Genius Aspirant

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Everything posted by Genius Aspirant

  1. Children and Marriage

    Very interesting observation Abaco. I know a man whose wife cheated on him, forced him to go to therapy to deal with their issues, but never told him about the affair. I think that is an extreme example, but now that you have raised it maybe it is part of a larger trend. I do think Europe has different sensibilities about such things. I am not sure which one is better, but I do think that trust and honesty are key whether you are in an open or monogamous relationship.
  2. My boyfriend of 18 months and I have been talking about having children, but for a variety of reasons he is reluctant to get married. I dont doubt his commitment, but I am concerned about having a child out of wedlock -- concerned about the legal implications, as well as the stigma on the child. Has anyone tried this, or know anyone that has?
  3. Children and Marriage

    Thanks for all of the thoughtful responses. Interestingly, the difference between the US and Europe that Joss identifies seems to be illustrated in our responses here. In fact my partner has a similar approach to the institution as Joss -- as I mentioned the commitment issue does not bother me so much. I do however still worry about the stigma issue. Joss, I guess for you this is not an issue as you and your partner live in Europe and I assume plan to for the foreseeable future. We will, however, be living in the US, and as you note some of your US friends and family somewhat gently suggest you should get married. Additionally, for Joss and any others that have had children outside of marriage, have you entered into separate legal agreements with your partner -- i,e, with respect to child support or other such things in the (likely or not) case that you may separate?
  4. Invictus (2009)

    Rhodesia was a far better place than current Zimbabwe! It is a sad fact that Africans have not been successful at governing themselves -- as others have pointed out even Mandela was quite a failure.
  5. Invictus (2009)

    Minor correction -- Mugabe is President of Zimbabwe. Zambia is actually in relatively good shape. Mandela in fact has spoken out against Mugabe, though not as much as many would like. So I dont mean to disagree with Arnold's point expressed here.
  6. Cocoa Powder Test Completed --

    I am not sure I follow this logic (though I love the chocolate!). Shouldn't a more market-driven approach lead to a better product? Either the market works or it doesn't, and I thought we all agreed here that it works?
  7. Wine Glasses?

    We are looking to buy new wine glasses, and a friend of ours insists that the type of glass we get can have a major impact on the taste of the wine. He claims that the same wine tasted in a different glass can taste dramatically different. Does anyone know if that is true? And if so, any recommendations on good glasses for us to buy?
  8. Student gets 20 years prison for speech in Afghanistan

    What is the basis for assuming that the Afghani people are in fact "animals?" This smacks of racism to me -- not saying you are, but the statement certainly sounds like it. There are lots of people in Afghanistan trying to build a democracy -- they are held hostage by Islamic militants funded by outside forces (including many here in the US). I do agree though that we have no obligation there. But I am not sure on what basis you say that Afghanistan is full of animals????
  9. "Justice delayed but not denied"

    I am not sure I follow this. Is it your view that he is being punished for another crime? Which? As far as I know he was acquitted of all previous allegations against him.......But perhaps I am misunderstanding the point of your heading? Certainly he is being, or will be, properly punished for the crime for which he recently committed. But should he be further punished for something for which he was not convicted? That seems to undercut our notion of due process and fairness in our judicial system.
  10. Happy Birthday to Genius Aspirant

    Thanks to all for the private birthday wishes! It was sweet of you all to send them privately, as it is difficult for me to respond to each of them publicly. This is such a great community. Thanks again!
  11. Krugman gets Nobel Prize

    Hi Carlos, I think you are wrong about the African woman? Not sure, but do you have a quote or cite for the assertion that she said AIDS was engineered by white people? I know some have said that, but I don't believe that she was one of them. To the rest, Does anyone know much about Krugman's economic work on globalization? I don't, but business friends of mine who are very pro-free market say that his economic work is quite good, and that in fact his political positions reflected in his columns are contradicted by his economic work. I can't say I have read much of him in either place, but curious if some of the rest of you might have?
  12. Classical Music Recommendations

    The thread on loudness in CDs was very interesting. A lot of it focused on rock music, but some commented on classical music. I like classical music a good deal, but I must admit I am pretty ignorant about quality of recordings. Someone (I cant remember who) suggested that DG (I assume Deutsche Gramaphone) was particularly bad. Does anyone have a good and handy list of labels that produce high quality classical CDs/recordings? Related (maybe this should be a separate topic), what is your all time must have classical recording and why?
  13. A Woman President?

    Are members comfortable with the idea of a woman President? I understand that Ayn Rand spoke out against this, though I wonder if she would feel differently today? And do you think her views about a woman President also apply to the office of the Vice President?
  14. Crime Fighting as War?

    I was talking this morning to a friend of mine who is a police officer in Los Angeles. I mentioned to him a side discussion here under the torture topic about the difference between war and fighting crime domestically. He noted how in their force -- and he says this is true in others -- what police officers do is not that different in some ways than many battlefield areas -- a mix of working with the local community but also hitting the enemy/criminal element hard. He says that they have and use equipment that is not very different than what is used on the battlefield -- hardened vehicles, in effect small tanks, high powered rifles, even bombs. He was sympathetic to the idea that we should not make a big distinction between a foreign war and a domestic criminal threat. Techniques that are effective in one area are almost assuredly effective in another. In fact he said that there has been a good deal of cooperation among members of the military, private security companies (who both act as private police forces and run many of our prisons), and local police forces on capture and interrogation techniques. He was not sure if we should use torture in either case, but did think that if we found it useful in one he did not see why it should not be used elsewhere. I wonder then if we are really hurting ourselves with all of the restrictions we place on the men and women who are paid to protect us from crime, both violent and other.
  15. Times may be tough, but....

