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Everything posted by ParanoiA

  1. Why is it that believers in god can throw out arbitrary natural phenomenon and demand on-the-spot explanation by non-believers and then use their ignorance as proof they're wrong - yet non-believers can in turn question arbitrary god phenomenon to which believers cite ignorance (ie..god works in mysterious ways) and somehow it's *not* proof that *they're* wrong? I guess what I'm saying is..if it's valid to assume someone is wrong upon being stumped by a sidewinder then why doesn't this work both ways? I've asked literally hundreds of questions about god and nature throughout my life that were answered with shrugs and appeals to superior supernatural intelligence. Yet I never thought that was proof they were wrong. If we were required to understand everything about something before we believed in it, we would believe nothing. No one knows everything about anything. Everyone is ignorant about some of everything, at the very least. If I merely have to stump you to prove you wrong, then I can prove all of you wrong about everything.
  2. Yeah, because aliens intelligent enough build things to travel across the universe and explore aren't smart enough to consider the nature of other living things, right? They'll just make assumptions and land and act all surprised when we don't look and react exactly like them, right? I wouldn't be surprised if they watch us like we watch lions. There are a few exceptions, but most people don't walk up to lions to greet them. From a distance is just fine. Come to think of it, I'm that way about humans too...they're ok, from a distance.
  3. It should definitely be legal by precedence of spousal privilege. We have already determined that spouses enjoy an additional degree of privacy and protection from invasion by the state. This is partly why 'Law and Order' can create such great court room drama out of spousal testimony. You're making a lot of assumptions here about how we should all approach marriage, and using those assumptions to then determine legal status. That is akin to me saying Lima Beans should be legal because parents should be giving their children a variety of vegetables. No, Lima Beans should be legal because of freedom of choice, individual liberty, all that jazz. My point about vegetable diversity may have personal merit, but it has no legal merit and is not factual, and thus is forcing a personal preference onto others. Same with your personal views on marriage. I agree that trust is important. But it's not a legal condition. We don't throw people in jail because there's no trust in their marriage. The point of marriage may otherwise be for resource pooling. Or perhaps to create a family unit for their offspring, with complete disregard for each other. Or perhaps to facilitate the transfer of property without taxation. Or maybe just so they can run around saying they have a spouse. Any of these are perfectly valid reasons to get married. I would not do them myself, and I would advise anyone else not to as well, but I must not conflate my personal whims with legal consequences on others. Just something to think about. It's almost autonomic to merge personal preferences with politics without realizing how we're overriding personal choice for others.
  4. Much thanks for going to all the trouble Timo. But isn't the shift of color due to differences in gravity as opposed to differences in time? To be clear, my hypothetical involves no exaggerated change in gravity - no change in gravity at all in fact from our "actual" physical universe. Only the calibration of time is exaggerated here. Not sure if calibration is the right word. In our actual universe, you don't notice any difference in gravity when you climb down into a 20 foot hole. In my hypothetical, this is exactly the same. However, in our actual universe you also won't notice any difference in time when you climb down into that hole, but in my hypothetical the difference in time is staggering as you climb down the hole. The relationship between time and gravity is what I've changed in my hypothetical universe. Also, I'm trying to make sense of that article you linked. If I'm interpreting this correctly, this seems to say that if I'm standing at the surface looking down in the well, I will see a color shift toward red down there due to longer wavelengths. And this seems to me to say that if I'm standing in the well, looking up to the surface, I will notice a color shift toward blue up there, due to shorter wavelengths. If I have that right, then why am I not getting this part: Ok, now we're talking gravitational potential, instead of field. So maybe I'm confused because of that consequence. I don't know. But this seems to me to contradict the statements above...that I must be standing *in* the well (higher gravitational potential ?) for redshift to be observed - but then restates this to say the observer must be standing "uphill" from the source (the source being in the well). Clearly I'm not getting that.
