sbeaulieu

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Posts posted by sbeaulieu

  1. Ron Paul

    I am intrigued by his claim of cutting the deficit by $1T within his first year in office. That's his plan anyway. He even states that it would require public and congressional backing. Cutting 5 departments through attrition, and cutting foreign aid and war spending.

    I really like his approach at what the President's salary would be changed to - median salary of around $40K. Although with any other money he has coming in or has saved up, a presidential salary would really be insignificant to their purse. But the message it sends is that they make what the majority of us make and puts us on equal footing.

    ~ Shane

  2. Michael,

    The oaths are quite similar. There is a minor difference between officers and enlisted. As enlisted, we state to follow the orders of those appointed over us (lawful... a very important distinction which seems to land a lot of folks in hot water during wartime). The officers' oath is more aligned with the ones the politicians take.

    But as you mention, the politicians take the same oath. But I think the line of demarcation lies in who might end up on the fighting end of the stick. One reason those of us in uniform take the Constitution quite seriously. I admire prior-service politicians (though our views may be different), in that they have placed their lives on the line for the Constitution. The one that stands out for me most is Senator McCain in that regard. His ordeal exemplifies how a politician should take the oath.

    ~ Shane

  3. Michael,

    I follow on post #6. One of the things us in the military abhor is politicians lobbying for reducing our benefits while keeping/increasing theirs. They are far and few between from my personal experince. But I get the impression from what you're saying that had they taken the oath of enlistment and signed their life on the line for the Constitution, defended it against enemies, foreign and domestic, the notion of trying to eliminate benefits never would have seen daylight. But there are those that stand for us and lobby for us. They are the ones that act on what you speak of. In the AF alone, about 1% of the US population enlist. Funny... what about the other 99% (the protestors...haha!)

    ~ Shane

  4. As much as I love the military, I love the want of being a writer more. I think there, I'll have a chance at affecting mindsets like my favorite author, Terry Goodkind.

    What you speak of is a two-edged sword, Michael. One one edge, you have the govertment moving to a more socialist stance. On the other edge, you have the parents who turn a blind eye at what schools teach their kids (especially if they've been through similar experiences... though most of my school years were during the Republican times). It's hard to figure out which edge is sharper, but I know one thing: our children aren't holding the sword. At least for this 15 year-old, she carried a shield. Good for her!

    ~ Shane

  5. I would be agreeable to paying taxes if I could state on my tax return what percentage went to what programs, i.e., the military, firefighters, police forces, etc. Tax us, but let each person say where it goes to. That would at least give us some say as to where the money goes, and therein which programs survive as a result of necessity, not the whim of politicians with a motive.

    I understand this is an extremely deep topic. I get what ND is saying. It's damn near impossible to stop the current freight train and implement something new (and untried). Rand's approach would work for a new settlement, city, state. And we know money is needed for these programs. And as Tony puts it, if no one had to pay taxes, the programs which keep us safe would fall to the wayside... maybe even to the point of disaster. But, in the end, I would see people paying to shore up what's vital. That's what the government has gotten away from.

    ~ Shane

  6. Shane,

    Yes, Walter and I also thought the film was quite interesting and well done.

    Looking forward to this work by Shoshana Milgram. She has finished all the research and is now doing the writing.

    If you google the following:

    "ayn rand in her own words" +"objectivist living"

    you will be led to the other thread.

    Got it. Thanks! And Google now has this one...

    ~ Shane

  7. Ayn Rand a “looker”? How would she have reacted to that?

    I dare say that if any woman could have made me turn red in response to my comment, it would be her. As you quoted, most focus on her intellectually. I try to think of people as a total package.

    Very interesting that she would try to get others to notice that, too.

    ~ Shane

  8. Although I appreciate the skills of Jackie Chan, I have never been able to get into most of his films. Humor is his trademark, of course, but when humor pervades virtually every fight sequence the result, for me, is a continuous awareness that I am watching something akin to a vaudeville act. There is no sense of reality.

