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Everything posted by rebelconservative

  1. Not much time now, but briefly looking at the first few pages of the intro and conclusion, it does not read like an academic paper examining why socialism failed in the US, so much as a lamentation for that failure.
  2. The villain here is not the banks who want to "sucker" people into taking loans they cannot afford to repay - why would they? it is not in their interest to have such bad loans on their books. The problem is government manipulation of the interest rates, to boost the money supply - making people think they are wealthier than they really are. Encouraging spending and home ownership via an artificial lowering of interest rates was explicit government policy (at least here in the UK) for many years. We are now living through the result of their hubris.
  3. Read "Capitalism: the unknown ideal" by Rand, there are several short essays there that refer to and explain the cause of the depression - and our present situation! It is amazing to read something written in 1960s that applies so directly to today's economic problems (and so INFURIATING that people have refused to learn the lessons and are making the same mistakes over again!). If I remember correctly, Ron Paul's book, "The Revolution: a manifesto" also adequately explains how the expansion of the money supply caused economic problems. It is very difficult to explain the causes succinctly in one post and, without meaning to sound condescending, I doubt that your friend would be able to appreciate the true reasons for the depression without at least a basic introduction to economics. Economics is a vital subject to learn, but - like Roark - you only need to get the basics, then get out before they fill your head with nonsense. Gain a solid understanding of supply and demand, classical economic theory and pick up any Austrian text before they fill your head with all of their statist, Chicago school, crypto-Keynesian nonsense. Put as simply as I can, government intervention causes depressions inadvertantly, through a deliberate policy of expanding the money supply with cheap money policy of lower than market rate, interest rates. This causes the huge boom time, the bubble, we have just been through and the huge bust we are currently experiencing. The availability of cheap money causes capital to flow unnaturally to uneconomic, bad investments, to unprofitable ventures - though they seem like a good deal at the time. It also causes people to take out loans that they could not afford at the true market rate - when economic reality asserts itself (as it always must) - people find that they will not get a return on their money, they find that they are unable to pay back their loans etc etc. You cannot artificially create economic growth... or rather, you can, but it will be temporary, short-lived and result in a prolonged recession. Also, re: government spending to end a depression - it doesn't work. The argument (such as it is) goes "We need spending to stimulate the economy, as people don't want to spend so government must." Whilst it makes some sense on the most superficially intuitive level, the idea fails to stand up to merest scrutiny. Where can government get the money to spend...? a) taxpayers b] borrowing c) printing money d) selling assets Ok, a) is out as raising taxes clearly limits the amount of spending in the economy. d) is also out, because you don't want to sell assets in a recession, you won't get a good deal. That leaves b] and c), with b] seeming to be the 'solution' of many governments. Okay, so they borrow the money to spend - if you leave aside the debt we will leave to your great grand-kids - it seems like a good idea to get out of the mess, right? Wrong. Where does the borrowed money come from? It does not come from the future as is alleged. It comes from today. It comes from the private economy, from bonds /gilts issued to banks and private citizens. I am not sure how they are denominated in the US, but anyone can afford to buy a British gilt. Private citizens then are lending their money to the government to pay for public spending now (what they call a stimulus) but there is ZERO net effect on the economy of this transaction as if the government did not issue the bond, the private citizen would likely have spent the money (stimulus) or invested it (stimulus) or left it in the bank (see next sentence). Banks also do not hold on to cash, sticking it under their mattresses, if they were not buying government bonds, they would have loaned the cash out to a business to invest (stimulus), a private citizen to spend (stimulus) or else invested it themselves (stimulus). This angers me greatly - especially when idiot politicians or, even worse, "Economics correspondents" fail to grasp this relatively obvious fact and sanctimoniously pontificate about the failure of capitalism! Ok, I have to go before I really start to rant... Oh and I hate this smiley
  4. There are some misunderstandings, but that is probably the most positive set of comments I've ever seen on an article about Ayn Rand or Objectivism! Other people did point out several of the mistakes - such as that working in a quarry is honest work, which Objectivism supports 100%, despite some idiot posting that stupid flower cartoon.
