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BrentRolfe

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    Niagara Falls, Ontario
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    Financial planning.<br>My business.<br>Dog training (two Golden Retrievers).<br>Classical music.<br>Full contact competitive gardening.

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    Brent Rolfe
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    yes, both, long-long ago and far-far away
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  1. Stephen, Although I have been trying hard not to I am now apologising for my earlier comments to you on an earlier, similar thread. I can only say in my defense that I really could not conceive of a difference between focus and concentration at that time. I can now conceive of it (and you were right, by introspection) but I still do not understand it, or perhaps I have not fully integrated it. I do however, catch glimses of it and its usefulness, and it makes me wonder how I could have functioned (reasonably succesfully)without grasping this fact before!
  2. Andrew, I too have been using an analogy to examine this question. A camera cannot focus on nothing in particular. Nor can the eye focus unless it is on something. Of course, you are right that one must open one's eyes in order to focus them, or take the lense cap off the camera. So the opening (which is a volitional act) is equivalent to "focus" in this context and the focusing of the eye/camera is equivalent to concentration. It was not until I joined this board, read through the relevent sections of OPAR about ten times and got into an uncomfortable (for me) discussion about it (with Stephen) that I finally realised that focus is different from concentration. I now "know" this, but I still don't fully understand it. I wonder if A.D.D. is a lack of ability to focus rather than to concentrate? My son is diagnosed with A.D.D. (and it is supposedly an inherited characteristic....so quite possibly from me!) and he lacks focus and yet is an extremely good competitive chess player, where concentration is obviously paramount. Further more I am wondering if A.D.D. is an inability to conceive of focus, let alone do it!?
  3. Correct, I didn't get it first time through, but I do now and it's quite good so my apologies for the comment about understanding the language....you may understand it better than me Re Marx being a German (i.e. westerner) however, I don't get your point. The original topic was, paraphrased slightly, that the majority of men in non-Western cultures enjoy war.....this is just patently silly. But perhaps we just disagree on the terms majority, non-Western, culture, men, enjoy and war? I think it is more likely that....many...young (18-25 year old) men...living in the USA and the UK...enjoy the idea....that war....is an adventure..um, like in a movie.
  4. ok China, is a non-Western culture so is the Carribean and African cultures also I think in the absence of any real argument you are deliberately missing the point. "i don't want to meet any masochists that believe in this crap".......um, please explain how this concept is masochistic? It is neither masochistic nor altruistic....perhaps you just don't understand the language?
  5. Further thoughts; "non-Western cultures"......so most Chinese, African, Asian, Carribean men take great pleasure in waging war? Clearly vanCreveld, Peters are just plain wrong. Perhaps some (not most) single males between ages of 16 and 25 like the idea of waging war. But that group get into more motor car accidents, more fights, more arrests too. That is a comment on youth, not on race or geographical location, or culture. Do vC and Peters distinguish between age groups of the men they have (I presume) studied? What do they consider war?....e.g....a generally non-lethal tribal fight is not a war. The concept of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (and its variants in all religions) has been around for millenia and is still quite well observed and very well understood. Just because it started out with religious overtones doesn't make it any less of a "Golden Rule" for secular societies to observe. This is quite consistent with Objectivist thinking. Unfortunately, many have corrupted this sentiment to "he who has the gold makes the rules" or worse "he who makes the rules gets the gold". Neither of these bastardisations is Objectiv-"istic"? ?
  6. Well then, Bozeman is just plain wrong in my experience. Do you mean at any time for any reason? Well then, dispute away I think Kofi got it right.
  7. But Oakes, the vast majority of the Iraqi people have no wish to fight at all, never have had. They just want to live......look after their families, have birthday parties, get a little money, etc.etc.etc.......just like everyone else anywhere in the world. I absolutely agree with you that the resolve to win at any cost is the ultimate weapon, and more importantly perhaps, the ultimate deterrent. But the US has often persued wars with a "tour of duty" mentality and the objective of a rational soldier then becomes to stay alive until they can go home (to their families, birthday parties, a little money!). It was that way in Vietnam. We would never have defeated Hitler under this scenario. So again, I agree, once you start a war, you need to finish it. But you have a domestic political system that makes that very difficult at the best of times....and almost impossible if you are the aggressors. War (as opposed to peace-keeping or policing) is moral in self-defense (or in defense of allies), ONLY! The Iraq invasion was never in self-defense and the US is now paying the price......the domestic equivocation that will ultimately lead to another uneasy withdrawal with more enemies made than friends won.
  8. Of course, if we were discussing your first sentance only, I would agree. But, in reality, almost all real life situations "require some judgement", in fact a hell of a lot of judgement and consideration of inumerable variables. In fact even Objectivism doesn't hold the answers to these questions as one can see from the diversity of opinions on this and other similar threads. A good time to agree to disagree perhaps?
  9. I agree, BUT First, how does a nation (which in the case of the US comprises what 250 million people) decide its one national interest? Certainly the self-interest of Joe Arms-dealer is a lot different to that of Jane Single-Working-Mom. So how does the US come up with one unified national self-interest? The term "nation self-interest" is so open to spin. As I said earlier, I really don't think that most people have a clue how to define their own self-interest, that is why the vast majority do not have goals for their lives. What is and is not "national s-i" also varies from one administration to another. It is not an objectively set concretised standard. Secondly, Objectivism as I understand it separates altruism from benevolence. The latter is morally justifiable, the former not so (I agree) and I think that benevolence will do much more in the long term to protect America than will bombing foreign countries that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks. Again as I wrote earlier Osama's benevolence, carefullt manipulated, provides him with a steady stream of volunteer suicide bombers. Thirdly, there is no way in hell that Iraq was top of the list of targets if the US wants to preserve its national security in any logical way. I think it is just as likely that Bush (the man not the administration) chose Iraq for personal reasons as for purely political/strategic reasons. Brent
  10. Do you have children? Brent PS this is my stock question lately
  11. Godless, I understand this. I also understand that steering the ship of state is a dirty business sometimes....and sometimes it puts you in bed with some bad apples. However, from the perspective of the rest of the world: 1) the arms dealers still made there profits. 2) the arms that produced those profits later killed American troops. 3) at the time the U.S. relationship with Sadam was justified as being in the US's self interest in the region. 4) by the time of the Gulf War Sadam had become a dangerous madman and brutal killer of his own people. 5) after the Gulf War the Kurds (who had helped the allies) were left to fend for themselves against an enraged Sadam....(was this in the USs "self interest" in the long term? This whole concept of national self interest is really beginning to bug me. It seems to me that "national self interest" is an extremely statist concept and it is therefore gaulling to see it used by Objectivists to defend a necessarily fluctuating set of (often short-term, always political) imperatives. Brent Brent
  12. But Possbly, These are not reasons for bombing them. These are reasons for nurturing them! Personally, I think the discontent among young secular Iranians is just as/more promising a place to start. But invading Iraq has just strengthened the Mullah's grip on the small minority of idiots that they can turn into suicide bombers.
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