the state? There is no issue more alive in America than gun control. So again, it is monumentally ignorant to call it a dead issue. My conclusion at this point is that you've criticized Armstrong for demanding that any action taken by the government not violate rights. Your critique of him can only come from a drive to make fun of christian conservatives with whom you've mistakenly grouped him. I suggest you find some way to keep your hackles down when you think you smell conservative, because you're embarrassing yourself.
  3. Crow, the last part of your last paragraph was intelligible only as an expression of contempt for conservatives. What was your point? Is it that Armstrong is kowtowing? Please explain. You write, "not even Jon Stewart," as if nobody is calling for more gun control in the wake of this incident, which is a patently absurd suggestion. The latest rights-violating gun control laws were passed after the latest high-profile mass shooting (Aurora). To say gun control is a dead issue is to express a stunning level of ignorance. Edit: The fact that you would even reference Jon Stewart is indicative of the way you discuss issues like this. You seem very interested in firing spiteful zingers at christian conservatives, and that is causing you to imagine some weird transgression on Armstrong's part. I still don't understand what that transgression is.
  4. I'm glad we're on the same page. You realize that your earlier posts were critical of Armstrong, right? Edit: Just to clear up any possible confusion, "might be a danger," and "is an objective threat" are two different things... I assumed you meant the latter, which is in full agreement with Armstrong. But I needed to make sure, which is why I explained the difference in post 10. You seem to agree with Armstrong's views on gun control (on some level), despite your criticism of him for writing a piece in opposition to gun-control statism. Why you criticized him for that is still beyond me.
  5. It isn't accurate to characterize Armstrong's blog post as blaming guns. Gun prohibition can be a valid tool for the criminal justice system, like driving prohibition, or restraining orders.
  6. I hope you understand that the following does not accurately represent Armstrong's position: What you describe here is not what he suggested in his blog. He suggested that we have a system that identifies people who present objective threats and curtail their rights. Sounds similar to what you suggested a few posts ago, no? Contrast that with your sentence, which (intentionally or otherwise) suggests that we curtail the rights of people who might present objective threats. That's everybody, son. Whether Armstrong thinks that identifying these people is the role of law enforcement or the role of the judicial system (with the help of LEOs and medical practitioners) is also up for debate. It's hard to get into specifics, considering that he explicitly stated that the subject was outside of the scope of his blog post. I personally think it would be more appropriate to place that power within the judicial system. If you're going to stand by the statement that we should curtail the rights of suspected threats, we can have that discussion. But it would address a completely different issue than the one at hand, which is your claim that Armstrong is a self-contradictory conservative ass-kisser. You're suggesting this guy *might* have purchased a weapon after exhibiting the behavior that should have landed him in jail under current laws... And I am to take that as evidence of your claim? Try again. In the wake of this latest shooting (as with all of the rest), statists call for all sorts of new legal restrictions that violate individual rights. Armstrong's article is a call to respect individual rights. Dropping this context is great if your intention is to make fun of conservatives. It's not so great if your intention is to speak to Ari's argument (which you seem to agree with, BTW).
  7. Crow, we don't seem to know when the shotgun was purchased or transferred. He may have got it prior to the appearance of his violent and psychotic behavior. You chose to talk past the main points of the post and criticize it for not addressing... Something that we don't have enough info to address. Do better next time.
  8. I've never heard an Objectivist endorse the idea. Maybe you're confused about how Objectivists decide to place blame for collateral damage? Edit: To clarify, Objectivism holds that the aggressor nation is morally responsible for the war deaths of its own citizens. If a civilian population needs to be struck to degrade the military capability of an aggressor, then such a strike moral when performed as an act of defense. This does not speak to specifically targeting children, as I can see no conceivable way to degrade military capacity by doing so.
  9. Here is one of the latest efforts to tone down alarmism, the 50 ot 1 project. It is an attempt to show that the costs of stopping climate change are fifty times as high as the costs of living with it. http://topher.com.au/50-to-1-video-project/#prettyPhoto
  10. Obama voiced his intentions for a "limited response." This is being widely interpreted by those in the media the way SoftwareNerd interpreted it. The end result, it seems to me, is this: Syria gets a limited pass, this time. The broader issue of chemical weapons in war is punted to the next psycho regime, but mass proliferation is mildly deterred. Meanwhile, the scenario plays out as Yaron Brook prescribed. I'm undecided on this issue, but that could be the best response that has a chance of actually happening in the real world.