  5. The problem is that whilst sex can and should be all of those things, sex can also have very bad, negative physical and psychological consequences, especially for young children. There is a reason why we have an age of consent set at 16 in the UK, children below that age are not mentally or emotionally ready for a sexual relationship. This is an encouragement to children to experminent, without regard for the potential consequences. You cannot combat alcoholism by sending the message that alcohol tastes nice, helps you to be more sociable and makes you feel relaxed and merry.
  6. This is actually marketed as suitable for 7-9 year olds... I found the full video here - http://www.teachers.tv/videos/how-babies-are-made The whole thing is about 13 minutes and that first part I found is only a short part of it, though there is another cartoon later showing penetration. It is simply not suitable for 11 year old, certainly not 7-9 year olds. The words used to describe sex throughout are only positive and encouraging, and though it is mentioned ad infinitum that this is what "grown ups" do, what message is it sending to kids when they are told that sex: "makes you happy" "feels wonderful" "is exciting" "sharing good feelings" and "When you love someone, you touch them," "It is natural to have sex when you love someone"? Teenagers think they are grown up and are frequently "in love", responsible adults should be protecting their interests. They also point out that "you don’t always make babies when you have sex" - a statement of fact to be sure, but one that runs counter to the supposed purpose of the whole Sex Education project. The real purpose remains that of Hungarian communist Lukacs, who instituted the first comprehensive sex ed programs to subvert traditional Christian morality as part of cultural Marxism. There is also a lesbian couple who don't really belong in a video about "how babies are made" - at least one that doesn't discuss IVF and sperm donation.
  7. I'm not going to address the OP, others have done a great job already and I don't have the time to get into another debate about Israel. I am. Israel as an independent Jewish state is essential for the life, liberty and property of ethnically and religiously Jewish inividuals - as witnessed not only by a litany of pogroms throughout history, but also by the anti-Semitism that still exists in a supposedly enlghtened, liberal, Western world. I am still learning, I cannot call myself an Objectivist, but I don't see how this is contradictory or conflicting with Objectivism. If it is, I would genuinely like to find out more or discuss it in another thread. (And no, I am not Jewish.) I agree with pretty much everything else you said in this thread, but on this point I must disagree. In Norway it is clearly wrong - they have no enemies. However, one can not judge Israel in the same manner, as the context is so very different, the draft in Israel is an existential imperative, rendering moral judgment irrelevant.
  8. What do you make of this: (warning: sexual content) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOrfEDuyehY My daughter's school wants to show that to a class of 10-11 year olds. I don't think it is at all appropriate. Parents get to watch the whole thing in advance on Monday and can withdraw her from the class if we choose. I do not think it is at all appropriate for such young children, nor will achieve the supposed purpose of reducing teen pregnancy. Telling kids that sex is exciting and fun and you have sex when you love someone (surely teachers know teen girls are so often in "love") is only going to lead to more under-age sex and more teen pregnancy. I thought I'd just post it here to get an objective opinion on it. Worse, after over-hearing her talking to her classmates about not watching it, her arrogant teacher told the whole class that they need to watch it, pressuring her and others, making her feel bad about our decision. I am furious.
  9. From my - admittedly brief - reading of the site it appears that they are not arguing that using reason to determine reality is subjectivism, rather their criticism is that Rand does not appropriatley explain what happens when two people using their mind disagree on their perception of reality. Since there are no contradictions in reality, when two people disagree, one (or both) must be wrong - so how is "reality" determined?
  10. Israel is not perfect, but with a country of 5.7 million people, surrounded by murderous totalitarian and authoritarian dictatorships intent on their destruction, they are in an emergency situation. It is not like America, you cannot compare Israel to a secure European country with no real enemies, no threat - Israelis live under a constant existential threat, the choice is compulsory military service or destruction and genocide... not much of a choice. You could argue that people would volunteer willingly for service as survival is in their interests, but you cannot criticise them for it as it is an emergency situation. Israel would not have military service were it not absolutely necessary. I hope you don't judge the UK because we had the draft and food rationing during WWII. What is your definition of fascist? How does Israel meet that definition? It is not a term you should use lightly.
