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Post 20

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 7:14amSanction this postReply
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Chris:

"His Supreme Court appointees ended up far more moderate, and his focus was much more on economic matters than on religious-social ones." 

Really? I once saw a documentary that claimed that Reagan was famous for saying that he had only one selection criteria for appointing Supreme Court Judges. And that was whether or not they were anti-abortion. He would only allow in the openly anti-abortion Judges in preference to all other issues. 




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Post 21

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 7:57amSanction this postReply
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Well, Rehnquist was raised to Chief Justice under Reagan, but he was appointed by Nixon.  Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to be appointed to the court, has proven to be much more moderate, as has Anthony Kennedy, another Reagan appointee.  Only Reagan-appointee Antonin Scalia is a bona fide conservative on the court.  So, that's 2 moderates, 1 conservative for Reagan's court legacy.

BTW, with regard to the fundamentalist vote and the religious right:  Catholics are going to be an important bloc of voters this year.  Usually they have voted Democratic, and Kerry is Catholic.  But the Catholic vote is not monolithic anymore.  See today's NY Times essay, "Bush Talks to an Appreciative Catholic Crowd," which suggests that conservative Catholics lean toward Bush.  More troubling:  certain segments of the Catholic voting bloc are now closer to fundamentalist Protestants, especially on issues like abortion, stem-cell research, and faith-based initiatives.  That's something I also discuss in my forthcoming Free Rad article; it's a blooming "alliance" that is suggested even in their common positive response to Gibson's film, "The Passion of The Christ."

I should also point out that since the candidates are ultimately much closer on issues like foreign policy, it's the "social" issues that might have a relatively larger impact on the race, and it's the "social" issues about which the religious right feels most strongly.  Another plus for Bush.




Post 22

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 9:22amSanction this postReply
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Marcus,
 
My point about Thatcher is that she often based her Capitalist principles on her religious beliefs.
Aah I see! Well that I agree with.

Chris,

I am very much looking forward to your new piece. Is the new Free Radical out yet btw? Mine still hasn't arrived here (but usually takes a few days to arrive in the UK).

MH





Post 23

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 9:56amSanction this postReply
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Here's an interesting, relevant and current article from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Can Markets Predict Elections? by B.K. Marcus:

http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?control=1575

Sam




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Post 24

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 2:09pmSanction this postReply
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Hi, Marcus.
 
>>[Reagan] would only allow in the openly anti-abortion Judges in preference to all other issues.<<
 
Until very recently, it was taboo for any presidential candidate to state that he had a litmus test for judicial nominees.  (In the recent Democratic primary campaign, some of the candidates said they would require nominees to be pro-abortion.)
 
Reagan thought Roe v. Wade was the consequence of activist justices making up constitutional principles rather than interpreting the original text of the Constitution.  He saw that decision as symptomatic of the larger problem of judicial activism "legislating" from the bench.  So his primary criterion for judicial nominees was that they be originalists and not activists.
 
Regards,
Bill




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Post 25

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 2:31pmSanction this postReply
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Hi, Chris.
 
>>BTW, with regard to the fundamentalist vote and the religious right:  Catholics are going to be an important bloc of voters this year.  Usually they have voted Democratic, and Kerry is Catholic.  But the Catholic vote is not monolithic anymore.<<
 
Important this year?  Maybe, maybe not.  Catholics haven't been a bloc since the advent of the Reagan Democrats.  But then this depends upon how you define Catholic.  Observant Catholics are something of a bloc and are becoming more Republican in their voting.  Non-observant Catholics are all over the map.  As for Kerry being Catholic, I doubt he'll get a single vote outside of Massachusetts from a Catholic because of that fact.
 
>>See today's NY Times essay, "Bush Talks to an Appreciative Catholic Crowd," which suggests that conservative Catholics lean toward Bush.<<
 
Yeah, it only takes the Times ten or twenty years to pick up on any conservative trend. ;)
 
>>More troubling:  certain segments of the Catholic voting bloc are now closer to fundamentalist Protestants, especially on issues like abortion, stem-cell research, and faith-based initiatives.<<
 
You got it backwards, Chris (with the exception of faith-based initiatives, which many Catholics are wary of because they might morph into government intrusion into Church activities).  Ever since Roe v. Wade radicalized observant Catholics, it has been the evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants who have been trending toward the Catholic position on these matters.  Indeed, I think it wasn't until the late '70s that the Southern Baptist Convention reversed its position on abortion and adopted the Catholic stance.
 
>>That's something I also discuss in my forthcoming Free Rad article; it's a blooming "alliance" that is suggested even in their common positive response to Gibson's film, "The Passion of The Christ."<<
 
The alliance is actually somewhat mature.  One of the leading forums for this alliance is ECT, Evangelicals and Catholics Together.  Evangelicals have over the past couple of decades become embarrassed about their anti-intellectualism, which has left them bereft of rational foundations for their beliefs.  Having first picked up on the long tradition of Catholic patristics to shore up evangelical theology, evangelical scholars have been more and more willing to look at Catholic intellectual endeavors elsewhere.  One result of this common interest is ECT.
 
