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Everything posted by 4reason

  1. I don't know... he's got a lot to screw up to even come close to equaling the ineptitude and evil nature of FDR, Wilson and Lincoln in my book. But who knows... the term is still young. He reminds me of FDR a lot, and that can't be a good sign The more I learn about FDR the more I wonder about Obama... I am reading a book called "New Deal or Raw Deal" about FDR and I keep finding argument after argument of his that Obama seems to be rehashing. Bleh!
  2. This is encouraging. Not only was I surprised to see so many large protests across the country, but I am quite surprised at the amount of coverage these protests are getting in the media. It's just too bad that the Republicans are trying to politicize these events to their advantage... as if Republicans don't tax and spend, too Edit: I failed to notice Zip's topic along the same topic; maybe the mods would be so kind to merge the two, if possible?
  3. Here's another example of someone trying to make BO sound like some kind of free market advocate. I laughed and laughed.... This author, too, likes to point to what BO says, and what he's read ... but he ALSO seems to look past what he's actually doing. Huh. Barack Obama is #1 Hayekian in the World The immediate responses to the article at the bottom of the page are encouraging, though.
  4. I voted for sex-segregation, but that is with the current "stall-design" in mind. Were there individual rooms where voyeuriusm was more or less ruled out, I would not be too opposed to the unisex idea: that's why smaller stores/ restaurants that just have one bathroom/one toilet don't bother me too much. When possible, though, I still prefer the sex-segregation. I am not grossed out by men's bathroom habits any more than I am by women: who are these women, for example, who don't flush the toilet after taking a giant crap?!? I think it is more of a safety and/or voyeurism prevention thing for me. Let's not make it any easier for some perverted guy to stick a hidden camera in a bathroom And, yes, for all you guys voting for unisex, I am quite sure you would change your minds once you, too, got to experience the line-waiting that we women love so much.
  5. "For You" John Denver (definitely my #1) "Unforgettable" & "When I fall in love"- Nat King Cole\ "Dream Catch Me" Newton Faulkner "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" Landon Pigg "Unchained Melody" Righteous Brothers "This Naked Woman" (I think it's by Nina Story... where's my ipod when I need it) "The Story" Brandi Carlisle "When the Stars go Blue" by U2 & The Corrs "All is full of Love" Bjork... and I am willing to take the flack for liking some of Bjork's stuff "Anything you want" Roy Orbison "I can't help falling in love with you" Elvis And despite the melancholy story of the song, "Almost Lover" by A fine Frenzy
  6. I wish I could set a bedtime and stick to it! I would kill to be able to go to sleep when I want to - which is usually around 10:30 or so - but pretty much every night there's something else that needs to be done (laundry, preparing for an appt with a client the next day, etc) that I usually end up staying up past that point. I don't even get home from the gym until after 10 for crying out loud! Then, when I do finally get to bed, I end up laying there awake for a long time: sometimes two or three hours more. I have tried to make the best of that time, to be "productive," but even though I am not tired enough to fall asleep, my mind is exhausted. I seem to have one window of opportunity in which I will get this feeling where I know, "Okay, if I lay down now I will be asleep within ten minutes," which is great if I can lay down then. But, when I have to force myself to stay awake through that "window" I then find it impossible to sleep. What's really annoying is that I seem to be unable to prevent myself from crashing every Sunday: I end up having to nap for two to three hours every Sunday now, to catch up. So where you think you're gaining hours of productivity, I would contend that you actually lose them later, so you're not really making any gains at all. Does anyone else recall that Seinfeld episode where Kramer tried to implement DaVinci's supposed and strange sleeping cycle? And then he ended up being tossed into the river in a body bag by a bunch of mobsters... Hilarious! Of course, maybe I am not the right person to ask: I couldn't fall asleep at all two nights ago because I was so troubled by the 17th amendment, of all things. Yes, the Constitution (or rather, our government's historical interpretation and lack of understanding of it) denies me of sleep quite often. Thus I would recommend setting a bedtime and sticking to it: it's healthier and will make your waking hours more efficiently productive. Just staying up more hours doesn't seem to do the trick; I remember staying awake a lot in college to work on some plans at the drafting studio, or to cram for a final and you know what: the work I got done in those hours that I stayed awake didn't do anything for me. What I drew was crappy, and anything I tried to memorize when tired was never remembered. If you CAN sleep then sleep, and consider yourself lucky!
