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Everything posted by rebelconservative

  1. I am looking for something similar, will check out some of the suggested titles. I am also looking for a good book on formal logic, any recommendations?
  2. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE66Q19U20100727 Greenpeace activists have taken over and shut down nearly all BP petrol stations in London. No word yet as to the police response to this disgraceful act, just some idiot whiner Greenpeace activists on the radio mouthing off about the evils of oil etc, demanding a move to "green fuel" and others opposing them moaning about the effect on the 'public' - no mention of private property rights from anyone.
  3. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-26/apple-iphone-users-have-u-s-blessing-to-jailbreak-add-own-applications.html "Owners of Apple Inc.’s iPhone can unlock the device to use applications not authorized by the company, the U.S. Library of Congress said." "The Library of Congress also said in the filing posted today that people don’t violate the law when they circumvent copy protection on DVDs and extract short excerpts to create new, noncommercial works."
  4. I presume this was the David Aaronovitch programme on Radio 4 the other day, I was most surprised to hear it coming from the BBC. For the most part, it is a good, if brief, expose of hundreds of Russian/communist/fellow-travellers who had infiltrated the US government in the 50s using recently declassified US documents. Of course, it then goes on to say that if McCarthy wasn't such a mad, paranoid drunk, that we'd have been better able to find and remove these moles (this is a reasonable assessment, but coming from the BBC, also quite irritating, when you know they would not have cared to investigate commie agents). Certainly worth a listen.
  5. Government messing around with the money supply and interest rate is a big part of the reason we are in the mess we are in at the moment. If you want to understand why, this is a pretty good place to start - http://mises.org/daily/2810
  6. This is exactly the problem, what is bizarre is that its purported aim is to reduce teen pregnancy. That some people actually believe it is shocking beyond belief. Anyway, my daughter didn't watch it. Only one other parent bothered to turn up to the viewing (also shocked by it), so virtually all the kids in her class watched it.
  7. sorry, too busy for too long, no time to come online recently, but I have been thinking about this issue. ultimately, whilst I have strong views on the importance of role models, the more I think about it, the less it seems to justify preventing gay people adopting children when there is no hard evidence of significant harm done to children - especially when gay couples also have the option of IVF or surrogacy and so many children are deprived of role models through other circumstances (death, divorce). I agree entirely, though only gay adoption is relevant to this thread, which is why I only raised this issue
  8. Sorry, I don't understand your reasoning, could you please elaborate?
  9. Firstly, I never suggested that gay parents would have gay kids. Secondly, whilst same-sex parents can still provide some level of male (or female) role models for children, a few hours here and there is not the same as having a father-figure in the home. Further, many kids would not even get that - many kids with single-mothers spend very little time with any male role model http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/jan/19/children-earlyyearseducation I don't have time to find all the data, but here is one study suggesting the importance of a male role-model on a child's development http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212095450.htm Also, I am not suggesting women should not be doctors, lawyers etc. I am suggesting that the evidence shows men and women nurture children in different ways - male role models tend to be more disciplining for example.
  10. Who said they are jewelry? I am talking about what is in their rational self-interests. Children are not suited to determine that, that is why responsible adults need to set rules for them. Typically, the younger the child, the less capable they are of making a decision of this magnitude rationally. Obviously, if a child had a strong opposition to being adopted by a particular couple for whatever reason, it would clearly not be in their best interests to force that so responsible adults would not make that decision. I suspect you are referring to the animal kingdom, where it is not "rape" but the normal act of mating for two animals in heat to come together, mate and that to seperate. I don't accept that as being natural for Man. You are treating Man as though he were some kind of savage, an animal no different to a dog. A semantic dispute perhaps, but we are not apart from 'nature' - civilisation is in our nature. Are you suggesting that the only difference between men and women are their gentalia? I don't have time to find any concrete study now, but all of the literature I have ever read on this subject shows the crucial importance of male role-models to the future lives of children (though again, I accept that most is in regard to the effects on children raised by single-mothers).
