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The Durande

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Everything posted by The Durande

  1. There are no - and never have been any - good arguments against Ayn Rand. Are there, or have there ever been any "good" arguments against 2+2=4??? It is exactly the same issue.
  2. I know of no "right to access ones property." Does a man in prison who owns a home on malibu beach have a right to access his property? In this country, you have a right "to own prperty." If and when you access it is a contextual issue. When you board an airplane, do you have a right to have access to your hunting rifle? I'm not saying that a road owner would have no right to put up a toll booth, and, with todays scanning methods, it might not even cause heavy traffic delays, but why on earth would anyone sit in traffic when they know of another conglomerate who has already collected their fee at the beggining of the year and offers no heavy delays on their roads?
  3. There is an easier and better way than having courts decide. Owners of roads could each contribute their percentace to forming a private "DMV" for the purpose of issuing drivers licenses. The cost of these drivers licenses (it wouldnt be any more than they cost now) would be a more logical method of payment than tolls, which tend to bottle up traffic and would be very inconvenient within or around cities.
  4. Not only are there ways to objectively measure freedom, but they are numerous. 1. The number of political prisoners a country has. That is, those who are imprisoned merely for their politcal thought. As far as I know, the United States has zero. China has many. 2. The number of people killed or imprisoned for attempting to leave a country. As far as I know, the United States has zero, Cuba has many. 3. The amount of time that a person is required to spend in the military of a given country. Now that there is no draft in the United States, it is zero seconds. In Italy, it is one year. In Switzerland, I believe, two years. (Males in both cases). **If and when the United States re-enacts the draft, then it defaults in this category.** In fact, until the United States adopts a constitutional amendment to the effct that there will never be a draft, then this must be considered a grave weakness in the measure of freedom that we have. 4. The amount of children that a couple is allowed to have. In China, I believe it is 2. In the U.S., no limit. There are countless ways to measure freedom. If you are saying that there is no objective way to get a "freedom quotient" or anything like that, what I would say is that each thinking person is free to determine the weight of the above factors, or any other factors, and come up with a measurement. **As long as one is relying on facts, the result will be an objective measurement.** The fact that two people could come up with different quotients is NOT an indication that freedom can't be measured. It is the fact that they may have ranked and wieghted the above or any other factors differently.
  5. But aren't you really excited about the fact that they decided to make "Fat Albert" into a movie? I haven't been this exited since they made films of: Starsky and Hutch, The Flintsones, The Brady Bunch, Scooby Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, or those fantastic Batman sequels! Who needs Atlas Shrugged to be produced when all of this valuable art is being created and rehashed? I think that one Chocolat per every 400 (Dodge Ball, Police Academy 6, or Freddie vs. Jason) theater releases per year is plenty.
  6. I will also learn how to use the damn italics function correctly.
  7. I will preface this by saying that whatever is worth doing is worth starting today (or any other day that you think up a proper plan of action), and therefore am always a little skeptical about hearing what people resolve to do in the future, but I still like the practice as symbolic of people's free will. So here are mine for 2005: 1. I will break par for an 18 hole round of golf. I have done it through 9 holes a few times, but then always seem to self destruct on the 14-16th holes. To hell with that from now on. Every shot is a perfectible event in itself. There is no reason why I can't execute shots later in the round. It is not fatigue. It was choking. I refuse to choke anymore. 2. I will finish my novel. Period. As Ayn Rand once put it: " That empty page is my boss. My job is to fill that page." (Paraphrased) Each day I will fill 2-5 pages. I will set aside separate times each day to edit. There is no excuse now. I am a catastrophe claims adjuster. Now happily unemployed for a while. I have from now until next hurricane season. It WILL be done. 3. I will make a better effort to meet a better type of woman. I am bored with meaningless affairs. I will not compromise myself just because a woman is attractive. I'm serious. 4. I will read Gone With the Wind and Quo Vadis? Those are the only two books that I have bought and are still just sitting there. Inexcusable. 5. I will plant a garden: tomatoes, basil, eggplant, zucchini, and mint. This will be not only educational, but will save me money. I'd like to see what other objectivists consider important in their lives. But not only that - I'd like to see how you plan to get things done. Thanks in advance.
  8. I would say no. The Dark Ages was a period where the brakes were put on, at least in the Western world. Scientific knowledge is very dependent on dominant epistemology, and technology depends heavily on politics (free market capitalism accelerates technological advances because capital is free to flow into interesting ventures)
  9. The Durande


