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Irontruth wrote:


We need NASA to provide us with advances that make new things possible.

You can successfully defend the claim that NASA has created new stuff that is used outside of the space industry.

But, what you have NOT done is proven that NASA is -required- in order to make new stuff that is used outside of the space industry or, even, that it is the -best- way to make new stuff that is used outside of the space industry.


And I stress that I'm not a conservative. I'm a libertarian. By the way those words are used in this forum, libertarian is very much not conservative because we stay the hell out of peoples' private lives.


A Man In Black wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:

There's no real value in reaching new worlds, though.

It puts no food on anyone's table. It puts no clothes on anyone.

You are posting this on a microcomputer which is the direct result of research done to make the last first-time trip to another world possible.

If you want me to believe that the only possible way the research required to make computers came about was space research you're going to have to try harder than that.

We had substantial computer research before the space program. There was a significant economic incentive to make computers more available and cheaper.


meatrace wrote:
The "long list of failed green businesses" is, I believe, 3 long.

Its a lot longer than three.

Solar Trust of America
Bright Source
Solyndra
LSP Energy
Energy Conversion Devices
Abound Solar
SunPower
Beacon Power
Ecotality
A123 Solar
UniSolar
Azure Dynamics
Evergreen Solar
the list goes on
Not that this should surprise anyone. According to a study by a Stanford University research fellow, 80% of DOE Green Energy loans went to Obama backers. It was cronyism at its finest.

meatrace wrote:
What is the middle class tax hike exactly?

Obamacare


Irontruth wrote:


I think that's really hard to judge accurately. I'll concede the returns aren't 14:1, like some suggest, but NASA research has led to a 98% reduction in wet road accidents where safety grooving has been implemented in California. NASA projects have extreme demands, it's where theoretical science and engineering meet with a lot of success and have given us a lot of technology. Going to Mars is also less violent than starting another war.

The safety grooving has also reduced plane crashes and meat packing plant accidents. And that is just one of many innovations (developed during the shuttle era as well, because the shuttles high speed landing made it more susceptible to hydroplaning).

Also, I'm not saying we should shift all of the military budget to NASA, but rather just doubling it, making it 1% of the total budget and devoting those funds to a Mars mission.

I'd like to see NASA's mission get shifted into promoting companies focused on private space missions such as they do with the Centennial Challenges. There is a lot of ways to do it, I'd want to see some data on the advancement rate of those challenges versus a more vertical integration of leadership,...

There's no real value in reaching new worlds, though.

It puts no food on anyone's table. It puts no clothes on anyone.

Yes, we need near earth space research (geared towards putting up communications/weather/etc. satellites as cheaply as possible). Beyond that, there's not much value. We didn't need NASA in order to create improvements in wet road tech.


A Man In Black wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
The video raises a lot of facts. For example, Obama's administration has NOT seen a surge of transparency. His administration continues to have high unemployment. He has backed a long list of failed green businesses. His time in office has given us a huge middle class tax hike.
I like how you can't even list examples from the video without at least one non-fact.

I like how you can't identify any non-fact.


meatrace wrote:

So...despite acknowledging that the video is filled (exclusively) with lies, half-truths, misinformation, et al., you feel it's important to bring this to our attention so that we expose ourselves to opinions different than our own.

Actually, going down the "bullet points" in this video, it's basically all fabrication.

I'll never get those few minutes back, and I blame you.

I didn't say that the video is filled exclusively with lies.

The video raises a lot of facts. For example, Obama's administration has NOT seen a surge of transparency. His administration continues to have high unemployment. He has backed a long list of failed green businesses. His time in office has given us a huge middle class tax hike.

In fact, this video has quite a lot of truth in it.

But, that wasn't my point. My point is that I'd like to see people being held accountable for their vote. To that end, I'd like to see people publicly post what they think their candidate will achieve in the next four years.


A Man In Black wrote:


Because the Founding Fathers had a bunch of lamebrained ideas. For example, Jefferson believed that the highest form of society was agrarian farmer-philosopher citizens. The only way a farmer has the leisure to also be a philosopher, though, is if all the farming is done by slaves.

There have been more than 200 years of philosophical, economic, and political thought since the founding fathers died. Try to keep up.

Jefferson's belief that a society of agrarian farmer-philosopher citizens is ideal is not and has not been in any way relevant to what is actually being discussed here - the value of libertarianism and objectivism.

