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Everything posted by SkyTrooper

  1. I agree that one should not debase himself sexually in public, but does this picture constitute that? I see no "cheering crowd" in this picture. I see no sexual activity, although they are mimicking a sexual act (as happens in all other dancing). I see no skin to skin contact or fluid exchange.. and from their attitude towards women as reflected in the quote eudaemonist just provided I doubt those guys have ever gotten laid. .. if you have an alchohol alergy? No. This is a scary story, but the morality of drinking is a seperate issue from the moral status of the individuals in that photo. Unless you want to argue that they are immoral simply for drinking, which I think I could show pretty easily to be puritanical nonsense.
  2. Ok. I havn't really treated the topic with any seriousness yet, but I'll try. Here is my evaluation: You do not have enough information to make the judgement that the people dancing in that photo are depraved. The use of alchohol in moderation is not bad, unless you come to the conclusion that small amounts of alcohol are bad for you (which as far as I know is not medically supported). Although the particular dance move reflects badly on the Pride of the girl in the picture, it is fairly common/socially acceptable and she probably hasn't put a lot of thought into it. You also do not know if these people have known each other for a long time or if they just picked up the girl at the bar. I would guess they have known each other for a while since most girls would be oppossed to dancing like that with someone they've just met. You also do not know if these people act like this every night or only when they are celebrating. Additionally the fact that the people involved can afford to go to bars, own a digital camera, a computer, and have a facebook account (they went to college), all suggest to me that they are probably young professionals that engage in some kind of productive work during the week. These are probably not people I would hang out with, but I don't see them as a threat to me.
  3. What, specificaly, makes you draw the conclusion that these people are depraved? Is it dancing in general, or just "griding" that you dislike? For example, look at this Degenerate Buffoonery. Here is a picture of a guy grinding his leg on a girl's crotch and kissing her in front of everyone! Much worse, right?
  4. So you see "thou shalt not grind your crotch on a girl's butt" as a sort of categorical imperative, completely divorced from context? Hedonism is certainly a dangerous philosophy, but not nearly as bad as the type of religious beliefs that declare dancing to be immoral. These are young kids having fun. Note that their clothing is all on and they arn't snorting Cocaine or reading Marx.
  5. If you are seriously bothered by that picture then DO NOT do a Google image search for "Cancun Spring Break Party." Maybe they are celebrating: they just graduated from a difficult engineering school. Maybe they just got back from a tour in Iraq. Maybe they are scientists and just found the cure to a debilitating disease. Honestly I don't know, and I don't care because I don't know them.
  6. I don't see any real issues with that picture. First off, you have no context. Why spend your time judging random people on the internet and then drawing damning conclusions about society that don't follow anyway? There are way more serious issues at play right now than how people choose to dance and what people choose to celebrate. Also, Facebook is an excellent tool to stay in touch with the people you value-- and has nothing to do with Nihilism/Collectivism, etc, etc.
  7. I doubt anyone on this forum has any serious malicious intent. What is more important to you: having a large E-Penis or answering your question? Yet another reason to always have well-defined terms. Attraction is a mechanism present in lower animals. I doubt that any non-human species feel "love." Let me give a brief example of how "not following our ancestral desires" is a benefit, evolutionary speaking: Assume that you meet an extremely hot girl and are attracted to her. You don't bother to screen her for anti-virtues like: irrationality, dishonesty, etc. You are attracted to her but not "in Love". You sleep with her. Everything is good right? Except it turns out she is a criminal and she steals everything from your apartment, or she is really promiscuous and gives you HIV, or she doesn't believe abortions are moral so when you get her pregnant you are stuck paying child support, or she is an extremely good looking serial killer who murders every guy she sleeps with because she hears the voice of God tell her to. So if reason is man's means of survival, how could you say that the emotion of Love (which is the recognition of shared values) is not a survival mechanism?
