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Posts by LSJohn

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  • This is not just a war on terrorism

    03/09/2002 2:07:19 AM PST · 20 of 37
    LSJohn to Lumberjack
    "trusted traveler card"

    Even Orwell couldn't top this one.

  • Report: Military Plans Nuke Hits on 7 Countries

    03/09/2002 2:01:30 AM PST · 39 of 253
    LSJohn to Mia T
    It would appear that Congress was told specifically because it would leak. The plan is useless if the bad guys don't know about it.

    Bingo! Members of Congress are told only what there is good reason to tell them ("good" meaning: serves the objectives of the intel community and/or executive branch.)

  • Guards acquitted on all charges in slaying of death row inmate

    02/17/2002 7:34:32 AM PST · 61 of 137
    LSJohn to CIB-173RDABN; xcon
    Ask the jury, I wasn't there.

    I might have acquitted these guys too even though it was obvious someone stomped the prisoner to death. The fact that there wasn't enough evidence to show that these particular guys did it doesn't mean he wasn't stomped to death by somebody else, or even by these guys but the evidence necessary to tie them directly to the crime was insufficient. "Not guilty" doesn't mean "innocent." That's what reasonable doubt is all about. Members of the jury unanimously said they had reasonable doubt about who might have stomped the prisoner to death, not that it didn't happen.

  • Harvard Prof, Involved in Political Flap, Labeled 'Intellectual Lightweight'

    02/13/2002 12:11:24 AM PST · 109 of 109
    LSJohn to Slingshot
    Rand was not a libertarian though many of the principles she advocates are consistent with libertarian thought.

    Would seem to me that the virtues leave out selfishness.

    Selfishness is about perceived short-term gain. Informed or "enlightened" self-interest is about doing what will serve one best in the long run. [l]ibertarian philosophy is a philosophy of the appropriate role of government. It is not intended to be a comprehensive moral code, but the basic "non-initiation of force, fraud or coercion" principle is fundamental to morality, IMO. IOW libertarianism IS moral, but doesn't address, nor attempt to address, all moral issues.

    Only with Selflessness does one develop Trustworthiness, Responsiblility, Dependability and Integrity.

    A wise person would be trustworthy, responsible, dependable and honorable because he/she recognizes that being so leads to better friends, better relationships, better self-image, better life. It's just good "business" to be so, but that's not the only reason to be so. Those who deceive are perpetrating fraud and are in violation of libertrianism's first principle, and are in violation of God's law and the spirit of God's law.

    Seems to me that Good Leaders are noted quickly because they will 'serve' others interests not their own.

    The best leaders are those who aspire to be great leaders, not merely to be perceived as great leaders. Achieving that goal can be a person's raison d'etre; making apparent sacrifices to become "great" in any field is consistent with self interest. Nothing is more important to happiness than what one thinks of him/herself, IMO.

    The list of the Greatest Leaders on this Earth is of people who sacrificed themselves for others. For instance, the Heroes of the WTC.

    Self-interest, as I noted above, doesn't rule out sacrifice. One of Man's great driving forces is to achieve significance, not necessarily in the eyes of others, but in reality. People want to "make a difference."

    Also, what one thinks of him/her self often determines how difficult decisions will be made. Most of those who lost their lives saving and trying to save others at the WTC didn't consciously give their lives, but they consciously risked their lives, something many of them had done many times before. It is our failing that we didn't notice and appreciate those times when they risked death or serious injury and didn't die. Firefighters and police have mini-cultures within our culture. Those mini-cultures think about, talk about and admire bravery more than most of the rest of us. By taking risks that are inherent to the professions they chose they are living up to their own creeds. They couldn't think of themselves as they do otherwise. People are brave, among other reasons, because they have an great desire to be so. Taking risk in service to others is their way of making a difference, of being significant, of making the time they spent on this earth worthwhile and leaving the world better than it would have been without them. All of this fulfils their self-interest, but is in no way selfish.

  • Harvard Prof, Involved in Political Flap, Labeled 'Intellectual Lightweight'

    02/10/2002 8:11:18 PM PST · 107 of 109
    LSJohn to Slingshot
    BTW, I try always to use a small "l" when I refer to libertarian principles since the Libertarian Party usually but not always striclty follows (or more importantly focusses energy upon what I think are the BIG issues in) my own concept of libertarian principles.

