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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/12/2009 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    It works!. Thanks, Ted. Barbara I am not an altruist, Brant. I expect you to sanction me for this.
  2. 1 point
    Michael, There is no contradiction in my values. Obviously there is, because like MichelleR you can not consider 'unpleasant' things good even if they are just, right, and necessary. Garbage is a consequence of existing in a real world with tangible material realities related to achieving things you value. Yet you are disgusted by it's existence and could never feel 'pride' at removing it. In fact what you desire is some other kind of metaphysical reality where every value is attained perfectly without any 'unpleasantness' such as trash you must take out to the curb. You desire a certain existence but deride the material requirements necessary to achieve that existence, as if some platonic ideal could form itself right out of the Aether. And you used this specific example as an equivocation to killing evil people so clearly you harbor this contradiction. Garbage is a consequence of an existence where you achieve certain material goods withing reality. Killing evil people is a consequence of an existence where you achieve certain political and philosophical goods within reality. And I've seen attitudes like yours, people who live in all the fruits and comforts the efforts of those who fought for their values - and sometimes killed innocents accidentally in those struggles - wrought, but deride their actions as unjust or immoral. People who some how magically want a world which is a manifestation of all their deepest values, but without the effort required to actually achieve those values. People who champion their refusal to bow down to the 'lesser of two evils' - elevating their platonic idealism over the material reality necessary to actually promulgate their goals - wanting some perfect existence to spring from Zeus's head without the trash and death of innocents along the way. People whose adherence to abstract ideals are more important than the manifestation of their values in the real world - even though pursuing the 'best of available goods' has been the source of ALL the material and political progress the world has seen. How many people were tortured and executed during the American revolution? How many soldiers of the American revolution were conscripted? And what was borne of the American revolution but nation of conscription and slavery where women couldn't vote. My god! And yet here we are now, one of the free-est nations on the planet. No such thing was admitted, the ignorance was only of actually living in a military dictatorship. Here is a picture I took when my best friend and I best visited the grave of the CIA agent most directly responsible for Che's capture and death http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2148990&l=1ce4f5170f&id=500676324 But hey, I know nothing about South American involvement during the Cold War. Much like platonic idealists blind to the reality they live in. If you are not omniscient nor omnipotent, than achieving values has material consequences. To reject those is to hold man up to a moral standard of omniscience. Nice, appealing to collectivism and group thought. I wasn't aware that South Americans had a unanimous collective idea of what is good for themselves, nor a absolute collective sense of Identity, nor that you are their official representative. I'm pretty sure Pinochet was from south america, and apparently he disagreed with at least a few thousand people about what was best. Nor was I telling them what is better for themselves. It was the Soviet Union that made every other nation of the world a battleground against communism - not the US.
  3. 1 point
    MichelleR, Talk about being disingenuous! Your post is nothing more than a series of evasions, strawmen, and false dichotomies! Right. Because SOMETIMES, oh, like 50% of the time, communist revolutions turn out quite nice? No, Actually, EVERY SINGLE TIME the communist took over a nation MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of people were killed. One does not need a crystal ball to determine how a political philosophy which enslaves men might turn out, especially when it had all ready been done dozens of times and killed well over one hundred million people! 3,000 deaths? That is probably how many people Che Guevera PERSONALLY EXECUTED in his communist revolution in Cuba, which, by the way, was the primary sponsor of Allende's efforts. It is probably about how many are executed every year in Cuba now for being 'counter-revolutionaries' Let me ask you, by 1973, how many people had communism killed? There has never been a greater ideological threat to humanity and civilization than communism, nothing is as anti-life anti-reason as communism is. And you're going to sit here and tell me, hey, Maybe Pinochet could have secured power in the threat of a global expansionist communist menace without killing 3,000 people, while simultaneously crying no one knows what would have happened? How do YOU know he could have done that? Pinochet's defeat of communism and transition to a free state was the LEAST bloody and MOST PEACEFUL of ANY such effort in the history of the cold war! But you seem pretty damn sure about how someone might have come to power and prevented a communist insurgency from winning, somehow, without killing a single suspected communist terrorist? You miss the point. I was not making the analogy one of choices and consequences, because you hold Pinochet's actions up against a mystical other world divination of some perfect peaceful transition into a free state, even though this has never happened, not once, ever, in the entire history of human civilization. Oh, but