Mixed Martial Arts: Tucker Carlson vs Amy Peikoff

william.scherk

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Peter Taylor left a crumb trail to an entertaining video from FoxNews' ratings juggernaut Tucker Carlson's show.  Featuring the Objectivist lawyer and scholar Amy Peikoff.  Veddy interesting ...

"I must say, you seem like a logical atheist ..." sez the man with the Beatles haircut.

[ ...]

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[... see below for the video missing above: Atheist and Haircut]

From the "Friendly Atheist" ...

On the other hand ...

No, a New Study Doesn’t Show Atheists Are More Closed-Minded Than Believers

June 29, 2017 by David G. McAfee 148 Comments

A recent study is being touted as proof that atheists are more closed-minded than their theistic counterparts, but a cursory glance at the study and interviews with its authors show a more accurate picture.

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Conservative website The Daily Caller said yesterday that “science finally” realized what “many conservatives have argued for years,” namely that “religious believers are more tolerant of differing viewpoints than atheists.” But the authors of the study, an online survey of 788 people in Western Europe, say something very different.

The study itself outlines the scientific evidence supporting the notion that, in general, religious people tend to be more dogmatic in their beliefs than non-believers in order to set the scene.

religiosity is, to a modest degree, characterized by dogmatism, defined as an inflexibility of ideas, unjustified certainty or denial of evidence contrary to one’s own beliefs… the need for closure, i.e. the need for structure, order, and answers… Not surprisingly thus, religiosity, though to a lesser extent and less consistently than fundamentalism, is often found to predict prejudice. This is certainly the case against moral (e.g., gay persons) and religious outgroups and atheists, but also against ethnic or racial outgroups, at least in monotheistic religious context.

The study’s authors go on to say it is “premature” to conclude that atheists are “undogmatic and flexible,” which is fair since we all know fellow non-believers who believe irrational things and nothing, it seems, can change their minds.

But is all of that really true? That’s what the researchers wanted to know. And from the looks of it, the preliminary findings only suggest that religious people may not always be more closed-minded (in every sense) than non-religious people.

 

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Amy Peikoff appears again on Foxnews with Tucker, this time in a tangle about Jeff Bezos and his worth.  Amy starts out strong, forcing Tucker into a religious trap with a "moral" obligation to pay workers, causing Tucker to use his upper register nasal cavity in some high-pitched objections to Amy's Objectivist principles.  Amy sensed she had him dazed, but she didn't remain in-focus and instead tried a kung-fu analogy that failed to deliver her fatality, instead the analogy caused her to slip and Tucker was there to make a final-seconds comeback to win the match.

I like seeing Tucker have her on his show, even if it is for the purpose of winning argument and proving that his principles are superior to hers.

Spoiler

 

Here is a comment on Twitter from Amy about her appearance:

 

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The first video termination did not leave any clues about its date or topic, so here are two videos of the Tucker procedure featuring indomitable Amy, from January and April, of this year respectively.

 

Thanks for the update, Korben.

Argh, why didn't he just do a tetch of research?

 The date on this one is July 2017 ...

 

Edited by william.scherk
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There's a context thing O-Land intellectuals always leave out in discussions of this nature.

I call it the banquet among the starving problem. Human history is full of examples of it and it is not a philosophical problem like the O-Land people say, except maybe a law of identification problem they themselves make regarding human nature.

Anytime you have a small group of people enjoying a lavish banquet right next to large number numbers of starving people, there will be trouble. It has always happened throughout human history and it always will happen. If the starving are far away, this problem is not that serious. But if the two are right next to each other, the banquet people better have good protection. They can count on trouble and giving the starving hoards better philosophy will not help them. :) 

As to Bezos using government money, he's used to using it. You should see his government data contracts... God knows how much he's got going with the government that's hidden...

I agree with Amy that Bezos does provide great value to individuals in society, so he's entitled to his money. But this is not a Bezos is hero, Bezos is villain thing. 

