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Post 60

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 10:13amSanction this postReply
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Hong wrote, quoting the ultimate arbiter of truth Wikipedia


"The government of South Vietnam, now under the leadership of Ngo Dinh Diem and supported by the United States, refused to hold the stipulated elections, noting that Ho had introduced a police state and refused to allow international observers, precluding a free election. Moreover, most contemporary observers estimated that were an election held in the 1954-55 period, around 80% of the Vietnamese population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh.[12]"


Hong, I propose that myself, Johnny, and Ted *and you* all vote on what we get to do with *your property* I propose we confiscate everything you own, and distribute it amongst myself, Johnny, and Ted. Surprise surprise, we win, by a whopping margin of 3 votes to 1!!! No matter, the election was 'democratic' and you were freely allowed 'self determination' Additionally, I vote that we 'dissappear' you so that you will not complain about this, nor foment a 'counter revolution'. And hey, even though Johnny, Ted, and I are armed with AK-47's supplied by our good friend Demitri, you get whatever form of government you deserve!

A 30 second "wikipedia" read does not constitute a well informed opinion on a topic. The population of North Vietnam in 1956 was much larger than that of South Vietnam, and amazingly communist elections always had almost perfect turnouts! So why on earth would South Vietnam compete in an unfair election with a larger population which amounted to participating in a vote where a 'majority' would vote on wiping you out of existence?

Michael F Dickey



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Post 61

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 11:21amSanction this postReply
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Michael,
>The population of North Vietnam in 1956 was much larger than that of South Vietnam...

Could you give a reference for this?

Before Michael's above statement sink in as "fact" in people's minds, I want to share following info from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/vietnam.htm. It says that in 1956,
"North Vietnam had a population of 16 million. It was an agricultural nation....
South Vietnam also had a population of 16 million. Its first proper leader was Ngo Dinh Diem who was a fanatical catholic. .."
I welcome any presentation of facts to either prove or refute whether this is correct.

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 6/06, 12:28pm)




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Post 62

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 1:19pmSanction this postReply
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That may be true, Hong, but I was going from my memory of one of the numerous books I have read on the topic. The page you reference has a rather obvious bias, and the fact that these population numbers are hard to find lend credence to the willing obfuscation of the moral depravity of this 'election'

Even if the populations were similiar, you ignore the fact that communist nations almost always have stunningly amazing voter turnouts, no one in their right mind would put up for vote the question of the continuation of their own existence for popular vote against those who wish to murder and enslave them.

As I said, may I and a associates vote on how to rightfully dispose of all of your property, and indeed, the material means by which you sustain your existence?



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Post 63

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 1:37pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks you, Michael. I also suspect that particular website maybe biased. But fact is fact. We can always draw our own conclusions. I have no disagreement with what you said here about impossibility of a fair election under communism.  The only thing I want to point out is that, regardless, there was still substantial fraction of people in South Vietnam who would have voted for Ho Chi Minh at the time. And the South Vietnam government and its head was very much despised by a lot of people including US.
As I said, may I and a associates vote on how to rightfully dispose of all of your property, and indeed, the material means by which you sustain your existence?
Certainly. It's been done every day here in US. That's the essence of democracy, isn't it.




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Post 64

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 1:54pmSanction this postReply
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Certainly. It's been done every day here in US. That's the essence of democracy, isn't it.


This statement is born of a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the democracy in the United States. We are not a mere mobocracy where majority rule determines all, which is what would allow the kind of actions we are talking about here. The United States is a Constitutional Liberal Republic with a market based economy. As a Constitutional based nation it defines fundamental rights which can not be taken away by majority votes. As a Liberal nation it allows free speech, even speech deemed inappropriate by a majority vote. As a Republic, it's laws are not enacted by popular vote, as the founders of this nation were well aware of the failing of literal mob rule and instituted many safeguards to protect against those failings, but instead are proposed by a legislature and reviewed against the constitution

So, no, me and my friends CAN NOT vote to TAKE AWAY YOUR PROPERTY, and REDISTRIBUTE IT among ourselves. Though the recent Kelo decision of the Supreme court takes this glorious nation one step closer to that type of murderous mob rule, it is certainly not anywhere close to that and to compare it with communist nations which are founded explicitly on the principle of the complete abdication of property is wholly disingenuous.




