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Everything posted by mikelee999

  1. (Note from MSK: Content deleted for hate speech and bigotry.)
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  5. Where I disagree with the essay that started this thread is mainly in issues of degrees. First, there are very few "moderate" Muslims. Second, the percentage of "extremist" Muslims is quite large. On the first point, let's not equivocate what we mean by "moderate Muslim." Do we mean A. a "go to church on Friday" kind of Muslim? Someone raised Muslim who is more or less observant more or less from fear of social or divine punishments? Yeah, he faces Mecca every morning at 4am, but if he had his druthers, he'd rather sleep in and then crack a beer and have bbq pork chops for lunch and forget abo
  6. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Wet Blanket Committee (previously the Objectivist Bed-Wetters Club) for once again demonstrating the finely honed art of GOB (Gratuitous Objectivist Buzz-kill). I feel well and truly GOB-smacked. I asked people to nominate pop songs Rand might have liked and the first response was to offer a song she'd have hated. Isn't that ironic? Don'tcha think? Followed by general grey-poopon denigration of the few who actually tried to play the game lightheartedly. I'm going to go listen to Garbage. I do loves me some Shirley Manson. I'll crank "I'm Only Happ
  7. Tonight I'm ripping and replacing speakers in our bedroom. I'm playing random tracks to get the sound balanced and I come across this, from Rod Stewart, an album called Human: I been lookin' in the mirror somethin's gettin' clearer Wonderin' who am I Just a chemical solution caught in evolution Only livin' to survive Or am I just another lifetime lookin' for a lifeline Cryin' when the sun don't shine Am I runnin' through the ghetto maybe I should let go Of all the dreams inside But who am I to reach so high And who am I to raise my eyes Want to live I want to die I can't do anything I'll tell
  8. I like the Beastie Boys. You like Kate Bush. We may fight for control of the playlist at a party, but we won't come to blows unless we think that morals are like tastes in music. I'll distinguish morals from ethics here, and start saying ethics, which is what Shermer is really talking about. Rand considered it immoral to eat macaroni and cheese if your systolic blood pressure was higher than your cholesterol. Shermer means ethics, which Rand, more or less, defined as morals that relate to how you treat other people. Ethics can't be derived from statements like water freeeze at 0 centigrade. Wh
  9. When I was 19, I was mortally offended by the post office. Roads pissed me off too. I wished the deaths of my enemies and almost all Americans were my enemies for having no problems with government roads or the post office. Bunch of looters they were. It took me a long while to realize that people who agreed with me weren't automatically good people and an unfortunately longer time to figure out that people who didn't agree with me could be way better people than me. I suspect this kind of juvenile dementia isn't idiosyncratic, but is characteristic of many young Objectivists, who share many o
  10. And it's time you should take if you're going to address these issues and be taken seriously. Should the law distinguish between adults and children? After all they are equally human. There are many other criteria besides whether your human or not that make a difference in how the law treats you. Yes, in the majority of cases, a woman who abandons her children is worse than a man who does. Again, I'll point out that I'm not talking here merely about what's legal or illegal. I'm talking about taking the measure of a person who would do such a thing, and examining their reasons, looking at the
  11. Very eloquent and compelling post, Michael! I'd like to offer some ideas that may help to de-tangle these issues: First, not all violations of moral principle justify forcible intervention or punishment of the violater. This is an obvious point, but one worth listing here. Second, the seriousness of a moral violation is almost completely unrelated to forcible intervention against the violator is justifiable. Stealing a candy bare should be illegal. Saving a candy bar for yourself for the plane ride back from the Sudan, rather than offering it to a starving child, should not be illegal. Third,
  12. Stepping back just a little from the discussion of whether there's anything wrong with not having children, what about the consequences for Objectivism as a philosophy? I haven't done a serious survey, but I'll bet that Objectivists reproduce at a rate far lower than average for people living in their neighborhood. I'll also bet that it's not too controversial to say that Objectivists typically reproduce at lower than replacement rates. As this thread shows, it's pretty hard to come up with compelling philosophical reasons why having more children is something good Objectivists should start do
  13. First, it's Ms. Rand to you, not Miss Rand, Mister. That's a joke. Second, Rand may have been a total beeyotch, but she wasn't an idiot. She understood the uncomfortable fact that genitalia matter. A lot. Especially to people who think that genitalia shouldn't matter. For purposes of this discussion, I don't care a tinker's dam for lesbians, gays, transsexuals and people who may have been dealt other ambiguous or mixed biological cards. Their peepees are as determinative to them as anyone's, even if they are getting multiple radio signals. I think it's nice that we, as an enlightened Western
  14. I went to great lengths to point out that I was not speaking of legal enforcement. However, it is not patently obvious that law should be gender-blind. In fact, it would be nearly as remarkable for the law to make no distinctions between men and women as to make no distinctions between adults and children. Legal sex-based distinctions are far more the norm than sex-neutrality. I think the Hayekian burden of proof is on you to look at each of these distinctions and explain why they are irrational rather than to discard all of them out of hand. Your list of gender roles is, I'm sure you'd admi
  15. Thanks for the list of gender roles. This is a pretty decent list (though I think that some of the roles you've listed are more a rant against some roles than actual roles in themselves). Rather than nitpick the list, I'd like to move the discussion to how such roles/rules are determined and enforced, and to the benefits in general of roles. In Western democracies, gender roles are only weakly, if at all, enforced by government. Yes, in the USA, only men get drafted and women are unduly enriched in marriage and divorce, but these are exceptional and avoidable inequities. In general, the West
  16. George Bush's IQ is probably higher than yours. Certainly, it's higher than John Kerry's. Bush beat Kerry's score on his college boards (a good enough proxy for IQ score that MENSA accepts the scores as proof of high IQ), and Bush got slightly better grades in college than did Kerry. Bush gets brain freeze much more often than not when speaking in public or when talking his way through a minefield, but that does not equate with stupidity. I turned around on the subject of Bush's native intelligence several years ago after hearing him interviewed on some radio program where he was, for whatever
