Mike Renzulli

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Everything posted by Mike Renzulli

  1. What's significant about the article I posted was that it was reported by the U.K. Guardian which is well known in Britain for being a left-wing rag. I'll bet the staff of that paper took pains to report the story of Spanish socialists getting spanked. Having lived there a number of years in my youth, I take great pride in learning the socialists are out on their ears. I guess the lessons learned during the Spanish Civil War didn't stick as much as it should have. ~ Shane
  2. The only notable thing that Pawlenty has done that a libertarian might appreciate is that when asked during an interview what he would do for fun, Pawlenty replied he would play hockey and drink beer. That's not saying much. I am impressed with the manner in which he is articulating his economic policies but think it's Pawlenty's stridency on social issues that ultimately will be his undoing. Pawlenty is absolutely TERRIBLE on social issues. He hasn't got a libertarian streak whatsoever. As an economist I do think Pawlenty at least sounds good on economics (I can only go by the single interview with him that I've watched) but good economic policy is insufficient.
  3. I think Lawrence vs. Texas will put the brakes on anymore attempts to try to bring Intelligent Deception ... er ... Design into the classroom. The ruling itself is so specific that there is no way ID can rear its ugly head for long. Question: Is hepatitis contagious? I could possibly forgive him for require HPV vaccination but I cannot forgive him for advocating Intelligent Design being taught on equal footing with the Theory of Evolution. Ba'al Chatzaf
  4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/23/zapatero-socialists-defeated-peoples-party
  5. The last scorecard from Cato shows Perry got a B rating (respectfully) while Tim Pawlenty got an A. Not bad. I would back Pawlenty but I do not think he has as much star appeal as Perry in order to kick out Obama.
  6. You are correct that's not what I am talking about. I mean the one who not only can best kick out Obama but a candidate that would be the friendliest to capitalism. As to your assertion about the American Empire, that is false and at best a myth. It is not imperialism when your country if not civilization in general is under relentless attack from radical religionists hell-bent on bringing down your society and wanting to enslave you while openly stating they wish to do so since (as they claim) their god commands it. The imperialists in all of this are the Islamists not the United States. If this be an empire then let us make the most of it.
  7. Me too! In case you or the others following this thread are interested, there is a campaign afoot to draft Perry to run. http://www.theunion.com/article/20110521/NEWS/110529992/1001&parentprofile=1053 ya ok And he can win and I could support him quite comfortably!
  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/us/politics/20ttramsey.html After Rush Limbaugh praised Perry the rumors started swirling that he might actually jump in.
  9. Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Infidel and read about her experience with female circumcision. In Ali's case her grandmother coerced her into having her genitalia mutilated. After doing so then let me know if you still come to the same conclusion. Solution: Do not ban the genital surgery on females. It is not life threatening and if it makes people with certain religious beliefs jolly, let it be done. The State does not own the c*nts of baby girls. Ba'al Chatzaf
  10. http://www.indystar.com/article/20110522/NEWS05/305220008/
  11. I agree with this and what Greybird and Michael have said. The involuntary mutiliation of a human being's genitalia (no matter what age or sex they are) is not only barbaric but should be left to someone wait until they are of age to where they would be able to decide. A parent takes on the role of guardian and caretaker of the child they bring into the world. That right does not include circumcising their baby's genitals for religious or other reasons.
  12. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704083904576333854204431930.html "The National Labor Relations Board's expanded scrutiny of companies that move jobs away from union shops is bringing the partisan conflict over labor policy back to a boil. The NLRB, controlled by Obama administration appointees, has alleged that Boeing Co. retaliated against union workers in Washington state by adding a nonunion plant in South Carolina to assemble additional 787 Dreamliner planes. The agency is trying to force the company to move the work to Washington, where Dreamliners are already made; Boeing says the allegations are groundless."