If you are interested in keeping an eye on these groups, I think you'll Fr. Neuhaus's monthly magazine "First Things" a useful resource.
 
Regards,
Bill




Post 26

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 9:27pmSanction this postReply
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I liked reading your article. It is so true that Kerry and Bush are not essentially different. It's very depressing. But this:

"I would announce a special one-week session of Congress where all 535 members would be required to sit through a special version of my Constitution class. Once I was convinced that every member of Congress understood my interpretation of their very limited powers, I would insist that they restate their oath of office while being videotaped." --Michael Badnarik, Libertyunbound.com article.

I didn't read this article in its entirety (and thanks Barbara Branden for posting it) nor am I very familiar with Michael Badnarik's policy stands. But still--

Awesome.

I would die laughing seeing that. We desperately need someone in there to shake things up. Of course, I'm fairly sure there's no chance this candidate will win. But I just might vote for him anyway.

Meg T.




Post 27

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 10:20pmSanction this postReply
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On the Abu Grahib thing -- its very possible most if not all of the people tortured wern't even part of the insurgency or served no intelligence value ala this latest LA Tiems article
http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/latimes241.htm

and too numerous to site articles about random people being rounded up by US military personal who were just at the wrong place at the wrong time --

Also, just as a curiosity, where do numbers come into play in this whole equation? By this I mean number of innocent people dead? Sure, terrorists, mainly from Saudi Arabia killed 3000 innocent people or there about -- assuming under the dodgy assumption Iraq and Hussein shared in this guilt -- we've murdered far more innocent people in our occupation of Iraq then 3000, no one can deny this. Does this matter at all?

If Iraq really was to blame for 3000 deaths on 9/11 which IMHO it most certainly was not despite the evils of the regime -- where does too much innocent loss of life on the Iraqi side become too much from an O'ist perspective?

Also, is it better to be dead than under the thumb of Hussein or someone like it and what responsibility do we bear for those deaths not directly related to us ? To clarify I have read over 1000 Iraqi's have died in July alone from bombings, etc. -- a vast vast majority of them would still be alive if Saddam had still been in power; taken that over the course of his reign he averaged 3-4 dozen people murdered a month and car bombs and random killing on the streets didn't take place. Do we bare any responsibility for this?

I ask this out of curiosity of the O'ist perspective though I certainly have my views that we (as an American) we lied into this war by Bush.



Post 28

Thursday, August 5, 2004 - 12:08amSanction this postReply
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After having viewed Badnariks foreign policy stances even before he won the LP nod, there is absolutely no way I could ever vote for him. His adviser must be his mother.
Badnarik has simply insisted that the only proper purpose of the U.S armed forces is self-defence.  Seems extremely reasonable to me.  After all, why should U.S workers have to spend over $US 200 billion in taxes so far on the war in Iraq, when Iraq was not in fact a threat, and the only other argument for war (liberate the Iraqi people) was purely altruistic and not what U.S workers paid their taxes for?


my having blacklisted the LP ever since their ridiculous behavior following 9-11 and their constant liberal hugging and position changes

Dustin Hawkins
www.dustinmhawkins.com

Actually the LP are the only people who behaved reasonably after 9/11.  They insisted on wars of self-defence only, and they insisted that individual rights and liberties be safe-guarded.  The Republicians on the other, waged a war in Iraq which was not self-defence (there were no WMD) and not what the U.S armed forces signed on for, extracting over $US 200 billion of tax payers money to finance it.  They passed the Patriot act, which allows 'enermy combatants' to be held indefinitely without trail and takes away individual liberties, leading to things like these abuses at Guantanamo Bay , where people who are entirely innocent have been tormentated in dark rooms for years, had their heads pushed down toilets etc. Read:

A British man detained at Guantanamo Bay today told for the first time how he was beaten, sprayed with pepper guns and forced to stand naked while soldiers videotaped his humiliation.
 
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/12320351?source=Evening%20Standard
 
The list goes on and on.  You need to uncloud your befuddled wits Dustin.



