Grey

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Everything posted by Grey

  1. I have a hard time finding a good movie. Too often they are unintelligent, base, the ending is wrong, or the values the movie is based on are wrong or not interesting. I also love old classics, and they aren't making more of those. I've found recommendations from others is the best way to find something I want to spend 2 hours watching. So with that I pass along to you some recent gems I saw that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. The Man in the White Suit (1951) - Alec Guiness plays a chemist who has an idea and is driven to make it a reality. Pay no attention to the various reviews that call him an altruist, etc. I can't help but wonder if Rand saw this and found some inspiration for elements in Atlas from it - and if the writers had read Fountainhead and found some of their inspiration there. The Card (1952 aka The Promoter) - Another Alec Guiness where he is the lowly son of a washer woman with an upwardly mobile mindset. He takes initiative and risk and is rewarded for it in life (although one can argue one or two times he was less than honest...). In a way it's a bit of a reverse of It's a Wonderful Life as everybody's life around him is much more improved for his being there and there's no crisis about advancement. At one point he says, "I just want to make money. Is there anything wrong with that?" to which the reply, "Nothing at all," is incredibly refreshing. TiMER (2009) - A romantic comedy with a sci-fi premise that people can have a timer installed on their wrist that will identify the exact moment they will meet their soul mate. For a modern movie I am struck by how well the writers thought through the scenarios and repercussions. Ultimately this is a sweet romantic movie playing across an alternate background of a world where you can know if the person you are with is your soul mate. The questions it poses and sets up are interesting, though. Would love to hear of other lesser known gems you all recommend!
  2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    And a very Merry Christmas to you, too!
  3. Brook-Callahan debate in Seattle

    Thank you, Betsy! I've been so behind in many things and let my email slip away from me. I completely missed the ARI announcement until just the other day. I'll definitely carve out some time to watch this.
  4. It's great to see businessmen other than the former head of BB&T putting their philosophical foundations forward. I'll certainly be buying more from Lululemon. Their stuff is great quality.
  5. Thank you for posting, ewv. Absolutely disgusting.
  6. Anti bailout Ford commercial

    It's been pulled from tv, and apparently the internet, too. http://www.detnews.com/article/20110927/OP...-ad-on-bailouts
  7. Limitation of freedoms

    We've had a number of posts recently about various regulations and actions against various freedoms. A Wisconsin judge has determined that citizens have no rights to own a cow, consume the milk of that cow, or even to produce and consume food of their choice. http://www.foodrenegade.com/your-choice-of...damental-right/ and http://www.thecompletepatient.com/journal/...o-own-a-co.html This will be a case to watch as I suspect it will be appealed.
  8. An easy explanation of The Obama Stimulus.....

    Good story He left out the part where 40% of the water splashed out of the bucket before it could be poured back into the pool.
  9. Descendant of Somebody Famous?

    My family has quite a bit of our heritage documented, in family Bibles, and stories and the like. Recently I have tried to capture some of it, and dug out more research online. There's a number of famous people, and certain branches can be traced back a very long time because of the research others have done on them, but it's just as often the unheard of people I am more interested in. I've found it fascinating to look in to why people made certain decisions. Why did this family come to America when it did? Why did this family leave this other country when it did? What made a family move further west vs stay and commit to building a town? What pressures did this group find themselves under? I think especially now in these times as we are considering the same things I've been drawn to the stories of their lives.
  10. Battle for the California Desert

    Potentially, with different weapons. Going after building code, licenses, and zoning instead of an outright argument that one group can put a piece of property to better use than another. I'm not convinced it's eminent domain in that they have another use for the property in mind, which eminent domain requires. What I don't understand is what LA County is after in the Antelope Valley case. It appears far enough out that either an interstate or an airport (as some surmised) would be small against the vastness of that area. Is it just control? Forcing this group to bow to the whim of another? That's something I just don't understand. Perhaps if the department was about to be shut down, or a parent department was to see cuts, this "work" gives credibility to keeping staff and broadening their mandate. I can't find a plausible motive for these actions, or there's a piece to the picture that is missing.
  11. Thank you, Betsy! I agree that it's not clear how the above is being carried out or what the impact is. With many different loan terms, it's unclear to me what the terms of the loan agreement may have been and how that determines how these events unfold. Having a reporter look at it more deeply would be great. Seems private property is becoming less and less private all the time, as represented in the thread Paul's Here started about Antelope Valley.
  12. Battle for the California Desert

