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Everything posted by aequalsa

  1. First, the regulations for the video we saw were in regard to demonstrating, but even with regard to the original dancer, I don't think that it's entirely arbitrary. Imagine building a monument to Jefferson as a private individual. If you build a nice place like that "to contemplate and wax philosophical" or whatever, leaving it completely open means that maybe a local DJ will start playing some swing jazz every night and the place will be packed full of swing dancers. Nothing wrong with swing dancing but it changes the tone of the place and the thing which you built primarily for its meaning loses its meaning. Others who visit it can only accept the new jazzy culture of the place and can no longer experience it as the builder intended. I could entirely imagine making those exact rules on my own Jefferson Monument were I to build one. Property has purpose and must be maintained by those who own it. In this case it's the government. I haven't read or heard anything so far in all of the hoopla to suggest that they made a principled argument as to why government should not be in the business of owning property. Mostly just complaints that they have the right to behave in some way on this "public property," and have an immediate notification of a a police officer's intent. Without maintaining that principled track regarding property, the argument is lost because in disagreeing with their particular bylaws and regulations you necessarily imply agreement with their right to own the property in the first place. This is why libertarianism generally fails. By looking at the surface of freedom you'll end in ignoring the underlying mechanisms. It also distracts from the legitimate argument which could be made when everyone's busy screaming about their right to dance on that one piece of marble. In short, it's poorly picked because it means that you've let your opponent define the terms which in rhetoric means that you've already lost 5 minutes from now.
  2. My understanding(and I'd defer to a professional on this)is that they have some time frame within which they must make a charge or let you go. Typically 48 hours or so.
  3. Cost of a new prius? $42,000 Cost of environmental regulations for the global economy? Trillions of dollars Cost of seeing these pricks choke on their regulations? Priceless http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/30/environmental-tax-threatens-green-energy-research
  4. You make a good point and I would agree that if someone were experiencing a disvalue acting against the law with the realization that you might go to jail could be a reasonable risk one might take. This wasn't the case here though. It was a small, though deliberately organized demonstration to break the law as a way of making a political argument against the government's particular method of managing its facilities. We have the right to disagree but we are not co-owners of government property. we are citizens who elect representative that, among other things, write regulations for how the governments property shall be used. I did not intend anarchist to be a pejorative but rather one possible description for this action. The other being that the battle was poorly picked. I just do not see this as indicative of a police state. Forcing me to by health insurance? Forcing me to sell my house to wal-mart through eminent domain? These yes. But doing whatever I want on property that's not mine? Kind of a stretch for me. The original dancer was not, but I think it was pretty clearly a demonstration that they thought that dancing should be allowed. People didn't just happen to be dancing there and it was on the heels of another event. That's where our difference of opinion lies. I and apparently the courts don't see the right to regulate their own property as arbitrary. The only way it becomes that is if you buy into this leftist notion of public property where it is something that all citizens have a right to. It doesn't exist. You can't build a house in the middle of a national park. walk into area 51(or any military installation really) or, apparently, dance at the Jefferson memorial. Once ownership of property is transferred to government then anything that you can do there is by privilege and not by right because it is theirs. I agree that it should not be theirs, but that isn't what they are arguing, as far as I can tell. They seem to be accepting the premise that the government owns the property but that they have no authority to regulate it as they see fit since it's "public.".
  5. I'd agree, but I didn't see them do anything to make that case. They seemed to walk onto government property just to say, "your not the boss of me." If he uses it as a platform to make a real philosophical case I'll give him more credit for that. It is a kind of property though. It is government owned property which would exist, at least in the form of courtrooms, military bases and police stations even in an Objectivist utopia. There is no right to dance in a courtroom, or a police station if those who manage it ask you not to. It is the same case here. You could make a case that the government should not own any memorials but they seem to be implying that because it's "public property" and they are members of the public, they have some sort of right to it.
