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Ed Hudgins

Obama Endangers Israel

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Dear Alice, Lareen, Lauren, Benjamin, Sandy, Elaine, and Linda. Stay out of Saudi Arabia. You might be arrested and stoned unless you recant your name.

From the Times of Israel. Saudi Arabia bans parents from naming their children the following:

Malaak (angel) Abdul Aati Abdul Naser Abdul Musleh Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin) Naris Yara Sitav Loland Tilaj Barrah Abdul Nabi Abdul Rasool Sumuw (highness) Al Mamlaka (the kingdom) Malika (queen) Mamlaka (kingdom) Tabarak (blessed) Nardeen Sandy Rama (Hindu god) Maline Elaine Inar Maliktina Maya Linda Randa Basmala (utterance of the name of God) Jibreel (angel Gabriel) Abdul Mu’een Abrar Iman Bayan Baseel Wireelam Nabi (prophet) Nabiyya (female prophet) Amir (prince) Taline Aram Nareej Rital Alice Lareen Kibrial Lauren

That's a good reminder of how effed up Muslims can be. Israel is a moral oasis in an immoral desert.

Greg

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The web is saying Russia just knocked down a US drone in Crimea, by blocking its incoming signals.

"Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria," Rostec said on its website, which also carried a picture of what it said was the captured drone. The photograph appeared to show an apparently armed drone in flight, rather than debris.”

I was thinking about Francisco’s drumbeat of no new taxes, when I received an email from Rand Paul today, and he too is sounding the alarm about THE DEBT, and the potential for a financial collapse. What if it happens? There is a chance for another contraction as happened in 2008 or another collapse mirroring 1929 in its intensity.

Are Rand Paul and Francisco addressing the most pressing issues of the decade, the debt and taxes? After a big slide in the past few years gold is up this week 3 percent to $1379 an ounce after 5 days of rises and gold prices sometimes precede economic corrections. The Dow closed in the red for the fifth consecutive day.

THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT WOULD OCCUR UNDER A RAND PAUL PRESIDENCY WITH A REPUBLICAN HOUSE AND SENATE so let me go at the “no new taxes” argument from another direction. What if we stopped printing excess currency, getting loans from foreign governments like China, and stopped the devaluation of the dollar? What if, at the same time America stopped all deficit spending? He might be a one term president but Rand Paul would do what he thinks is right. Imagine the groans from the moderate wing of the Republican party! And two years after the beginning of a Paul presidency would republicans be in danger of a backlash from the voters in the midterm elections in 2018?

President Paul. Imagine Forrest Gump saying “Lieutenant Dan.” Now say it again. President Paul. No. I think it would roll off the tongue quite well after a few tries. Secretary of the Treasury Francisco Ferrer would also sound just fine so he will put Francisco in chare of balancing the budget.

If we did withdraw our troops from all bases overseas and downsized our military what would be the consequences? If we stopped giving foreign aid or military hardware to our friends overseas what would happen? If we did not financially and militarily support Israel and other friends what would happen? If the United States became isolationist what would happen? At a press conference would President Paul be asked, does having friends bestow any benefits if it costs us money?

Next President Paul would have Secretary Ferrer abolish Obamacare, cut Social Security and all entitlements, and undoubtedly stop all governmental actions if they are not in the U.S. Constitution. We would stop being “The World’s Policeman,” and now I am starting to get worried at this point in my scenario. If Russia continues to invade its neighbors and so does China, would America’s newly found economic strength make a difference?

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I already performed this little thought experiment and came to the rather startling conclusion that I do not deserve Barack Obama!

No decent person -deserves- Barak Obama.

I agree. Obama doesn't govern Americans. He can only govern the indecent.

He is a misfortune that has befallen this nation.

Misfortune for the indecent... but not for the Americans.

In a way, the Republicans brought this on themselves.

They certainly did... because not all Republicans are Americans.

When the economy started to go South the Republicans showered money on the Cronies who caused the problem in the first place.

It's unamerican to covet money "showered" on others.

Greg

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I had missed this, and it's worth a response...

I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that my belief that the government takes property and liberty away from people who have not initiated force against others is based on my imagination. However, I rather think it's objective reality.

To take just one example, in 2012 over 99,000 people served time in federal prison for drug offenses. My sister was once put into a cage for having marijuana in her purse. Did I just imagine my sister in jail?

As I see it, people who smoke marijuana have already imprisoned themselves. Physical imprisonment is nothing compared to the self imposed internal confinement in the prison of hallucinogenic fantasy.

Greg

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There is no moral weakness in being honest, in telling the truth, in calling out evil. Ayn Rand said, "One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment."

If you do that in your own life first... the outside world will graciously acquiesce to what you are inside. Everything you are complaining about on the outside is only a symptom of what you are on the inside, and not the cause.

When it comes to "what I truly am inside," I run a tight ship. But never mind me; there are any number of good, deeply religious people who, despite their character, moral strength, and what they "are on the inside," are regularly robbed by Obama and Company to support the tax feeder class.

Thus, we have more than sufficient objective evidence to show that people are "prey of the government" despite the absence of moral weakness.

I pay taxes because if I refused I'd be placed in a federal cage. It is no different from a man handing over his wallet to an armed thug under the threat of being shot.

Why not simply produce enough so that it doesn't matter? Problem solved.

Problem not solved.

1. No thief is entitled to a nickel of a man's income, much less a third of it.

2. Justice requires that the perpetrator of theft return not only what has been taken but additional value for full restitution. "If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep." (Exodus 22:1)

3. Continued feeding of the gang of robbers in Washington makes them stronger and us weaker.

The Judeo-Christian roots of the country are of no significance if the government of the country routinely violates Commandments six, eight and ten.

The government can only violate Commandments on you personally that you first violate yourself, because it is subject to exactly the same moral laws that you are.

