Steve Gagne

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  1. Not to mention the Federal Gardening Cops. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GROUND CONTROL Lose your property for growing food? Big Brother legislation could mean prosecution, fines up to $1 million -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted: March 16, 2009 8:56 pm Eastern By Chelsea Schilling © 2009 WorldNetDaily Some small farms and organic food growers could be placed under direct supervision of the federal government under new legislation making its way through Congress. Food Safety Modernization Act House Resolution 875, or the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., in February. DeLauro's husband, Stanley Greenburg, works for Monsanto – the world's leading producer of herbicides and genetically engineered seed. DeLauro's act has 39 co-sponsors and was referred to the House Agriculture Committee on Feb. 4. It calls for the creation of a Food Safety Administration to allow the government to regulate food production at all levels – and even mandates property seizure, fines of up to $1 million per offense and criminal prosecution for producers, manufacturers and distributors who fail to comply with regulations. Michael Olson, host of the Food Chain radio show and author of "Metro Farm," told WND the government should focus on regulating food production in countries such as China and Mexico rather than burdening small and organic farmers in the U.S. with overreaching regulations. "We need somebody to watch over us when we're eating food that comes from thousands and thousands of miles away. We need some help there," he said. "But when food comes from our neighbors or from farmers who we know, we don't need all of those rules. If your neighbor sells you something that is bad and you get sick, you are going to get your hands on that farmer, and that will be the end of it. It regulates itself." The legislation would establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services "to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes." Federal regulators will be tasked with ensuring that food producers, processors and distributors – both large and small – prevent and minimize food safety hazards such as food-borne illnesses and contaminants such as bacteria, chemicals, natural toxins or manufactured toxicants, viruses, parasites, prions, physical hazards or other human pathogens. Under the legislation's broad wording, slaughterhouses, seafood processing plants, establishments that process, store, hold or transport all categories of food products prior to delivery for retail sale, farms, ranches, orchards, vineyards, aquaculture facilities and confined animal-feeding operations would be subject to strict government regulation. Government inspectors would be required to visit and examine food production facilities, including small farms, to ensure compliance. They would review food safety records and conduct surveillance of animals, plants, products or the environment. "What the government will do is bring in industry experts to tell them how to manage all this stuff," Olson said. "It's industry that's telling government how to set these things up. What it always boils down to is who can afford to have the most influence over the government. It would be those companies that have sufficient economies of scale to be able to afford the influence – which is, of course, industrial agriculture." Farms and food producers would be forced to submit copies of all records to federal inspectors upon request to determine whether food is contaminated, to ensure they are in compliance with food safety laws and to maintain government tracking records. Refusal to register, permit inspector access or testing of food or equipment would be prohibited. "What is going to happen is that local agriculture will end up suffering through some onerous protocols designed for international agriculture that they simply don't need," Olson said. "Thus, it will be a way for industrial agriculture to manage local agriculture." Under the act, every food producer must have a written food safety plan describing likely hazards and preventative controls they have implemented and must abide by "minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water." "That opens a whole can of worms," Olson said. "I think that's where people are starting to freak out about losing organic agriculture. Who is going to decide what the minimum standards are for fertilization or anything else? The government is going to bring in big industry and say we are setting up these protocols, so what do you think we should do? Who is it going to bring in to ask? The government will bring in people who have economies of scale who have that kind of influence." DeLauro's act calls for the Food Safety Administration to create a "national traceability system" to retrieve history, use and location of each food product through all stages of production, processing and distribution. Olson believes the regulations could create unjustifiable financial hardships for small farmers and run them out of business. "That is often the purpose of rules and regulations: to get rid of your competition," he said. "Only people who are very, very large can afford to comply. They can hire one person to do paperwork. There's a specialization of labor there, and when you are very small, you can't afford to do all of these things." Olson said despite good intentions behind the legislation, this act could devastate small U.S. farms. "Every time we pass a rule or a law or a regulation to make the world a better place, it seems like what we do is subsidize production offshore," he said. "We tell farmers they can no longer drive diesel tractors because they make bad smoke. Well, essentially what we're doing is giving China a subsidy to grow our crops for us, or Mexico or anyone else." Section 304 of the Food Safety Modernization Act establishes a group of "experts and stakeholders from Federal, State, and local food safety and health agencies, the food industry, consumer organizations, and academia" to make recommendations for improving food-borne illness surveillance. According to the act, "Any person that commits an act that violates the food safety law … may be assessed a civil penalty by the Administrator of not more than $1,000,000 for each such act." Each violation and each separate day the producer is in defiance of the law would be considered a separate offense and