    From what I understand, he, during relatively the freeest period in the history of man, accepted Marxist ideas. Accepting Marxism as an adult, in my not-so-humble opinion, is a result of conscious context dropping and evasion. Example in brief: Workers will rise up and seize the factories (capital). But where did the factories come from? What system allowed them to get built? What type of man and under what conditions and implied promises will build and invest in a factory? Blank out. Blank out. Blank out. No adult can accept Marxism honestly. Seizing capital for ANY endeavor is immoral.
  10. Don't be intimidated by the title. Ayn Rand is the clearest writer ever. You will get it on the first or maybe second reading.
  11. In brief: child molestation, forming a private militia, and not allowing those who have a legal warrant to enter the premises, opening fire on the agents, setting fire to and executing those still in the compound, endangering the welfare of children. Just to name a few things. Areal infra-red photography shows that the fires started in three places in the compound at the same time, and the investigation afterwards confirms the use of accelerants. (Koresh had the the place burned - and everyone inside sacrificed) Women and children were shot execution style. Ex members reported of his affairs with 11 year olds and also stern physical punishment for children. He was human garbage, and by saying that I believe I am insulting garbage - as garbage at one time had a use.
  12. What about TOC?? Do you know where any of its proponents stand on Waco?? It's bad enough that they are tolerance-mongers, but if any of them come out for Koresh, it's even more evidence of lack of proper foundations.
  13. I was born in 1968, but I read the article. As I remember, I think Miss Rand wrote that there should have been a court martial for those who watched a defector beaten up on an American ship, which is the same as American soil, no matter where it is. What came of it? I remember thinking at the time I read it, that it would make a good film adaptation( I was at Cal. State Northridge in '92 taking some screenwriting courses). My professor said that Alan Alda was in a TV movie about it, but I've never seen it. Also, do you know what has become of Simas?
  14. Jolie is getting better. Have you seen Taking Lives? It is now a new release at Blockbuster. (or any other video store) She does an excellent job - in a heroic role in my opinion.
  15. I think I might have to fax him. I think it will be a picture of Bush. Or maybe a copy of the Constitution. Or maybe I will send him Mein Kampf
  16. Its good to hear that you supported him like that. If anyone ever deserved a taste of Cuba, or even Siberia, it was the weasel who stole your banner. For me, it was the most embarrasing event in my lifetime by far. You can look at ANYTHING that happened under the Clinton Administration, and NOTHING even comes close to this event in importance. A part of the soul of America died that day. When I look at other polarizing events, here's what I see. Vietnam - while polarizing, there were enough decent arguments on each side of the issue. Our involvment was a mistake, and yet we were guilty of nothing in fighting communists. Watergate - bugging conversations, party politics - not that big a deal in my eyes. No profound issue was at stake. Iran-Contra - While the whole process was dishonest and raising money in that way was unconstitutional, there were decent arguments for support for the contras. Rodney King - looked like excessive force, but I am not a cop handling one of the most dangerous parts of the country. The riots after the trial proved that. (incidentally, I was attending Cal. State Northride at the time and was in the National Guard, and got activated to patrol Inglewood and enforce the curfew.)
  17. Although I don't consider it a "litmus test" issue, I feel that the Waco situation was almost completely the fault of Koresh and his followers. I don't think Reno handled it intelligently, but I don't consider it an embarrasment to America. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the way things happened. I believe that the government had a compelling reason to act in that situation.
  18. Thanks. That's the kind of info I just want to have "at the ready." My main concern was bldg #7. But now I am satisfied as to the cause of the collapse there as well.
  19. Stephen, do you see how good the Elian topic works? On an Objectivist message board - that's two people already. In "real life" - since I get to see the person in many other contexts, I get to "test" the validity of using the Elian topic. No exaggeration, it always works. I don't ever recall a single instance where someone came down on the wrong side of this issue - and also didn't have other serious character flaws. Simple errors in knowledge CANNOT get one off the hook for wanting to send an innocent child, whose mother died getting him here, who also had loving family in florida to care for him and he would not become a recipient in the welfare state (the family was middle class), back to a prison-state (my name for countries who execute people who try to leave). There is no innocent excuse for that type of thinking. Just to show that I apply it consistently, I have an uncle and a couple of cousins that I no longer deal with because of this issue. It is practically the same as if they came out in favor of Hitler. Watchling Reno's kidnapping of Elian was one of the most embarrasing days in this country's history.
  20. If Hitler strongly values seeing Jews cooked in an oven, then, as a "major player" in Nazi Germany, he had a right to see that they got cooked. I see. These issues are "complex." I think that either Peikoff or Binswanger has a great piece about "complexity worship." Or they criticized those who would use the term "oversimplify." They were right. This issue is so simple - and that is why I use it as a litmus test question - because no person of morality or at least semi-clear thinking skills could possibly be wrong on it.
  21. "Family Values" as used by the right is a euphemism for censorship and anti-abortion. Please don't take this as support for the left. I voted for Bush.
  22. In other words, you don't think ethics plays a role in the results you get here on earth. You think that as long as one doesn't believe in heaven or hell, why live by any code of ethics? Have you read ANY of Ayn Rand's writings, or are you just here for the hell of it???? Or have you read Ayn Rand's works, and just disagree profoundly with her and felt like coming here to tell us that you disagree? Anyway, point noted.
  23. Estancia Cabernet is inexpensive and good.
  24. I agree that there can different reasons for being right on the Elian case. But if a person is wrong about it, what could be more telling than that about their character (in a quick-snapshot sense)? I've found that if someone is wrong about that issue, their whole psychology and philosophy is also evil. That's why it's such a good litmus test. I haven't found abetter issue when it comes from separating the wheat from the chaff.
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