    Here's an excellent article about Antelope Valley in particular: http://www.laweekly.com/content/printVersion/1303834/ The line of reasoning, from a legal perspective, is fascinating. "The government can define land on which residents have lived for years as "vacant" if their cabins, homes and mobile homes are on parcels where the land use hasn't been legally established." Which appears to mean that even if you legally purchase and own outright a 10 acre parcel in the middle of the desert, you cannot park a car, place a trailer, or build a structure without the appropriate zoning and permitting. Any action beyond that is illegal in some form, and in these cases has generated responses including imprisonment, liens, armed forced entry, fines, etc. There is one error in the article where McNamara mentions a situation in Redwing, AZ. Actually it turns out to be in Red Wing, MN, but still very interesting. Reason article: http://reason.com/blog/2010/12/29/minnesot...ts-challenge-no Institute for Justice overview: http://www.ij.org/about/875
  13. Battle for the California Desert

    Thank you for posting that. I can't even express how angry that made me, and how fearful. I had to strip the last parameter off the URL - this worked for me:
  14. The Left's Call to Violence

    The unions are responding. They have heard the words as well as the sentiment. Longview port stormed: http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local/story...XG9DYYXZSA.cspx Seattle and Tacoma ports shut down by strike: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Abs...tle-2160984.php Much of Puget Sound affected (and I thought some in Oregon, although not finding it) http://mynorthwest.com/11/542454/Ports-acr...r-labor-dispute Finally looks like the police will be investigating aspects of the Longview union events http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local/story...Dp8YqTRCsA.cspx
  15. Anthem

    Every time I hear this song, it reminds me of Anthem. Perhaps not the spoken word part, but the sound, the emotion, "I'll follow you through the park, through the jungle, through the dark...". "Home is wherever I'm with you..."
  16. Bad premises can kill you

    A bad idea, or false premise, isn't the same thing as self-sacrifice. I like how you find good examples of the self-sacrifice being fulfilled with the natural consequences. What about true examples of bad premises leading to their natural, and terrible, consequences? Grizzly Man was the first that came to mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grizzly_Man Perhaps some similarities to some aspects of the thread on body language and dogs.
  17. Multiple Intelligences

    I would have to agree that there are multiple intelligences. I know the aspects that come naturally to me, those that I have had to work hard to develop, and those I lack entirely. For some I have devised compensating techniques, including relying on others. I have no eye for colors, design, or the ability to draw. I rely on trusted others, or can copy to mimic good design principles. I have worked with children at different times teaching horseback riding. One little girl in particular showed a complete lack of any ability to feel the rhythm, move her body, and learn even basic riding skills. She was intelligent and highly motivated, but lacked that aspect of intelligence for physical activities. Perhaps labeling it a talent feels more right, but I have been swayed by Murray's analysis of this. Where teachers and others go wrong is in looking at the entirety of a child's intelligence as a pool of talent points, so to speak. The assertion, or working assumption, is that all children have the same number of points, they are just each allocated uniquely. This is where they can say that one child is gifted in math, but another is just as smart and gifted in art. In reality this is absolute rubbish. Some are talented in every dimension. Some are disabled in every dimension. And some have more strengths, others more weaknesses, and so forth.
  18. Cop with questions.....

    I snipped out the only parts I saw that were asking for follow-up. I have permits allowing certain activities under various Migratory Bird Treaty Act regulations. There is language in my permits that states that law enforcement may visit at any reasonable time to check on anything covered by these regulations – the visit and checkup is called an inspection. The specifics of this particular inspection were that there were two new federal agents who decided to go down a list and visit people. I was one. When we completed the inspection, I asked them what was driving the inspection as it was out of the ordinary. Their answer was, "We were in the neighborhood." Incredible inconvenience to me, incredibly invasive. However these sorts of clauses that make this legal will be more common, and it won't just be a small minority of oddball permits that carry it. It'll be a part of more and more activities. Something for you others out there to look forward to. The postscript was that the two agents were chewed out when the state found out what they were doing, and the random inspections were stopped immediately. Although their inspections were legal, it was not following protocol, agreements with the state, etc. And many of us who were inspected were completely above board, work closely with the state, and our activities are well known. The convenience factor for them to visit multiple people in one geographic location was just too attractive, I suppose. And they had the authority, so why not use it? I think you missed the final point of what I was saying. Each of us makes decisions about activities to engage in - pruning a tree, having a pet, what food we believe is best for us to eat. We believe these decisions will produce the best result for us and for our lives, and we can't imagine why something would be against a law, let alone against several laws at different levels. Or we can’t imagine why something would be more complex than we conceive of it being. Law enforcement must enforce the laws equally. That is how the system works. However when people engage in activities they believe are best for them, and then find themselves being stopped, cited, charged, fined, or sentenced, they look on law enforcement as the embodiment of the laws, and in these cases restrictive or invasive laws. What we are beginning to see is laws/regulations as traps. AG Robert Jackson saw this coming in 1940 when he warned the US Attorneys saying that we needed to guard against “pick[ing] people that he thinks should get” and “then [searching] the law books…to pin some offense on him.” “Law under our chosen system performs its highest purpose when it limits government power, since history and experience show that governments tend to overuse their perceived authority. … If I am right, we must foster the realization that the Justice Dept’s tactics too often are employed not to protect, but to attack law-abiding society.” These are the points to which I am speaking and the facet of law enforcement that I interact with.
  19. Cop with questions.....