an additional penalty. The act suggests federal administrators consider the gravity of the violation, the degree of responsibility and the size and type of business when determining penalties. Criminal sanctions may be imposed if contaminated food causes serious illness or death, and offenders may face fines and imprisonment of up to 10 years. "It's just frightening what can happen with good intentions," Olson said. "It's probably the most radical notions on the face of this Earth, but local agriculture doesn't need government because it takes care of itself." Food Safety and Tracking Improvement Act Another "food safety" bill that has organic and small farmers worried is Senate Bill 425, or the Food Safety and Tracking Improvement Act, sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Brown's bill is backed by lobbyists for Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland and Tyson. It was introduced in September and has been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. Some say the legislation could also put small farmers out of business. Like HR 875, the measure establishes a nationwide "traceability system" monitored by the Food and Drug Administration for all stages of manufacturing, processing, packaging and distribution of food. It would cost $40 million over three years. "We must ensure that the federal government has the ability and authority to protect the public, given the global nature of the food supply," Brown said when he introduced the bill. He suggested the FDA and USDA have power to declare mandatory recalls. The government would track food shipped in interstate commerce through a recordkeeping and audit system, a secure, online database or registered identification. Each farmer or producer would be required to maintain records regarding the purchase, sale and identification of their products. A 13-member advisory committee of food safety and tracking technology experts, representatives of the food industry, consumer advocates and government officials would assist in implementing the traceability system. The bill calls for the committee to establish a national database or registry operated by the Food and Drug Administration. It also proposes a electronic records database to identify sales of food and its ingredients "establishing that the food and its ingredients were grown, prepared, handled, manufactured, processed, distributed, shipped, warehoused, imported, and conveyed under conditions that ensure the safety of the food." It states, "The records should include an electronic statement with the date of, and the names and addresses of all parties to, each prior sale, purchase, or trade, and any other information as appropriate." If government inspectors find that a food item is not in compliance, they may force producers to cease distribution, recall the item or confiscate it. "If the postal service can track a package from my office in Washington to my office in Cincinnati, we should be able to do the same for food products," Sen. Brown said in a Sept. 4, 2008, statement. "Families that are struggling with the high cost of groceries should not also have to worry about the safety of their food. This legislation gives the government the resources it needs to protect the public." Recalls of contaminated food are usually voluntary; however, in his weekly radio address on March 15, President Obama announced he's forming a Food Safety Working Group to propose new laws and stop corruption of the nation's food. The group will review, update and enforce food safety laws, which Obama said "have not been updated since they were written in the time of Teddy Roosevelt." The president said outbreaks from contaminated foods, such as a recent salmonella outbreak among consumers of peanut products, have occurred more frequently in recent years due to outdated regulations, fewer inspectors, scaled back inspections and a lack of information sharing between government agencies. "In the end, food safety is something I take seriously, not just as your president but as a parent," Obama said. "No parent should have to worry that their child is going to get sick from their lunch just as no family should have to worry that the medicines they buy will cause them harm." The blogosphere is buzzing with comments on the legislation, including the following: Obama and his cronies or his puppetmasters are trying to take total control – nationalize everything, disarm the populace, control food, etc. We are seeing the formation of a total police state. Well ... that's not very " green " of Obama. What's his real agenda? This is getting way out of hand! Isn't it enough the FDA already allows poisons in our foods? If you're starving, no number of guns will enable you to stay free. That's the whole idea behind this legislation. He who controls the food really makes the rules. The government is terrified of the tax loss. Imagine all the tax dollars lost if people actually grew their own vegetables! Imagine if people actually coordinated their efforts with family, friends and neighbors. People could be in no time eating for the price of their own effort. ... Oh the horror of it all! The last thing the government wants is for us to be self-sufficient. They want to make you dependent upon government. I say no way! already the government is giving away taxes from my great great grandchildren and now they want to take away my food, my semi-auto rifles, my right to alternative holistic medicine? We need a revolution, sheeple! Wake up! They want fascism ... can you not see that? The screening processes will make it very expensive for smaller farmers, where bigger agriculture corporations can foot the bill. If anything it just increases accountability, which is arguably a good thing. It pretty much says they'll only confiscate your property if there are questions of contamination and you don't comply with their inspections. I think the severity of this has been blown out of proportion by a lot of conjecture. Don't waste your time calling the criminals in D.C. and begging them to act like humans. This will end with a bloody revolt. The more I examine this (on the surface) seemingly innocuous bill the more I hate it. It is a coward's ploy to push out of business small farms and farmers markets without actually making them illegal because many will choose not to operate due to the compliance issue. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chelsea Schilling is a staff writer for WorldNetDaily.