  11. Probeson, the mere geography of the war does not, in fact, allow you to identify the aggressor. You are on an Objectivist forum where we believe that threats of physical force are essentially no different from aggressive acts of physical violence. If I am surrounded by a bunch of thugs who are talking to each other about knocking me out, I'm not going to wait until one of them swings. I'm going to preempt the aggressive violence with a violent act of self defense. This idea translates just fine into national relations. The 6-day war is a perfect example of a preemptive strike used for the purpose of national defense. As far as the other wars are concerned, I think we might be reading from different history books.
  12. Probeson, I'm not convinced that Israel systematically disenfranchises the non-Jew. You don't prove systematic disenfranchisement by naming a bunch of non-discriminatory laws. You prove systematic disenfranchisement by naming one law after another that actually discriminates. As an atheist, Israel is one of the countries I'd feel comfortable visiting. I can't say the same for any nation that surrounds Israel, including the occupied territories (that isn't an argument for Israel, but it does put Israel's government in context). We've got some pretty robust discussions on this forum about the history of Israel, who was the aggressor, etc. This is the real heart of the matter. You seem to think the Palestinians are some innocent group of oppressed people who were blindsided by a Jewish blitzkrieg. I'm currently of the opinion that Israel has repeatedly defended itself from Arab aggression, that the Palestinians never gave up their anti-Semitic Jihad like some of their neighbors, and that Israel's long-term decisions are more or less justified. You could begin to convince me otherwise if you were to show me that the so-called Nakba was not a warranted response by Israelis to an existential threat.
  13. Probeson, The French-Israel analogy is more apt than you are willing to admit. Judaism is not just a religion; one need only look to the history of Jerusalem to understand that Jews are bound by an ethnicity with roots planted in an ancient nation. The right of return is as much a national right as it is a religious right. Think of it this way - If France were defeated by Germany in WWII and a new French government were created in in southern Asia, the new nation may allow any descendant of a French citizen to become a citizen of the new nation. That situation would mirror the Israeli right of return. The right of return is certainly not racial discrimination. Race would have to be a factor, and Jews of all races exist. I am more sympathetic to your objection that this is a form of religious discrimination, but again, the religion cannot be divorced from the kingdom of David. The worst criticism that can be leveled at this policy is that a proper government allows open immigration for everybody that isn't a threat... That criticism doesn't approach the charge of apartheid. I've also got some questions that I hope you'll be kind enough to answer. I don't think you've done enough to address the distinction between Israeli citizens and occupied Palestinians. Your only response to Nicky seems to be that you think 50 years is too long for a nation to occupy a territory. Why? What is your time limit, and how did you arrive at it? Also, much of your grievance seems to be with laws that were put in place to manage post-war transitions. Do you believe Israel was defending itself in those wars, or rather that it was the aggressor?
  14. Altruism, according to Rand, is an ethical system based on living for others. This is distinct from how the average Joe uses the term to mean help for others. Rand said altruism is wrong because it can't be consistently practiced. She believed that it causes a host of problems, including ever more emotional damage as the altruist fails to consistently practice his principles. Objectivism holds that to live happily you have to think of yourself first. It organizes its ethics around egoism, but that doesn't preclude an Objectivist from helping other people. All of the good acts you mentioned could be done in a selfish way, and therefore could be perfectly moral, according to Objectivism. What Objectivism rejects is the idea that a rich person has to donate money in order to be a good person. Promotion of that last idea is evil, but helping others can often be an extremely fulfilling value.
  15. I'm unable to answer your first two questions. I would think the right to be "secure in our papers" clearly implies a right to data privacy. However, not everyone thinks as I do, so a right to be "secure in our papers and data" may need enumeration.
  16. I'm asking you to acknowledge that the government's role in contract enforcement implies a role in marriage. The government's proper role involves all sorts of relationships, commercial and familial. A two-tiered system of enforcing contracts is unjust, and (in this case) is remedied by sanctioning gay marriages.
