Dennis Hardin

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Everything posted by Dennis Hardin

  1. Prison rape is obviously a horror story for its victims. The fact that it remains a reality of prison life is a moral outrage. Those prison administrators who allow it to continue without doing everything possible to stop it are utterly reprehensible. On the other hand, there are those potential victims for whom I am unlikely to have a shred of pity, any more than I would feel a moment’s sadness for a serial killer who died in a car accident. If a scumwad like Jeffrey Dahmer were gang-raped a dozen or more times a day, I would not lift a finger to stop it. I cannot conceive of any form of punishment that could be described as excessive for a Ted Bundy or an Ed Gein. I am tempted to say the same thing, incidentally, about a serial child abuser. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse myself, I can testify to the inestimable, long-term damage it does to your life. I am still dealing with its consequences today, and feel quite certain that I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I would not feel sympathetic for a child abuser who was taught what it feels like to be the victim. I will readily acknowledge that this is probably just an emotional reaction on my part, however. My statement about the rape of an imprisoned hacker was simply an acknowledgment of fact. Without dancing around the issue, let me just say that It reflects my unqualified hatred for such individuals and the damage they do to their victims. As human beings, they are lower than the muck I scrape off the bottom of my shoes. At the same time, I would obviously not defend the rape of such individuals as just.
  2. More information about "sextortion" cases in the US and Canada: Grand Sudbury Police Department website The fact that the perpetrator is outside the United States is no reason not to report the threat to the FBI. Here is a case in which Canadian police arrested a man on a tip from the FBI: Ontario Man Arrested in "International Sextortion" Case If you happen to be a hacker, you may want to start greasing up your little bunghole, because Bubba is gonna be happy to meet you. (Especially if you're the type who tends to cry a lot while getting fucked up the arse.)
  3. I thought perhaps OL members might be interested in knowing more about a relatively new cybercrime—sextortion--and its criminal consequences. Here’s a link to an interesting case involving a man recently sentenced to six years in prison: Orange County Man Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Hacking And, for anyone who has been a victim of such crime, here’s a link to the FBI’s internet crime complaint center: Federal Bureau of Investigation website
  4. Does his mommy know he's playing on the internet?
  5. Thanks for your very thoughtful contribution and references, Stephen. Much appreciated.
  6. A celebration 45 years in the making. . . The Los Angeles Kings and fans celebrate the team's Stanley Cup win during a parade in Los Angeles, Thursday, June 14, 2012
  7. “Rubio was more likely to read the sports page than weighty philosophical tomes. But by the time he finished his first legislative term, he had devoured Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged twice.” And Paul Ryan was in the habit of requiring that his staffers read Atlas and giving it to friends at Christmas—that is, until some prominent Catholics pointed out her philosophy did not exactly coincide with the teachings of Jesus. From an interview with National Review: In view of his abject betrayal, I consider Ryan more of an enemy of Objectivism than someone who never read one word written by Ayn Rand. It’s nice to know that Rubio has read Atlas Shrugged, but it really means absolutely nothing.
  8. David, Maybe I haven’t been keeping up on current events, but the last time I checked, it was okay for me to express my honest opinion here on OL. Michael’s rules don’t say anything about sugar-coating. All I did was point out that Brant’s comments on morality are not remotely consistent with Objectivism. Since this webforum is called “Objectivist Living,” I thought maybe that was relevant. Brant calls that “going off the ratiocination tracks.” I call it expressing my opinion.
  9. My behavior on OL is due to circumstances beyond my control . .
  10. Okay. I get it. This is a joke. Right? Ha Ha. Very funny. Please don't expect me to take you seriously if it isn't.
  11. C'mon now! Was that real??? You enjoyed yourself so much, I figured I must have been dreaming. . . Nice save , dear. Now it is time for you to start fulfilment of prenup conditions ii.(b) - seek out and pay reverence to Stanley Cup at any and all LA locations ii,© - find name of Beliveau and say prayer or appropriate quote from Ayn Rand at your discretion ii,(d) - find names of Toronto Maple Leafs and weep bitter tears I need to see a copy of this prenup. I suspect my scrawling signature would never hold up in a court of law. I'm not responsible for anything I signed within 12 hours after game six. As I recall, you said it was the tab for room service. Naughty, naughty.