  11. That is great, I've not had time to read it all, but scanning parts, it looks quite well written, neutral and dare I say it, fairly objective. Will read it all later.
  12. I fail to see how an addiction to tobacco could possibly be in one's rational self-interest.
  13. I'm no shrink... but Tigger must have ADHD and I suspect Eeyore is suffering a major clincal depression.
  14. are you now excluding anarcho-capitalists from your definition of libertarian, for the sake of including Objectivism? if so, doesn't it make the whole thing rather pointless? If you need to qualify anarchist libertarias, Objectivist libertarians, constitutional libertarians... why not just dispense with the libertarian term? you are massively underestimating the difference between Objectivists and libertarians on foreign policy. they are stark. it is not just a question of needing to be attacked first - Objectivism does not argue that that is a necessary precondition, Rand argues that it is permissible for free nations to invade and conquer tyrannies when it is in their own interests, I am not aware of any Libertarian who hold that position. Further, civilian casualties are not as much of a concern for the Objectivist as for libertarians and others, their deaths are the responsibility of their own government. but isn't is pointless subsuming Objectivism within a wider term if that only applies to domestic policy? why use a single concept, why not simply refer to libertarians and Objectivists are respectors of individual property rights? or perhaps individualists? maybe that will work? just came to me, but I will have to think more about that one.
  15. I came to learn about Objectivism and Ayn Rand through my interest in libertarianism. I think that libertarians today are not quite what they were when Rand was so against them, they tended to be the anarchist element, rather than in favour of a strictly, constitutionally limited government protecting property rights. Instinctivey, I would tend to agree with the OP, as there seems to be sufficient common ground between Objectivism and libertarianism when it comes to individual rights and a minarchist approach to government - if not on the reasons for it. However... there is the huge obstacle that Objectivism is completely and fervently against the peacenik, anti-war element and anti-Zionist streak of mainstream libertarianism. I understand your intentions, but I just fail to see how you can come up with a useful definition of a concept that could exclude foreign policy as a non-essential characteristic and I am not sure there is much point in a political concept that refers only to domestic policy.
  16. Thank you for the responses, partcularly DavidOdden, that looks like a great resource. Due to my finances, I will use this for the time being The aspect of RosettaStone that most attracted me was their speech pattern recognition and pronunciation software. I felt that the rest could be replicated, but that was a stand-out feature. I have now decided that I won't purchase the product, due to the high-cost - I will use the money saved towards a flight to Israel and interact with native speakers there to develop my punctuation!
  17. I could only get as far as the top of the third page, where he accuses Rand of fascism. I don't mind reading a different point of view, but there is no point wasting my time on someone who lacks any understanding of his subject, or of fascism, a term he blithley uses as little more than a political epithet to attack Rand.
  18. indeed, they are very skilled at media relations, often staging events, photos, video to dupe Western viewers. of course, sensationalist journalists looking to exploit the sentimentality of western audiences get in on the act, as in the 2006 war in Lebanon with many staged scenes as well as doctored photos. liberals swallow it because it is what they want to hear, it conforms to their pre-conceived narrative - evil Jews, oppressing poor downtrodden innocent peace-loving arabs.
  19. I really want to learn Hebrew, my goal is to write my PhD thesis on Israel, possibly on Objectivist views on the matter. I have looked at the RosettaStone software, it seems very impressive, especially the fact that it can help you to perfect the correct pronunciation and tone with speech recognition and voice print matching. I have used it briefly in-store, and have to say that it seems like a great product. However, I am wary about making a purchase, as it is very expensive (£360, around $520). Has anyone used this software before?