    I think more [l]ibertarians agree on more things than can be said of conservatives or liberals or moderates, but there are of course individual differences. Few would disagree with the three points I made above, but there are differences in how each might be applied in practice.

  • Harvard Prof, Involved in Political Flap, Labeled 'Intellectual Lightweight'

    02/10/2002 8:04:04 PM PST · 106 of 109
    LSJohn to Slingshot
    Why do I have the impression a Christian Mother can never be a Libertarian?

    Glad you asked.

    I should have made it clear that references are to adults. Children have not the moral, intellectual, educational or experiential basis to make informed decisions. Parents are therefore responsible for guiding and educating them and making important decisions for them. Sometimes that necessarily includes the use of force or coercion (but should never, IMO, utilize fraud.)

  • Traficant's trial begins ** OFFICIAL TRAFICANT TRIAL PRAYER THREAD! ***

    02/07/2002 9:55:06 AM PST · 138 of 139
    LSJohn to Registered
    Lord, I beseech Thee;

    Dryeth mine tears that I might see;

    Raiseth me from the depths of mine own carpet;

    Deliver the least creatures of the fields from my dreams;


  • Traficant's trial begins ** OFFICIAL TRAFICANT TRIAL PRAYER THREAD! ***

    02/07/2002 9:33:58 AM PST · 137 of 139
    LSJohn to Timesink
  • 'The Death of the West': Pat Buchanan Raises a Demographic Alarum (Neocon hit piece in the NY Times)

    02/05/2002 1:10:59 PM PST · 74 of 83
    LSJohn to BurkeCalhounDabney
    the death of the Protestant ethic.

    This is a good catch-all. Though I'm no Protestant, I think we lost more "good" in its decline than we lost that was "bad" (or maybe I should have said "gained good.")

    But, as you say, that doesn't explain all of it either, and I don't claim to understand it. I would be surprised to find that the nature of the public school curriculum for the last 20+ years hasn't played a large role.

  • Shepherd Smith Just Told Sean Hannity To Shut Up, Defends Atheism

    02/05/2002 12:19:45 PM PST · 494 of 553
    LSJohn to dax zenos
    Yeah, I agree with all of that (except the WWF part! :>)

    I was just trying to make sure you weren't heading down the path of "My reality may not be the same as your reality."

    I see now you weren't.

  • 'The Death of the West': Pat Buchanan Raises a Demographic Alarum (Neocon hit piece in the NY Times)

    02/05/2002 12:08:58 PM PST · 64 of 83
    LSJohn to BurkeCalhounDabney
    The interesting thing, to me, is that they refuse to recognize it as a choice.

    It is interesting and curious despite its frequency. It is merely another manifestation of denying responsibility for one's own actions (choices).

  • Shepherd Smith Just Told Sean Hannity To Shut Up, Defends Atheism

    02/05/2002 12:03:20 PM PST · 490 of 553
    LSJohn to dax zenos
    Conversation on God seem to boil down into two sides

    1(I believe in God

    2( I believe in evolution

    I would put advocates/adherents of Intelligent Design into the "I believe in [some kind of] God" category. Do you, or is it a third category? Some, but not many, atheists and agnostics, BTW, are quite skeptical about the theory of evolution and the "facts" used to support it.

    Life is very interesting as those who don't believe are like people who drive on crowded roads without insurance.

    There is really good, recent, hard, objective evidence that insurance companies usually pay when a covered event happens to a policy holder.

  • Shepherd Smith Just Told Sean Hannity To Shut Up, Defends Atheism

    02/05/2002 11:47:32 AM PST · 489 of 553
    LSJohn to dax zenos
    You memorize words but your mind does not always remember the exact facts of happenings. So your reality would say the event never happened.

    Not sure of your meaning here, but I'd like to note (for the record, your honor) that your "reality" is in no way based upon what you think it is. What is, is; your perceptions only guide how you will respond to what you think reality to be.

