aditantimedh on November 13, 2007, 09:20:27 pm
Keep reading, kids.  Your questions will be answered.

GunsSaveLives on December 01, 2007, 11:35:45 pm
Which goes back to my original point (made somewhere else) that "left" and "right" are not helpful categories for thinking about politics and power -- they often serve to divide people who have more in common than they might realize.

Especially since the whole "left vs. right" school of thought isn't based upon any rational analysis of the various doctrines and theories, but upon the seating arrangements of the French National Assembly shortly after their 1789 Revolution.
Mike Blessing
Executive Heretic, KCUF Media

Who owns you? Who runs your life?
Who should? You or someone else?

Stopthatfool on January 03, 2009, 01:06:18 am
I kind of felt like she had stolen the world from humans by instating her own view of a perfect world, kind of like Hitler, Kind of Like Idi Amin, kind of like Kim Jong Suk. La Muse was the most terribly thought out Graphic Novel I ever read.

Rocketman on January 03, 2009, 01:26:49 pm
There's a quote that I remember from coming from King George III (no not the one leaving office on Jan. 20) who made the comment "I desire what is good, therefore anyone who does not agree with me is a traitor"  On second thought that does sound like our Georgie.   ;D

Leviathan on January 05, 2009, 10:06:15 am
Actually, it also sounds like a bunch of Objectivists I've spoken with.  They desire to institute a legal system of only good stuff.  So therefore if you wish to break their laws, or use different legal codes, you're violating morality and must be punished with great predjudice.  And possibly bloodshed.  The fact that it's impossible for a monopoly to arrive at "only good stuff", and even were it possible to arrive there impossible to remain there, doesn't impact them one bit.

Rocketman on January 05, 2009, 02:24:12 pm
And I'm convinced that at the head of the "objectivists" that there is a small group of individuals that use this unenlightened logic for one reason only.  To control the weak minded and use them to gather greater power for themselves.  Survival of the fittest for them only instead of physical attributes like other animals they use their supposedly superior intelligence.  And some people wonder why that the "puklic skool" system keeps turning out functional idiots that never learn to think using logic to guide them, only recite collective phrases by rote, like so many parrots.  :'(

Rocketman on January 11, 2009, 03:17:30 am
  I only wish I could take the previous post back since it didn't clearly describe my feelings on this subject and has a bunch of you who have read my posts in the past saying to ourselves "huh?".    Let's just say that when I wrote it I was distracted.  What I was trying (and miserably failing) to do was to show of what I consider to be the weaknesses of ojectivism from the standpoint of the writings of Ayn Rand and her devotees.     Before any of you start warming up the tar and feathers let me assure you that I have read several of her works including "Atlas Shrugged" and while I found her premise totally plausible that a government would keep wanting more and more power over to the point that they were like a junkie that gets so many drugs in his system that he overdoses, there are problems other than that.  Let's face it, if Rand were alive today she would recognize that what the congress is doing today is right out of her novel, but what I didn't like the way that it was being presented by her writing.  For one thing, the novel was easily twice as long as it needed to be.  IMHO Rand and W. F. Buckley shared a common problem.  They were highly intelligent and they wanted the rest of the world to know it.  Because of their intelligence they ended up building what would end up being a "cult" following around their writings and around them.  Both never used a simple penny word if a dollar word were available.  And this is dangerous because people of less intelligence would and probably have taken a small part of their writings out of context and misused it.  The same way that some people misuse the words of bible or the koran.  Some people gravitate towards that kind of following but I think it's dangerous.  Rand used so many different phrases and created so many new adjectives to describe her new philosophy that the people who she were targeting where left with the feeling "Well, she must know what she's talking about, so I'll just follow her lead" instead of thinking for themselves and coming to the same conclusion as she did.  Did this help or hurt in the long run libertarism?  Most would think that Rand's contribution helped it but I'm not sure.  I think at the time that the principles of extremely limited government were ready to be rediscovered after decades and decades of the mess of socialism and it's sibling communism and if some other writer of the time had taken the lead then maybe libertarism would have taken a far stronger hold on the American people's conciousness.  That in the previous post was what I was attempting to convey but it sure didn't come out that way.

wdg3rd on January 11, 2009, 10:57:05 am
Rock, before I say anything else, please note that I am not an Objectivist.  Reality is to me extremely subjective, something I realized thirty years back when I took the courses that crossed the math/philosophy threshold.  (I was a math major, and I took the classes on Epistemology and Metaphysics from a math prof).

Mathematical economists think there is an economic reality separate from human influence.  The Keynes cult is especially guilty of that.  Those are the dimplicks who have been in charge of US economic policy since the "Big" Depression.  Individual human beings buy what they need or want when they need or want to -- Keynes works fine for an anthill, we don't live in an anthill.  (Yet).

La Esposa was a liberal when we met and fell madly in bed.  She is now on her twelfth or seventeenth rereading of Atlas Shrugged.  (It's next to her head on the pillow at this time, she sleeps late).  I tend more to reread The Fountainhead, since everything Alice Rosenbaum had to say was in there without the hours-long Radiorede.  (If you don't recognise that word, grab a copy of J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night and enjoy -- it's looking especially timely right now, with hyperinflation coming sometime in the next few months).

