• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About syrakusos

  • Rank
    Rational Empiricist
  • Birthday 11/10/1949

Previous Fields

  • Full Name
    Michael E. Marotta
  • Description
    Senior technical writer for enterprise information systems serving complex organizations. Content strategist and knowledge presentationdesigner for projects serving electrical power, telecommunication, insurance, and manufacturing. .. Post and patrol for large crowd events, as well as for business, technology and retail customers. Responsible for greeting, clearing and directing visitors and employees. Inspection of premises and grounds via closed circuit television cameras.
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
    West Wing, Die Hard 1-4, Big Bang Theory
  • Looking or Not Looking
    not looking

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Austin, Texas
  • Interests
    Numismatics, Physical Security and Computer Security, Aviation

Recent Profile Visitors

34,749 profile views
  1. From the city library, I brought home the first season of Quincy on DVD. On Amazon, my wife just bought seasons 9 and 10 of Bones on DVD.
  2. That was interesting. Thanks.
  3. "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" Duterte, look out, Big Barack is coming for you... And when the cuttin' was doneThe only part that wasn't bloodyWas the soles of the big man's feet, ooh Remember: President Obama learned from Saul Alinksky and Saul learned it from real gangster. Uptown got it's hustlers The bowery got it's bums 42nd Street got Big Jim Walker He's a pool-shootin' son of a gun Yeah, he big and dumb as a man can come But he stronger than a country hoss And when the bad folks all get together at night You know they all call big Jim "Boss", just because And they say You don't tug on Superman's cape You don't spit into the wind You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger And you don't mess around with Jim Well outta south Alabama come a country boy He say I'm lookin' for a man named Jim I am a pool-shootin' boy By name 'a Willie McCoy But down home they call me Slim Yeah I'm lookin' for the king of 42nd Street He drivin' a drop top Cadillac Last week he took all my money And it may sound funny But I come to get my money back And everybody say Jack don't you know You don't tug on Superman's cape You don't spit into the wind You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger And you don't mess around with Jim Well a hush fell over the pool room Jimmy come boppin' in off the street And when the cuttin' was done The only part that wasn't bloody Was the soles of the big man's feet, ooh And he was cut in about a hundred places And he were shot in a couple more And you better believe There come another kind of story When big Jim hit the floor now they say You don't tug on Superman's cape You don't spit into the wind You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger And you don't mess around with Slim Yeah, big Jim got his hat Find out where it's at And it's not hustlin' people strange to you Even if you do got a two-piece custom-made pool cue Yeah you don't tug on Superman's cape You don't spit into the wind You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger And you don't mess around with Slim
  4. Obama cancels meeting with Philippines' Duterte after insult Duterte said it would be “rude” for Obama to raise the human rights issue, and told reporters such a conversation would prompt him to curse at Obama, using a Filipino phrase for "son of a bitch." "Plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed we will continue," he said. It’s not the first time Duterte has cursed at a world leader. He called Pope Francis a “son of a whore” in May, and called U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg a “gay son of a whore.”
  5. "I do not want to rule the world. I prefer that the world rule me." Yes, I know THE PLEDGE… and that's fine for YOU (or *I*) but when it comes to the actual running of the actual world, who do you want? Mother Theresa or Milton Friedman? There is no other choice: either self-sacrifice or global capitalism -- take your pick.
  6. The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice by Christopher Hitchens (Verso: 1995) is an exposé of the greatest fraud and swindler in the 20th century. Mother Teresa was a double-dealing hypocrite who ensured that millions would suffer so that she could watch over their final pains, torments, agonies, and despair. Mother Teresa sought and gained the approval of dictators such as Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier and Ramiz Alia, the successor to Envar Hoxhia of Albania. They were only points on a line that included the Reagan White House, Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street, the British Royal Family (who are legally prohibited from marrying Catholics), and countless others. Near the bottom of the list is Charles Keating, the convicted savings and loan swindler of the 1980s. A devout Catholic, he donated over a million dollars to her charity. She sent him a special crucifix. When he faced sentencing, Mother Teresa sent a letter to judge Lance Ito begging for clemency for Keating. The prosecutor, Paul W. Turley wrote back