  12. Do the words 'objective code of morality' mean anything to you? Abandon hope, all ye who buy this crap.
  13. C'mon now! Was that real??? You enjoyed yourself so much, I figured I must have been dreaming. . .
  14. Dennis, Why the yawn? I absolutely agree that an Objectivist defense of markets is necessary. But the fact that moving more towards markets and away from controls creates more wealth for everyone isn't something to be greeted with a yawn. It is enabling more people around the world to live their own lives on their own terms, to pursue their own happiness and fulfillment. Objectivists should welcome this with open arms! Poverty is not conducive to the life of man qua man. Also, I should add another thing; it isn't necessarily a choice between pragmatic and moral arguments for markets. Even Rand conceded that the pragmatic argument was empirically true about the benefits of freedom. But here's another thing; we Objectivists defend markets on the basis that they are the only social system compatible with human nature (a nature which necessitates individual rights). Do not organisms thrive in environments that are suited to their nature? It is quite viable to say that the utilitarian benefits of markets in fact prove the Objectivist contention that markets are suited to human nature; if markets were not suited to human nature, they wouldn't create positive results. The consequentialist case for markets is evidence for the natural rights argument. Andrew, Thanks for your interesting comments. However, quite frankly, I must tell you that I find your points utterly irrelevant to the key issue here: until and unless advocates of the free market dispense with collectivist-utilitarian defenses and acknowledge every man’s right to live for his own sake, they are wasting their breath. That’s why I respond to this sort of hair-splitting with a yawn. Nobody cares, and no one is going to be convinced, because it completely sidesteps the fundamental issue that must be confronted and disposed of philosophically. They aren't "miserably slow on the uptake." They know who Ayn Rand is. They just reject her entire philosophy because they do not believe man exists with his own happiness as the proper moral end of their lives. They believe man exists to serve god. This is why the arguments against Ryan were so effective at making him backtrack. This is why Brooks uses a consequentialist defense of markets (Rawlianism, in his case). None of them accept the moral legitimacy of the individual non-coercive pursuit of happiness. They reject Rand's philosophy because they are wearing religious blinders, and that's why they are, as I said, "miserably slow on the uptake." Some of them may know who Rand is, but they make no genuine effort to come to grips with her philosophy, because they are too threatened by it. She defies everything they stand for. And because of their fear, they cannot see the obvious that is staring them in the face.
  15. Hello…What day is this? Just one more Bloody Mary and I know my eyes will start to focus again. Now what’s this about Carol and I going on a Honeymoon? Tell me more. That would be worth sobering up for….
  16. Don Watkins, on the ARI (Yaron Brook) link shown above, says: That’s a lot more charitable than I would be. Brooks never once challenges the ethics of altruism, and endorses Hayek’s notion of the “social safety net.” Brooks grants the leftist opposition their premise of altruism-collectivism, just as other conservatives typically do. The fact that he understands the need for a moral defense, yet falls back on the same old ethical tripe, makes his position more cowardly, not less.
  17. Nervous? Me? Nervous? Nonsense. Don't worry about me. I am a nerves professional. (huh?) Yes. I am nervous.
  18. How can you folks joke around when the most important hockey game ever starts in a little over an hour? Please. This is no time for joking around. Okay? Thank you
  19. Over the weekend, C-SPAN 2’s Book TV aired a recent talk by Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, discussing his new book, The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise. Brooks shares the viewpoint of Rep. Paul Ryan that capitalism is very much in need of a moral defense. (OL members are no doubt aware that Ryan paid lip service to Ayn Rand's moral defense of capitalism, then cut and ran with his ratfink tail between his legs as soon as some religious voices suggested he was lending his moral support to greed and selfishness. Ryan deserves the tarnished moniker of a modern day Judas for his abject cowardice as an alleged admirer of Ayn Rand. But enough about that disgusting little episode of American political history.) I listened to the speech by Brooks, a well-known conservative spokesman, fully expecting to hear him echo Ryan's cowardly sentiments. But Brooks made no mention of Ayn Rand whatsoever. Predictably, he seemed to argue for a "moral defense" of capitalism on the basis of some vague notion of “fairness.” He cited the work of Charles Murray on how welfare does damage to those it is supposed to help. The best way to defend capitalism, he says, is by showing the pragmatic manner in which it helps the poor and raises the standard of living for everyone. (Yawn.) Since I have not read his book, I have no idea if he makes any mention of Rand, or any effort to discuss the issues of altruism versus self-interest. Based on this speech, I would guess that, if he does mention Rand at all in his book, Brook would likely do so disparagingly. And dismissively. There was, however, one aspect of Brooks’ talk which I found fascinating, and that was his discussion of new research demonstrating the psychological power of moral evaluation and moral judgment. Brooks gave an amusing description of the family arguments that typically occur annually in American households over Thanksgiving dinner, and talked about his own experiences