  6. I have no idea why you are so heated and insist on attacking my character, which, I'd like to add, you know almost nothing about. I brought up my personal achievements because you accused me(for no reason at all) of watching sponge bob and being apathetic from my arm chair. That you insist that the only way someone can effect change is through direct political contact tells me that you in no way understand my position. In short, I believe in regards to this issue that 1)without the rule of law, freedom cannot exist. 2)That political change is impossible and never permanent if not accompanied and further, proceeded by a change in the philosophical outlook of the people. 3) That no political system, enacted, could be perfect in its application of the law. 4)That redundancy is and ought to be built into our legal system to minimize harm when mistakes are made by human authorities. 5)The US is not yet at the point where violent resistance is appropriate. That is to say, peaceful alterations of our government are still possible. 6)There has been a consistent and gradual slide towards statism since the civil war that has not been halted by decades of demonstrations. 7)That this was a planned political demonstration by Adam which he chose to do on government property without a permit. 8)That government property has to be treated like private property or it becomes a floating abstraction with all kinds of "commons" problems. Those are my premises. If you would like to discuss why they are wrong, I'd be happy to, but if you just want to call me an enemy of freedom and a cartoon watcher then I don't care to continue. Cheers
  7. After reading the "silent dancers violently arrested" thread, I have decided that you are a boss. :D

  8. I can't speak for RPR since I am unfamiliar with them but if they are using the word literally, they're not that far off track. Remember that Nazi's were National Socialists. The word has sort of become a pejorative because of the eventual mass graves, but the meaning and selling points of the party were essentially about government planning. Most imagine Hitlers speeches to be angry rantings about killing Jews. However, if you listen to his speeches with subtitles you'll find that they are usually about Germany using central planning to better manage their resources or uplifting the war war effort or some such. Most that I have watched(like the one that I linked) seem like they could easily be given by most of our current politicians without anyone raising an eyebrow. Just insert minor tweaks to make it more current. Blame our limited resources on climate change, etc. The breakdown in understanding comes from the objectivist view that socialism always ends with mass graves, conflicting with the view that mass graves were the intended purpose. When resources get tight, as they always do under socialism, bad things start to "have" to happen; people starve to death, scapegoats are found, panels decide what health services a person is allowed to receive. Without the fluid demand/supply balance that capitalism provides, serious shortages are inevitable and than harm is caused, leaving the mass of semi-guilty people argueing against each other with republicans angry that welfare mom's get free money while demanding their social security checks and other such hypocrisy as the norm. And that's the root of the train wreck, allegorically. In capitalism, each individual is responsible for himself in that he ultimately bares the weight of his mistakes. Under socialism, where no one is clearly responsible, we all bare the collective weight of all of our mistakes. Right now, for example we are responsible for trillions of dollars to bail out banks, bomb nations, rebuild nations we bombed, providing the social security ponzi scheme to an upside down triangle of citizens, and what not. That elimination of responsibility creates, unsurprisingly, more irresponsible people who end up having a hand in their own destruction. As to the actual passage in the book it points to the view that they are, eventually, responsible for their misdeeds and are ultimately going to pay the price for them. It is not some 'hand of god' labeling them as evil and deserving of death. It is the simple fact that all actions have consequences and they each did their little part to cause the wreck to happen and now have to pay for it. That is the really relevant misunderstanding that many share. In Objectivism, evil is that which is anti-life. As such, it does not have to be intentional. Hitler, and nearly every other "evil" person in history justified their actions to themselves. Those who don't tend to be suffering from psychosis so viewing them as somehow more evil than someone who "inadvertently" causes more suffering is neither here nor there. Ultimately, the label is irrelevant and being evil means that you will probably suffer bad consequences and being good means that you will usually enjoy pleasant consequences. Socialism and any other mercy based system muddies those waters of justice and increases the time lapse of action and consequence which makes right action more difficult to learn. Then, bad consequences, therefore...antilife...evil. Personally I try to avoid using those terms outside of objectivist circles, as do I "selfishness" in the objectivist sense because they end up taking too much time to explain and side-rail conversations.
  9. You sort of answered your own question. The issue probably won't ever come up again. I could list 30 things off the top of my head that people could better spend their time on than this. Even best, best case scenario...get an amendment added to the Constitution which expressly allows dancing at the Jefferson Memorial...so what? I still have to give away 1/2 of my money each year...airwaves are still granted by government charter. In all actuality though, there probably isn't even a rule about dancing there. The rule is probably that security can take what steps they feel that they need to ensure the safety of the grounds and the visitors and staff. Best case scenario, you could have the sergeant reprimanded for over reacting. But even that is unlikely since the officers were incredibly restrained. Leaving out firearms, clubs, and tazers, all of the martial applications were entirely non-ballistic, restraining techniques. The gentle chokes, take downs, all of it. They could not have been more gentle. And to save you(Jennifer, not Eiuol) the trouble of another ad hominem, I've studied martial arts for the better part of 14 years, mostly self defense applications. You know...in between episodes of Spongebob.
