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There is no office at the federal level to definitively say who may or may not run for president. At the state level there are formal requirements such as forms and filing fees and petitions with enough signatures to get on a ballot, and it is up to each state government to make their elections correct with qualified candidates.

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What in the heck does being well-versed in Objectivism have to do with evaluating the credibility of the source of this particular claim?

It's a non-issue. Even if there was credible proof that he lied, and he's not American born, it would still be a non-issue for me. I don't care enough to look over the evidence. Although I

I’m sure all of us could sit down for a drink and pound out a hundred reasons Obama has to go. But four years of this birth certificate business is enough and not worth the effort. It was worth a lo

Related to this thread, someone posted a question on FB: does the FBI do background checks on presidential candidates, or at least on the final nominees? Forget the birth-certificate -- what about things that matter? For instance, before someone is appointed to a senior post in the CIA, they probably go through a background check. So, what about the President who is their boss and who will get all their information. I'm not sure I'd support such a check, but I'm curious whether anything like that is done.

One would think that the candidates themselves would support such a check. Anything they find will undoubtedly be found by someone. Better to find out sooner, rather than later.

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The media and the rival candidates have always done this and done it well. (Doesn't a candidate know his own background without hiring someody to investigate it?) The question seems to reflect the notion that if we need a job done or information provided, we need government to do it. I wouldn't have expected this in an Objectivist forum.

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The burden of proof -is- kind of on the people who think Obama's certificate was faked. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. He and/or his lawyer(s) can skirt the issue as much as they want, and it's still up to the opposition to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Whatever the effect on his public relations.

No, logically, this isn't true. The burden of proof is on he who asserts the positive. Obama is asserting the positive by saying that the long-form image on his website is a digital image of a paper birth certificate -- and when called upon to do so, he would have to prove that he did indeed have the copy (legit or otherwise) and that he did indeed scan it and did indeed post that scanned image on the internet. Those claiming it is a fake do need some evidence for their claim, but to prove it is a digital image of an original paper copy is up to Obama to prove.

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There is no office at the federal level to definitively say who may or may not run for president. At the state level there are formal requirements such as forms and filing fees and petitions with enough signatures to get on a ballot, and it is up to each state government to make their elections correct with qualified candidates.

Let me expand on this. States administer their own elections but the House and Senate each decide whether or not to seat their own members. Since technically it is the electoral college that casts the ultimate votes for the president, it is those electors who have the last say by casting their vote. If the Electoral College is tied then then the House of Representatives gets to pick the President, and qualifications can be debated then. The Congress could technically impeach an unqualified President but that would require political courage which is in scant supply.

The National Archives and Records Administration "makes the trains run on time" for the Electoral College process but they won't be vetoing any elections.

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There is no office at the federal level to definitively say who may or may not run for president. At the state level there are formal requirements such as forms and filing fees and petitions with enough signatures to get on a ballot, and it is up to each state government to make their elections correct with qualified candidates.

There is no direct office -- like an office of elections per se -- but there is the Constitution that states that the President must be a natural born citizen, and I have heard from various lawyers over on FaceBook that basically it is the previous Department of State or Congress that would have the final say as to upholding the Constitution on this matter, as they have sworn to uphold the Constitution. I do know that the Democrats tried to block McCain from running due to him being born in Panama, but I don't recall the Republicans making a big deal about Obama being born of one parent being American and the other one being foreign citizenry. Frankly, I don't think the previous administration under Bush would have the balls to block the potential first "African-American" President on a technicality of the Constitution (of all things). One of the documents the Tea Party members were going to present to the NJ court was an analysis of what the Founders meant by "natural born citizen" and their claim is that both parents would have to be American citizens and that the child would have to have been born withing the United States (which would have excluded McCain as well). It is unfortunate that the Founders did not define this phrase, but evidently they didn't think they had to; just as they didn't think they had to define "regular trade" as being a free market under the Commerce Clause. I think this all comes under the heading of a statement that Ayn Rand made: You can make something fool proof, but you cannot make it damned fool proof. In other words, due to changes in the language and moving away from the meaning of Enlightenment phrases (which seemed self-evident to them), all sorts of areas of the Constitution are being mangled for modern political expediency.

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Do you mean "ragtag"? The Tea Partiers are no more ragtag than those who call themselves Objectivists.