  5. Well, not to beat a dead horse or further derail the thread, but the e-cig banning apparently passed in King County...I didn't realize that at the time. Argh! I don't know what's worse...the clear dismissal of my right to choose inherent in the first quoted statement, the social engineering confession in the second, or the juvenile servitude of the last. Young people need to "be protected from the products, while" mommy and daddy "figures out what to do with e-cigarettes". Yes, step in between the parents and the young people to protect them. I wonder how long it will be before the first conversations about state child rearing being "optimal" become mainstream...
  6. Well thanks for all the feedback. It's been helpful. Timo, I get your point about "seeing" things as opposed to "what actually happens". My questions in speculations are about fiction projects I fiddle around with. Apparently I like writing about things I know nothing about! I was curious about what is "seen" because that's crucial to presentation. Imagine how different a story would have to be told if we lived in different time frames but didn't realize it all, as opposed to living in different time frames and very much obviously noticing the effect. That would change pretty much everything about how life interacts, not just with humans. But "what actually happens" is every bit as important, obviously. I hadn't actually thought of perishables in such a scenario. Awesome. And now I'm fascinated about color and how things would change color as they ascended from my time pit to merge into the time frame of those looking down in the pit. Very cool. Any ideas how the colors from each time frame would change with respect to other time frames? I think someone mentioned a slower time frame producing a longer wavelength, resulting in more red?
  7. If the scale of time and its relation to gravity was exaggerated to the point that one person could stand in a 20 foot hole and their time frame move twice as fast relative to someone standing at the edge of it....would we even notice? I don't understand how light relates with gravity to determine if we could *see* someone moving faster because their time frame is faster relative to our time frame. Since the speed of light is constant, it seems like we could definitely see each other moving faster or slower, in our different time frames, but is that true? I'm sure I'm not asking that right. But maybe someone knows what I mean?
  8. And that creates the problem right there; this two pan balance scale approach to state sanctioned behavior - this is the tyrannical majority in action. You might weigh freedom and risk of harm fairly, but that doesn't mean your neighbor does - it doesn't mean anyone does anything other than banning anything they simply don't like, themselves. I prefer the direct harm model since it necessitates validating an interference based on some kind of observable damage. Even if my neighbor just doesn't like purple flowers instead of lawn grass, he has to demonstrate that my yard of purple flowers is causing direct, observable damage, that he has a right to be free from, in order to make a case to restrict my rights. We should start every legal proposition with this: Is it really my place to judge? Maybe follow that up with....Does this actually cause me personal harm? Do I have a right to not be harmed in this way? Something along those lines...
  9. And that's part of my point, right there. Moving the goal posts (not you). State and local governments all over the country are banning cigarettes smoking in public places (restaurants and bars for instance) based on the second hand smoke claims, which I do not dispute by the way. Hell, I even support banning smoking in public places on public property, due to second hand smoke issues. I do not believe others have a right to poison me very slowly. But e-cigs don't do that, and at the very least entirely depend on what you're vaporizing. The FDA's objection is actually a good one, or at the very least they're doing the job I expect. However, the FDA's objection has nothing in common with the ostensible reasons for banning smoking in public places by city and state governments. Cigarette smoking bans are about what's exhaled, while the FDA's objection is about what is inhaled. Well sure. Here's the first article I ran into a week or so ago. Stunning just how flippantly dissmissive they treat other's rights. They really haven't a care for you or your preferences. And notice how they don't even mention non-nicotine cartridges. They're entirely focused on the vaporizer delivery device, and there's a reason for