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Jake_Ellison

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  1. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from mdegges in I'm depressed again....   
    Every viable plan to achieve something great begins with the smallest of steps. For instance, Rearden didn't get a job because working as a day laborer made him happy, but because it was the first step in his long term plan. And he was content doing his menial job because he knew it was a part of something important. That meant it wasn't menial at all.

    You're right, you shouldn't get a shitty McDs job to try and make yourself happy, and such a job should not make any Objectivist happy. You should get a shitty job as the first step in a plan to achieve something worthwhile with your life, in the long run. You don't even have to know exactly what that something is for now, because no matter what it is, it requires you to take this first step. You should think about what exactly you wish to accomplish, eventually, but that certainly shouldn't be your priority. The one important thing you need to understand is this simple fact: every great human achievement necessarily starts with one small step. That is the only way to start yours.

    Your mistake is that you are trying to come up with a first step that's as important as possible. You should do the exact opposite: come up with a first step that is as easy as possible. I'm not 100% sure what it should be, but based on what you wrote, I would suggest considering getting a very basic job. Don't worry about it being a good job, just take whatever job is the easiest to get. The significance of having taken the first step makes the quality of the job irrelevant: the job is not your primary goal, taking the first step is.
  2. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from chuff in Conversations With God   
    I haven't read the book either, but I talked to God, and he said it's shit. How's that for a great argument?
  3. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from 2046 in Howard Roark blowing up Cortlandt was not Objectivist, and neither is   
    The argument is that building a life for yourself and your family requires long term planning. With the various governments (federal, state, local) massively involved in the US economy, people's plans involve that status quo. There is no way around it, your life, just like mine, is dependent at least to some degree, thorough no fault of our own, on some economic activity the State performs.

    The only way it would be possible to preserve both legitimate economic entities and the livelihoods and comfort of working, productive Americans would be through a gradual, planned and announced withdrawal of the US gov. from the economy. Anything else would be a disaster. The private sector and the gov. run economy are an interdependent whole, and they need to be untangled, over time. That's not a collectivist suggestion, it is a statement of fact. Not recognizing it would be foolish, and recognizing it and causing deliberate harm to innocent people would be a moral outrage.

    If you want to discuss the details of why the above is a statement of fact, I'd be happy to, but only if you show that you are a reasonable gentleman. For instance if you suggest something like " to hell with the millions of civilian employees working for various governments (not to mention all the jobs that depend on gov. spending), they should all get a 60 day notice and be added to the end of the unemployment lines", or that buldozers should be sent into the inner city, to wipe out all the projects, that's not very reasonable. Economic activity needs to shift, new specialized professionals, business arrangements, comapanies need to be formed to take over, and all that takes time.

    Obviously, some aspects of government can be phased out quicker than others, especially a lot of welfare checks can be phased out in months rather than years (except for disabled people, the charities they would depend on require time to be created), and various regulations (minimum wage for instance can be repelled in 60 seconds, no need to wait around for 60 days).
  4. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from Q.E.D. in Listening to Music that is not Art   
    I don't know Tim McGraw, but from the more general stuff you wrote I'll assume you appreciate music for the right reasons. With that assumption in mind, I would like to point out that there is in fact a huge amount of good music out there (both new and old), it's just that most of the new stuff is only moderately popular.

    I think you should put more energy into finding whatever it is that you consider good music, instead of settling for what you consider mediocre. And give those random indie bands (or famous composers, wherever your search takes you) more than one chance. If one composition contains anything even remotely interesting, search out a few more, you might stumble upon a gold mine.


    I do sometimes (less and less, though) watch an average movie (even though I know it's not that good ahead of time), simply because there are so few good new movies, and I've seen the old ones. But that's not the case with music at all. I of course try to listen to all sorts of stuff once, but would never settle into listening to a musician I'm not impressed with. There's just too much great stuff out there, to do that.
  5. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from chuff in Torture   
    So, as long as what he's saying can be verified (like what's the address of the rest of your terror cell?), physical torture is not of dubious value at all. If a person being tortured will say anything to stop the pain, and it is clear that only the truth will stop the pain, then he is guaranteed to tell the truth.