  2. from the Official Ron Paul Presidential Campaign website Ron Paul Raises $6 Million in One Day (12/17/07) Candidate has most successful fundraising day in American political history ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential campaign had a record fundraising day yesterday. In a 24-hour period on December 16, the campaign raised $6.026 million dollars, surpassing the one-day record of $5.7 million held by John Kerry. During the day, over 58,000 people contributed to Dr. Paul’s campaign, including 24,940 first-time donors. Over 118,000 Americans have donated to the campaign in the fourth quarter. The $6 million one-day total means the campaign has raised over $18 million this quarter, far exceeding its goal of $12 million. "We have the right message: freedom, peace and prosperity," said Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman Kent Snyder. "We also have the right candidate: Dr. Ron Paul." Congressman Paul will be campaigning in Iowa today and will be holding a press conference at 12:45 pm at the Des Moines Marriott in the Des Moines Room. Paul Campaign Statement Following $6 Million Fundraising Day (12/17/07) ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - Following its historic fundraising day on December 16th, Ron Paul campaign chairman Kent Snyder issued the following statement: "There is an unprecedented outpouring of grassroots support for Dr. Paul. The message of freedom is powerful and uniting people across America. And, Dr. Paul is the only candidate offering real solutions to the issues Americans care about, with the record to back it up. "Americans are sick and tired of our broken borders and they know the other candidates are not serious about illegal immigration. Dr. Paul has proposed serious and substentative legislation to fix our immigration problems once and for all. The $6 million one-day total means the campaign has raised over $18 million this quarter, far exceeding its goal of $12 million. "Finally, as Americans see the value of their dollar plummet, they know Dr. Paul has devoted his political career to stopping the inflation that makes it impossible for middle-class families to get ahead. Only Dr. Paul has a plan to cut spending, balance budgets and take care of people who have become dependent on government programs. "Americans spoke loud and clear on December 16th. They want Dr. Paul's solutions."
  3. As a Ron Paul supporter, I sadly think you may be right. Rudy Giuliani is a criminal, but so are the bulk of our electorate. Neither he nor any of them gives a rat's ass for freedom, for the Constitution, for the Republic, or for the rule of law -- not for any of the principles this country is based upon. So, yes, his bloviations on "strength" will draw enough votes from armchair generals; he therefore stands a good chance of taking the nomination, and perhaps even of beating the spooky lady. Sad.
