Peter

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  1. Wolf wrote about Michael: What a wonderful man. No wonder we like each other. end quote What are you implying? I am interested in the clash of the concepts (and actuality,) of volition and addiction, and I am interested in everyone’s thoughts, Wolf. Ellen Moore on Atlantis back in 2000, postulated a definition of volition that expanded on Ayn Rand's and Leonard Peikoff's definitions: Volition - a primary attribute of human consciousness given the power to initiate and sustain actions and operations regulating functions of awareness. end quote And she actually copyrighted it. I (perhaps presumptuously) changed her wording and Rand’s to be: Volition - the primary attribute of human consciousness, giving and causing human identity to have the power to initiate, raise, regulate, and sustain actions and operations of awareness above the perceptual level, into the levels of abstract awareness, thought and logic. And a further consequence of volition is that a human can regulate their awareness to Lower Levels, (such as during evasion, reverie / day-dreaming, the mental state associated with preparing for sleep, or to the anti-conceptual mentality of primitive man or animals.) However, the ability to lower awareness would be a corollary or direct logical implication of a previously validated conclusion, (or axiom) and not part of volition's primary identity, which is to raise awareness, and not lower it. I still like my bigger explanation. And the desire to change or NOT change one’s short term behavior because of short term consequences such as withdrawal or the long term consequences such as disease, betrayal, loss of loved ones, and prison suggests we do not have volition. YET, Wolf, Michael, and everyone else, if one agrees that humans possess a soul, which is *a part of but emerges from physical processes* and that we have volition, then why does an addict commit crimes? Are we back to the concepts of good and evil, weak or strong, youthful indiscretions vs. wisdom? And there is the possibility of a genetic susceptibility to addiction just as people have peanut allergies. Peter Notes. George H. Smith To: <objectivism, Subject: OWL: Re: Mind as emergent [was: Objectivism's concept of free will] Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 14:44:30 -0500: I agree with emergence theory, as here summarized. This is one reason I reject physical determinism, and it also plays a role in my not-so-thinly disguised contempt for "soft determinism." The mind, as an emergent phenomenon, needs to be studied on its own terms, and we can access it directly only through introspection. We should not assume that causation in the world of consciousness is analogous to causation as we observe it in physical phenomena. We should not assume, for example, that "motives" operate like physical particles that, upon striking other mental "things," such as choices, "cause" them to move. The mind is not a world of mental billiard balls moving to and fro, engaging in endless collisions which "cause" us to choose this or that. Of course, the soft determinist will repudiate this characterization of his position as unfairly crude and inaccurate. But it doesn't take much scratching beneath the language of the soft determinist to see that this is exactly how he analyzes mental phenomena. He adopts what is essentially a mechanistic, linear view of mental causation, in which a mental event (say, a value) somehow "causes" another mental event (say, a preference), which in turn "causes" us to make a choice to put the eight ball in a given pocket. One needn't defend that view that choices and other mental events are "uncaused" in order to defend volitionism. Certainly Rand didn't take this view, and neither do I. I subscribe (as did Rand) to an "agency theory" of causation, according to which a rational agent -- and not merely antecedent *events,* whether mental *or* physical -- can properly be said to be the "cause" of his own mental acts. This is essentially an Aristotelian perspective, one that has been defended not only by modern Thomists but also by other contemporary philosophers, such as Richard Taylor. It had a number of able defenders in earlier centuries as well, such as the eighteenth-century philosophers Richard Price and Thomas Reid. This position was also defended by Nathaniel Branden in "The Objectivist Newsletter" and, later, in *The Psychology of Self-Esteem.* end quote
  2. I won’t google the experts or research further to find out more info but if we define “hard core” as willing to buy a product no matter the cost, then I still cannot agree with Backlighting. Other types of addicts like drunks on skid row and addicted cigarette smokers do moderate their purchases to abide by the price hikes without resorting to criminal activity. They cut back. Yet, I remember an episode of MASH when a doctor got the delirium tremens and a lot of cop shows have addicts going through withdrawal and both conditions look horrible. Those shows were powerful. The previous letter documented how horrible withdrawal is. I know I will never go through that. I was in an army hospital with a broken bone and they were very generous with the pain meds. At one point I said I wanted to skip a dose because I seemed to be laying there waiting for it. The lead guy who would be considered a RN / doctor’s assistant now, took me off the big pills, and lessened my dose and I was sorry I said anything because the pain was still quite bad, without the “big pills.” I remember sweating and sleeplessness. Not good. So, getting back to the people who will commit crimes to feed their habit, AND to avoid withdrawal, I do sympathize. But to risk prison? To commit more and more crimes, digging yourself into a deeper abyss? Feel horrible for three days or for three years? I would say the three days of withdrawal and not getting high three days in a row are better than prison. And that cold hearted Darwin's Law is an apt description of reality. Only the fittest survive. Peter