    (I do agree that in situations where a testimony isn't immediately verifiable, physical torture is pointless, and the techniques you describe are probably more useful.)
  6. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from Ben Archer in I'm depressed again....   
    Every viable plan to achieve something great begins with the smallest of steps. For instance, Rearden didn't get a job because working as a day laborer made him happy, but because it was the first step in his long term plan. And he was content doing his menial job because he knew it was a part of something important. That meant it wasn't menial at all.

    You're right, you shouldn't get a shitty McDs job to try and make yourself happy, and such a job should not make any Objectivist happy. You should get a shitty job as the first step in a plan to achieve something worthwhile with your life, in the long run. You don't even have to know exactly what that something is for now, because no matter what it is, it requires you to take this first step. You should think about what exactly you wish to accomplish, eventually, but that certainly shouldn't be your priority. The one important thing you need to understand is this simple fact: every great human achievement necessarily starts with one small step. That is the only way to start yours.

    Your mistake is that you are trying to come up with a first step that's as important as possible. You should do the exact opposite: come up with a first step that is as easy as possible. I'm not 100% sure what it should be, but based on what you wrote, I would suggest considering getting a very basic job. Don't worry about it being a good job, just take whatever job is the easiest to get. The significance of having taken the first step makes the quality of the job irrelevant: the job is not your primary goal, taking the first step is.
  7. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from MissLemon in I'm depressed again....   
    Every viable plan to achieve something great begins with the smallest of steps. For instance, Rearden didn't get a job because working as a day laborer made him happy, but because it was the first step in his long term plan. And he was content doing his menial job because he knew it was a part of something important. That meant it wasn't menial at all.

    You're right, you shouldn't get a shitty McDs job to try and make yourself happy, and such a job should not make any Objectivist happy. You should get a shitty job as the first step in a plan to achieve something worthwhile with your life, in the long run. You don't even have to know exactly what that something is for now, because no matter what it is, it requires you to take this first step. You should think about what exactly you wish to accomplish, eventually, but that certainly shouldn't be your priority. The one important thing you need to understand is this simple fact: every great human achievement necessarily starts with one small step. That is the only way to start yours.

    Your mistake is that you are trying to come up with a first step that's as important as possible. You should do the exact opposite: come up with a first step that is as easy as possible. I'm not 100% sure what it should be, but based on what you wrote, I would suggest considering getting a very basic job. Don't worry about it being a good job, just take whatever job is the easiest to get. The significance of having taken the first step makes the quality of the job irrelevant: the job is not your primary goal, taking the first step is.
  8. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from The Wrath in Pre-emptive War: e.g. Should we nuke Tehran?   
    I'm aware of most of those imaginary claims you consider "knowledge of the situation". I just happen to know they're not real, so I don't consider them when passing judgement on Iran.
  9. Like
    Jake_Ellison reacted to softwareNerd in Oklahoma bans Sharia from courts, CAIR files lawsuit   
    This is how the constitution has generally been interpreted. An argument that conservative Christians make is that the principle of "separation of Church and state" should be narrowed to "non establishment". One would need to a a constitutional scholar to argue for that "separation of church and state" was the real intent; but, regardless of what was meant, that broader notion is the right one.
    If we hold separation of church and state to be the right principle, the the law should not point out a specific religion the way this ballot measure does. Properly written, instead of naming Sharia, it ought to have broadly ruled out the use of religious law.

    One might still decide to support and vote for an imperfect law. Personally -- balancing the likelihood of a threat from Sharia against allowing a law that names a specific religion this way -- I would not have voted for this one.





  10. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison reacted to Grames in Oklahoma bans Sharia from courts, CAIR files lawsuit   
    If the shoe fits. As a do-gooder who is actually being very foolish, here is a shoe that fits better. From Wikipedia: Useful idiot

    In political jargon, the term useful idiot was used to describe Soviet sympathizers in Western countries. The implication is that though the person in question naïvely thinks themselves an ally of the Soviets or other ideologies, they are actually held in contempt by them, and were being cynically used. The term is now used more broadly to describe someone who is perceived to be manipulated by a political movement, terrorist group, hostile government, or business, whether or not the group is Communist in nature.