PINOCHET! He's the incarnation of EVIL! Even though Chile's defeat of communism and rise to prosperity is perhaps the least bloody one ever. Let's turn that question around on you in the same manner, lets say that there was no possible way to secure a free state without torturing 30,000 people, and that perhaps in a metaphysical sense this was the only possible way for chile to today be a free wealthy nation. It's obvious that in any state it's just and proper to sequester and interrogate treasonous offenders. What kinds of interrogation methods are justified in your opinion? If Pinochet had only killed 300 people, and interrogated and tortured 3,000, would that be more 'reasonable' to you? 30 and 300? You're question is just as irrational a claim to omniscience. I sure as hell hope there was a way for Pinochet - or any person in any similiar situation - to lay the foundations for a free nation without spilling a single drop of blood. But IS there? Oh, right, they can lock them up, blast them with loud annoying music...that seems to be about it, and I'm sure loud annoying music will be deemed cruel and unusual soon too. But *I* used a false dichotomy? Actually there are fundamentally only three ways to get information from people, you ask them politely, bribe them, or force them. Tell me how many communist terrorists would have answered questions if asked politely? Should Pinochet have offered every suspected terrorist a Villa on the beach? And actually done properly, torture is a very accurate way of getting information, in Ancient Rome, testimony was NOT considered valid UNLESS it was the result of torture. Israel, routinely faced with 'ticking time bomb' type life and death situations, does a good job of this with a heavily regulated system integrated into their justice system, where evidence must be presented proving the suspect has the information, and a specific set of procedures are followed, much like your typical sentencing procedures in the US. They don't hand the guy over to someone and say 'go at it' Let me ask you this, say you have a pedophile serial killer, he's killed a dozen kids, he now in custody and all evidence proves his guilt beyond any doubt and he confesses to the crimes. However, a 13th kid is still missing, and is known to be alive, but is buried somewhere running out of air. He won't say where she is unless he's guaranteed freedom and a villa on beach. Torturing this man would be proper and just if handled correctly, and would in fact serve freedom and justice.
  4. 1 point
    I admit to not having 1st hand knowledge about living in a military dictatorship, which was apparently your prerequisite for speaking at all on the morality of military dictatorships. I did not admit to knowing nothing about Pinochet, Chile, or the Cold War and US Involvement in other nations during that time - in fact I know quite alot about all of them. again, you infer what was not implied. Murdering innocent people is not ever good and I never said nor implied it was. Fighting battles against the enemies of proper rational values *is always* good. Some battles, in some circumstances, have 'collateral damage' that does not mean the battle is unjust, as long as the efforts to contain collateral damage are proper withing that historical context. Other people dying in the course of a battle is not MURDER, to suggest it is (as discussed in the "Objectivist Death Cult thread" - is a great philosophical corruption - and if enacted literally, no war which has promulgated Freedom would have ever been fought or won. And you say I know nothing about such things? Absent the Soviet Union - there would have been NO serious marxist presence anywhere in the world. The Soviet Union had a great deal to do with EVERY communist nation in the world, and every communist insurgency in the world. Those military dictatorships, as murderous and shitty as they often were, often were the only possible rational manner for the US to contain and combat communism. I don't hear you or MichelleR condemning Sigmen Rhee, who was probably far more vicious of a person than Pinochet was. Why not? Those military dictatorships were often the only way to prevent a communist take over, because the standard operating procedure of the Soviet Union and all the communist insurgencies it sponsored - was to assassinate political opponents or merely people who they thought may become political opponents some day. Fledgeling democracies were the prime target of communist expansionism because of their volatile nature and lack of rule of law. Sponsoring a 'democracy' would have resulted in another one of those amazing communist votes that have 99.9% turnout and they all 'vote' for the wannabe communist dictator. The Soviet Union often spent half of it's GDP sponsoring wars and revolutions, and the US spent a good portion of it's GDP combating them (8% at it's peak) So to suggest military dictatorships in South America were only the responsibility of South Americans is disingenuous - and very insulting to South Americans. It's no more accurate than saying Vietnam was merely a disagreement between the people of the North and South, instead of a small group of communists funded by the soviet union attempting to conquer and enslave another country. Without the Soviet Union's backing, The Vietnam War would have been a nutcase shouting in the town square that no one paid any attention to.
  5. 1 point
    I know I am pushing fair use, but this is Barbara's corner and this review is a total delight to read after the sewer of PARC. I feel like I took a bath just now. I think this is from the May 1988 issue of Liberty magazine. It is online at the link in the title. (btw - Please visit that site. You will not be disappointed.) Michael The Critics of Barbara Branden by David M. Brown "David M. Brown is a free-lance writer living in New Jersey."