  13. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110519/ap_on_re_us/us_circumcision_ban Circumcision ban to appear on San Francisco ballot By ROBIN HINDERY, The Associated Press Robin Hindery, The Associated Press Wed May 18, 9:30 pm ET SAN FRANCISCO – A proposal to ban the circumcision of male children in San Francisco has been cleared to appear on the November ballot, setting the stage for the nation's first public vote on what has long been considered a private family matter. But even in a city with a long-held reputation for pushing boundaries, the measure is drawing heavy fire. Opponents are lining up against it, saying a ban on a religious rite considered sacred by Jews and Muslims is a blatant violation of constitutional rights. Elections officials confirmed Wednesday the initiative had qualified for the ballot with more than 7,700 valid signatures from city residents. Initiatives must have at least 7,168 names to qualify. If the measure passes, circumcision would be prohibited among males under the age of 18. The practice would become a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. There would be no religious exemptions. The proposed ban appears to be the first in the country to make it this far, though a larger national debate over the health benefits of circumcision has been going on for many years. Banning circumcision would almost certainly prompt a flurry of legal challenges alleging violations of the First Amendment's guarantee of the freedom to exercise one's religious beliefs. Supporters of the ban say male circumcision is a form of genital mutilation that is unnecessary, extremely painful and even dangerous. They say parents should not be able to force the decision on their young child. "Parents are really guardians, and guardians have to do what's in the best interest of the child. It's his body. It's his choice," said Lloyd Schofield, the measure's lead proponent and a longtime San Francisco resident. He added the cutting away of the foreskin from the penis is a more invasive medical procedure than many new parents or childless individuals realize. But opponents say such claims are alarmingly misleading, and call the proposal a clear violation of constitutionally protected religious freedoms. "For a city that's renowned for being progressive and open-minded, to even have to consider such an intolerant proposition ... it sets a dangerous precedent for all cities and states," said Rabbi Gil Yosef Leeds of Berkeley. Leeds is a certified "mohel," the person who traditionally performs ritual circumcisions in the Jewish faith. He said for the past few months he has been receiving daily phone calls from members of the local Jewish community who are concerned about the proposed ban. But he said he is relatively confident that even if the measure is approved, it will be abruptly — and indefinitely — tied up in litigation. Jews consider religious male circumcision a commandment from God. It also is widely practiced by Muslims, and while it does not appear in the Quran it is mentioned in the Sunnah, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Most Christian denominations neither require nor forbid circumcision. The initiative's backers say its progress is the biggest success story to date in a decades-old, nationwide movement by so-called "intactivists" to end circumcision of male infants in the United States. A similar effort by the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based group Intact America to introduce a circumcision ban in the Massachusetts Legislature last year failed to gain traction. "It's been kind of under the radar until now, but it was a conversation that needed to happen," Schofield said of the debate over male circumcision. "We've tapped into a spark with our measure — something that's been going on for a long time." Schofield's group calls its initiative the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation bill, though he said the city attorney has opted to call the measure "Male Circumcision" on the ballot. The group's official website features a picture of a wide-eyed, delighted-looking baby and urges visitors to help "protect ALL infants and children in San Francisco from the pain and harm caused by forced genital cutting." Female genital cutting, a controversial practice that usually involves the removal of the clitoris, is illegal in the United States. A circumcision ban would simply extend the same protections to males, Schofield said. International health organizations have promoted circumcision as an important strategy for reducing the spread of the AIDS virus. That's based on studies that showed it can prevent AIDS among heterosexual men in Africa. But there hasn't been the same kind of push for circumcision in the U.S., in part because nearly 80 percent of American men are already circumcised, a much higher proportion than the worldwide average of 30 percent. Also, HIV spreads mainly among gay men in the U.S., and research indicates circumcision doesn't protect gay men from HIV. For years, federal health officials have been working on recommendations regarding circumcision. The effort was sparked by studies that found circumcision is partially effective in preventing the virus' spread between women and men. The recommendations are still being developed, and there is no date set for their release, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC doesn't have a position on the San Francisco proposal, said the spokeswoman, Elizabeth-Ann Chandler. The chief of pediatric urology at the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital said he remains neutral on the subject of circumcision when parents come to him seeking advice. Dr. Laurence Baskin said he instead tries to educate them about the medical benefits and potential downsides of the procedure. In addition to the AIDS studies, Baskin cited published research indicating that circumcision can reduce the incidence of other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as penile cancer and urinary tract infections. He disputed claims that circumcision is mutilation or causes significant pain. "It has what I would say would be a minimal amount of pain if done properly, so my recommendation is to use anesthesia," he said. However, he noted, "most people aren't circumcised and they do just fine." Baskin was not neutral on the subject of the new ballot measure, calling it "a bunch of nonsense." "I'm not going to stop doing circumcisions, and this would never pass the First Amendment test," he said. "The people who are doing this should focus on our budget problems, lack of education — something that could really help society." ___ AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe contributed to this report from Atlanta.
  14. The more I read about Mitch Daniels the more I like him. I am also reading that Governor Rick Perry of Texas might jump in the race. However, I think I read at RedState.com that members of Perry's staff are supporting Gingrich with the Governor's blessing. If Gingrich faulters (which looks likely) I would not be surprised if Perry jumps in. I do not know if I could support Perry as I know little about his record. However, if he decides to run I will support Mitch Daniels for President.
