dwisehart

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About dwisehart

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  • Birthday 01/17/1963

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  1. What is the word among Rand fans on Mitt Romney?

    I have heard this argument many times in different forms and every time I disagree with it. Every time. Good, positive political change is possible here, now and today, even given the sorry politicians we have. Where all of these arguments fail is that they assume that politicians have a lot more power than they do. At least in the US where we are still free to speak, politicians are the very tip of the tail of the dog, wishing they knew which way they are going to be wagged next. In any race where there is no clear choice between the candidates--as it seems in most races--because they are both spouting "me too" so fast no one knows what they stand for, who gets elected is unimportant. It could be either one; you are safe voting for whomever strikes your fancy. It is only in cases where one of the candidates is clearly evil--such as anyone running for the Green Party--that you have to vote against them. If you are interested in political change--such as reducing spending in order to see the tax rate come down--the way to do it is not by carefully scouring the websites of candidates for promises that are easily forgotten tomorrow, the way to do it is to call your representatives on issues that are important to you. What you will find is that the assistants you talk to are--without exception--polite, good listeners, they take notes and they ask good questions. Calls such as yours are the lifeblood of representative, who really does not know what to support unless he knows what an important segment of his voters support. Every time you call your representative assumes that your call represents thousands of people who believe the same but have not bothered to call. I do this all the time on issues that matter to me and I get a lot of satisfaction in talking to the people who not only will pass my words on, but who are also themselves the next generation of political candidates. You may well be having a one-on-one discussion about issues that are vital to you with the future president of the United States. It doesn't get any better than that.
  2. Going Green: Bad for Business?

    Way to go, Peter! I think that his opponent was really shocked by the strong moral stand that Peter took. He even went so far as to say that environmentalism is not about protecting nature from man--as Peter had charged--but it was a good idea. Peter won that battle hands down--and on an important financial news program, "Power Lunch" too. I am sorry I am not sitting on the trading floor any more to see what the reactions were. The next day probably 90% of the traders would agree with him, but it is always interesting to see what the first reaction is before someone has a chance to think it over.
  3. What is the word among Rand fans on Mitt Romney?

    The problem is, any politician can promise to cut taxes. It is the easiest thing in the world to cut taxes and it can be tremendously popular among some very powerful people. But what we need is not a tax cut but a reduction in the tax burden, which means to lower government spending. To cut taxes without reducing government spending is fiscally irresponsible. If the government had excess tax dollars every year, there would be no problem getting the politicians to cut taxes. What we need is an agreement among politicians that the government is already spending too much and spending money in areas it should not even be in.
  4. The question is, would making it a required subject actually make the situation better? Assuming that we can overlook the issue of if it is right to force the minds of the teachers we expect to train our children, why would this training help? I was required to take a lot of things in public school that made absolutely no sense, which I learned well enough to get an "A" in and promptly forgot as soon as the class was over. If they had required me to take self-defense training, I would have done the same, but the little thug that wanted to beat me up would have learned all kinds of things he would have found useful. I really don't think I want the government to use my tax dollars to teach martial arts to the thugs who might attack me and my family some day.
  5. Was it Just to let Rearden think that Dagny was killed?

    Francisco raises the same issue in a slightly different way: he wants to let anyone who might be still searching know that Dagny is alive, so that they don't have to go through what he had to. What is John Galt's reply? (I don't have a copy of Atlas with me at the moment.) He asks Francisco if anyone should not have to face the consequences of remaining outside--meaning that they were outside because of choices they had made which meant they had not been invited in. Because even someone like Reardon has not yet been invited in to the valley it IS just that he has to deal with the full meaning of living on the outside. Justice is wider than you are thinking. If Dagny maneuvers her plane so low she hits a barrier and crashes--it is still a just event. Justice means that you get full payment for your actions, even when you do not know what all of the consequences are. When Dagny climbed into her airplane and took off, she was agreeing to take responsibility for all of her actions and to accept all of their consequences. It is just that she received everything she did, including the chance to lay in John Galt's arms a short time later.
  6. Yes, but what is often not discussed publicly is that we have the same problem with bakers and seamstresses and even teachers: if you can afford the better ones you clearly get better products and services. The solution is simple but radical: take fewer tax dollars but make people responsible for paying their own way, regardless of how little they make. Under a system of Capitalism, spending your money wisely would not be legally forbidden, nor would defense lawyers be legally required to represent clients who could not pay for their services.
  7. Happy Birthday to Elle