As I come from hillbillies where my grandmother scrubbed floors on her knees for a pittance, day after day after day, before she would take FDR's welfare money, I find Bezos's attitude of manipulating the government to bankroll welfare to his employees through a loophole so he can pay them less sleazy in the extreme.

Michael

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Digress with me ...

"Amazon Is Thriving Thanks to Taxpayer Dollars," from January in the New Republic, written by David Dayen.  The story is mainly concerned with the competition for municipal and state 'tax credit' schemes or tax-abatement or tax-deferral -- and the actual wages of the workers at the Amazon plants ...

9 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

As to Bezos using government money, he's used to using it. You should see his government data contracts...

I should, indeed. Have you seen them?

9 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

God knows how much he's got going with the government that's hidden...

I don't believe there is a god to know.  Which leaves us rational humans.  Where is a good place to start finding out about federal (not state and local) "data contracts" ... and how would we non-gods know how to test our suspicions of occulted financing?

 

 

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7 hours ago, william.scherk said:

I should, indeed. Have you seen them?

William,

Here's just one from leftie rag, so it should be credible to you.

I got it on a simple Google search. There are plenty of results if you play around with the search terms.

Amazon is launching a 'Secret' cloud service for the CIA

If you want more, go search. Seek and ye shall find because this is a rich forest.

Michael

 

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Well, having worked in the Gov't this "news" aboot Amazon's 'Secret' cloud service doesn't ring any conspiracy bells for me.  Contracts like this happen all the time.  But tracking the argument something doesn't compute here for me.  The original objection was Bezos using contracts, tax schemes, or what-have-you to do something nefarious or unethical.  Providing a legitimate example of Amazon having a cloud service contract with the CIA is not in the same category, and can't be used as an example for "Bezos using <sic> government money"... why?  Because this is a standard, legitimate contract that when I put my Objectivist hat on, violates nothing of the trader principle and ethics.  Why?  because this happens all the time, the gov't needs confidential channels for services provided by public companies.  Believe me, it's just standard practice in the IT/networking world and having a contract with the gov't.  So, I'd say this one has debunked for any wrong-doing.

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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

But tracking the argument something doesn't compute here for me.

Korben,

You didn't track the argument.

Not in fundamentals.

You tracked it according to us versus them. ("Bezos is unethical" is the way you put it.)

The argument has nothing to do with conspiracy theories and nothing to do with smearing a person as unethical.

The argument is if taxpayers are going to pay substantial sums of money for a corporation to exist, the taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the corporation's employees to eat because the corporation pays lousy wages and finds an unearned loophole for charity handouts from the government to cover the cost. 

Ditto for social media giants like Facebook, Google, etc. If taxpayers are going to pay substantial sums of money for them to exist, yelling that they are private companies where freedom of speech doesn't exist falls flat. How do you demand--through politics--that someone pay for something, then censor the very person who pays because of political speech? That's unconstitutional in the literal sense. 

Those are principles. A conspiracy theory is not a principle. It's politics at best and paranoid fiction at worst.

The tinge of kookiness is why the CIA promoted this propaganda term "conspiracy theory" in the first place right after the Kennedy assassination. It was precisely to get people not to think in principles--or at least not to express them in public over crony insider misbehavior--for fear of losing reputation.

Michael

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3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

The argument is if taxpayers are going to pay substantial sums of money for a corporation to exist, the taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the corporation's employees to eat because the corporation pays lousy wages and finds an unearned loophole for charity handouts from the government to cover the cost. 

Wow. You sound like Bernie Sanders.

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1 hour ago, merjet said:

Wow. You sound like Bernie Sanders.

Merlin,

Not really. I am against them being in bed with the government.

But if they get in bed and start doing the government's bidding, they lose their high moral standing.

I could equally say, "Wow. You sound like a bootlicker." 

But I won't.

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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5 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

The argument is if taxpayers are going to pay substantial sums of money for a corporation to exist, the taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the corporation's employees to eat because the corporation pays lousy wages and finds an unearned loophole for charity handouts from the government to cover the cost. 