    "Useful idiot" is often used as a pejorative term for those who are seen to unwittingly support a malign cause through their 'naive' attempts to be a force for good. For example, the term has been used by some commentators to describe people the commentators believe are effectively supporting Islamic terrorism, often by favouring an approach based on appeasement. For example, Anthony Browne wrote in the United Kingdom newspaper, The Times:[4]


    "Elements within the British establishment were notoriously sympathetic to Hitler. Today the Islamists enjoy similar support. In the 1930s it was Edward VIII, aristocrats and the Daily Mail; this time it is left-wing activists, The Guardian and sections of the BBC. They may not want a global theocracy, but they are like the West’s apologists for the Soviet Union — useful idiots. ”
    A 2010 BBC radio documentary lists among useful idiots of Stalin several prominent British writers including H. G. Wells and Doris Lessing, the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, and the American journalist Walter Duranty and the singer Paul Robeson.[5]
  11. Like
    Jake_Ellison reacted to ~Sophia~ in Rand's views on murderer William Hickman   
    The answer, at least partially, can be found in the introduction to "The Night of January 16th". I know that it was mentioned in the journals but I highly recommend reading it in full.

    The way I understand it is that Hickman was an abstraction. The attraction was not conceptual (and thus details of the case were not relevant) but emotional, on a sense of life level. She used this case for her projection - like one can use a piece of art (even if the artist intended/meant something very different (even opposite) than what you getting out of it - it happens to me a lot). This was about the idea of individualism/independence - about the psychology it requires to be daring in this way. She did not admire this particular man. Her comments are not identifications about this particular case - but rather a hypothetical - conceptual exploration of emotional reaction. Rather than repressing it - she explored it. Sense of life reaction is not conceptual - one may react positively even though the details are horrifying. In my opinion this is a testament in a way to her underlying positive evaluation of herself (deeply rooted conviction "I am good") because I think many would have dismissed the feeling due to the details of the case.

    It is very likely that the same is true of her journal comments related to society. It could have been her projection in relation to society's reaction to radicalism, toward those who boldly project that they don't need the approval of society, toward those who reject the notion that consensus, the majority of opinion - is a valid standard of truth and value.
    It could have been an exploration of the reaction of society when it realizes that it lost it's grasp over the individual.
  12. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison reacted to Mikee in Definitions Of Environmentalism   
    There are environmentalists that think CO2 reduction is more important than nuclear waste issues or dessert wilderness protection, and those that think the reverse. So there's dissent.
  13. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison reacted to icosahedron in Is it proper to date a girl who smokes pot?   
    This is a perfect example of the fallacy of using statistics in individual cases. The individual is the essential context for any question relating to the health and happiness of the individual.

    Is it possible that tobacco use is highly correlated with mental stresses? If so, then could it be that the mental stress is the cause of ill health for some, and by reducing it they live better? Can you say that cigarettes are bad in ALL contexts, for ALL people, based on statistics?

    There was an old Dutch study that found self-described stress as the only significant correlate to cancer. I'll try to dig up the documentation.

    - ico
  14. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from volco in Is it proper to date a girl who smokes pot?   
    That equation is wrong. People who smoke a pack or more a day die ten years early on average (not 5-10, by the way, but 10). That doesn't mean you're guaranteed 25 good years, far from it. You could die (or get a debilitating disease) from smoking next year.

    The actual equation is that smoking doubles mortality rates in both middle and old age. About half of smokers die because of their habit, the other half don't. But out of those who die, half (duh!) die even earlier than that 10 year average.

    So if you continue smoking, your odds of dying more than ten years before your time are 25%, and your odds of dying during middle age are two times greater than mine. If you quit before the age of 50, the chances of dying, from that point on, from your previous smoking are cut by at least half, but a lot more the faster you quit. (for instance, if you quit before the age of 30, you're almost completely safe).