(Edited by Marc Geddes on 8/05, 12:33am)




Post 29

Saturday, August 7, 2004 - 1:51pmSanction this postReply
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Matthew: I agree with your suggestion to take this topic to some other article. As I have so often commented on it in other discussions until now, I'll try to get another article ready on 'Sadomasochism' (bear with me if it takes some time). Not only on what it means in philosophical/psychological/sexual/social terms, but most importantly, how I got to sadomasochism myself. My experience is, that even among fellow sm's we have a great diversity of likes/dislikes and most certainly how each of us came to SM. So I can 'only' offer you a personal intro. And don't expect too much from Ayn's side on this topic. She was very much 'disinterested' in it generally and never much bothered to look further into it - meaning from her side, that she had some rather unwholesome ideas about the whole thing.
Barbara: sorry for not entering on a debat on 'sadism as pathology' - I know where your argument comes from and I know how it's meant but it's so way off of what I feel and think about sadism, that it's not worth discussing the sickness people have turned sadism into ...





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Post 30

Monday, August 9, 2004 - 1:32pmSanction this postReply
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I don't understand what problem you guys have with the libertarian candidate, but he is a whole lot better than the statists running for office now. I don't think we should set impossible standards for him (e.g. we have to agree with him on all important issues)and then ridiculously low standards for the other two candidates (which is the lesser of two evils). We know that he won't win the election, but if all libertarian minded people voted for him, it would send a positive message and could eventually lead to change in the right direction. Voting for Bush or Kerry will never change anything.

Timur




Post 31

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 11:22amSanction this postReply
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Well said, Timur. Your words show that you took the "trouble" to integrate all the facts of reality. Bravo.

Ed



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Post 32

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 9:17pmSanction this postReply
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Folks, just a note:  My essay, "Caught Up in the Rapture" is going to be published on SOLO HQ shortly.  Watch this space... as it is an important sequel to the current thread.



Post 33

Friday, August 20, 2004 - 10:57amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the kind words.

Timur




Post 34

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 10:10amSanction this postReply
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Well at least now Bush can say he got elected President once...
 
This country's more "ignorant redneck" than I thought it was.  Reagan was a cowboy in the movies.  Bush doesn't know the difference between the movies and reality.  I'm so disappointed about calling myself an American right now, because that name implies such a completely ridiculous ignorance.
 
We can't build a strong world community when everyone thinks of Americans in terms of some testosterone-monkey 80s action flick.  Bush is like Stalone and Bruce Willis combined... he's dumb as a box of rocks, uses extremely cheesy and embarrassing catch-phrases, bullies around whoever the hell he wants, kills the bad guys with little concern for how many innocent by-standers are getting hurt, and then, apparently, in the end, everyone still thinks he's some kind of bullshit hero.




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Post 35

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 10:21amSanction this postReply
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I'm so disappointed about calling myself an American right now, because that name implies such a completely ridiculous ignorance.
Hmmmmmmm?

I have always been proud in calling myself an American, because that name implies such a benevolent and inherently decent sense of life.

But you must excuse me for that, after all; I am ridiculously ignorant.

George




Post 36

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 10:46amSanction this postReply
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I think that Bush's first election was stolen, but that Bush had to steal the first election, and here's why:

I believe that Bush and his people maybe knew that Islamic fundamentalism was gearing up for something worldwide and huge, even before the year 2000... and that they, not the liberals, had to be in office when it happened... somehow. 

I also believe they knew that the liberals had little or no objectivity about this, or even the character-based integrity to truly battle this enemy and preserve America, had they been allowed to win through the normal electoral process... so they had to use litigation and judges, and even illegal butterfly ballots in the South Florida counties.

So during the heated legal contention phase immediately following the 2000 national elections, they went to court and successfully -- though falsely -- argued that the so-called "butterfly ballot" design that was used in Palm Beach County in the year 2000 presidential election was legal. 

This, in spite of the fact that the 2000 Florida Statutes clearly states, in my own paraphrase, that, with regard to the design of the national elections: 

the design of presidential election ballots will essentially consist of candidates' names down the left side of the ballot, and choice boxes down the right.

(If you wish to verify this, you could consist the website http://www.findlaw.com, and search the state of Florida 2000 statutes until you find the provisions for election ballot design.) 

But, returning to the main issue, note the term "essentially".  That turned out to be the pivotal word that the lawyers -- who are, remember, well-paid Sophists -- twisted in meaning.

Webster's defines the descriptor "essential" as meaning:

1 : of, relating to, or constituting essence : INHERENT
2 : of the utmost importance : BASIC, INDISPENSABLE, NECESSARY <essential foods> <an essential requirement for admission to college>
3 : IDIOPATHIC <essential disease> <essential hypertension>
- es·sen·tial·ly /-'sench-lE, -'sen-ch&-/ adverb
- es·sen·tial·ness /-'sen-ch&l-n&s/ noun
synonyms ESSENTIAL, FUNDAMENTAL, VITAL, CARDINAL mean so important as to be indispensable. ESSENTIAL implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character <conflict is essential in drama>. FUNDAMENTAL applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse <fundamental principles of algebra>. VITAL suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation <cut off from vital supplies>. CARDINAL suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends <a cardinal rule in buying a home>. 