Is it the responsibility of an employer to ensure the economic stability/status of its employees?  Especially of their entry-level ones?  There will always be single mothers with limited work history and dead-beat dads.  They have to start somewhere, and it’s going to be in jobs more ideally suited (compensation-wise) to college students who live with their parents.  Amazon picker, for instance.  If there wasn’t government assistance, they’d have to rely on private charity (before the “war on poverty”, that’s what they did), maybe from churches or battered women shelters, etc., to make ends meet.  Then they get to climb the ladder.  It sucks to be on the lowest rung, there's no disputing that. 

Is Amazon to deny employment to single mothers, to avoid the claim that they’re being subsidized?  Imagine what that would look like.  It calls to mind the story of Fantine in Les Miserables. 

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Merlin,

Not really. I am against them being in bed with the government.

But if they get in bed and start doing the government's bidding, they lose their high moral standing.

Yes, really. For example: https://kdvr.com/2018/09/07/bernie-sanders-introduces-bill-targeting-worker-pay-at-amazon-walmart/

And Amazon having government as a customer is "in bed with the government"? What's next? A company that sells office supplies to any part of government is "in bed with the government"?  A building owner that leases space to any part of government is "in bed with the government"? And that some of its employees having received food stamps puts Amazon "in bed with the government"?

By such criteria Donald Trump was "in bed with the government" and "lost his high moral standing" before running for President.

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1 hour ago, merjet said:

And Amazon having government as a customer is "in bed with the government"? What's next? A company that sells office supplies to any part of government is "in bed with the government"?  A building owner that leases space to any part of government is "in bed with the government"? And that some of its employees having received food stamps puts Amazon "in bed with the government"?

By such criteria Donald Trump was "in bed with the government" and "lost his high moral standing" before running for President.

Merlin,

Are you just blanking out the data shenanigans or do you really believe nothing goes on?

(I've noticed here in O-Land that people often have difficulty believing that spooks lie, even when one points out that this is their job description.)

If you believe that, there's not much to discuss because we are on different planets and no amount of verbal dueling will lead anywhere.

I admit, though, it's a good story to believe in. Big brother and all...

He loves you.

:)

Michael

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1 hour ago, 9thdoctor said:

Is it the responsibility of an employer to ensure the economic stability/status of its employees?  Especially of their entry-level ones?  There will always be single mothers with limited work history and dead-beat dads.  They have to start somewhere, and it’s going to be in jobs more ideally suited (compensation-wise) to college students who live with their parents.  Amazon picker, for instance.  If there wasn’t government assistance, they’d have to rely on private charity (before the “war on poverty”, that’s what they did), maybe from churches or battered women shelters, etc., to make ends meet.  Then they get to climb the ladder.  It sucks to be on the lowest rung, there's no disputing that. 

Is Amazon to deny employment to single mothers, to avoid the claim that they’re being subsidized?  Imagine what that would look like.  It calls to mind the story of Fantine in Les Miserables. 

 

Dennis,

Are you seriously arguing that if Amazon can't get government welfare for its workers, it will simply abolish those jobs?

That this is the business model forced on Amazon by the market?

Heh...

Jeff Bezos is a smart man, not stupid.

And so are we...

:) 

Michael

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42 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Dennis,

Are you seriously arguing that if Amazon can't get government welfare for its workers, it will simply abolish those jobs?

That this is the business model forced on Amazon by the market?

Heh...

Jeff Bezos is a smart man, not stupid.

And so are we...

:) 

Michael

I'm going to have to insist you answer my first question: Is it the responsibility of an employer to ensure the economic stability/status of its employees?  Yes, no, maybe, sometimes?

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37 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

Is it the responsibility of an employer to ensure the economic stability/status of its employees?  Yes, no, maybe, sometimes?

Dennis,

Insist?

That sounds serious.

:) 

However, I don't agree with the question in this context. It's a false dichotomy. Responsibility to whom?

Are you saying moral responsibility?

Like altruism?

Gosh, I've never heard of that. Can you explain it to me?