asking Mother Teresa to return the $1,250,000 that was stolen by Keating and given to her. She did not reply. Hitchens, of course, was proudly an old-school liberal who also had harsh words for Ayn Rand’s Virtue of Selfishness. Hitchens was less concerned with the success of capitalism than he was with the civil rights, civil liberties, and civil sensibilities upon which it ultimately depends. The fact remains that while Christopher Hitchens wrung his hands over Mother Teresa’s duplicity, it was Ayn Rand who explained quite clearly why no disconnect existed: the swindle began with mysticism, grew with altruism, and therefore of necessity enveloped the poor in even worse circumstances. In India that hardly seemed possible. But the Missionaries of Charity ran 102 missions in 40 countries back then and has continued to grow. When Hitchens wrote 20 years ago, his best guess was that $50 million sat mostly idle in bank accounts. Mother Teresa had no use for money, though she attracted it. In our common culture that makes her some kind of saint – which the Catholic Church may well do: she has been beatified. But it also meant that no resources were spent on the poor who were sick and dying. Mother Teresa needed their suffering. Christopher Hitchens was a brilliant polemicist, and a deft, insightful writer. He never wasted words. Here in just 98 pages, Hitchens destroyed the myth of Mother Teresa. About the same time that this book appeared, T. J. Rodgers, the president of Cypress Semiconductor made the news with a letter to Sister Doris Gormley, OSF, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. The letter is easy to find online. Cypress is proud to let you read it here. Basically, Rodgers told the good sister why her advice would bring nothing but headaches and heartaches, including a loss of comfort for those in her order who depend on the profits from their stock holdings in Cypress.
  7. Actually, this seems to be a permanent problem. You will see that it is "two years old" but was reported three years ago. Haiti: Drought Snapshot (July 2016) - Haiti | ReliefWeb The drought that has hit Haiti in the two last years has caused the agricultural production to fall about 60% in comparison to 2013. The drought in combination with Haiti: Drought Worsens Food Crisis, U.N. Agency Says By RICK GLADSTONEFEB. 9, 2016 Continue reading the main storyShare This Page Share Tweet Email More Save More than 1.5 million Haitians are threatened with malnutrition — double the number of six months ago — because of a three-year-old drought that has been worsened by the global El Niño weather phenomenon, the anti-hunger agency of the United Nations said Tuesday. WORLD NEWS | Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:53pm EDT Haiti drought cuts harvests, lifts prices, food crisis looms: WFP By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A severe drought in Haiti has led to acute water shortages, shriveled harvests and raised food prices, weakening the fragile food supply and worsening hunger among the poor, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said... Drought, poor harvest to worsen Haiti food crisis - WFP by Anastasia Moloney | @anastasiabogota | Thomson Reuters Foundation Tuesday, 18 June 2013 05:01 GMT And yet…. “The National Meteorology Office (ONAMET) actually benefited because the authorities and key sectors like agriculture and water paid more attention to us,” said Juana Sille, an expert on drought, which was a major problem in the Caribbean and Central America in 2015. It is an ill wind that blows no man good.
  8. Following Wolf's link to Helen Mirren as Ayn Rand, gave me this: Five of the ten films are about Nietzsche. Also, despite the actual ideas of most of these, I found it typically sad that their "official" review of The Passion of Ayn Rand was such a slur: Take Socrates… In The Clouds, he is satirized as offering "wrong logic" that can be used to disprove obvious truths. In The Clouds, the father of the wastrel youth wants Socrates to teach him "wrong logic" so that he can argue away his creditors. Meanwhile, Socrates is in a washtub hung from the ceiling so that he can be closer to the highest truths. Just sayin'… by what standard is any philosopher not guilty of "eccentric" ideas? We saw Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure back in the 1980s, and we still speak of "philosophizing with So-crates." Like when my wife is going to ask me what I have been doing all afternoon, I am going to say "philosophizing with So-crates and my Objectivist friends."