  15. UPDATE: Just got this notice. Alan Bock died shortly after being admitted to hospice.
  16. I have some bad news everyone. I have just found out that Orange County Register libertarian columnist and author Alan Bock has entered hospice. He retired from the paper in March and is now dying of cancer after having undergone chemotherapy for it recently. His wife reports he is comfortable and is surrounded by family and friends. For those of you who do not know he is not only the author of two books on the Ruby Ridge incident and medical marijuana but also uncovered the lies the ATF made about the Viper Militia which was repeated as gospel by the Clinton Administration and the subject of an article published in Reason magazine in the 1990's. I met and talked to Alan and his wife at a conference here in Phoenix back in 2004. He is a very nice man and a great journalist. Sadly, it won't be much longer before he is no longer with us.
  17. He stood on his principles that much is certain. However, this is the problem with many libertarians like him and those that follow him. They take consistency as an intrinsic value (i.e. consistent for the sake of being consistent). As a result they take their logic to an illogical extreme. Paul's opposition to assassinating bin Laden is an example.
  18. I have to admit I am not the biggest fan of Ron Paul. But a statement he made goes to show not only how naive he is about foreign policy but how idiotic his logic is. Due to the early attention he is getting about another Presidential run, Paul was recently quoted in the press as saying that he would not have ordered the assassination of Osama bin Laden [1]. While being questioned on a radio talk show, Paul elaborated by saying that we didn't get Pakistan's permission therefore the legality of such an operation was questionable since we violated the country's sovreignty. Never mind that bin Laden declared war on the U.S. in 1998 and later stated it was justified to kill Americans. Almost the entire government of Pakistan is friendly to Al-Quaeda and it was recently revealed that personel in the Pakistani government were alleged to have assisted bin Laden[2]. Possibly within the ISI which is the country's intelligence agency [3]. Like George Smith rightly pointed out bin Laden was a smug, self-righteous murderer who got what he deserved. With a statement like this and his asserting terrorism is the result of U.S. foreign policy (which it certainly is not) I think it's clear that Ron Paul is not fit to be President of the U.S. 1) http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/20110512/pl_dailycaller/ronpaulsayshewouldnothaveorderedbinladenkill_1 2) http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/05/pervez_musharraf_admits_pakist.html 3) http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/pakistan-spy-chief-offers-to-resign-after-bin-laden-killing/2011/05/13/AFDbBv2G_story.html
  19. But it is not impossible to come up with or form concepts based on reality to explain certain things. A concept, idea, or conclusion can be changed if new evidence is discovered which allows someone to change their minds of conclusions they originally held but it is valid only if it is based on reality. In terms of Popperian falsification or even Kantian skepticism, their absurd logic entails that even if someone discovers a black swan that invalidates someone's conclusion that all swans are white ultimate knowledge or reality can never be known since according to both Kant and Popper, no one can really be certain about anything but they can make up their reality as they go along. It is impossible to verify a general statement (about the world) that has indefinite number of instances empirically. To do so would require that the statement be tested everywhere and everywhen. It cannot be done. One can only refute a general statement with an empirically observed contrary fact. Ba'al Chatzaf
  20. His theory of the forms and philosophy gave the basis for determinism. Neoplatonists took his ideas further to culminate the concept of the divine including the existence of God. I didn't say Kant was a skeptic. However, Kant's skepticism as revealed in his ethics has been the basis for some awful ideas. The falsification theories as articulated by Karl Popper (who was an admitted Kantian skeptic) immediately come to mind. On the Aristotle quote I stand corrected.