  3. Addiction is a difficult subject. I will start with some notes: Ghs wrote: The problem is that anti-drug propaganda, such as children learn in schools, doesn't distinguish between different kinds of drugs and their effects. It is even possible to do heroin indefinitely without ever becoming addicted, if one follows the traditional junkie adage: "One day on, two days off; two days on, three days off; three days on – and you're hooked." end quote Greg Thompson at another time replied to Ghs: All good points. I'd like to ask one last question to all: If a scene in Fountainhead went something like this, would it disturb you at all?: "Roark sat at his drawing table but exhaustion overtook him. He snorted a line of coke and it got his juices flowing. As he pondered the sitting room of the office building he was designing, he took a hit of LSD to expand his mind and creativity. Upon getting tired again, Roark took some speed. When he couldn't get to sleep, he injected some heroine to take the edge off." Kind of disgusting, right? end quote An excerpt from Ayn Rand’s Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York - March 6, 1974: When men abandon reason, they find not only that their emotions cannot guide them, but that they can experience no emotions save one: terror. The spread of drug addiction among young people brought up on today's intellectual fashions, demonstrates the unbearable inner state of men who are deprived of their means of cognition and who seek escape from reality--from the terror of their impotence to deal with existence. Observe these young people's dread of independence and their frantic desire to "belong," to attach themselves to some group, clique or gang. Most of them have never heard of philosophy, but they sense that they need some fundamental answers to questions they dare not ask--and they hope that the tribe will tell them how to live. They are ready to be taken over by any witch doctor, guru, or dictator. One of the most dangerous things a man can do is to surrender his moral autonomy to others: like the astronaut in my story, he does not know whether they are human, even though they walk on two feet. end quote From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" <atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: Drug "Addiction" and Crime Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 15:33:36 -0500. Bill Dwyer wrote: "Jeff is fond of dismissing the concept of "addiction" without ever bothering to define what he means by the term. I certainly did not imply or suggest that addiction amounted to anything like absolute physical enslavement, if that is what Jeff understands by "addiction." Indeed in my reply to Dick Rose, I stated explicitly, "[T]o say that a drug is "addictive" does not mean that a person has no control over its use; it simply means that the need or desire for it is much more intense than for most other goods." Jeff's quotation (from Jeffrey Schaler) refers specifically to "physical addiction," and I think this is what JR was talking about as well. Bill's definition of "addiction," which denotes a "need or desire" that is "much more intense than for most other goods," would mean that we are literally "addicted" to members of our family, to our husbands and wives" to our favorite foods, to sex -- and to everything thing else in life on which we place a very high value, and for which our need or desire is "much more intense than for most other goods." I personally draw a distinction between habits and addictions. For example, it is my experience that cocaine can be habit forming for some people (like coffee, chocolate, sex, and many other things), but I have known other people who can do it once every few months, or even less frequently, with no cravings at all. Cocaine can induce a intense feeling of well being, and we typically like to do things that make us feel good. In this sense we are "addicted" to every pleasurable activity. We could also say that have a "dependency" on every pleasurable activity, but this is a peculiar way of speaking. We don't normally say that we have a "dependency" on having sex, eating tasty foods, or on contributing posts to Atlantis. As Thomas Szasz has argued, drug use has been taken out of the realm of desires and habits and medicalized through the application of inappropriate metaphors. Contrary to cocaine and most other drugs, heroin and other opium derivatives do fit my own criterion for physical addiction. This is because most (though not all) heroin users (or at least those who have been using for more than three consecutives days) experience severe physical withdrawal when they discontinue using the drug. This is not just a desire or craving; it is physical, not merely psychological. The pain can be intense beyond belief -- e.g., you might be unable to take a shower because the water hurts too much when it hits your skin – and you hurt in places that you didn't even know you had places.. This misery continues for around 3 days, until the body is able to replace the natural pain killers than it stopped manufacturing when an artificial pain-killer took over that job. The problem is that anti-drug propaganda, such as children learn in schools, doesn't distinguish between different kinds of drugs and their effects. It is even possible to do heroin indefinitely without ever becoming addicted, if one follows the traditional junkie adage: "One day on, two days off; two days on, three days off; three days on – and you're hooked." This may constitute "anecdotal" evidence by