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Everything posted by HundredDollar

  1. My wife and I considered doing this, but decided against it. Part of the reason is because it is kind of difficult to find a country much better, and it's also difficult to find a country that is "far away from America." By that I mean, economically at least, what happens here, affects the entire globe. Places like Switzerland and Australia have stable currencies, and many other perks, but for most people, actually uprooting and moving there is not a practical option. Good luck getting a work permit in the EU. Companies there have to prove that they looked all over Europe first before they can hire you.
  2. The bad guy won. The fight continues.

    Carlos, So let me try to summarize what you are saying: Romney lost the election more than Obama won the election, meaning Romney made tactical and procedural errors that cost him. You think ORCA and apathy, and/or a poor get out the vote effort caused Romney to lose. If that summarizes it more or less, I have to say I disagree with you. This wasn't just a loss because of some technicality or some weird electronic scheme. Romney lost specifically because, as Erik and Elliot have pointed out, the electorate is full of uniformed people that simply don't understand the proper role of government or are willingly trying to democratically elect themselves benefits. To point to some superficial error by Romney is misdiagnosing the problem by quite a large margin. Perhaps you are saying these superficial things occurred ALONG with an uniformed public, and I could see maybe that might be the case, but either way, these superficial things are not worth the effort even to understand fully, let alone try to fix.
  3. The bad guy won. The fight continues.

    RE Orca and other reasons Romeny may have messed up his campaign: There is a lot of fingerpointing going around after the Romney loss. There always is, every election, on the side that lost. When the left does it after they lose, it's actually entertaining to watch them squirm, but they're just doing the same thing people on our side are doing right now: they won't come to grips with the idea that either their candidate sucks or the electorate just didn't see it their way. Sure, ORCA sounds like a bad idea, but what REALLY happened? It's like what Elliot said in his blog post: If you have pneumonia, you don't say it's better when the cough goes away. The reason this election was lost was not because of ORCA, or because Romney did the wrong thing and ran a bad campaign. It was because the public simply doesn't see it the way we do (again, at least 50% of the 50% of the public that actually got off the couch doesn't see it our way). Everyone complains and says we need better politicians. But that's not the problem. We need a better ELECTORATE. So I agree with Dennis Miller, once again. Romney did well, he's a good man, and he deserves credit for what he did. I don't agree with all the cards he was holding, but if Romney can't beat Obama, there aren't very many people out there that could have.
  4. The bad guy won. The fight continues.

    As always, Betsy's upbeat attitude is always refreshing, and BrianB, I appreciate your real-world historical perspective in England. We are certainly not living in "Dark Times" yet, compared to other periods of the 20th century. But notice I said "yet". I speak for myself only, but I assume others will agree, that the problem with the last few years and this latest election is that although we are not at war, in a depression, witnessing terrible events really of any kind, I feel "something" coming. I'm not sure what that something is, but I see the writing on the wall. I won't present all the evidence here but certainly there are many signs, foreign and domestic, that show that our country is getting worse, not better. We have not learned anything from 9/11, which still haunts me a bit, and our electorate still craves handouts (and that's just the 50% that actually gets off the couch to vote). The other thing is this: Brian, you say that we can educate the public, but it will take generations to fix the problem. I think that's what many including myself are lamenting: I don't want it to take generations. I want MY LIFE, RIGHT NOW, to be better. Yes, this is the reality we live in and I must deal with it, and not evade it. But this is not the way things are supposed to be. I am 36, I've worked hard and loved life, I'm at the top of my career. I should be looking to the future with anxious, restless anticipation. But I am not. The future for me and my daughter is very, very uncertain. With that in mind, however, I do agree with Betsy and others that the US is the best place to be right now, which is why my wife and I, after a long, intense discussion over the last few nights, have decided to stay put, and simply prepare ourselves financially for what may come. We had considered our options in other countries and other states outside Arizona, but all of those options require giving up something we don't want to trade. For instance, the Heritage Foundation's study of countries around the world has been mentioned here in this discussion. Australia is ranked fairly high there. But I've been there, and the reality is that there is quite a bit of paternalism there, not to mention restrictive gun rights. Surprisingly enough; my wife, tall, skinny blonde girl that she is, really likes having a shotgun in the house. Gun rights and freedom of speech, like Betsy said, are two fundamental rights that we still have here that are really unparalleled in the world. Even more important, raising our daughter outside the US would probably not result in her having that "rugged individualism" that my wife and I got from growing up here. I think any other civilized country will give our daughter the feeling that she's always being looked after and taken care of. I'd like to know more and to be proven wrong, but I've been to Europe and I think I know what would be in store there. So here we stay and fight the culture war.
  5. 476 Rome, 2008 Washington D.C.