that... http://www.tobacco-facts.net/2010/12/king-county-wants-to-ban-public-e-cigarette-smoking Yeah...a little different...imagine that. Go ahead. Read that again if you need to. Lord knows, I had to. That last line is exactly the mentallity I was talking about above - because it "makes it very difficult for inspectors" to bust real acts of air poisoning, we're just going to have to deny the rights of a minority so it's not so 'hard' for them to enforce. That's not freedom from harm, that's whimsical tyranny providing freedom at the expense of others. They actually advocate removing your right to do something because it might look like you're doing something else. Wow, I have to answer for other people's interpretations of my behavior? Seriously? Did someone fool me into reading an Onion article? No? How freaking depressing... Ha! The FDA says there's no way of knowing if an e-cigarette product doesn't contain nicotine? Then how do they detect nicotine at all? This is a setup argument to frame the ban around the e-cig delivery device, to avoid the pain of enforcing a ban on nicotine cartridges - since that would make it harder. That's like banning plastic cups for children because there's no way to know if there's alcohol in them or not. Or banning salt shakers since you can't be sure I'm not sprinkling crack on my green beans. Yeah. Kids might want to start vaporizing candy liquid. Then what's the problem? It's vapor. It's candy. None of this factually links nicotine to youth in the least. If anything, it could ruin the appeal of nicotine liquid since it isn't needed and has so many side effects. It might create the inadvertent effect of a mass exodus of carcinogen intake creating a whole new habit of harmless candy vaping. But we won't know, because we're too scared of what people might choose all on their own. I wish I could find some transcripts and articles from the radio and newspapers here locally, but I'm not finding them. The Kansas City star had a front page story on it, just last week I thought and I about read the whole article before I got checked out at the counter. I'll keep looking.
  10. Not true. There are nicotine cartridges, and there are non-nicotine cartridges. Even for nicotine cartridges, actual nicotine delivery is in question, let alone any nicotine present in the expelled water vapor - not to mention how much could be delivered second hand if it even exists. I will concede that it likely does, however. Hard to see how it couldn't. Even futher, e-cigs are not banned or even talked about being banned based on the type of cartridge. And mark my words, they never will either. This is the part that really pisses me off too...but I'll wait til my cynicism is validated before I actually turn red...but banning nicotine liquid use is 'really super duper hard' for the government to enforce, so they will ban e-cigs outright so they don't have to go to the trouble to figure out who's actually poisoning the air. They'll just ban it for the minority that uses them harmlessly too, without regard for their rights because the majority doesn't think it's a big deal. We never think it's a big deal to ban stuff we don't engage in. My boss uses an e-cig, and vaporizes cappucinno liquid with it - not a bit of nicotine present, and she uses it as a cessation device. It's just a matter of time until some idiot is offended by it and makes her stop. And why? For the same reason they're trying to ban them here in Blue Springs and Kansas City: Because of the ignorance of the offended, not by reality at all. I guess we only defend the rights of minorites when it's romantic and fashionable. Since we don't have sob stories of wronged e-cig users smoking chocolate water then there's nothing to defend here that looks cool and enlightening. A poem for my anti-personal-choice people, although I'm sure ya'll have read it before: First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. -- Martin Niemöller Yeah, for me, quitting smoking required quitting the whole bit. I've never bought into the whole nicotine delivery replacement mechanism to quit smoking. Patches, e-cigs, none of it. But e-cigs are not marketed as a cessation device, though I'm sure they'd like to. Personally, I'd find it both amusing and depressing to walk around public places with one, infuriating moral busy bodies looking for something to complain and cry about. Second hand smoke was the argument, not the reason for anti-smoking laws. If you understand that, you'll understand every silly excuse the anti-smoking crowd will now use to ban e-cigs - from the precious "children" to "toxins", your right to choose is an abomination to the professional my-problem-is-your-problem crowd.
