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Posts posted by sbeaulieu

  1. Granted that times have changed, I would still like to see Atlas Shrugged be true to the book, and in the past setting. It would be a snapshot of that period and what those people had to deal with - a great historical epic. We might learn more from it than a present day setting.

    ~ Shane

  2. In today's theories, has Mars been used as a possible benchmark? Earlier in our solar system's life, I imagine that it could have supported life during its cooling period. But then as the millennia passed, it cooled beyond the point of sustaining life. Just a thought.

    ~ Shane

  3. It's times like these where I'm alt-tabbing like a madman to hit :frantics:

    As a previous military instructor, it was my job to assess my audience before introducing them to the theories and mechanics. It was my job to make sure they understood the terms. It was my job to ensure the material was of a language they were familiar with. It was my job to use analogies (as many times as necessary) that clicked via associations.

    In order for us to understand Paul's perspective, a common denominator between him and the participants has to be found (language, examples, analogies, etc).

    I may be oversimplifying, but I won't attempt to throw words that I don't understand the full meaning of. It's just a basic approach I've learned over 4 years of teaching that has proven successful to me when teaching high-level communications (IT).

    ~ Shane

  4. I honestly dunno, Mindy. The last time something like that happened was a couple of weeks ago and I ended up staying. But there was no girl there, see?

    If things were that bad, you should have pawned the guitar and the Chivas.

    = Mindy

    Not if the Chivas is the Century blend! I can't play the guitar, but I can sure enjoy the scotch! :drool:

    ~ Shane

  5. I think you get the best of Rand and Objectivism from her fiction.

    I'd agree with statement wholeheartedly. That's been my intro to Objectivism through Terry Goodkind's fiction which is loaded with various fundamentals and intricacies. His themes carry the fundamentals, and the way the stories unfold deliver the intricacies through characters and plot. This forum has shed light on more than I could possibly fathom, so I'm sort of a loiterer myself. But my intent is to absorb and act through discussion.

    Another work of fiction, Old Nick's Guide to Happiness (plug-in for Nicholas Dykes ;)), cuts to the chase by defining the philosophy outright, with examples, and uses it to compare and contrast among world philosophies. I'm ecstatic as I'm finally able to understand and apply it to my life today and see what I've done right and wrong.

    In all, fiction makes Objectivism digestible for me as a great introduction to this most rational of philosophies.

    ~ Shane

  6. The police are control freaks. Give then then the illusion of control: Yes sir, no sir, I don't know sir!


    Now you're stereotyping. May as well call of us in uniform killers.

    ~ Shane

    I'm talking about police in a position to do you harm. After you talk to them a little you'll find out if they are decent people or not, but be careful what you say; they may write it down.


    I fully agree.

    ~ Shane

  7. Nothing to hide, nothing to worry about. It goes without saying that instances like this one can be alarming. But, take the population of the entire US (estimated 300+ million), and how do you go about keeping us safe? I'd rather see occasional checkpoints like this then have them come kicking our doors in systematcially across the US.

    ~ Shane

    Thanks to this attitude, they will come. Sanction a little, give a lot.


    My view, currently, isn't to interpret this as a national crackdown or martial law. I won't subscribe to the scare some seem to think of it as. Now, should we see this on every major highway in every state (and at the same time), I'll change that attitude. I'm just saying that at the discomfort of a checkpoint to check for dangers against the populace, is it really that big a deal?

    ~ Shane

  8. More of my paranoid. police-state/New World Order research:

    From The Daily Paul, 9/14:

    It Felt Like "Martial Law" in Los Angeles!

    In my life I have never seen anything like this! My niece got married today. The Wedding festivities ended at midnight. On my way home on the opposite side of the #60 freeway going into Downtown L. A. I see very large trucks w/flashing lights - about 25 to 30 - lined up to form a single-file line for cars to follow to be stopped by at least 2 dozen police! This is on a 5-lane freeway, mind you!

    Thousands of cars and thousands of unsuspecting people are experiencing for the first time in their lives, the full impact of what a police state is all about this morning, folks! The freeway looks like a parking lot!