    Last night I was watching my country electing itself new handouts and remembering this post from several years ago and I came here to read it today. Yes. It still applies. Sadly.
  6. The bad guy won. The fight continues.

    So many likeminded people and so many different opinions about what to do next. Lots of confusion. Despair. Sleeve-rolling. Teeth gritting. Uncertainty. Anger. Objectivists, libertarians, center-Right Republicans. All of us wonder what to do next. I am caught in it too. I feel every stage of grief all at once. I feel the same as Erik, and those who are angry. I also feel the same as Elliot and people like Roger Simon who wish to roll up their sleeves and fight harder. Still there are those like Glenn Reynolds and some of his readers who think it's not as bad as it seems, and America is far from collapse or any kind of catastrophe. Yes. This is reality. This is what we have to deal with. How do we do it? What do I do with my wife and my 2 year old daughter and my two slightly over-mortgaged homes? How can I live a happy life and survive? One way is simply to hunker down, prepare for the worst. Simplify and ride it out. I have a job, for now. Will it weather the storm I think is coming eventually? Another way is to "Shrug". There are many people I know in life who I work with and who I would call "producers." People who have actual skills and know how to make things and do actual meaningful work. I would like to corral all those people in to one state or one corner of the world and live my life. A little like the Free State Project or on a smaller scale, Galt's Gulch. This seems slightly far-fetched, but that's what I would like to do. Another way is to try to find the new Land of the Free, if it can be found. If I am going to immigrate somewhere else, will it be any better? If it is, for how long? Forgive this stream of consciousness. It's not exactly an organized presentation but this is what I'm thinking, and I assume many others are thinking something similar.
  7. Shut Down the Federal Reserve?

    If the answer is no, do you think you have proven the conspiracy theory, or do you think the burden of proof for this assertion is on you and McFadden?
  8. Sagan and Aristotle

    These two people have been mentioned on this board here and there but never together so far as I know. I was wondering if anyone with more expertise and knowledge regarding Aristotle could shed some light on Sagan's view of him. I have started watching Carl Sagan's series, COSMOS: A Personal Voyage and have learned a great deal. The series has piqued my interest in many subjects and prompted me to look up quite a lot of information related to the history of science, the solar system, and philosophy. Sagan was a very deeply philosophical man, indeed. This is evident in his commentary regarding mankind's place in the universe, his take on various historical scientists, and some of the conflicts these scientific minds have had with religious doctrines, etc. Although I don't agree with his outlook in many respects, I do recognize him as interesting and extremely intelligent. One item in particular in the series that caught my attention was Episode 7. In it, Sagan discusses early Greek science, starting with Thales and the Ionians. He praises them for their fresh approach, which was a marriage of the practical and theoretical. They observed nature and performed actual experiments and believed that the world could be explained as being formed by natural forces rather than a God, which was of course the prevailing explanation for everything at that time. Then he moved on to Pythagoras and his followers, including Plato. These people believed in no experimentation, only thinking. You didn't have to prove your ideas or observe reality to be a scientist; you only had to think about science. They had a disdain for the practical applications of science, and reality simply didn't and shouldn't matter. This line of thinking, Sagan says, extinguished Ionianism. Then Sagan asks, what was Plato's appeal? Why did people follow Plato and the Pythagoreans? The answer he gives, to my surprise, ties Plato and Aristotle together in a package deal that I don't think is justified. He says that Plato and Aristotle's philosophy provided "an intellectually respectable justification for a corrupt social order." By this he means that the Greek economy at that time depended heavily on slavery. Along with Plato, he blames Aristotle. He says they were both "comfortable in a slave society, they offered justifications for oppression, they served tyrants, they taught the alienation of the body from the mind…They separated thought from matter, they divorced the Earth from the heavens.” This is a scathing condemnation of both men, and I believe is fair to Plato, and furthermore it is true that Aristotle provided justification for slavery. BUT...was Aristotle a Pythagorean? Did he teach a mind-body dichotomy? Did he not believe in a this-worldly view of science and observation? From what I can tell, the answer is most definitely "NO". He was not like Plato, even though he was his student. Aristotle was empiricist, and believed in science through observation. I thought that this was fairly well known, and that Sagan of all people would know it. Raphael’s famous painting, The School of Athens even compares the two, with Plato pointing towards the heavens and the "World of Forms" and Aristotle with his hand out, towards the Earth. If anyone else has watched this or read something similar in Sagan's books, and have a deeper background on Plato or Aristotle, I would be very interested to hear what you have to say.