Good. This proves the theory that people get the government they deserve is false. I do not steal from from anyone. I do not threaten to kidnap people and hold them in a cage for not giving me a share of their income. Yet the government steals thousands from me and returns every year to repeat that crime and demand still more. An honest look at myself and my situation leads to one conclusion: there is no causal relationship between my my moral condition and the government's treatment of me.

The Ten Commandments does not say "Thou shalt not steal, unless of course the person thou stealeth from be morally weak." Thus the government is in gross violation of the Judeo-Christian ethic and any association it or its apologists may claim to such an ethic is now void and invalid.

I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that my belief that the government takes property and liberty away from people who have not initiated force against others is based on my imagination.

In America today (standard disclaimer), the government cannot take liberty away from anyone who doesn't piss it away themselves. Why? Because liberty does not come from the government. It comes from God.

Experience refutes the theory that we get the government we deserve. When my sister was arrested for pot possession, she did not handcuff herself and put herself in jail. Nor has she ever wished for, advocated, conspired to, or in any way participated in the kidnapping and detention of another human being. The government's actions in incarcerating her were entirely unnecessary, undeserved and unjust. If we need further proof that citizens can lose liberty that they did not take away from themselves, here it is.

However, I rather think it's objective reality.

Thought frequently has nothing to do with objective reality... which is nothing more than the consequences of your own actions.

So until you can make the connection between the objective reality of the just and deserved consequences you are complaining about and your own actions that are causing them... you will never enjoy liberty.

If "thought frequently has nothing to do with objective reality," then thinking bad thoughts, morally weak thoughts, etc. has nothing to do with government violating our personal and property rights. Yes, you've convinced me.

The connection I have now made is that since government is an agency of rights violation (evil), it cannot be an agency for delivering just and deserved consequences (good), any more than a child molester can ever make a trustworthy kindergarten teacher.

Never have I said that government oppresses everyone equally.

Good. :smile:

Now go learn how to live so that it doesn't oppress YOU.

There is a way. So it's totally up to you whether or not you learn for yourself. And if you choose not to learn, you have no one else to blame but yourself.

Just as Paul Revere spread the word that the enemies of freedom were on the march, I will continue to spread the idea that capitalism works and that the parasites who are presently sucking life from us must be cast off.

Quote

What's the problem? Israel's enemies can only harm those who have "moral weakness that renders them prey," right?

Yes that's right.

Israel's moral strength is the only thing that prevents it from becoming prey of the Jewhaters.

That means that Israel can stop building walls, training soldiers and buying weapons. One little drop of moral strength is all it takes to keep the "Jewhaters" of the world away.

Quote

I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that my belief that the government takes property and liberty away from people who have not initiated force against others is based on my imagination. However, I rather think it's objective reality.

To take just one example, in 2012 over 99,000 people served time in federal prison for drug offenses. My sister was once put into a cage for having marijuana in her purse. Did I just imagine my sister in jail?

As I see it, people who smoke marijuana have already imprisoned themselves. Physical imprisonment is nothing compared to the self imposed internal confinement in the prison of hallucinogenic fantasy.

Greg

Then how can being put in a government jail be a just and deserved consequence?

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When it comes to "what I truly am inside," I run a tight ship. But never mind me; there are any number of good, deeply religious people who, despite their character, moral strength, and what they "are on the inside," are regularly robbed by Obama and Company to support the tax feeder class.

I'm only addressing you and not other people, because you are here and now in America, and not in the dead past, or someone else, or somewhere else.

Problem not solved.

I agree. For you it will never be solved with your attitude. And in my view that is your own fault... while in yours you are just an innocent helpless victim of unjust oppression.

Good. This proves the theory that people get the government they deserve is false. I do not steal from from anyone.

I understand that in your view you believe it is false. This is because of your irrational hallucinogenic fantasy that you shouldn't have to pay for the public infrastructure you use, and that it should be provided to you for free. The only people who believe that are unproductive freeloaders who expect to get something for nothing. You want to get the benefit of the public infrastructure, but yet you don't want to pay for it, so you call it "theft".

Question: So if you don't have to pay for it, just who do you expect to pay for the public infrastructure you use?

Answer: Someone else.

I'm really glad that you won't ever get your way... :smile:

...because if you were to get your Utopian fantasy, that would mean robbing others to pay for the public services that you use. And since you want to rob others, it's perfect moral justice that you should suffer the pain of living with the pain of feeling that you are being robbed.

You're getting exactly what you deserve... because only you can rob yourself of freedom.

Greg

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Good. This proves the theory that people get the government they deserve is false. I do not steal from from anyone.

I understand that in your view you believe it is false. This is because of your irrational hallucinogenic fantasy that you shouldn't have to pay for the public infrastructure you use, and that it should be provided to you for free. The only people who believe that are unproductive freeloaders who expect to get something for nothing. You want to get the benefit of the public infrastructure, but yet you don't want to pay for it, so you call it "theft".

Question: So if you don't have to pay for it, just who do you expect to pay for the public infrastructure you use?

Answer: Someone else.

I'm really glad that you won't ever get your way... :smile:

...because if you were to get your Utopian fantasy, that would mean robbing others to pay for the public services that you use. And since you want to rob others, it's perfect moral justice that you should suffer the pain of living with the constant angst of feeling that you are being robbed.

You're getting exactly what you deserve... because only you can rob yourself of freedom.

Greg

I think that swimming is a healthy, invigorating activity that benefits people of all ages. Suppose I build an Olympic size pool in my yard, staff it with lifeguards and maintenance crews, and invite the whole neighborhood to enjoy it.

Then the following April I send every homeowner in the sub-division an invoice for $300.00, their "fair share" of what it cost to build the pool.

If anyone refused to pay, would I be justified in sending a gang of roughnecks to his home to threaten him with guns, kidnap him, and hold him in a cage until his "fair share" of the "infrastructure" along with penalties for delayed payment is coughed up?