Ayn Rand and Bill FBuckley blended into chords in the US imagination.  (Bill FBuckley wrote some science fiction -- I recommend grabbing a copy of [url=]Free Space][url=]Free Space[/b][/i][/url] and reading the opening story, plus of course the rest of the book -- my copy has signatures from well over half the authors, several of whom I count as personal friends, though not the late Bill FBuckley).

Our upcoming Pres is determined to turn Depression II into New Deal II.  While the US already has bases and operations in more countries than even existed at the end of WWII, so unlike FDR he can't mask domestic failures with foreign adventures.  I do not forsee a good result unless the "Pax Americana" shuts down completely.  But that's just my subjective view.  I find I can't be too objective when my paltrey income is about to be taxed the rest of the way to zero.

Ward Griffiths

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Rocketman on January 11, 2009, 02:02:11 pm
Your obviously more formally educated that I am.  I never had Epistemology or Metaphysics in college.  What I learned about philosophy is self taught mainly from Rand, Paine, Jefferson and L. Neil.  I had economics 101 (macro) in college but only because it was mandatory for me to graduate.  Of course I had the Samuelson textbook which spouted nothing but the Keynesian line.  But even as I was reading it I remember thinking "this isn't right!".  If "mathematical economists think there is an economic reality separate from human influence." which is what I seem to remember then they are even more stupid than I remember.  Economics IS composed of human interaction, either as an individual or as a group, in some sort of finanical framework.  To say what they claim is as ridiculous as to claim that a person can use crack cocaine every day, has unprotected sex with HIV infected hookers and engage in high risk hobbies like bungie jumping or ultimate fighting and that it will have no effect on that person's lifespan.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 03:37:27 pm by Rocketman »

Leviathan on January 14, 2009, 05:13:30 am
My problem with Objectivism is where it leads people.  If, of a hundred people who like something they read, ninety take one thing, five the next, and each of the remaining five something else entirely, it doesn't matter what you got out of it.  The interpretation of the 95 had to be part and parcel.  Objectivists that I run across are generally pigheaded tyrants who believe they have found the One True Objectivity in all actions, and will proceed to dictate it to you until your eyes bleed.  There's the few market anarchists I run across who take what I understand to be the atlas shrugged government's actions as universal, and just use one of the ideas that comes from objective morality: that if something is objective you don't need a single initiator of force to ensure that it is the way things operate.  You don't need to beat people over the head (usually) until they admit blue is blue, 2+2=4, a=a, etc.  So there's no need for a single authority to implement the objective morality.  Everybody else says that all you have to do is get an objectively moral government and anything else that deviates significantly from it is by definition immoral.  Using it as a justification for their tyrannical urges.

I have actually had Objectivists state it essentially in those terms, and many many more say what summarizes as that.

I didn't take any particularly advanced economics courses in college.  I did, however, take above the minimum requirements to graduate because I found the subject fascinating.  Despite the professor being a keynesian idealist with enough realist thrown in to admit keynes was flat out wrong, the courses opened my eyes in some very important ways.  Before those courses, as I've said elsewhere, I pretty much did what almost everyone seems to do: I called "crony capitalism" just plain capitalism.  And figured that was bad, so socialism as the alternative must be implemented to protect us against the dangerous corporations.  It was during those courses, when definitions of different market types and market situations were being laid out, that I realized my error.  Free markets, capitalism, looked very, very different.  It acted very, very different.  It lead me to stop calling what we have capitalism, and start looking into why what we have isn't operating as capitalism.  Which lead inevitably to minarchism, after I realized government control of business was what was causing the situation.  And from the inherent instability of minarchism ("Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson) lead me to the position that no amount of monopoly government is good.  Much as my "fall" from christian belief was started with the inherent contradiction of one christian who told me to stop praying during a prayer meeting (I was praying that all the people who were making my life a living hell wouldn't go to eternal hell, if you can believe it), one simple inescapable set of truths about how the world works acted like a crowbar to destroy an entire mythology of the rightness and necessity of our slavery.

I don't understand anymore how anyone can believe in the rightness and goodness of our slavery to a monopolistic government ruling over us.  Even before I went all the way to anarchism, for years I was wracking my brains to try and figure out a way to make a government that would act as an anti-government.  Essentially in order to prevent real governance from arising, without itself really being a government.  Up until I became convinced private military and police were a better option, I was a roads, police, and military minarchist.  A year has passed now that I moved on, and I don't even empathize with the beliefs I held then.  Such is life.

Rocketman on January 16, 2009, 07:42:56 pm

I don't understand anymore how anyone can believe in the rightness and goodness of our slavery to a monopolistic government ruling over us.  Even before I went all the way to anarchism, for years I was wracking my brains to try and figure out a way to make a government that would act as an anti-government. 