  11. Yeah this is only the umpteenth thread on this topic. You can browse through the threads and see us identify ourselves over and over again. You can always count on truly honest people to remain honest. And perhaps after soaking in those arguments, you might get the logic too. Also, you might note how most of the posters in this thread that support marijuana legalization are *not* in the culture at all. Your confirmation bias apparently missed that. Culling contrary information is no way to build a belief system. So many directions to go here...I'll stick with personal liberty appeals for the moment. But you could really use some heavy doses of Robert Anton Wilson to shake up that certainty of yours. Question: Why do you feel it's your place to deny people the right to do something that you sincerely believe is bad for them? I sincerely believe that eating fatty foods, sugar cereals and high carb items are bad for people. Sure, it doesn't kill out right, but like a virus, the most contagious virus doesn't kill the host, but weakened it, enabling the virus to spread. But we still allow people to make these bad decisions. Why do we do that? I once convinced myself my wife and kids were dead. I did this for artsy reasons that I'm sure you'd think is silly, but I got exactly what I was looking for out of the experience. I wanted to get as close to the anguish and despair and total loss of such a tragedy, to feel utterly hopeless and disconnected to current events and responsibilities - nothing anyone could see as positive or good for me. Should that be banned as well? I went to the grand canyon earlier this year for family vacation. I am deathly afaid of heights, yet I could not wait to face it and be afraid. I wanted to feel that woozy, sickly, "oh my god I can't do this" feeling, and relish being irrationally frightened. (Well, not totally irrational because tens of people have died from falling in just this century.) Should that be illegal? Eventually I want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I want to know how it feels to race to the ground, with a very real chance of dying. I need to know that I could die, even if it's somewhat a remote possibility. What is good about such a thing? These are experiences I wanted to have. Experiences that you have no right to deny since they do not affect you. Neither does drugs. Doing drugs creates experiences, good and bad, that we have a right to experience for whatever edification we mistakenly believe we'll get out of it. We have a right to be miserable. We have a right to *not* like the stuff you like. We have a right to seek out anguish and despair. We have a right to determine, for ourselves, what we'd like to experience out of life. You make a lot of assumptions, and you're very certain about them. But I doubt you've ever given any thought as to the implications of your assumptions. Your belief system appears to hinge on the idea that we all want the same thing out of life: to live as long as possible as healthy as possible. That's an *incorrect* assumption - grossly incorrect, in fact. Many of us want to experience as much as possible regardless of cost to health and longevity, and are more than willing to sacrifice years of our life in order to enjoy them. I would rather experience intensely and evanescent than eternally cautious. But you've decided that it doesn't matter what I want. You've decided that what you want for me is more important than what I want for me - without demonstrating any objective harm to anyone else. How does one become so certain of their interpretation of reality, that they would force their moral beliefs onto others? I'm sure you won't mind when I support banning fats, sugars, fiction based entertainment, driving, being in the cold without a coat, You've demonstrated such a level of arrogance and disrespect for my one and only lifetime here, that I hope you understand when I vote to ban everything you love. I hope you have to visit your children in prison because they got caught eating cookies made from real butter - then maybe you'll have an idea how it feels to jail people for smoking plant matter. Of course, I wouldn't really go along with such things. The government counts on that. They specifically want us to turn on each other, and it's exactly what we're doing. People run around *looking* for something to be offended by; *looking* for something they can outlaw and restrict. Look at E-cigarettes - completely solves the problem of smoke and therefore second hand smoke. Nothing but odorless water vapor - but they still want to ban them from being used in public places. Why? Capitalism answered the call for a solution to the problems of smoke and burning matter. The whole drive to ban smoking was specifically linked to the smoke from burning tobacco. In comes a remedy, but out goes common sense. Once again, a minority is denied equal rights and no one fights for them. Exactly how we do things in America... No, I won't play that game, even though you will. I won't deny you the things you like just because I think they're weird and disgusting. Well, I did say laws have very little to do with it. But let's examine this a bit. How does its legal status effect people? I see at least two types: One, people that are scared to break laws, to counter the government. Two, people who depend on government to tell them what is good or bad for them, based on their legal status. You sound like that first type, and I respect that. After all, I would rather people just obey laws against murder and not try to reason around them. Of the folks that refrain from doing illegal drugs because they're illegal, the second type is far more prolific in my opinion. I say that because that's the pyschology of the average american. How many times have you heard someone say (including yourself) "well the government wouldn't let them just screw me" just before signing that pile of paperwork to buy your house? How many times have you heard someone flippantly proclaim the need for a law when they discover something might be bad for somebody? I do take your point, but it's still muddy to me since so many people look to the government to legitimate good and bad. This is, of course, egregiously wrong and frighteningly dangerous. Just imagine all the things people are doing because they think government regulates good and bad - like drinking. All of those poor people out killing themselves with alcohol, misled by their own mental inventions - when they could be enjoying something far more innocuous in comparison, like marijuana or a rainbow of pharmaceuticals.
