Darrell Hougen

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About Darrell Hougen

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  • Birthday 01/31/1964

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    Littleton, CO

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    Darrell Hougen
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rush

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  1. Darrell Hougen

    Alex Jones and Bullying by the Establishment

    Wow! Good news anyway. I saw the banning but didn't know they had been restored. I wonder if youtube is still keeping Prager videos in the adult content section --- meaning they can't be viewed in schools, for example. Darrell
  2. Darrell Hougen

    Alex Jones and Bullying by the Establishment

    Hi Michael, I guess I was a little confused about your argument, so thank you for setting the record straight. There is certainly enough sanctimony among Objectivists, but that sort of goes with the territory. Darrell
  3. Darrell Hougen

    Verdict: Monsanto GUILTY!

    I can't watch the video right now, but I heard the news the other day. I don't know much about the case, but my feeling is that this is another ridiculous result. Chemicals have side effects. If we ban all chemicals, we'll be overrun by weeds and insects. There are always trade-offs.
  4. Darrell Hougen

    Alex Jones and Bullying by the Establishment

    Anthony, I don't think that principles are out-of-context absolutes, even for an individual. Context always matters. For example, Ayn Rand held honesty to be a virtue. However, it is a virtue in the context of peaceful coexistence. As Tara Smith has pointed out, it is even a virtue when the person one is dealing with isn't entirely rational in his reasoning. On the other hand, it isn't hard to construct scenarios involving criminals or acts of war in which it is perfectly reasonable to lie --- where, in fact, honesty would be foolish. So honesty is a virtue within a particular context. With respect to immigration the same thing is true. While the right to liberty, or specifically, the right to freedom of movement, is a right, it is not an out-of-context absolute. One generally doesn't have the right to access another person's property, for example. There is also the right to free association --- the right to voluntarily join together with other people for moral and proper purposes. One of the proper purposes of association is for mutual self defense. So, it is right and proper that people form a country with a government and restrict the people that can enter and the purposes for which they can enter. The right to liberty can't trump the right to freedom of association. The two principles can only be understood by looking at how they interact for the purpose of protecting human life --- the act of expending one's own effort for the furtherance of one's own survival and prosperity. While it is true that people all over the world have the right to liberty, it is also true that they don't have a right to demand that other people provide the conditions necessary for the protection of that right. If mass immigration undermines the ability of a group of people to form an association for the purpose of mutual self defense, then the right to liberty cannot be interpreted as superseding the right to association. Such an interpretation would undermine the right to life. The right to liberty is not an out-of-context absolute. The only way that ARI and other objectivists can justify open borders is through massive context dropping. In the full context of human existence, it seems imminently reasonable to put limits on immigration. Darrell
  5. Darrell Hougen

    Alex Jones and Bullying by the Establishment

    Michael, I'm not saying that Cambridge Analytica had a significant effect on the election or that their use of Facebook data was even a scandal. The point is that the left considers it a scandal and it is the left that is outraged over the actions of Facebook and it is the left that is driving regulation of social media as a result of that outrage. Conservatives (and classical liberals, libertarians, objectivists, etc.) have also complained about mistreatment by platforms like Facebook, but we're used to being mistreated. Besides, the owners of Facebook don't really care about us anyway. However, they do care about how they are perceived on the left and that is why they have been cracking down on right-leaning "fake news" while ignoring the fake news pumped out daily by big left-leaning media companies. Darrell
  6. Darrell Hougen

    Alex Jones and Bullying by the Establishment

    Michael, You're assuming the tech companies want to be regulated. Perhaps some of them do. If that's true, that is even more reason to oppose regulating them. We don't want a situation in which it is difficult or impossible to launch competing social media platforms because of the regulatory burden involved in doing so. Darrell
  7. Darrell Hougen