Try to be relevant and topical.


meatrace wrote:

I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who calls foul on comparing modern times to the gilded age because it's so far in the past...then readily quotes from the "framers" of the constitution.

Either it's a different paradigm now and things need to be completely reevaluated, or it's legitimate to call on examples from the past.

I believe that we are in a different world and I'm fine with doing some reevaluation.

What makes us different is that, back in the so-called gilded age of the Industrial economies, we wealth was in our machines and in the people who owned those machines.

Now, our wealth is in our information and in the people who own that information. The most common way for the average person to improve their lot in life is for them to gain competitive skills and then have companies compete for their labor. Machines (which typically mean databases or workstations) are relatively cheap. In the past, the most common way for the average person to improve their lot in life was for them to luck into a job with a good company where they worked their entire life running expensive machines that other people owned.

How is that difference relevant to what the Founding Fathers said? How does it necessitate changing what the Founding Fathers said?


A Man In Black wrote:
Hey look. It's a political YouTube video! These are always educational and not filled with half-truths, misinformation, and straight up lies.

Yes, YouTube videos usually have half-truths, misinformation, and straight up lies.

Which is almost as bad as dismissing a political video -just- because its on YouTube. Exposing one's self to opinions different from one's own should lead to self-examination, not burying one's head further into the sand.


Irontruth wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
I largely agree, I'd rather see a significant portion of the military budget shifted to something like NASA. Doubling NASA's budget solely for the purposes of getting to Mars would have amazing effects on our economy in the long run. There are benefits to the military spending, but they're less than a lot of other things. Contracts with arms manufacturers create jobs, but the products themselves don't add to the economy much.
Actually if you're looking for spending that feeds back to the domestic economy, the better bet would be in investing in infrastructure which returns the most in basic jobs. and builds up general economy. Funding for NASA has it's place but the returns are not what it's advocates tend to claim.

I think that's really hard to judge accurately. I'll concede the returns aren't 14:1, like some suggest, but NASA research has led to a 98% reduction in wet road accidents where safety grooving has been implemented in California. NASA projects have extreme demands, it's where theoretical science and engineering meet with a lot of success and have given us a lot of technology. Going to Mars is also less violent than starting another war.

The safety grooving has also reduced plane crashes and meat packing plant accidents. And that is just one of many innovations (developed during the shuttle era as well, because the shuttles high speed landing made it more susceptible to hydroplaning).

Also, I'm not saying we should shift all of the military budget to NASA, but rather just doubling it, making it 1% of the total budget and devoting those funds to a Mars mission.

I'd like to see NASA's mission get shifted into promoting companies focused on private space missions such as they do with the Centennial Challenges.


As the election is coming up this is worth watching.

Makes me wish that people would video tape and publicly post (perhaps on Youtube) what they expect their candidate to accomplish in the next four years (assuming their candidate wins the election).


Grand Magus wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Take a look at this

.

I don't like it. That giant fat dude would get killed in an ancient battle field scenario.

Kinda like how rule 1 of Zombieland is: Cardio. Don't be fat.

.

Seriously? The guy is in little danger of ending up in an ancient battle scenario.


A Man In Black wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
The "parasites" of Objectivism are not the laborers/tillers/etc. Objectivism has no problem with them. Rand's protagonists worked collaboratively with them to everyone's gain. The "parasites" in Objectivism are others - people who "compete" by buying and manipulating government.

For example, the wealthy heir who ran his company into the ground, literally killing countless innocents when buildings built with his company's flawed copper fail, to make a political point?

Are you talking about Francisco? He wasn't responsible for anyone's death.


A Man In Black wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
To argue that "there is no Galt's Gulch for people to run off to anyway" is like arguing that there is no Lilliput. While factually correct, it misses the point.

The point is that if Rand's creative class neglects the needs of everyone else, they have to till the soil themselves. All of the "parasites" of Objectivism are laborers and consumers, and nobody gives a damn what magical properties Rearden Metal has if there's nobody to smelt it, nobody to build with it, and nobody to buy things made with it. The only way you have have the luxury to invent alloys is if you're not one of the people who spends their entire life exhausted from working in a refinery. "Individuals versus the collective" is a false dichotomy, because nobody is separate from the collective whole.