Of course not. But this arrangement is no different from what governments do every day. And it doesn't matter whether the coercion is done by a single man with a swimming pool or by a large gang with "majority rule." Property rights don't come from governments or majorities. They are derived from man's nature.

The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A—and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational. Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life. (Atlas Shrugged)

Those rights, including the right to the full fruit of one's labors, are violated if anyone demands with the threat of a gun payment for a product or service which a citizen did not voluntarily contract for.

As for public services, I use public roads based on the common law, non-possessory easement right to access my own home and other homes and businesses of welcoming members of the community. And that's about it.

If the state lifts the yoke of income taxation it has placed on my neck, I'll be happy to pay user fees for the streets and highways I motor on.

As for robbing others, since I'm in the top 25% income bracket, I am a net income taxpayer, not a net income tax receiver.

If I were getting everything I deserved, I would have all of my stolen property returned to me (at least $1 million plus opportunity costs) less the pittance in what I get from public services.

Since it was the U.S. Treasury that demanded that I file this return, and since I have no employment with or authority over the treasury, clearly it is not I that is committing robbery.

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Damn. The following exchange is like watching Bjorn Borg playing John McEnroe in tennis: well thought out at one hundred miles an hour, served and returned.

Francisco wrote:

I do not threaten to kidnap people and hold them in a cage for not giving me a share of their income . . . . The connection I have now made is that since government is an agency of rights violation (evil), it cannot be an agency for delivering just and deserved consequences (good) . . . .

end quote

And Greg responded:

I'm really glad that you won't ever get your way . . . because. . . that would mean robbing others to pay for the public services that you use.

end quote

Very astute, Greg. If Francisco uses governmental services but refuses to pay for them, he is living parasitically upon the taxes of other citizens, although Francisco further into his response, shows how in actuality his use of governmental services is much less than the taxes he pays.

But it is his generalization about government that once again places Francisco onto the Rational Anarchist’s team. It is a doubles match with Francisco and a rational anarchist against Greg and a proponent of Objectivist Government. Francisco wrote, “The connection I have now made is that since government is an agency of rights violation (evil) it cannot be an agency for delivering just and deserved consequences (good) . . .”

Cannot? Cannot be? Your absolutism is as wrong as the Rational Anarchist claim that government cannot rationally practice retaliatory force, but that two anarchists can. Two anarchist neighbors dispute their fence line. Frank says John’s apple tree is over the line and shading his vegetable garden. John claims this is nature at work and demonstrates God’s law. Frank gets his hoe, and John gets his rake and they both use rational retaliatory force against the other while at the same time shouting for help because the other person is INITIATING FORCE! If justice is administered without laws then each person you come across will constantly be giving their consent or condemnation, and this constant consent is a farce. It is lawlessness personified. If you are marooned you need not consent to anything but primitive to civilized humans always live in societies and ALWAYS create a governmental body. It is an evolutionary necessity.

Cannot be? Then it CAN NEVER BE. You cannot philosophically argue for the eventuality of paying for services or a national lottery paying for government if you refuse to legitimize the evolving government and the steps that will get you to that point.

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Ayn Rand: "The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A..."

Even though in my view that the source of the law of identity (A is A) is God, Who said "I Am that I Am" thousands of years before Ayn Rand ever did... we're in complete agreement on that law. :smile:

And being subject to A = A , it's perfect moral justice that you deserve to feel the pain of being robbed just as you would wish to rob others to pay for the public services you receive...

...and there's not a damn thing you can do about it, because you passed judgment on yourself. :wink:

My view remains constant that by moral law, you deserve exactly what you're getting, because the consequences you are complaining about are a perfect A = A match to your attitude and how you live... just as I also deserve exactly what I'm getting because I'm completely subject to that same moral law. The government as well is under that same moral law, and by your own judgment, it has become the self inflicted agent of your punishment, just as you rightly deserve.

If you wish, you can still respond with more A = B arguments, imaginary situations, and impotent complaints about how you are a helpless innocent victim of government oppression. But each of us has spoken their view. And since our two views are utterly irreconcilable I think this topic has been fully discussed.

Greg

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...Greg and a proponent of Objectivist Government.

The government is objective...

...but you first have to be objective for the government to treat you objectively.

Sorry... gotta go. I'd love to respond more this morning, but it's going to be 85 degrees today and I'm going motorcycle riding. :wink:

Greg

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Ayn Rand: "The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A..."

Even though in my view that the source of the law of identity (A is A) is God, Who said "I Am that I Am" thousands of years before Ayn Rand ever did... we're in complete agreement on that law. :smile:

And being subject to A = A , it's perfect moral justice that you deserve to feel the pain of being robbed just as you would wish to rob others to pay for the public services you receive...

If you accuse others of wishing to commit a crime and are unable or unwilling to provide evidence for that accusation, expect to be called a liar.

You have not a scrap of evidence to show that I "wish to rob others." Therefore, you are a liar.

For those who read the Bible, it's also known as bearing false witness.

Not only have I paid for so-called "public services" hundreds of times over and above what I actually consume, I have consistently called on the government to stop robbing everyone in America, not least of whom myself.

...and there's not a damn thing you can do about it, because you passed judgment on yourself. :wink:

Then we now have further proof that the government does not give us what we deserve for I have never passed the judgment that I deserve to be taxed and regulated.

My view remains constant that by moral law, you deserve exactly what you're getting, because the consequences you are complaining about are a perfect A = A match to your attitude and how you live... just as I also deserve exactly what I'm getting because I'm completely subject to that same moral law. The government as well is under that same moral law, and by your own judgment, it has become the self inflicted agent of your punishment, just as you rightly deserve.