I've known many Tea Partiers who have a much deeper intellectual base than most Objectivists I've encountered online. Calling oneself an Objectivist doesn't automatically make one right or intellectually deep. In fact, there are some people in Objectivist circles who might better be called "OINOs" because they're Objectivists In Name Only. They do a lot of theorizing, but they're not very good at translating the theories into reality and putting them into practice. They claim to be Objectivists but go around advocating things like the violation of others' property rights, for example -- they make up something as ridiculous as the claim that their "metaphysical survival" is at stake, and that the only way to stop the "eminent" threat to their existence is to not allow a single building to be built in a specific location! Not exactly what I would call coherently applying a rational philosophy.

J

I'm doing my best to ignore J13 and Ninth Doctor due to some of the things they've said in threads (including this one), but I cannot let this off-hand remark against Dr. Peikoff stand. You are implicitly asserting that Dr. Peikoff is an Objectivist in name only because he is against the building of the NYC Mosque near Ground Zero. We've discussed this thoroughly in several threads, and it is not a violation of rights to defend oneself against a vicious enemy who is seeking to become established in the United States and especially seeking to build a monument to their wanton acts of destruction on 911. The right to life comes before the right to property -- i.e. one cannot make the claim that a murderer's property rights are violated when one removes him from his house and throws him in jail for murder. And since the terrorists of 911 made their attacks in the name of Islam and were perfectly consistent with Islam, then yes, Islam can be throttled in the USA, at least until the war is over an we have decidedly won the war and they swear to never attack us again. Moderators: If these two posts need to be moved to another thread, then do that, but I couldn't let it stand.

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The other day it was medicine, now it's national security. Yes, the old Doctor was a wise one once, and I have listened to his lecture series in its entirety.

But he is now, plainly, losing it.

The issue with Islam and our national security is not a philosophical issue itself. Sure, we all agree that you have a right to your life and our government should protect that right. Nobody disputes that. Now, are there an infinite number of ways of going about that protection? Yes. And deciding those ways is up to interpreting and incredibly complex context--wherein you take the sum total of your current knowledge and make a decision based on that knowledge.

What LP seems to have lost track of is that he doesn't have more knowledge than every being on the planet. He is not omnipotent, etc.

Yes, if you ask me I will give you an opinion on things like the Islamic Mosque near Ground Zero, but my opinion would be an assessment of the physical risk based on facts. That these are Islamists is something I'd take into account, yes. There are many other things that should be taken into account as well--including many that I personally don't know--and perhaps some experts do. Those experts are known as, for instance, the FBI. If the FBI says that the Mosque (or whatever else) is a threat--and they present a rational case for that--then abolish it. If not, not. I'm not going to weigh in any further than that until I feel I can go toe to toe with the sum of knowledge of the FBI in this context--to do so would be foolish, and or if you like, dishonest.

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If the FBI says that the Mosque (or whatever else) is a threat--and they present a rational case for that--then abolish it. If not, not. I'm not going to weigh in any further than that until I feel I can go toe to toe with the sum of knowledge of the FBI in this context--to do so would be foolish, and or if you like, dishonest.

Yeah, right...like the FBI and the CIA, who are supposed to keep track of these things, prevented the first bombing of the WTC and certainly stopped 911 dead in its tracks! The whole problem has been treating it like criminal activity instead of State sponsored terrorism, and guess who came up with the answer to that one? Why, it was our good friend Dr. Peikoff, now to be known by some to be an Objectivist in name only and dishonest for applying the principles of Objectivism to real-world situations. If his suggestion had been followed in End States Who Sponsor Terrorism (written 10 years before 911), those terrorist attacks would never have happened. But that's only theory according to some on this forum, and there is no need to apply philosophy to real-world events. Philosophers -- especially rational philosophers -- ought to just keep quite about those things and stick to theorizing about forms of syllogisms or whatever, so long as they do not try to apply it to real-world events.

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Yeah, right...like the FBI and the CIA, who are supposed to keep track of these things, prevented the first bombing of the WTC and certainly stopped 911 dead in its tracks!

Clearly agents Peikoff and Miovas are on the job now. I feel so much safer...

[...] and there is no need to apply philosophy to real-world events. Philosophers -- especially rational philosophers -- ought to just keep quite about those things and stick to theorizing about forms of syllogisms or whatever, so long as they do not try to apply it to real-world events.

They should weigh in on how principles of philosophy should interact with current events, as I did above. Most of the time philosophy alone fails to offer a comprehensive solution, but rather only the basis of one. Ayn Rand, for instance, advocated an entire form of government to which she offered almost no implementation details as she considered this not in the realm of philosophy but rather law.