There is no Galt's Gulch because there is no separate class of singular individuals who could leave and devastate the collective with their absence. If you stop participating in society, nothing changes except for you. Science isn't predicated on singular individual inventions that were the work of one person and cannot be duplicated. (Remember, the main plot devices in Atlas Shrugged are perpetual motion and mithril.) They are less genius industrialists and more Tolkien Elves: we're expected to value their superhuman nobility, with only the sketchiest reasons to feel that they're noble or superhuman. Without those magical, superhuman inventions, the protagonists of Atlas Shrugged are just a bunch of self-absorbed a+$#~$%s who moved to the desert and starved to death shortly after the ending of the novel.

The moral of Atlas Shrugged is that we have to cater to the selfishness of selfish people, or else they'll go somewhere that their selfishness is better catered to. This is nonsense. There's nowhere for them to go.

Also Bob the Angry Flower is amazing and you should be reading it.

The "parasites" of Objectivism are not the laborers/tillers/etc. Objectivism has no problem with them. Rand's protagonists worked collaboratively with them to everyone's gain. The "parasites" in Objectivism are others - people who "compete" by buying and manipulating government.


A Man In Black wrote:


It's science fiction, dude. Atlas Shrugged is literally based on magic. It pretends that it's somehow meaningful if an entire class of people just pick up and leave for the Lands of the Valar, because they take their design for an elven magic perpetual motion machine with them. In the real world, science is advanced incrementally by many hands, industry doesn't revolve around a handful of singular actors (and, indeed, industry didn't work that way when Rand was writing, either), and there is no Galt's Gulch for people to run off to anyway.

But Objectivism? Objectivism is untenable (which is a nice way of saying completely insane nonsense) because it exalts perfect selfishness. Any time this runs into any problems they are handwaved away by claiming "rational" people wouldn't have those problems. "Rationality" is never clearly defined.

It's not anything like a coherent philosophy. Basing your life on it is as silly as basing your life on the philosophy of Valentine Michael Smith in Stranger in a Strange Land.

Atlas is fiction. No one is disputing that.

Shakespeare, Poe, Dickens, etc., also, all wrote fiction. They used that fiction as a way to clarify and address social issues. Rand does the same thing.

To argue that "there is no Galt's Gulch for people to run off to anyway" is like arguing that there is no Lilliput. While factually correct, it misses the point.


LazarX wrote:


You're wrong in your preamble. It's not a matter of priority, Objectivism totally dismisses the group. It's also an extremely selfish philosophy. The hero of the Fountainhead not only blows up buildings, he uses rape to build the romantic relationship with the female lead. She justifies his action with the viewpoint being that the only honest love is that which is done for one's own pleasure. Objectivism does not only reject groups, it puts severe strain on even the idea of one on one partnerships. In the movie Roark partners with two people, one winds up in disgrace, the other commits suicide.

1 and 2. are not easy questions that begat easy answers. That's what we've been spending the past few thousand years of trying to answer. I think we're making progress on those answers but we're not quite there yet. And we've got a fair amount of reverses on that record as well.

Since you've read Atlas Shrugged, please take your examples from that book. As I've said, I've not read the Fountainhead.

You claim that objectivism totally dismisses the group.

The Atlas Society states,

Quote:


we can reach a verdict on democracy in its most popular sense. In modern America, "democracy" is often used to denote liberal democracy, a political system in which the right to make political decisions is exercised by the people within a framework of constitutional restraints (this system is alternately called a democratic republic or a constitutional democracy). On the Objectivist view, the propriety of such a democratic political system depends on the nature of the framework of constitutional restraints that exist on political powers. If this framework is properly conceived, so that the protection of individual rights is its organizing principle and guiding purpose, then liberal democracy is a logical extension of Objectivist political principles.

So, rather than dismiss the group, objectivism embraces and supports the group.

You claim that objectivism is an extremely selfish philosophy. To the extent, and only to the extent, that objectivism asserts that

Quote:
one must be free to think independently and act on one's own rational judgment, and one must respect the freedom of others to do the same.

I agree.


LazarX wrote:


Fact of the matter is that a proper working society strikes a balance between the individual and the group, not totally skewing to one at the expense of the other.

So, its not that there is anything wrong with objectivism, you just don't agree with it. Specifically, you disagree with its notion that the individual is given priority over the group.

Of course, that raises two critical questions

1.) What is the difference between the group and the collection of individuals?

