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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      New upgrade with simpler interface   05/13/2016

      Once again, the fine folks at IPB made a new upgrade and things might not be where you started to learn they were. However, this is one time where I think they actually improved things for navigation. There are only a few big buttons: When you click on one of those buttons, some other stuff opens up, depending on which button you click. (Later Note: These only appear when zoomed in or in the mode for smartphones/tablets.) I'm learning this as you are, so I suggest you do what I am doing: click on these big buttons, see what they open and fiddle with the software some. Ironically, you will find there is a lot that is intuitive. That's what I'm discovering. (Later note: I just discovered that I was viewing the site zoomed in too far to see the normal view. The menus are still there with the old buttons, but when I zoom in too much, they disappear and the new buttons appear. I believe this zoomed in way is what the site looks like on mobile devices. I'm going to mess with it some more, then maybe make some explanations.) Sorry for the inconvenience. Still, over time, I hope you end up liking these changes. Michael

Peter

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  • Full Name Peter Taylor
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc. "Contact," "Forrest Gump," "Castaway." Doc Martin Rachmaninoff, Fleetwood Mac, Simply Red, TV House, Bones, Person of Interest.
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  1. Donald Trump

    I liked that Trump ad against Clinton protecting her criminal husband especially her witch's cackle at the end. RCP has President Trump up by 2 tenths of a percent over Clingon Clinton. However the electoral college map is for Old Hickory Clinton 201 to 164 for Trump with 173 votes in the tossup column. Trump falls to Bernie Sanders 246 to 163 with 139 votes in the Toss up column. I am glad Bernie’s campaign is a joke. Ex Secret Service guy Dan Bongino filled in for Mark Levin the other day and went through a list of changes that would occur if we REALLY went Socialist. It was horrible with one idea that stood out to me because it is occurring in Venezuela. People don’t use official currency for some purchases. They get ration cards and there are riots at the dispersion centers to get that loaf of bread. And that is a country that takes in billions from oil. Imagine that - no money – and no freedom – except on the illegal black market. And their road leads to North Korea. Peter
  2. Widowed/Bereaved

    My intentions are good though this song is not about permanent loss. This is dedicated to the one I love was sung by the Shirelles, Bernadette Peters, Linda Ronstadt, Wilson Phillips and my favorite version is by The Mamas and the Papas. While I'm far away from you my baby I know it's hard for you my baby Because it's hard for me my baby And the darkest hour is just before dawn Each night before you go to bed my baby Whisper a little prayer for me my baby And tell all the stars above, This is dedicated to the one I love Life can never be exactly like we want it to be I can be satisfied just knowing that you love me There's one thing I want you to do especially for me And it's something that everybody needs Each night before you go to bed my baby Whisper a little prayer for me my baby And tell all the stars above This is dedicated to the one I love This is dedicated to the one I love Songwriters: LOWMAN PAULING, RALPH BASS © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, CARLIN AMERICA INC.
  3. Newbsie