    Ghs

    He does corner that market, though. ;)

    ~ Shane

  9. The movie is brilliant from a technical effects viewpoint. Even stunning.

    The story is old hat, trite and banal. White Man vs. Noble Savage.

    I have seen it before, many times.

    Ba'al Chatzaf

    Agreed. Some folks still need to be told, though. Maybe one day it will sink in. Doubtful. 3D version rocks. But I do think this movie did a better job at telling it. And for that alone, this movie will be memorable, for me.

    ~ Shane

  10. I've seen Ip Man, and Ip Man 2. Both are amazing films. I've been watching a lot of period pieces, and some biopics. This has got to be one of the best films. George mentioned the pro-nationalist slant of the film, which I agree with, with regard to the Chinese govt' allowing the filming. I've watched another film with Donnie Yen (love his stuff) where he was helping out a benefactor of the anti-Qing dynasty movement masterminded by Sun Yat-sen. I think these may have been set around the same time.

    Anyway, my point being that part of the attraction for the Chinese govt' may have been sticking it to the man (Japan). The last fight in both movies were the most brutal, but drove the point home that China was not to be messed with. I admire the nationalist pride of the Chinese majority in those days. They endured some heavy shit... tyranny, invasion and subjugation, you name it. Yet they persisted with quietly powerful individuals like Ip Man.

    ~ Shane

    Good analysis. The atrocities inflicted by the Japanese on the Chinese almost defy belief.

    I agree with your assessment of Donnie Yen. He pulls off the "peaceful until provoked" role perfectly. A very charismatic actor with humor to boot. From what I have seen of him in two films, I would rate him second only to Bruce Lee among my favorties in this genre. In fact, as much as I like Lee, I would say that Yen is the better actor.

    Ghs

    George,

    I would agree that Yen is the better actor. However, to Lee's defense, back in those days, action was the primary focus. These days, it's the opposite. If you can marry the two, awesome! I wonder what Lee's movies would have been like today!

    The first movie I saw Donnie Yen in was about 5 years ago, in Dragon Tiger Gate. Kind of anime-ish in its action sequences, it had a pretty nice story, and tons of action... the good quality kind. I started watching another one with Donnie Yen from the mid 80s called Tiger Cage, but I'm having to watch that painfully, in pieces, to digest the story...ha!

    He's had a bit over 30 years to hone his craft. And I've really enjoyed his work ever since 5 years ago. I look all the time for his movies. Like you, I'd put him at the top today, even over Jet Li and Jackie Chan... his acting is a notch above theirs.

    ~ Shane

  11. Saw this on Netflix a couple nights ago. Amazing!

    I did a search on OL to see if this topic had been brought up but I didn't see anything specific to this. I'm sure there is, but I might have messed up, so I hope I'm not starting something that's already got its own thread.

    I really, really liked this. I had seen a few clips of her interviews from the early days to Phil Donahue's. Her poise during all the questions was remarkable. She always had that glint in her eyes that spoke of tremendous intellect and thought processes. I smiled as she would sometimes answer questions with questions to put it in perspective to the interviewer, as if they didn't ask the right question.

    To hear her talk about her childhood enabled me to get to know her a bit as a person. There's always a turning point in your life when you "know", and you get it straight from the source about what makes them tick. I think it's an extremely unique experience when someone as famous and world-moving as Ayn gives you a glimpse in that regard. So many historical figures don't resonate as strongly for me simply because they are pages in history. Seeing is believing...

    I also enjoyed hearing her talk about Frank, how they first met, and how she went out of her way during the filming to get stepped on...haha!! It was quite a love story.

    Most of all, I really admire the pains she took to get her books right. When asked what she was first, philosopher or writer, she answered "both" because I don't think you can really separate the two. I have the same hesitation with wanting to write because I don't have it all pinned down yet. Not enough to make a compelling book. I have some pretty good ideas, but would do them injustice if I didn't have my philosophical foundation set.

    Not only that, she was a looker back in the day. Damn! Some of the pictures left me a little stunned...ha! Beauty and brains... what a combo!