Bill's standard, but it is my experience that people who talk about drugs without having used them tend to be highly inaccurate when describing their effects. What is customarily described as "addiction" may simply be a habit, one not unlike many other habits in our lives. Jeff Riggenbach quoted Bill Dwyer as follows: "One final point," Bill writes. "Many months ago, George Smith acknowledged that his heroin addiction was so strong, he found that he couldn't quit on his own, but needed help. It is inconceivable to me that Jeff Riggenbach, as close a friend as he is to George, could be unaware of this fact. Evidently, he has chosen to ignore it in order to trumpet his claim that anyone who buys into the concept of "addiction" doesn't know what he or she is talking about!" And Jeff replied: "Yes, Bill, I know how George regards his adventures with heroin. We have discussed it many times. I chose to ignore it, because it is irrelevant. Why is it irrelevant? Because it is one man's interpretation of what happened to him, and nothing more. George experienced severe discomfort when attempting to stop using heroin. For various reasons, he decided that these symptoms of extreme discomfort were not psychological but physiological, and that the discomfort went on so long because it could end only when "the body is able to replace the natural pain killers than it stopped manufacturing when an artificial pain-killer took over that job." "This is an interpretation, backed up by a theory. The theory, though widely believed, has never been proved. The interpretation is debatable. Others who have gone through the experience George is talking about have interpreted it differently The novelist and memoirist Jack Woodford devoted a chapter of his 1962 autobiography to his experience with heroin in the years just preceding the adoption of the Harrison Narcotics Act, the 1914 law which made heroin illegal in the United States. (Previously you could buy it at any drugstore, and many people did.) Woodford used it on a daily basis for several years, then balked at the prices he would have to pay on the black market to continue his habit, and gave it up "cold turkey." Though he experienced some discomfort, his interpretation of the experience was that former "addicts" who tell the sort of story George tells have brought this on themselves psychologically, as a result of what they have "learned" about the way heroin withdrawal is *supposed* to feel. It is unclear to me why this interpretation is any less plausible than George's. Bill tells us that "my main point against Jeff was simply that the concept of physical addiction is indeed a valid one," and that "George's valuable comments support this point." It should be noted that, when I began using heroin, I was on Jeff's side of this debate; I too believed that "addiction" (in the sense of suffering acute physical withdrawal) is a myth based on expectations of what one is supposed to feel. And I continued to believe this during the year when I was only a casual user, since I never had any adverse physical reactions during that time. But my opinion quickly changed the first time I used it for more than three consecutive days, after a close friend had died and I needed to put my grief aside and finish an important writing project. I thought to myself, "Well, how bad can it be? I may be a little uncomfortable the next day -- as one might be, say, during a hangover after a drinking binge -- but I won't be climbing the walls, as anti-drug propaganda would have it." Well, I found out just how bad it can be: severe cramps, diarrhea, and the worst nausea I have ever experienced in my life, punctuated by frequent fits of vomiting. And on top of all this, recall the worst flu you have ever experienced and then multiply that feeling by a factor of ten -- and there you pretty much have my personal experience of going "cold turkey." I don't doubt Jack Woodford's account of his benign withdrawal from heroin (though he did mention a fit of hiccups). I had also read Woodford's account, and I occasionally met other junkies who also seemed able to quit without much discomfort. But this was the exception. My girlfriend at the time experienced symptoms identical to mine, and we were relatively fortunate, since we never used needles. When you use heroin you tend to hang around other users, so I had the opportunity to observe a number of friends who used needles, and their withdrawals made mine look like a cakewalk by comparison. I am talking about people who were shaking so violently and vomiting so continuously that they couldn't even inject themselves, but had to have someone else do it for them. With due respect to JR's skepticism about the physical aspects of "addiction," it is absurd to suppose that all this physical suffering was merely some kind of hypochondria brought about by socially-induced expectations. Having said this, I must also disagree with the implications that Bill Dwyer drew from my personal experience. Many people stop using heroin on their own -- indeed, I did this myself on one occasion. I toughed it out for the three days, as bad as they were, only to find that I was unable to sleep for days after that. (This inability to sleep came as total surprise to me, but I later found out it is quite common.) After over five days of being exhausted but unable to sleep for even ten minutes, I decided to go back on, because, again, I was pushing a tight deadline, and I couldn't afford to lose any more time. I agree with Jeff's assessment of the rehab scam. I went to a clinic in New Mexico that came highly recommended, one that cost $5000 up front to get myself in the door. And the only value of this clinic -- and I mean the *only* value -- was that they basically put me to sleep for three days until the worst