:) 

The employer pays a wage to the employee for work done.

End of that story.

Now back to context.

Do I like Amazon double-dipping the government?

No.

Do I like Amazon using the US post office operating at a loss?

No.

Do I think it's the taxpayer's responsibility to underwrite Amazon's operating costs? No. And to add insult to injury, Amazon has all those juicy government contracts and data agreements, secret crap is does for the government, etc.

Do you think the government should be responsible for Amazon's operating costs? Because that is what's happening.

Are you OK with that? I am not.

Michael

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You know, in addition to the above thoughts, I would be interested in seeing people's comments about government surveillance RIGHT BEFORE Snowden came on the scene.

I bet they were very similar to now. Everybody giving elementary school-level lessons to the whistleblowers (and those who agreed with them) on how the free market works while leaving out everything else.

It reminds me of people calling government intrusions into the economy "free trade" just because the intrusions were done in a smokescreen manner and the international trade agreements had the words "free trade" in them.

Michael

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A Trump Empire Built on Inside Connections and $885 Million in Tax Breaks

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/nyregion/donald-trump-tax-breaks-real-estate.html

The way Donald J. Trump tells it, his first solo project as a real estate developer, the conversion of a faded railroad hotel on 42nd Street into the sleek, 30-story Grand Hyatt, was a triumph from the very beginning.

The hotel, Mr. Trump bragged in “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” his 1987 best seller, “was a hit from the first day. Gross operating profits now exceed $30 million a year.”

But that book, and numerous interviews over the years, make little mention of a crucial factor in getting the hotel built: an extraordinary 40-year tax break that has cost New York City $360 million to date in forgiven, or uncollected, taxes, with four years still to run, on a property that cost only $120 million to build in 1980.

[...]

Since then, Mr. Trump has reaped at least $885 million in tax breaks, grants and other subsidies for luxury apartments, hotels and office buildings in New York, according to city tax, housing and finance records. The subsidies helped him lower his own costs and sell apartments at higher prices because of their reduced taxes.

[...]

Mr. Trump successfully sued the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch after being denied a tax break for Trump Tower, his signature building on Fifth Avenue. Two decades later, in a lawsuit that spanned the administrations of Mayors Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg, he won a similar tax break for Trump World Tower, a building on First Avenue with some of the city’s highest-priced condominiums in 2001.

The tax breaks for those two projects alone totaled $157 million.

The tax break at the 44-story Trump International Hotel and Tower at Columbus Circle came to $15.9 million.

[...]

After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Mr. Trump lined up a $150,000 grant for one of his buildings near ground zero, taking advantage of a program to help small businesses in the area recover, even though he had acknowledged on the day of the attacks that his building was undamaged.

[...]

In the hours after the attacks, Mr. Trump told German television that his property “wasn’t, fortunately, affected by what happened at the World Trade Center.”

[...]

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MSK: "Are you just blanking out the data shenanigans or do you really believe nothing goes on?"

What data shenanigans? Just because the government is a customer of Amazon Web Services, there must be shenanigans? Where is the evidence?

Are you just blanking out all the shenanigans between the Trump Organization and governments before he was President? Is the Trump International Hotel lease with the government shenanigan-free? Do you believe nobody employed in the Trump Organization, e.g. maids, gets food stamps?

 

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31 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Dennis,

Insist?

That sounds serious.

:) 

However, I don't agree with the question in this context. It's a false dichotomy. Responsibility to whom?

Are you saying moral responsibility?

Like altruism?

Responsible to the employee and to "society".  Which is not necessarily altruism, though invariably it gets packaged that way.  This ("responsibility to stakeholders" in modern parlance), as opposed to the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith. 

Alright, let's move on.  Allow me to assert, without proof, something I believe is most likely true: Amazon receives a sufficient number of job applicants for its entry-level positions that it could fill them all without hiring a single beneficiary of government assistance.  So why don't they?  Could it be because they are forbidden to ask?  There are a whole host of questions you're not allowed to ask nowadays, like marital status...I'm not even going to start compiling a list here.   Actually, I don't think Amazon seeks to exclude struggling single mothers, but note that they couldn't even if they wanted to. 

