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Everything posted by oldsalt

  1. Ansett deregulation commercial

    I suspect that the cause of so much failure in business (both within the context of deregulation, and elsewhere) isn't so much a lack of reason, but the premises underlying that reasoning. Having gone through the supposed deregulation of energy in California, I also suspect that one set of regulations were merely replaced with a whole new set.
  2. Ideological Reeducation, part 2

    Thank you, Scott. That was helpful; you've given me something to think about. UPDATE: This article by Joanne Jacobs has some interesting tid bits we haven't heard before. Give that girl a Cupie Doll!
  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Congratulations, and may you sail with the wind at your back.
  4. NBC's "Green is Universal" Campaign

    I've read some "scientists" who give numbers on how many people need to die to make human life "sustainable." "It's hard!" they explain, but you know, eggs ... omelets, and all that. No serial killer or mass murderer was as vicious as these people, or as dangerous. There's one thing about a philosophy of suicide: it naturally peters out. NBC began their very special week by announcing the Sunday football game in the dark. They darkened the stadium for the pre-game, and half-time shows--except for a very bright Toyota sign. Of course, if they were serious, they'd shut down the company. Nowhere eats energy like Hollywood, so all those dedicated activist celebrities need to turn off the lights and stop producing television and movies. Out with all the greedy, energy gulping mouthpieces, and the limos they rode in on.
  5. Mars is Green

    Within the environmental movement, we have now come full circle and are worshiping the old pagan gods Gaia, Mars, Luna, etal, to an extent that would stun the ancients; no ancient would have made that which is required for human survival to be taboo. It is a religion that conflates the old nature gods with Christianity and every other bit of faithful ignorance that can be sandwiched in without reason. Saying this is a return to the primitive insults primitives. The primitives were trying to placate forces they didn't understand, to gain some kind of control over their environment. There is no excuse for someone like Sagan? Makes you wish there really was a hell to give Kant and crew what they deserve.
  6. Happy Birthday to RayVernagus

    Happy Birthday to Ray. Too bad we don't see you around anymore!
  7. Top Five Most Beautiful Cars

    My husband sends his thanks. Same here.
  8. Happy Birthday to B. Royce

    It would also be nice if I could manage a simple format.
  9. Happy Birthday to B. Royce

    When I see the name Brian Royce, My heart leaps and I rejoice. His words get me thinking, Keeps my spirits from sinking, And makes me wish I weren't such a clod with words so I could finish this properly. I'm a big fan, but no pretenses here. You're the poet, not me, and I beg your pardon if I made yours ears hurt. But I do wish I had the talent to thank you properly for the gifts you give on a regular basis. Thank you, and Happy Birthday!
  10. Ideological Reeducation, part 2

    Of course it is a good thing! And Dr. Peikoff is absolutely right. One thing that happened to UD is that their alumni complained loudly and threatened to end their donations. That is just one part of what happened at Antioch. It is one thing to advertise what is happening, another to give the underlying cause. Think what Miss Rand would have made of the Antioch story. A rehearsal of the facts would have come first, but that would have only been the beginning. She would have proceeded to to explain why. We've had stories about the phony rape case at Duke, the loathsome Ward Churchill, the University of Delaware, Antioch. There are others, and each story is treated differently, as though it were some unique event, when we know that all of these cases have the same cause. Antioch is only the most overt example of this philosophy. I'm just trying to work out in my mind what would be the best way to pull these stories together, along with others I've read about elementary, middle and high schools, and give a explication of that which makes them the same story, whatever their particulars.
  11. Ideological Reeducation

    I think Phil has a valid point. The thing is, if we lived in a world where this were philosophically understood, and politically possible within our society, we probably would never have found ourselves in this war in the first place. We would have made the consequences of attack perfectly clear. The enemy would never have progressed beyond the 1979 taking of American hostages. This, too, is a fact. It must not be be ignored because it is a fact. It is also a fact that no American president is a dictator who can decree a course of action and have it carried out. A president must have the backing of the country, and he must have people in government willing and able to take the necessary steps. I am reminded of a scene from The Guns of Navarone. David Niven's character spent most of the movie with a cynical, above the war attitude, until Gregory Peck's character finally told him, as they were running and hiding from the Germans hunting them down, that he was in it whether he liked it or not. It is one thing to advocate for the ethically right way to fight, but that doesn't remove us from the war being fought. The enemy doesn't give a damn what you think, and would love to saw your head off, or blow you up no matter your philosophy. I'll tie this to the thread: The fact that anyone could have even conceived of that "treatment" of students at UD, much less implimented such a program tells us of just how far away from the proper understanding of what ought to be done.
  12. Happy Birthday to JJPierce