    I want to go back to your original question and only address that. I had a discussion not too long ago with a law enforcement official that I was working on a project with. Like many people who are involved in various activities, I have a permit for activities that I am involved with as a hobby. This one includes a clause that my permitted location and equipment may be inspected at any reasonable time. (As an aside, I believe we will see more and more permits for casual activities that include a similar clause. We see this added for various agricultural aspects now; how long before a common auto license or dog license will carry this?) What this means in practice is that I can have an official show up on my door step and demand to review my property/equipment. This particular group of LE knows me well and we have a good relationship. I had asked if there was anything we, as a community, should know about or be aware of. He said no, but turned the question around on me asking why we, as individuals in the community, were so guarded around law enforcement. In other words, didn't we know they were just people, too, and genuinely liked us? I almost bust out laughing. I carefully walked them through our thinking, what it means to have law enforcement of any kind just show up and make demands. And what the risks were to us, our personal commitments, and our hobby. I explained the historical misunderstandings, and witch hunts, that had happened. I explained about people, friends of mine and upstanding in the community, who had been interrogated for hours, had been threatened with enormous fines, and threats to their livelihood. I tried to explain that when LE shows up, the normal behavior of anybody in any community with any amount of knowledge would appear suspicious. This isn't a casual interaction, but a formal interaction. The fact that the person making requests is LE makes this a formal interaction. But this is where it gets tricky, because we are all human, and things cannot just be official. I had officials drop in not too long ago. These happened to be federal officials and they were just exercising their ability to check in when they wanted. Now, they have my work address, work phone number, and many ways to contact me, but decided just dropping by my house in the middle of a week day was how they wanted to conduct this. They decided that trying to look through my windows and over my fence was appropriate. When I arrived, having left work to meet them, I started at the beginning. They had no idea what they were there to examine. I carefully walked them through the paperwork ensuring that they were satisfied everything was in order. I showed them all required equipment and ensured they were satisfied. And I showed them my property ensuring everything was in order. But in doing all this, they wanted to carry on a casual conversation. They asked things like, "Are you dissatisfied with how anyone else does things?" or asking who else I regularly am with. I could just casually answer these questions, however this is not a casual conversation. This is an official investigation, and I need to be very precise about how I answer. As these are federal officials, a misstatement in itself is a felony. An omission of information or a misleading statement is a felony. And so my response ends up being something like, "I don't have sufficient knowledge of how anybody else practices their hobby. If you are concerned about their activities, you would have to ask them," or "Is this an official question you need answered for your investigation?" or "I would have to check my notes, but I could not say for certain and I wouldn't want to make an incorrect statement." If a friend or coworker said these things to you, you would think they were insane. It's not how people behave in normal, casual settings. And this behavior is easy to be labeled as "suspicious" leading to further investigations, and possibly being labeled as probable cause. I appreciate you are law enforcement, and you are there to enforce laws. However there are many laws, regulations, policies and the like that I do not believe are just, and I do not believe are constitutional. The only way to challenge these is to get somebody ticketed, charged, or cited and then bring it to court. I neither have the time or inclination to pursue these, and so I follow them all. The best we can hope for is to have common sense applied at the time of enforcement, and a best intention interpretation. I suspect with many of the incidents you are dealing with there is not much evaluation or interpretation involved once it has been determined to pursue a particular person. With many others, there's significant leeway in how to handle a situation, what is the right outcome, and what is an invasive reach of government. As an example of regulations and citations, a church was just fined for "excessively pruning" its own tree. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/05/2...roper-tree.html Now c'mon, is that really necessary? The rationale is shaky at best, and the governmental time/cost will likely be substantial. More egregious is the cost in time and money to the people that now have to deal with it when their crime was responsible gardening. Or this - Seattle, WA had people going door to door looking for unlicensed pets. http://www.king5.com/news/local/King-Count...-105733083.html Or this - an armed raid on a food coop regarding raw milk http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/18/reason-c...tor-baylen-linn (second video down) I have no idea what kind of person you are, or what your philosophy, beliefs, or intentions are. But what you do is enforce laws, regulations, policies, and the like. Some of these are probably justified. But how many are not? In thinking about this, what you do is stop people from engaging in activities. Perhaps the activity was murder or abuse, or perhaps the activity was the sale of improperly marked cheese. Even if you personally are only protecting the rights of people (stopping murder, arson or abuse), you are in a community of LE that makes no distinguishing difference between LE who protects rights and LE who essentially takes away rights.
  20. 401k Nationalization