    Happy Birthday, Danielle!
  8. Iran Captures 15 UK Sailors

    Why would that be a bad thing? At least it would make the issue clear for everyone, even those who wish it would remain hidden. The issue is, should our military be in Iraq or not? If our military should be there in order to counter a threat to the United States, then the military should take whatever steps it finds necessary to win the war it is waging. That might include closing Iraq's port if the military finds that the enemy is using the port to its advantage. If instead, our military should not be in Iraq because there is no legitimate threat to the United States, then we should pull out immediately and not put our soldiers at risk where there is nothing to be gained from having them there. Just to suggest that you were going to close the port for the safety of our troops would highlight the real issue.
  9. The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Actually the flat-earther's do say the space program is a farce that should be abandoned. It is not on the same level as the environmentalists who want us to live without batteries and--what was that story from the other day--toilet paper.
  10. Iran Captures 15 UK Sailors

    Yes, I have sympathy for your point, but I wonder, were they under orders to act as if this was a friendly exchange? What would have been the repercussions if a solder had refused to smile and take part in the show? I really don't know that they were under orders, but considering that the British government is willing to negotiate in this case and compromise on its freedom to navigate in international waters, weren't the soldiers just acting as the government wanted them to act? What we needed to hear was an angry retort out of a high-ranking British official who said "of course they smiled and waved: you would too if the other option was to have your bloody head shot off." In that way the Iranian military actions would be seen for what they are. As it is, with the British caving in, the Iranians look the part of a tour guide that helped a lost tourist.
  11. There is little doubt that Putin is a monster. The problem is, when he leaves, who takes over? Ivanov, the ex-KGB spy? Kasyanov? They threw him out the Prime Minister's office once for being so terrible. Yavlinsky? If he can get the SPS to back him he might have a chance, but his so-called liberal policies would probably push Russia back to a fully socialist state--which arguably might be better than a dictatorship. I don't see any hope for a good Russian leader until they have an ideological revolution, which at this point isn't even on the horizon.
  12. That is wonderful, Kevin and Danielle! All the best to the both of you. Getting married was one of the best things I ever did. Daniel
  13. My Al Gore YouTube video

    What a riot!
  14. Van Damme Academy

    I know that Andrew Laymann, who lives in Seattle, has discussed this with Lisa Van Damme. See his website Strong Brains for his contact info.
  15. Stephen's Health

    I was one of a number of people from this forum who attended Stephen's funeral yesterday. It was, for all of us, I hope, a chance to say goodbye and to start moving on. Betsy did most of memorializing of Stephen and she read a great many of the postings made here to this topic on Stephen's Health. It was pretty obvious how thankful she is to everyone who posted here and how much your words mean to her. You can read her personal thanks here. The subtitle to the funeral was what a wonderful, benevolent man Stephen was and how lucky we are that he was a part of our lives. Stephen's son, Matt, gave us his thoughts at the grave site, and then he invited everyone to a reception at Betsy's house. The reception was a good chance for everyone to meet and put names and handles to faces. Betsy gave my wife and daughter a tour of the house, which they had not visited before. They were smitten with clean lines of the house and the simple elegance of the furnishings. Betsy showed us a poster she made for Stephen after they had been married 30 years, listing 30 great things about being married Stephen--though I am not sure how she kept the list so short. She mentioned that Stephen died just two days before their 40th anniversary and how much she has to do now that he is gone. Rest assured that this forum is not going away. Betsy will take it over and she will make arrangements to see that it is available in perpetuity. The forum and perhaps other writings of Stephen will become, I think, Betsy's everlasting temple for Stephen. It may take a little time to make all of the adjustments that are necessary now that Stephen is gone. I would like to ask you to show extra patience and care with your fellow posters while Betsy is coming back to full strength. I would like to suggest that we declare April, 2007, "Stephen's Month" and in his memory we show members of this forum an extra dose of benevolence. Instead of firing off a short reply, answer more like Stephen would have: "I don't think I understand you. It sounds like you are saying 'this'; is that what you really meant to say?" You may be surprised how far it will get you when you are dealing with people who already share many of your values.