  12. I guess I'll just hope that when the government decides to make the people their subjects, that they're not smart enough to label the opposition movement as obscene. It seems everyone has some magical line in the sand for freedom of speech that seems to hinge on a lack of imagination by corruption.
  13. I don't know people who refuse to do drugs because they're illegal. They refuse to do drugs because they're scared of them, or don't even want to try - laws have very little to do with it. However, laws have everything to do with creating the criminal, violent element we all now associate with drugs. That's how the rules are created and disputes are resolved in a black market - guns and violence. Rules and disputes in a legal market use court rooms and freedom of choice - like everything else we buy and sell. Even if you could get hooked on a drug the first time, no one can demonstrate how abstinence laws will make that better. When have they made drug use safer? The only working method of making drugs safer is when their manufacture and indulgence is protected by the state and then subsequently regulated by the state - like everything else we buy and sell. You can make demands to Phillip Morris, or force aspirin manufacturers to make safer tamper proof bottles - but you can't get illegal drug dealers to stop lacing their product with rat poison. For criminals, making drugs illegal gives them an entire industry - last I heard a 90 billion dollar a year industry. Just handed to them. Wow. We create crime and then act all shocked and surprised about it. I think I've made this point before...that "passing laws" is a pyschological game people engage in to pacify their conscience - if we "pass a law" then we've "done something", so we believe. When nothing gets done, we pass even more laws, presumably so we can "do even more somethings". I'll tell you what, shake the hand of a rehab counselor, they are the only ones doing anything about the drug problem.
  14. And why exactly is that? I tend to agree with the observation, but I've become ever more curious and suspicious about culture in general. On the one hand, culture is set of restrictions, social agreements and standards - the pack expecting assimilation by new members in order to be accepted. I resent that on a very fundamental level. F**k you if you don't like how I live, I didn't ask permission for a reason - that sort of thing. After all, I thought the pride of america was this unapologetic approach to liberty and diversity - that we got a little of everybody over here, the best minds from all over the world. But on the other hand, without some measure of cultural assimilation we risk losing established principles that define a nation - like a reverence for personal freedom, or tolerance, or whatnot. I've long been dissappointed that we import citizens from counties that seem to appreciate our freedoms on the surface, in their words, but their actions are more in line with where they came from, not where they're at. Albeit anecdotal, I have friends whom immigrated from Vietnam and while they vehemently rage against communism, they have no issues at all with using the same tactics as the communists, only using them to advance freedom. Statements to illustrate contradiction, like "liberty at the point of a gun" go nowhere with them. They have no problems interfering and stripping your liberties in order to flush out communism. And they frequently advocate putting democrats in jail for socialist policies. Now, I typically laugh off the shock value of such positions. But I have to say, it's conflicting to see immigrants from countries that don't hold freedom and liberty in the same esteem (or romance?) as our nation's history has suggested, and to subsequently see them gleefully invoke this irreverence at the polls, and support politicians that also put such ideas aside. And it's just as conflicting to hear my fellow countrymen lecture immigrants on how they should live "around here". Somehow, there must be a way to impart the principles of the republic on new citizens, while simultaneously dropping the expectation that they act like the rest of us. Is that possible?
  15. Funny how you ridicule and challenge their IQ in the second paragraph while you're the one puzzled in the first. Gee...it's almost like you're wrong about that second bit, which is why you're puzzled at that first bit...ain't it? Any other broad groups of people you'd like to stereotype and ridicule? Looks like those New Englanders discovered a bit of class, dropped the pretense and got to know their new neighbors. Maybe you should give it a try?
