Martin Radwin

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  1. Mark: Actually, there were a number of people who survived both blasts, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many of them lived into their eighties (80's). I believe the last dual survivor passed away about five (5) years ago. The point of the pictures was clear. You can rebuild successfully even at ground zero. However, you chose to selectively distort the message. No biggie. A-Bomb Adam... Post Script: I would have used them against the Soviet Union and saved millions of lives. I would have used them against China and saved 60, 000, 000 million lives. So, you would have nuked the Soviet Union and China in order to save lives? Just how many Soviet and Chinese citizens would you be prepared to kill or horribly maim in order to carry out this humanitarian intervention? Where in hell do you think you have the right to murder innocent human beings, no matter what the supposed justification? To paraphrase Ayn Rand, "Men's lives are not yours to dispose of!". The bitter reality is that the people in the upper echelons of government, the politicians and bureaucrats entrusted with making these decisions, are not known for their intelligence, wisdom, compassion, or concern for human life and human liberties. For the most part, they tend to be sociopathic personalities with a lust for power and no greater purpose in life other than to dominate and control their subjects. As such, there are two insurmountable problems with the scenario you have posed: 1) The knowledge problem. Government officials do not have the knowledge or foresight to be able to accurately predict the future or to anticipate a future holocaust, or to know how to prevent a holocaust should they be able to accurately antipate one. Governments are as incompetent in this area as in every other area. 2) The incentive problem. This is an even more serious problem. Even if they were somehow to possess the foresight to predict and to be able to formulate a plan to prevent a holocaust, governments in general have no incentive to do so. Governments are as a general rule not the least bit interested in saving human lives, certainly not the lives of civilians in enemy nations. Their main interest is and has always been in the expansion of their own power, which is often achieved by killing huge numbers of people. The US government is no exception to this rule. 3) Humanitarian justifications are always used for every military intervention. It will not do to admit that the purpose of a bombing campaign that will kill thousands of innocent people is to establish a government's military influence in a region. This doesn't sound good and will not generate the support of the citizenry. So these interventions are always claimed to be done for the purpose of saving lives. These claims are always lies. Martin
  2. How on earth? As retired Judge Andrew Napolitano said, more or less, there's not a dime's worth of moral, political or economic difference between the two major candidates. If there is any difference, it’s that the Republican comes with a raft of neoconservative advisors, many the same as were in the Bush administration. The odds the U.S invades Iran will be far higher if he’s elected. Maybe that’s more than a dime. Unfortunately, to many objectivists, bombing and/or invading Iran is not a bug but a feature. Martin
  3. This passage has just increased my respect for Peikoff, although only ever so slightly. That Peikoff even entertains the possibility that his book is nothing more than "the maunderings of a mind that has lost it" shows that at least he has not totally lost all contact with reality. Regarding his followup statement "I know my answer", perhaps the answer he secretly knows deep down is that he has really lost it. Martin
  4. William, Sure I am. If someone is over the top and bigoted, but pro-USA, you are all over him. If he is over the top and bigoted and anti-USA, you are very, very tolerant if not apologetic (but not apologetic on this thread, just tolerant). I think I'm paying very good attention to be able to notice that selective use of criticial thinking in a non-critical fashion. Michael EDIT: Here's my opinion based on years of reading the posters concerned. If Richard (Infidel) were able to bomb a group of Muslim leaders, but take out a couple of schools full of children and schoolteachers, I believe he would go out to a fine restaurant to celebrate and get drunk on champagne in absolute joy. If Martin were able to bomb a group of USA neocon-like government leaders, but take out a couple of schools full of children and schoolteachers, I believe he would feel bad about the innocent deaths for about 5 minutes, then slam his mind shut to that part and sleep like a baby, knowing he has struck a blow for justice and all things good on earth. I believe you would suffer greatly thinking about the dead kids and the adults who cared for them in both cases, but during discussions, you give the second a pass because of the five minutes and the anti-USA thing. That's what I see. You really love to engage in wild speculations about people you have never met and know next to nothing about. For the record, I have never advocated nor do I in any way support bombing or any other forms of violence against anyone, including government officials. This is nothing but a fantasy of your own imagination, backed up by absolutely nothing. The idea that I would ever advocate the killing of innocent people is absurd, and that you would launch such an accusation against me in a public forum like this based on nothing, without even the slightest hint of any evidence to back up your accusation, is something that makes you look like a fool without even a modicum of respect for the truth. As a libertarian, I am totally, unalterably opposed to the use of violence except in self-defense against those who initiate violence. The fact that you accuse me of being willing to kill innocent school children as collateral damage is even more ludicrous in view of the fact that many objectivists advocate precisely this belief in the conduct of U.S. government foreign policy, justifying wars conducted by the government which have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people abroad, something which I have always condemned in the strongest possible way. Regarding your use of the phrases pro-USA and anti-USA, why don't you try defining just what these phrases are supposed to mean before actually using them? The USA is an abstraction referring to a nation with a land area of almost 4 million square miles and a population of over 300 million people. So just what exactly does it mean to be pro or anti a nation of 300 million people? Here's a hint --- the USA is not the same as the U.S. government. Being pro-USA is not the same as being pro U.S. government, and being anti-USA is not the same as being anti U.S. government. Although equating the two is precisely what the U.S. government wishes Americans to believe, for reasons that are too obvious to mention. Martin