  17. Axman, if your argument is that marriage should amount to a mere contractual arrangement, great. But then you'll have to concede that two men or two women are in many states prevented from entering into the same kinds of contractual relationships as a man and a woman. This affects their ability to establish lines of inheritance, determine custody, secure hospital visitation, immigrate or emmigrate, etc.
  18. In this video, Jim Harper seems to take the position that some of the right protections are already in place but they aren't being followed. Specifically, he thinks the FISA courts are misinterpreting the 3rd party precedent. Edit: Right, Nicky, "parallel construction." If congress were to exercise authority over such flagrant abuses of power, there would be a national debate over the separation of powers and congress's "power grab." It would be a power grab, but only to put right what I see as a long-running imbalance of powers. Congress tends to cede too much power to the executive branch when they authorize new federal agencies.
  19. Crow, I agree that Krugman's statement about national pension deficits may have been warranted, if only because he was responding to a miscalculation that inflated the "crisis." But that's the thing; he is using what would otherwise be a one or two-sentence correction to support a broader theme. His raison d'etre seems to be to whitewash national-scale theft. Remember that Krugman used the word, "victim," in reference to economic forces. In other words, the wrong done to Detroit was ultimately economic in nature, not administrative (the admins, after all, were "not uniquely responsible" for what happened). The purpose of this piece is the same as nearly every other piece of his: to provide moral cover when public administrators steal private money for hand-outs. Krugman's pieces are evil because they are designed to sanction evil. Edit: Think of it this way - loosely speaking, we say the genus is "economic failure," while the differentia is "government mismanagement." Krugman says the genus is "government management," while the differentia is "bad economy." Which sentence better conceptualizes what happened? Which one shields immoral activity from normative evaluation?
  20. Kate, I may have made this point in another thread, but it is worth repeating since you presented this quote again. The quote doesn't express a position. If you support Rand's position on this matter then you have no position.
  21. I might be with Kate on this one. It may be irrelevant to the thread, but it isn't irrelevant to your previous point about America being the most free country in the world. Having never been anywhere else but Canada and Mexico (and various native tribal lands that don't really count) I'd have to say that I honestly don't know enough to judge which one is THE best. But I'm beginning to seriously doubt that the good ol' US of A is it. Besides, I'm not sure how bringing up who America picks fights with addresses her issue. I'll let Kate source the quote for you, but if I recall correctly it was one of her Q&A responses. She had limited time to think the issue through. Her statement actually didn't express any position one way or the other on gun control. It's clearly not a part of the philosophy. I'm not with Kate on this one for two reasons. Firstly, I don't think Kate understands Rand's statement. To me it looks pretty clear that Rand thought she saw a contradiction between self-defense and destructive capacity that she didn't know how to resolve. But this must not be very clear to others, because Kate has paraded this quote around before in support of a firm conclusion that there is no conflict, only a destructive capacity. The second reason I'm not with Kate is because I think we resolve this perceived conflict through some form of legal protection of the right to defend yourself. We take away the destructive capacity here just as we would anywhere else; when someone proves they can't handle it.
  22. I really don't see "gun culture" as the primary issue of this thread. Neither is the verdict. The primary issue seems to be the race-baiting, deceptions and outright lies used to sacrifice Zimmerman to the Democratic party's political platform so they can energize their voter base. The specifics of the court case are only relevant to the extent that they prove this was never about a murder, and always about a national political agenda. Gun culture didn't kill Trayvon. His apparent decision to attack someone who followed him did.
  23. I think the point that you failed to address was the fact that when things degrade into war, factions emerge. The military potentially exists as its own faction which might refuse to deploy itself in a conflict between citizens and local police.
  24. I was aware of those bans. I worked in firearms retail and we sold a few knives, too. We couldn't sell butterfly knives because our state bans them. We couldn't sell automatic knives. But knives with side-stud levers and spring-assisting mechanisms are as legal as cardboard. Anyway, I guess I got the impression that she meant there was a ban on all knives - that seemed to present a better mirror for her argument that all guns should be banned. In any event, people in my state were once allowed to conceal any blade shorter than 6", and larger blades were not themselves banned. Concealed blades of all lengths have been permitted for at least a year or two.
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