    ~ Shane

  12. Raiven,

    Welcome! I like your piece. We see eye-to-eye on this one. This is one of my favorite movies, regardless of the message from its creator. What I took from it, mostly, was a property rights issue. The "evil" corporations were exploiting land for resources which did not belong to them. Their best efforts failed and they took the low road in driving out the Na'vi from their homes. Clearly, this is not laissez-faire capitalism. It is greed driven by desperation. The actions of two men (Parker Selfridge and Colonel Quaritch) drove the conflict. They were essentially hoping it would fail to show their true strengths. Not all of RDA backed them, but most did (herd mentality).

    Great movie, great scenes... a great work of art. Each side will see their own message, but this movie clearly has many to accomodate a wide audience.

    ~ Shane

  13. I've seen Ip Man, and Ip Man 2. Both are amazing films. I've been watching a lot of period pieces, and some biopics. This has got to be one of the best films. George mentioned the pro-nationalist slant of the film, which I agree with, with regard to the Chinese govt' allowing the filming. I've watched another film with Donnie Yen, Bodyguards and Assassins (IMDB link) where he was helping out a benefactor of the anti-Qing dynasty movement masterminded by Sun Yat-sen. I think these may have been set around the same time.

    Anyway, my point being that part of the attraction for the Chinese govt' may have been sticking it to the man (Japan). The last fight in both movies were the most brutal, but drove the point home that China was not to be messed with. I admire the nationalist pride of the Chinese majority in those days. They endured some heavy shit... tyranny, invasion and subjugation, you name it. Yet they persisted with quietly powerful individuals like Ip Man.

    ~ Shane

  14. Thanks, Michael. I appreciate the kind sentiment :) I have seen this feature in the older version of your site (I like the upgrade, btw) but had never used it. There was a comment I liked and my intention was to say just that without having to bump the thread or add a comment to say what the button could do just as easy.

    I didn't know if it was something with my account or like you stated, a disabled feature. I'm good with that.

    ~ Shane

  15. Nick's a gentleman for sure. I started corresponding with him a few years ago when Michael posted his site/address on OL. In reading the thread, I was interested in reading the book and contacted Nick to arrange for copy. I would read a few chapters and shoot him an e-mail on my progress and what my take-aways were. In reading the book, being relatively new to Objectivism, I felt like I was a ghostly character sitting in on the teachings of Nikolai. It was very informative and easy to take in. I actually liked Lindsay Perigo's assertion about the new learning something and the older getting a refresher (please don't boot me Michael...haha!)

    I'm looking forward to seeing his next project!

    BTW, Daunce, he actually put my short quip in the readers' review section as well (3rd one down). :)

    ~ Shane

    Shane,

    He is indeed a gentleman. If anyone had to pick out a stereotypical anarcho-capitalist out of a lineup, they would definitely not pick him.

    (I know that stereotypical anarchocapitalist is a contradiction in terms, but the people looking at the lineup might not know that).

    Carol

    Right?

    I especially liked the way he addressed the changeover in the UK govt' going to anarchistic. But I gathered his spin wasn't the hardline anarchism, rather a return back to common law. There was a lot I agreed with. I find it difficult to see it pulled off, nice as it might be. However, Nikolai's property in the US was a perfect starting point for him to do just that, regardless of the world around him. I guess that's all that really matters in the end.

    ~ Shane

  16. Nick's a gentleman for sure. I started corresponding with him a few years ago when Michael posted his site/address on OL. In reading the thread, I was interested in reading the book and contacted Nick to arrange for copy. I would read a few chapters and shoot him an e-mail on my progress and what my take-aways were. In reading the book, being relatively new to Objectivism, I felt like I was a ghostly character sitting in on the teachings of Nikolai. It was very informative and easy to take in. I actually liked Lindsay Perigo's assertion about the new learning something and the older getting a refresher (please don't boot me Michael...haha!)

    I'm looking forward to seeing his next project!

    BTW, Daunce, he actually put my short quip in the readers' review section as well (3rd one down). :)

    ~ Shane