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Posts posted by Mikee

  1. 53 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Trump just took Hillary Clinton apart, torched her to Kingdom Come, chewed on the bones and spit out the splinters.

    Here are a few comments that I believe will go into the mainstream (or, I should say, probably will go).

    1. On rebutting Clinton's slogan, "I'm with her," Trump said, "I'm with you: the American people."

    2. I have a feeling his moniker, Crooked Hillary, will bounce around the mainstream media along with what he just called Clinton: "a world-class liar."

    3. When he said that Americans may not know what is in the 30 thousand emails that Clinton deleted, but foreign governments most likely know every word, thus they have a big blackmail file on her, you could almost hear a gasp in the room. If Trump hammers the term "blackmail file," this will damage her.

    4. From the way Trump plugged it and drew examples from it, I think Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by Peter Schweizer is going to get a huuuuuuuuuge bump in sales. 

    5. He did an excellent job of painting her as a greedy corrupt money-grubber. And he did it in a manner that worked. :) 

    I even saw some comments by Clinton supporters after and they said it was a powerful speech.

    If you don't like Hillary Clinton, I recommend you see the speech video. If you do like her, I recommend it, too, because the press is going to hammer Trump's charges in it for the next long while, maybe even until the convention and beyond.



    I'm afraid she still has a better than even chance of getting elected.  I can almost understand the clueless media listeners but not the so called scholars and intellectuals voting for her because of hating Trump.  Brings clueless to a new level.

  2. 2 hours ago, Roger Bissell said:

    Me 'n' some of them other "stupid assholes" would like to get a peek at the Trumpster's federal tax returns for...oh...some reasonable and relevant portion of the past 20 years. 

    ("Every single thing he's done is in the public record...What's not to know? Hahahahahahahahaha ROTFLMAO on that one, buddy! :cool: )


    Do you consider yourself an honest man Bissell?  Do you think any dirt on Trump that could be dug up wouldn't have been dug up by now?  Have you considered that "Trumps" tax returns are private corporate business, businesses being run now by Trump's kids, revealing private information to their competitors could be very costly.  If not a requirement of the law why should he reveal information that could cost his kids millions?  Go find your own dirt, then prove it, stop the bs.  I think you're a clown, you have no idea what's really going on, that embarrasses you, and no, you're not honest about it.  You called it:  " Me 'n' some of them other "stupid assholes" "

  3. 5 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Does anyone remember Ayn Rand writing about refusing to accept the premises of your accuser?

    I have to look this up, but if my memory is correct, she discussed this when she wrote about what she called "argument from intimidation."

    If you want to see a perfect example of refusing an accuser's premises, refusing to accept unearned guilt and refusing to let the accuser set the moral agenda, the following example by Trump is perfect.

    Everybody wants to call Trump's statement bigotry and remove the judge's bias from discussion by means of intimidation with a slur about bigotry, first implied, then stated explicitly.

    Yet Trump plows forward using his words his way according to his own meanings and leaves people scratching their heads. He refuses the false dichotomy that if he says things the way the PC language Nazis disapprove, he is a bigot and if he says them the way the PC language Nazis approve, he is not. His accusers ask him if he doesn't see that he is being bigot when he calls the judge Mexican, Trump says not at all, he has never been a bigot, and repeats his statement.

    But by doing this, he is making people think.

    I'm not sure if he does this on purpose--I'm inclined to to think he does. Why? Because it's based on an old marketing principle, even if it is hard to see at first.

    People cannot be dislodged from a decision if they came to it themselves through their own reasoning. So telling them what to think is practically worthless in many situations. They need to be led down a path where they do their own thinking and their own choosing.

    This principle especially applies to large purchases. A prospect for a large purchase is generally not the only one who decides, he or she often has a spouse or partner, etc.. The seller knows the prospect's other people will possibly pooh pooh the purchase, so he has to convince the prospect so much that the prospect will override these later objections.

    The only way to do that is induce the prospect to come to his own conclusion based on his own reasons and values.

    For example, here's how it works with a car and a male prospect. The seller knows the prospect's wife will possibly object, so he has to neutralize her objections by getting the prospect to make his case for him (and the spousal relationship dynamics will do the rest :) ).

    Instead of selling the guy on the features or benefits, he paints a picture of the guy's future while owning the car. He lets the guy see himself in the car, breezing through life behind the wheel with others looking on in admiration, and encourages him to feel what that feels like. Along the way he dribbles in tidbits of information about features and benefits. Then the guy starts concluding--on his own--that he needs those features and benefits. He like really needs those features and benefits. That car just feels too damn good.

    This is much, much stronger than the seller telling him what he needs. That is one of the main reasons for a test drive. (That's also why some sellers can't close prospects through test drives to save their lives. They frame it wrong and keep telling the prospect what to think.)

    I believe Trump uses this principle by throwing out a phrase intended to provoke cognitive dissonance in the public regarding no-no positions set by PC language intimidators. But rather than saying the intimidators are wrong according to the premises of the intimidators, he uses his own meanings and sticks to them like a bulldog with a bone. This makes people step back and think again about the no-no stuff. It makes them wonder, is it really like the PC language intimidators have been saying? Or is there something else going on?