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Post 65

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 2:27pmSanction this postReply
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Of course my answer was disingenuous, because the scenario in your question is a disingenuous one.



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Post 66

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 3:23pmSanction this postReply
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Robert, your post 56 was content free. Instead of telling me what you meant by these terms, you merely stated that the ideas are important and that I should understand them. You didn't even support that statement.

The problem here is that I do understand the meaning of those phrases, and that it appears you don't. You throw the phrase "evil is impotent" around as if we can't possibly be harmed by evil people, unless of course we help them ourselves. And you seem to think that "sanction" is anything short of sacrificing your life to try to stop the mugger or oppressive government.

If someone said that a murderer can't kill you without your sanction, because "evil is impotent", we'd call them a hopeless rationalist that is parroting Rand without a clue to understanding what she meant. Your own use seems to be different only in degrees (maybe!).

So here's a definition of sanction of the victim:

"the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the 'sin' of creating values."

The sanction of the victim is an important idea because it explains how the victims, through accepting the ethics of altruism, disarm themselves in the face of evil, and even support the evil. They approve of their enemies actions, willingly accept the attacks, all in the name of altruistic guilt.

This doesn't include those people who give up their money to the mugger through fear of their lives. It doesn't include those people who are afraid that trying to rebel will end in the brutal torture and death of everyone they know and love. There's no approval or permission there. This isn't "willingness". And suggesting that they have to fight a gunman in order to avoid sanctioning him is madness.

You presented the strange view that we either have to dismiss the concept of the sanction of the victim, or we have to assume that evil is incapable of harming anyone without that sanction. So again, what in the world do you think these phrases mean?

Since my previous attempts at getting you to clarify have ended in distractions and accusations, I'm not expecting much here. I'll leave it with saying I think you're completely wrong, and that you haven't offered a shred of evidence to support your idea.




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Post 67

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 4:26pmSanction this postReply
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To say evil is impotent is NOT to say it is not dangerous.....  and to be overwhelmed by evil is not to imply, necessarily, that it was sanctioned...



Post 68

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 4:27pmSanction this postReply
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a Constitutional based nation it defines fundamental rights which can not be taken away by majority votes

except, perhaps, by a minority of one - the president....




Post 69

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 6:06pmSanction this postReply
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except, perhaps, by a minority of one - the president....


That's certainly not hyperbole!



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Post 70

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - 6:56pmSanction this postReply
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Xie bu xie!


Thanks, but no thanks, Michael, I'll forfeit that proposed one-third share. Hong's already repeatedly made clear that she doesn't have any straight answers, and I'm not interested in a portion of her evasions, of her petulance, or of her malice.

At this point you've heard that the US chose the losing side; That it wouldn't have mattered what side it chose anyway; That both sides would be equally ruthless; That the West didn't know about Communist atrocities; That the West chose to ignore those atrocities - that it didn't know about? That the people got what they wanted; And yet that the losers (who got what they wanted?) got what they deserved; That Hong knows she would have chosen to submit to tyranny; That none of us know what she really means to say; That hindsight is twenty-twenty - I.e., that we can only know the truth when it is too late.

And at this point, this debate is so muddied that I doubt anyone will get a hand on the prize.

Ted



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Post 71

Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 4:43pmSanction this postReply
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Wow! There's a lot of heat in here -- but very little light. Let's add more light (excerpt from Rand's 1947 HUAC testimony) ...

Miss Rand: Look, it is very hard to explain. It is almost impossible to convey to a free people what it is like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship. I can tell you a lot of details. I can never completely convince you, because you are free. It is in a way good that you can't even conceive of what it is like. Certainly they have friends and mothers-in-law. They try to live a human life, but you understand it is totally inhuman. Try to imagine what it is like if you are in constant terror from morning till night and at night you are waiting for the doorbell to ring, where you are afraid of anything and everybody, living in a country where human life is nothing, less than nothing, and you know it. You don't know who or when is going to do what to you because you may have friends who spy on you, where there is no law and any rights of any kind.
 
Mr. McDowell: You came here in 1926, I believe you said. Did you escape from Russia?
 
Miss Rand: No.
 