If the just desserts of advocating capitalism is that one gets Obama and socialized medicine, then surely the just desserts of advocating dictatorship is that one should get more freedom. But clearly that is not happened to those who worked to get Obama elected and re-elected.

Tax robbery is not self-inflicted and deserved any more than rape is.

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But it is his generalization about government that once again places Francisco onto the Rational Anarchist’s team. It is a doubles match with Francisco and a rational anarchist against Greg and a proponent of Objectivist Government. Francisco wrote, “The connection I have now made is that since government is an agency of rights violation (evil) it cannot be an agency for delivering just and deserved consequences (good) . . .”

Cannot? Cannot be?

If a government official receives stolen goods, any action other than returning those goods to their proper owners compounds the original evil of theft.

If a modern day Robin Hood were to cyber-loot the bank account of the world's richest software developer, it wouldn't matter how worthy the recipient of the stolen money was. If the money went to help the poor defend themselves from street gangs and crime overlords, the loot is still stolen, and no justice can occur until it is restored to the rightful owner.

Let Robin Hood be benevolent and generous with his own damn dough.

Similarly, if the President of the United States wants to help Israel, he can resign his office, move to Tel Aviv, join the IDF, and set a shining example for other Americans to follow.

Cannot be? Then it CAN NEVER BE. You cannot philosophically argue for the eventuality of paying for services or a national lottery paying for government if you refuse to legitimize the evolving government and the steps that will get you to that point.

This argument is no different from Modern Robin Hood whining, "But the poor need this money for self-defense now! Eventually, they will be able to stand on their own. When they can, I will stop looting Mr. Moneybags's account. Until then, looting is legitimized by the evolving self-defense needs of others."

"A man has no claim on others (i.e., that it is not their moral duty to help him and that he cannot demand their help as his right)." --Ayn Rand

although Francisco further into his response, shows how in actuality his use of governmental services is much less than the taxes he pays.

Furthermore, if the government forms a monopoly by limiting or excluding competitors in certain enterprises, the citizen has no choice but to be a consumer of government-provided services.

Without choice, there can be no morality.

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Francisco wrote, “Until then, looting is legitimized by the evolving self-defense needs of others.” And at the end of each of his letters Francisco quotes Ayn Rand, “Man has no claim on others (i.e., that it is not their moral duty to help him and that he cannot demand their help as his right).”

end quotes

What if the self defense issue is to protect other Americans and the homeland, Francisco? You are inferring by your quotes that (and I juxtaposed your thoughts about protecting Israel with a concept of generalized *man*) that it is even IMMORAL to send some of your taxes to Washington, D.C. to pay for the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, or Air Force. When Ayn Rand called altruistic government “looting” she was being rhetorical and I must once again remind you that Ayn Rand was a patriot. She paid her *legitimately estimated* taxes. She spoke at venues like West Point. She was thrilled by the achievements of NASA though she thought private industry “should” fund endeavors, in the next generation of space exploration.

What gets my nanny goat is that you refuse to ever say, “In the mean time . . . you do sanction the use of your taxation for this or that.” Instead, because you agree to live here with governmental services provided, and taxes grudgingly paid, only under threat of penalty, I will dub thee, a throw back objectivist “Billy Goat Gruff.” Government taxation IN AMERICA is not a gang killing and looting. Go to any inner city for an example of looting and “protection rackets.” That is not government taxation. Go to where you are likely to get mugged. That is not government taxation. You speak in a hyperbolic fashion, of the fictional Witch Doctor and Attila, as does Rand but America was founded on a wonderful vision and political philosophy. Rand understood that with all her being and you don’t.

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Francisco wrote, “Until then, looting is legitimized by the evolving self-defense needs of others.” And at the end of each of his letters Francisco quotes Ayn Rand, “Man has no claim on others (i.e., that it is not their moral duty to help him and that he cannot demand their help as his right).”

end quotes

What if the self defense issue is to protect other Americans and the homeland, Francisco? You are inferring by your quotes that (and I juxtaposed your thoughts about protecting Israel with a concept of generalized *man*) that it is even IMMORAL to send some of your taxes to Washington, D.C. to pay for the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, or Air Force.

I put the following query to you in Post #32:

Let's ask a related question: what kind of person would be willing to enjoy the freedoms of living in America without the concomitant willingness to fight for those freedoms?

Should we therefore conclude that the draft is a morally legitimate way of raising an army? (If you're interested in how Ayn Rand would answer, read "The Roots of War.")

The difference between enslaving a man full time (taking all of his labor) and enslaving him part time (seizing a portion of the products of his labor) is only one of degree.

Rand opposed the military draft even at the height of the Cold War, when the Pentagon's manpower needs were supposedly direst.

She wrote,

It is often asked: “But what if a country cannot find a sufficient number of volunteers?” Even so, this would not give the rest of the population a right to the lives of the country’s young men. But, in fact, the lack of volunteers occurs for one of two reasons: (1) If a country is demoralized by a corrupt, authoritarian government, its citizens will not volunteer to defend it. But neither will they fight for long, if drafted. For example, observe the literal disintegration of the Czarist Russian army in World War I. (2) If a country’s government undertakes to fight a war for some reason other than self-defense, for a purpose which the citizens neither share nor understand, it will not find many volunteers. Thus a volunteer army is one of the best protectors of peace, not only against foreign aggression, but also against any warlike ideologies or projects on the part of a country’s own government.

For the exact same reasons, voluntary financing of government is one of the best protectors of freedom. "If a country’s government undertakes" an effort "which the citizens neither share nor understand," it will not find many people of means to support it.

Currently, the government seizes a third of my income from me; I am its slave for virtually four months out of the year. What can possibly justify slavery on that scale? The greater good of the nation and its people? But that is a utilitarian idea, diametrically opposed to the principles of "The Objectivist Ethics," "Man's Rights," and "The Nature of Government."