    Once they rethink it, no amount of previous covert manipulation like victimization stories, social proof, guilt by association, etc., not to mention language monkeyshines (replacing "illegal aliens" with "undocumented workers," etc.) will take anymore.

    Under the efforts of current PC language Nazis, average people are not reasoned into compliance. They are intimidated and manipulated into it. If they reason their way out because they want to rethink it, they suddenly get power over their own behavior again. What's more, no amount of arguing based on previous premises will work on them anymore. Not on that issue.

    If Trump tells the public that a judge who has a radical Latino history is targeting him because of political positions on immigration, the public will go, OK, that's rotten, but par for the course and it will move on. If the public concludes, through the individual reasoning of each person, that the judge is biased due to his radical past and this is making him abuse the legal system to target Trump, the public will think the judge is cheating and acting like a wannabe dictator. No amount of intimidation, shaming, calling Trump racist and bigot, etc., will phase them.

    By snapping people out of their PC language induced automation, Trump is making them think through the issue and look at it with fresh eyes. Most people don't like what they see when they do that and it's not Trump they are repudiating.

    If Trump is doing that, and I think he is, he's much better than what I imagined in the beginning. He's scary good and it's a good thing he has good character.


    Thanks for this Michael.  I admit, for myself, some of Trumps early remarks I felt were offensive, but watching the overreach by his opponents, left and right, and then contrasting with his explanations for his remarks I moved closer and closer to his pov.  In fact, if he hadn't done it that way I wouldn't have paid that much attention to the issues he concerns himself with.  And the lack any attempt at objectivity of his opponents, again both sides, moved me farther away from any regard for them.  I think Trump is a good man, I hope he survives this election cycle and wins the presidency.  That's not going to end the corruption in Washington but is a step in the right direction.  The majority of objectivists of any stripe are once again proving themselves irrelevant in yet another election cycle.

  4. Scott Adams:  Citizen Government:

    "There’s something in the air now – maybe because of Trump – that feels intensely American. And by that I mean not waiting around for someone (such as the government) to fix your problem. We’re a nation of problem-solvers. I would argue that problem-solving is the most basic American character trait.

    You need something invented? We’re on it. 

    You need a dictator removed? Can do.

    You need economic stability in the world? Working on it!

    Don’t like having a king? We can design a better system.

    At the moment, citizens see our government as defective and they see Donald Trump as a wrecking ball. Step one: Demolition."


  5. 1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

    Mitochondria do not create energy.  They disperse and dissipate energy just like every other living thing on this planet.  Ultimately they live on sunshine, just like we do.


    You are contextually inaccurate.  These don't create energy either (but they need to be refueled):


    Edited to add:  You remind me of Sheldon (BBT):  Sheldon: "I am not crazy. My mother had me tested."

  6. Thank you Peter.

    "Ted is an interesting person".

    Yes.  He is an eagle amongst peacocks.  He has the capacity to reason.  An superior memory, intuitive, a Renaissance man, not a rote learner or "scholar" interested only in accumulating trivia about a subject rather than original thinking about it.

  7. 1 hour ago, Peter said:

    From: "Andrew Taranto" Subject: Starship Troopers (was Re: ATL: collectivized ethics and US intervention) Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 16:37:54 -0500


    Ellen L replying to Sandra M:

    >Joey, you have the great benefit of living in the freest country in the world. I agree with Robert Heinlein's view that citizens should do something to *earn* that citizenship? Ayn Rand earned her citizenship by writing a book that gave an ethical underpinning to laissez-faire capitalism (THE FOUNTAINHEAD) by writing another book that exposed the horrors of life under communism (WE THE LIVING) and by writing ATLAS SHRUGGED and numerous essays that greatly clarified the political and economic thinking of the generations that followed.

     >Robert Heinlein wrote over a period of at least 30 years. I haven't read Starship Troopers but I doubt seriously if he ever really believed that citizenship was to be earned, and if he did I doubt he kept that view.  You might read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress for what was probably more his real view point.  I suspect the character of Prof de la Paz was his role in the book.


    In the Starship Troopers ethos, citizenship was "earned" by ~voluntary~ military service; and one could opt out of one's service at any point. Citizenship then gave one the right to vote and hold public offices. It makes some sense: if one wants political power, one must lay one's life on the line. Conversely, force someone to lay his life on the line, and he becomes a thorn in the government's side when he assumes his rightful position in public office.


    Also note that non-citizenship did not relegate people to second class status: they were simply barred from voting or holding political offices. Besides the slight enmity between citizens and non-citizens in the book, I really don't think it displayed a caste society in any meaningful sense.


    I have no idea if Heinlein ~believed~ in this form of polity; but _Starship Troopers_ made a very compelling (and entertaining) thought experiment. If anything, I think Heinlein provided a viable (or at least semi-viable) alternative to the kind of political order we have now, or at least an interesting principle upon which to base such an alternative (i.e., voluntary citizenship, with full individual rights retained by non-citizens).