  6. 1 point
    Here is the link to the Yahoo Finance article entitled, "Ron Paul Is Right! We Should Audit the Fed" http://tinyurl.com/ncwvcj It includes an interview with Charles Ortel, managing director with Newport Value Partners, an independent research firm. The interview is only four minutes in length. www.campaignforliberty.com 8 Jul 6PM 172,695, 9PM 174,161; 10Jul 10PM 180,195 going up by over two thousand members each day, over one thousand in just three hours this evening! gulchhttp://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?app=forums&module=post&section=post&do=edit_post&f=17&t=7335&p=74637&st=
  7. 1 point
    I've been very cranky these last few days. I spent most of Thursday in the emergency room after Mom fell down and hit her head, and when I finally got home I found OL had turned into a pumpkin. I am now starting to be impressed. Mom comes home tomorrow with a few stitches and a black eye. When old people hit their heads--and not so old--you want Cat Scans to rule out intracranial bleeding. My aunt by marriage didn't do that and spent the last seven years of her life in a nursing home after suffering an effective stroke caused by pressure on the brain that could have easily been relieved if caught in time by the insertion of a shunt. A boy in Australia recently suffered a head injury and his doctor under the instructions of a remote neurosurgeon used a common electric drill to drill a hole in his skull to relieve bleeding pressure. Ronald Reagen fell off a horse in Mexico after he was President, hit his head and got a shunt. Words to the wise. --Brant
  8. 1 point
    If you want to study lingusitics, I would recommend five books for beginners. The first is Anthony Burgess's A Mouthful of Air. Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange in which he created a future dialect of British English highly influenced by Russian. His book A Mouthful of Air serves as a very gentle but interesting introduction to linguistics for the lay reader. He introduces the reader to English and its sounds and offers a rigorous way to describe them called the IPA or international phonetic alphabet. The IPA provides one symbol for each sound and there is only one sound for each symbol. Most of the IPA letters are based on the Latin alphabet with letters also used from the Greek and other alphabets as well as even some runes and specially made up symbols. Some forty such symbols serve to describe all the sounds in English. They are easy to learn, and one learned they are not tricky to use. Burgess then shows how English evolved through time from Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon) and he provides a survey of the world's languages, from close and closer relatives of English like Russian and Welsh to German and Dutch to languages like Japanese and Arabic which are usually describe as unrelated to English, although that is a relative and not an absolute description. Burgess shows how to compare the basic vocabulary of languages in order to classify them if possible into groups and thus indicate that they are related. Once the reader has finished his book which has no technicalities greater than the IPA (and you do not even need to master it, just get the idea in order to benefit from it) he will be prepared to move on to ever so slightly more technical books which will give him a window on the languages of the world. coming: Fromkin and Rodman, An Introduction to Language, Campbell, Concise Compendium of the World's Languages, Calvert Watkin's American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots and Merritt Ruhlen, The Origin of Language: Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue.
  9. 1 point
    Brad: I will be commenting as I go through it. So far so good. If there is a typo, do you wish to know about it? For example, in Par. 1, "...it [is?] that detail that inspired the two to venture out in search of the unknown." Interesting. That struck me by the third paragraph and I also liked the Al-Shon which made me more aware of the disparate language sets. Not knowing them the way you do, but it was subconsciously dissonant. In Dune,et. al., which I love, the language had a cultural integrity while sounding whole. Is that what you were alluding to? IPA stands for ?. And I will always look at a linguistics or language website. Adam
  10. 1 point
    A bit of unsolicited advice. Tolkien was a philologist. He succeeds in large part because there is a rationale and a consistency behind his fictional names and languages. For instance, the names in the Shire are native English. When you reach Bree, the names have become Celtic. Dwarvish public names are Norse, but their private tongue has aspects of Semitic. The black tongue of Mordor is similar to Old Turkic. The language of Rohan is Anglo-Saxon. Distance and familiarity play off each other in our subconscious. Even Tolkien's entirely made up Quenya and Sindarin names have etymologies, can be translated from one to the other, and make sense. Many of Tolkien's Quenya and Sindarin roots even have similarities to Nostratic roots at a greater remove from Indo-European. There is a temptation to use created names to add a touch of the exotic to one's stories. I see you have some fam iliarity with the forms of various language families. Al-shon is obviously pseudo-Arabic. Heicynth is pseudo-Greek. Miuwatsu is psuedo-Japanese. Rous and Taylin are British sounding forms. Why, one asks, is there such a random amalgam of Terran languages on this planet, and why these specific ones? There are many websites on line about how to make up a foreign language. I can't specifically recommend any one, since I was doing this myself long before there was the internet. But some of them I have browsed have been of interest. Are you familiar with the IPA? Have you taken a course in introductory linguistics? Comparitive and Historical linguistics? (Fromkin and Rodman is an accessible general handbook.) Have you read Anthony Burgess's A Mouthful of Air? I would suggest you study some really exotic languages, Lyovin's Introduction to the Languages of the World is a great overview with sketches including the exotic Inuit and Quechua. Comrie's Languages of the World is exhaustive in its treatment although it is limited to old-world languages with a large number of speakers. Study the exotic tongues like Nivkh, and Burushaski and Chechen and Blackfoot. Names that come from a created language based on one of these tongues will sound exotic without sounding hackneyed, like the Elfstones of Shanara.
  11. -1 points
    This was a purely self interested intervention on your part. You are protecting yourself from whining by everyone who reads this post. (Not only Brant can find this information useful.)