  5. I don't suppose it's ever occurred to you that you should have a lot more to fear from the U.S. government than from the Muslim Brotherhood. No, I didn't think so. Martin Oh, for God's sake. I went for a walk trying to think of something wise to say about this crap from both of you. Something that would point to growth or induce people to reflect on ideas. I couldn't think of a damn thing. What a waste of time... Michael So you think that what I posted was "crap"? All I am saying is that the U.S. government is a far greater danger to Americans than the Muslim Brotherhood could ever hope to be. Do you really doubt this? In the thread entitled "Place Your Predictions - National Federation of Independant Business v. Sebelius - This Decision Will Determine Whether The Revolution Should Start Now!", post #29, you wrote, "I already don't like mandatory taxes, but at least the government taxes some kind of wealth that has been created. The "individual mandate" concept, even as it sneaks in under the Supreme Court's weasel equivalence of "tax," is a literal step toward slavery. The government now owns you just for being, irrespective of anything you produce or earn." So you think that the U.S. government now owns us just for being and is taking a literal step toward slavery. Do you think that the Muslim Brotherhood thinks that it owns us or is capable of establishing such ownership over us, or is capable of moving us toward slavery? If not, perhaps this is somewhat indicative that the U.S. government is indeed a far greater threat to all of us than is the Muslim Brotherhood, which is in fact no significant threat to us at all. Here is a link to an article entitled "Americans Are Being Prepared For Full Spectrum Tyranny". The tyranny to which we are being prepared is being imposed on us by the U.S. government, not by the Muslim Brotherhood. Martin
  6. I don't suppose it's ever occurred to you that you should have a lot more to fear from the U.S. government than from the Muslim Brotherhood. No, I didn't think so. Martin
  7. Andrew, Great post! You bring up many very interesting points, even though Firehammer is someone whose views are so absurd and mindlessly cruel that they are hardly worthy of detailed refutation. For a totally contrasting view of children and the way they learn and develop, see any of the works of the brilliant Maria Montessori, a renaissance woman about a hundred years ahead of her time whose theories of how children learn, based on her years of working with and observing children, have inspired a worldwide movement of schools based on her eductional philosophy. For a description of the practical results of Firehammer's advocated methods of child rearing, see any of the works of Alice Miller. My only quibble with your post is in your reference to Camille Paglia and Thomas Szasz as Freudian libertarians. Paglia is not a libertarian, even though she has described herself as one. At best, she advocates libertarian views in the personal sphere (mainly advocating totally sexual freedom; I'm not even sure though I strongly suspect that she also advocates ending the drug war and all other personal victimless crimes), but most definitely not in the economic sphere. As for her foreign policy views, she is strongly oriented toward looking upon war as a noble aspect of humanity's pagan nature, rather than seeing it as the horror that it is. At least that's my recollection of her view on war; it's been quite a while since I read her. Regarding Szasz, I have not thought of him as at all Freudian in orientation, but instead as being much more influenced by Karl Kraus. Martin
  8. Jerry: And "perhaps," none of the above is acceptable to me. Your simplistic horns of a dilemma approach is a tad too simplistic for me. Adam You will never beat the Globalists unless you first become a conspiracy theorist. That is the worst thing you can do. So the bottom line is there ain't nuthin you can do to stop the Globalists. When in the collective, adapt. Resistance is futile. We are the Borg. Individuality is irrelevant. Rights are irrelevant. Do you really think you have any power to beat the Globalists? Ha! Do you know what the Roman Empire did to the Spartans? It wasn't a pretty sight. What the Globalists will do to you won't be a pretty sight. You can't beat them, join them. So your proposal is that we join the Globalists who are presumably intent on creating a worldwide totalitarian state? Aside from the ethical abomination entailed by joining such people intent on world domination, just what exactly is your suggested scenario as to how we should proceed, now that you have established that resistance is futile? By the way, now that you have identified yourself as part of the Borg ("We are the Borg"), do you really think that it would be wise for any of us to follow your advice? In the words of several of the characters on Star Trek, perhaps resistance is not futile. Martin
  9. The theory given in the article is that these planets are a remnant of the early big bang. Also, that these planets are the actual source of the missing dark matter. I know that you reject both the big bang and the presence of dark matter. As I recall, our sun has about 300,000 times the mass of the earth. So it would take 300,000 earth size planets to equal the mass of one sun-size star. Also, the dark matter is proposed to constitute considerably more mass than the luminous matter, in order to account for galactic rotation dymanics. So it would really take a huge number of earth size planets to make up this missing mass. What if any is the actual evidence for the existence of these free floating planets? Since none have actually been detected directly, there being no technological means at the present time of detecting them, I assume that all of the evidence is entirely theoretical, right? Martin
