Leonid

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  1. It's sounds like a page from Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago. The only consolation is that a colonoscopy is a very costly procedure highly recommended for early detection of colon cancer and David Eckert got it for free. Another consolation is that unlike the prisoners of Gulag he could sue the government for hundreds of thousand dollars and must probably win the case.
  2. Why Does Health Care Cost So Much?

    Milton Friedman already addressed this issue.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RDMdc5r5z8 Milton Friedman in a 2004 interview with Fox News: There are four ways to spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why you really watch out for what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well then, I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it costs, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40 percent of our national income. But it's much more than that. The cost of medicines is soaring because the FDA introduced new products into the market, a lengthy and very expensive procedure which could take up to 10 years of trials. The regulation of medical insurance companies contributes to the increasing costs of medical insurance. And since government in many instances picks up the tab, many health service providers behave like small children in the candy shop during Christmas time.
  3. DoJ set up a get Zimmerman tip line!AGAI

    It's sad to watch how the rule of law is replaced by the rule of mob.
  4. Hedonism and Objectivism

    Hedonism is an ethical theory in which pleasure is an ultimate value. The obvious question in regard to this notion is what then is a cause of pleasure? Why we enjoy some things and hate others? If pleasure is separated from the standard of value then it becomes an intrinsic mystical feature. Then one can claim that Rearden had been created or conditioned to make his metal, or in the words of Dr. Ferris he "couldn't help" doing that.
  5. Hedonism and Objectivism

    Exercising the mind is one of the biggest pleasures which exist and since the mind is a tool of survival this exercise is inherently connected to the life as a standard of value. It is a proof that metaphysically man can live. So looking for the cure of a disease or solving a difficult completely abstract mathematical problem which has no practical application whatsoever, or the invention of a new metal gives the greatest satisfaction which is possible to man. Ask yourself why Rearden in AS spent ten agonizing years in Ayn Rand words to invent his metal? If it only money he was after, he could make a fortune by selling steel. He already was a very wealthy producer. Friendship and romantic relationship are in essence a trade of values and affirmation of life. Music and art in general are concretisation of a man's intrinsic metaphysical view of existence and also the affirmation of his values. Sport is an affirmation of man's physical fitness to exist. So one cannot really separate pleasure from values and life as their ultimate standard.
  6. A Reason for Faith

    But, in fact, Daniel Defoe demonstrated that in order to survive man needs all these principles
  7. A Reason for Faith

    Daniel Defoe already showed that in his novel Robinson Crusoe almost 300 years ago.
  8. What happened to Liberté, égalité, fraternité,? Since the days of Napoleon all dictators have aspired to global government. Hitler tried and failed. Stalin tried, almost succeeded but eventually also failed. Now it is Obama's turn. In the days of Napoleon or Stalin the only way to achieve this goal was a military conquest. However today, powerful international organizations like the UN or EU try to achieve this goal by controlling global information networks, like the Internet, Facebook or Twitter. Since the government as we know it is self-sustained structure, a tendency to expand is inherent in it. No law or clause in the Constitution could prevent it-government controls law making and could always amend the Constitution as it happens today. To curb government expansion we need first of all remove governmental ownership of the physical means of oppression. The whole concept of public ownership, which in fact is governmental ownership, should be eliminated.
  9. Fundamentals of Politics

    Boethius: "This is more than government and capitalism but goes all the way down to the values of politeness. This is precisely the problem with skipping the fundamental question, as I noted." First, politeness has nothing to do with politics. It mostly pertains to the realm of culture and customs. What is polite in Italy could be very rude in Japan. Politics, according to Ayn Rand, is the branch of philosophy which defines a proper social system. In PWNI Aun Rand clearly indicated that: "political philosophy will not tell you how much rationed gas you should be given and on which day of the week—it will tell you whether the government has the right to impose any rationing on anything." (PWNI) In other words, politics pertain to the system of government. Government exists not as an entity but as an institution and people constantly interact with government via its representatives. Political power is a power of state, that is-physical force. Therefore the main political question pertains to the use of force. In Ayn Rand's words: "The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others." (VOS) Thus, the proper political system should create such a government which would legislate the prohibition of the initiation of force. Politics is not about politeness and not even about personal relationships. It is about the system of proper governance and that is what the Founding Fathers understood very well. Their political system was based on the principle that government is a servant, not a ruler of people. Finally, Objectivism is certainly applicable to personal relationships, but the branch which treats these issues is ethics rather than politics.
  10. Sublime Non-Interventionism

    No. it isn't. These laws in fact protect from intervention, that is-initiation of force.
  11. With Gun Control, Cost Benefit Analysis Is Amoral

    Anybody who puts land mines as a protection from intruders overuses his right of self-defense. The purpose of land mines is to kill and not every intruder deserves a death sentence. It is the government's job to define the exact meaning of self-defense by means of objective law.
  12. With Gun Control, Cost Benefit Analysis Is Amoral

    There is a difference between guns for self-defense like hand guns, single shot hunting rifles and weapons of assault, like automatic/semi-automatic rifles, hand grenades machine guns etc...Such a weapons don't contribute to self-defense and its possession represents a threat of initiation of force. Therefore they have to be banned. It's pity that Harry Binswanger failed to make this distinction. He said "Laws prohibiting or regulating guns across the board represent the evil of preventive law and should be abolished."- which means that any person can possess any military grade weapon including automatic rifles, machine guns, " Grad" rockets and maybe even a small jet fighter.There should be a law which prevents people from possessing weapons of assault, since the intended purpose of such a weaponry is not self-defense but the initiation of force and everybody who possesses such a gun has the intention to initiate force. Therefore a law which prohibits these weapons is not preventive but retaliatory law. The law, however, should make a provision for gun collectors, who can have anything they want, providing that their weapons are disabled.
  13. Government ownership

    Quite right. a repetition is not an argument even if it is a repetition of labels.
  14. Government ownership

    I never said a word about governing or ownership of the USA which is an anti-concept. I was referring to the ownership of government assets. At present it i collective ownership which contradicts the spirit and letter of an Objectivist Laissez-faire society.
  15. Government ownership

    A manager is not an owner. A hospital manager cannot sell a hospital or its equipment without the owner's consent. However he can purchase assets within a budget allocated to him. Microsoft shareholders also don't exercise direct managerial control over Microsoft, this a job for the CEO. What they do exercise is control over the monetary value of the company. The government should be prohibited from trading on the free market by law-this is the meaning of Ayn Rand idea of the separation politics and economics. The sale of government assets should be performed via a share holding company which represents the real owners. The purchase of government assets and all other government spending should be done by the government with money generated by the selling of shares. In such a way people would voluntary fund the government functions and control its performance.