    It’s hanging upside down. Friar Toke from Sherwood Forest
  4. Donald Trump

    Interesting tidbits. Trump’s thread is slow. I mean President Trump's thread is bare. Peter From: "Peter Reidy" < atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Filming of ATLAS SHRUGGED: Dagny Taggart mentions being 35 during her Wisconsin trip with Rearden, and the story says she's 37 when she goes to Galt's hiding place. Thus 34 is her likely age at the beginning of the story. Whoever plays her should look on the young side of that range, so as to sell the audience on both her sexuality and her business accomplishments. This is not to say that people past that age aren't sexual. It is simply to say that the audience will buy both aspects of her character within her first two minutes on screen or it will change the channel. Peter From: "George H. Smith" To: "Atlantis". Ellen Moore wrote: "I am aware of the passages you quote. But I do not understand them to say that you think they mean. Somewhere in the seminars, Rand said, " 'fact' is an epistemological tool." Your quotes reinforce that meaning, i.e., when we say that something is a "fact", we are saying that our epistemological statement corresponds to the concretes in existence." It has long been my understanding that Ayn Rand regarded "fact" as metaphysical concept, and "truth" as an epistemological one. A "fact" is that which is, regardless of anyone's knowledge. A "truth" is the identification (or "recognition") of a fact, and is therefore contextually dependent of a given state of knowledge. I believe Ellen is confusing the two concepts, as Rand used them. Ghs THE WITCH'S DAUGHTERS Have no truck with the daughters of Lilith. Pay no mind the red-headed creatures. Man, be warned by their sharp, white teeth; Consider their skulls, and their other queer features. They're not of our tribe, with their flame-colored hair; They're no sib to us, with their pale, white skins; There's no soul behind those wild green eyes. Man, when you meet one walk widdershins! When they die, they pop, like burst soap-bubble (Eight hundred years is their usual span). Loving such beings leads only to trouble. By Heaven, be warned, you rash young man! Robert A. Heinlein August 1946 His wife Ginny was a redhead so he failed to follow his own advice. (Ginny is pictured on the cover of TRAMP ROYALE, and several photos of her appear in Robert's memoir GRUMBLES FROM THE GRAVE, which she assembled and edited.)
  5. Donald Trump

    No one can look good with a cigar in their mouth, though the various, poor images differ. Bill looks mad and criminal. As Cervantes didn't say, A good cigar: it looks like a turd and it smells like shit. If she wants to keep playing the woman's lib card she is going to need to do something about her past quotes about the women Bill, harassed, molested, or raped. She called them bimbos, etc. But my favorite is the one about if you drag a dollar through a trailer park, watch the whores come out. . . or something to that affect . . . they all are lying or they deserved it. Peter
  6. I was trying to block Greg. I'm just getting tired of his repetitiveness. How do you block someone?

    Peter 

    1. william.scherk

      william.scherk

      Peter ... follow this link: http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?/ignore/ , or click on your name/image in the top right corner of your screen, and select 'ignored users,' and then do your business.

    2. Michael Stuart Kelly

      Michael Stuart Kelly

      Correct. Thank you, William.

      Michael

  7. Why is there religion???

    Greg wrote . . . the view you just expressed is indistinguishable from that of radical secular leftism, Peter. It is the contextual view of science. If it is indistinguishable it is because we both use science. You use Voodoo. What is odd intellectually is that the leftists diverge from science and use Voodoo to come to irrational conclusions. Greg and the leftist secularists are one and the same. They both use Voodoo. Greg! Embrace your crazy sister. The Theme to Game of Thrones can't be sung. If you try to hum it you sound moronic. Yet it is hypnotic. How do they do that? Peter
  8. Why is there religion???

    Greg chanted: dope, perversion, and abortion... Greg it is entirely possible to let people be free to ingest what they want, but not BE for a hedonistic lifestyle or ingesting dope. It is perfectly reasonable to say a person IS BORN to be the way they are, and therefor because God or nature created them, they are not evil and they can do as they please with their sexual organs. It is perfectly sensible, from a rational, secularist view to say a woman’s life comes first in an emergency, if there is a problem with a pregnancy . . . but then to stipulate like (Roger Bissell and myself) and the College/Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology say, that past a certain point a fetus is viable, and it IS a moral issue, and after a certain point brain wave activity proves that there is a second person (the baby inside the womb) who’s life must be protected. What part of “is” don’t you get, you fucking moron? Peter
  9. Donald Trump

    Brant, Tim Starr is an exceptional individual. And George is so brilliant I have to wear shades. I swear after reading the exchanges between Ghs and others I started to hear . . . . voices . . . chants . . . We will, we will rock you. Am I running a fever? I don’t think so. Oh, oh. Here it comes again. Here's Johnny! It’s a good day to die. Don’t tread on me you effing Muslims. Take that you cowards! Nuke the bastards. I know that voice. Trump! Get out of my head. Too late. This is for the twin towers, you pukes! Peter
  10. Donald Trump