2.) How, exactly, are the needs of the group identified?


Scott Betts wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Speaking of libertarianism, I think of Ayn Rand. When you -read- her book, Atlas Shrugged, you find that the people John Galt was gathering were people whose work helped their fellow man. It was only when the government made it impossible for them to keep helping their fellow man that they walked away.
I've read both Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. And I was totally in love with them, until I turned like 18 and realized that objectivism doesn't survive application to reality. I still think they should be read, but they should be read by minds mature enough to recognize when a philosophy is practically untenable.

Why do you believe that objectivism is untenable? NOTE that I'm not saying you're wrong. I am asking, however, because there are an awful lot of critics of objectivism who don't really know what objectivism even is.


LazarX wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
LazarX wrote:


That's one way of reading it. Unfortunately Ayn Rand tends to overlook the multitudes of hands and minds involved in any one project, giving credit ONLY to those individuals she designates as prime creators. In her view point such creators are justified in taking any action they see fit.

Because they are the ones taking the risk. If they fail, they lose. No one else is put in that position.

And the money for those projects comes from where? In the Fountainhead it didn't come from Roark, he didn't have a dime. There seems to be some conceit the fact that he designed the building gave him some overriding right of ownership, an attitude which is completely unjustified by any logical, ethical, or moral sense.

And as far as risk goes... the character was not an expert dynamiter as the skills to take down buildings like that are not common and did not exist in those days. He was also risking the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be near the vicinity.

I didn't read the Fountainhead, so I can't speak to it. That's why I was speaking about Atlas Shrugged.


LazarX wrote:


That's one way of reading it. Unfortunately Ayn Rand tends to overlook the multitudes of hands and minds involved in any one project, giving credit ONLY to those individuals she designates as prime creators. In her view point such creators are justified in taking any action they see fit.

Because they are the ones taking the risk. If they fail, they lose. No one else is put in that position.


Take a look at this


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Speaking of libertarianism, I think of Ayn Rand. When you -read- her book, Atlas Shrugged, you find that the people John Galt was gathering were people whose work helped their fellow man. It was only when the government made it impossible for them to keep helping their fellow man that they walked away.

Libertarians believe that you can't outsource compassion for others. Libertarians believe that we all have a -personal- obligation to help those around us and Libertarians take this obligation very seriously.

Other political parties want you to believe that all you have to do is send tax money off to their politicians' cronies money pits of a joke charity. The result? Two research studies found that when help is given privately, 70% or more of each charitable dollar gets to a worthy recipient. But only 30% of each tax welfare dollar reaches the needy http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_2/21_2_1.pdf

That's the libertarian response - that aid will be delivered more effectively and efficiently to those who need it. Libertarianism is the only political platform that truly embraces charity and helping the needy. Rather than seeing it as just a means to an end - gaining votes and money.


meatrace wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Except unfortunately I'm fairly sure that sort of thing doesn't bother you as much as, like, schools not "teaching the controversy" over "intelligent design".
Yes, I think that "teaching the controversy" would be an excellent idea because I think that students need to be able to look at things like 'intelligent design' and critique it for its scientific merits (which, in my opinion, are none).

Then classrooms should teach that, just maybe, the moon is made of cheese!

They should teach that, just maybe, man never landed on the moon.
Just maybe, NaOH and HCl don't have a violent exothermic reaction.
Just maybe, eating fatty foods and getting no exercise is good for you.
Perhaps Abraham Lincoln was really a reptilian humanoid, who can say?

Sure, why not?

Science is not about memorizing/regurgitating scientific facts. It is about the scientific process.
So, why not start with the premise that the moon is made of cheese then teach students how to apply the scientific process to that hypothesis?


meatrace wrote:
If you take, what, 40-50 classes in a postsecondary career and maybe 5 instructors are overtly anti-American, does that make the entire university a mechanism for indoctrinating people against American values? No, it's a sampling of a variety of valid points of view.

I never said that the entire education process is forfeit. I said that indoctrination does happen. I gave examples of it happening. The question I rose is how to reduce its occurrence.


Quote:
I had a sociology professor who thought that Mother Jones was a valid social research journal.
Where, and which professor?

A professor who taught my "Sociology of Criminology" class at the University of Kentucky back around 1995. Admittedly, I don't remember his name.