  4. Robert I don't know what you mean by "his organization". The official campaign has only a few dozen people working on it. And they are not responsible for most of the buzz. Nice people, but they can't even get their act together enough to fill completely or to mail out paid-in-full brochure orders for/to campaigners on a timely basis. But there are over 84,000 volunteers (at last count), self-organized through Meetup-dot-com, who have essentially hijacked his campaign, and are portraying it as a run for each person's personal platform -- there are constitutionalists, libertarians, sound-money people, law'n'order types, 9-11 truthers, LEAP supporters, anti-tax people, pro-national sovereignty/anti-UN/anti-NWO/anti-one-world government types, anti-Fed/anti-CFR/anti-Bilderburg/anti-Trilateral Commission/anti-Bohemian Grove/anti-Rothschild/anti-Rockefeller types, pro-peace people, open-border people, closed-border people, anti-fascist/anti-corporate types, capitalists, free-trade people, pro-life people, states-rights people, gun-rights people, property-rights people, anti-Patriot Act people, pro-Civil Rights people, MUFON types, historians, Catholic Christians, Jews, Zionists, even some Objectivists. And then there are the certifiable nut cases, like the Republican Liberty Caucus (their PAC is headed by Ron Paul himself). But every single one of these people believes that Dr. Paul is speaking to and for them. It is estimated that there will be over 100K volunteers by the time of the Florida primary, and nearly a quarter of a million by the time the general presidential election occurs. But none in the Meetup groups is directed by campaign headquarters; these are true grassroot efforts. It is how a $4.3 million "Money Bomb" was raised from over 37,000 individuals in one day; it is why there were planes and boats and trolleys at the CNN/YouTube debates, filled with volunteers (dwarfing the support of other candidates); it is why there will now be a Ron Paul Blimp traveling around the country from now till the primaries; it is why there will be another "Money Bomb" fundraiser on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party (December 16). None of this is directed by official campaign headquarters. Now, as far as "sucking up" goes, each of these supporters has his own beliefs, own standards, own values, and trying to get any particular group of them work together is like trying to herd cats. So how exactly does one "suck up" to himself? [And should anyone doubt the point of a North American Union, using NAFTA and the SPP as a basis for it, and creating a new currency, the Amero, to replace the U.S. dollar, I would refer you to The Late Great Dr. Jerome Corsi, as well as Vicente Fox's recent comments that he and President Bush were planning exactly that, a North American Union, in all of their NAFTA/SPP negotiations. I also refer you to this graphic, and ask if there is subterfuge being used to finance this project on Route 35 with our tax dollars, surreptitiously:
  5. Here is my Fear. Is Ron Paul channeling Neville Chamberlain? Sometimes, the only defense, is offense. Ba'al Chatzaf Bob You misread Dr. Paul. When the Iraqi invasion was first proposed, Dr. Paul sought moral and legal justification for a constitutionally-provided congressional Declaration of War, in order to empower the President to use all necessary force to start and finish the military actions there. President Bush and the rest of congress weaseled out of it, turning it into another "multilateral police action" where inadequate force was used, and the battle now will never end, i.e., it is just another perpetual war, the tool of a tyrant. The war in Iraq has become nothing more than political theatre where the tickets are paid for with the blood of American soldiers.
  6. Ummm.....Michael.......pssst....I live in an area 6 miles from McVeigh's original home here in Florida, an area permeated with Christian fundamentalist types, and with whom I share much common ground. Part of that common ground is this: McVeigh was no Christian. His position is seen as a (possibly brainwashed) godless government patsy in the line of Ruby Ridge-WTC I-Waco-OK City-Flight 800-USS Cole-IIBT-WTC II-Afghanistan-Iraq-Burma, i.e., the elitist political program. Perpetual terror for perpetual war: perpetual war for perpetual power. And though the Church as a collection of collectivist institutions has had (more than) its share of powermongering, that has nothing to do with what McVeigh did, nor with what individual Christians believe. Even if someone associates with a racist group called "Christian Identity", does that make it Christian? Or to put it another way, if I (hypothetically) started to call my approach "Theistic Christian Objectivism", would that make it Objectivism? Does calling make it so? No. It doesn't. What makes it so is properly identifying what it is you are focusing on, identifying the relevant characteristics for the type of object you are observing, and guaranteeing by observation that there is ONE EGG of these relevant characteristics in the present instance, to allow identification between the specific object and your concept of it. In your equation mcveigh = christian, you have not done this. So the Christian leadership, though sharing your (and my) horror at the bestiality of mcveigh's actions, have no moral responsibility to repudiate in this case; your chosen example is irrelevant.
  7. Why do the French like only one egg? Because, for a Frenchman. one egg is un oeuf. (Barbara's going to excommunicate me again now -- I can sense it.) Sincerement, Étienne Antoine Gagné dít Belavance dela Frésnàye
  8. From Wikipedia: Also from Wiki: And again from Wiki: And finally, from Wiki But you say it "was too Christian and did not have the balance". Somehow I get the impression you may be reading more into it than you're reading out of it. But at least you're in good company. Give a Bible to a fundamentalist Christian and he'll do the same thing.