    Oh what the heck. Here are some more letters on Just War Theory by our own, brilliant Ghs. Peter From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: Intent, Warmongering, and Battle Hard-Ons Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 02:26:25 -0500. Tim Starr wrote: "However, all who love justice must love just wars, so there's no necessary conflict between a libertarian theory of justice and a love for war." Jeff Olson replied: "This is news to me. I didn't realize that by loving justice I was logically obliged to love war." Tim replied: "Just war, yes. Perhaps you have difficulty imagining a just war, or perhaps you don't really love justice. Perhaps your approval of justice takes a different form. I could see an argument similar to yours being made about the death penalty, with people claiming to love justice but not the death penalty. However, most who would take this position would do so because they'd consider the death penalty unjust." Like Jeff, I have serious problems with Tim's statement about "loving" a just war, even taking into account Tim's flair for dramatic aphorisms. (1) It is not clear what Tim means by "love" in this context. I think of "love" as involving something more than "respect," "esteem," "approval," etc., because "love" implies an affective response or emotional attachment that, if it exists at all in the former evaluations, typically exists to a far lesser degree and may even constitute an emotional difference in kind. Since I do feel a strong emotional attachment to justice, I may be said to love justice. By this I primarily mean that I feel strongly about the value of voluntary social relationships that are based on a reciprocal respect for individual rights, i.e., relationships that do not involve the use or threat of physical force. Tim, however, is speaking of a situation where rights have already been seriously violated, or where there exists a clear and present danger of such violation, and which would therefore justify a "just war" as a legitimate form of self-defense. (I would argue that only a clearly defined and delimited notion of self-defense, in contrast to retribution and even restitution, can ever justify a war, but this is a different subject.) From the fact that I "love" justice (i.e., voluntary social relationships), it does not necessarily follow that I similarly "love" the legitimate use of violence, including a just war, that may be necessary for the purpose of self-defense and the *enforcement* of justice. There is a significant difference here, in terms of my emotional response, between a situation in which force never enters the picture at all versus a situation in which the initiation of force, by violating justice, legitimates the retaliatory use of force in self-defense. My response to the latter is tinged with a heavy dose of regret that such measures are even necessary in the first place. Hence, although I would intellectually approve of self-defensive violence, I would never use the concept of "love" to describe my feelings about it. At most I might feel a cathartic sense of vindication and even revenge if (say) an intended rape and murder victim manages to kill her assailant while being attacked, but in my lexicon this response would not qualify as "love" in any recognizable sense. (2) We should keep in the mind that the concept of war, as commonly understood, refers to a major, sustained conflict between states – or at the very least between politically defined groups -- rather than a conflict between individuals. For this (and other) reasons, war has a collectivistic aspect to it that should make any individualist extremely uncomfortable, even if he concludes that war is necessary as a last resort. War should always be viewed as a measure of last resort, an activity that should be employed only when all other reasonable options have been exhausted. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that wars always have undesirable, and often disastrous, unintended consequences, such as the loss of innocent lives and the growth of state power. Even so-called victors typically pay an immensely high price for war in blood, money, and the loss of individual freedoms. "Unintended" does not mean "unforeseeable." Even with the best "smart" weapons that money and technology can provide, we know, with as much certainly as we can know any future event, that innocent people will die during war and suffer for years after a war has officially ended. I simply cannot bring myself to "love" a situation that will invariable result in the loss of innocent lives, regardless of who may be deemed morally responsible for this consequence. I may feel that I have no realistic choice but to sanction a just war, and I may feel that the unintended (though foreseeable) loss of innocent life is justifiable in some circumstances, but my regrets will be profound nonetheless. My dominant feeling here would be one of immense sadness, not love. (3) To declare a state of war is, in effect, to declare a state of emergency in which a respect for innocent life will not be the paramount concern (i.e., a concern that trumps all other considerations) until and unless a given goal is achieved, a goal that is often characterized as "defeating the enemy." Again, I can feel no enthusiasm, much less "love," in supporting what amounts to a suspension of individual rights, even if I should regard this war as necessary and justifiable. In my book, to love justice is to hate war, since to declare even a "just war" is to commit oneself to the inevitable loss of innocent lives. I agree with Tim that some wars can qualify as "just." But love has nothing to do with it. Ghs From: "George H. Smith" <Jeff Riggenbach wrote: "A "war" is a campaign of mass murder conducted by a State in an effort to protect or expand its power." Although this might serve as a normative analysis of some wars from a libertarian perspective, it is not a good generic definition. The American Revolutionary War, for example, was not a "campaign of mass murder," nor (from the American side) was it conducted to protect or expand state power. The dominant (though not exclusive) purpose of many Americans was to *resist* the encroachment of state power. Does this mean the American Revolution was not a true "war"? There are other examples as well, such as the Dutch revolt against a very oppressive Spanish regime during the late 16th Century. Moreover, there were wars aplenty during the Middle Ages, even though the sovereign political entities known as "states" generally did not exist at that time. Jeff wrote: "Self defense" is all the actions one might resort to *while under attack* in an effort to kill, disable, or repel one's attacker." Legitimate self-defense also includes anticipatory actions taken with the reasonable expectation of an impending attack. You needn't wait until an attacker pulls a trigger or explodes a bomb before you can exercise your right of self-defense. Jeff wrote: "First of all, the "laws of war" are a set of rules drawn up by States to govern their campaigns of mass murder. Their principal use is to provide a pretext for post-war show-trials of "war criminals" so as to better persuade the gullible that the wonderful State has vanquished and punished their common enemy." Modern rules of war have their roots in theories of International Law, especially as these latter were developed by the late Scholastics and seventeenth-century philosophers such as Grotius and Pufendorf. These developments came on the