In sum, "essential" means "indispensable".  In other words, if you get rid of something that is "essential", then you no longer have the thing. 
 
So clearly, if there's one thing that "essential" does not mean, it's "optional".  Essential means you can't be without it, as your minimal base.  "Optional" means you can be; it's not crucial.

However, that's precisely what Bush's lawyers said in court... that this descriptor in the ballot design law -- "essentially" -- means "optionally".

In other words, the Bush lawyers were able to "convince" the Florida high court justices to declare that the law now said that the ballot design didn't have to be done a certain way, and thus completely reversed the law... making the butterfly ballot now legal.  Why would the justices go along with this?

However, they had to completely reverse the meaning of a certain type of descriptor word, and in so doing, completely undermine a main idea upon which the basic fundamentals of objectivity in communication and instruction rest in rational society.  Was it worth it, in the end? 

At any rate, this was a regrettable and ugly task, but in the interests of national security and a nation filled with far too many adolescent oppositionists and complacent sheep, I believe they weighed that, indeed, it did have to be done.

However, I only believe that Bush's initial appointment method was justified in the interests of national security... in other words, the War on Terrorism.  And again, I certainly hope that this appointment method was more than mere coincidence, because then they cheated merely to occupy power.  I do not believe that it was justified on any other grounds, such as his "pet projects" which include: abortion, gay marriage, and so on... 

But then again, the anticipatory War on Terrorism grounds -- if indeed they even existed --seem to me to be more than reason enough.

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 11/03, 11:03am)




Post 37

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 12:29pmSanction this postReply
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I think that Bush's first election was stolen, but that Bush had to steal the first election, and here's why:....
I believe that Bush and his people knew that Islamic fundamentalism was gearing up for something worldwide and huge, even before the year 2000....
At any rate, this was a regrettable and ugly task, but in the interests of national security and a nation filled with adolescent oppositionists and complacent sheep, I believe they weighed that it had to be done...
Orion, what you are saying, in plain language, is that if the wiser and more far seeing have an opportunity to establish justice by overthrowing or subverting democracy, they should do so.  The same for this political concept is Enlightened despotism.

I do not a worshipper of Democracy and am an admirer of Leo Strauss, but I think you should be aware of the gravity of what you are stating.  Such rhetoric has been the rationale for every military coup and state-executed deception from the beginning of the age of organized governments.

And if you are going to align yourself with political forces you believe have rightfully by deception performed a coup upon this polity, please at least have the good sense to speak esoterically.  For what you give support to here is arguably treason.


"... to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

(and I thought I was unloving towards America.)

regards,

Pyrophora Cypriana   ))(*)((






Post 38

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 1:19pmSanction this postReply
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So Jeanine, are you saying that it's OK if he thinks those things, but not if says so openly?



Post 39

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 2:48pmSanction this postReply
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Pete-

I am saying there is a possible case for the argument that superior minds should when pressed overthrow a democratic government; I reserve judgement on whether this argument in the end has merit... but if he truly thinks Bush has done just this, he is a fool not to keep his mouth shut, because if he is right, he contradicts his stated goal in claiming legitimacy for Bush's actions by naming them illegitimate within this polity.

Needless to say, I do not believe Bush is of a superior mind, do not believe that Republicans rigged an election with these statesmanlike goals in mind, and do not myself support virtually any of Bush's policies.

If I refuse to blanketly condemn interference in the democratic process, I confess reading history has made me something of a Machiavellian realist; living as a transgender woman has been like a strong breath mint to wake me up to how much unconscious strategic discourse is built into social survival.  I worship integrity, but my view of life has unfortunately become one by which keeping one's authenticity may sometimes mean breaking a few rules.  Actually, my first experience that impressed this conclusion on me was a study of civil liberties in American Constitutional law; it is my firm historical conclusion that such personal and religious liberties and civil rights as we now possess are due to the actions of intellectual judges using stealth to preserve a semblance of constitutional forms while protecting liberties to a degree that the Constitution, populace, and its elected leaders would not otherwise have countenanced; the same is in my opinion largely true of the original American founding, largely accomplished my Madison's brilliant manipulation of his era, not to mention the entire Enlightenment.

I speak this freely here because I believe Objectivists value liberty and share my values no matter what the original American tradition or current populace says, and if I point out that dubious measures were taken, Objectivists will side with liberty and against history and popularity.  With Orion, I do not think he can rest assurred that the overthrow of democracy by rigging elections is something his readers will countenance for the sake of the political power of Republicans; he is far more likely to harm his cause than further it.  This is depressing.

Otherwise, I am not sure what you mean by "should".  I have reasons for action and have strong if philosophically nonrespectable reasons to consider the violation of others' spheres reflexively imprudent, but you seem to call upon a moral intuition I don't myself experience.

my regards,

Jeanine Ring   )(*)(




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