  9. It is the year 2004 and Noah lives in the United States. The Lord speaks to Noah and says, "In one year, I am going to make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until all is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on the earth. Therefore, I am commanding you to build an Ark." In a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for an Ark. Fearful and trembling, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the Ark. "Remember," said the Lord, "You must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in one year." Exactly one year later, a fierce storm cloud covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult. The Lord saw Noah sitting in his front yard weeping. "Noah," He shouted, "where is the Ark?" "Lord, please forgive me!" cried Noah. "I did my best, but there were big problems. First, I had to get a permit for construction and your plans did not comply with the codes. I had to hire an engineering firm and redraw the plans. Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system and floatation devices. Then my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission. I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. I finally convinced the U.S. Forest Service that I needed the wood to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won't let me catch any owls. So, no owls. The carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Union. Now I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls. When I started rounding up the other animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me only taking two of each kind aboard. Just when I got the suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn't take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the universe. Then the Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood plan. I sent them a globe. Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking godless, unbelieving people aboard! The IRS has seized my assets, claiming that I'm building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes I just got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax and failed to register the Ark as a "recreational water craft." Finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it is a religious event and therefore, unconstitutional I really don't think I can finish the Ark for another 5 or 6 years!" Noah wailed. The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine and the seas began the calm. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up hopefully. "You mean you are not going to destroy the earth, Lord. "No," said the Lord sadly. "I don't have to. The government already has."
  10. CNN Dirty Tricks With Wolf on Ron Paul Posted by: "Anson" interpolarize Fri Oct 5, 2007 7:19 pm (PST) CNN Dirty Tricks With Wolf B.In The Situation Room Posted October 5th, 2007 by Kevin@HarperRealty SEE VIDEO AT BOTTOM OF PAGE: I remember after I watched the Wolf Blitzer interview yesterday I felt like Dr. Ron was off his game. What happened I thought? I study subliminal advertising so I watched again looking for subliminal messages and what I saw was shocking. Words such as Darfur Match, Naked Woman, KKK, Not Join, Marked, "deal with noo", fire, accident were prominently featured in the backround as Ron was being interviewed. Coincidence? I don't think so. Nothing on that set was happenstance. The backround was designed to elicit a negative subconscious response from the viewer and in my opinion it worked and should be guarded against in the future. SEE CNN's The Situation Room, broadcast on October 4, 2007 Scroll down to the video. When CNN camera goes to Ron, hit pause and read the words on the screen behind him. Future interviewers should be put on notice we are aware and watching. Bookmark/Search this post with:
  11. Paper trail. But if one is going to print stuff why not use a paper ballot in the first place? Ba'al Chatzaf Bob -- What this guy Jim Condit is talking about is that these systems produce no paper trails. What has been happening is that an expected outcome is announced for a particular election ahead of time. Then when the election occurs, exit polls show an entirely different set of numbers. But then the votes are "counted", and voila, the results match what was "predicted" before the voting occurred. But there's a problem...the "actual" numbers read from the machine and reported to the public don't match the actual count of people voting. (e.g., It looks like at least 40% of the votes from the last Iowa straw poll went missing.) And a "recount" consists of verifying that these skewed figures were read correctly from the machine, since there is no audit trail of the actual votes. As I mentioned to Chris, this guy has already documented how the same thing happened in 1988 and 1996. steve
  12. Actually this guy is more concerned with the 88 & 96 elections, when so called "moderate" repubs took the nominations rather than the conservative candidates. What we ended up with was Bush sr. & Clinton.
  13. This is a letter from someone who has been on the topic since forever.
  14. But Oswald was in Mexico City with ME that day. We were planning the next memorial of the loss of the Titanic. It had that humongous shipment of Hellman's Mayonaise on board, bound for Mexico when it sank. Such a great loss to the Mexicans, it's why they memorialize Sinko da Mayo. :homestar: Welcome to the S.S. Homestarrunner-dot-com. I'm your captain, Homestar Runner...