    This doesn't seem to have gotten much press today. There's a new Senate bill that would make loans against your private 401k more difficult. http://money.msn.com/retirement-investment...a3-f0d0cca6d43e Aside from legislation that focuses on the exceptions, and the limitation of access to your own property, this has all kinds of other concerning trends.
  21. Two new court rulings that concern me, and might be of interest to some of you here. Allowable response to illegal law enforcement entry into a private residence (Indiana Supreme Court) http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-an...b3df229697.html Exigent circumstances allowing entry to a private residence without a warrant (US Supreme Court) http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1272.pdf And a pretty good discussion about the USSC decision http://volokh.com/2011/05/16/kentucky-v-ki...-circumstances/
  22. I had an experience a few years back that demonstrated this so clearly to me. I was working with a group who was to deliver a particular product. They would deliver something, we would assess it, give them pointed feedback on what they had delivered, instruct them on what we wanted to have instead, list the differences and ways that they could have changed their product to meet the request, and start all over again. It was incredible to me working with them. They were engaged, listened, appreciated the feedback, but nothing would change. They were simply incapable of delivering the desired result. Moreover, they were incapable of telling the difference between what they had delivered and what we were asking for. That was the incredible thing to me. The two were so clearly different, like night and day. How could you not tell the difference? It was the demonstrable lesson of discrimination and the importance of it. So often I can understand many people not being able to discriminate between some things due to lack of knowledge about the subject or viable differences in opinions. So to see it play out clearly and try to work with it was fascinating. I've since seen it more subtly in other areas, and more broadly. I came across this essay, although it's somewhat old. This group might find it interesting as well: http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/r...-liberals-think He hits on many of the same topics that Sowell does in his Conflict of Visions, but in a much shorter form. I really struggled to understand the actions and philosophy of many modern Liberals and progressives until I read that Sowell book. So many things became clear of how they viewed the world and tried to operate within it.
  23. Film noir

    A really good list, Rose! I'll highlight The Big Sleep and Key Largo as two fantastic movies. It's not just the cinematic quality and the visuals, like The Third Man does so well, but those two have wonderful characters, smart dialog, and an overall feel that comes through.
  24. Atlas Shrugged Movie: A Roman Copy of a Greek Original

    Heh! I should have read this thread more carefully. I was waiting for the magazine to arrive and hadn't checked for the online review. I realize the movie, and no movie, can ever be as I interpret the book in my head. From the review they have done some smart changes to bring it to the screen and allow it to feel relevant. Unfortunately there's some execution lacking. Really hoping to go see it, if only to support the director and his efforts.
  25. A recent discussion raised this question - what is a rational reason to have children? I can bring up wants or emotional reasons. Even a curiosity as to what your genetics would do, or the chance to try your hand at parenting. However from a strictly objective perspective, children are a guaranteed cost emotionally, physically, and financially. They are a potential benefit emotionally. By that math, there would seem to be no rational reason to have children. I have to say I somehow feel life would be incomplete without having a family, yet that appears to be a purely emotional statement. I cannot state in clear terms a convincing reason to invest the time and effort into children - children who are liabilities and take a minimum of 18 years to turn into some unknown creature of unknown priorities. I'd really like to hear form objectivist parents like Betsy. How did you decide to have children and have you found it worth the effort, time, and finances?