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Everything posted by Inspector

  1. They did this one on Mythbusters. Suffice to say, unless it's a really cheap lock, you'd need a shotgun with slugs to really get it.
  2. And also in the statement you quoted later as evidence against that being their focus: "I do this with no fear or concern that I am destroying the planet." This is the primary message as far as I can see - go ahead and produce carbon because there is nothing to be guilty about. That is a healthy enough message. That wouldn't be such a bad thing, either. A message needs to be sent to the Greens that not everyone will consent to their man-hating agenda. That alone is a worthwhile message. That there are also other, deeper messages is beside the point. It is not incorrect or so inessential that it would detract from other necessary statements.
  3. Well, that's a new one on me. Still, even so their objection it isn't a matter of CO2 being air pollution. And of course I share your lack of concern.
  4. Yes, this is pretty much exactly my thoughts as well.
  5. (bold mine) Moose, this is the claim you made. That even if CO2 is not causing global warming, it is still "bad for the air." To my knowledge no scientist or publication - not even global warming believers - has made the claim that CO2 is harmful apart from the so-called "greenhouse effect." Yet you are claiming this. 1) You are wrong. 2) That is a scientific claim, which by your own criterion you should not be making. 3) As to your, now additional, claim that Global Warming is real and therefore Carbon Belch Day is nihilistic, that is also incorrect - the entire day is premised on the idea that Global Warming is not real and therefore such activities a harmless and proper enjoyment of man's life. Even if it were real, which it is not, it would not be nihilistic for people to have a Carbon Belch Day if they didn't believe it were so. Nihilism is the deliberate destruction of values qua values. To be properly described as "nihilistic," they would have to both think that GW is real and harmful and that they should cause some on purpose. Instead, the idea of this holiday is that GW is not real and man should not feel guilty for living his life - he should enjoy it. That is the very opposite of nihilism.
  6. This is not the sort of statement that requires strong scientific credentials. It requires a basic understanding of the properties of CO2, atmospheric composition, and the amount of CO2 produced by mankind. It is not even remotely possible for CO2 produced by mankind to become harmful from a breathing standpoint. CO2 is basically harmless - the only concerns that anyone in the science community has raised is regarding the theoretical so-called "greenhouse effect" of CO2. There have been no - ZERO - concerns raised about CO2 production as having a negative effect on air quality or breathing or anything like that. In fact you are the one who has made a scientific claim - that CO2 is "bad for the air" and constitutes "pollution," (apart from the "greenhouse effect") which is something no scientist I have ever seen - not even a Global Warming believer - claim. By your own criteria I suggest you withdraw your claim.
  7. No that's not true. It is not even remotely possible for mankind to produce enough CO2 for it to be harmful from a breathing standpoint. CO2 is NOT a pollutant. Yes, exactly.
  8. Well, that's precisely what this is, and I don't see any reason to either think or assume otherwise.
  9. That's the journalist who used that word, not the group calling for the belch day. The way I read it, they want you to guiltlessly enjoy life. I wouldn't describe that as "nihilistic."
  10. I'd like to know what you all find nihilistic about "hosting a barbecue, going for a drive, watching television, leaving a few lights on, or even smoking a few cigars?"