  15. Richard Nixon proposed both in 1969, but everyone was too busy criticizing the war to notice. So the democrat congress sliced & diced his proposals till all we got was Social Security taking over all the local welfare rolls for the aged, blind, and disabled. (the "AABD Conversion"), which doubled the paperwork and the number of bureaucrats needed to run the programs. Also provided some nifty cover for the bureaucrats to fleece the system. As a welfare bureaucrat in my county (early-mid 70's), I took part in an investigation that uncovered $10's of millions of welfare fraud -- more than the entire yearly county budget. Turns out that 84% of the fraud was by welfare department employees opening & certifying their own cases. Talk about a blank check. Of course, my boss had to stifle the investigation when he found it was going to interfere with his political ambitions.
  16. Bob If you (and Michael) don't stop this I'm gonna lose it. :hyper: Steve p.s. Congrats on your reward.
  17. No. It was a cheap shot. Mea Culpa! Sometimes I just cannot help myself. When they announced Habemus Pappam with Benny 16, I responded with Seig Heil! I guess the fact that Benny 16 was a Hitler Youth sticks in my craw. I am not generally anti-Catholic even though I had the shit beaten out of me by Catholic bullies (when I was a kid). You see, I personally killed Christ, or so they said. Even so, I should not keep holding a grudge. Shame on me double. I should have more self control. Ba'al Chatzaf Bob -- Funny. Growing up, I got the shit beaten out of me for being an atheist. Then I grew up & after some changes became a pentecostal preacherman. When I finally followed what I knew I was supposed to do & converted to catholicism (to make my wife happy), Pope John Paul II died. Guess it killed him to have me a catholic. Maybe if I hadn't he'd still be alive. Naaaaahhh...... But he was the only one who could make it possible for me. Oh well. At the time JPII died, I really felt concerned that "the Rat" was going to be named Pope. I had the same response you did. But after some deep thought and meditation (Xians call it prayer), this was the answer I got:
  18. Chris In my salad days, when I accepted the whole objectivist/libertarian lines more consistently, I believed in the benefits of the free flow of goods and services, and the total freedom of anyone to associate with anyone they choose. This works all fine and dandy provided the society is made up only of rational adults, but as a matter of fact, it isn't. And you can't base the application of your principles on woulda-coulda-shoulda-and-if-the-queen-had-balls-she'd-be-king. It doesn't work. If you try to do that, you end up believing in a eutopia myth, similar to the communist concept of the "end of history", that is, their end of the historical hegelian dialectic, in which the state "just withers away". It's not gonna happen. So you're left with a bunch of wreckage of human lives, for which a blind application of your (my) principles is responsible, and the people responsible (you and me) refusing to accept responsibility. I see this as a repetitive motif in human history, and I don't see objectivism or libertarianism as being immune from it. Great. We're turning the only philosophical foundations for a free productive society into a justification for parasitism, gang warfare, slavery and human trafficking. Just what we need. =============== BTW, is there a synopsis of the seminar available online?
  19. Merlin, Does non-metric topology use any units? Michael Yes, "unit" meaning "member of a set", but not meaning "a basis of measurement". I comment about Rand's ambiguous use of "unit" in the 2nd link in msg #198. Using Topoi one can even eliminate set theory. I suppose elements of a set would correspond roughly to Michael's "units". But even those can be made to go away. The fact that any mathematical theory has objects and relations means they constitute units in a trivial sense. Anything expressible in some sort of human language or another has units, so mathematics is not special in that sense. Ba'al Chatzaf Bob, can you point me at a book on that subject? Even so, the answer is still 476. That's how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I mean, how many times have you advocated for your Reality Lite viewpoint, and not insisted on it here? If you want to discuss how we get mental content, then you don't discuss math, you don't discuss physics, you don't discuss set theory, you don't discuss Aristotle. "Popper said...." "Aristotle said......" "Rand said....." "Plato said...." "J.S.Mill said......" but not one of these people did anything but hypothesize in the absence of evidence. What would YOU say? Experimental psychology is the scientific field that actually identifies how we get our mental content, how we do concept formation: i.e., learning. And it is not so verbal-centric that it ignores the 2-year pre-verbal period of learning we all go through from 5 months of gestation onward, wherein we acquire concepts such as "me-feel" (focus), "me"-"not-me" ("identity"), "me-do"-"not-me-do" ("causation"), "not-me-do"-"me-feel" ("pain/pleasure principle"), etc., etc., etc. It is because all these essential "axiomatic" concepts are learned, are