was over. I was somewhat disoriented and weak after that (my weight had fallen from 185 to 140 pounds), but, aside from the usual problems with sleep, there was no more physical discomfort. As for the psychological "counseling" of this allegedly first-rate program, it was a joke from beginning to end -- but that is another story. I left after 20 days of a 28 day program, and never looked back. I went to this clinic, not only because I wanted to save myself three days of hell, but also because I wanted to put myself in a different environment. I needed to get away from a situation where one phone and ten dollars would have a runner at my door in twenty minutes. Jeff is also right about the myth that "addiction" is something that supposedly haunts you for a lifetime. Not only did I never use heroin again, but I didn't even have any *desire* to use heroin again -- not after what I had been through. And this desire evaporated without any hokey 12-step program. I guess this puts me midway between Jeff and Bill, but overall I am closer to Jeff's position. The "addiction" of heroin, at least for most users, has to do with one's ability to withstand a good deal of physical discomfort. As a skeptic in such matters, I wasn't expecting all the pain. But that pain (along with everything else) was quite real, I can assure you, whatever the research may or may not be able to prove. Ghs
  4. Michael asked, “What is a legitimate pollster?” Yes. I agree, if we agree on what “is” is. When a pollster guesses right they grow thicker and stronger and taller. But some guesses are wrong and the pollster dies. Fresh saplings replace them. Polls need a lot of care and a lot of love. As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden but Trump is polling badly. In the polling community, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and the 2016 election and a bitter winter with Crooked Hillary as President. And then we get spring and summer again, but Lady Macbeth is still in office, unless Congressman Trey Gowdy can get her indicted and impeached. Just like Bill. Peter From “Being There” (1979) starring Peter Sellers and the beautiful Shirley MacLaine. Louise: It's for sure a white man's world in America. Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a piss-ant. And I'll say right now, he never learned to read and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with rice pudding between th' ears. Shortchanged by the Lord, and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you've gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want. Gobbledy-gook! CHANCE the Gardner: In a garden, things grow – but first some things must wither; some trees lose their leaves before they grow new leaves... INT. CIA ROOM – NIGHT A small, dark room. A videotape machine is running. Also, a machine is turning that records the harmonics of Chance's voice. TWO CIA MEN run the equipment, watch as a needle charts Chance's voice onto paper. CHANCE (over TV) ... Chance the Gardener: Then they grow thicker and stronger and taller. Some trees die, but fresh saplings replace them. Gardens need a lot of care and a lot of love. President "Bobby": Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives? [Long pause] Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden. President "Bobby": In the garden. Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again. President "Bobby": Spring and summer. Chance the Gardener: Yes. President "Bobby": Then fall and winter. Chance the Gardener: Yes. Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy. Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring! Benjamin Rand: Hmm! Chance the Gardener: Hmm! President "Bobby": Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time. [Benjamin Rand applauds] President "Bobby": I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.
  5. One of my ideas was for a Trump-ian platform plank that he would legalize hard drugs, like Johnson might do, so that drug money would not fuel inner city gangs. But, it doesn’t look like Donald Trump is going to take my suggestion to initiate a two pronged war on inner city violence, (which would have the added benefit of cutting into some of Gary Johnson’s ten percent.) Trump is definitely in favor of closing the border to drug smugglers and terrorists and he said hard drugs are killing middle America, which is code talk for white America. Well, because drugs are not legal they are killing inner city America too, because it funds violence. I saw an estimate of an increase of four percent in addiction and death if hard drugs were legalized. That is if nobody is better educated about their risks. But the gangsters would not be funded unless Trump can make drugs so expensive that people in the inner cities cannot afford them. That is possible. Vote for Johnson? No way. This is a disgusting Johnson / libertarian stance: carbon taxes to fight global warming. Robert Tracinski wrote and quoted Gary Johnson who “came out in favor of--drumroll, please--a carbon tax to fight global warming.” Gary said, "I do think that climate change is occurring, that it is man-caused. One of the proposals that I think is a very libertarian proposal, and I'm just open to this, is taxing carbon emission that may have the result of being self-regulating." And Tracinski wrote: “I said it at the beginning of this exchange. Ayn Rand was right when she dismissed Libertarians as "hippies of the right." And everything they have said in response has confirmed that.” end quote Peter