    As I transitioned to the northbound Golden State Frwy, aka the #5 Freeway, which starts at the Canadian border and runs through Washington State, through Oregon and all the way through California to the Mexican border, just before I get to downtown L. A. on my side of the freeway I see the same thing in the distance. Again, lots of trucks w/flashing lights and tons of cars stopping ahead of me to be herded to the checkpoint.

    So, I quickly and fortunately got off at the very next offramp and tried to get on, again, further up the road. However, there were several arrows on the streets for people to follow - seemingly to take you on a detour to another on ramp - but, no; they only led to more check points!

    Because I know my city like the back of my hand, I managed to evade the check points by going through neighborhood streets until I could finally get back onto the freeway some distance beyond the checkpoint. I live in Burbank and I couldn’t get onto the northbound Golden State Frwy until I passed Griffith park which is about 3 to 4 miles beyond where the check point started on the freeway on my side (about 6 to 7 miles from where I first noticed the check point on the opposite side of the freeway!)

    Every single one of those 3 to 4 miles on my side had cars w/mulitple passengers in them and the cars were at a complete stop waiting for their turn to be chuted in like cattle to be asked for their papers (?) and to be questioned by the cops (for possible DUI?). I would say, there were, at least, 3 to 4 and maybe even 5 thousand cars, approximately, on both sides of the checkpoints waiting to get through them. Unbelievable!!

    Never in my 61 years have I ever seen anything like this before!!

    I saw at least 25 tow trucks pulling vehicles away from the check point areas. I'm very much in shock and very fortunate to know my way around my city to have avoided what is still going on as I type this message. I had such a wonderful day only to be knocked back to the ugly reality of what is happening to us in our country, Martial Law! IT’S SCARY OUT THERE!!

    And the frog continues to be slowly boiled. First it was DUI checkpoints, then checkpoints for illegal drugs. Who knows what's next? Checkpoints to check for legal immigration status? Checkpoints to check for unpaid child support? Or unpaid back taxes? Or child pornography stored on people's laptop computers? The possibilities are endless!

    Meanwhile, we have self-identified objectivists telling us how wonderful the police are, how they are ready to risk their lives to protect us, how they are our benefactors, just like the heroes of Atlas Shrugged, how anger and resentment at this cadre of brownshirts must be motivated by envy for our betters. And, of course, we are nasty, evil people if we use any unkind language to describe our friends in blue who, after all, are only protecting us by pulling us over without cause and searching our cars.

    Oh well, not to worry. According to the fine folks in our government, the terrorists hate us for our freedom. So it's only logical that, by having the police systematically destroy our freedom, the terrorists will no longer have any reason to hate us. We'll be safe forever from the threat of terrorism, at the mere cost of living in a police state. I guess we should be greatful for a deal like that.


    Nothing to hide, nothing to worry about. It goes without saying that instances like this one can be alarming. But, take the population of the entire US (estimated 300+ million), and how do you go about keeping us safe? I'd rather see occasional checkpoints like this then have them come kicking our doors in systematcially across the US.

    ~ Shane

  9. Kyrel: "I admit -- as you point out, Barbara -- that having the state decide what constitutes illegitimate indoctrination in kids is a bit scary. But I see no alternative. Maybe we should just think really hard and clear about this, and then make the law extra objective, and deeply factually neutral. Strip away as much subjectivity and personal opinion as possible in the judges."

    Sounds good -- if you're talking about Utopia. But in our present context, who in fact is the "we" you refer to?


    Do you mean to ask who in the end should decide what is "extra objective, and deeply factually neutral" and what "subjectivity and personal opinions" need to be "stripped away" in the judges?

    Why, Kyrel, of course.

    He has made that clear in many posts.



    We could vote on it! Wait, never mind...

    ~ Shane

  10. Im doing this diet for aesthetic reasons, not health ones :)

    But when choosing diet, please make sure you diet according to what you want. If you want a health enhancement, my suggestion probably is not the best. If you simply want to drop pounds to look good, you may consider mine more efficient over time.

    I can see if you're going for aesthetics, but there is still a problem in the long run because that weight loss won't last.

    The human body is very, very efficient. For instance, the more water you drink, the less water your body will have to store (because it's getting a reliable external source). That's why you see fitness-minded folks drinking tons of it.