  7. 4reason

    Dog Ban

    I couldn't agree more and yes, it is true MOST insurance companies will not insure your home or landlord property, or even you as a renter if you own a "wild animal" or a dog of a "vicious breed" (pit bulls, namely, but Chows are creeping in as problematic in the insurance world). Likewise, in Colorado, a landlord can legally turn you down as a renter if you own a pit bull, and they cannot be sued for discrimination on this groud (if I were a landlord, I certainly wouldn't want a tenant with a pit bull because if something did happen, I could be held vicariously liable). Some insurance companies will still insure you/ your home (my company included) but only on the condition that you include an endorsement that EXCLUDES coverage for bodily injury caused by your dog (ie, the company will not extend the liability that your insurance comes with to cover injuries caused by your dog). Also, many companies offer an umbrella policy that offers personal liability in million dollar increments (which I highly recommend that all people have- they're stupid cheap for tons of coverage). Some companies exclude you from even being eligible for an umbrella if you have a pit bull; and those that will still let you have an umbrella will, again, make you exclude coverage for injuries that dog causes. Many cities that ban pit bulls will let you keep them if you can prove you have at least $100k in liability to cover injuries they may cause: the catch-22 is, of course, that insurance won't let your liability extend to your dog so there's not a whole lot you can do (unless there are smaller carriers out there that are willing to take on such a risk, but I don't know of any here in the Denver area). I love that there are these "private" controls out there to discourage people from having pit bulls. I believe people should be able to own a pit bull, but at the same time they must realize that in so doing they must assume liability if that animal injures someone else. I personally would never take the risk; I have a client who is being sued because his pitbull bit a medical student and ended up permanently disabling their hand - thus thwarting their studies to become a surgeon. So not only is he being sued for the injury itself, but he is also being sued for lost future income. Take the annual income of a surgeon, multiply it by at least 25 working years... ouch. The lawyer wouldn't be pursuing it except for the fact the the client himself is a surgical student so he is, in the legal/tort world, considered highly sueablle because of his own large future income. The risk isn't worth it; just buy a gun for goodness sake - there's less liability to assume
  8. Question: have you gotten to John Galt's speech yet? It's been a while since I have read AS so I can't remember if it is at the 3/4 point or past that. That speech may help answer a lot of these questions you're asking in regards to business. For one, your example regarding junk loans doesn't work because those loans are backed by the government. When government gets involved in business, it releases business from feeling the need to act in their own self-interest. Why worry if a loan is profitable if taxpayers take the biggest hit if it's not? When business is left to its own devices, it HAS to operate in its own self-interest to survive; they desire to earn profit and must act in a way to do so. (BY the way, I would highly suggest reading up on Adam Smith's writing, if you have not yet done so). When government gets involved, that profit-motive is no longer what drives the action of business: they don't have to worry about profit if someone else foots the bill for their mistakes. Read Galt's speech and that will be a start for you. I can't work with your example of a business buying up all the roads to a city and launching some kind of war of attrition to make a quick buck because it would not happen in a free market. In a free market, there is competition: competition which prevents one company from becoming "all powerful." Monopolies, contrary to what we're taught in school, cannot happen in a free market. Monopolies only happen when businesses accrue "unnatural" protections that are sanctioned and guarded by the guns of the government. Also, do you think rational people - or even unrational people for that matter- would just keep going "oh well" and forking over more and more money to drive on a road? At some point they would rebel... much like the American colonists rebeled against the taxes they didn't approve of. But even if this situation did occur in a free market (which, again, is impossible), if the roads were overtaken by some corrupt crazy businessman, you can bet your bottom that someone wold come along with an invention to get you around it... such as some sort of hovercraft, or a massive growth in companies offering helicopter and small commuter plane rides. Could that corrupt business start shooting them down? I suppose, but then we're talking about a war and are no longer talking just business. But make no mistake: Atlas Shrugged in no way suggests that objectivism works in isolation. Objectivism stresses philosophical integration and the elimination of contradictions. To have it only work in isolation would mean that you are using different philosophies subjectively, to meet the different needs of different moments. If your doing that, you are not philosophically integrated and thus are rife with contradictions. John Galt will help introduce you to that
  9. I just recently celebrated my first anniversary with someone who is not an O'ist and I will offer that up as additional proof that objectivists can find love outside of objectivism. He has never read any Ayn Rand, or any philosophy for that matter and in most cases I would be troubled by that but his actions, his values and convictions more than make up for that lack. There are definitely certain types of non-objectivists that I would never be happy with: an evangelical Christian, for example. I think I would really struggle with anyone who was devoted to a religion... but my boyfriend is not: he just as much a skeptic as I am in that regard. He may not be an Objectivist, but he definitely puts existence before consciousness, and I respect that. He also pursues what he wants with extreme passion... and I really love that! I think the fact that we both pursue what we want passioantely is what attracted us to each other in the first place (we met online, so our attraction began by reading each others profiles: profiles which summed up what we saught to achieve in life). Whether or not we can sit down and have a discussion about the Fountainhead really doesn't matter to me. We have mutual interests, they are just in areas other than explicit philosophy. But his actions show me what his philosophy is at is core, and his actions therefore compel me to love him. For example, he is passionate about modern design. When I watch him plan out a clients entire home my toes curl in my shoes it is such an exquisite feeling. He tells me he feels the same when he is watching me paint or interact with children. He acts in an objectivist way... even though he's never been exposed to it aside from me bringing it up from time to time. We do have one area of contention, politics, but we both have learned to laugh at our differences more than anything. He calls me stubborn and pessimistic, and I call him naive and ignorant. Not really , but we do tease each other. I amsympathetic to his cause: I too use to have liberal leanings before I knew any better. He may come away from those leanings, he may not. As long as he does not degrade me for my opinions and does not try to force his upon me, I am not bothered by his political thinking. He is not openly statist or anything like that; he just has a hard time seeing how "good things" may have a bad impact. He can't see as many implications as I can, in other words, but thats okay. Listening to him try and justify his position forces me to think through my own once more in a fun Socratic type of way. Other than politics, however, we have many of the same interests and have introduced many of our interests to each other: he taught me to snowboard, I taught him to dance. He introduced me to modern design (and the LC4 recliner chair which I would live in if I could) and I introduced him to INdian food. We both value and pursue education ardently, and we enjoy teaching each other what we know. He teaches me about geology and minimalist design, and I teach him about the Founding Fathers and law (and insurance and roth IRAs, which bores him to death!). I also teach him how to teach. He teaches snowboarding to kids one day a week, and I teach him all I know from my Montessori experience. What is important then, to bind an O'ist with a non-O'ist in a happy relationship, is that your highest values must still correlate and you must share some interests. That's what is necessary for any happy relationship, in fact, whether Objectivists are involved are not. This allows you to know that the person you are with sees in you what you value most about yourself, and likewise you see in them and love them for those things that they most value about themselves. Reciprocity in values leads to reciprocity in attraction and mutual happiness. I love being loved for what I love about myself. I tease him and tell him I would love him more if he joined me in my political stubbornness, but he knows I am just teasing. The fact that he knows I am teasing proves to me that he understands what my values are and what order they take in my life... and that thought alone gives me goosebumps.