    The above facts are one of two reasons why I quit (the other was that smoking was affecting my appetite and physical condition). Looking back on it, I also realize that one of the arguments I used to come up with for smoking (that it relaxes me, and helps me think and work) was in fact dead wrong. I was comparing my mental state while smoking not with the state of a non-smoker, but rather with my mental state during times of withdrawal (whenever I was stuck in a place where I couldn't light up). Of course you can't think while going through withdrawal. But that says nothing about your ability to think once you've quit. There is no evidence to suggest those who stop smoking are negatively impacted as far as their ability to focus and make good decisions. If anything, I'm more functional and calm now, that I quit (since I'm never going through withdrawal).
  15. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison reacted to Ryan1985 in QE2   
    We are not going to see 20% inflation as a result of this. At the moment US inflation is at 1.1% after $1.75 trillion was pumped in during QE1. Remember the size of the US economy. It's worth over 14 trillion dollars. 600 billion is not going to make much difference at all. What the Fed is trying to do is make sure that inflation doesn't drop below 0% which causes all kinds of problems for a mixed economy.
  16. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from 2046 in Rand's views on murderer William Hickman   
    Actually believing what? You made sure to cut off the quote before she explains who and what she was referring to, in the hopes that you'll find a few people lazy enough to believe your lie that she was referring to the "average person".

    Here's what she was referring to: "Oh, that their best is so very small! Oh, that their worst is so very small! And oh, how horrid it is to be small!". That is from Nietzsche, and it hints to a belief system that is a far greater evil than Hickman's degeneracy. It is something that, in my humble opinion, doesn't fit many people, but it describes one in this thread pretty well: you.

    Instead of dabbling in more out of context quotes and superficial, lazy, daft observations about them, you should do some reading, understand both the context of the full journal entry (by reading it and the writings of the people she criticized in it), as well as the context of the Nietzsche quote and his overall philosophy. Then you can come back and add a few informed, honest and helpful questions and comments to this thread, instead of this aimless trolling. There actually are contradictions in that journal entry worthy of criticism (Ayn Rand's later work resolves those contradictions). Too bad you haven't gotten around to identifying them, so that someone could direct you towards their resolution.

    Instead you're concerned with finding something that you can react to on an emotional level, to point at it and hate it without having to actually think. That need for emotional satisfaction devoid of intellectual work is a symptom of our current society (as evidenced by all the "gotcha" style of journalism, directed against pretty much anyone in the public eye), just like it was a symptom of the society Ayn Rand was describing. But it's not true that the average person feels it, it's only a select few. Most people I come across actually struggle to understand things, they rarely have this craving, for a piece of sensationalist meat to sink their hateful teeth into, that you are so eloquently displaying.
  17. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from brian0918 in Rand's views on murderer William Hickman   
    Actually believing what? You made sure to cut off the quote before she explains who and what she was referring to, in the hopes that you'll find a few people lazy enough to believe your lie that she was referring to the "average person".

    Here's what she was referring to: "Oh, that their best is so very small! Oh, that their worst is so very small! And oh, how horrid it is to be small!". That is from Nietzsche, and it hints to a belief system that is a far greater evil than Hickman's degeneracy. It is something that, in my humble opinion, doesn't fit many people, but it describes one in this thread pretty well: you.

    Instead of dabbling in more out of context quotes and superficial, lazy, daft observations about them, you should do some reading, understand both the context of the full journal entry (by reading it and the writings of the people she criticized in it), as well as the context of the Nietzsche quote and his overall philosophy. Then you can come back and add a few informed, honest and helpful questions and comments to this thread, instead of this aimless trolling. There actually are contradictions in that journal entry worthy of criticism (Ayn Rand's later work resolves those contradictions). Too bad you haven't gotten around to identifying them, so that someone could direct you towards their resolution.

    Instead you're concerned with finding something that you can react to on an emotional level, to point at it and hate it without having to actually think. That need for emotional satisfaction devoid of intellectual work is a symptom of our current society (as evidenced by all the "gotcha" style of journalism, directed against pretty much anyone in the public eye), just like it was a symptom of the society Ayn Rand was describing. But it's not true that the average person feels it, it's only a select few. Most people I come across actually struggle to understand things, they rarely have this craving, for a piece of sensationalist meat to sink their hateful teeth into, that you are so eloquently displaying.
  18. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison reacted to claire in Rand's views on murderer William Hickman   
    "So Rand thinks that most people have worse sins than cutting up a little girl? How horrifying that she views society to be so loathsome."