Yet she found ways of occupying her time, for instance these experts from TNL/AIR, The Chicken's Homecoming (I encourage readers to get the full context):

"If movie stars give out interviews criticizing
military tactics
, no one takes it seriously. [...] The nature of our foreign policy is a proper concern of philosophy; the strategy of our military operations is not. [etc. etc.] "

I'm sorry you find your stated profession boring. Perhaps you should look for a new one.

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... But that's only theory according to some on this forum, and there is no need to apply philosophy to real-world events. Philosophers -- especially rational philosophers -- ought to just keep quite about those things and stick to theorizing about forms of syllogisms or whatever, so long as they do not try to apply it to real-world events.

Well I'm glad you've managed to characterize the positions of those who disagree with you so accurately.

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But dealing with terrorism and the cause of terrorism **is** a foreign policy position. My point is that it is NOT a specific military or police action policy. So I am in complete agreement with Ayn Rand, and so is Dr. Peikoff, who was not offering specific military advise, like how to best attack Iran, for example.

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If his suggestion had been followed in End States Who Sponsor Terrorism (written 10 years before 911), those terrorist attacks would never have happened.

Ten years before? October 2, 2001 was ten years before…which 911? There must be another one besides September 11, 2001, I mean it couldn’t be that Thomas is reading carelessly.

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Ten years before? October 2, 2001 was ten years before…which 911? There must be another one besides September 11, 2001, I mean it couldn’t be that Thomas is reading carelessly.

Yes, I was doing funky math because of the way I hold Sept 11, 2001 in my mind as 911, which got transposed to 9/11 (Sept 2011). At any rate, you are correct that End States came out after 911, though Dr. Peikoff and other leading Objectivists were against the police policies of handling Islamic terrorism well before 911 and were advocating having a war against Iran and other States who were advocating attacking the West in the name of Islam. In fact, they thought we should have had a war with Iran after the Embassy hostage situation (I think in 1979).

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I doubt anyone here thinks philosophers should sit around working out syllogisms, but the notion that they should just apply their philosophies to the world without looking at how the world actually works would be disastrous. Sure, Iran and countries that sponsor terrorism suck but, if the past decade has taught us anything, it's that the decision to go to war is a big fucking deal and not to be taken lightly. 

What the "declare war first, analyze the consequences later" crowd ignore is the fact that going to war--even with a country we could easily destroy--has major geopolitical and economic consequences. It is the height of irrationality to rationalistically apply your philosophy to the world and assume that sovereign nations (and I don't just mean the one actually being attacked), whose culture you don't understand, will act in a way we can predict and contain. This is why people who determine foreign policy--who, believe it or not, do in fact want to keep this country safe for foreign threats--don't just attack other countries because they don't like them.

If you're going to admit that you don't know enough about military tactics to know the best way to destroy the Iranian regime, you should admit you don't know enough about geopolitics to be able to say that doing so at all is a wise move.

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@Wrath: Yep, Bush assumed that after we "liberated" Iraq they would drop 1000 years of traditions and become a moderate middle-class country. How did that go?

You bring up a good point that I left an implied one: insofar as the rights of our citizens is the correct yardstick, the actual implementation of how you secure those rights in the most advantageous way possible might be a tad more complicated than, "bomb the shit out of everybody". In other words, not attacking an enemy does not imply sanction, it merely implies that you don't find the trade-off worth while at that particular moment--and that "moment" might last decades or even forever.

More subtle still is going beyond ceasing the attack and simply paying people off or trying other measures. This too might be a viable tactic that is more advantageous to us than war. Here too you are not doing it as a moral sanction, but for the purely selfish reason that such a course is the easiest way to dispatch a threat. And yes, this might backfire. Might. The answer is found in the particular context, not in some limitless generalization. Philosophy only tells you what is and is not an enemy, not how to fight it.

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No, logically, this isn't true. The burden of proof is on he who asserts the positive. Obama is asserting the positive by saying that the long-form image on his website is a digital image of a paper birth certificate -- and when called upon to do so, he would have to prove that he did indeed have the copy (legit or otherwise) and that he did indeed scan it and did indeed post that scanned image on the internet. Those claiming it is a fake do need some evidence for their claim, but to prove it is a digital image of an original paper copy is up to Obama to prove.

Ah, I should've been more clear. I was speaking legally, not logically. The way our court system is set up, if Obama is charged with fraud or something, the accusers would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, wouldn't they?

Though rationally the burden of proof should really be on Obama.

I'm doing my best to ignore J13 and Ninth Doctor due to some of the things they've said in threads (including this one), but I cannot let this off-hand remark against Dr. Peikoff stand.