  10. Granted, I am not a male respondent, but perhaps a female perspective might help here: Contrary to popular belief women often struggle with this same issue. Many women, I believe, find themselves attracted to multiple members of the opposite sex even when they are in a committed relationship. I also believe many women love more than one man (let's keep it hetero for the sake of simplicity here), yet based on my conversations with women I know I think many women are like myself in that they only exclusively act on one of those loves at a time. There may be more than one object of attraction, or even more than one object of love, but in my experience there is always one that is more dominant than the other. It is possible to be in love with more than one person, but often we are only acting out in pursuit of that love which we value more. How does a woman determine which love is more worthy of pursuing? That's easy: reciprocity. Knowing that someone sees in you what you value most about yourself, and seeing that they desire to love you because of that makes you love them. Granted, someone could pose the argument that polygamy can offer several parties capable of offering this to someone, but my personal experience (having only ever been a monogomist in terms of action) has always been marked by one love being stronger than any and all others. I may notice a good looking actor or passer-by, but I have never taken it beyond that acknowledgement. I have never fantasized about it either. The love that I am experiencing value from is the one that holds my heart above all others, and no amount of lust or temptation could tempt me from it. I can't imagine it is much different with men. I am not about to start the argument of which romantic lifestyle is more ethical (monogamy v polygamy); I don't think that argument is directly pertinent here in the broader sense. More to the point, I don't think it is necessary for me to tell you that there is a difference between acknowledging the fact that you are attracted to someone else and seeking to act on that attraction. Now, the real question is: does the mere act of fantasizing about someone else mean that you are seeking to act on that attraction? In my opinion, I would argue no: as long as "the act" begins and ends in fantasy you are utilizing your freewill and recognizing that it is best not to let that particular thought direct your actions. But.... when the act of fantasizing is COMBINED with a general, or even a fleeting sense of disatisfaction ... when you start to feel that urge to direct your actions of love elsewhere: that is a red flag. Here is where you need to stop and evaluate what you are really seeking not only from your girlfriend but from relationships in general. I would concur with the above suggestions that you give yourselves time apart. Your mind, and hers both, will be clouded from truly making this assessment if you continue as you are. See what life is like without her; if it is unbearable, you have your answer. It sounds like you felt that way before, but the fact that your old feelings of disatisfaction returned almost immediately after resuming your relationship is clear proof that you did not yet find your answer. Time apart can be a valuable thing: it can be the waittime to the resupmtion of an even greater love with that person than you had before or it can be a new beginning. Notice how neither option is terrible. Break clear for a while, think about what qualities you value in romantic relationships, what is worth pursuing in love that will bring you happiness... only after you have answered these quandaries can you really determine whether or not you want to be with that one person exclusively in a committed relationship. You may lose that love, but if you value yourself as much as you should you should be willing to take this risk. If it was a great love you will never forget it/her. Maybe you will get her back after losing her. But even if you lose her forever by taking this risk you will, at the very least, know what will make you happy in love and that is the biggest reward love has to offer. Love has to be reciprocal to bring happiness; and that requires two individuals who know exactly what it is they seek to gain through it. You need to know what you want. I carry two great loves in my heart, but it is because I endured the heartache of losing one that I was able to define, without a doubt, what I wanted to find in the other that I continue to act upon. Do this. Separate yourself from her - do it for yourself. How the sotry ends depends on the evaluations that this separation will enable you to make. None of us can predict that.
  11. While I am a firm believer in celebrating love everyday, I have to work late today, so my boyfriend and I celebrated Valentine's yesterday with a Hibachi dinner outing and will conclude the day today with chocolate fondue, strawberries, and some of my homemade vanilla sponge cake. Any holiday that involves the consumption of chocolate is great by my standards; I would still celebrate Valentine's Day in this manner even if I was single. Yummy!
  12. Yuck. This sounds like something Ellsworth Toohey would write. It's one thing to devote yourself to what you do, and stirve to excel in it, but to subjugate one's self. Hey -We could use this to assuage slaves: don't ever contemplate disrespecting your master... just subjugate yourself to his authority. IT's a long standing tradition in human history, so it's ok. Do what you're told to do and do it well; not because you wnat to , but because you should. Don't you feel better now?
  13. Well, at least we can say they are consistant in thier pattern of making our Constitutional government more and more un-Constitutional. Ordinarily I would find predicatbility in government comforting, but not this time. Anybody have any idea when construction will be finished at Galt's Gulch?