  10. Ah come on. This isn't rocket science. I'm talking about the stuff we have been discussing. To recap... Nah... I just did that a few posts ago. Let's give it a break. When something gets to the point of having to repeat stuff that much, I don't find it worth pursuing, MichaelI will assume that you misunderstood something I said, and let it go at that. Ghs I think that where Michael is going with this is that, since the NIOF as used by Rothbard is a "middle axiom" derived from moral reasoning based on more fundamental premises, it should have some exceptions. In other words, he is assuming that a middle axiom should have at least some exceptions and that it is therefore a contradiction to assume both that something is a middle axiom and that it simultaneously has no exceptions. But I'm not sure what is the basis of this assumption. In mathematics, for example, a mathematical law derived from more fundamental laws, which are ultimately derived from the axioms of the mathematical system, is generally known as a theorem, to distinguish it from an axiom. A theorem is derivable from axioms or from other theorems ultimately derivable from axioms, whereas an axiom is a fundamental assumption not derivable from anything else. But a mathematical theorem is just as true as the axioms from which it is derived, and it no more has exceptions than a mathematical axiom. Martin
  11. Penn Gillette is a stage magician, comedian, and all around entertainer. He is not a trained philosopher, although he does have some interesting philosophical insights derived from his years working as a stage magician. If you want to read the best epistemological justification for atheism, read the works of George Smith. George is the quintessential authority in this area. Martin
  12. I never had the pleasure of meeting Steve. But I've always enjoyed his posts here on OL. He came across as a highly intelligent, erudite objectivist/libertarian, someone who had been around the movement for a long time and had met many of its most well known thinkers. He'll definitely be missed. Martin
  13. George, This seems to be synonymous with the view that a truly Rothbardian style market anarchist society can never be established, since the Randian style limited government that would be needed to precede it can never be established as a starting point. This is a very different perspective that the agorist, counter-economic views of people like SEK3 and, now, Kevin Carson, right? Also, the scenario shown in "Alongside Night", in which a market anarchist society was established from within the wreckage of a society destroyed by a predatory fascist government. Schulman's point was that trying to reform the government into a fiscally responsible limited government would actually be an impediment to the establishment of a market anarchist society. Whereas you seem to be saying that setting up such a limited government is actually a precondition for the establishment of a market anarchist society, but a precondition that can never be brought about. Martin
  14. Has the prevalence of autism really increased by 600% in the past two decades? What would cause such a dramatic increase in such a short period of time? This seems like a medical impossibility. Is this instead a case of changing the diagnostic criteria, such that what is now labeled as autism was previously not given this label? Or has there really been such a huge increase in so little time? I'm sorry about your son and wish him the best. Martin
  15. http://en.wikipedia....ed_to_terrorism "On 13 January 2009, the Pentagon said that 18 former detainees are confirmed to have participated in attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks.[11] A Spokesman said evidence of someone being "confirmed" could include fingerprints, a conclusive photograph or "well-corroborated intelligence reporting." He said the Pentagon would not discuss how the statistics were derived because of security concerns. National security expert and CNN analyst Peter Bergen, states that some of those "suspected" to have returned to terrorism are so categorized because they publicly made anti-American statements, "something that's not surprising if you've been locked up in a U.S. prison camp for several years." If all on the "confirmed" list have indeed returned to the battlefield, that would amount to 4 percent of the detainees who have been released." http://en.wikipedia...._detention_camp "According to the UC Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, fifteen juveniles spent time as prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp — three more than the U.S. State Department had publicly acknowledged. Three children who had been detained with adults, and treated and interrogated as if they were adults, at the Bagram Collection Point were provided with more humane conditions at Camp Iguana. But half a dozen teenagers who should have been considered minors even by the DoD's more stringent standards were not only detained with adults, and not provided with schooling, but reported being punished by long periods in isolation and subjected to abusive interrogation." The majority of prisoners held at Guantanamo were not guilty of anything. Many were rounded up by offers of bounties to Afghan warlords. Since Debbie Schlussel is such a humanitarian, so concerned with the suffering and death of innocent people, she should certainly be concerned about the widespread incarceration and abusive treatment of innocent people, including children as young as 13, held at Guantanamo. Yet this doesn't seem to concern her at all. Also, she doesn't seem at all concerned about the tens of thousands of innocent people killed by the U.S. government in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and countless other countries where the U.S. government has aided death squads and totalitarian governments that have murdered and enslaved their own citizens. In fact, if one counts the total number of innocent people killed by private terrorists compared to the total number of innocent people killed by the U.S. government, the comparison would suggest that the U.S. government is by far a worst terrorist than all private terrorists combined. I eagerly await Schlussel's next article documenting this fact. I understand the value of a screed, but this needs more sophistication or there's no ratiocination. --Brant I'm sorry you didn't like the style of my "screed". The point, in case it's not entirely obvious, is that Debbie Schlussel is a rabid neocon who has cheered on the U.S. wars which have killed untold tens of thousands of innocent people, at the same time that she is full of moral outrage at the killing of four innocent people in France. In fact, after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, she said: "Rot in hell, Osama Bin Laden. One down, 1.8 billion to go." This coming from a woman whose families were survivors of the holocaust. I can see why Bob Kolker thinks she's such a wonderful person. Martin