When Ayn Rand called altruistic government “looting” she was being rhetorical and I must once again remind you that Ayn Rand was a patriot. She paid her *legitimately estimated* taxes. She spoke at venues like West Point. She was thrilled by the achievements of NASA though she thought private industry “should” fund endeavors, in the next generation of space exploration.

She never said the government has the right to take a man's life or a part of it (his income) in order to fight the Russians.

What gets my nanny goat is that you refuse to ever say, “In the mean time . . . you do sanction the use of your taxation for this or that.” Instead, because you agree to live here with governmental services provided, and taxes grudgingly paid, only under threat of penalty, I will dub thee, a throw back objectivist “Billy Goat Gruff.” Government taxation IN AMERICA is not a gang killing and looting.

As long as the government kidnaps and imprisons people who fail to pay their taxes, it is no different morally from the Mafia beating people up and destroying their businesses for failing to pay protection money.

Go to any inner city for an example of looting and “protection rackets.” That is not government taxation. Go to where you are likely to get mugged. That is not government taxation.

I have been a victim of hoodlums. I have been robbed at gunpoint on what I thought was a safe street. I have had thieves break into my home, destroy furniture and run away with thousands of dollars in electronic equipment.

The biggest difference between government and small time crooks, is that the private thief doesn't come back every April to demand that I pay more of my "fair share."

You speak in a hyperbolic fashion, of the fictional Witch Doctor and Attila, as does Rand but America was founded on a wonderful vision and political philosophy. Rand understood that with all her being and you don’t.

I understand that Obama's government is not George Washington's government, and that it would be an evasion of reality to pretend that they have any significant similarities.

If anything, Obama's government is worse than the foreign occupation force that Gen. Washington defeated.

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Francisco wrote about our most blessed Saint Ann:

She never said the government has the right to take a man's life or a part of it (his income) in order to fight the Russians.

end quote

Yet she was FOR fighting the Russians, Francisco. So how was that to be accomplished with little or no voluntary taxation going to national defense? “Her Government” would be paid for by Taxation as written in the US tax codes! Ayn Rand was for a whole bunch of governmental actions. Most of the follow quotes involve government action, from the McCarthy hearings, Supreme Court nominees, to nuclear testing, to the armed services, to Viet Nam which was the right action (fighting communists) but in the wrong place. She wondered where the united States was when Europe was being swallowed by the Soviet Union?

Peter Reidy wrote and quoted:

"Rand was vehemently opposed to the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Act which prohibited atmospheric nuclear testing and which has saved countless lives, just here in the US of people who would otherwise be poisoned by radiation, from above ground nuclear tests."

She opposed it in passing (not "vehemently") in the Playboy interview and referred readers to Teller's testimony. The rest is an early example of the junk science that has become so much more prevalent lately.

- "Rand thought it morally okay to bomb villages in Vietnam and that it was just tough that noncombatants were killed, an attitude that ARI extends to the whole Arab World today."

I think she would have agreed, though I don't know of anyplace where she actually said so. The part about ARI is true.

- "Rand was against any form of social welfare, she favored a free hand for the FBI & CIA to combat 'spies'".

Correct about social welfare. "Free hand" is too vague to judge, and the scare quotes bespeak a serious ignorance of twentieth-century American history.

- "She was strongly for Nixon's appointment of William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court, whom Reagan later elevated to Chief Justice, [sic] he is a hardcore rightwing ideologue."

Questionable. She condemned the double standard of the Rehnquist opposition and said, at most, that his record was cause for guarded optimism. ("The Disenfranchisement of the Right", I think. In "Censorship, Local and Express", she explicitly repudiated him, years before he became Chief Justice. "Hardcore rightwing ideologue" is, once more, impermissibly vague.

- "Rand was for the death penalty in principle."

Correct, though Nathaniel Branden actually authored the statement, in "The Objectivist Newsletter".

- "Rand was opposed to the 1964 Civil Rights Act".

- "According to the late Roy M. Cohn, Rand thought Joe McCarthy was too soft on communism !"

end of Reidy quotes.

From Ayn Rand:

PLAYBOY: What about force in foreign policy? You have said that any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany during World War II.

RAND: Certainly.

PLAYBOY: . . . And that any free nation today has the moral right -- though not the duty -- to invade Soviet Russia, Cuba, or any other "slave pen." Correct?

RAND: Correct. A dictatorship -- a country that violates the rights of its own citizens -- is an outlaw and can claim no rights.

Ghs quoted Rand:

Observe that, in spite of their differences, altruism is the untouched, unchallenged common denominator in the ethics of all these philosophies. It is the single richest source of rationalizations. A morality that cannot be practiced is an unlimited cover for any practice. Altruism is the rationalization for the mass slaughter in Soviet Russia—for the legalized looting in the welfare state—for the power-lust of politicians seeking to serve the "common good"—for the concept of a "common good"—for envy, hatred, malice, brutality—for the arson, robbery, highjacking, kidnapping, murder perpetrated by the selfless advocates of sundry collectivist causes—for sacrifice and more sacrifice and an infinity of sacrificial victims. When a theory achieves nothing but the opposite of its alleged goals, yet its advocates remain undeterred, you may be certain that it is not a conviction or an "ideal," but a rationalization.

end quote

From he Ayn Rand Lexicon:

Taxation

In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary. Since the proper services of a government—the police, the armed forces, the law courts—are demonstrably needed by individual citizens and affect their interests directly, the citizens would (and should) be willing to pay for such services, as they pay for insurance. The question of how to implement the principle of voluntary government financing—how to determine the best means of applying it in practice—is a very complex one and belongs to the field of the philosophy of law. The task of political philosophy is only to establish the nature of the principle and to demonstrate that it is practicable. The choice of a specific method of implementation is more than premature today—since the principle will be practicable only in a fully free society, a society whose government has been constitutionally reduced to its proper, basic functions. Any program of voluntary government financing has to be regarded as a goal for a distant future. What the advocates of a fully free society have to know, at present, is only the principle by which that goal can be achieved. The principle of voluntary government financing rests on the following premises: that the government is not the owner of the citizens’ income and, therefore, cannot hold a blank check on that income—that the nature of the proper governmental services must be constitutionally defined and delimited, leaving the government no power to enlarge the scope of its services at its own arbitrary discretion. Consequently, the principle of voluntary government financing regards the government as the servant, not the ruler, of the citizens—as an agent who must be paid for his services, not as a benefactor whose services are gratuitous, who dispenses something for nothing.

end quote

Rand quotes:

Q: What should be done about the killing of innocent people in war?