  14. Yes, factions were of concern, but their opinions about it evolved beyond this quote you reference. A good illustration would be to look at letters that ADams and Jeffersons wrote around the beginning of the French Revolution. The letters they exchanged between each other at this time were few and reserved - because they were starting to realize their differences. For Jefferson's real opinion, look at his letters to Madison. For Adams real opinion, look at his journal or his letters to Elbridge Gerry. Jefferson and ADams don't start to really be honest with each other (and Adams always more revelaing than Jefferson), until their retirement years. Jefferson was also equally apprehensive of aristocracy; something that he never really communicated to Adams effectively, thus Adams often underestimated his skepticism. The FOunders' letters to each other can be confusing; you have to realize who their true confidants were before you can start citing their opinions. In 1787, ADams and Jefferson were beginning to realize their differences. Adams liked to try and get explanations out of others - to try and get their insight -- but Jefferson was always very reserved... esp with people whose political intentions and philosophy he was beginning to question. In 1787, he was still friends with ADams by all appearances, but at the same time you also find him conceeding to others that he agreed with Franklin's assessment of Adams as being " absolutely out of his senses." As for whether or not Adams was anti-American the answer is simply no. With Hamilton, however, if we are defining "anti-American" as someone who stood against the principles this country was founded upon then yes - I would assert that Hamilton was anti-American. He is, as a matter of fact, the Founder who is guilty of creating the myth of "implied power" -- he is the one who pretended like the 10th Amendment did not exist, and the first politician to begin creating meaning out of things that simply were not "in" the Constitution. The Constition was, as aequalsa mentioned, intended to limit the federal government's power by bestowing to it only those powers it enumerated. Hamilton was unsatisfied with this and thus he is the one who lead the charge on finding loopholes. Of all the despicable things he wrote in his lifetime, the most un-American quote that comes to mind is from his Report on Manufactures, in which he wrote: " The power to raise money is plenary and indefinite [in the Constitution]... The terms general welfare were doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed." Well, no, maybe worse was a comment from his piece on the COnstitutionality of the Bank of the United States, where he wrote "Implied powers are to be considered as delegated equally [to the FEderal government] with express ones." Implied powers? This had come up in the debates of the COnstitutional COnvention and it was precisely because the Founders were aware that they might be leaving power up to interpretation that they put the 10th Amendment in place; it states that the Fed is limited to the powers as stated in the COnstitution and all others not expressly listed were reserved to the states (ie, they could decide for themselves). Hamilton is the original weasel who clung to the phrase "general welfare" as some kind of loophole that authorized the Federal government to do whatever it felt like doing. That is unequivocably an anti-American idea - it defies the whole purpose of the Revolution. It was also Hamilton who advocated for a PERMANENT executive who held the power to VETO all state legislation. How does that fit into the model of a Republic? He may have been a great soldier for Washington in battle, but he remains, in my mind one of the most corrupt souls to ever walk upon this continent: he was nothing BUT an advocate for highly centralized (and largely unlimited) power, mercantilist trade practices and government intervention in economics. He championed the the ideas of public debt, high taxation, protectionism and government controlled banks. Exactly which one of those ideas is American to you? Obama might say, and take actions that prove he believes, these ideas are American but I reject them entirely. Hamilton was, therefore anti-American UNLESS we are to define American as one who puts the powers of the government above the rights of the people - as Obama seems inclined to do (though he is crafty at veiling his intentions: more crafty than Hamilton), then Hamilton would be the greatest American ever. But I hate that definition. And I despise the fact that Obama is yet another advocate of Hamilton's f'ed up principles. Obama did not create these problems; one could argue Hamilton did. But Obama is yet another cog in these faulty notion of Americanism that has developed over the last two hundred years. Our country's government was meant to exist primarily for the protection of the populations' rights - now our government seems more inclined to overstep its powers to appease enough people in order to simply protect itself. It doesn't seem to care what rights are tampled upon as long as the masses are appeased enough not to overthrow the government. The whole pattern is just sad. There's a reason why ADams and Jefferson both died so distraught about where they saw the country heading: the country was moving away from what they had fought against, and toward what Hamilton advocated for: big government.
  15. Okay, I agree the phrase "vast majority" may not have been the best phrase to illustrate what I was trying to get at... True, there are MANY Americans out there who do oppose Obama, and I will agree with you that he is in the honeymoon phase. But what troubles me is not how much coverage he gets (or the coverage that his supporters get) but the nature of that coverage. The big emphasis seems to be how his election is being tauted as proof of the ability of a member of a minority group to rise to power: grandparents cry at the thought of his election because they think of what they went through in their own day in the Civil Rights movements, and the thought of what their ancestors went through as slaves. These are valid assessments, but I am very troubled by how both the media and many of Obama's supporters see him as a SYMBOL rather than a POLITICIAN. When people hold someone with great political power up as a symbol, they tend to be less judgmental of mistakes and gross violations of liberty that that individual may condone. I think back to John Adams and how troubled he was at the level of public veneration for figures such as Geroge Washington. Had someone such as Adams - who held much less public veneration- acted to suppress Shay's rebellion, I am sure the result, and the outrage on the public's behalf, would have been much different. Veneration is dangerous in politics; people can get so caught up in the good about someone (or the good they think that someone possesses) that they forget to remain vidulant. That was my point. I am worried about how Obama is a symbol more than he is a person. I have come across many supporters of his who cannot explain a single one of his viewpoints on any issue, besides spurting out some nonsense about "he represents change." What is more troubling is how the media is almost exclusively defining change as always being for the better... this is only compounding the fact that many ignorant Americans are already failing to see how change can also be for the worse. Obama represents change, yes, but so did Napoleon, and Stalin, and Hitler. I am not equivocating these historical figures; I am just using these men as examples of change having occured for the worse. I sincerely hope we NEVER see the 22nd amendment repealed. Even if there was a fantastic President in there who rightfully earned the support of the majority of Americans - a majority who desired his continuation in office, I am of the belief that the slate needs to be wiped clean from time to time: otherwise, there is too much potential for people to become too entrenched in connections and favors, creating an open door for plutarchy, inherited office and all those nasty things this country was established in oppostion of. Wiping the slate clean is, in my estimation, one of the prinary things that prevents such non-representative forms of government from taking complete hold in this country again. There are enough bad influences in government as it is right now - esp in terms of favoritism - so lets hope the 22nd is never repealed so that these checks can remain in place. Politicians are people too and we should judge them as such. I just hope my fellow Americans can continue to do the same.
  16. True, but in all past attempts Congress was more diverse in their political thinking. Now, the majority of Congress is not only the same party as the President, but the vast majority of Americans (in and out of COngress alike) worship the new President in such a bizarre way that they are likely to not only allow but to encourage this "repeal the 22nd" idea. If it does not move any further now, I would venture to say that should Obama be elected to a second term we may see the populace pushing this idea starting in about 2015. Lets just hope he screws things up enough that we can keep the populace silenced on the matter, and let the idea sit only in the mind of one screwball Congressman.