  8. Oh good grief! Why do people feel compelled to hunt down laundry lists like this? Girls are attracted to CHARACTER, so it seriously doesn't matter at all what stuff you own. Just be cool and confident and you're good to go. Here is what you need to do: Stop being "shy and reserved." Talk to every hot girl that you see. (I know, it's harder than it sounds!) Try experimenting for a day by saying "Hi, I'm conducting an experiment to become more confident talking to women. Thank you for participating!" to every girl you see. Social skills are really like anything else: they take practice. Sometimes I like to think of dealing with girls as the best gambling game ever. You can play as much as you want (there are 3 Billion girls in the world that you can talk to), if you get shut down you don't loose anything, and the more you try it the better you get. This covers the being cool part. Be yourself. Seriously I used to hate hearing this advice but one day it just clicks and you "get it." Hint: when you are being shy you are not being yourself. I guess maybe the best way to explain this is with the Army recruiting slogan "Be All You Can Be." I'm guessing if you're an Objectivist you have a lot going for you, and a heck of a lot to offer women. So when you talk to women keep that in mind. Basically, you are the Prize-- act like it. This covers the being confident part. Finally, have high standards. Only offer to hang out again with the girls you meet if they are both attractive and have their lives together. If you connect with a girl it should be because she really is special so she deserves to feel that way. Not only does having standards make you a lot more attractive to girls, but this is also key to avoid becoming a worthless playboy. So, in summary: cultivate good character, be cool, and be confident.
  9. I went and watched it two days ago, and was bored through the whole movie. The only interesting characters were the Special Forces Captain and the hot girl, and even with them I wasn't interested to find out if they were going to get killed or not. Basically all the characters (including the robots) were wooden and completely undeveloped and the plot was lame. If you want cool special effects and a ok plot you should spend your money on Die Hard instead.
  10. I'm in contact with one of Harrison Jack's former team leaders, and I'm trying to draft a short letter to pass on to him for support. Can I get some help? Basically what I want to write is how the proper purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people, and since communism as the inversion of this principle no communist government has the right to exist, which therefore makes his actions highly moral. I don't think I'm articulate enough to write it properly.
  11. Remember in High School the kid that had the nice car, hot girlfriend, got good grades, and was good at sports? Did everyone else like him? Probably not. That's basically why other countries hate us (although in many cases it is more complicated than mere envy.) My question for you is: why care what other people think?
  12. Partition is a possible strategy, but I havn't heard an announcement that we will be pusuing it. Please try to link to a source on this. What leads you to predict this?
  13. Not sure if anyone else has been following this. Among the "criminals" are a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel (a West Point graduate and Vietnam vet) and General Vang Pao, a Laotian expatriate who helped fight the Viet Cong.
  14. Wishful thinking. I'm not in the Navy but I doubt the ship movements indicate a serious change in policy. Also keep in mind that an invasion of Iran would require significant troop movements more than anything. To clarify, Iran is at war with America even though most Americans can't seem to grasp that fact. Iran arms anti-American militias in Iraq with sophisticated Explosively Formed Penetrators and scores of small arms, and provides funding and training to those militias. It is even rumored that Iranian Quds operatives (special forces) have operated directly against coalition forces.
  15. My point was that if you come in and ask a complex hypothetical question about a person who is considering killing himself, one natural reaction (which happened to be mine) is to ask "is that person you?" I was trying to be indirect in asking you to clarify that you are not "James" and you are not considering killing yourself. By "life" I mean more than just "non-death", but a state of existence of liveliness, vitality, and happiness. A state of working towards and achieving values. Clearly escape or fighting are the best two options but there are conceivable conditions where this is not possible. A rational man values life so much that he will accept nothing less than life, so will not accept as a substitute for life an existence of living-death (e.g. slavery). Peikoff explains this well in OPAR but I can't find the reference at the moment. In this context I was using environmental factors to mean "bad experiences." I'm not a psychologist but I've known people who have suffered from PTSD and I really think that there is no experience that cannot be overcome. Our difference of opinion is that I do not believe that this type of damage is possible in an irrecoverable sense. Barring any actual physical damage to James' brain, I see no reason why he won't be able to overcome his past. Whether this is the same with, for example, radical Muslim terrorists that have grown up on anti-American propaganda is a question I am still considering. For now my answer is that yes: it is never too late.
  16. FORT DIX, N.J. -- Six foreign-born Muslims were arrested and accused Tuesday of plotting to attack Fort Dix and slaughter scores of U.S. soldiers _ a scheme the FBI says was foiled when the men asked a store clerk to copy a video of them firing assault weapons and screaming about jihad. The defendants, all men in their 20s from the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East, include a pizza deliveryman suspected of using his job to scout out the military base. Their goal was "to kill as many American soldiers as possible" with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and guns, prosecutors said. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7050800454.html http://www.nbc10.com/news/13274843/detail.html Note CAIR's response, which condemns the action but not the would-be perpetrators. http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories....3831&EDATE= I'm guessing this is due to the Islamic rule that it is illegal for a Muslim to criticize another Muslim publicly. (can someone clarify that rule?) It also asks the media and public officials not to link the action to Islam despite the clear religious motivations.