heels of the 16th Century Wars of Religion, which were among the most brutal and horrific events in the history of Europe. Theories of International Law were a systematic (and relatively successful) effort to minimize the horrors of war -- e.g., by condemning wars of conquest, wholesale looting and enslavement, and the massacre of innocent civilians -- and to define and delimit the conditions that must be present for a just war. Their basic method was to apply the same moral principles of natural law that should govern individuals who live in the same country (e.g., freedom of conscience and respect for property rights) to the interactions of people who live in different countries, even though these people live under different governments and legal systems. More problematic was the legal fiction of treating governments as if they are individuals who exist in a state of nature relative to other governments. (Both Hobbes and Locke made this point, though it goes back centuries earlier.) Moral principles and their relationship to collective entities (or "corporations," as they were commonly known during the Middle Ages) is a very difficult problem that, imho, even Objectivists and modern libertarians have not addressed in a satisfactory manner. (To what extent is a low-level bureaucrat morally responsible for atrocities committed by the government that employs him? Are those who vote for politicians who enact rights-violating legislation morally responsible for these invasive acts? Or, more generally, to what extent if any are citizens and subjects responsible for the actions of their governments? Etc., etc.) Even granting these theoretical problems, theories of International Law (and their application to war) were a heroic attempt to *limit* the predations of governments, not to justify them. They most certainly were not a pretext for war-crime trials, which were a much later development. Rather, they grew from the recognition that the power of rulers is not absolute, and that all individuals, including those in government, should be judged by the same moral standards -- principles discernable by reason alone without recourse to divine revelation or the arbitrary decrees of rulers. It is scarcely accidental that America's founding fathers held thinkers like Grotius and Vattel in very high esteem (the latter was one of the most widely read authors of the colonial era), owing to their strong emphasis on natural law and natural rights.. Let us assume that the United States has become an anarchistic paradise in which voluntarily-financed defense agencies have taken over the quasi-legitimate functions of government, such as the protection of life and property. And let us assume that these private agencies must deal with hostile private agencies (or governments) in other countries that operate with different values and legal systems. Even in this unlikely hypothetical we would still confront the same moral dilemmas of the sort that Tim has discussed. This is not to say that I agree with the details of Tim's analysis; I merely wish to point out that his *method* of analysis is a legitimate one, since even a private defense agency would have to deal with the proper limits of retaliatory violence, the problem of innocent shields in times of war, etc. (The only alternative would be to posit a world in which everyone is extremely nice and no one ever aggressed against anyone else, but this utopian fantasy does nothing more than evade the problems that will always plague humankind, so long as human nature remains human.) Jeff wrote: "(Also, to some extent, as Tim has pointed out, these rules have been generated by private, charitable organizations like the Red Cross, which seek to find some way to limit the damage States do during their periodic murderous rampages.) What these rules say about "acceptable" conduct by warring parties is *completely irrelevant* to a *moral* appraisal of such conduct, which is precisely the sort of appraisal Jeff Olson, Ross Levatter, and others on the list have been attempting to reach. In response to the question: "Is it morally acceptable to murder fifty or a hundred bystanders in order to kill one enemy combatant?" it is *completely irrelevant* to reply, "Oh, yes, because, you see, the criminal gangs engaging in this mass murder and mass destruction in order to extend or protect their illegitimate power have said it is!" This is not how I understand Tim's arguments. I do not believe he is defending the moral primacy of International Law or the rules of war. On the contrary, I suspect he would largely agree with my analysis thus far, according to which the rules of war are an attempt to apply the same moral standards to governments that we apply to individuals. In fact, given some of Tim's examples, I think he has made this quite clear. I would be *very* surprised to learn that Tim thinks governments are something more than associations of individuals with rights and legitimate powers that exceed those of individuals. But he is quite capable of speaking for himself in this matter. Jeff wrote: ""Intent" is the one thing it is both theoretically and practically impossible to ascertain about another human being. We can know what that human does, but we have no way of telling what he intended when he did it. We can know what that human says or writes about his intent, but we also know that humans can and do lie, exaggerate for effect, and even change their minds." This is correct only if we assume that reasonable conclusions about the intentions of other people require mind reading skills. But they don't, and no one (that I know of) has ever made this silly claim. Jeff is implicitly setting up an impossible standard of verification and then, after stating the obvious fact that this standard can never be met, he proclaims, in effect, that *all* reasonable conclusions about intent are impossible. This does not follow at all. Indeed, given Jeff's objections, I could never know even my *own* intentions, since people *sometimes* rationalize and deceive themselves. We *infer* the intentions of others from their statements and actions. Is this an infallible procedure? No, of course not. But "reasonable" does not mean "infallible." There are reasonable and unreasonable inferences. This is as true when reaching conclusions about the intentions of other people as it is in every other sphere of fallible human knowledge. Regarding Tim's grammatical error, Jeff wrote: "If people are too stupid or too lazy to learn how to use the language in such a way as to make their ideas clear, if they are too stupid or too lazy to figure out that the meanings of words are relevant to their attempts to express themselves, just why do they think anyone else should pay any attention to their inarticulate grunting?" Now let us look at the sentence by Tim that Jeff finds so offensive: "Ross is reading nationalism into arguments where they simply don't exist." I don't see how anyone could take this as anything more than an incidental slip of the sort that often occurs in posts. Tim knows that "nationalism" requires a singular pronoun and verb, and it would be absurd to suggest otherwise, especially given the high quality of his writing generally. Like many other Atlanteans, I usually write posts quickly, and I don't bother to proof them very carefully. But this doesn't mean that I am "too lazy to learn how to use language." It simply means that I make mistakes from time to time. This is scarcely a hanging offense. Ghs
  11. Donald Trump