Thank you for standing up for what's right and true Thomas. Although doing it on this forum is only going to bring you suffering in the end. You can only talk to a wall so much before you get fed up with it not listening or thinking, and making snide remarks about your positions.

Edited by Amaroq
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Thanks Armaroq. I've been posting to oo.net for a long time, so I know how it goes. Though I do sometimes wonder if it is worth the effort. Some take me seriously, some don't, and some are not worth discussing anything with. You are right about the case where Obama is accused of fraud Re his birth certificate, in that case, he would be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, at root, he is the one who has to prove that he is a natural born citizen, while his lawyer tried to say the onus was on the Tea Party for claiming otherwise.

As to going to war, no,it is not something that should be done lightly and Bush wouldn't know a proper type of government if he were the President of one, let alone trying to set up a proper government after a major war with our enemies. However, it wouldn't be an issue of trying to get them to change a thousand years of tradition, it would be more like creaming them to the point where they would refuse to say anything or do anything against us for the next thousand years after being beaten back to the stone ages.

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Moderators, I object! Jonathan and I are being likened, directly and unambiguously, to walls!

I wonder if we, being the equivalent of walls, are therefore an "eminent" threat to Thomas's and Peikoff's "metaphysical survival" just as the proposed walls of the "Ground Zero Mosque" somehow are?

J

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However, it wouldn't be an issue of trying to get them to change a thousand years of tradition, it would be more like creaming them to the point where they would refuse to say anything or do anything against us for the next thousand years after being beaten back to the stone ages.

And where I say you're naive is your seeming refusal to consider that bombing a Middle Eastern country back to the stone age might have consequences other than removing whatever threat you perceive to emanate from said country. Never mind the moral argument against such an action, in the first place.

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There is no moral argument against self-defense, and there are no innocents during a full-scale war. The people of Iran, for example, support their government and are responsible for it, despite the facts that they do have a few protesters against theocracy. Those Muslims are supporting an Islamic Theocracy that seeks to destroy Israel and the united States and ought to be wiped out post haste.

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There is no moral argument against self-defense, and there are no innocents during a full-scale war. The people of Iran, for example, support their government and are responsible for it, despite the facts that they do have a few protesters against theocracy. Those Muslims are supporting an Islamic Theocracy that seeks to destroy Israel and the united States and ought to be wiped out post haste.

Certainly there are innocents in war. Now, because of the nature of war, the defensive country cannot always afford to worry about the lives of those innocents; the actions of the aggressor state sometimes make it inevitable that in order to defend yourself, you must take military actions that have the potential to harm innocents. However, this doesn't mean these innocents don't exist. The conclusion to draw here is that the moral blame for what happens to these innocents falls on the aggressor state that rules them. However, it is a far cry from recognizing this necessity of war, to claiming that a war being declared somehow makes everyone in those borders complicit, including small children and those actively protesting the government (whose existence you note in the case of Iran). You sure this is what you mean?

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The people of a nation are responsible for the policies of that nation. If they are against the policies -- especially irrational policies of a theocracy -- then they should overthrow that government and institute something better and more rational. The German people actively supported Nazi Germany prior to the war, and deserved to be beaten down for that support. Similarly, due to Islam, the people of Iran support the Islamic State and deserve to be beaten down for their threats to the United States and to Israel. They cannot morally take the position that they didn't do it, when they actively support those policies. As to the truly innocent, like babies and children, their deaths are not the fault of those fighting against Islamic Caliphate, but rather rests in the hands of those initializing force via theocracy and caliphate.

As to the earlier comment that if I don't know the proper military strategy then I ought not to be giving advise, it is the role of philosophy to set the terms of justice and recompense due to the atrocities committed against the United States. It is not just a military matter -- it is a moral / political matter. A rational philosophy aims the weapons, but the military must use them to defend the United States on the proper terms given by a rational philosophy. And a rational philosophy -- Objectivism -- is completely against coddling our enemy and trying to make nice with them so they don't attack us.

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The people of a nation are responsible for the policies of that nation. If they are against the policies -- especially irrational policies of a theocracy -- then they should overthrow that government and institute something better and more rational.

Can we agree that one person, alone, is physically incapable of overthrowing a government like that of Iran, without convincing large numbers of others to help? If so, then holding each individual living under a government responsible for not overthrowing that government is collectivism; it is judging an individual based on the actions of the people living around him. Those who protest and resist evil regimes from within, whether they are successful or not, are innocents in war, and it is a tragedy when they die as a result of it.

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