    I, too, find it extremely troublesome. Plenty of people seem to want to make excuses (her young age, her Nietsche phase, taken out of context, etc.), but that doesn't cover the belief that the average person is WORSE than a butchering killer. It's especially weird since she left Russia because everything in Russia was bad and America was the wonderful country of bright freedom. So she gets here, and now AMERICANS are totally despicable. As for her admiration that Hickman was unrepentent, the same can certainly be said for most of the prison population today.

    I don't see how one can escape that this view of mankind if horrifying. And sad.
  19. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from 2046 in Rand's views on murderer William Hickman   
    Everyone finds things they don't understand "odd". But then we have a choice: we can be curious and look for the reason someone made an unusual choice, or we can be drones and just superficially dismiss everything we don't understand, with the pseudo logic of thinking by association.
  20. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from Ryan1985 in Rand's views on murderer William Hickman   
    Everyone finds things they don't understand "odd". But then we have a choice: we can be curious and look for the reason someone made an unusual choice, or we can be drones and just superficially dismiss everything we don't understand, with the pseudo logic of thinking by association.
  21. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from Nate T. in Is Objectivism Totalitarian?   
    I haven't heard you condemn the murder of millions of Chinese peasants by Genghis Khan, lately. Mass murderer. If you ask me, you and your murdering buddy could've at least buried them properly, instead of building a giant pile out of their heads like savages. What kind of a person are you?

    Or should I wait until you're dead before I call you an accomplice to every crime you didn't know about, to make sure you can't correct me?

    Also, the movie Gigli. Did you publicly condemn that pile of crap? I didn't think so, you bad movie making murderer.

    Ayn Rand's on record on both the sending of homosexuals and the falsely accused to jail. She made specific public statements against both.

    Not to mention that her philosophy rejects such actions, and I informed you of her position on the initiation of force at least twice just in this thread: she was against it.
  22. Downvote
    Jake_Ellison reacted to 2046 in Is Objectivism Totalitarian?   
    I agree with SapereAude that the lack of definition and specificity is harming the OP's case. In order to avoid and/or remedy the fallacy of context-dropping, several conditions must be met:

    1. the concept(s) in question must be clearly grasped and defined

    2. one must know the reasons for holding the concept, and know its validations

    3. the concept's usage must not negate an earlier concept on which it depends (stolen concept fallacy)

    Since the nature of knowledge is hierarchical (wider concepts built upon simpler concepts), a proposition must be integrated into the total context of knowledge available in order to be grounded and not a “floating abstraction.”

    It appears to me that there is a stolen concept fallacy being employed here (using a concept while denying the validity of its genetic roots, i.e., of an earlier concept(s) on which it logically depends.). The concept “totalitarianism” subsumes the genetic root concepts “initiation of force” and “self-defense” which have to be smuggled in and ignored while “totalitarianism,” which depends on them, is being used to negate their application. You're attempting to use “totalitarianism” to claim resistance to totalitarianism is totalitarian.

    The attempt to implement a totalitarian system, such as socialism, involves the initiation of force (the same goes for democracy or whatever else you want to call it):

    1. In order to realize their views, socialists must create power of some men over other men, and success depends on them using this power.

    2. The very success of the totalitarian group depends on the willingness to commit immoral acts, the ends must justify the means. A good socialist must be willing to do anything for the cause.

    3. Even if they are democratically elected, from the socialist government's first act to the last it will be criminal aggression against innocents and the end result dictatorship.

    4. Therefore, in order to carry out socialism on a political level (presumably we are not talking about a voluntary commune of sorts, and if we are, then it is virtually impossible that the entire country voluntarily chooses to live in one giant commune), the initiation of physical force is required.

    Thus, those who employ physical force to resist and stop the socialists from carrying out revolution or change of the government and political system from a hypothetical Objectivist/capitalist government to a socialist or democratic government are not initiating force, but retaliating against those who are. The claim that to arrest the socialists would be a violation of their “freedom of speech” smuggles the concept “initiation of force” into the premise while ignoring it. Making violence legal, and resistance to it illegal, is the essence of totalitarianism. Making violence illegal and resisting those who practice it is the opposite of totalitarianism.