  21. This year not only marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks but also the anniversary of a somewhat forgotten scandal that helped perpetuate the rebirth of the American left: the Enron scandal. Liberal groups latched on to the Enron scandal like bees on honey using the company as a scapegoat to point out the evils of capitalism. However, the events surrounding the scandal itself were not only misrepresented by the media but conspiracists on the left were able to conjure up a mythological tale worthy of a B-grade film for a grindhouse movie theater. In addition to the typical right-wing conspriacy theories (such as the New World Order), you've probably heard conspiracy theories from the left before: The Military Industrial Complex, the American Empire, multinational corporations and conglomerates, and the vast right wing conspiracy started by Hilary Clinton. At the time liberal spin-doctors labored night and day to make Enron out to be a typical cabal of free marketers. On the one hand leftists claimed the company was in bed with President George W. Bush to profit from its political connections with the White House. When it was revealed that the President turned down requests for help from Enron executives they then scolded Bush for not having done more to protect shareholders and Enron employees. There were also other conspiracies based on outright lies too. For example, despite not pointing out a singe rule to which Enron was immune New York Times columnist Paul Krugman stated politicians with ties to the company helped exempt Enron from regulations. One Newsweek columnist reeled against Enron brass alleging they pocketed stock options to benefit from an artifically inflated stock price while running the company into the ground. He also pointed out Wall Street brokers were the victims of being seduced by Enron's inflated stock price due to false bookkeeping kept silent by the company's accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Some even claimed Enron profited from California's electricity market deregulation despite the fact that the state's deregulation was done with hundreds of pages of new rules. To this day, none of this makes any sense. If any of the aforementioned groups stood to profit from Enron's demise why would Wall Street investment and prestigious accounting firms want to destroy their long-established reputations? At best the facts reveal that the only conspiracy was an unsuccessful attempt by Enron managers attempting to hide their incompetence. What explains conspiracy theories are not facts but a flawed philosophical outlook if not some semblance of paranoia. In the case of the Enron scandal conspriacies they are based on the Marxist theory of exploitation. According to Marx the bourgeoisie (i.e. Enron executives) conspired to exploit the proletariat (i.e. Enron shareholders and employees). Marx also went on to point out that ideas other than his (such as those that further capitalism) are part of the conspiracy to exploit the little guy as well. The overall underpinnings of conspiracy theories are a strand of faith influenced by Kantian skepticism and Plato's Theory of the Forms. Plato theorized that people's lives are predetermined by some hidden, unknown entity or group beyond man's ability to comprehend or understand while Kant stated that man's knowledge is always in doubt therefore reality or the truth can never be known. In terms of Plato, fortunately, his student Aristotle put his teacher's theory to bed. I love Plato, Aristotle said. but I love the truth more. Unfortunately, Kant and Plato's influence are still seen to this day in various forms of cultural and political movements. The most stark examples are religion, political correctness, multiculturalism, philosophical skepticism, environmentalism, subjectivism, pragmatism, and intelligent design. If central planning occurs as a result of plans from powers behind the thrones, then, consequently, people do not have free will since a person's freedom is negated by deterministic plans made without their knowledge by powers they cannot know or comprehend. This being the case one cannot claim to be a freedom lover yet purport determinism as the explanation for events like the Enron scandal and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I suggest following Aristotle's (or better yet Ayn Rand's) lead instead. The events surrounding alleged conspiracies are better explained by reality and not determinism or even mysticism. In the case of Enron and other economic disasters they are the result of bad policies and outright incompetence either on the part of politicians or corporate executives and not out of some vast conspiracy of cloistered rule.
  22. Hey Everyone, The Ludwig von Mises Institute is hosting an online course titled "Ayn Rand and Objectivism" which will be done by David Gordon. I am unsure if the course will be a critique or an actual study of Objectivism. The description leads me to believe it will be the latter. Cost is $100 and it will last for 6 weeks. For more details go here: http://mises.org/daily/5276/Ayn-Rand-and-Objectivism
  23. Oh okay, Adam. Thanks for clarifying.
  24. I wanted to comment with regards to comments someone made on these boards regarding the network Al-Jazeera. The individual (whose name escapes me at the moment) said they thought Al-Jazeera was a good source of reporting and information in terms of the goings on in the Middle East. I would suggest questioning anything that is reported by that network. Al-Jazeera has been caught reporting one thing on their English language programs but something completely the opposite on their Arab language networks. For example, last year when the Gaza flotilla incident occured, Al-Jazeera reported on the English side that the Gaza flotilla was a peaceful effort to bring aid to Gazans yet on their Arab language channels they ran a story from the Mavi Marmara ship in which footage was shown of Arab/Muslim participants chanting a song with verses discussing killing Jews. Then the same news report cut to a woman who stated that they hoped for either victory by breaking the Israeli blockade or martyrdom. http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=2323
  25. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/atlas-shrugged-producer-promises-two-182714 "The man who says he spent $10 million of his own money to bring Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 to the big screen vowed Wednesday to go through with his plans to make the next two installments, even though critics hate the movie and business at movie theaters has fallen off a cliff. In fact, said John Aglialoro, the co-producer and financier, it's the monolithic view from critics that say the movie stinks that is motivating him to make Parts 2 and 3, he told The Hollywood Reporter."