AR: This is a major reason people should be concerned about the nature of their government. Certainly, the majority in any country at war is innocent. But if by neglect, ignorance, or helplessness, they couldn't overthrow their bad government and establish a better one, then they must pay the price for the sins of their governments we are all paying for the sins of ours. If some people put up with dictatorships some of them do in Soviet Russia, and some of them did in Nazi Germany then they deserve what their government deserves. There are no innocent people in war. Our only concern should be: who started that war? If you can establish that a given country did it, then there is no need to consider the rights of that country, because it has

initiated the use of force, and therefore stepped outside the principle of right. I've covered this in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, where I explain why nations as such do not have any rights, only individuals do.

Q: Assume a war of aggression was started by the Soviet Union; assume also that within the Soviet Union, there were individuals opposed to the Soviet system. How would you handle that?

AR: I'll pretend I'm taking the question seriously, because this question is blatantly wrong. I cannot understand how anyone could entertain the question. My guess is that the problem is context-dropping. The question assumes that an individual inside a country can and should be made secure from the social system under which he lives and which he accepts, willingly or unwillingly (even if he is fighting it he still accepts it because he hasn't left the country), and that others should respect his rights and collapse to aggression themselves. This is the position of the goddamned pacifists, who wouldn't fight, even when attacked, because they might kill innocent people. If this were so, nobody would have to be concerned about his country's political system. But we should care about having the right social system, because our lives are dependent on it because a political

system, good or bad, is established in our name, and we bear the responsibility for it. So if we fight a war, I hope the "innocent" are destroyed along with the guilty. There aren't many innocent ones; those that exist are not in the big cities, but mainly in concentration camps. But nobody should put up with aggression, and surrender his right of self- defense, for fear of hurting somebody else, guilty or innocent. When someone comes at you with a gun, if you have an ounce of self-esteem, you will answer him with force, never mind who he is or who stands behind him. If he's out to destroy you, you owe it to your own life to defend yourself.

end quotes

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Ayn Rand: "The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A..."

Even though in my view that the source of the law of identity (A is A) is God, Who said "I Am that I Am" thousands of years before Ayn Rand ever did... we're in complete agreement on that law. :smile:

And being subject to A = A , it's perfect moral justice that you deserve to feel the pain of being robbed just as you would wish to rob others to pay for the public services you receive...

If you accuse others of wishing to commit a crime and are unable or unwilling to provide evidence for that accusation, expect to be called a liar.

You have not a scrap of evidence to show that I "wish to rob others." Therefore, you are a liar.

You've already provided plenty of proof. :smile:

You've stated repeatedly that you do not want to pay taxes to the government for the public services you receive. You've stated repeatedly that it's wrong for the government to collect tax money from you to pay for the public infrastructure you use.

You fully deserve to feel exactly as you do that you're being robbed by the government, because you expect someone else to pay for the public services you receive...

...and so you do.

A = A

Greg

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If you accuse others of wishing to commit a crime and are unable or unwilling to provide evidence for that accusation, expect to be called a liar.

You have not a scrap of evidence to show that I "wish to rob others." Therefore, you are a liar.

You've already provided plenty of proof. :smile:

You've stated repeatedly that you do not want to pay taxes to the government for the public services you receive. You've stated repeatedly that it's wrong for the government to collect tax money from you to pay for the public infrastructure you use.

You fully deserve to feel exactly as you do that you're being robbed by the government, because you expect someone else to pay for the public services you receive...

...and so you do.

A = A

More lies. More bearing of false witness.

Anyone who actually took the trouble to read Post #82 and give it any thought would conclude that I use public roads only because they are part of the coercive state transportation monopoly, that I've paid for that usage many times over not only through income and property taxes but through fuel taxes, that I've never asked for a free ride but expressed a willingness to continue to pay for whatever I consume through usage fees, and that I've called for the lifting of compulsory financing not only from my own neck but from the neck of every other American.

Now since I've made it perfectly clear that no one should pay a cent to the government except for those items that they voluntarily contract for, the dishonest accusation that I "expect someone else to pay for the public services" I receive comes not out of negligence, dyslexia or stupidity but from willful slander.

Now we can see that the only way to prove that we get exactly the government we deserve is to spread contemptible falsehoods.

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Francisco wrote about our most blessed Saint Ann:

She never said the government has the right to take a man's life or a part of it (his income) in order to fight the Russians.

end quote

Yet she was FOR fighting the Russians, Francisco. So how was that to be accomplished with little or no voluntary taxation going to national defense? “Her Government” would be paid for by Taxation as written in the US tax codes! Ayn Rand was for a whole bunch of governmental actions. Most of the follow quotes involve government action, from the McCarthy hearings, Supreme Court nominees, to nuclear testing, to the armed services, to Viet Nam which was the right action (fighting communists) but in the wrong place. She wondered where the united States was when Europe was being swallowed by the Soviet Union?

You may quote Rand all you wish on opposing the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, favoring bombing communist villages, supporting Rehnquist for the Supreme Court, or thinking Joe McCarthy was too soft on communism.

The only relevant quote would be a statement from Ayn Rand that she favored continuing to put people in jail for failing to pay their income tax.