  10. You should honestly look before you leap. In the last year I built a Montessori School from scratch which I expect to have open this coming fall; I worked part time; went to school part time; Made a significant positive return on my stock investments which I manage myself; this all was while I was emotionally embroiled in a terrible personal tragedy in which I assisted in removing my sister, physically and emotionally, from a white slavery circumstance which finally, 6 months ago landed all 5 of the perpetrators in federal prison with multiple life sentences. So...now am I entitled to an opinion or would you care to pointlessly insult me some more for disagreeing with this fellow's approach? My hope is that through Montessori, teaching children how to think critically and in essentials will help them realize the futility of this decidedly anarchist approach to change. Government owned property is privately owned property. There is no right to dance there, or sing there, or protest there. It is all privilege granted by the owner or in this case, the owners appointed caretakers. If they demanded that people in their facility wear only orange socks on Tuesday it would be totally within their rights to do so. The only legitimate argument is that government should not be allowed to own that particular property which is not an argument which they made. It's the same thing on public roads. Some speeds limits may strike you as utterly ridiculous, but intentionally breaking the law and going to jail as a form of protest is valueless and wrong headed. Think about it like this...there is one stretch of road where the speed limit really bothers you, so in addition to getting arrested and spending tons of money on fines you write letters, make phone calls, hire attorneys, and finally you get the civil engineers to recalculate and they grant you a change to the one spot. Hurray. Nothing has fundamentally changed! The government still owns the roads and while you were busy eliminating that one speed trap they built 47 others. It's not a winnable fight in this way and doing nothing would be more helpful to the cause then trying to take them down from the bottom up. Ideas matter. You have to change the way people think or you're just spitting into the wind and getting angry that the wind blew it back in your face. Writing, educating, or if you want more direct interaction, pursuing constitutional law and running for office are all legitimate. (And to be clear, most of what he does seems to qualify as appropriate. This one doesn't.
  11. Is it also ridiculous to suggest that they are poor at picking important battles? Because I'm pretty sure that is the case...Or is making indirect ad hominems at out of context strawmen the only way to avoid being ridiculous?
  12. I'm not clear what it was they were protesting. If they were protesting against the requirement of getting a permit to protest on government owned property then they're either anarchists or poor at picking important battles. Either way, it seems a little immature and undeserving of pity. Was their a real cause that I missed?
  13. If I had my way I'd go even further with the draconian measures by applying to them the same rules that they apply to corporate heads. Apply it not just to them but to all of their family and acquaintances..."Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him?"
  14. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/25/house-members-stock-market-success-questioned/ "Strict laws ban corporate executives from trading on their insider knowledge, but no restrictions exist for members of Congress. Lawmakers are permitted to keep their holdings and trade shares on the market, as well as vote on legislation that could affect their portfolio values." which leads to "investments of members of the House of Representatives outperformed those of the average investor by 55 basis points per month, or 6 percent annually" I know their mostly a pack of unprincipled, hypocritical shit bags and I shouldn't be surprised but sometimes their behavior leaves me choking on my own vomit.
  15. This is a more interesting version of the people on the train track who get saved by switching the track to where one fat guy is standing. Actively killing one person to save 5 others is nothing more than sacrificing him for the good of the collective. The flooding case is more interesting because you could imagine it without deaths. As it stands, it would be immoral since there is likely to be some percentage of deaths and killing some to save more others is not justifiable. If however the river could be redirected in such away that human lives were spared but property damaged ensued, I think it would be tolerable with the understanding that the town saved from the flood and the insurance protecting its inhabitants would then be financially liable for the damages in the area where the water was diverted.
  16. Honestly, if you "just do things that you enjoy and further your life/career" you'll probably get tackled sooner rather than later despite your best misanthropic intentions. What's more, she's likely to be of higher quality under that circumstance as well since it usually implies that she's attracted to your character rather than just being liked or whatever other psychological dysfunction motivates people to get into relationships.
  17. Well dammit! there go my plans for the weekend. With questions like this I feel as though the context of morality(or law if it's a legal question) is completely dropped in order to produce an apparent contradiction. If I give my money voluntarily to a grocery store cashier and then he refuses to let me take my groceries home because I didn't have a signed contract, has he violated my rights? After all, how was he to know that the money I handed him wasn't just a gift? There are reasonable expectations that civilization operates under to avoid a bureaucratic nightmare. Other notable favorites are "Well, I never SAID you were the only woman I was sleeping with," or "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you," with a finger an inch from someone's eye.