  6. A closed border would raise wages and decrease unemployment. A closed border would make us safer. A closed border could greatly lessen the drug supply. Which brings up another point. What fuels the gang warfare and crime in the inner cities? Not protection money, speakeasies, or prostitution like on Boardwalk Empire. Drug money fuels it. I am not suggesting that we totally do away with our “by prescription only” drug policy or our drunk driving policy, but look at the loosening of the drug laws now, with legal Maryjane and medicinal pot stores in states like my own Maryland. What if more drugs were legal? It would put the gangs out of business and diminish inner city violence. The world might actually be a better place. There are countries that have less restrictive drug laws. I remember sailors were banned from going into Japanese drugs stores when I lived there. And, I recently read that perhaps four percent more people might become addicted and possibly die if all drugs were legal in America. That doesn’t mean we could not educate the population about their risks. Loosening the illegal drug policy is a good platform plank that would disproportionally help minorities. Peter
  7. Michael wrote: Even O'Reilly asked Trump recently about his deportation force. And Trump had to correct him that he doesn't plan on a deportation force . . . . Fix the immigration mess in a manner where American law is respected. end quote Stop terrorists including “sleeper agents who will commit terrorist acts at a later date, *plus* stop drug smugglers equals stopping illegal immigration . Look twice at deporting long standing, peaceful, tax payers without due consideration. That is a good policy. What will that do for minorities? I have no doubt many legal, Mexican immigrants know someone who is here illegally and personally they would not want those families deported. Nor would the companies who have hired them. To a Mexican American kid who grew up and was schooled here illegally even if the illegality was known to her or him, well, that forced resettlement and repatriation to Mexico or wherever could lead to a feeling of betrayal and hatred. Shell shocked isn‘t the word for it. The premise for the TV show, “Ugly Betty,” doesn’t cover it. Their world would be much worse for individuals trying to start over in Mexico with the culture shock and “induced” poverty. The least offensive should be the last to go and maybe not even then in a few more years. Let us think about it. I could politically, and morally live with that. Peter
  8. The KKK is for Hillary? Will that ever make it to ABC, NBC, or CBS news? And think about this. Who is more likely to split up families and keep black women from marrying? Who will keep them on the “dole?” Who will talk down to minorities in a condescending fashion, and take their vote for granted? Who will uphold the standard of institutionalized black second class citizenship? Hillary, of course. She will uphold a fifty year tradition of low education and destitution and the older, democratic party’s tradition of slavery . . . but in a new, Progressive mode. If the south had not started the Confederate States of America, they would have stayed democrat, not Republican, the party of Abraham Lincoln. Turkeyfoot quoted: “Perhaps it is in our interest to let some of them stay," said Coulter. "It mostly worries me rhetorically ... I mean, what to do with the illegals already here was never really a big part of it," she said. "We're getting a wall. We're definitely getting a wall. That's the one thing we know about a Trump presidency." Exactly. But not the Great Wall of China, as Trump has also said. The Wall will also be physical but also electronic. In other ways, Trump is portrayed as a more dangerous choice, so is a vote for Trump worth the risk because of his lack of national experience? I say, “Hell, Yes!” even with his “unknown qualities.” Would you trust Obama over Trump with the nuclear codes? I don’t. So, if America has lived 8 years with a Progressive, Muslim associated President just one touch away from The Nuclear Button, it will be relief to have Trump in office. If any President were not an ideological Objectivist then I would NOT WANT that ideologue in office. (well, maybe Goldwater or Ted Cruz.) To me Clinton is typical but Trump is very different. Clinton is safely in the traditional, corrupt, political mold. Who do you feel safer with? Trump or Lady Macbeth? I think they are equally calculating, but who ya’ gunna trust, the forces of evil or Ghostbusters? Trump. Who will be the more honest President? Who will be better for the economy? Who is less likely to enter into bad trade or national security deals? Who WILL NOT BE a crony Capitalist? Who will defend Americans abroad but not leave our troops to police the bad guys or to nation build? Trump. Peter Michael Barone says Trump is only losing by four points nationally and the traditionally red and blue state combination may be changing . Some excerpts from ”Is 2016 Redrawing the Political Map?: by Michael Barone Posted: Aug 26, 2016 12:01 AM: Is the political map, so familiar that even non-pundits offhandedly refer to red, blue and purple states, changing before our eyes? Yes, at least to a limited extent -- and it's probably about time. The political map has been pretty static for almost two decades, the longest since the 1880s. . . . . Current polling, which shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 4 points nationally, suggests it's possible that all 40 steadfast states will stay in the same column next November. Clinton is actually running stronger in 2012 target states than nationally, perhaps because her campaign has been running reams of television ads in most of them and Trump's hasn't. But there's also something else going on, some significant though not overwhelming (and to some extent countervailing) trends among identifiable segments of the electorate. Trump has tended to run better than earlier Republicans among non-college-graduate whites and weaker among college graduates, and better among the old than