    I started reading some old letters about Just War Theory. Here is one. From: "George H. Smith" I have been captivated rereading the book by Francis Jennings (*The Conquest of America*) since I pulled my copy off the shelf yesterday to quote some passages. The following passage -- a statement made by a Lenape Indian to a Pennsylvanian during the 17th Century -- is a remarkable version of just war theory: "We are minded to live at Peace: If we intend at any time to make War upon you, we will let you know of it, and the Reasons why we make War with you; and if you make us satisfaction for the Injury done us, for which the War is intended, then we will not make War on you. And if you intend at any time to make War on us, we would have you let us know of it, and the Reasons for which you make War on us, and then if we do not make satisfaction for the Injury done unto you, then you may make War on us, otherwise you ought not to do it."
  12. Why is there religion???

    I think I am once again at the point of being SO appalled by Greg’s bigotry and stupidity that I am going to put him on my do not read list. Apey wrote: The personal moral values of both are generally indistinguishable. end quote There you go again. No they are not. A disbelief in platonic ideals floating in the air, ghosts, spirits, or imaginary deities is only indicative of increased rationality, not of any particular mind set or morality. Your mode of thinking and labeling is as flawed as any religionist, like an Islamist or believer in the spirit world. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s there was a resurgence in belief in fairies and the spirits of the dead who could be communicated with, using a huckster medium as a go between. Greg now claims superior knowledge through divine means. He claims to understand divine, gleeful revenge for not following his brand of cesspool Christianity. Why don’t you just shut up and go away? Once again. Ayn Rand stressed a system of scientific psycho-epistemology, and a way of living with others she described as rational self interest. And Rand was a secularist. Get it? Peter
  13. Donald Trump