  11. Now first off where did you get the idea that I hadn't? I didn't accuse you of not knowing the difference - I said you were spreading the popular usage of an obfuscatory term. An anti-concept, if you will. This isn't calling you an idiot. I recognized that you are trying to act in the furtherance of a good cause, I simply said that you do that cause a disservice by using that word in that way. Yes, it is common today - but why is that? 80 years ago the difference was commonly known and clear (see the 1928 US Army training manual) - certainly to the founding fathers it was clear, as they openly and frequently denounced "democracy." The very fact that you have to specify that by "republic" you mean "rights-protecting republic" is another product of the leftist-"progressive" use of the hijacking of words. When you yourself use and spread a leftist anti-concept in the "conventional" sense you are acting to destroy not only the English language but also to legitimize their cause and its goals. If you don't believe me, then look at President Bush's actions vis-a-vis "Democracy." In "Palestine," he has established precisely that: a democracy in the original and correct sense which has elected Hizbullah to power. As to the difficulty in phrasing, I would argue it would be worth any such difficulty to avoid serving this vicious leftist anti-concept, but I don't think it's necessary to engage in lingual spaghetti. Here are a few examples of articles which speak on the topic concisely. They would be good examples to emulate. (note especially the identification that "'Democracy' is the most dangerous term in the American political lexicon.") No, as I made quite clear I think the primary driving force in our foreign policy ought to be the destruction of our enemies (with the recognition that our enemies are ideological in nature). Yes, actually. In a very general sense, yes. But this isn't to say that the rest of your argument follows. The contrap In a very concrete sense, I suppose that Islamism is the most immediate threat we face. But I'd say that in a very real sense, the greatest threat we face is China and the resurgence of a belligerent and totalitarian Russia - both of whom watch with delight as we deconstruct our military to fight small-scale police actions and downsize the supposedly obsolete capability of warfighting. Of course the latter is fueled by our so-far helplessness in the face of the former, so we do agree at least that elimination of the former is our most immediate concern. It more than so happens - Islamism as a movement could not exist without state support. By eliminating state entities which support Islamism. Which again brings us to the fact of the ideological movement of Islamism as our central enemy. Yes, historically ideas are the primary movers, and ideologies have spread most effectively with state support. The contrapositive is also true historically, with the elimination of state support being key to their removal. I'm not completely against "sticking around" as it were, if the goal is the eradication of state support for the ideology of Islamism, rather than nation building as such. Military presence or absence isn't the essential point of my argument - it's the goal of that presence. The thing is, in Iraq there wasn't a state Islam entity - and one only formed because of 1) Our own failure to outlaw its creation by force 2) The fact of Iraq's neighbors, which are State Islamists, who we won't fight In a vacuum, the threat of a dictatorship such as Iraq's would not require us to nation build them in order to remove the threat to us - it is only because of the existence of our ideological enemy in the region that the situation was not as simple as knocking down Saddam and leaving. Where I take exception to your position is that you seem to see a need to remain there, not as a reaction to the nature of the regional and ideological war which we fight, but as such - it seems you say it wouldn't ever be a proper policy to knock out the dictatorship without nation building afterwards. I'm skeptical of the idea that an ideological movement can be defeated while sparing its adherents of the consequences of war. Key to the transformation of Japan was the fact that we visited defeat on them. Had we surgically removed the Imperial Government as you propose, I do not believe we would have been as successful. See John Lewis's explanation of the requirement of prostrate surrender in The Moral Goodness of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima. Interestingly, Iraq enjoyed no such popular support of their government, and so a surgical removal would have served just fine, had the matter been as simple as a secular dictatorship. I suppose my short answer would be that it depends on the regime.
  12. Well, that was unexpected. I'm going to have to start off by saying that The United States of America is not a "democracy" and you do your cause a disservice by spreading the use of that obfuscation. We are a Constitutional Republic, sir, and don't forget it. But on "nation-building." What do you mean by the term? I think the term is inseparable from the Wilsonian and now Neo-Conservative idea that we ought to altruistically "build" nations at our national expense. No doubt, but there are plenty of African hell-holes which pose us no threat. The key is to identify the enemies of America and to eliminate them. What is most important is to understand that our enemies are ideological in nature and no fight is possible without first identifying this fact. Suppose that we knocked down Iraq and left. Some might argue this would create a power vacuum which could be filled with a hostile regime. But why would a hostile regime fill this vacuum? Because an ideological enemy - Islamism - exists in practically all of Iraq's neighbors. The key is not to "nation build" Iraq over decades and decades of spilt blood and squandered treasure into something immune to this, but rather to swiftly and irrevocably eliminate Islamism from the governments of Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Then continue to knock down each next largest source of Islamism until it is dead as a movement. At that point it doesn't much matter what kind of nation Iraq becomes because: 1) Islamism will be dead - so it won't be another Islamist nation. 2) All non-Islamist thugs will have learned what happens to any government who so much as breathes a word in threat to America. The only undermining of the history and political narrative of the region that we need engage in is one of force - of demonstrating our power to wipe out anyone so foolish as to threaten us. A rights-respecting civilization is not something that the majority there will understand for centuries at least. A lesson of force is something that they will understand immediately. Especially if we defeat the ideological movement which fuels them.