the young. That explains why he's apparently running far behind in purple states Virginia and Colorado, with their young and high-education populations, to the point that the Clinton campaign has canceled ad buys there. Actually, this is an extension of the trend that shifted those two states from safe Republican in the Bush elections to national-average purple states in the Obama elections. At the same time, Trump's comparative strength among non-college whites has left him competitive in Florida, Ohio and Iowa and well ahead in Indiana, with their older, less educated populations. And it's made him at least potentially competitive in the industrial swath from western Pennsylvania to eastern Iowa where, as New York Times Upshot writer Nate Cohn has explained, near-majorities of non-college whites, many who grew up in union households, voted for Obama over management scion Mitt Romney in 2012. . . . Goldwater carried the deep South, running even better than Dwight Eisenhower had there. Though the process was delayed by the deep-South-based George Wallace and Jimmy Carter, that region became solidly Republican by 1984 and has been ever since . . . . Goldwater and McGovern lost the national popular vote by 23 percent margins, back in the years when most voters remembered the Great Depression and World War II and were willing to cross party lines to re-elect a president who seemed to produce prosperity and peace. Today's polarized electorate, unfamiliar with such disasters, is less ready to cross party lines, and Trump is not 23 points behind. But many voters seem willing to abandon their party: 21 percent say they're not voting for either major-party nominee. That suggests low turnout, as well as more states in play if the race tightens up. In the longer run, questions lurk. If Clinton wins with less than 50 percent, can her party hold onto college grads unable to stomach Trump? Can post-Trump Republicans hold onto non-college whites he's attracted? My guess is that the answers will be no and yes. What's yours? end quote
  9. Thanks Michael for the video giving the reasons Rand Paul will support Trump and not Gary Johnson. To paraphrase, “The Clintons have made millions off of graft and they should be in jail. Be energized for Trump. The crony Capitalist, graft angle. Supreme Court nominations. The Constitution and our civil liberties. The Economy. A big “sea-change” and a crossroads in American politics. Of course we should only vote for a winner.” Well said, Senator Paul. Will Trump’s “gosh, it almost seems like a flip flop” on illegal immigration cost him any white or conservative votes other than Ann Coulter’s? I don’t think so, if we start to enforce the law and deport the people who have committed other crimes first. So, stepping across the border, getting a job, living in the shadows for years while you pay taxes and SSI, joining the Armed Services, or having kids and raising a family in America . . . well those folks should be the last people deported (or somehow legally integrated, with a slap on the wrist.) Secure the borders from terrorists and that will keep all illegals out. Keep employers from hiring illegals, and make sure no illegals get local, state, or federal welfare or other benefits, and that will eliminate the economic incentives. Charity in emergencies is still OK. Mr. Trump should not be bringing up a mental image of buses (or boxcars like in WWII destined for a concentration camp) loaded with crying immigrants being sent back across the border. The vote count after the dust settles? I say it will be a net gain. Donald J. Trump just wrote me, “I just cleared some time on my schedule for some great Americans like you to join me for dinner.” You only need to give five bucks to be entered into a lottery for a seat at his dinner. Cool, unless I need to wear a tie. Can I order a hamburger and potato salad? Peter
  10. The polls still have Clinton with a 7 to 10 point national lead over Trump, BUT The Quinnipiac University Poll has Donald Trump two points behind Old Hickory Clinton in Florida, which is an improvement. Thanks to Dallas for the link. I see Tony Romo was taken out of the game last night after a big hit in a pre-season game. From Fox News’ “Hannity Show,” Korben linked a video of Senorita A.J. Delgado sitting with Trump talking about why Latinas should vote for Trump. I didn’t see The Donald checking out her exposed thighs once. (Good for him, because I did. She was squirming around deliciously looking for an ogle or two. That is a moderately big deal because he was on live TV and KNEW AND ACTED AS IF he were serious about not giving the voters another reason to vote for Gary Johnson.) Delgado’s two main points were: Jobs for Latinos and blacks are lost because illegals are taking them. Wages are lower because workers who are here illegally will work for less. It’s the local economy stupid, to paraphrase James Carville. Trump brought up the fact that he will be best for the economy and the fact that people are making less now, on average, than they did 18 years ago and many need to work two jobs just because of Obamacare. I have great expectations. Can the home team tweak the electoral college for a win? We have two months plus a few days to go. Peter Miscellany: (The Huff Post has a story about Progressive Carville and his conservative consultant wife, Mary Matalin, who were in a piece for Vogue. It's about how they stayed married for 25 years. And that is in spite of the fact that Carville who looks like Golem from “Lord of the Rings” is wrong about most things. Did I mention that genetically he is a troll?) “The Price Is Right” is showing a rerun with all pregnant contestants. Imagine if they did that back in 1955! “Latinos” are technically guys while “Latinas” with an ‘a’ at the end, are women.