Quote:
Quote:
I've had an anthropology professor who thought that white people in America had no culture.
An interesting take, but you seem to believe that a professor having an opinion is the same as a professor engaging in indoctrination. That's false.

Its indoctrination when the premise is built into the class - as it was - and shaped everything that was taught - which it did. The professor was Dr. Mary Anglin and the class was "Regional American Ethnography" back around 1995. To be fair, she made a single exception regarding white people having culture - Appalachia.

Quote:
I'm sure it does. But again, professors are allowed to have opinions. Indoctrination doesn't occur until students are punished for having defensible opinions which conflict with the professor's.

No. Its 'indoctrination' when a belief is taught as being beyond question - even if it is being taught tacitly.

Quote:
Quote:
And, for the record, redefining Pi to coincide with the Bible, blocking the teaching of evolution, and ignoring the role of gays in history are -also- examples of indoctrination where there should be education.
Good.

Really? So, you have no problem with my calling that indoctrination even though there was no mention of students being punished for defensible opinions?


meatrace wrote:


That doesn't mean that, objectively, some people aren't idiots.

-some-, yes. But, the majority of people aren't idiots.


meatrace wrote:


Except unfortunately I'm fairly sure that sort of thing doesn't bother you as much as, like, schools not "teaching the controversy" over "intelligent design".

Yes, I think that "teaching the controversy" would be an excellent idea because I think that students need to be able to look at things like 'intelligent design' and critique it for its scientific merits (which, in my opinion, are none).


Scott Betts wrote:
Indoctrination is never the goal of proper higher education. Rather, the goal is to teach students HOW to think. The ability to approach the world with a critical mind is the most important tool that an individual can possess, and it requires years of training.

I've been in classes in college where indoctrination was the unspoken goal. I had a sociology professor who thought that Mother Jones was a valid social research journal. I've had an anthropology professor who thought that white people in America had no culture.

You can argue as to whether this is 'proper higher education', but what you can't argue over is the fact that such things exist.

And, for the record, redefining Pi to coincide with the Bible, blocking the teaching of evolution, and ignoring the role of gays in history are -also- examples of indoctrination where there should be education.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Scott, do you want government to stop spending money (on anything that doesn't help you)? Do you want government out of your private life (but have no problem with the government meddling in other's lives)?

I'm betting you don't think that statement describes you. I'm betting that meatrace doesn't think it describes him either.

The people whom it does describe are always some indescribable "other" and, wouldn't you know it? That "other" is the majority.

That's the problem. We can't work towards anything constructive as long as we're paranoid of everyone else.

Yes, there are people who fit that description. But, the majority? I see no evidence of that. What I see is a bunch of voters acting paranoid that "the majority" fits that description.


Scott Betts wrote:


Our primary goal, as a society, should be to increase education levels. Nothing else. A tidal wave of funding should be made available to public education institutions. Nothing else - NOTHING ELSE - will make significant headway in solving the above issue. I will repeat: NOTHING except massive support for widespread public education will allow us to make faster-than-molasses progress on the issue of political awareness.

Depends on what you mean by "education". If you mean "indoctrination" (which is what a large amount of education has become) then I disagree.

The challenge is how to keep education from becoming indoctrination. There's no easy answer to that challenge as far as I know.


Scott Betts wrote:


Politicians do not create issues, by and large. That is a fiction. Politicians prioritize issues, and do their best to steer public discourse in a way that is favorable, but rarely do they fabricate them out of thin air. For instance, Obama did not create the issue of universal healthcare. Neither did Clinton. They merely steered discourse in a way that allowed them to take political action on those issues.

You are making the mistake of imagining political figures (including political candidates!) to be immensely powerful unilateral actors.

There are problems. Then there are issues. Issues are things that consume a hefty percentage of our time thinking about them. There are a whole lot of problems that never become issues. What turns them into issues is spin. Politicians make a living out of controlling spin.


Scott Betts wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
What politicians know is how to get funding. But getting funding is not the same thing as going after the popular vote.
Politicians also spend a lot of money on making sure they know the lay of the land when it comes to the issues. Please don't try to pretend this isn't true.

I never insinuated that it isn't true. They -create- the issues. So, of course, they will know what they are. They -create- the issues so that they can, then, draw the battle lines. Drawing the battle lines most effectively will maximize their funding.


meatrace wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
social conservatism (i.e. keeping the government out of our private lives).

