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  1. This is becoming uncanny. 23 arrested at London Black Lives Matter protest after George Floyd demonstrators ‘assault police’ at US embassy Another bizarre comparison was a parallel drawn between the Apollo and Dionysus article written in '69 contrasting the rationality of the moon landing with the irrationality of Woodstock with the recent Space X launch and the (now world wide?) spreading rioting. Holding in mind the following: When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason—as no advocate of contradictions can claim it. I have to ask: Are all individuals involved in governments and agencies and their branches of law enforcement irrational animals and actions to be be viewed with white-washed suspicion? Is it the protesters that are supposed to be providing a form of cover for rioters seeking to be wolves disguised in sheep's clothing here or the rioters seeking the 'politically correct' protesters to disguise their ulterior motives?
  2. What about all the people who are seeing these extreme actions and are not joining in and participating in the opportunity to loot, pillage and burn? Either individuals are responsible for what they do, or they are automatons. Are people endowed with the faculty of reason, or are they not? I'm not looking for psychological apologism here. This conversation is bizarre to me. More bizarre than when we couldn't see eye to eye on the Michael Brown events as they unfolded.
  3. Retired Navy SEAL commander who led the Osama bin Laden raid tells MIT 2020 graduates: "To save the world, you will have to be men and women of great integrity." Ayn Rand spoke of sacrifice, and how valuing freedom so much as to be unwilling to live as a slave, is not a sacrifice to fight for a higher value over a lessor one. Navy Seals is a tough team to make the grade. Those who do so have to steel their minds against one of the toughest training regiments that exist on the planet. I read the speech referenced in the leading quote, and think of how much better it could be, 'twere it to have been put forth with a lot less sacrifice on behalf of the presenter. To do so would require a more integrated conceptual grasp of integrity. Still, I couldn't help but think of the book "Extreme Ownership", by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.
  4. After watching the militia in Michigan intervene on behalf of a barber, another militia establish a protest in Lansing, both of which the protesters were armed, then compare protests that originated in Minneapolis and rapidly spread to well over 5o different cites with various levels of violence associated with them. Why does violence seem to manifest with one form of protest and not the other. It's not sufficient that a few unruly individuals decide to up and at 'em on one day, and not opportune themselves on another. That does not compute for me. Secondly, followed by the inquiry: I suppose one can view stealing TV's as a form of violence, but I was thinking more in line with arson, and pelting police with various objects. As to the level of response, as Officer Chauvin is on the proper path to establishing guilt or innocence with regard to George Floyd's rights being infringed upon, the public response to the situation is going to quickly have the response ratcheted up as consideration of how to invoke the National Guards in various communities become a necessary resort. I've already ceded my initial position on this matter as premature. My position has switched to the process of reasoning required for life, and although it is not an invocation of the death penalty in a 'legal' sense, what irrationality in the public response that appears to be spreading across the country is liable to end up as, if it is not reigned in.
  5. I understand that might does not make right, yet being right does not always negate the need to have the might behind it. As the facts continue to become exposed, my initial comparison to Micheal Brown and Malice Green was premature. Drudge Report listed 26 cities and concluded with "more . . ." which brought up a map with 51 discernible locations marked, and it doesn't include cities I heard mentioned on the radio this morning. Clearly the protests are not delineated to individual rights, as rioters take to destroying private property to express the rage being unleashed without a coordinated plan behind it, and likely not a clear introspective identification of the contributing ideas behind the rage. The mistake in handling George Floyd is likely to serve as a scapegoat to attribute the otherwise "inexplicable" trend to resort to violence rather than reason to shape the governing influence for many tomorrows to come.
  6. These are two lines cited by Gena Gorlin as being her personal favorite quote (from Ayn Rand's works). These lines also appear twice in Atlas Shrugged (albeit in slightly different forms). The first time, as cited, as quoted in the chapter 'Atlantis', the second time in the chapter 'In The Name of the Best Within Us': She fell down on her knees by the side of the mattress. Galt looked up at her, as he had looked on their first morning in the valley, his smile was like the sound of a laughter that had never been touched by pain, his voice was soft and low: "We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?" Tears running down her face, but her smile declaring a full, confident, radiant certainty, she answered, "No, we never had to." It is also mentioned twice in the Journals of Ayn Rand (citing the two different contexts): — 11 - (AS) The Mind on Strike — 12 - (AS) Final Preparations In "The Letters of Ayn Rand, The Later Years (1630-1981), a reply to Mr. Williams, August 29, 1960 cites: You ask me about the meaning of the dialogue on page 702 of Atlas Shrugged: "'We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?" she whispered. "'No, we never had to.'" Let me begin by saying that this is perhaps the most important point in the whole book, because it is the condensed emotional summation, the keynote or leitmotif, of the view of life presented in Atlas Shrugged. What Dagny expresses here is the conviction that joy, exaltation, beauty, greatness, heroism, all the supreme, uplifting values of man's existence on earth, are the meaning of life—not the pain or ugliness he may encounter—that one must live for the sake of such exalted moments as one may be able to achieve or experience, not for the sake of suffering—that happiness matters, but suffering does not—that no matter how much pain one may have to endure, it is never to be taken seriously, that is: never to be taken as the essence and meaning of life—that the essence of life is the achievement of joy, not the escape from pain. The issue she refers to is the basic philosophical issue which John Galt later names explicitly in his speech: that the most fundamental division among men is between those who are pro-man, pro-mind, pro-life—and those who are anti-man, anti-mind, anti-life. It is the difference between those who think that man's life is important and that happiness is possible—and those who think that man's life, by its very nature, is a hopeless, senseless tragedy and that man is a depraved creature doomed to despair and defeat. It is the difference between those whose basic motive is the desire to achieve values, to experience joy—and those whose basic motive is the desire to escape from pain, to experience a momentary relief from their chronic anxiety and guilt. It is a matter of one's fundamental, overall attitude toward life—not of any one specific event. So you see that your interpretation was too specific and too narrow; besides, the Looters' World had never meant anything to Dagny and she had realized its "sham and hypocrisy" long before. What she felt, in that particular moment, was the confirmation of her conviction that an ideal man and an ideal form of existence are possible.