  11. Michael wrote about minorities NOT being SO bad off: The funny part is, before he said that, I did not think it. Yet it's duh level obvious. Goes to show you that propaganda works even on me, and I study this stuff. end quote I never bought into it. I drive through a middle class, black neighborhood frequently. I watch their kids get off the buses. The younger ones have fashionable lunch boxes. The teens are fashionably, but rebelliously dressed. Very normal. Sometimes they walk in the road which is annoying, but they are still very courteous. I see B or C grade houses, mostly old, that once belonged to white people. Now it is a mostly black area. I see American flags. I do business with black people with no problems and I mean I have NO problems. But . . . inner cities are kegs of dynamite. I hear the Baltimore news about how many blacks were shot over the weekend. It is the same in all black, inner city neighborhoods, and in many Hispanic inner city neighborhoods. And in those locations Trump’s message COULD OR WILL resonate . . . with just one problem. They don’t vote OR they are twenty more years away, if ever, from voting for a candidate like Trump. I just filled out a questionnaire from Eric Trump and got to the end, and submitted it successfully before I was asked to donate. They were fairly good questions designed to actually listen to what I am thinking. My last beef on this Trump humor site is that I hope Trump will listen to legitimate pollsters and political managers, and not to the fools who tell you what you want to hear. And act accordingly. Swoop like a decent politician. Grab a handful of votes. Soar. Act like a pterodactyl. Is that image humorous? Peter
  12. “So, what do you have to lose?” A few days ago, NBC let Trump speak but then he was cut off before he said, “So, what do you have to lose?” and that effectively diminished his zinger and message. Several stations, including Fox have allowed black spokespeople on to say Trump’s message disgusted minorities. I think, only Fox allowed one minority on to say Trump was right to say it, and it was true. Peter
  13. Michael wrote: Incidentally, today I received Ann's new book: In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! end quote What? No doom and gloom? How many people will religious bigot Coulter sway, you unbeliever? This is what I am picking up from the news, Rush Limbaugh who just came on the radio, (and according to Political Scientist / pollster Larry Sabato,) the likely voting pattern as of now is that Hillary will get 348 electoral votes and Donald will get 190. I have decided to donate no more money until that changes. The debates will not mean much because they never do. Even when the “likely voters” hear a candidate do very well in the debates, and they change their mind for a day, after two or three days they go back to their original choices . . . nearly always. Of course that is evidence that Hillary will win. What if Trump does poorly in the debates? What if Hillary needs to pee during the debates? What if there are three or four candidates on the rostrum? All of those scenarios probably won’t matter a whit. So if Trump cannot seem to grow his electoral count will the emails hurt Hillary with her likely voters. No. That is evidence that Hillary will still win. What if a pattern of paying the Clinton Foundation and then getting access to the Secretary of State is established? The latest evidence that graft was involved was: 85 gained access out of 154 who asked for an interview. So, half of her petitioners paid her tens of millions of dollars for access to Government. There are clearly ties and communications between State Department employees and employees of the Clinton Foundation . That is a clear pattern of unsavory behavior. However, her likely voters will not change their minds. What if there is a health scare for Hillary? For Donald? Which is more likely? Who knows? That is grasping at straws. Very few will change their minds. So the preponderance of evidence is that Hillary will win. Trump supporters are not going to change their minds but they are in the minority. Big time. There is a huge trove of soundbites that Trump has and will make, that disqualify him for the Presidency, in a majority of people's minds. Is Rush desperately searching for a way for Trump to win. He says no. What if the people who usually don’t vote but think America is on the wrong path decide to vote? What if the morally minded, silent majority come out for Trump in droves? Rush says he doesn’t see a huge groundswell for Trump. There is no vast, un-polled majority. What will help? Trump needs to play to the bigger voting bloc of Americans and not to crowds in single venues that are already likely to vote for him. That means getting on TV objectively and not with sound bites cherry picked to make Trump seem dangerous or like an asshole. That is probably not likely, except on Fox. Remember the two keystones to propagandized, Progressive ‘JOUNALISM’: slant the story and select the stories that portray Trump in a bad light, while they pretend they are fair and balanced. They are pros at deception. So what does offer a ray of hope for Trump? A new direction. Sixty days of stupendous campaigning. National commercials and ads that hit home in the battleground states and the Rust Belt which means commercials that bring in Ohio, and Pennsylvania to Trump’s count in the electoral college. The proverbial October surprise? Maybe. And unfortunately for America, a bigger terrorist threat or attack could help Trump’s chances. Peter