on these occasions. At the dinner table, he could offer various facts and explanations in defense of his pro-capitalist position and it wouldn’t matter, because his sister-in-law would offer a "hot moral defense" of her own leftist point-of-view. Even though her case consisted of platitudes as opposed to his "cold, materialistic” facts, it was no use. She would win every time because all the moral sentiment was on her side. As confirmation of his experience, Brooks described some current research on the persuasive impact of moral viewpoints as compared to ‘cold, materialistic’ viewpoints. Specifically, he mentioned a book by John Hiadt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia: The Righteous Mind. According to Hiadt, the same part of the brain-- the prefrontal cortex-- processes both executive decisions and moral judgments. If we are confronted by an executive decision and a moral judgment at the same time, the moral judgment invariably predominates within our field of awareness. Haidt's research shows that when we are confronted with a moral situation, it essentially blows the circuitry in the prefrontal cortex. We cannot focus on anything else but the moral dilemma. “If someone comes at you with a deep moral argument,” Brooks said, “that's what will occupy your brain and your attention and you won’t be able to see anything else.” Brooks offered another anecdote showing how moral issues impact us emotionally, referring to the average person's revulsion at the notion of cooking the family pet for food. The idea is somehow appalling on a moral level, even though most people could not give a genuine moral argument explaining why this is wrong. Brook explained that a similar mental – emotional process is involved in public policy decision-making. Brooks: "If you're confronted with a moral case, and all you've got is a materialistic rejoinder, guess who's going to win?" This new research on the emotional power of moral arguments is apparently the primary reason Brooks wrote his book. Brooks contrasted the current conservative tendency to defend capitalism on purely practical grounds with the views of the Founding Fathers. According to Brooks, the Founders would be "scandalized” to learn of the manner in which capitalism is typically defended today. It is interesting that conservatives like Brooks and Ryan are suddenly coming to the radical “new” discovery that capitalism needs a moral defense. Based on his talk, Brooks appears essentially oblivious to Ayn Rand and her philosophy. At least Ryan acknowledged that it was Rand who first underscored the vital importance of this issue. Considering how miserably slow they are on the uptake, I suppose we shouldn't be shocked at all that religious conservatives are totally lacking in the backbone needed to address the real issues involved. When Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged over half a century ago, she was fully aware that today’s crucial cultural issue was that of morality and that the conventional moral perspective of altruism, unless confronted, would eventually destroy the capitalist system. It's profoundly interesting to note that, all these years later, new research supports Rand's conviction about the impact of moral evaluation in human decision-making. Who knows? Maybe, in another 50 years, we will have politicians and intellectuals with the backbone to deal with the real moral issues involved. Then we can go about the task of salvaging whatever tattered relic remains of the United States of America. .If there is any.
  20. Bill Plashke in the Los Angeles Times: So what’s it gonna be, Kings? The Stanley Cup or a total collapse the likes of which the NHL hasn’t witnessed in 70 years?
  21. “All ye who believe in Me shall have eternal life. . .” Very convincing, I think.
  22. Uh-oh. Confession time: I'm glad the Devils won. Guess I'm more of an excitement junkie than a diehard Kings' fan. Saturday's game should be a thriller! Carol--An 'extra spicy' dousing will do fine. But watch out for paint balls coming your way. (Surely they don't let bicycle cops have real guns, do they?)
  23. Carol, I concur that a sweep is always a little disappointing,even if you’re on the winning side. Sports needs the luster of drama. Lopsided ‘competition’ is boring, even though the outcome may be a dream come true. I knew the practice facility was next door, but have now been informed that the Kings’ main LA business office is in my office building. No doubt Lord Stanley will be paying a visit soon. Perhaps we will have a chance to meet in person. It will be a humbling experience. Imagine sharing an elevator ride with the Holy Grail BTW--Normally the fine citizens of LA celebrate sports championships by setting police cars ablaze and generally creating as much mayhem as an out-of-control mob of drunken, overweight non-athletes can manage. Since you’re an honorary Angeleno, I would hope you will carry on with that great tradition in the Great White North.
  24. Over the weekend, a mysterious glowing object suddenly appeared above the Hollywood sign. . . . (I’ve been trying to post the image for two days, but something seems to be wrong with image posting functionality on OL. %#$@&!! ) Was this "ghost" the work of pranksters? A Kings’ publicity stunt? Sunspots? Nonsense. Someone was giving us a sign. If anyone suspected divine intervention might be a factor in the Kings’ amazing playoff march. . . .Well, now you know. The Kings are truly a team of destiny--as New Jersey will likely bear witness (one final time) tonight.
  25. Both OT games in New Jersey were about as close as they could have been. The difference has been Jonathan Quick. If the Devils lose again tonight--regardless of how close the game is--they're done. No doubt about that. But a victory tonight could throw the outcome of the series in doubt. Whatever the Kings are paying Quick, it ain't enough. He's inhuman.