  7. There are a few videos available. This one does not have extra editorial footage added, but is missing some video showing him being led, already handcuffed, from in front of a nearby business. I understand that people express themselves in an exaggerated way. Sensei's point was in order to speak, one has to expel air one has taken in, even when winded from vigorous activity. More disturbing to me was hearing the officer tell him (while holding him down with his knee) that all he needed to do was get up and get in the vehicle. (Not part of the incident report from linked to in the O.P.) Still, the coroner, so far, has said that that cause of death wasn't consistent with asphyxia or strangulation. If the method of restraint contributed to the death, the causal connection is not clear at this time.
  8. I have not searched for the screen play apparently showing George telling the officer that he couldn't breath, but I do recall my Sensei, during class, telling students who claimed to be unable to breathe, that if they could talk, they could breath. Noted, that the restraint was indicated as being in conjunction with, is similar to the Malice Green case, where the flashlight used, should not have caused death in a healthier individual.
  9. What have George Floyd, Micheal Brown and Malice Green in common? When the flames appeared in the headlines about Twin Cities, the incident that had happened several days earlier found its way into my awareness. Who was George Floyd, and why does a police station need to offered as a burnt offering to appease the social media spirits? Then, a headline came up today that offered a clue under which to categorize this: Medical examiner concludes George Floyd didn't die of asphyxia The full report by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office is pending but so far has found "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation." Floyd's underlying health conditions included coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The report says the underlying health conditions, combined with Chauvin's restraint and any possible intoxicants in Floyd's system, likely contributed to his death. More controversially, Rodney King could be added to the list. It is farther removed, and also did not result in death as the three referenced individuals.
  10. America’s Never-Ending Battle Against Flesh-Eating Worms For untold millennia, screwworms were a grisly fact of life in the Americas. In the 1950s, however, U.S. ranchers began to envision a new status quo. They dared to dream of an entire country free of screwworms. At their urging, the United States Department of Agriculture undertook what would ultimately become an immense, multidecade effort to wipe out the screwworms, first in the U.S. and then in Mexico and Central America—all the way down to the narrow strip of land that is the Isthmus of Panama. The eradication was a resounding success. But the story does not end there. Containing a disease is one thing. Keeping it contained is another thing entirely, as the coronavirus pandemic is now so dramatically demonstrating. Other than the cited reference, the article is not about the CoViD-19, but may be of interest in outlining many nuances of an ongoing effort to keep a different type of epidemic at bay.
  11. A Parliament of Owls. (Article which reminded me of this thread.) Often times, groups of animals are based on the animal, such as a 'murder of crows', a 'gaggle of geese', a 'herd of cows', etc. A group of owls is designated a 'parliament of owls', as influenced by western culture, as the following excerpt provides: Owls are generally solitary, but when seen together the group is called a “parliament” as they have long been considered to be of a wise disposition. In Greek mythology, the owl is the symbol for Athena, the goddess of wisdom. The sun rises to the east and sets to the west universally, yet there is a divide between eastern and western cultures. Using an English to Chinese translation website, "A parliament of owls" was entered to acquire the Chinese kanji "猫头鹰议会" translation. Entering the kanji into a Chinese to English translation website, "猫头鹰议会" was translated into "Owl Council" Etymologically speaking of parliament or council, the differences can quickly become blurred. Adding in the etymology of congress and senate, serve to show how quickly the dividing lines provided by spelling and pronunciation blur when it comes to identifying any commensurable axis' when traversing more deeply into politically analogous waters.
  12. I'm not going to presume to speak for anyone else here, but there is definitely a lack of clarity and objectively concrete precision thus far in this thread on this particular matter. In the economy of the U.S.A. today, what would you claim a dollar to be? Presumably an hour is 1/24 of a sunrise to sunrise at the equator. A circular argument would set a dollar at 4 minutes, per such a claim. By interjecting market prices (including real estate and food) only allows the extrapolation to identify how many minutes does it take to purchase a particular real estate or item of food. One of my earlier remarks on this forum cited the thought that fiat currency was theft. I was asked to substantiate the claim. In retrospect, the claim was too abstract to sum up in a 'simple response'. Would you make the argument for a dollar being based on a commodity standpoint? Would the commodity you choose be a metaphysically based material?
  13. The defacto $15, from what I read of the OP, is derived from the government welfare side of the equation. If government doles out $14.99 not to work, $15 to work might seem to be a converse position, yet that still wouldn't ensure that a penny is the motivating factor to go from the non-effort (or evasive effort) of acquiring the dole, to one of productive effort.
  14. Excerpting from The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. 1, No. 23 Auguast 14, 1972 A preview—Part II: "The artificially high wages forced on the economy by compulsory unionism imposed economic hardships on other groups—particularly on non-union workers and on unskilled labor, which was being squeezed gradually out of the market. Today's widespread unemployment is the result of organized labor's privileges and of allied measures, such as minimum wage laws. For years, the unions supported these measures and sundry welfare legislation, apparently in the belief that the costs would be paid by taxes imposed on the rich."" What, philosophically, has changed since she wrote this?
  15. To take this one step deeper, Can the notion of one receiving the spiritual values, goods, or services of another, then refusing to pay the spiritual price for them be regarded as keeping them by force?
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