    Andrew Taranto


    From: Michael Hardy Subject: ATL: Re: Starship Troopers Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 18:13:32 -0500 (EST)

    Andrew Taranto attributed the following to Ellen Lewit: >Robert Heinlein wrote over a period of at least 30 years.


          *Only* 30?  Well, it said "at least" 30, but it still seems like a ridiculously small number to assign to this.  Heinlein was diagnosed terminally ill in 1935 (and therefore kicked out of the navy) and died in 1988.  He wrote fiction from 1939 until shortly before his death in 1988, two months before his 81st birthday (he was born on 7/7/07).


    >I haven't read Starship Troopers but I doubt seriously if he ever really believed that citizenship was to be earned, and if he did I doubt he kept that view.  You might read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress for what was probably more his real view point.  I suspect the character of Prof de la Paz was his role in the book.


          Heinlein did play Devil's advocate a lot.


          But ferchrissake: Heinlein was no good at non-fiction or philosophy.  I've outgrown the stuff he wrote for primarily adult audiences.  The stuff he wrote for 14-year-olds was GREAT, and I recommend it to adults and to everyone else.  It's unfortunate that crap like _Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land_ gets so much publicity and turns people off to Heinlein, and then they never read his "juvenile novels" that were originally serialized in the boy scout magazines during the '50's.  Even _Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land_ was written in an entertaining way, but the plot as a whole has too much silliness that adults will see through.  Not so his "juveniles."  (Yes, they have implausibilities that you can poke holes in if you like pointing out others' imperfections, but they're not important to the value of the stories.)


    Here are some very good ones:


    Have Space Suit, Will Travel.

    Starman Jones.

    The Sky Beast.

    Farmer in the Sky.


          The protagonist of this last one is perhaps 11 or 12 years old   --- younger than most protagonists of Heinlein's "juveniles."  Here's a very interesting tidbit from it: Bill, the protagonist, is the only child of a widower.  He and his father are going to emigrate to a planet being newly colonized, to which emigration is restricted to married couples with children.  The father will marry a widow with a daughter before their departure.  To the son the prospect of colonizing this primitive place is a great adventure, and of course that's why he wants to go.  One day the father is astonished to learn that the son thinks the father is getting married so that he can emigrate.  And then the son is surprised when the father says that's not how it is.  The father explains that he is emigrating so that he can re-marry.  He wants to make a kind of complete break with his past life and career for emotional reasons.


          In the '50's there were some silly movies about monsters attacking cities, and I don't think they dealt with the lawsuits that would ensue.  Clearly if a monster attacks a city then somebody's going to sue somebody, right?  That's a major part of what _The_Sky_ _Beast_ is about.  But it's even more complicated: The monster turns out to have relatives in high political offices, and diplomatic hassles turn out to be most of what the story's about.


          In _Starman_Jones_, Max Jones starts out as a subsistence farmer. Getting from there to being a respected professional is a matter of using your head.  That's the story.  What goes on in Max's head – the workings of his intellect and of his conscience -- are followed, but it's not overly, and certainly not explicitly,  psychological.  When I read it at the age of 15, I was totally surprised by a climactic event, which I only much later realized was, like most of Heinlein's fiction, inspired by Heinlein's own biography.  A hint: Heinlein graduated from the Naval Academy.


          _Have_Space_Suit,_Will_Travel_ is delightful and anyone who is not delighted by it is a member of the Taliban and is hereby scheduled to be an organ-donor for heart- lung- and liver-patients tomorrow morning.

    Everyone here is ordered to read the first chapter of it tonight. You'll love Kip Russell's father.  (It's also the book from which, at the age of 11, I first heard of MIT.)

            Mike Hardy

    I read "Citizen of the Galaxy" and "Star Beast" many times as a kid, and everything else he wrote through the next 20-30 years.  Here is Ted Keer's Robert Heinlein page on Radicals for Happinesshttp://radicalsforhappiness.blogspot.com/search/label/Robert Heinlein

    It contains a review of Citizen of the Galaxy and Starship Troopers.

  8. 34 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

    The law of gravity is not  normative law.  It describes how  mass or energy will move given the metric tensor in its immediate location.  And, by the way, parachutists "defy" the "law"  of gravity every time they jump from a perfectly good plane.  They rarely  die because they do this.  Neither Newton's Law or the Einstein field equations have any moral content.  Moral principles say things like  --- X is forbidden,  Y is permitted,  Z is required  or Don't do A to B  and such like.

    Jumping out of an airplane without a parachute is insane.  The insane is not moral.  Jumping out of an airplane with a parachute is not defying gravity. It is sane and moral.  You talk of "moral principles"...  What do you think these "principles" are based on if not natural law?  Not hurting peoples feelings?  Or survival?

  9. Bob,

    It depends on how you define moral.  If you defy the law of gravity, you die.  That seems like an objective moral decision to me.  I don't suppose you find "benevolent universe" a compelling or meaningful idea either?

    How do you define moral?

    Mike E [helping]