  20. You clearly have a very distorted, Left-wing view of capitalism and Objectivism, however, from your post, I will trust that you have come here in good faith to learn about the Objectivist view of the situation. Of course BP has done harm which must be remedied by them, they have to pay compensation to all of those who have been affected by their negligence. What else would you possibly expect us to say? Individual property rights are sacrosanct, people whose property and livelihood has been affected by oil spilling out of BP property into common and private areas have a right to demand compensation from BP. Under capitalism, you are able to pursue your own interests, but not at the expense of another's property rights. "Do what you want and the rest of the world be damned" is a Left-wing caricature of Objectivism/capitalism, it bears no relation to the reality. You are able to do what you want, what is in your interests, up to the point at which that inflicts on someone else's property rights.
  21. I am getting increasingly frustrated the coverage of this issue. I have a great interest in Israel, but am unable to watch anything without getting incredibly angry at the coverage of it in the UK. The TV is perhaps the worst, the BBC is bad enough but I forced myself to watch C4 news (think the Guardian or the NYT on TV) and was enraged at the clear partisanship of the presenter. There was absolutely no attempt to be fair, balanced, objectiveor unbiased. Arab/hippie propaganda is dealt with as sacrosanct fact, all information from the IDF is treated as though it were somehow tainted, biased assertions with a clear indication that no moral person could possibly accept it. Some Turkish guy was interviewed, saying that the IDF were shooting live rounds from the helicopter, this was treated uncritically, despite the lack of proof. All talk is of the Israeli blockade, the fact that the Egyptian border is also closed is never mentioned, or when it is, it is an afterthought, as though there is the Israeli blockade... oh and btw, Egypt have their border closed too, meaning Israel's blockade is even harder on the arab civilians. You just could not make it up. This idiotic liberal even had the nerve to determine what is in Israel's national security interest, stating as 'fact', that the existence of the smuggling tunnels is proof that the blockade is not working and therefore it would Israel would be better to open the borders and inspect goods delivered. Indeed, she argues that the Israeli blockade benefits Hamas because the smugglers pay them tax. That may or may not be a valid view, but it is certainly not within the remit of her job as a journalist. Whilst some balancing facts are being aired, such as the video of the attack, the images are on screen for a few seconds (it is difficult to ascertain what is going on in such a chaotic situation) and the 'reporter' immediately indicates that the objective facts demonstrated actually prove nothing, that the soldiers were attacked in self-defence and the soldiers were firing on the ship from helicopters, this is all allowed to pass unquestioned. The appeal to emotion is constant throughout, getting quite ridiculous with pictures of kids playing "... just in sand..." *wipes tear from eye* Maybe I am over-reacting, I don't know. The debate is so polarised. You can see it here, there were two brief pieces, around four minutes each. http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/poli...+israel/3671232 the bias of the so-called journalist is disgraceful http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/poli...riander/3671227 I just watched it back, I am still struck by the bias and one-sided view of the issue, it is nothing more than a pro-Arab advocacy piece.
  22. Despite the fact that the flotilla was organised by the IHH? The IHH, is a terror group affiliated with Hamas, it owns and operates three of the ships involved in the convoy - including the one where the deaths occured.
  23. Had the goal been aid delivery, they'd have sailed into Ashdod and taken it by road - or tried to go via the Egyptian border. Their goal was to embarass Israel, delivering a PR blow, the hippies didn't fight back, the turkish islamist were clearly happy and ready to martyr themselves. You don't need 600 people including children, to deliver aid.
  24. it is not an argument, it is an idiotic suggestion. The fact that Israel stupidly forcibly uprooted Jewish communities and removed soldiers from Gaza does not mean they are not still at war with Hamas. They have retreated, but they remain at war. This is aside from the Hamas charter demanding Israel's destruction, the rockets raining down on civilians in Sderot and the continued holding of Gilad Shalit. Almost as stupid as my dad's suggestion that the Israelis were not acting in self-defence as they could have just shot their attackers in the leg rather than the face... this with his extensive knowledge and experience of warfare and military training (I jest of course)
  25. Israel has killed a number of so-called "peace activists" on ships bound for Gaza. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defe...nch-us-1.293089 Here is a video of the "peace activists" stabbing an IDF soldier in the back. http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2010/05/v...abbing-idf.html http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/201...y_aid_ship.html I wonder how this will be presented by Western media... I am not sure my blood pressure will be able to take it...
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