  17. As a former Montessori teacher, I can vouch for the wisdom and efficaciousness of reinforcing the notion that children do not need to share if they do not want to. A Montessori classroom is designed to reinforce this principle in concrete form: there is only one of each work (although some of your more granola Montessori types encourage sharing and altruism). If a child came to me complaining that they wanted something else that another child had, I would tell them they had to ask (and show them how to ask, for the younger ones, if needed). If that child in possession of said wanted object said no, then I simply explained that they had to wait. I would tell them that they could then ask the possessing-child to come find them when they were done with the work, but rarely did it go that far because children could quickly find something else to occupoy themselves in the material-rich classroom that is Montessori. The playground was another matter, but even though the children were more easily frustrated by my rules on the playground, the rules were the same. You have to wait until they are finished. I firmly believe that being consistent in this expectation actually produces children that are more respectful of others than does teaching children to share. Sharing is confusing because the child is left wondering: who determines how much we have to share and what we have to share. They wonder, what is mine and what is yours. It creates a gray area that their pre-abstract minds struggle to understand. If, on the other hand, you let the child use the fact that someone is concretely in possession of and using a particular item as a definition of "what is theirs" they are much more capable of understanding when it may rightfully be theirs. I visisted many preschools that encouraged sharing, and I can tell you that those children were not respectful of each other and each others rights at all. The only thing they were was resentful of the adults in the room who arbitrarily enforced these sharing rules. My students respected me because they knew what my expectations were; I was not one of those confusing adults with arbitrary rules. I was consistent, reliable and trustworthy and by letting them maintain possession of what they had I gained their respect. If a child physically took something from another, and the victim reacted violently, my reprobation always went toward the stealing child first. Events like this would always occur frequently in the beginning of each school year, but the children would quickly learn that they were not permitted to steal in the school setting, just as they also quickly learned that they didn't have to worry about feeling guilty for possessing or using something that they enjoyed. It is, therefore, much easier to teach a child the virtue of selfishness than it is to teach them altruism. You really have to make a consistent, arbitrary effort to NOT teach a child the virtue of selfishness, but sadly many adults do this by not being consistent in simple rules that children can easily see in concrete form. Be consistent, and make sure there is a concrete reference for the child to have. Trying to explain justice or the "ethics" of altruism to a child is futile. They rely on patterns to predict the order around them that they are to follow. And adults who teach sharing are never consistent in their enforcement. For a child, using a work, playing with a toy: these are concrete things. The child knows that possession brings happiness. Thus they are able to relate their happiness to what another child may be feeling when they have something that they want. They know that that child is happy in their realm because they know what that feels like: to have something that makes one happy. They get that; you don't need to explain it. But sharing does not bring happiness to a concrete thinker; it can only bring happiness to someone who abstractly measures their happiness by giving to others. The age group that I worked with, ages 2.5-6 years old, would never be able to understand something so senseless, because that's what it really is. Altruism is the essence of philosophical contradition because it impossible to maintain at all times. TEaching a child altruism does nothing but create a future adult who is full of philosophical contradictions and who has no respect for or understanding of property rights. That's what makes children so wonderful: they can often find contradictions in an adult's thinking and actions sooner than the adult can. I bore witness many a time to my students calling their parents out on their contradictions. They couldn't explain the abstraction behind how they were able to spot it or why it bothered them, but they were wise enough to know that contradictions are upsetting. You must teach children selfishness to keep this recognition alive for a lifetime. So, yes, the child who is forced to share is being counterproductive. But I was always willing to let children share if they wanted to; the point was, it was always a choice: and the choice belonged to the possessor, not to the child who wanted.
  18. Currently I average about one to two hours a day during the week, and a little more than than on weekends unless I am out and about in the mountains. I read for one hour every night before I sleep, at a minimum, no matter what time I turn in. Books I am currently reading: "The Invisible Constitution" - a fascinating read so far that is likely to inspire a topic on may part once I am done, "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House," and "The Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome, and the American Enlightenment." For thinking breaks in between I am a new addict of Nintendo DS Brain Academy. I am mystified at how my brain is equally entertained by deep thought as it is by making split second decisions about which side of the screen has more value in coins or replacing erased lines in rotated images.