  16. I hear ya. I've been trying to eliminate taxes on food for the same reason. The government making money off people being immoral and gorging themselves with unhealthy food is nothing we should approve of. Also, people who sell their bodies for minimum wage, making Subway sandwiches, or people working for a corporation for eight hours a day. It's immoral that people have to prostrate themselves and be separated from their families for such immoral lengths of time. But, people disagree with me about what is moral and what is not. I see nothing moral about obese people eating hungrily right in front of my children. It influences them and makes them think eating like that is ok. And then people who refuse to cover their hands, is completely immoral, and has lead to society where no one covers their hands except when its cold. Why can't we make people be moral with laws? Right now the government is making a lot of money off people being immoral. Excellent observation. In fact, it's the "gateway" to greasy, fatty foods right? Of course, your logic here also seems to imply that supporting Obamacare while simultaneously supporting any lifestyle choice that runs counter to "living as long as possible" is therefore undermining that support. As much as I hate Obamacare, I don't think that's fair. I still reject any state imposed obligatory charity to cover my medical bills as somehow a justification for regulating my lifestyle in lieu of those costs. I didn't ask for your charity. Citizens should have the right to live as short and unhealthy as they want, as sloppy and ridiculous as they can imagine.
  17. Well I doubt anyone thinks giving a "loony" a gun is a good idea. Law abiding citizens, though, hell yeah. Give every law abiding citizen a gun and you'll effectively equalize the power between the innocent and criminal element, at least as long as they're carrying their gun. Another reason why is because police can't be there for your emergency. They can only be there to take notes after your dead. It's immoral to deny anyone the means to protect themselves. There's a couple of reasons "why" giving every law abiding citizen a gun is a good idea. No loonies though, that one won't work very well.
  18. Judge Napolitano and Shepherd Smith are on Assange's side as well. Actually, everytime I tune into Freedom Watch the judge says something about the unfair campaign against Assange. And I have to say, my mind is changing on the subject. Probably just more crystalized, actually. I still believe that, morally, he's responsible for lives he puts in danger by the release of confidential information. If people die as a result of it, their blood is on his hands as much as anyone else in the document smuggling chain. But I'm guilty of focusing on the messenger too. And, now I'm really not sure where to stand on government agents releasing government secrets. It almost appears to be an ends-justify-the-means necessity. If the government is colluding against the interests and principles of the people, then leaking such evidence is heroic and exactly what we want. If the government is operating in the interest of its people in compliance with our national principles, then leaking strategic "secrets" is treason and is a valid national security threat. I also remain ambivalent about commenting on legal charges. The media doesn't have the same access to all of the information state investigators have, nor do they possess the same charge and authority; the legal accountability and duty to truth and justice - things the profit motivated media cannot match. It is foolish to debate details of these charges outside of the context of speculation.
  19. Then the same holds true for inbreeding, potentially. If we can screen and predetermine the likelihood of an affliction, that will help them make a decision. But it still doesn't create a magical partition between inheritable disease and inbreeding - they both create the same dilemma of possible affliction in their offspring. So do you go Orwellian here and require genetic screening and subtending legal hoops so you can block all procreation that carries possible afflictions for the offspring? Is this not a form of eugenics? I agree. But we're talking about law here, so our personal morals are irrelevant. Well, it's an honest answer I can respect. I would ask you give it more thought; about liberty and personal choice and how we all measure our lives by different standards and we all have a unique set of requirements for happiness. Some of us want to live as long as possible, while some of us want to live as *much* as possible. Try not to outlaw being weird. Thanks.
  20. Oh, then you're also "all for" denying procreation rights for anyone with potentially genetically inheritable mental and physical afflictions then, right? No mating for those with Down Syndrome or Haemophilia, right? Not to mention, I could use that logic to make a case against every cancer victim that procreated after they were diagnosed. Or hell, for that matter, everyone with cancer in their family that procreates is assaulting people not yet conceived. And that's just breaking the surface of inheritable disease. And we still have non-disease related inheritable physical and mental afflictions too. Inbreeding increases the *chances* of afflictions, just as cancer victim procreation increases the *chances* of afflicting their offspring with cancer. No, laws on this are silly and the subsequent violation of principle is far more damaging to a free society than the potential achievement of prosecuted weirdos. This is the job of culture, to provide the appropriate level of shame and keep it on the fringe. Nothing to see here.