  14. If you discount some types of dissonant music, the hateful “supremacist” groups, and black criminal gang, murder rap . . . then musicians nearly always want to impart benevolence to the world. Their quest is to entertain but to also ‘spark’ foot tapping, head bobbing and smiles. Even the so called “death metal” groups want to get their fans into the mood, not to die, but to live LOUD and proud. The Olympic theme sounds like Roman grandeur to me, just as Copeland’s fanfares do. I have always thought “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” by Rachmaninoff was Ayn Rand’s inspiration when she wrote "The Concerto of Deliverance" "The Concerto of Deliverance" Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957: She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release and the tension of purpose. It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unobstructed effort. Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had had to be. It was the song of an immense deliverance. end quote And who else lived a benevolent sense of life better than Barbara Branden? From: "Barbara Branden" To: ayn rand. Subject: Re: AYN: Technicalities on charity Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 19:52:56 EST: Matt Totten believes that there can be no selfish reason for giving to charity, that it is an act of altruism. Matt, there are circumstances in which it is an act of altruism, and circumstances in which it is not. If I give to a charity because I believe it is my moral duty to do so, even though that charity is giving money to people I disapprove to -- say, to socialist organizations -- then that is altruism. More than that, it specifically goes against my rational self-interest. But say I give to an organization I believe in, whose cause also is my cause -- say, the Institute of Justice or The Objectivist Center -- then I am helping to serve my own interests; I very much want certain ideas to be spread, and they are spreading them. But again, say I give to a medical research organization, or to one that gives toys to poor children at Christmas. I do this out of a motive of benevolence, not self-sacrifice, simply because medical research is important to me and to everyone else and I wish to help make it possible, and/or because it pains me to think of children going without toys at Christmas. The motive of benevolence toward other human beings -- assuming they are not people I cannot and do not feel benevolence toward -- is a perfectly reasonable motive. It means that, in the absence of reasons to the contrary, one wishes other people well, and that if one can assist them without self-sacrifice -- sacrifice of oneself or one's values -- one will do so. And this is wholly consistent with Objectivism. Barbara
  15. Tony asked: Does it give 'you' (anyone) "pleasure" to help someone in distress regain their normal state? end quote I think a benevolent person, is quite commonly found in human society. What they accomplish is peace of mind for those they interact with, and internally they also feel peace of mind. Within our subconscious selves we keep track of the “good times” . . . and the bad . . . but the benevolent person places more emphasis on the good. I like being in a good mood and I vector away from annoying occurrences. I do not deliberately harm another creature. Now if I could just stop with the jokes . . . Peter From: Jimmy Wales To: Atlantis Subject: ATL: David Kelley on civility Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 08:33:13 -0800 Here's a fairly long quote from David Kelley that is directly applicable to questions about why a civility policy is a good idea on a mailing list which makes an effort to be creative, open, and intensely intellectual. From “Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence”, p. 38: The forms of civility, and the broader realm of manners, are therefore dismissed by some people as arbitrary. "Why should I confirm to arbitrary social standards? I am an individualist." But while the forms are conventional, what is conveyed through those forms is not. If my argument so far has been correct, then it “is” objectively important to acknowledge each other's independence in some way or other, whether by saying 'please,' or 's`il vous plait," or by some gesture understood to have that meaning. It doesn't matter which forms we use to convey this, any more than it matters which sounds we use to express a given concept in language. But insofar as civility has a communicative function, it does matter that we use the same forms. Someone who does not practice these forms is rude. We can assume that his failure to comply reflects indifference to what the forms express (unless he is ignorant, as in the case of a foreigner). A similar answer can be given to the complaint that the forms of civility are inauthentic. "What if I don't like the present Grandma gave me and I don't really feel any gratitude? Am I not falsifying my feeling if I say _thank-you_ nonetheless?" The purpose of that thank-you is not to convey one's specific feelings about the gift, or the person who gives it. Its purpose is to acknowledge that it was a gift, from an autonomous person, not something owed one by an underling. (If Grandma wants more than this, and makes it clear that she really wants to know whether one liked the gift, then one should tell her, as tactfully as possible.) Civility, then, may be defined as _the expression -- chiefly through conventional forms -- of one's respect for the humanity and independence of others, and of one's intent to resolve conflicts peacefully. end quote