    As well as water, the body will keep stored calories (fat) to a minimum if it's getting a reliable external source. Small meals (6 is the trend) throughout the day help stabilize your body's metabolism. Because of the low caloric intake, the body will not need to store excesses. The key here is to exercise to reduce the current fat stores of your body along with the daily food intake.

    The aesthetics approach you're taking might be well and good on the short term, but it's likely that your muscle composition is taking the brunt of the punishment vs. your fat stores (the fat is the energy reserve, so used as last resort).

    What does that all mean? Well, the one-a-day meals are likely getting stored as body fat (since it's not getting a reliable external source). Your metabolism is in the valley vs. the peak. If you do this over an extended period of time, your body won't adapt quickly when going to a regular diet again. It will still be thinking "I need to keep these calories because I'm not getting enough." This contributes to the quick weight gain crash dieters experience.

    ~ Shane

  11. Another might be: We should much more call ourselves passionate reasonists and champions of reason, rationality, logic, science, and math -- not "atheists."

    Atheist - a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

    I think that sums Objectivists up. Granted, it's general in nature, but it does belong. There are atheists that don't fall under Objectivist tenets, so you calling O'ists passionate reasonists is what would segregate us from mainstream atheists.

    ~ Shane

  12. If I could, I'd change the thread title to "Rain" since Mindy hijacked it :P

    Sorry, but I don't think anybody's seen your movie.

    I'd love to hear how you guys would state the theme of Rain.

    = Mindy

    Might I suggest starting a new thread with a "spoiler" subtitle. This way, those that have watched it can discuss it without giving it away to those of us that haven't.

    It's the primary reason I haven't gone into it here with The Man from Earth. Great movie with lots of topics that could be dissected.

    ~ Shane

  13. From Ayn Rand's Journal, 9 April 1934:

    "Religion is also the first enemy of the ability to think. That ability is not used by men to one tenth of its possibility, yet before they learn to think they are discouraged by being ordered to take things on faith. Faith is the worst curse of mankind; it is the exact antithesis and enemy of thought. I want to learn why men do not use logical reasoning to govern their lives and [solve] their problems. Is it impossible to them or has it been taught to them as impossible?"

    Aside from reading fiction which started me down the path of reason, I read a book that this passage reminded me of - The Jesus Conspiracy.

    In it, there are two scientists who go to great lenghts to shed light on the Shroud of Turin, believed to have held the phyisical body of Christ. The visage that remains on the cloth bear hallmarks of the written account of the abuse that Jesus suffered at the hands of the Romans - bleeding wrists and feet from the nails, bleeding head from the crown of thorns, and bloodied back from the countless floggings. The face, surprisingly, is serene and peaceful.

    The two scientists (I'm doing this from recollection of 10 years past...bear with me) basically challenged the tenet of the Christian religion that Christ had risen from the dead, by concluding this - Christ did not die on the cross. To my understanding, they had a LOT of empirical data to back this up. What does this all mean? That if true, it would topple Christianity at its core since Christ had not died on the cross for our sins, but survived instead of rose. The Vatican went to great lengths to screw up the testing process so that the carbon-dating tests would come back proving that the Shroud of Turin was a fake painting dating to the 1200-1400s. The scientists had an answer for that too.

    My point is that not only does religion and faith swallow man's ability to think, but it will go to drastic lenghts and fight tooth and nail to persevere against reason. It is fundementally evil. It doesn't sit back in the shadows to wait for the mentally irrational, it actively seeks victims that have almost no chance to resist - children, prisoners (that's a whole issue in and of itself), the destitute, and millions of others who reach for hope because the other millions pointed them in the direction of God.

    I could go into more detail, but I'm inclined to start a new topic rather than throw this thread off-course.

    ~ Shane

  14. All I can say about morality generally is that it is a means of social control, from the family to the state.


    I would say that morality is a tool in finding common ground amongst individuals, not so much a control mechanism (in the basic sense). If I were the only man living, would I need a moral code?

    The conflict arises when people are saturated with a morality that differs - whether through parenting, social majority, or personal choice - and cannot establish that middle ground. Reasonable people, regardless of background, will come together ammicably and co-exist. Friends and strangers alike do it all the time (part of group dynamics). Until they breach sensitive subjects like politics and religion, the sticks and stone will not break bones.

    ~ Shane