  21. ParanoiA

    Pick a side

    I do agree with the FPTP indictment, and Mr Skeptic has been all over that for a long time. However, I'm not sure I have a problem with divisionism. Well, maybe I should back up and refine that to "contentionism" - is that a word? I used to think our division came from the romance of our country's birth; the philosophical ideas that were part of the plot. It's easy to see how some could revere and exalt this history and find insult in any ideology that doesn't embrace those original tenents utterly. Hence, republican passion for Constitutional authority and Democratic passion for legislative hegemony. I do believe our ferocity in debate and lack of tendency for compromise is good. Too much focus is on compromise - even right now. Some are probably saying "WTF?" But we know our government is not built for efficiency, it's built for inclusion and thorough debate. Missing that point is what I think drives this insistence on compromise. Also, if you consider the time congress spends in sessions, and the lack of *need* to make law, after law, after law - then it should make sense that they have the time to fight about most everything. Americans are resolute. An american will never let ignorance stop them from drawing a conclusion. Trust me on this. And when people are certain of themselves, and are accustomed to doing this when in complete ignorance of a given subject, you get passionate divisionism. Well that's my one cent...not quite worth two, sorry.
  22. We get physical and mental problems from smoking and drinking too, among countless other activities. It still doesn't make the case for denying others the right to have physical and mental problems. This is usually the point at which someone will inevitably point out that we have to cover their medical costs - to which, I have to pre-reply that by that logic, every single behavior is on the table for denial and regulation, starting with Twinkies. Well said. Bravo.
  23. Less power means more dead people per conflict. Look at the death totals for WWII and consider the difference our 21st century modern army could have accomplished. It's essentially the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force that *must* start with overwhelming hardware. One of the things we've learned, morally, is that we'd rather war with economies than human lives. That's why I hold a kind of grudge against the Reagan opposition that criticizes his spending outside of the context of the cold war arms race. Reagan transferred the battle from young men and women dying on foreign soil to thinning our wallets. It sucks, but it's better than actually physically fighting. That's also not to say we should promote all out military avarice, but meeting the critieria of overwhelming force *does* require many nations to invest if it is to be multi-national. But we don't have that kind of even handed participation. So do we abandon overwhelming might, and fall back on incredibly high death tolls using evenly matched opposing armies? I don't think so. Let's spend money on shiny, impressive hardware that dissuades aggressors in the first place. And what ways achieve peace that we're not already using? There is already a massive and cruel bureaucratic, yet politically correct buffer between acts of war and response of war. How many people have to die from international sanctions before war becomes the morally superior option? I'm serious, I'd like to know what you have in mind here for peace that we "haven't explored fully". A single atomic bomb killed 70 to 80 thousand people in Hiroshima. And that's over 60 years ago. Now, magnitudes more than that can be felled with the push of a button (or maybe a click of a mouse?). One guy could live in all of Canada and remove China and its 1.2 billion fighters from the map with nothing but hardware, costing him mere moments of finger pushing. This is a fundamental driver for man to make tools - to accomplish more work with less manpower. Your rationale resembles the eternal pacifist. Born to serve anyone with might. I'm going to guess you've never spent time in a concentration camp?