    Wow. Congratulations Jason! That all sounds great. I can relate to the 85% furnishing of an apartment. It is three years since I moved and I am still at the 85% point! On the Hunter Valley -- I am jealous! I love Australian wine. What are your favorite vineyards there? Anything that we should be on the lookout here in the US?
  16. Whence "Redlining"?

    I just sent an inquiry to a friend who is President of a bank on this, but have not heard back from him yet. My sense is that years ago, many years ago, there were racist lending practices. And as was pointed out -- and echoed repeatedly by Ayn Rand on the issue of racism -- it is a stupid business practice that actually harms the racist. I think the geography thing is a tough one. I know that racial segregation has decreased, but it still exists, so I think the general comment is right that if all of the denials are in one area it is hard to know if it is race or creditworthiness. I guess the only way to tell is to review all of the decisions, which would be very time consuming (though I am sure some democratic government person has allocated lots of money for such a study that probably has bad methodology and for which we have no good data!). I dont think there is any racism today in bank lending, or insurance, or any major business. It is something that the left and all of their cohorts try to perpetuate in order to argue for more invasive government intervention.
  17. Happy Birthday to free spirit

    A happy happy especially happy birthday!
  18. Paulson Agrees OKs Exec Pay Limits

    I did just see something in a news report of the bailout that does suggest that the money will be given conditional on future pay of executives. That is unfortunate. In fact as others have pointed out that seems completely counter productive. It is reminiscent of Nixon and the wage and price freezes -- though here focused on a more limited market. Ugh. Not a good week for the free market, capitalism, democracy, freedom........
  19. Another Bailout Denouncer

    Absolutely! It is so depressing that all of our tax money is going to rescue bad business men and women!
  20. Paulson Agrees OKs Exec Pay Limits

    Oh yes. I definitely agree that we should not be bailing them out as well. But given that we -- well, really the government so helpfully on our behalf, and with our money! -- is giving money to these entities, it seems to me appropriate to put reasonable conditions on its use. I dont have a problem with using the money to buy talented managers who will turn these companies around. My guess is that those will not be the same people who got these companies into this mess. I may be wrong on the facts here, but I thought the issue was what pay the current executives will get -- that is, what pay those who bankrupted the companies. For them, I dont think they should get any more money unless and until they are able to generate it by turning the companies around.
  21. Crime Fighting as War?

    I just want to try to understand your two statements here. On the one hand, the father could use force to discover the location of his child. He would then be subject to some form of court process to determine if what he did at the time was legal or not. So that means he CAN act against the kidnapper, but his actions will be later reviewed. If it is then determined that he acted appropriately, then he is fine. If it is then determined that he did not -- lets say he made a mistake and the person was not the kidnapper (that would be the easiest case, and throw us into using force against an innocent person), then he would have to suffer the duly imposed punishment by the court. Then you say that using excessive force and violating rights is not allowed. I agree with that, subject to your definition of excessive force. What is your definition of excessive force? I agree that force can only be used consistent with objective law for the purpose of protecting rights. The right that is being protected here is the right of the kidnapped child. So I think you and I agree. That so long as a court later determines that the father was acting in self-defense, that he was acting to protect the right of the innocent, and that he can show that he used the minimum amount of force needed to compel the kidnapper to reveal the location of his child, then he acted lawfully. The minimum amount of force necessary can, of course, go all the way to killing another person, in the classic case of self-defense where someone pulls a gun on you. Thus it is possible that doing something that is torture could be found to be legal and justified, depending of course on the circumstances. I think on these matters at least, you and I are in agreement. Is that true? Or have I mis stated or misinterpreted your position?
  22. Crime Fighting as War?

    Damn. Sorry! It is late and I am tired! I meant we are the question of the definition of innocence. But then lets move on to the next statement, which tries to give a bit more content about what I mean by the type of person to whom torture could be applied -- thus, not to innocent people.
  23. Crime Fighting as War?

    Well now we are at the question of innocent. I believe that a criminal suspect, for whom there is probable cause that they have committed a crime (and thus under our current law who we may arrest, detain, and interrogate) could be tortured if an innocent life was at risk and the torture is likely to lead to information that could save that individual's life -- thus, the kidnapped child scenario.
  24. Crime Fighting as War?

    Sorry, but I guess I could so easily say the same to you. Can we try to streamline this. As a start, answer my specific questions above. Do you question whether we have in fact killed UK citizens and tortured US citizens. Or do you defend that practice?
  25. Paulson Agrees OKs Exec Pay Limits

    Wait a minute. Isnt this a question about whether they should get nothing, because they are bankrupt, or get something from the money that you and I are paying to bail them out???? I have not seen the legislation, so dont know if it is prospective -- in which case I agree with the concern. But if it is with respect to the people who run the companies that we are now saving, why should we be forced to line their pockets????