Mr. McDowell: Did you have a passport?
 
Miss Rand: No. Strangely enough, they gave me a passport to come out here as a visitor.
 
Mr. McDowell: As a visitor?
 
Miss Rand: It was at a time when they relaxed their orders a little bit. Quite a few people got out. I had some relatives here and I was permitted to come here for a year. I never went back.
 
Mr. McDowell: I see.
 
The Chairman: Mr. Nixon.
 
Mr. [Richard] Nixon: No questions.
 
From:
http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6125

Take-home message:
The US Congress knew, from as early as 1947, the evil of Communism.

Ed
[2 more cents: I also think that Hong morally-equivocated between North and South Vietnam because her native country funded the North]




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Post 72

Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 6:12pmSanction this postReply
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It's been brought to my attention that my publication of my own thoughts about Hong's motives (in the moral equivalency thing) might just have been a little "unfair." I preemptively apologize for any and all emotional distress that my shared thoughts on the matter might cause. Sometimes, thinking aloud is rude.

Ed




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Post 73

Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 7:57pmSanction this postReply
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Well, that "lightened" things up. ;)

I haven't followed this thread very closely, but I know, just from my parents while I was growing up, that communism was feared by regular people. My mother told me how her mother would make her eat every bite (this was during the Great Depression) of her food, or she would send it to the starving children in China. Everyone in China was starving, I was told.

The parents of my sister's inlaws immigrated to Canada directly from the Ukraine during the famine. Her inlaws are in their 80's, and they still talk about what their parents escaped like it was yesterday.

So, it seems to me that before Vietnam, way before, people were well aware of what Communism caused, hunger and starvation being the number one result in many American minds, including my own.




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Post 74

Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 8:10pmSanction this postReply
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I think Ed's acting in good faith here by not withdrawing his comments, but rather leaving them up, and then apologizing for them. Not wishing to appear to defend Hong, I had objected to him in private that what he said in his two-cents remark was perhaps unfair - because I saw no evidence that Hong was specifically being partial to North Vietnam because her native country had supported the North Vietnamese. To be fair, I will state publicly that I saw no evidence of racial bigotry or jingoistic sentimentality in her posts. I think Hong is simply reflexively anti-Western and generally cynical, as evidenced by her tendency to make statements of moral equivalency on various threads and to post quotes with what can at best be called a bizarre sense of life.

Ted





Post 75

Monday, June 11, 2007 - 6:38amSanction this postReply
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Ed,
Can you (or any other English speaker here, for that matter) distinguish between "moral equivalence" and "moral ambiguity/ambivalence"? What do you think is what I said?

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 6/11, 12:01pm)

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 6/11, 1:17pm)




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Post 76

Monday, June 11, 2007 - 12:35pmSanction this postReply
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My mother told me how her mother would make her eat every bite (this was during the Great Depression) of her food, or she would send it to the starving children in China. Everyone in China was starving, I was told.
Teresa,
Chinese Communist Part came into power in 1949, long after the Great Depression. 




Post 77

Monday, June 11, 2007 - 4:50pmSanction this postReply
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I should have expanded:

When I wouldn't eat my brussels sprouts, I'd get the story, and my mother would repeat grandmother's words to me. She'd send my dinner to China, because everyone was starving there.  That's what I was told growing up. 




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Post 78

Monday, June 11, 2007 - 10:22pmSanction this postReply
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Hong,

Ed,
Can you (or any other English speaker here, for that matter) distinguish between "moral equivalence" and "moral ambiguity/ambivalence"? What do you think is what I said?
Sure. Moral equivalence is when neither side's better, moral ambiguity is when neither sides's known to be better. And, as I've eloquently shown above, in neither case do any of these options apply.

Ed




Post 79

Monday, June 11, 2007 - 10:47pmSanction this postReply
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English speakers? Wo mei guo ren. Wo bu shuo pu tong hua.

To oversimplify, Hong has said there was no difference between:

christians::m^slims
europeans::arabs
whites::reds
nationalists::communists

If I bother to find more examples of Hong's habit of making statements of moral equivalence, or actually bother to dredge up her quotes, she'll accuse me of paying attention to her, so I won't bother, unless anyone else really wishes me too.

Ted



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