  17. I recommend ROTC over enlisting, in general. You get the college experience and you get to "try on" navy life before you commit to it. There are plenty of benefits to enlisting but just make sure you know what you're getting into. Life in the military is not easy. Bear in mind that nuke engineers in the navy are usually on submarines or the lower decks of surface ships.
  18. Let me first start by saying that the danger of asking hypothetical questions about a third person is that most people will assume that you are actually talking about yourself. If this is the case, and you are actually considering hurting yourself, the best course of action is to get professional help from a psychologist. My understanding of Objectivism and suicide is that suicide is only justified when the conditions of the world make the achievement of life impossible. For example, in a totalitarian dictatorship no one actually "lives".. and the best you can hope for is a living death. In these cases it is better to kill yourself than live as a conquered slave. How does this apply to your question: My quick answer is basically that no, it is not, because saying that environmental factors have screwed up someone's mind too much to achieve happiness is very deterministic. James should not kill himself because no amount of experiences can prevent him from fixing his mind. Barring any physical damage to a person's mind, there is always a way back from any amount of experiential damage. Men have volition, which is more powerful than any environmental (nurture) or genetic (nature) problems. The proper course of action is to see a psychologist. So I know this is just a cursory treatment of the topic, but I'll let others be more specific about this. edit: changed the wording of the first sentence.
  19. I was unpleasantly surprised filling up my car yesterday, when I paid well over $3 a gallon. The explanation I found was that "strong consumer demand, reduced domestic output due to refinery problems and lower imports continue to push prices higher." So basically this is being attributed to various refinery problems: Gas Prices Hit $3 a Gallon I can handle paying a few extra dollars, but now I have to deal with the annoying pleas for caps on gas prices and silly boycotts like "gasout day" that aim to put the evil oil corporations in their place.
  20. University of Chicago has an active Objectivist club, and they seem to be the only school in Chicago to have classes specifically on Aristotle (as opposed to having to learn Aristotle as part of a survey class on "Ancient Philosophy"). In most places studying philosophy will do more harm then good, since all courses tend to start with the "father of modern philosophy" If he picks one of those schools, try to encourage him to pursue disciplines outside of the humanities.
  21. This is the key issue then: what type of oversight does Blackwater have? The problem with determining this is that their contracts vary depending on who they are subcontracting for (usually the Army subcontracts to KBR who subcontracts to someone else who then hires Blackwater contractors). From what I can tell, there is no government authority that Blackwater is directly responsible to. I'll have to do some more research.
  22. So the military is a unique institution in that the government created the military to "provide for the common defense" and then through time passed laws to restrict the power of the military. By hiring Blackwater contractors to carry out the same job as the military, it seems that congress has essentially created a parallel institution to bypass its own laws. Could a local government hire private security guards to perform police duties if it felt that the laws it passed restricting its police were overly inconvenient?
  23. It certainly prevents them from being quartered in civilian houses. It does not prevent them from acting as police (take Katrina for example). Also, outside the boundaries of the US they have don't have to follow international conventions on the laws of war.
  24. So, as long as there is ultimately congressional oversight? I am fairly certain they answer to some military authority, although they may actually be hired by the State Department. One of the key foundations of the military is that it is restricted in its activities by law. Our military acts only by permission. I'm just thinking of the limitations placed on the military that don't apply to Blackwater: 1878 Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the military from acting as a police force inside the United States The 3rd Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the military from quartering troops in civilian houses Congress's signing of the Geneva and Hauge conventions severely limits the actions of the military in battle
  25. I'm not too concerned, being as most Blackwater guys are former US Special Forces and as you said the owner is a very patriotic individual. One of the questions I'm consiering is if on principle there is anything wrong with employing this method of national defense. In many ways privatizing the military would be desirable since troops wouldn't be getting paid less than they could make right now as civilians. Looking at an extreme example; do you think it would be moral to dissolve the military and instead hire corporate armies every time a war began? Obviously the government must "provide for the common defense" but there seem to be other ways to do this besides our current system of recruitment.
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