    Alex Jones and Bullying by the Establishment

    "Context" shouldn't be used as an excuse for playing it "deuces wild." Context dropping is never okay. That leads to rationalism. It's nice to know that people on here are cognizant of the problem of rationalism in the application of objectivish principles to questions such as immigration. And, we don't want to be rationalists with respect to the question of property rights and free speech either. Clearly, some of the giant tech companies have been influenced by the government and have had influence on the government. In fact, part of the current problem is that the tech companies are afraid of being regulated. That's exactly why they're going after Alex Jones and other right-leaning media. They've been threatened by members of Congress. Mostly by Democrats, but also by RINOs. This movement really got started with the revelation that Cambridge Analytica had used Facebook data to help Donald Trump get elected president. That's what really set off people on the left. That's what caused people to delete their Facebook accounts. I know, because of friend of my daughter deleted her Facebook account over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. So, when we start accusing big tech companies of being biased and calling for regulation of them like utilities, we should think twice. We may just end up making the problem worse. How do we know that those regulations won't include proscriptions against posting "fake news?" How do we know that "fake news" won't be interpreted as anything that favors Trump? The fact is that we don't know what will happen, but we can be pretty sure that we won't control the process. Isn't it much better, in this case, to defend the right of property owners to determine how their properties will be used? Isn't it better to defend the right of Facebook to delete Alex Jones's content than to risk having the government involved in policing websites? If Alex Jones has a worthwhile product, he will survive unfair treatment by the tech giants. Perhaps he will end up putting a dent in their profits by attracting a sizable chunk of their users away to his platform. That's how things should work in the marketplace. In my opinion, short term pain is better than the long term pain of having the government deeply involved in determining what content we can and can't view on the internet.
  8. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is at it again. Unwilling to abide by the Supreme Court ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the commission has issued another ruling targeting the same baker for essentially the same "crime" again -- the crime of having his own opinion. COLORADO IS GOING AFTER JACK PHILLIPS OF MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP AGAIN Darrell
  9. Hi All, A friend pointed out a March 17 article about the Steele dossier that goes into incredible detail about who the players were and what their roles were in creating and disseminating the dossier. I've only started reading it, but it appears to contain a treasure trove of information about the incestuous relationships between the government, the media, Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and so on. It appears quite interesting. Here is a link. Darrell
  10. Darrell Hougen

    Reading: Freud, the Making of an Illusion

    Hi William, I don't mean to be dismissive. I figured the first was a typo, but the second I couldn't let go. Of course, the alternative to Crews is not Freud. That's a false dichotomy. I've never been a big fan of Freud or of psychology in general. I can't claim to know enough about Freud's views to really critique them, but the little I've read or heard sounds like nonsense. Piaget and other early childhood developmental psychology are probably better. Adult psychology has the misfortune of being contaminated by politics. One's opinions about the proper rolls of men and women in relationships and society are often colored by one's political views. If those opinions are used as the standard by which one judges whether a person has a psychological problem or not, then the standard of normalcy is also contaminated by politics. Having said that, I think the idea that standards of truth should be "consensual" or determined by consensus is misguided. In one of your other quotes above, Crews uses the term "objective" which is the usual standard of scientific truth. Rand imported the term "objective" into the realm of morality, but objectivity is certainly not unique to Objectivism. And no, I don't plan to read Crews's book on Freud. I'm not that interested in Freud, among other things. Darrell
  11. Darrell Hougen

    Reading: Freud, the Making of an Illusion

    Yikes! Yikes again! Is that the alternative to objective standards of judgment? Darrell
  12. Darrell Hougen

    Trump humor

    You know there are four kinds of matter, solid, liquid, gas, and black lives ...
  13. Darrell Hougen

    Donald Trump

    Hi Michael, A while back I became familiar with the term, "motte and bailey." (My apologies if you're already familiar with the term.) The term originates as a description of a certain kind of fortification in which there is a highly fortified keep (or motte) surrounded by a less well fortified but generally much larger courtyard (or bailey). The smaller motte is easier to defend, while the larger bailey is more difficult to defend. As an argument, a motte and bailey is, "a combination of bait-and-switch and equivocation," in which the arguer switches between an easily defended statement such as, "the climate is changing," and a harder to defend claim such as, "man-made global warming will have catastrophic effects on our environment." Whenever attacked, the person putting forth the motte and bailey position retreats to the stronger assertion that the climate is changing. Once the attacker gives up attempting to assail the stronger position, the arguer reverts to asserting the truth of the weaker bailey position that man is to blame and that the consequences will be catastrophic if "we" don't do something about it. Anyone who questions the bailey is accused of questioning the motte. In my view, the same thing is going on here. The assertion is made that, "the Russians interfered in the election." The motte is that they interfered in the election campaign and attempted to hack voting machines. The bailey is that they actually changed a sufficient number of votes to change the results of the election by either hacking voting machines or by swaying the decisions of weak minded voters. There is little doubt that the Russians bought ads on Facebook. They may have also hacked the DNC, Clinton campaign servers, and interfered in other ways. The question is whether they actually swayed the opinions of a sufficient number of voters to change the election. There is very little evidence to support the latter assertion. Somehow, we are supposed to believe that sweet, innocent, Hillary Clinton's visionary campaign was derailed by insidious Russian influence and that Trump is a secret Bolshevik (read "Manchurian") candidate. Yet, the evidence only supports a much weaker assertion of feeble attempts to interfere in the campaign. Moreover, there is no evidence that Trump was involved in any way. In my opinion, a fair number of leftist arguments fit the motte and bailey mold. Darrell
  14. DNC chair Tom Perez seen carrying $1840 Louis Vuitton bag after calling "socialism" future of party. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/30/tom-perez-louis-vuitton-travel-bag/ Nice imagery. Darrell
  15. Darrell Hougen

    Donald Trump

    Looks like the Daily Caller got to ask a question at Trump's press conference. That was almost more than the lefty media could take. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/30/media-attacks-daily-caller-trump-question/ Darrell