  13. To expand on this, the "way of life" of a dictatorship which harms and threatens both its own citizens and other nations is not a "way of life" which has a right to exist. Therefore, we gain no moral obligation from removing it. A dictatorship is, in many senses - illegitimate. Once you understand just how deeply that concept goes, I think the rest may fall into place for you.
  14. Not so. Upon toppling a dictatorship we have no moral obligation to do anything besides to say to them in no uncertain terms: "don't do it again, or the bombs will fall on you." The idea that we must stick around and help them is altruism and nation-building, an entirely separate concept from the invasion itself.
  15. In essence, if you hold the premise that your own self-interest is what determines morality, then you first establish that you have the right to life and therefore to your mind and to be free from the initiation of force, etc. At that point it would be the height of unreason and hypocrisy to apply a double standard to yourself and others. If you have the right to your life, and this right is derived from your nature, then logically they enjoy the same right. To establish your own rights, then you must simultaneously establish theirs. And since morality is based on the recognition of reality, then trying to lie to yourself and hold a double standard is immoral. All these things are tied together, as are the other arguments presented here about living in a civilized society, the benefits of cooperation, and the arguments against the prudent predator presented elsewhere. So while I'm addressing your point with the above, do please bear in mind that it isn't simply this, but all of the other arguments as well. The initiation of force is wrong on many, many levels.
  16. What specifically did you think wasn't the right decision? The removal of Saddam, his government, and their weapons which they were shooting at us and threatening us and our allies with, or the actions after that where we stuck around and attempted "nation building?" Because if you mean the latter I don't think anyone here is arguing against you on that.
  17. I read the PopSci print article last year. They are already up and running in several cities, producing profits. Very cool stuff. What I found interesting is that the cost to dispose of garbage via landfill is actually a bit cheaper in most places than to use the plasma incinerator. Only a select few cities which have long distance shipping routes, such as New York City, actually need this. So far from the "garbage crisis" nonsense that the greens foster on us, we were very very far from garbage even being a problem at all, much less a crisis. Now, with the use of this invention, it can basically never become a problem. Take that, you Neo-Malthusian idiots.
  18. It did in fact require the 16th Amendment, and was by no means uncontroversial. Also, the founding principles were by no means solid and 100% - we did in fact fight a civil war over the fact that political problems prevented their full implementation from the get-go. But the point in speaking of the American Founding Philosophy is to speak of the intended theme and purpose of this country's founding, rather than any concrete flaws in its implementation. Once you've identified the principle of this country's founding - individual rights - it's not hard to see which parts of that founding were in following that principle and which were (most lamentably!) departing from it.
  19. Yes, that's how I define "suburb" as well. I think he more had in mind the poor rural south of his upbringing. His view of "robustness," however, is quite the conventional view. It's probably reinforced by the fact that it's easy to see the economy of an urban area since it's all perceptually accessible just by looking ("Ooh! Buildings! People! Big, old things from grander times!"). To see how more spread out cityscapes are just as robust, you have to engage in some deeper consideration. Flib's a smart guy, though - so he could see it. Your average listener these days... well that's another story.
  20. I disagree, with my case being presented in the links I gave and perhaps more specifically in some of my later posts here, here, and here. But I do see that I've at least brought your attention to some things you hadn't previously considered so I'm glad for that at least.
  21. By "the rise of Environmentalism," do you mean prior to the 1970's?
  22. How is it a threat in the sense you're using that word? A threat to do what? Move the thread over to another forum where you can continue basically unhindered? I don't see what the big deal is. I've seen a lot of people react in a strong negative fashion to the idea of restricting a particular argument to the debate forum, but I would really like to know why. Because I can't see the cause for it. Sorry if this is off-topic.
  23. I see what you're saying there. To explain my point, then, I see that the government's "subsidy" of roads is inseparable from the fact that they grossly mismanage them to the point of doing net harm to cars, their producers, and their owners. Your original post was very much in the character that there were net subsidies going on - so much so that cities were build out instead of up, which you imply wouldn't happen without the net subsidy. And also so much so that you doubt that the UAW is a drain on the industry in the balance. So you were not just using the term as avoidance of the fallacy of division - you were actually stating that the auto industry was on the balance subsidized by the government's control of roads, rather than oppressed by it. Now perhaps you've changed your mind on that point, but that is the context of my original statement.
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