  19. Something big and nasty, indeed, but let me play the "glass half full" position for a moment: Over two hundred years ago a colony of people came under the big and nasty cloud of a distant power exerting intolerable influence over its population's finances and liberties. This dark cloud was acknowledged by all, tolerated by most, despised by many, and yet only only a few were willing to go so far as label this cloud insufferable and begin to take action against it. Yet these few, - these ingenious and brilliant few- were somehow able to rise above their fellow countrymen's reluctance to take action and they were able to defeat the tyrannical force of their own government to establish a new country: the United States Thus I hold on to the belief that our circumstances may not be too different today. Our own government is, once again, desecrating our rights and liberties. The only difference is that government is no longer an ocean away. I concur that many people embrace these desecrations and mislabel them as progress, but I also believe that there is a new small class rising once again: a class of producers, of men and women of genius, who are capable of motivating that other group that I also believe is out there : the begrudged. For every ten people who embrace Obama, and proclaim their service for him and "their country", there is, I hope at least one individual who questions what those ten are doing. And for every ten individuals who question him I hope there is one person capable of inciting action against him and his philosophy. The ratio is ascew, yes, but it only takes a few individuals of genius and ability to rally the sentiments of the average popluation to rise above a dark and nasty cloud of oppression. The very existence of this country can testify to the truth of that. These few individuals who led our country's rise the first time all expressed the following sentiment in one way or another: the tree of liberty must be watered with blood from time to time. In other words, each generation has the potential to erase the gains of the revolution that anteceded them... but with that each generation ALSO has the right, perhaps the obligation, to fight to restore, maintain and make progress beyond those gains. Those leaders are out there; I see hints of potential sentiment that could lead a force against Obamaism. There may be dark times to come, but these dark times, will, I hope, be the last straw for those few. Horrible things can harm us, they may kill us, but they can also inspire us to overcome. I am confident in this hope because I feel this disgust and desire to act brewing in my own soul. Every day I feel more disgusted, but I take that disgust and I let it inspire me to think of ways to defeat this onerous enemy. I don't know if a full revolution will be necessary again, but there will always be that voice among the few out there that carries with it the power to alter man's circumstances. Let the few be wary of the voice of the many, but let the many be twice as wary of the voice of the few for the few can change the world. They have before and we will again. Be patient. Wrongs can always be faught against and they can always be corrected. Do not resign yourself to their attempted power over you; gather the wrongs against you in your mind and let them brew there. Let the essence of disgust fill your senses until you have no course of action left but to lash out with your voice and your actions. Act by denying them the right to determine your actions. Scream to deny them the right to silence your objection. Produce to deny them the right to steal your production. Defeat them; defeat them in every sense of the word. Be the success that they can never be. Let us not forget our FOunders committed treason against their government to give us ours. I don't think treason is what is necessary at this point; thankfully it hasn't gone that far yet. At this point, all we need is enough begrudged people to stand up and reject their president and their neighbor's claims upon their own life. The glass may not be half empty; it may instead be half full. For if we are approaching that dark day that incites the voice of the capable few against the voice of the mooching many, then let us savor every drop of liquid that is in that glass. Vally Forge was a dark time, but it was the beginning of a great one as well.
  20. But wouldn't you admit that it would be preferable for a woman to tell you the facts of why she likes you? Wouldn't that simplify your efforts profoundly? Believe it or not, there are actually women who do this - I have learned to be one such woman, but I will admit that it is a rare quality among women in general. As a woman, I have grown up observing the manipulations that some women exert over others. In truth, I am guilty of having exercised such manipulations myself, but I think there is NO positive end to this course of action if happiness, meaningful relationships, etc is really what one is pursuing. So, some women manipulate, some women disguise themselves behind veneers, and some women just keep things to themselves. They all have the same effect: feeling is not communicated. I am shocked at how many women persist with these kind of behaviors seeing as how they've committed them multiple times and failed each time... when will they get it! It doesn't work. I mean, seriously, how many times do you have to touch a red burner before you realize that is not a good course of action. Once. Being interested in one person, and writing that person too many emails without repsonse, and having that approach fail should, at the very least, suggest you may want to consider a different approach. My boss has a great saying, and it's actually someone else's phrase, though I don't know who... The saying is "don't spill all your candy in the lobby." He uses that in reference to sales - to stifle my apparent dispostion to want to educate people about insurance ratther than listening to their reasons for wanting it. But it works nicely here as well: don't reveal too much of yourself too quickly, especially if there is no tit for tat. A lot of women tell someone too much about themselves and then they are frustrated when the other party does not return any information about themselves. This lack of return should be telling them two things: 1) there may be a personality clash that won't serve anyone well, and 2) if the person is not responding, they're not interested in what you're saying. People respond when they're interested. Stop spilling your candy! Offer a taste, and see if they want more. They will nibble on the first offer if they are. If they don't repsond the first time, chances are they are not even reading the superfluous attempts you send thereafter. I have witnessed this in a recently divorced co-worker of mine a lot lately. She meets guys everyweekend, they exchange numbers, and then these guys begin to attempt contacting her (phone, text, etc) during the week. She NEVER says, hey, I'm not interested. Instead, she just ignores these poor fellows until eventually they must get the hint. I have asked her why she even gives them her number if she knows she'll never call them back, and she says "it would be rude not to." What ?!? Is the non-response not ten times more rude! Thus, I am sympathetic to men's complaints about how women disguise their interest... because apparently a lot of women practice these nonsensical dating methods. If you were that guy trying to call her, wouldn't it be easier if she just called you back and said no thanks? Better yet, what if she didn't even lead you to have any dilusions about things possibly going somewhere from the beginning? It is true; when women say yes you should take it as a yes; any other kind of response or lack there of should be considered a no. I don't believe you can convince someone to change their mind about loving you are not: people love each other for who they are, not because they believe someone telling them that they are someone worth loving. Be who you are and act accordingly, but being who you are does not preclude you from elimating ineffective dating approaches. Nor does authenticity to one's true self preclude one from being a little more confident than usual to make an introduction. Doing something out of your norm FOR anyone is bad, but doing something out of your norm (such as being a little more confident) for yourself is great (as long as you are not jumping so far out of your comfort zone that it would be impossible for you to continue in this behavior). And by introducing ourselves to someone we are interested in, are we not acting on behalf of ourselves more than anyone. Introductions are a way of acknowledging interest, and that doesn't ruin things at all. It gets things started. WHether or not the events and communications that follow continue to express that interest and make it grow is really something that both parties involved have to determine for themselves. Don't look for hints from women. Do what I do with men: look for clear demonstrations, in action or in word. If you're unsure ask; if she thinks that's weird or doesn't respond to/ignores the question, then reconsider whether or not that is someone worth pursuing.