Ultimately what this comes down to is whether Amazon may pay market rates for labor.  Since they're so successful are they to be held to a different standard than McDonalds?  And they have some number of government contracts (which they're dependent on?  What percentage of their revenue comes from the government?  Is it a no-bid deal?  Did they get an affirmative action preference?).   

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34 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

Allow me to assert, without proof, something I believe is most likely true...

Dennis,

I believe something else is most likely true.

Amazon sees an opening in government services (like food stamps), sets in place a way to point to it for the relevant people, then gradually diminishes wages, costs, etc., accordingly.

Ditto for postage.

The idea is smash and grab. As long as there is a legal loophole. And if there is not one, well, there are lawyers and lobbyists to create one. Don't think Amazon doesn't have a large stable of both. It does.

I think the notion of Bezos operating according to Objectivist morality remote if not impossible.

Trying to use the simplified morality and logic in O-Land to a man like him is like trying to get a tiger to play with a string (like a pussycat does) and then wondering where your arm went.

:) 

Michael

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8 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Dennis,

I believe something else is most likely true.

Amazon sees an opening in government services (like food stamps), sets in place a way to point to it for the relevant people, then gradually diminishes wages, costs, etc., accordingly.

Ditto for postage.

You believe they seek out employees who receive government assistance?  I don't see how one could prove that true or false.  If it were true it would get leaked out eventually (via some internal policy manual becoming public).  If not true, there would never be confirmation of the fact.

As to postage, at least where I live, Amazon does its own deliveries.  Which tells me that bringing that part of the business in-house is cheaper and/or more reliable than using USPS. 

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12 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

You believe they seek out employees who receive government assistance?

Dennis,

I didn't say that. Man, I must be a terrible writer if you construed that from my words.

I meant they set up a system of informing employees how to get food stamps and so on if a person complains about the low wages. First they scope out what is available in government handouts and loopholes. Then they format their jobs accordingly, "benevolently" pointing the way to new employees where they can get free money.

Do I have proof of this as a formal thing? No. And I doubt it is formal. But having worked at many jobs, I kinda know how the grapevine works. And how it gets fed what the management wants it to spread.

As to the USPS, Amazon started shifting away from it when President Trump started making a stink about it earlier this year.

Just one more comment.

Amazon's wage practices are being leaked out. Haven't you noticed? Not the item you mentioned because nobody ever said or meant that. But the rest is being leaked out. Just read the news--even the fake news media is talking about this.

:) 

Michael

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Is Amazon Bad for the Postal Service? Or Its Savior?

 

Mr. Trump wrote on Tuesday that the agreement, which sets what Amazon pays the Postal Service for many orders, costs American taxpayers billions of dollars. “I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy,” he wrote.

[...]

But the Postal Service says all such deals it makes are profitable — and must be by law.

An independent body, the Postal Regulatory Commission, oversees the rates that the Postal Service charges for its products. By law, the agreements it cuts with corporate customers like Amazon must cover their “attributable costs” that directly result from their use of the postal network.

Amazon helps lower those costs by organizing the packages it takes to the Post Office by destination ZIP code in over 35 sorting centers around the country, leaving less work that must be done by postal workers. The company relies on the Postal Service strictly for last-mile delivery to customers, short trips that further limit the cost of delivering each package.

[...]

 

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I meant they set up a system of informing employees how to get food stamps and so on if a person complains about the low wages. First they scope out what is available in government handouts and loopholes. Then they format their jobs accordingly, "benevolently" pointing the way to new employees where they can get free money.

They provide counseling for their lower-income employees so they learn how to take advantage of things like subsidized housing, food stamps, etc.?  And this (presumably) makes them more productive and even loyal?   If so, Amazon didn't invent this.  It's one of the reasons to value a job with a big company like Amazon over waiting tables at a mom and pop diner.

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