But since we do not have Rand herself on that topic, I'll put the question to you: Do you favor the continued use of government police powers to identify, capture, prosecute, and punish people who are not rendering enough unto the federal government? Should Objectivists support jailing and fining people who are not paying their "fair share" of taxes?

And if so, how is this morally different from creating an army of slaves, which Rand vehemently opposed?

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I believe there's an error in personifying "The State" (Big Government) in the same manner Rand reified minimal government. It is only with the latter, which morally represents the people and is their severely limited servant (no more), that one can speak of a moral entity - like an individual.

What government is, and is doing now, as opposed to what it should be and should be doing, is a chasm.

It looks to me like debaters get lost somewhere in there.

In that future of individual rights, it will be individuals who trade with, and form alliances with other peoples, not State. Funding for necessary military actions against immoral States elsewhere will come from everyone -the traders and all others- who recognise the criticality of trade (and friendship) in a stable world.

Getting there, won't be accomplished by only opposing the mystical "State". It has little essence to attack. Taxation, like all Statist interference, has its roots in the wants of the citizenry. A large part are in fact in conspiracy with State to those ends. Another smaller part meekly takes it as 'given', to not be questioned. So taxation as the rallying call is nowhere near enough. Tax is just one outcome, not the cause. To bring the majority on board requires persuasion by rational principles. But sure, a significant sign of the start of a reduced government would be gradual reduction of tax, until some point - realistically, a few generations? from now - involuntary taxation is perceived as the non-essential (and immoral) 'man-made' thing it is.

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Francisco asks:

Do you favor the continued use of government police powers to identify, capture, prosecute, and punish people who are not rendering enough unto the federal government?

end quote

Once again you are refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the United States of America. You are using the literary style of John Galt’s speech to show a large degree of equivalency between the United States and a country like the Soviet Union. Your question is “dropping the context” and that is logically and morally wrong.

Francisco asks:

And if so, how is this morally different from creating an army of slaves, which Rand vehemently opposed?

end quote

Tony brilliantly answered:

But sure, a significant sign of the start of a reduced government would be gradual reduction of tax, until some point - realistically, a few generations? from now - involuntary taxation is perceived as the non-essential (and immoral) 'man-made' thing it is.

end quote

Exactly, Tony. I recognize flaws in our Constitution that have allowed a power creep to occur, but one cannot throw out a system that does protect rights with a system that does nothing. Francisco is saying a US citizen paying taxes is equivalent to a slave in the old American south (or a working but non-citizen working the diamond or gold mines in South Africa) or a conscripted soldier in Mao’s army. Once again he is dropping context, and that is wrong. It is sloganeering. Francisco is using the art of “the frozen concept,” or "the fallacy of the frozen abstraction."

Roger E. Bissell wrote:

. . . . The example used by Rand in introducing this fallacy is that of many people who have been taught to view morality strictly from the altruist standpoint. They have learned to equate altruism--which is one specific ethic--with the wider, more general abstraction of "ethics." . . . . As one might gather, this fallacy is singularly well-suited for propagating subtle (and not-so-subtle) untruths, particularly in the realm of normative (i.e., value) considerations. In committing the frozen abstraction fallacy, a given speaker substitutes his view of what a given thing ideally should be, for the wider class of what that thing has been, is, and can or should or will be. He then defines his concept of that thing so as to exclude all non-ideal, imperfect, or bad (evil and/or harmful) examples of that thing from the concept.

end quote

Somehow, I don’t think the introduction of Tony Garland’s and Roger Bissell’s clear thinking will “close” the subject of the legitimacy of the United States Government in the mind of . . . OK, I won’t psychologize about Francisco. Perhaps my discussion with him should be closed.

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Francisco asks:

Do you favor the continued use of government police powers to identify, capture, prosecute, and punish people who are not rendering enough unto the federal government?

end quote

Once again you are refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the United States of America. You are using the literary style of John Galt’s speech to show a large degree of equivalency between the United States and a country like the Soviet Union. Your question is “dropping the context” and that is logically and morally wrong.

Francisco asks:

And if so, how is this morally different from creating an army of slaves, which Rand vehemently opposed?

end quote

Tony brilliantly answered:

But sure, a significant sign of the start of a reduced government would be gradual reduction of tax, until some point - realistically, a few generations? from now - involuntary taxation is perceived as the non-essential (and immoral) 'man-made' thing it is.

end quote

Exactly, Tony. I recognize flaws in our Constitution that have allowed a power creep to occur, but one cannot throw out a system that does protect rights with a system that does nothing. Francisco is saying a US citizen paying taxes is equivalent to a slave in the old American south (or a working but non-citizen working the diamond or gold mines in South Africa) or a conscripted soldier in Mao’s army. Once again he is dropping context, and that is wrong. It is sloganeering. Francisco is using the art of “the frozen concept,” or "the fallacy of the frozen abstraction."

Roger E. Bissell wrote:

. . . . The example used by Rand in introducing this fallacy is that of many people who have been taught to view morality strictly from the altruist standpoint. They have learned to equate altruism--which is one specific ethic--with the wider, more general abstraction of "ethics." . . . . As one might gather, this fallacy is singularly well-suited for propagating subtle (and not-so-subtle) untruths, particularly in the realm of normative (i.e., value) considerations. In committing the frozen abstraction fallacy, a given speaker substitutes his view of what a given thing ideally should be, for the wider class of what that thing has been, is, and can or should or will be. He then defines his concept of that thing so as to exclude all non-ideal, imperfect, or bad (evil and/or harmful) examples of that thing from the concept.

end quote

Somehow, I don’t think the introduction of Tony Garland’s and Roger Bissell’s clear thinking will “close” the subject of the legitimacy of the United States Government in the mind of . . . OK, I won’t psychologize about Francisco. Perhaps my discussion with him should be closed.