  21. Being yourself does offer a mixed bag of potential responses by the person you are interested in, but I think it is important to be yourself from the start. If the other person cannot handle it at the beginning, then that should be an indication that this might not be the most desirable of romantic combinations. I don't think someone striking up a little more confidence to approach someone of interest means you are being untrue to who you are; it means you're taking a little more confidence in yourself and showing growth. Now, if one puts on too much confidence and starts pretending they are all sorts of things they are not, well, that's beyond cocky: it's just plain stupid and dishonest. Be yourself to the extent that you are not feigning anything; being a little more confident isn't faking it so much as it is finally finding it. But I believe flowers can help the shy guy along just as easily as they can help the astutely confident one, and Sophia was wise to highlight the fact that the proportion of the exchange has to be considered. I think we can all agree that romantic gifts offered to a complete stranger will produce no good effect (or maybe there are a few women out there who would accept gifts from strangers with delight, but we can question the values of those kind of women in another thread ) And when the guy gets pleasure out of the offering, like Rearden's bracelet to Dagny, that is amazing. When a guy gives you something he knows you like because he knows you will like it, that speaks volumes about his feeling for you. For example: my favorite bouquet to receive has always been daisies. Yes, I prefer daisies to roses because they remind me of the backyard full of daisies were I spent my summers as a child. When someone understands that, then I know they understand me. ANd that they like to bring back happy memories for me... well, that's just love plain and simple. But there has to be that understanding of what the gift means between two people: that's why gifts to strangers don't work and that's why over-extravagent gifts may also fail to produce the desired result (though sadly there are just as many 2nd-handed women who love these kinds of sugar-daddy type gifts from men who don't really love them in the right sort of way). Wasn't there some kind of nasty looking shop clerk in Atlas Shrugged who fit this bill? But hey, to all those wealthy men out there who can shower their women they love in the right way with nice gifts, more power to you! Alfa hit the nail on the head though when he said the gift has to be a demonstration of value; if it is nothing more than a false pretension or a display for others about the kind of gifts you can buy, well, then it's not really a gift for someone else because you value them is it? It's a gift for you to maintain your own secondhandedness. There's no romance in that. But Rearden didn't give Dagny the bracelet so others would know; he did it becuase he took pleasure in offering something of value to someone of value to him. That's how gifts should work; whether it's a simple bouquet to someone who have only thus far exchanged conversations with or an extravagent piece of jewlery offered in proposal to someone you have known and loved for some time. Well, I must say, it is reassuring to see there are still others out there who appreciate the traditional offerings of romance. There are people out there, male and female, objectivist and non-objectivist, who misuse and misunderstand these gifts, it's true. But the fact that there are still people out there who see the value and the pleasure of them is pleasing indeed.
  22. True, some guys do mis-use flowers (kind of like parents who try to buy their kids' love by spoiling them with an abundance of toys). If the flowers are coming from someone you don't respect, whether it is a loved one who's done wrong or someone you entirely don't know at all, then yes I agree they could be confusing and their purpose may be missed. If, however, flowers are presented to someone who have already begun to get to know, or someone you already love, then their meaning is clear. Perhaps I should have clarified that above. My extravagent, gift-ridden dates were not with strangers: they were both with individuals I had been in email exchange for sometime (thank you match.com!). If you love someone, the fact that they do nice things for you should not make you respect them less: it should make you repsect them more because they are indicating by such action that they understand you and know what you want, need, and desire. If however, as you say, the flowers are coming from soem sort of lack of self-esteem, then no, they would not be considered romantic (though there are a lot of women who accept them all the same...). The cause behind the flowers is essential to their romantic meaning. So yes, women do want gifts like flowers from someone they already like. I laugh when I think of how in high school, student government would sell single roses for guys to send to girls in class on valentines day. Sometimes girls would get one from a guy that they not only did nto like, but had no idea that they like them, and they would throw them away. I guess that proves the point. But, when you got a flower from a guy that you may have secretly had a crush on yourself - I can imagine that must have been a good feeling (no one ever sent me flowers in high school ) There does need to be some kind of a hint of mutual interest between two people for gifts to be appreciated in the right way. Without mutual interest, they ar ejust flowers and are meaningless, in a way. With the right kind of motivation driving the urge to give, and to receive the flowers, however, they can be amazing.