Um...that's not at all what social conservatism means.

Furthermore, the electoral college is precisely what keeps social conservatism an issue at all, since lower population states (like most of the south) have a greater say per person than higher population, more urbanized states (New York, California). Being able to manipulate a minority social conservative agenda is what brought the tea party into power 2 years ago.

I was clearly comparing two kinds of conservatism; fiscal and social. My point was crystal clear. Is it true that there are people who call 'blue' 'orange'? Sure. There is a Religious Reich (and others) out there who has zero interest in conserving the power of government, yet call themselves 'conservatives'.


Crimson Jester wrote:
ANebulousMistress wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:

Lets see at 10 X light speed it will take 2 months to get to the edge of the solar system.

To get to Gleise 581 well it will still be two years.

And spending 3 days driving to New York beats spending several months walking there. What's your point?

Instantaneous travel will always be impossible. But this would lessen or even eliminate the need for generational ships.

My point is that even though this would be a great enhancement to our ability to explore our system it would still be a long way off from extra solar travel with the possible exception of probes.

Probes would in fact be a good logical next step to find out what is there and if it is worth bothering with a multi-year trip that would require significant shielding and some way to produce your own food for the trip. I mean heck they could not keep the Bio-lab project working. We found out more of what not to do than anything we could or should do.

I think you're forgetting all the aliens out there waiting for us to show them a warp signature before they make first contact.


Charlie Bell wrote:
Scouting programs also teach entrepreneurial spirit. Girl Scout cookies and Boy Scout popcorn, and all that. Plus, when Scouting is done right, the Scouts take ownership and responsibility for their own activities and the adults are just there to teach, support, advise, and assist. One of the best entrepreneurial things Scouting teaches is that you are in charge of your own stuff; if you don't make it happen, no one else will.

And, maybe, one day the scouts will get their heads out of their collective asses and join the 21st century regarding equality.


Scott Betts wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
The electoral vote (except for the fact that, in some states, the electoral voters don't have to vote with the people) doesn't deserve as much of my mindshare as the greater problem of the first past the post problem.

First-past-the-post isn't a "problem" unless you both a) have political views substantially outside normative bounds, and b) have managed to convince yourself that enough other people share your views that you could eventually wrangle voters into listing your candidates high enough on a preferential voting scale.

The underlying argument that you're adopting, here, is that major politicians have no idea how many people actually support the views of 3rd-party candidates, and that if they could just see how many people support them in a national election, they'd wake up and insert your pet issues into their platforms.

That's a fiction. Politicians and political campaigns have very good ideas of what issues are important to whom. Much better than you do.

What politicians know is how to get funding. But getting funding is not the same thing as going after the popular vote.

Politicians know how to play the game. And, yes, how the game is structured has a lot to do with how it is won. That's not just me saying that. Some of the top political minds around (including Duverger and Riker) have pointed out the first past the post problem.


meatrace wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
The only way to have control over one's self is to take it. The best way to teach kids how to take self-control economically is for them to be entrepreneurs. Else, you start to think of job as "that place where the other guy has all the power".

I disagree.

The best way is for them to get jobs and demand respect and appropriate compensation from their employer. Don't be afraid to quit a job if they treat you like dirt or you feel uncomfortable doing it.

In practice, that's usually difficult to do. Looking for a new job takes time that an employee making low wages often doesn't have available until after they quit the job - which they can't afford to do.


The electoral vote (except for the fact that, in some states, the electoral voters don't have to vote with the people) doesn't deserve as much of my mindshare as the greater problem of the first past the post problem. The majority of people support fiscal conservatism (i.e. not passing the debt onto the next generation) and social conservatism (i.e. keeping the government out of our private lives). But, the first past the post problem keeps government from showing it.


There are lots of service industries that offer an entrepreneurial mindset and are available to teens. Babysitting is one of them. Newspaper delivery (which was my first job) is another.

The reason I think kids should have an entrepreneurial mindset is that employees, especially at low skilled jobs, get kicked around. The only way to have control over one's self is to take it. The best way to teach kids how to take self-control economically is for them to be entrepreneurs. Else, you start to think of job as "that place where the other guy has all the power".

Also, no one is really qualified to get into the whole "business vs. labor" debate until they've been on both sides.