    Good afternoon, President Trump and Vice Presidents AND/OR advisors (Rubio, Kasich, Cruz, AND Fiorina.) That move creating multiple Vice Presidents was initially a hard sell to Constitutionalists but by electing one official Vice President but with advisors who have equal access and status in your eyes . . . well Donald, that was a brilliant stroke. Convincing the American people that this was not a cynical, political ploy, was a job well done. As spokesperson for the Trump America Republican Party (TARP) I ask, “What is first on your agenda? And what will you specifically do about Islamic terrorism and Iran which may be soon armed with nuclear weapons? From “Just War Theory:” Last resort. Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions. end quote We have been grievously wronged since The Twin Towers were toppled and The Iran Hostage Crisis. We cannot let Iran develop nuclear weapons. They have said what they will do with nukes. This is our last chance. You have also said you will not continue the policy of endless ground wars but are ground troops necessary? From “Just War Theory:” Military Necessity. Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of minimum force. An attack or action must be intended to help in the military defeat of the enemy, it must be an attack on a military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. This principle is meant to limit excessive and unnecessary death and destruction. end quote Do you intend to use force as did President George W. Bush when he began, “Shock and Awe!” How much surety do Islamic civilians have that they will not be caught in the crossfire? Can you sell this to the American people? Before we militarily destroy Iran it would be good to hear some old fashioned oratory like Churchill’s speeches said during WWII; something inspiring and idealistic. Get hot and emotional like blood and guts General Patton (or at least the George C. Scott version.) Get all patriotic Americans roused up. But don’t fall into the trap of listing the reasons for destroying Islamic terrorism and Iran’s nuclear and military capabilities without stressing the clincher . . . that should have been used before we invaded Iraq twice . . . we don’t know everything but we know enough to say, “We cannot afford NOT to destroy them.” Peter Taylor, CEO of TARP.
  14. Donald Trump

    I am waiting for the big FBI selective leak. I also think a Presidential pardon is very possible, but if she has not yet been convicted, Obama can't PRE pardon her, can he? Maybe Trump will have her hanged. Woowie! Bring your picnic lunches and a blanket to watch her neck break on the National Mall. I know people who remember doing just that sort of thing in Delaware in maybe the 1930's. I was going to say Trump was beating Old Hickory in the polls by 2 percent but when I went to Real Clear Politics it has Trump losing badly in the Electoral College. He loses Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania by 4.3, 3.0, and 7 percent. Polling shows her 84 delegates ahead. Nationally, by vote, it shows Clinton beating Trump by 3.1 percent. I think that 2 percent Trump lead was one poll about a week ago. Though I just saw Hillary has lost a chunk of popularity among Independents. I think she gets a 74 percent unfavorable with Indies. So, now that the Never Trump crusade is over, is he going to do better? It really seems like he should but apparently not yet. Peter
  15. Why is there religion???

    If a person looks like the sex there would be no problem as long as they behave in the correct manner. I think there have already been instances of men entering women's bathrooms to molest, peep, and take pictures but I received that info second hand. Locker rooms and showers are also required to allow people of a different sex to use those facilities. That is not right and never has been perhaps going back to human cave dwelling days. I see a potential for assaults and mob violence against trannies as well as perverts using the Obama philosophy to harm children. I say hell no . . . . I won't go. Peter