formed, are inferred, at the pre-verbal level that later definitions appear circular or to tend toward infinite regression. You just can't remember how you got where you are, so you make it up as you go. The late experimental psychologist Robert Gagne (1916-2002, not an immediate relative) isolated 5 different types of learning, and proposed a process for applying the nine necessary conditions for learning (in the form of instruction -- his theories in learning have been applied to the military, kindergartens, home study programs, etc., with great success). From his work we find that the simplest answer to the question of the origin of mental content is, "It is learned." Though in some respects simplistic, based on postulation rather than evidence, and showing signs of what I have called elsewhere "knowledge stubs", Ayn Rand's hypotheses concerning concept formation echo significant parts of what has been theorized by Gagne et al. And if these principles are taken seriously, one realizes that our "knowledge" is the experienced concrete, generalized and integrated with what we have known before. This is learning, this is concept formation. It makes foolish any assertions about distinctions in types of "induction", because it's all the same thing. And there is no guarantee of automatic infallability. I suspect that would be the type of answer you would want, were you to be consistent to the principles you've advocated here.
  20. What is wrong with zero population growth? Or with a declining population? In many societies, the young economically support the old. In the USA, there is the social security system - in which funds paid by those working today go to support those now retired. In China, the young send money to their parents. In either case, a declining population means a declining ratio young/old which means fewer people supporting more. Since it may be necessary to avoid prolonged discussion on the subject: The above paragraph is not to be taken as an endorsement of these economic arrangements and all that accompanies them - merely a reflection on current reality. Alfonso Which, as it turns out, is the real reason for the "open borders" movement and the 20-30 million illegal immigrants the current administration wants to make instant citizens. Due to the American Holocaust of abortion, over 47 million people who would have been born in the past generation under other circumstances, and over 120 million in the next generation, will never be. That's 167 million taxpayers, gone, poof, into thin air, and their physical remains sold as dog food. That's why the politicians think we need a massive infusion of new taxpaying citizens, and it doesnt matter if they speak english, it doesnt matter if they're educated -- because the next generation will be, at our expense, it doesnt matter if they believe in the American way or capitalism, or freedom, or anything at all, because by that time, as far as the politicians are concerned, we'll all be dead. That's the great ideal -- a new generation of milch cows, to pay our social security, and after that we die, and what we leave behind is their problem. Free trade, it's a beautiful thing.
  21. Back in the 60's Atherton Press compiled a series of articles on this subject, on natural regulation of animal populations. Several writers surveyed known animal populations over the previous hundred years or so, and noticed a pattern that appeared to be malthusian, in that an incremental increase in resources appeared to trigger an exponential increase in populations. After shooting sky high, the population would outstrip resources, destroy their environment, and fall to a bare subsistence level, far below the previous stasis level, until the environment recovered. The population would then have a chance to return to its previous stasis level. The population growth curves actully looked like a human heartbeat as represented by an EKG. (Of course if the environment was taxed beyond recovery, it resulted in the creature's extinction.) During that time everyone and his brother-in-law was advocating drastic measures for the supposed "overpopulation" that was happening in human society. Of course, nothing of the sort was happening; at the time it was just over-concentrations of population in a few pockets where the people with the biggest mouths lived. But I took the bait and started to figure out what the result would be if the then-current population projections were accurate. What I came up with (in 68) was this: that in 300 years, every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth could have 6 acres of land for their own exclusive use and possession. At the time I was making these calculations, it took nearly an acre of land to produce all the products needed for an individual; I projected that by that time, technological advance would reduce that requirement to under a 1/4 of an acre, most of it renewable. That's it. Of the 6 acres for each individual, 5-3/4 acres would be virtually unused. Nearly 96% of the earth's land surface would be empty under theoretical "overpopulation" conditions. And that isn't even happening. The problem now is that, compared to the projections, the world is virtually uninhabited; the resources are just being handled so badly.
