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About sanjavalen

  • Birthday 02/11/1986

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    Santiago Valenzuela
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    An Objectivist in Dallas. I like rough and tumble stuff.
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  1. I could probably *make* a "suicide vest" out of fairly common household chemicals, given a little patience and after brushing up on my high school chemistry. Its silly to outlaw things, when actions are what should be outlawed. The main (rational) standard I think that would be applicable is *threat*. Obviously, I have every right to have a machine gun nest if I really want to. What I don't have the right to do is load them all up and point them at my neighbor's front door. That is a threat (assuming we're not good friends and he knows I'm just joking, though I would say thats a pretty stupid pair of friends.) When you get into even more destructive devices (explosives, chemicals, etc.,) the principle remains the same - but an explosive is like a gun pointed in all directions, out to its maximum destructive range. So, while I don't think licensing is an issue, it certainly would be within the rights of my neighbors to call the cops and report me if they see me handling a truckload of dyanmite into my 1br apartment. This also means that nukes are, de facto (though, importantly, not de jure) outlawed in almost every context you can think of. This kind of law, however, leaves room for things like mining uses and private, Orion-like spaceship uses (assuming either is feasible,) while also forbidding Jihad McJihadenstein from packing one into his hotel room. I think its important to be able to point to an objective principle in law, and not say "We are balancing conflicting interests are arbitrarily saying the proper balance is x." Thats not a rational basis for making criminal law. A principle is - and I think the principle I defined here is the only relevant one when it comes to restricting weapons ownership.
  2. How did I misunderstand that paragraph, then? That is what I took from it.
  3. Hey, how does the govt outlawing gun ownership protect me better? There are numerous studies that show that in virtually any society where a systematic study has been done, allowing the lawful ownership of firearms of all types decreases rather than increases crime. So there is that. Moreover, though, I have a perhaps a solution: lets outlaw murder, mugging, rape, and the initiation of force in general, instead of initiating force against me under the guise of protecting me from the initiation of force.
  4. I used to be an evictions specialist in Dallas. Section 8 tenants never seem to work out. And I have heard my share of horror stories that stem from Section 8 jerking landlords around for various kinds of things. I would not recommend it. I have never seen anything but classless section 8 tenants, even when I was just an assistant to a real estate investor (he owned 125+ properties in the DFW area.) I can tell you some truly disgusting stories about evicting section 8 tenants as well. Basically, they are paying you more money because you are taking in the lowest of the low, as a rule. I have yet to meet a landlord who used section 8 and paid attention to the costs associated with it who didn't end up losing money on it, eventually.
  5. Why the focus on politicians? Pay attention to your culture and the philosophical ideas in your environment, they will have more immediate and long-term impact.
  6. The foremost difference is that Christians today aren't very good Christians, by any objective measure.
  7. I personally have doubts that a 3-way relationship can work, in the long run. I don't have any hard data as to whether thats because many people absorb cultural ideas that are very negative regarding 3-way relationships, or if its just difficult to manage / contrary to human nature period. Is one or the other girl your highest value? Its difficult to honestly say that they are both of completely equal value to you - human beings are, of course, not identical. I would think that almost all, if not all, of these situations, the person in your position actually values one or the other person more highly than their counterpart. This is deceptive to the girl who isn't your highest value, and unfair to the one that is, for reasons that should be obvious.
  8. David, Specifically I reject non-punishment of deeds done on accident / without knowledge that they were evil beforehand, which the USA's justice system does not apply consistently. Now, as outlined in the "Should justice be retributive or restorative?" thread, I also disagree highly with prison sentences not expressly connected to the damages done. Please refer to that thread and my link to "The Perfect Prison" article as background for my thoughts on the matter, as it is fairly important to distinguish that from the current *criminal* justice system (where sentences are often internally consistent, ie, murder gets more time than assault, but not necessarily connected to reality in any concrete way, I feel) and what I think would be an ideal justice system. Anyway, just as, for example, if I were to accidentally destroy a window you owned (say, playing baseball, I hit a home run and your window is destroyed,) I would be responsible for the damage caused and (rightly) legally held responsible to replace it. In this situation no would could rightly say that I knew I was doing something wrong or evil or had any way of knowing that such a thing would happen beforehand (let us, for the sake of argument, agree to this instead of going round and round about particulars of baseball fields relatively close to house.) Similarly, regardless of whether or not the particular mentally ill person knew what he was doing was wrong or not, he is responsible for the damages so long as no force (gun to your head) or fraud (stolen merchandise in suitcase) is present. I suppose you could make a claim, as you might with a child, that whoever is guardian of the person might be held responsible for their acts, but that still leaves the problem of mentally ill who have not been identified and who do not have a guardian.
  9. If a person's mental illness is brought to the attention of the court, the court can recognize that the right to life for an extremely mentally ill person is applied differently than a mentally healthy person (this is why even adult people with severe mental disorders, for example, typically cannot agree to contracts, have to have a guardian, etc.) So if beforehand it is brought to the attention of a court, they can take steps to ensure that the person does not harm others, up to and including imprisoning them (not with criminals, perhaps, but some minimum security deal where essentially the state is the "legal guardian" of a bunch of mentally ill people.) After the fact - ie, suppose someone (for whatever reason) is mentally ill to the point where they commit a heinous crime, such as murder - the proper response is to imprison them for that particular crime. After they serve their sentence (if it isn't life in jail or the death sentence) they should be transferred imediately to a facility like I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Its a difficult question and I think the particulars would need to be worked out by legal thinkers in such a manner that mistakes are minimized, appeals are possible, and some objective standard of insane is used (as opposed to now, which I believe is nowhere near the case.) A system of appeals, the proper principles of how to treat human beings who still retain their right to life but do not have the mental faculties to exercise some of the derivative rights that most adults take for granted, etc. All of these require thought and careful planning on the part of legal professionals. But I think the above gives a rough outline of how it ought to be. As far as "should the law take into account intent?" I think that is material for another topic and should not be gone over in detail in this one.
  10. Well, the Broncos sure don't stand a chance, though they will have tons less dumbface on their team
  11. Go Cowboys! They will win so hard, that they will retroactively declare them winner of last year's superbowl, too.
  12. No one has heard the standard complaint of how terrible it is that they make "so much money" "just for acting/playing a game"? Especially when more "socially important" people like teachers or welfare workers make so little?
  13. You'd be shot in about 30 minutes in Zimbabwae or anywhere else similar, and uncerimoniously dumped into a ditch.
  14. So you expect the international community to secure your rights for you, now? If not, what do you mean by " the rights of such a micronation (and all the people in it) would be ignored" As far as "backing," what "backing" do you mean? For the most part the whole of the world stays out of the affairs of other countries, especially failed nations like Somalia.
  15. Being big enough to need to be ignored seems to me to be a nice problem to have. Don't go jumping ahead of yourself.
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