    Secondly, the concept “self-defense” comes from knowing the differentia of “initiation of force” and “retaliatory force.” The concept of self-defense is implicitly being smuggled into the premise that the Objectivist/capitalist government is totalitarian while it is being used to deny the right of self-defense that forms the basis of the Objectivist/capitalist government's use of retaliatory force against socialist criminals trying to overthrow it.

    The right to legally arrest a socialist or a whole group of them and put them on trial, present evidence, and judge them according to a rationally-derived legal code follows logically from the right of self-defense. (And if it is a war, then the same applies to killing them on sight.) If they were engaged in a direct threat to initiate any violence whatsoever, no matter what the political nature of it is, then the government has the moral obligation to persecute the socialists.

    So this type of concept stealing basically boils down to the same kind of doublethink employed in the famous phrase: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, Objectivism is Totalitarianism, Expropriation is Free Speech, Mass Murder is Free Expression
  23. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from brian0918 in Is Objectivism Totalitarian?   
    I haven't heard you condemn the murder of millions of Chinese peasants by Genghis Khan, lately. Mass murderer. If you ask me, you and your murdering buddy could've at least buried them properly, instead of building a giant pile out of their heads like savages. What kind of a person are you?

    Or should I wait until you're dead before I call you an accomplice to every crime you didn't know about, to make sure you can't correct me?

    Also, the movie Gigli. Did you publicly condemn that pile of crap? I didn't think so, you bad movie making murderer.

    Ayn Rand's on record on both the sending of homosexuals and the falsely accused to jail. She made specific public statements against both.

    Not to mention that her philosophy rejects such actions, and I informed you of her position on the initiation of force at least twice just in this thread: she was against it.
  24. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from SapereAude in Is Objectivism Totalitarian?   
    I haven't heard you condemn the murder of millions of Chinese peasants by Genghis Khan, lately. Mass murderer. If you ask me, you and your murdering buddy could've at least buried them properly, instead of building a giant pile out of their heads like savages. What kind of a person are you?

    Or should I wait until you're dead before I call you an accomplice to every crime you didn't know about, to make sure you can't correct me?

    Also, the movie Gigli. Did you publicly condemn that pile of crap? I didn't think so, you bad movie making murderer.

    Ayn Rand's on record on both the sending of homosexuals and the falsely accused to jail. She made specific public statements against both.

    Not to mention that her philosophy rejects such actions, and I informed you of her position on the initiation of force at least twice just in this thread: she was against it.
  25. Like
    Jake_Ellison got a reaction from dream_weaver in Is Objectivism Totalitarian?   
    Not sending someone to jail is not the equivalent of "accommodating" them. So no, an Objectivist state would not accommodate evil.

    Robbing banks is illegal and evil, right? And yet, watch this:

    I think bank robbery should be legal. Allowed. In fact it should be subsidized, and first born sons should be sacrificed to the gods for good luck in our efforts to rob banks.

    That's a pretty outrageous, terrible thing to say, huh? And yet, no one was hurt. Every bank and child on the planet is fine, all their rights are intact. Why? Because speech, no matter how evil, does not harm anyone!!! There is no conflict between free speech and rights.


    Like it's been pointed out many times before, no, an Objectivist state would not allow the imposition of socialism just because a majority somehow got convinced to vote for it. Objectivism does not support democracy, it supports a constitutionally limited government. So no, the scenario you describe could not happen in an Objectivist state. Not because the people advocating it would be hauled off to jail, but because they couldn't rise to power by convincing the majority to vote for them. That would be illegal, and anyone who tried it would be disqualified as a candidate for political office.

    Don't confuse the right to speech with the right to be a tyrant or rob a bank. There is a clearly difference between the two: one involves the initiation of physical force, the other does not. Writing laws and judging specific instances to differentiate between the two is not only possible, it has been put in practice well in the USA, in First Amendment cases. American laws and courts have no problem differentiating between speech and action, it's only other rights (mostly the right to property) that they are confused about.

    Free speech is actually one of the few areas that's handled well already in the US, and needs to be left alone, not changed.
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