    I add my wishes for a Happy Birthday, and many happy returns of the day. Rand and Kafka! Surreal.
  13. The Aristocracy of Pull

    From a WaPo article: James Taggart was a piker.
  14. Ideological Reeducation

    That's too bad, Rick, because our communities desperately need rational agents. Your own complaint about Annapolis shows that much. But one must actually be rational, not rationalistic, if one is to do any good. Rand, not Kant.
  15. Ideological Reeducation

    Wondering what the hell I meant by that? Well, it's just a bad formulation and there's no two ways about it. It sounded much better in my head. I'm getting too tired, but I really haven't lost my mind.
  16. Ideological Reeducation

    Thank you Jack, for contributing to the discussion. As usual, you add true value. To get back to the original purpose of this thread, the doings at UD, I think that the example set by FIRE is an important one. It is too bad that the various sites run by Objectivists are so busy arguing with each other. It makes it difficult to combine forces on something like this, where we could apply our abstractions to reality to effect the small victories so necessary for the big one.
  17. Ideological Reeducation

    They conveyed the philosophy of others, as I said. A doctorate in philosophy does not make one a philosopher, nor does it confer the brains to fully understand what it is one has accepted. That doesn't lessen the evil consequences, of course, but it does make me hesitate to wipe out everything these men accomplished and damn them as evil, any more than I damn Locke because his metaphysics, epistemology, and somewhat peculiar view of Christian ethics wiped out the political theories that allowed for the foundation of this country. When I was first introduced to Kant, I thought he sounded like the voice of reason in a mob that had clearly gone off the deep end. It was years and years before I really understood why he was wrong, and it took Ayn Rand AND Drs. Peikoff, Binswanger and Ridpath to bring me to that understanding. He used all the right words, after all! Freedom. Representative government. Individualism. It was a long time before I understood what he really meant by these concepts, and that what he meant served as a death-knell to freedom, individualism and representative government. You have a good week-end, too.
  18. Ideological Reeducation

    Rick, you have a valid argument to make about the things that are taught. It has taken you this long to get to the crux of the argument. As I asked you above, do you expect Bancroft, or anybody else for that matter, to understand the evil of Kant's ethics when no one else did? Before Objectivism? At a time when the prevailing ethics was no different? Look, I agree that it is evil. We are facing consequences that are dangerous to the country, and therefore, to each one of us. It needs to be changed. A part of what we are doing is trying to change things. It will not start with Annapolis in particular, however much I would personally like to see it. We can point to the entire world and shout evil, but it will not change the world. That will only be done one person at a time. I can only speak for myself, but it is my love of country, and its military, that makes me work with military personnel, one individual at a time, to help them understand why we seem to be able to do little more than muddle along. I cannot in justice call men evil who have done nothing more than live within their times and prevailing philosophy. That is the history of the world. Very few people are innovators (else we would have had more than the three A's advocating reason). Very few people understand what Kant actually means when he talks about freedom and individualism, and they certainly don't understand the consequences. I certainly won't damn Bancroft for not understanding these things in 1835! As some one else mentioned, the concept of "duty" isn't new to Kant, but has long been a concept of ethics. Kant is the most malevolent advocate, but most people don't understand that. The ideas are evil, but in justice, I can not assign that epithet to someone who is, or was, mistaken in their understanding. By all means possible to you, work to change all of this if that is your focus. We need voices of reason everywhere and I commend anyone who takes on the job. I hope you'll forgive my unsolicited advice, but I suggest that you don't start the discussion by calling everyone in sight evil (especially someone with a CMH!), but start with organized, reasoned arguments against the ideas. You have to show people why the ideas are evil. That is simple respect for the mind of others; I can almost guarantee said mind will slam shut against you if you begin by attacking it. You've had a problem getting your point across to me and I agree with you about Kant!
  19. Ideological Reeducation