  11. Objectivism is not an hedonistic philosophy. Just because it provides physical pleasure does not mean that you should do it without regard for other values. To use your analogy, having casual sex is like eating frequently at a fast-food joint, gives fleeting pleasure but it against your rational self-interest. Sex can not properly not be seperated from love and your highest values. Having sex with someone your love and value is, to use your analogy again, like eating in a gourmet restaurant. I am twenty-seven and still a virgin, it is not the end of the world. I would not be with anyone who would reject me for lack of sexual experience. Anyway, if you are on such a low performance level then she should help you make up for lost time
  12. You are right that most soldiers in the IDF are very happy doing national service, there is no real need to compell them, as they are willing volunteers. The numbers of those who protest/refuse service are very small. The fear in Israel is that if it were not a legal obligation, several things would happen to reduce the numbers of people enlisting - firstly, the free-rider problem; secondly, the fact that life would get in the way, the idea that I'll do my service, but after college etc, Israel already has a problem with haredim avoiding service due to Torah study (though they are increasing numbers with Nahal brigades); thirdly, that the culture of national service would be undermined and numbers would drop. Perhaps this fear is unwarranted, because national service is so deeply engrained in the society, I doubt that they would see a large reduction in service numbers - but I do understand why some are wary of taking the chance. My main point was that the draft is different in the Israeli context than it is in the British, US or Norwegian context, where it is totally immoral and indefensible. To be surrounded by hostile nations at least makes the draft understandable, I find it difficult to judge a society that lives with that kind of threat. Surely an "emergency" is determined as much by the situation as by any time-limit. There are different degrees of 'emergency' that would justify different acts - i.e. Israel is not in imminent danger of destruction by Syria, so can not morally nuke Damascus - but they can morally take other forms of military action such as in Lebanon in 2006 (as disastrous as that was...). The fact is that Israel is under a continual threat from terrorism, several towns are until continual bombardment from Qassam rockets and there are several nations in the region that wants her destruction. Perhaps this can not justify the draft, but it at least explains it. I never said Norway does not need an army, I said they don't need the draft. I don't mean to belittle Norway's contribution to international security, but it can hardly be deemed in the same situation as Israel. Just to be clear, whilst they don't draft arabs born in Israel (for obvious reasons) they can apply to join the IDF.
  13. This is true, however, the original poster was not incorrect. Martial arts from China were combined with local fighting arts on Okinawa and from there, developed their own distinct forms - which were later taken to mainland Japan by Sensei Funakoshi who developed and popularised the Shotokan style. Karate is a distinctly Japanese martial art. Also, the film is not out yet in the UK (28th July) but it appears that he is actually taught kung-fu a Chinese discipline, rather than karate anyway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Karate_Kid_(2010_film).
  14. I didn't say gays can't be good role models, but two lesbians cannot, by definition, provide a good male role model
  15. Europe does not have actual "rights" only pseduo, government created "human rights" like the right not to be shot if you break into someone's house. America is not perfect, there are a lot of contradictions, but it is at least based on the idea of liberty - with a Constitution that one can appeal to, rather than the European civil-law system and our unwritten constitution which is totally unsuitable for the kind of politicians we have today. Also, the lack of a large illegal immigrant population in the UK is not due to any British virtues, but solely to geography. We do not share a massive land border with a significantly poorer neighbour.
  16. This is one of the issues that has caused me most problems since I have been studying Objectivism, I actually kept meaning to make a thread about it, but it is hard to put into words what it means to support a football ( soccer ) club. As someone has already said, it is the embodiment of the collective spirit - there is an emotional connection to the club, it is certainly not rational or objective. In England, you don't choose the club you support, you are born with it by virtue of geography or family. Most people live close to a team and will automatically support that team, just as their father did before them. Where there are two teams, your family will determine who you support. If they are in the lower leagues, they might also have a "second-team" in the Premier League that they like, but are not bothered about. I can admire the way certain other teams play, even rivals, if they play the game in a good manner, without resorting to cheating. However, this is totally different to supporting your team. I think there is a degree of talking at cross-purposes here. The Bowden article is talking about the sporting event in almost abstract terms, from the outside, the game, the glory of it, but the OP is talking about a tribal affinity to a local sports team, experiencing it from the inside almost, not just enjoying the skill, but living the highs and lows personally - at the end of it you are either elated or distraught. That is what supporting a team is, it is a replacement for the tribe. There is no way to escape it. When you look not at the sporting event, but at the way the fans experience it, there is no way to reconcile actively supporting a sports team with the individualism found within Objectivism. In this regard, I will always be a 'back-sliding' Objectivist. I remember the joy of watching with me dad as Liverpool beat local rivals Everton in the 1989 FA cup final, 3-2 after extra-time, I was only six. I remember going to see my first match at Anfield, our 'cathedral' of football, I remember us winning the FA cup in '92, the disappointment in '96, beating Newcastle 4-3 with the last kick of the match - twice - and the amazing year we won five trophies (all but the one we really want ) and I will never forget the euphoria of Istanbul, winning the European Cup after being 3-0 down at half-time. Studying Objectivism has called all of this into question for me, but I cannot escape it - nor do I necessarily want to.
  17. You cannot ask all children, particularly youngsters, they are not best placed to know what is in their own best interests - if you ask children whether they want to live with the permissive parents who will let them stay up until 1am playing video games every night, or the couple with a strict bed-time, they are unlikely to chose wisely. Responsible, rational adults are the ultimate guard of a child's best interests. I am not sure they are attempting 'social engineering', in the sense that the term refers to an attempt to influence social behaviour in a manner that conflicts with nature / conventional social mores, unless it is 'social engineering' for the government to prohibit the use of force? After all, it is an attempt to influence behaviour. But even if we accept that it is, I dispute the contention that it is arbitrary. The mother-father relationship is a fact of nature, it is not an arbitrary social convention that hetrosexuals have invented to discrimination against gay people. Further, concern at the lack of a male role model in the home as is often cited, is a legitimate concern for the child, not an arbitrary decision. However, these children with disrupted family lives are the ones most in need of a stable home with good role models. A child who was, for instance, abused by their father may never be able to develop a positive relationship with men if they do not have a positive male role model during their subsequent development. Friends and uncles are not sufficient and cannot replace the importance of a father-figure in the home. Even the most stable, loving, nurturing lesbian couple cannot give children the father-figure that they need.
