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JeffS last won the day on August 13 2011

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  1. So, in order to get out of unsustainable debt, we must make that debt more unsustainable? Welcome back, Mr. Keynes. You were not missed.
  2. I haven't seen the movie, but I finished the book recently. Honestly, I wasn't impressed. It seems to me the entire premise of the book was built around, "What if I wrote a serial where the protagonists of each section had something to do, if even tangentially, with the other sections?" In fact, the author actually points out this premise in the book. I may not be intellectual enough to understand what he was getting at, but in the end I was left thinking, "Meh, and?"
  3. I'm involved in a new software product that I think has the very real possibility of changing the presentation industry forever. We're soft-launching today after years of very hard work. I'd love some level-headed feedback on the site, and if you're interested, and ever do any presentations, I'd love your feedback on the software as well. A slightly modified evaluation version is available for download. (The only feature it lacks is the ability to publish your presentation.) Thanks!Ooops! Too excited! The website is www.mediaconnexus.com.
  4. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you softwareNerd.I mean "threatening" in any sense, and your response sort of demonstrates what prompted my question. How would one go about properly defining it legally and objectively? I can certainly imagine someone doing something, saying something, or acting in a particular way toward me that would cause me to fear for my safety, but I can't be certain those same actions or words (whether written or spoken) are objectively threatening to all.
  5. I think this might have been me during this conversation. Reading your responses here, I wonder what we ever disagreed about.
  6. What would be the distinction between "threatening" and "non-threatening"?
  7. I agree with that logic, too. And I agree that it may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. (to mix metaphors) I think it would be a good thing to have it all come crashing down. People don't seem to get that communism doesn't work, socialism doesn't work, socialism-lite doesn't work, a mixed economy doesn't work, and crony capitalism doesn't work. They need to be slapped in the face with consequences of their choices. The faster it falls apart, the quicker we can get to rebuilding it.
  8. My impression was the former, Jaskn. She killed Coin because Coin was just the opposite side of the same... coin - she's just another dictator in the making.
  9. Maybe I'm missing your point, but would you also argue that WalMart, for example, does not have the right to prevent you from entering any of their stores? If you would not argue this, how is it any different from the government preventing you from driving on any of its roads?
  10. I did. The text and the fact that none of my questions were answered led to my interpretation. However, I'm more than willing to admit we're working in an imperfect medium for debate and meaning can be imprecise. Perhaps better word choice, such as "various" rather than "scattered", would've helped. So, JASKN, you have my apology for misinterpreting your post. Here are the definitions you requested: 1) Property - a difficult one, and I'm still working through Grames' link. However, on the spot I would have to say that property is any thing to which property rights can be applied. 2) Public Property - as difficult as property since they share the same term. However, we can't define it since it doesn't really exist (see Grames' post #15). On the other hand, it's a useful fiction for discussion purposes since "public property" is commonly understood to be property owned by the government. In other words, it's things to which the government can assert its rights. 3) Property Rights - this, really, is the lynchpin of the debate. Like all rights, property rights are rights to actions. They are the rights to gain, keep, use, or dispose of the thing to which those rights can be applied. Now, I don't really see how that helps us. I don't believe any of my posts stated or implied that my definitions differed markedly from the common (to this forum) definitions. If anyone should provide their definitions, I think it should be you. However, I thought we could get there by just working through the implications of your implied definitions, as I pointed out in post #13. You argue the government does not have property rights with respect to roads. You then state, "... in the very unlikely scenario that the government suddenly decides tomorrow to break up all illegitimate property into private hands, the best way to do this would probably be a bidding war; the government gets some (presumably) needed money...." How can the government have the right to dispose of roads when the government has no property rights with respect to roads? Surely you can see the contradiction? And, again, you have my apology. It's seems so common for internet posters to quickly devolve into rudeness and this board is no exception. I was so happy with your conduct up until post #17 that perhaps I too quickly interpreted that post in its negative rather than its positive light. I did want to remember to thank you for the debate so I'll do that now. Thank you for the civil tone.
  11. That's so unfortunate. Just before I loaded up the forum this morning I was thinking, "The discussion with JASKN has been a nice change of pace. No ad hominems, no hiding behind internet anonymity to be a complete and utter prick. I must remember to thank JASKN for keeping it together and continuing a rational debate without devolving into school-yard antics." Oh well, so much for that.
  12. How can the government sell something it does not own? How does the government sell something it has no right to sell? I encourage you to read my posts again. I haven't argued that the government creates property. I haven't defined property as "'stuff' sanctioned by the government."
  13. And I suppose that's where our disagreement lies: you're not altering principles, you're altering the concept of property. This alteration leads to not just the problem with money, but across the entire spectrum of property. Suppose President Joe Rational took office tomorrow and said, "Owning vast swaths of the North American continent is not a proper function of government. Starting today I will begin the dispossession process of all Federal lands, including Federal roads." How should he go about doing this? Using your altered principle of property, he can't sell the land or the roads to the highest bidder because the government has no right to them. He cannot make any decision about the land and the roads because, again according to your altered principle, none of it is property and the Federal government has no rights pertaining to its use or disposal. Another example: I own a house. I bought it from a developer. The developer (I assume) built it on land purchased from some farmer. That farmer (I assume) bought the land from someone else many, many years ago. Without going through too many iterations, eventually we get to the point where some guy bought (or was given) the land from the US government. The US government bought the land from the French government in 1804. The French government didn't buy it from anyone. They planted a flag, said, "All of the land from here (pointing at a map) to here (pointing somewhere else) is ours - it is our property to do with as we wish." Now, according to your altered principle of property, I don't own a house; the house I am in right now is not property and therefore I have no property rights. The French government never had the right to sell it to the US government. The US government never had the right to sell it to that long-dead farmer, so he never had the right to sell it to the next guy, and so on until the developer never had the right to sell it to me. If the concept of "property" can be negated simply because the government is involved, then there is no property in the US (or anywhere in the world). If the concept of "property" can be negated simply because the thing in question was obtained through illicit means, then there is no property in the US (or anywhere in the world). Property means nothing without the concomitant right to decide how the thing asserted to be property can be used and disposed of. To say the government does not have the right to determine how roads are used and disposed of is to say that roads are not property. Value is moot.
  14. I liked them very much, and based on the casting so far I'm eager to see the first movie. They're really well written (though I usually don't like first-person narratives), and I wouldn't necessarily categorize them as YA. From an Objectivist standpoint, there are some themes that really resonate: rugged individualism, out-of-control government, using one's rational mind to solve dilemmas. On the other hand, the moral conflicts aren't as clear-cut as a Rand novel. However, I think this is a good thing given the characters make realistic moral decisions that could be seen as rationally self-interested.
  15. I don't see the distinction. Both are owned by the government. Forgive me for the long parse, but it should help to clarify my earlier point. You argue that if something serves the legitimate functions of the state, then it is property and one can assume all rights pertaining to it. If we extend this principle to money then it should follow that money cannot be property, therefore no rights are applicable. "Money is created by the government," which is not one of its legitimate functions. Therefore, it can not be property; therefore, no one has any rights to US currency. Certainly not, but that only puts us back to the earlier question of whether or not it would be moral for you to steal a cop car. Is it? If roads were obtained through illicit means, then so was the cop car. There is an easy answer to your original question, and Jake had it from the beginning: The morality or immorality of any choice is dependent upon how the consequences of the choice will impact your own life. You mention you have "accumulated hundreds of dollars in speeding tickets." So, how has your choice to violate the speed limits impacted your own life? Has violating the speed limits enabled you to lead a happy and productive life?
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