    So Admiral Stockdale was responsible for Clinton's presidency? This was an honorable man. He had no business in politics, but that in no way makes him evil. You seem to think that all of these people sat around rubbing their hands and plotting evil deeds. You make not allowance for context. Do you think that Bancroft and Mahan ought to have been Objectivists before the birth of Objectivism? Or that we should expect them to have come to conclusions that better men were unable to attain? They were military men, not philosophers. They mirrored the society around them, just as the military does today. Their mistakes do not make them evil. I submit that when someone volunteers to join its country's military, there is a certain duty that pertains. These people take an oath to serve their country and obey its representative above them. This is not a duty imposed from above, but taken on in full knowledge of the responsibility involved. No one at Annapolis was forced there. No one held a gun to the head of a volunteer and forced them to take the oath. I would also point out that the oath they take is to protect the Constitution of the United States, not some some particular dictator. You seem to lump everyone involved into one giant collective that thinks in lock-step, just as they march in lock-step. The military people I've known are not little drones. Nor are all officers members of an evil Borg, and justice demands that you do not damn everyone for the actions taken by any one of them. My father's reasons for his career were nothing like "a Duty to God, Country, Family." He didn't owe a duty to his country, but he loved it enough to value the job. He also thought it was important that honorable men serve to protect their own interests and values. I learned these things from him, before I ever heard of Ayn Rand. It was this Church of Christ Christian who taught me that my first duty was to myself. Perhaps I ought not to have listened to him, since he used the word "duty." Does your definition of America as a welfare state fighting an immoral war in Iraq (immoral because this administration thinks that building a democracy in the center of the Middle East will make us safer--a dubious premise, to say the least, but not completely incomprehensible) encapsulates the essence of this country? We are at war. We are at war because we were attacked. I don't like the conduct of this war any more than you do, but that doesn't mean that I think we can simply ignore the fact that we have enemies who are warring against us, even if we want to. They are not going to stop fighting us just because we refuse to fight back; we tried that for almost 30 years and the attacks against us only escalated. Are we to sit with our hands in our laps because this government isn't fighting the war the way we know it ought to be fought, or because previous administrations behaved the way they did? We do not exist in a vacuum. As individuals, we can speak out for the proper way to fight, for the moral rightness of fighting to win, and we can vote. Regardless of what we think, the fact remains that we are at war, a war precipitated by a lack of action on our part, but not a war we started. I'll close by saying that no one is holding a gun to your head, forcing you to serve in an institution you despise and consider evil. To paint those who do choose to train and serve as officers with the same broad brush, however, is unjust and disrespectful of the individual human mind.
  20. Ideological Reeducation

    UPDATE: Here is a letter from the president of UD, Patrick Harker, published today in the university paper: I'm sure a part of this is a response to alumni protests, among others. Whatever the pressures that prompted it, this letter is an exercise in a studied equivocation worthy of a politician. My own suggestion for supporting "the intellectual, cultural and ethical development of our students" is that they leave the students alone to study and live their lives, instead of demanding that time not spent in class be scheduled for "cultural and ethical" development.
  21. Consciousness conscious only of itself

    The two fundamental questions of philosophy are: what do we know and how do we know it. Kant answers that what we know are our experiences, the world as it appears to us (the phenomenal world). How do we know this? Man's mind is structured so that it dictates the content of what you perceive and think. It is your mind that tells you what you can know, what you can be aware of. So, what can man know? The world as it appears to him. How does he know it? Because his mind supplies it. Man doesn't look outside himself and perceive reality. He has no way to perceive reality. All he knows is how he experiences the appearance of reality, the what, and his mind supplies the appearance and dictates the what. He has no way to perceive the noumenal world and must rely on the content of his mind, which only gives him the phenomenal world, or the world of experiences dictated by the nature and structure of his consciousness. The "how" becomes the "what." For instance, in order to answer Hume's contention that there is no causality, Kant answers that of course there is, the mind supplies a causality category that brings order to the chaos of appearances. I hope that clears that up.
  22. Consciousness conscious only of itself

    If I understand correctly (with this being Kant, it's possible I don't ), the Analytic/Synthetic Dichotomy is an epistemological problem. Metaphysically, concepts aren't detached from reality, they are reality. We have no way to know reality out there. We create reality. "How we know" becomes "what we know." Concepts are the only reality there is, or better, the categories are the only reality there is. The categories are actually reified fundamental concepts (again, if I understand it correctly). Reason, with a capital R, is the God of this reality. Reason with a capital R has virtually nothing whatsoever to so with reason. This is what comes of giving metaphysical primacy to consciousness: it's deuces wild what anybody thinks, and who is in any position to gainsay another. What is left but to memorize the formulations of others and pray like hell they're right. Is it any wonder these people don't make sense? In a sane world we wouldn't have to waste time with this nonsense, because such people would be in Belview were they belong.
  23. Ideological Reeducation

    As I said above somewhere, just because someone is preached at doesn't mean they join the Borg. Good for you.
  24. Ideological Reeducation

    In this, the problem isn't what is happening to students at the universities, but what is happening to them in elementary school, which is a true horror. Virtually every subject is presented in perverted form within the context of collectivist ideology and environmentalism, even arithmetic!
  25. Ideological Reeducation

    Thank you so much for the link. Regarding the philosophic atmosphere at the time of the American Revolution: If you haven't heard Dr. Ridpath's excellent series of lectures on this time period, I recommend them, beginning with his comparison of Rousseau and Locke.