  22. Which, in a roundabout way, brings us back to Bill's point. Now we're probably going to have to split this into several seperate discussions: 1) Morality in an imperfect world, and 2) How to make the imperfect world more perfect, and 3) Errors in our own understandings. The first point concerns the the compromises we all make (including Greenspan) in order to work in a world full of immoral people, institutions, and expectations. The second concerns the methodology we might use to obviate those aspects of living in our current mixed economy that occasion us to make those compromises -- definitely a seperate topic. The third concerns our own misunderstandings concerning principles and applicability. I think I should start with the last one first. There are a number of implicit expectations on our internal wish-lists that we have hung on various statements by others, concerning rights, responsibilities, role of government, etc. But there are some points are made explicit elsewhere that contradict our understandings in this discussion. Firstly, the Declaration of Independence, as worded and approved by the Founders, explicitly abandoned Paine's "life, liberty, and property" for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", stating that rights exist only in a state of action, not in regard to an object itself. Thus the commonsense definition of private property ownership is NOT part of the this nation's foundation document. That doesn't mean we cannot make it part of the future, but it definitely is not out of our national past. Because of this crucial difference in understanding regarding property, the national impetus held that, whereas you could not tax a man's person, nor his freedoms, you could, on the other hand tax agricultural products, which increased, not solely by man's efforts, but grew by the "Grace of God", and was thus not man's property but God's. And the common religious tradition at that time was that the wayfarer, the widowed, the orphaned, the homeless, the halt, the lamed, all had a claim on any excess created in this manner, i.e., by the "Hand of God." Furthermore, manufactured goods were made of the agricultural products and natural resources discovered in the land. These products were seen as subject to not only the claims made on agricultural products, but also to a societal claim on "privileged activities", activities that would not have existed but for the producer's relation to society -- this claim being called "the excise". This is the basis of recognizing taxation in the past. If you wish to dispose of the myth, you must at least postulate a principle of similar mythic impact, or be left with an inherently self-contradictory principle of government smack dab in the middle of your philosophy. Secondly, in her discussion of the relation between the right of self-defense and government, AR emphasized a point that is being soft-pedaled here. The state is a corporate entity to whom we surrender our right to initiate retaliation WITHIN A SPECIFIC LIMITED GEOGRAPHIC AREA. Note that this must needs be a unitary enterprise (see her discussion re: "competing governments"), and does not constitute surrendering our right of self defense. Because of this necessity (of the government being a unitary entity), it must regard actions against itself as a "threat", thus assuming its own institutional sense of self defense, a right-in-action, of initiating action against perceived threats. There is nothing in Objectivist theory that provides any guarantee that the state, resting within its powers, will restrain itself in exercising this; 100% taxation ("tribute" or serfdom) could quickly become the order of the day. But it is because the state can do this, with none to oppose, that the powers of government must be strictly limited by the rule of law, under the control of civil authority. Thus civil authority is there, not to "validate" or "enforce" taxation (institutionalized theft), but to sharply limit it. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." So our theoretical spin has got to change if we want to get this right. (oops wife says I gots to go.) As far as Morality in an imperfect world, remember that "I owe no debt of morality to those who would treat me immorally." If I am facing an essentially irrational situation, do not expect my actions to make sense according to your standards. As far as making it a more perfect world, O'ism has a long way to go, adequately answering questions of "how" in human society, before it will be mature enough to guide society cleanly. (Telling people that they are irrelevant isn't very productive.) It will have to recognize and embrace the cultic and mythic aspect of human belief systems, to answer societal man's needs, without closing off growth. (A la David Kelley "T&T" rather than "I am AR's spiritual heir" LP.) Good manners wouldn't hurt, either. steve
  23. No, globalism is not "one of the most powerful forces for liberty", it is the process of indebting every nation in the world, every man, woman, and child, to the IMF, World Bank, and other international banking organizations so they can suck the lifeblood, every drop of wealth, out of every human being on the face of the planet. Once we are all on that treadmill, the debts are structured so that repayment schedules are always greater than the resources available to repay them, so that they can never be repaid: perpetual debt, perpetual servitude. This is a recipe for disaster, and its end result is first, chaos, next, war, and then, tyranny. I suggest that this is the opposite of what you wish to accomplish.