I have a few general thoughts on that subject.  ONE-Anyone who wants to be the president (or any other elected official) is automatically disqualified. (I don't see how it could be enforced though) I think that maybe the best way to handle it would be to use a draft system.  Anyone with no felonies on their record and an I.Q. of at least 120 would be put in the lottery system automatically and if picked would be "elected".  Does anyone seriously believe that if we did it that way we would have worse people in office running the country?  They would serve just one term and then be barred forever from ever holding office again.  End of political parties and idiot election news political commentators  TWO-Every odd year the only bills that congress would be legally able to bring before the floor would be to reduce the size of government operations and spending with no limit on the number of times bills could be presented.  Every even year a congressman could bring just one single bill of which they were the sponser before the floor. Limiting the number of spending bills significantly.  THREE-No more pork.  No bill can have any add on's that aren't part of the primary legislation.  No more wooden arrow subsidies if the original bill was for the auto workers.  FOUR-In order to make it an "incentive" any congressman who sponsers a bill to cut the size and complexity of government will have 1/10th of one percent of the money that he saved the american people added to his salary during his time in office.
FIVE-Any elected official that violates the law while in office shall serve a jail sentence of five times the length of an individual that is not an elected official.  SIX-Anyone caught rigging any election, federal, state or local automatically receives the death penalty.  Absolutely no exceptions.  SIX-Any citizen at any time can sue any public official if they believe that what he is doing is contrary to the Constitution.  The case will be held after the official leaves office and he is held personally liable if he or she loses.  And those are just off the top of my head.  Anyone else want ot get in on this?  ;D

Sean Roach on January 17, 2009, 08:48:58 am
Sure.  Sue Kennedy.
You said nothing about term limits.  If the problems that would hit a politician when they left office were that high, none would dare retire.  In fact, they'd probably just establish a term of life in congress to avoid the risk.
Two, pork is inevitable.  I once read the reason the Challenger blew up could ultimately be pinned on a congresscritter from Utah.  He wanted the boosters built in his state.  This required they be in small enough chunks to ship by rail.  This necessitated o-rings.  That big supercollider that was started, (and never finished) in Texas, as I heard it, was intended for Oklahoma.  Texas had more clout.  NASA was  MOVED to Houston because one of the congresscritters who held the purse strings was from Texas.  Even if every line was actually for the stated legislation...where does it get executed?  Even military bases have to land somewhere, and that somewhere benefits from the boost to the economy, so people lobby, (and steal land, or steal the value of land,) to attract, or keep, military bases.
Three.  Some people are smart enough to fit your role for president, but not talented in the management of anything.  I'm sure you can think of a few people are smart enough, but couldn't be counted on to choose between two brands of cookies at the supermarket.

Rocketman on January 17, 2009, 11:44:38 am
"They would serve just one term and then be barred forever from ever holding office again.  End of political parties and idiot election news political commentators" 

So you can see that I did address term limits.  I know that there's a lot of backroom dealing in politics and while you can't totally eliminate all of it you can to some degree control it, at least in the short run.  Remember that we are talking about a better system than what is currently in place not a perfect one.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 03:16:28 pm by Rocketman »

Sean Roach on January 17, 2009, 10:20:39 pm
My mistake.  I missed the (or any other elected official) part, and read your term limit to apply only to the president.

Of course that's not to stop the Elite from arranging it so only they are exempt from select felonies.  Felonies that get logged, and prosecuted, but never, (or rarely) punished.
In this way, only the Elite could run for election as everyone else is a felon.

How many federal, state, or local rules did you break today?  How many did you break by simply abiding by others?

And in the short run, our founders gave us a superior system...problem is the short run ran out 150 years ago or so.

I do like the idea of every other year only repeals being allowed.  Only problem would be...year one, crony one puts forth an expensive legislation, crony two puts forth a different one.  Both are intended to run a year, but the bill makes no statement of duration.  Year two, crony one puts forth legislation to kill crony twos law, and vice versa.  Both are now set for the term of their term.

It doesn't go as far, but I'd like to see a law that states no legislator can enjoy any payraise that he or she was in office to vote for or against.  Then only junior congresscritters could enjoy the payraise voted in by their seniors.  It wouldn't stop people of wealth from running for the power, or people in office from padding their wallets with outside engagements, though.  Could establish a no-compete and exclusive employment clause...  don't know how well that'd work, though.  Not very.  I can think of at least one state law here that was voted in by ...interested parties...  who on retirement were in a position to enjoy the largess ensured by the new legislation.

Edit.  Whoops, right base word, wrong modern meaning.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 10:26:48 pm by Sean Roach »

Rocketman on January 18, 2009, 10:09:10 am
Senator Kennedy is a felon right now and has been for decades.  He pleaded guilty in 1968 or 69 to leaving the scene of an accident where someone lost their life (Mary Jo Kopecne(sp?).  In the state of "Massivetaxes" that carried a minimum of a two year jail sentence of which he didn't have to serve (No surprize to me there) and is a felony.  I didn't intend to list specifically every part of the law that if I had the power I would implement.  In order for it to be adequately covered there would have to be dozens of not hundreds of paragraphs to cover every contingency and even then I would expect the elite to be able to find a loophole or two to squirm through.  I was told by a lawyer that i know, a fairly honest individual considering his profession, that the significant part of his time in law school consisted of looking at a piece of legislation and finding ways to get around it.