I would see deregulation a sign that the grip of government is less tight.

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More lies. More bearing of false witness.

In your A = B view, of course you believe that is so. Your view of yourself is that what you are has absolutely no relation to how you are treated by the government. You see yourself as an innocent victim A getting unjust treatment B.

While in my A = A view what you are has everything to do with your experience of the government... as well as mine. In my A = A view, the more I refine my life, the more freedom from government I enjoy, because I discovered by my own personal experience the truth about government:

Government is subject to exactly the same moral laws that I am.

Our two antithetical views each turn loose completely different sets of consequences onto our respective lives. In your own words you succinctly described the consequences set into motion by how you live:

Currently, the government seizes a third of my income from me; I am its slave for virtually four months out of the year

Poor baby.

Greg

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Francisco asks:

Do you favor the continued use of government police powers to identify, capture, prosecute, and punish people who are not rendering enough unto the federal government?

end quote

Once again you are refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the United States of America. You are using the literary style of John Galt’s speech to show a large degree of equivalency between the United States and a country like the Soviet Union.

So the answer to the question of whether people should be prosecuted for tax evasion is that Francisco Ferrer refuses "to recognize the legitimacy of the United States"? So much for efficient thinking.

To the degree that the United States government treats individual rights as inviolable, it stands as the polar opposite of the Soviet Union. To the degree that the United States government treats the individual as just another "national resource" to be taxed, drafted, regulated, censored, disarmed, imprisoned and, if necessary, exterminated, then it approaches the character of the former "Worker's Paradise."

Your question is “dropping the context” and that is logically and morally wrong.

Here's the context: I built my fortune. Obama did not. Therefore by what right is Obama entitled to any part of what I created?

Francisco asks:

And if so, how is this morally different from creating an army of slaves, which Rand vehemently opposed?

end quote

Tony brilliantly answered:

But sure, a significant sign of the start of a reduced government would be gradual reduction of tax, until some point - realistically, a few generations? from now - involuntary taxation is perceived as the non-essential (and immoral) 'man-made' thing it is.

end quote

By that rule, there would have been justice in keeping 3,953,761 slaves in bondage in 1864 and only releasing them gradually, "realistically" over a few generations until slavery was perceived as "the non-essential (and immoral) 'man-made' thing it is." Presumably, until the release of all slaves, it would be rational to think of slavery as essential and moral.

Exactly, Tony. I recognize flaws in our Constitution that have allowed a power creep to occur, but one cannot throw out a system that does protect rights with a system that does nothing.

Strawman. No one here has advocated doing nothing. The people who typically conclude that nothing can be accomplished without the initiation of force are statists and collectivists. The people who typically claim they cannot survive without force are those who are too lazy, too timid, too incompetent to lift a finger to accomplish a goal for themselves. Despite the fact that our government is now under the control of radical Marxist elements, I am confident that there are enough rational, honest, and hard-working Americans left to take the country back and achieve any other worthy purpose in the interim.

Francisco is saying a US citizen paying taxes is equivalent to a slave in the old American south (or a working but non-citizen working the diamond or gold mines in South Africa) or a conscripted soldier in Mao’s army. Once again he is dropping context, and that is wrong. It is sloganeering. Francisco is using the art of “the frozen concept,” or "the fallacy of the frozen abstraction."

Obviously, there are degrees of enslavement. I've made this clear all along since Post #32: "The difference between enslaving a man full time (taking all of his labor) and enslaving him part time (seizing a portion of the products of his labor) is only one of degree."

Your suggestion that I've treated them as exactly equivalent is yet another strawman.

Philosophy, including ethics and politics, is a matter of deriving a set of principles from a study of man's nature. One of the principles of Objectivism is the freedom to act without coercion:

Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive—of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights . . .

If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.

Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.

No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation, an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man. There can be no such thing as "the right to enslave."

(Ayn Rand, "Man's Rights")

Now if we grant certain groups (governments) a right to use force to obtain money or manpower, then obviously Rand's principle that "No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation, an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man" is in error.

Yet so far no one on this forum or elsewhere has shown why this principle is invalid.

The quote from Bissel about altruism is quite interesting and I'll pass it along the next time I encounter an altruist.

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More lies. More bearing of false witness.

In your A = B view, of course you believe that is so. Your view of yourself is that what you are has absolutely no relation to how you are treated by the government. You see yourself as an innocent victim A getting unjust treatment B.

While in my A = A view what you are has everything to do with your experience of the government... as well as mine. In my A = A view, the more I refine my life, the more freedom from government I enjoy, because I discovered by my own personal experience the truth about government:

Government is subject to exactly the same moral laws that I am.

Our two antithetical views each turn loose completely different sets of consequences onto our respective lives. In your own words you succinctly described the consequences set into motion by how you live:

Currently, the government seizes a third of my income from me; I am its slave for virtually four months out of the year

Poor baby.

Greg

Your claim that government gives us what we deserve is based on lies, as I've shown in my previous response to you.

In this context, it is not surprising that you contently pay taxes to Obama's government and consider yourself free. Many Germans thought they were free under Hitler.

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Your claim that government gives us what we deserve is based on lies

... in your view.

My view is based upon my own personal experience as well as my observations of others. In this instance it is reading your impotent complaints, and your A = B view that what you sow has absolutely nothing to do with what you reap. While the objective A = A reality of the circumstances of your own life as described in your own words says otherwise.

In this context, it is not surprising that you contently pay taxes to Obama's government and consider yourself free. Many Germans thought they were free under Hitler.

Back into the dead past again like a blind scribe... That blindness is what renders you incapable of properly dealing with the present. And that's why you're a slave of the government in the present.

You live by history, while I live by experience. This is why we each have completely different attitudes towards life which set into motion completely different experiences of how government treats each of us.

Greg

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