  18. I am sure that if you have a child with a mixed-gender condition, then a gay parent would be more aware of the issues and understanding (on average) than a straight parent. However, the fact is that most children are hetrosexual and fulfil traditional gender roles. I am not talking about enforcing gender stereotypes that boys must be macho and fight, girls must play with dolls - but it is a fact that most children will fall into those categories because men and women are biologically different and evolutionary wired to seek out different roles. Furthermore, the importance of having a strong male role model is not in dispute, their experience of their father has a huge impact on how children develop and influences their relationships in later life. I don't remember where I read it now (was a long time ago) but girls raised in lesbian environment were more promiscuous, had sex earlier and more partners than those raised in a stable hetrosexual home (interestingly, for boys there was a slight, though statistically insignificant, reduction in promiscuity and sexual partners). As I said, there is little objective evidence regarding gay parents, so one can not conclude either way but it is certainly true that children are significantly disadvantaged by single-parenthood. Obviously this does not apply to all, I am sure you can think of amazing single-parents that you know, but generally, the outcomes for children in single-parent households are a lot, lot worse. However, this is a side-issue, not relevant to the issue of gay adoption - the reasons children do poorly in single-parent homes is due to the difficulties of raising a child alone (time, money etc).
  19. The fate of Eddie did leave me a rather sour taste in my mouth, though there are threads that answer this point. I don't understand how you could reject a "great, brilliant, inspiring philosophy" based on one work of fiction? Even if you dislike AS, it doesn't change the works you have already read and enjoyed. You appear to have adopted a caricatured view of AS, which I could understand if you hadn't been studying Objectivism for years. Additionally, I don't know how far you are in the book, or if you finished it, but what about this part: (spoiler alert, is is white, highlight it to read) There is, in Galt's Gulch, a truck driver (if I remember correctly) whom Dagny presumes is a Professor of philology, but it turns out, he actually is a truck driver - but crucially, he wants to better his life, he doesn't always want to be a driver. That clearly sends the message to the reader that it is not just some Nietzschean supermen who are deserving of GG, but anyone with drive, ambition etc.
  20. It is a difficult issue, but what are the child's rights? Are they simply restricted to clothing, food etc? Doesn't the child have a right to an environment that will enable them to develop properly and function well in society - i.e. by observing gender roles in the home? Whilst not all parents will be able to provide that to their child due to death/divorce/fecklessness, gay couples are by definition incapable of providing such examples. Until the child is eighteen and able to make their own decisions, their guardians have to determine what is best for that child. Whilst adoption may be desirable for a gay couple, I don't think that it is in the child's best interest. The child is likely to suffer in a variety of ways - bullying, lack of gender role models in the home and confusing messages about sexuality. I guess my main opposition stems from an almost visceral reaction to the fact that the Left is promoting this not because it is best for the child, but for p.c. reasons and actively using adoption policy to promote social engineering. e.g. you have to pass through many hoops (at least in the UK), in order to be able to adopt a child - including questions about how the parents will ensure that the child is brought up in a multi-cultural manner. I also worry that many Objectivists seem to have accepted p.c. myths in this area - such as the idea that if kids are not adopted by gays, they will spend their whole lives in foster homes and state-orphanges. There is no evidence to support this at all, there is a shortage of babies available for adoption - people always want to adopt babies. Those who do get stuck in orphanges etc are older children, more difficult to home, those from broken homes, many of whom have suffered trauma in their short-lives and have behavioural problems - these children need a stable, hetrosexual home providing an example of gender roles and a 'normal' family life. There has been relatively little research done on gay parenting, that which exists tends to have a pre-determined bias for or against gay parenting. Much of the positive research has self-selected groups - biasing the sample in favour of more stable, middle-class, gay families.
  21. Gay marriage is one thing, but what about adoption? Legalising gay marriage will add to the push to allow gay adoption in those areas it is not already a possibility. Do gay people have an individual right to adopt a child? Conceiving via IVF with donated sperm would be a different issue. What about the rights of the child in this situation?
  22. true, need to be specific about it - or else anything will be pushed through as an "emergency" lol, so true!
  23. This is exactly the kind of scenario I had in mind - isn't quarantine a form of emergency disease control?
  24. Ray is right, liberty is ours by right - not because it has positive consequences for society et al (though it does). Your interlocutor is essentially saying that the ends justify the means - this is what all statist arguments boil down to in the end. I have only been studying Objectivism for about a year, on and off, but it appears to me that disease control is a proper function of government - I'm talking serious, life-threatening doomsday epidemics here - because it is a matter of individual rights and the protection of the right to life is fundamental. It is not about protecting "society" but about the lives of individuals, in an emergency situation.
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