Jon Letendre

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Everything posted by Jon Letendre

  1. Ellen, The web presentation was horrendous. Of PARC I’ve read only what Valliant has posted at SoloP. The web edition absolutely was not any better than what has been posted. You wondered if Peikoff had seen something more reasonable or in any way of a higher quality when he read the web version. Sorry, no. Funny aside: According to Jim, I am responsible for improvements of the web edition itself! After reading it, I emailed he and Casey my frank thoughts, which I summed-up with a comment along the lines of “and you fucknuts imagine that you are doing her legacy a favor with this?” We exchange
  2. “I need a drink.” Don’t you know that fifty potatoes have to die to produce one ounce of vodka—two hundred barley plants to make a beer! Make sure that drink is water. Then go outside and pee on the weeds.
  3. Phil Coates wrote, “DMBH is a particularly "slippery" writer, whom you have to watch like a hawk. She often is caught slipping in a qualification or caveat like this which might slip by the attention of many people” Later, MSK quotes her: “Also, I should mention that I've spoken repeatedly with two lawyers about this matters over the past few days. Both of them used to speak at TOC, and so they are familiar with TOC's "Speaker's Agreements." On both legal and moral grounds, they wholly support my right to refuse permission to play these lectures.” MSK comments, “if she reported her legal advic
  4. The question is whether or not babies have a basic, negative right to life. (Questions of positive obligations that we can attach to the parents or the state should be left for later.) The existence of an abundance of people able and willing to adopt unwanted babies, treating them as though they do have a right to life and even showering them with positive obligations, does not resolve the question. Bidinotto wrote, and Michael and I agree with him: “But when we talk of "babies," "children," and "adults," we are talking about US -- at various ages. That's all. And rights are moral principles t
  5. OK, Barbara, you asked for it… I hunt birds with pointing dogs. There’s a common misconception that pointers literally point to the prey, but that’s not what they do. Going “on point” is just an extension of stalking behavior, they’re freezing, just like a cheetah freezes, moves closer, and freezes again—she doesn’t want to be noticed until she’s close enough and the time is right to burst. This is a natural behavior in dogs inherited from their wolf/coyote ancestors. Those canids will slowly “creep” upon a bird on the ground and if all goes well the bird will hold tight and not take to wing u
  6. “Is it quite fair to conclude that I value none of the values hunters pursue, when I keep telling you I have no idea what those values are? Do you really know me well enough to come to that conclusion?” It’s fair because earlier you wrote “I don't want to be unfair, bit I don't understand it, despite the attempts of hunters to explain it.” From this and other of your previous comments I took it that the non-bloodthirsty hunters you have conversed with have tried to share their perspective with you to no avail. “Perhaps I deserve just a bit more trust in my ability to understand, and even to rs
  7. Barbara, “I have not been questioning the validity of destroying an animal in order to provide man with a real benefit, but only the validity of enjoying the process of killing that animal.” Here, again, you seem to say to that no real benefits can accrue from hunting for sport and that such hunters are motivated by sheer enjoyment of the killing process. It’s fine that none of the values sport hunters pursue are of any value to you. Part of the reason I am shy to elaborate on what those values are for me is that I am certain they will hold no allure for you, so it really wouldn’t help. Nevert
  8. Barbara, It still seems to me that that is what you are saying. Your latest question seems to confirm this: “Of everything one might do with one's time, why would killing animals be a choice? Why would this be entertaining?” If we were talking about fishing, the question would be: “Of everything a grandfather might do with his grandson, why would torturing fish be a choice? Why would this be entertaining?” The question itself presupposes that the grandfather takes the boy fishing because it is entertaining, and the specific form of entertainment is the joy of torturing fish.
  9. I think you are right, Jonathan. There seems to be something operating here, that people feel more OK with a mess the further they are personally removed from it. I heard an interview on NPR with a researcher who studied this phenomenon. He said that in studies, the vast majority of people are fine with an impersonal action, and they become less and less fine with it the “closer” and more “personal” it becomes, despite that consequences of the action remain the same. This isn’t the best example, but it’s the one I remember from the interview: Suppose you are on a bridge overlooking a rail line
  10. Barbara, “Let me ask you a question. If, in the precise moment before you fired at an animal, you were to make it fully real to yourself that you were about to kill a beautiful living being, a being who might well suffer agonies because of you, and that its potential for joy would be gone forever and by your hand -- could you then fire?” It is every time fully real to me that they are beautiful living beings that might well suffer agonies, and yes, I still fire. I can think of one time that I did not. Unlike Pheasants, which typically take to wing straight up like a helicopter then go away in
  11. Barbara, I don’t know anyone who hunts because they “enjoy watching blood spill.” That’s not fair. You are projecting the part that bothers you the most onto them, as though that’s what they’re motivated by. A pacifist could just as easily say that all soldiers are mentally twisted because they just want to kill people. Judith, You quote Graham at length while also making clear you don’t agree with him! He says animals have the right to be left alone, yet you keep horses and dogs, you eat birds, and you agree with Michael about eating meat from slaughterhouses and exterminating undesirables wi
  12. I don’t want to hijack Neil’s excellent thread any further, but just to thank Ellen and Michael for the welcome.
  13. Stephen, Harry was definitely not saying Peikoff thought merely that hunting should not be illegal, but that it is a proper, appropriate activity. Perhaps the caveat of using the fur or eating the meat was assumed. Still, whatever caveats were assumed, Harry said Peikoff thought it OK, while Harry thought it not. I’ve never understood the hunting for “sport” vs. hunting for “rational purposes” distinction. The anti-hunting response—that in the 21st century there are better ways to obtain clothing and food—is pretty much unanswerable. The anti-hunting conclusion—that modern hunters, while they
  14. Ellen, I was amazed at your recounting that Harry believed cats incapable of experiencing pain. In college, in ’89 or ’90, I arranged for him and Ed Locke to debate animal-rights activists at my school. In a conversation following the debate, Harry said that while Peikoff thought hunting a legitimate activity, he (Harry) found it barbaric. I will never forget him raising his crooked finger to his distorted lips and saying, “Even fishing. The poor thing has a hook in its mouth, how can that not be traumatic and painful? And that’s just a fish! How could someone shoot a sweet, cute deer?” He sai