  24. So many problems with this paragraph, so I'll pick and choose my battles here. First, if I lost my savings, then where did this bailout money come from? The government's money is the tax payer's wallet. The short answer is: the winners bailed out the losers. One person's savings is lost, one person's is not. And that must be, because money doesn't get "lost", it flows to someone else. That someone is taxed, in one form or another, and their money flows back to the treasury. You're trying to make believe here that everyone was going to suffer and we got bailed out by a space alien with his own american currency. No, that was our money to bail us out. It's always been our money. "our" and "us" consists of the american taxpayers - some of us lost more, some of us won more, some of us didn't even notice. All government does is confiscate citizen property and redistribute it in consolidated or concentrated forms - such as the bailouts. Same here. Those who trade liberty for security deserve, and will get, neither. All bad debt should have been purged. But it wasn't, so we'll keep making more and more bubbles and they'll bust faster and faster. Fraudulent credit does much of this. You mean like how one business swallows another? Yes, that's called capitalism. Capitalism does not forgive bad debt and poor investment. You don't have a problem with it when it's some business you didn't invest in, or some factory you never knew existed - but suddenly when it's a market ALL of us are invested in (housing), well now we can't have that. Yes, we must make ourselves an exception - we're too good and precious to play fairly. So we invent notions of exception to make it ok to steal from the winners to pay for the losers. We called it bailouts. Using fear, uncertainty and doubt to scare the american people into selling liberty for illusions of security. FUD works. Works real well. What needs to be done is to have an actual free market, with actual honest banking. I'm not sure the financial crisis could have happened without fractional reserve banking - the heart of the easy credit without substance problem that enabled these mortgage products.
  25. Your logic here appears to only include wealth creators as a free market ideal. And that people who make money by trade, not wealth creation, are exploiting the wealth creators - and even if you don't mean this as a value judgment, it's wrong. We've had this conversation before, and I reject your ideal because you haven't yet accounted for the value in consolidation and redistribution. Wealth creators find it hard to trade their wealth when 99.9% of the world is out of their practical reach. It's retailers, the people who create ZERO wealth, yet gather and distribute this wealth via their retail, even corporate, model. While this is not wealth created from the dirt of the earth, it is immeasurably valuable to wealth creators and our entire standard of living, and any good economic performance is dependent on it. They are contributing to the market just as wealth creators are. You call this exchanging something less of value, for something more of value - that's because you forgot the value the retailer ADDED to the wealth created. Yes, that's the problem. When we are narrowly looking at the "change" in taxation, it enables statements like "we're handing rich people 700 billion dollars from the rest of the taxpayers", without any reference to the billions being handed to the poor, the middle class, and etc. When we look at the whole system, that statement stands out for its disingenuous, and unfinished conclusion - instead, "we're handing poor people and middle class folks less money than before while the rich still get handed the least". You have to purposely choose a narrow, strategic point to analyze in order to make that statement. The rich still pay more taxes, and at a higher tax rate, and get handed the least amount of money by a spend happy government. The poor still pay the least in taxes, and a much lower rate, and get handed the most amount of money by a spending government. Only social value judgments enable a majority to deny equality to a minority like that. Hello, gay marriage. Hello, the rich. We love to bash our minorities with subjective exception logic while we shake our heads reading our history books about our ancestors doing the same. Easy. What I write down is my analysis of the events that I care about - spending 5 dollars. That's because what I write down is dictated by the system I'm analyzing. I don't care about how many blue things I bought, so I don't write that down. I don't care about how much I spent before taxes, so I don't write that down. Instead, I write down the total of how much money I spend or made because my interest is narrowly fixed on that. And I don't, then, pretend as if I didn't go to the store twice, paying more the first time. Now, did I go spend 5 dollars? Or did I spend 10 and receive 5 dollars back later? You're still conflating arbitrary points of analysis with real behavior and responsibility. That the rich now get to keep 700 billion dollars says nothing about how much every other tax class is getting. That's just a summary of analysis of the "change" in taxation, without any consideration for the whole damn system. It's politics. If the poor were paying 35% in taxes, and the rich were paying 20%, and someone lobbied to reduce tax on the poor to 30%, I hardly believe you'd hear that characterized as "billions of dollars being handed to the poor". Suddenly, everyone's analysis skills would include the whole system. Somehow, none of my arguments above would be necessary.
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