  17. But do I get a secret decoder ring? Mike Lee Who is an optometrist?
  18. Could you give specific examples of these roles or rules? Are we talking about, for boys, "Thou shalt not play with Barbies" and for girls "Thou shalt not play with Tonkas?" It would be nice to have a list of top 10 gender roles/rules for both boys and girls. In anticipation of a reply, and to move the ball forward, I'd like to focus on what really determines "gender roles" and what determines the large statistical differences between what men and women do and accomplish (women really haven't accomplished much, compared to men, and feminism has become not much more than making excuses for that
  19. Mikey loves Lulu. And when she appeared on AI, she was one of the best coaches they've had. And she's one hot GILF. And I completely take your point that the original studio version of the song is way better. But I don't think you can blame this on modern singing. Great stars have been butchering their own hits in Vegas for 50 years. Whatever she did on AI, it wasn't modern singing, and it wasn't typical AI material. Everyone likes to say, at least, that AI is mediocre. That's crap. Frequently, there are amazing performances on that show. Last season, when Rod Stewart was the coach and they we
  20. RANT ALERT: If you keep reading you can't say you weren't warned. Why is the iPod crap? It is certainly a thing of beauty. I'd never even seen one till about 18 months ago, and as soon as I saw it, I knew what it was. Georgeous design, it feels great in your hand, clever interface. It is truly a triumph of form over function. Can't change the battery yourself. Why? They didn't want to ruin the sleek lines with a battery door. No extra battery for you on an international flight. And what a bitch to hard boot. (My first iPod exposure was because my stepson's girlfriend's iPod had locked up. I h
  21. I especially like stuff that most people think is crap but it really isn't. Like the Howard Stern Show and the Adam Carolla Show and the Tom Leykis Show. Each of them has had huge ideological impact on America, all of them for the good. I like Crystal Gayle, back when Allan Reynolds was producing her. That is some of the most sublime, soulful country music ever created. I love Taco Bell. Half of their stuff is really good and the other half is really good crap. My brother likes crappy Mexican restaurants that he thinks are better than Taco Bell. A while back, I coerced him to go to Taco Bell
  22. I tivo American Idol. I think the Navy guy with the ears is cool, but he won't win unless we put a lot more troops in Iraq with text messaging on their cell phones. I hope Sligh and Sundance go almost all the way, and then tour together. They can't win, but they kick butt. I was really annoyed that the blonde bluesy girl got voted off and Princess BJ got to stay. My wife was annoyed that Sanjaya survived. She thinks his hair is ridiculous and that his sister could beat him up. On 24 this week, Jack Bauer tortured somebody again, this time a Russian embassy official. I enjoyed watching this gu
  23. Andrew, I mean this in the nicest tough love way: Anyone who can use the word "hegemony" correctly in a sentence can get a decent job unless there's something wrong with you that no correction by society could ever fix. There are millions of people dumber than you, less talented than you who are doing better than you. Think hard about that. Many many people who don't have your intelligence or sensitivity and discernment are whupping your ass. They do hard things you refuse to do, and that's why they're beating you. You're not oppressed. You're unwanted. Thinking you're oppressed is a way to av
  24. Well, when has Lenny ever thought anything was too much? I'll give him this: he doesn't put up with any of that sissy "moderation in all things" crap. More decades ago than I am comfortable remembering, I had a brief flirtation with Scientology, mostly bookish, but I thought some of their psychological theories were really interesting. Since then, of course, I've ruminated on what the hell was wrong with me, and come up with this explanation. There is a certain kind of person (and I am one of them, and Lenny is too) that get a lot of pleasure out of classifying and categorizing everything. Not
  25. Bear with me, this is going to take a minute.... A few years ago, I married into a Southern, Bible-belt/thumping family. They're so conservative, they think Phyllis Schlafly is hot. Gay marriage is the legitimation of abomination. Prayer belongs in schools, said in unison next to the 10 Commandments plaque. My new stepson got married in a small church in a smaller town in Kentucky. The guy who did all the food and who did the American Idol serious contestant impression at the wedding was openly and flamboyantly (for Kentucky) gay. Other openly gay couples were in attendance, and were treated