  23. So the recently resurrected topic entitled "Adolescent Relationships" came to my attention today, and it created a pressing enough question in my mind that I thought I would start a new topic (one that is more narrow in scope)... I'm not technilogically advanced enough to know how to link the two, so mods help me out if you think they need to be linked So the question is: is being old-fashioned in one's behavior in a relationship un-objectivist?(and I am speaking of manners, gifts, etc - let's leave sex out of this one). In that previous topic, several members voiced their opinions that women don't like flowers, and don't want you to be polite, etc, and I was shocked. Has the world really come to that? Do all other rational people really believe that it is a bad idea to give a woman flowers as an expression of interest? Do all other rational people really believe that being cocky is the best approach for winning a woman over? Is that kind of early behavior really condusive to a successful relationship, or does it just successfully line up a long row of flings? I'll address the cockiness factor first. Do other objectivist woman find cockiness attractive in a guy they are just getting to know? I am NOT attracted to cockiness, at all. Confidence and humor will catch my eye, but cockiness just screams something else to me: jerk. The character of Howard Roark, for example, is extremely attractive to me (well, as attractive as a fictional character can be anyway), but he doesn't strike me as cocky. COnfident and insightful, yes, but cocky, no. Even the whole "rape" scene seems to be more of a result of him having successfully assessed the situation, over the course of time, rather than a consequence of him being cocky. Am I reading that entirely wrong? Am I alone in that perception? The thought that some men out there still believe that woman say they want one thing and actually want another is frightening. I have had one experience with a guy who thought just that and it was SCARY, not enticing. I was frightened, not turned on. And to say that Dominique (again, to use the Fountainhead example) really wanted one thing but said she wanted another is pointless because her actions are what communicated her desires. Some women may not say what they really want, but their actions will tell you where their lines are. To presume that ALL women are hiding their true wants is DANGEROUS, and not likely to lead to a successful introduction, let alone a relationship. The thought of being with a cocky guy just seems like more work than its worth; just another dumb barrier an individual erects to supposedly "smooth out" the introduction process. If, as a guy, you're being cocky because you really are cocky, well then good for you: you're being honest from the start. But good luck finding someone patient enough to deal with that on a daily basis. If you're pretending to be cocky to make yourself more attractive, good luck with that. That certainly would not attract me: but tell me, fellow objevtivist girls, would that attract you? As for gifts, I am saddened to hear so many objectivist men think that giving flowers is wussy. Really? Maybe I am not speaking for all girls out there, but I love flowers. I don't love them because they're traditional, I love them personally because I consider flowers to be one of the most beautiful things in existence on this earth, and the gift of them is an offering of beauty, not of need or emotional desperation. Granted, I will say that a lot of women expect flowers just because they are a traditional sign of romance, but even if we assume that they are just a traditional sign of romance, does that make them so bad? I have had two relationship in my life, and they both started extravagentlywith flowers and fun dates and I loved it. Had either of those indivuduals come to me as a cocky, over-assuming a**hole, they certainly would not have gotten very far! So, while traditional romantic offerings and gentlemanly behavior from the start may not be NECESSARY for a successful introduction or relationship, I am unable to see how, if presented, they make a relationship unlikely. Guys that act like "jerks" may attract lots of women, but how many of those jerks end up having meaningful, serious relationships with those women? From what I've seen cocky guys may attract hot chicks, but they just end up having flings (for many reasons...). Thus, my inquiry is two fold: are there any other objectivist women out there who do not find traditional romantic offerings to be a turn off? And two, are there actually any objectivist guys out there who have found this be a jerk and don't give a woman anything approach successful? Just curious how isolated I may be in my opinions on this one.
  24. Wow. Wikipedia does him no justice. While his presidential achievements may not be great (it's hard to achieve anything when you have such an opposition-based congress), his political achievements as a whole are astounding. For instance, look into his diplomatic efforts in the Jeffersonian era. Look somewhere other than Wikipedia, apparently, as they don't do his service justice there. His dedication to his country and liberty in general is quite possibly the most impressive of any president we've ever had. Ex: he went back to COngress after the presidency; no one else has done that. He believed in his philosophy and efforts so much, he was willing to continue offering them. I love the Adamses. While I concur the Alien and Sedition acts of Adams sr were a blunder, he had to make a decision for which there was no precedent, and he himself quickly became aware of the mistake he had made. Both John ADams and John Quincy Adams were monumental in their political philosophy and their understanding of indiv rights (again, A&S acts aside...). It is unfortunate that their presidencies were so uneventful, but they were uneventful precisely because they were so steadfast and stubborn in their beliefs. They were members of their parties, yes,but only begrudgingly so on and on paper only for all practical purposes. They didn't have many allies in Congrsss while either of them was President, and that because they were unwilling to sell their beliefs in exchange for power. In my opinion, my list of great presidents ends with John Quincy Adams. But maybe I am basing my opinion more on the character of the individuals, rather than the achievements of the office. Is that improper? I think of the Presdency as a job, yes, but doesn't any employer also hire and judge their employees based on character, too? Is assessing the Presidents by their character unobjectivist?
  25. I too have one of those "w" Polish last names, and I have chosen to keep the old world pronunciation of mine precisely because it is more unique and a honor to that side of my family's long history. It does get a little annoying having to spell it out all the time, and the fact that there's only one vowel and all sorts of consonants that are prnounced differently really seems to screw with people. Ironically, when I used to teach young children, ages 2 1/2 to 6, they easily learned to spell and say my name: always with greater accuracy than adults I have known for many years. You tell a child that in some parts of the world letters say different sounds and they think it's cool and they just get it. I like my name so much I am quite certain that I will maintain it as such for the rest of my life, regardless of marital circumstances should they arise, even though I know that condemns me to a lifetime of spelling it out. Spelling it out isn't half as much fun as listening to people make their first attempts at trying to pronounce or repeat it. Being named Ukumu would hve probably made things easier for my high school biology teacher who called me "vegan" for an entire year, but who wants to be called Ukumu? (my apologies in advance to all the Ukumu's of the world). And hey,and least she was pronouncing the "w" right!" Changing your name though, is, as others have already said, your choice. If you really want to do it, then do it, but do remember there are a lot of things (costs aside) that will have to be changed. Have you ever moved and had to call every body and every place you've ever done or are still doing business with and update your address? That's annoying; and just when you think you contacted everyone, you start getting contacted by all these people receiving returned mail they're trying to send to you. So I imagine changing one's name is like changing your address times 10 in annoyance level. Not only do you have to contact everyone, but you've got to legally back a lot of those changes up with documentation. Documentation is a bitch. Trust me: I work in insurance and financial advising so I deal with all the joys of documentation everyday. If you're willing to deal with those hastles than kudos to you. You have more patience than I do-- but then again we half Polish/half Irish girls don't like to mess around with our names! On a side note, my first name was almost Agniejka; that would have been entirely too entertaining. (ahn-nyetch-ka). My family is full of fun first names like that: Borislaw, Wojtek, Zbigniew, and I love it. Even my Irish side has some fun names, like Ciaran, Cecil, Riordan and Farrell. How many people in the world can say they have an uncle Vyesh? (sadly I don't know how to spell his real name correctly because in writing he goes by a very, very English name). Unique names are fun, so if you have one, cherish it, but don't be too bothered if you share your name with others.
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