  18. It's a bit ironic that you chose malaria as an example where increased empathy and concern would help. As dream weaver mentioned, DDT completely eradicated malaria everywhere it was used. It was made illegal for perceived and inaccurate environmental reasons and now for the past 40 years nearly a million people(mostly children) die every year as a result of their well meaning concern. I realize, of course, that this particular example is not critical to your inquiry, but it does serve well to warn of the immense damage that can be caused by well meaning heroes with such an empathetic world view. Empathy is a strong and powerfully motivating emotion-so powerful in fact that it, in my opinion, more often than not causes people to act unthoughtfully. Even something as seemingly benevolent as food aid to a famine stricken country has a large context that can quite easily eliminate much or usually all of the benefit. Outside of the obvious use of the aid by a petty dictator to starve and control elements of the population, it has the long term effect of artificially increasing the size of the population far past the point that an agrarian civilization lacking in appropriate levels of technology and education could ever realistically maintain itself autonomously. The same difficulty accurately scales to individual behavior. Enabling a loved one engaged in an unhealthy habit or behavior, whether it's bailing out a gambler or overreacting to a 4 year old's separation anxiety, almost always ends in far more harm than even completely ignoring the problem would ever have caused. I think Rand's interest in Hickman had less to do with his psychopathy and more to do with the sociopathic elements of his personality. The ability to override the powerful inclination to help someone because your focused mind acknowledges the long term harm that would ensue, is nothing less than a heroic act. You can see this element in play in a great number of places, but one that leaps to mind for me is Francisco's desire to save Rearden from his investments in his hollowed out copper enterprise. Or even in Dagny's primary struggle to save the world through her efforts when she leaves the valley. Sociopaths and psychopaths override their empathy naturally but they probably served to help her delineate the behavior required of her heroes to be truly good and just empathetic.
  19. I have a friend with private insurance who just got a similar letter along with a 70% increase in premium cost. That's just the beggining though. Wait until the purchase is mandated in 2014 and the insurance idustry gets a flood of irrationally increased demand. Thank god for price controls...
  20. Or maybe he's just a arrogant douchebag who thinks he has proven god's existence with math and still hasn't gotten over his childhood issues from half a century previous? I just watched an interview with him. I'm totally unimpressed. Battling for the right ideas is great but picking the right battles is critical and there are probably 100 better ways that you could come up with to spend your energy then trying to convince a 58 year old mystic who has no regard for others opinions to change his mind about almost everything he already believes. His life's work looks like the embodiment of the primacy of consciousness. Might be a fun conversation to hear about, though, so don't let me dissuade you from trying. I just wouldn't get too attached to the idea.
  21. " Freedom is not necessarily a right. It is a privilege that you have to earn. A lot of people abuse their freedom and that is something that people have to be trained not to do."-Smartest man in the world who also suggested that he could do the training. You got some serious work ahead of you, if you wanna convince this fellow. IQ =/= Smart as a general rule. It measures a few very specific sorts of things. James Randi walked out of a talk at Mensa he was giving because of some blatant irrationality.
  22. In defense of dark-minded grumpy faces everywhere, I thought I should suggest a different approach to you. First, you have chosen to share an idea on a website populated by supporters of a philosophy that attracts a disproportionate amount of INTJ's and other heavy critical thinkers. The usual approach with new ideas for us sorts, is to attack it from all possible angles and find the weaknesses. That's what's occurring here. If you wanted a pat on the back then you should probably have put it in the productivity section with a disclaimer about not wanting criticism. Second, similar(though admittedly different) schemes like this have been tried before with consistent failure, so our usual level of skepticism is even higher. What's more, you have a website requesting donations which is cause for even more skepticism and fact checking if someone were considering donating to your cause. Especially in a world where we get nine requests a day to let a citizen of Zimbabwe deposit 3.4 million dollars US into our accounts for our discreteion of which half we shall humbly keep. Both seem like great things for us... Attacking and avoiding people with different views and ignoring their dissension leaves you with yes men which is not what you need on this kind of endeavor, so I'd suggest that you not only tolerate but learn to appreciate this sort of grilling. Think of it as cheap, efficient market research and donations of mental processing time. Honestly, I like your idea, but am a bit put off by your seemingly thin skin. I imagine that if you see this through there'll be far more "grumpy" things said to you before the end. Just sayin. Anyway, good luck with it!
  23. I'm not sure that I understand the difference, exactly from your description. The state of salt is affected by aspects of its environment(like contact with water), but so are all other properties that I can think of. Shape for example is dependent on pressure and temperature. Location is necessarily a relative construct. The mass of a chair changes when it comes into contact with a chainsaw or fire. Seems like an artificial classification to me derived from the apparent constancy of those properties here on earth. Am I misunderstanding something about it?
  24. That's incredibly ignorant, or more probably, dishonest. Four companies own refineries in the US and the government hasn't allowed a new one to be built sense the 1970s.
  25. That is where I'm stuck. It isn't quite either a seed or a product, as Steve and element noted. In the case of crops it would be possible to work out some sort of algorithm seed price+labor+%growth time or whatever. Pretty assessable. In the case of a fetus, however, there is a pretty unquantifiable(and extremely high) emotional cost, especially if, as you mention, it was connected to a loss of capacity to have other children later. If it is treated as a property issue, there is no realistic way to quantify its potential value, and if there were, it would be so high that recompensation by the offending party would be impossible.
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