  9. Dictionaries only report how their editors believe that most people use a word, including the important nuances, and inherent contradictions. (If "to fast" means to go without food, how much "fast food" do you have to eat before you starve to death?" -- Dogbert.) I recommend Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (Wikipedia here). Objectivists know that Ayn Rand was very specific about her intentions when writing about "selfishness", "capitalism", "romanticism", "rational", and "realism" among many other words. At the introductory lecture to "The Basic Principles of Objectivism" in Cleveland, Ohio, in September 1966, Nathaniel Branden was asked if rationalism is the same as realism. He replied that as the words are used commonly, yes, but as they are used in formal philosophy, they are very different. He meant that someone who is rational is realistic and someone who is irrational is unrealistic. That much is easy -- and supported by common dictionaries. As we know, however, philosophical rationalism and philosophical realism are two sides of a false dichotomy. Whose ice cream is it? You need to supply context. If you were invited to a birthday party and the hostess is serving ice cream, that is one context. If you share an apartment with friends and you bought yourself a gallon of Häagen-Dazs, and ate it while watching TV, then that is a different context. Ayn Rand used the phrase "man qua man" to mean something similar to what Aristotle called "the good life." Indulging in a gallon of ice cream may not be in your best interests -- in fact, I assert that it is not. Such behavior is not selfish and ignores the fundamentals of Objectivism. Similarly, being a boor at a party violates many expectations of a truly selfish person who does not demand that others live for them, as, for instance, by supplying a birthday party with all the ice cream that you can eat.
  10. Not just any piece of paper. Not all paper is equal, equally profitable, or profitable at all. Among the firms delisted from the NYSE are: Lehman Brothers, Great A&P Tea Co., Circuit City, Gottschalks, and Sara Lee. Those are just some of the Big Name firms that have gone under recently. See the Top 11 of all time here: Knowing what to buy and when to sell require intelligence: knowledge plus insight. Every trader suffers from "the conceit of knowledge" the belief that they have special understanding that will let them beat the market. Some do. Their names stand out in history. It is no different from the millions of people who can change a lightbulb, but not build (or invent) a generator. "All you have to do it take some wire and wrap it around a magnet... and millions of people pay you for doing nothing..." I am sure that you see the fallacy there. Your view of finance is just as erroneous.
  11. I have to point to Ayn Rand's essay, "The Monument Builders." Space travel was technically feasible in the steam age of Jules Verne. Willey Ley tells the story of the Germans around von Braun having called all their committee supporters to a roundtable because they needed a special pump to handle the booster stage. They thought that one would have to be specially created. A representative from some firm or other suggested that they contact the firm that makes fire engines, because those pumps are pretty good. Collectivism prevents space travel, and always had. Two world wars - the first, especially - drained the resources and the will of the world. Remove World War One and we would have had a Lunar colony by 1950. I am enthusiastic about space and always have been. Always. Before the loss of Challenger, I had applied for the "Journalist in Space" competition. I was facing Walter Cronkite and John Denver, so I was at the back of the line. Still, I learned to fly, and to write about aviation. And I have a soft spot in my heart for those old Bolsheviks, of which Ayn Rand was (romantically) one: big dreams, big ideas, women in engineering... But for all of that, the USSR threw human lives at every problem. We throw money. Which way of life do you prefer?
  12. Well, yes, him and the Wall Street Journal, which provided the basis of his report. In short, in the free market - which actually operates today (as the existence of this very report demonstrates) - would and does! provide a multiplicity of modes and methods. You would have to decide for yourself... which we all do... So, the Chimp is behind the power curve once again, shouting "Theater" in a crowded fire.
  13. This also came up on the Galt's Gulch Online discussion board, but with a different host site. It is apparently being picked up on. Here is the link to the discussion there. Within that was this offered by EAJewett a few comments down from the top. Note that it garnered four votes for a +5, so it had some approval from the audience. That link, "One Woman's Thoughts About Life on the Spectrum" had several more similar at the bottom of that page. =georgia> In LS's topic on RoR, I suggested that the popularity of the subject as well as television shows such as Bones and of course Big Bang Theory indicate that NA (neuro-atypical) people are becoming less statistically atypical. Like IQ - and, I submit, the continued success of the works of Ayn Rand - it suggests a shift in our fundamental sociology. On my blog, I have four posts under the rubric "Nerd Nation."
  14. I really wish that we could vote on this board.
  15. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The problem with the Golden Rule is expecting that others will have the same values, the same needs that you do. Broadly, that is true. However, in many specific circumstances, it surely is not. Statistically, it is likely that within your own body no two hemoglobin molecules are identical. Individual differences run deeper within us than is commonly known. Aesop's fable of the Fox and the Stork demonstrated quite clearly that different people have different needs. Yours are not theirs.