There are a lot of reasons to vote for a third party. Here are some

1.) Help get them into the debates.
2.) Force one of the two major parties to make concessions to gain your party's support
3.) Stop the sense of entitlement career politicians have
4.) Help to get rid of the "my guy is better than the other guy" idiocy that is pervasive in political debate


I've been thinking lately about how many young people's first jobs are fast food or some other wage slave work. It teaches them to have an "employee mind set". Maybe, the first job is the best time to start being an entrepreneur. Maybe, instead of flipping burgers, they should start learning about business tax, financial planning, etc.


Scott, I look at the facts. It is a fact that Obama fought the repeal of DADT in 2010.

Now, you can speculate as to why that is and every evidence-free speculation is as good as another, but the facts are that the Obama administration fought against equality.

Was Lincoln a bad politician because he stood up for what was right rather than what was politically feasible? Was Johnson?


meatrace wrote:
Orthos wrote:
meatrace wrote:
If you're going to say, like "I've never watched Star Trek, or B5, or Doctor Who" then I'm going to say you're missing out. But watching those things, these days, doesn't necessitate having an ACTUAL television.
I watch Doctor Who, Mythbusters, and Community (or more accurately the last one is on my to-do list) online. Not much interest in pretty much anything else TV has to offer.
And this is where I say "you're missing out" cuz B5 is awesome. So is Farscape. And Red Dwarf.

I like to add Dark Matters to that list.


Until my spinal injury, I'd never owned a tv in my life.


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Scott Betts wrote:
My point was simply that Prop 8 benefited from Democratic voters who "broke ranks" to oppose gay marriage, and that this is an example of the sort of person you don't want to flip support on you if you can avoid it.

And my point is that this is the sort of thing we can expect from Obama. He will fight against equality until he has no choice. He will blame his fight against equality on some branch of Democrats whom he'd lose support from. Any support he does have for equality is only because it is politically expedient to provide such support.

Basing one's political actions on what is most politically expedient is one of the many ways that he and Romney are the same.


Scott Betts wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Obama, also, wrote in support of gay marriage back then. That's a position he's since back-peddled on a great deal.

He moderated his views on gay marriage in order to avoid ticking off the millions of religious bigots who would have cost him the Presidency. He has since un-moderated those views.

It really must be awful to be a religious conservative right now, and feel completely helpless as you watch the world you feel comfortable in shrink around you.

Those religious bigots weren't a factor. No matter what he did, they wouldn't vote for him. They still think he's a Muslim. So, no. He wasn't trying to avoid ticking off the bigots.

Oh yeah? A stunningly high number of otherwise-Democrat-voting minorities oppose gay marriage on religious grounds.

For instance, Prop 8 in California? Despite a fairly overwhelmingly Democratic base, it squeaked by thanks to the votes of religious minority populations, who otherwise are fairly reliable Democratic voters.

Prop 8 squeaked by due to massive amounts of money being thrown into propaganda by the Mormons.

As for democrats being against gay marriage, yes, you're right. They are. Its one of the reasons I'm a libertarian. There's no value in winning the Presidency if time in office is spent fighting against the right thing.


Scott Betts wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Obama, also, wrote in support of gay marriage back then. That's a position he's since back-peddled on a great deal.

He moderated his views on gay marriage in order to avoid ticking off the millions of religious bigots who would have cost him the Presidency. He has since un-moderated those views.

It really must be awful to be a religious conservative right now, and feel completely helpless as you watch the world you feel comfortable in shrink around you.

Those religious bigots weren't a factor. No matter what he did, they wouldn't vote for him. They still think he's a Muslim. So, no. He wasn't trying to avoid ticking off the bigots.


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Don't face away from the door when riding the elevator


Irontruth wrote:


There aren't many wedge issues for liberals to push either, though I don't necessarily think this is a winning issue, but using presidential decree's or the courts to repeal DADT took the burden off Congress. Just look back at how crazy it made McCain look, his constant back peddling. The existence of DADT and the more it got pushed in the senate just made him look more and more extreme.

So, you think that rather than being primarily concerned about equality, Obama was primarily concerned about playing political games with McCain?

Irontruth wrote:
Also, Obama wrote a letter in 1996 supporting gay rights, and specifically marriage. Are you suggesting that he was trying to court the gay vote for his presidential run as early as that?

Obama, also, wrote in support of gay marriage back then. That's a position he's since back-peddled on a great deal.

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