  • 'The Death of the West': Pat Buchanan Raises a Demographic Alarum (Neocon hit piece in the NY Times)

    02/05/2002 8:03:17 AM PST · 52 of 83
    LSJohn to Old Hickory
  • 'The Death of the West': Pat Buchanan Raises a Demographic Alarum (Neocon hit piece in the NY Times)

    02/05/2002 6:13:52 AM PST · 46 of 83
    LSJohn to DoughtyOne
    Though no one has mentioned it here and I haven't read the book, surely a central point in Buchanan's book must be that for over two decades import quotas from third-world countries have far exceeded those from first-world. People from third-world countries tend to have cultural traditions radically different from our own, but those from the first-world tend to be very similar culturally.

    I'll wager the book is far more about culture than about race, but if one wants to raise straw men and red herrings race is always a convenient vehicle.

  • 'The Death of the West': Pat Buchanan Raises a Demographic Alarum (Neocon hit piece in the NY Times)

    02/05/2002 5:57:43 AM PST · 44 of 83
    LSJohn to DoughtyOne
    I think you know I agree with most of #9 -- which is an excellent post -- but there's one additional thing to think about regarding this: "For all the talk about living standards, people in the United States must now work longer hours to provide homes for their families. Where one wage earner could earn enough to provide for his family, we now see two wage earners having to work full time, and losing ground all the while."

    I think this has more to do with instant gratification and thoughtless, irresponsible decisions than exported jobs and imported workers (although those certainly have their detrimental effects.) Many middle-class families now choose to have two cars, 3 TVs (all on satellite or cable), 3 telephones, 2 VCRs, a computer, fax, dishwasher, microwave, two bathrooms, a burglar alarm, riding mower, $150 shoes and Tommy Hilfiger gear for each of the kids, etc, etc -- none of which our parents had -- instead of having a full-time parent at home.

    This is not to overlook the difficulties of those below the economic middle class who have been most hurt by the reorganization of the economy. A family of four may not have any of those items I mentioned if their only income is from two minimum wage jobs.

  • Harvard Prof, Involved in Political Flap, Labeled 'Intellectual Lightweight'

    02/04/2002 8:22:08 AM PST · 97 of 109
    LSJohn to betty boop
    Your post #85 reflects a view closer to the libertrian view than it does to that of annalex, IMO.

    Few libertarians would disagree with this:

    "We need to stay diligent, focused, and committed to handling threats one by one, as they come. As important as military, economic, and diplomatic force, America must project moral force through unwavering commitment to our principles of right and wrong. If we have to act alone to protect American interests, then we do so. We don’t have to ask anybody for permission to defend our people and our way of life."

    However, though I could certainly say the following, I'm sure my meaning would be quite different from yours:

    "If we can achieve true moral clarity on the issue of the terrorist threat against us, and if the American people share that moral clarity, then we will prevail. I don’t know by when, but we will. In the final analysis, there is no alternative."

    I don't think it likely that the American people can achieve moral clarity. A comprehensive understanding of the relevant facts is essential to making many of the fine judgements necessary to achieve such moral clarity. Few if any grass-roots Americans have the time, energy, or resources to acquire those essential facts. We are, therefore, left only to trust or not trust what we are told those underlying facts are. IF there is a perceived need or a desire in the highest echelons of our government and/or intelligence community to deceive us we are always quite vulnerable, but now, with emotions inflamed by the events of 9/11 we are more vulnerable than ever. Should we trust? Your penultimate paragraph indicates firmly that you say "yes":

    "President Bush is doing a truly outstanding job of communicating our American moral vision with unshakable conviction and unrelenting force. He has also turned out to be an exceptionally fine war-time commander-in-chief. What I would like to see is more Libertarians getting behind this man of great character and determination – instead of constantly taking pot shots at him during this extraordinarily difficult time in our national life. JMHO FWIW."

    Having observed the actions of our national leaders and our intelligence community (at times "up close and personal") over the course of over two decades, I say "no." Saying I do not trust is not the same as saying I'm sure that funny business is going on, but I've seen plenty in recent events to make me more suspicious than a simple "I don't know."

  • Harvard Prof, Involved in Political Flap, Labeled 'Intellectual Lightweight'

    02/04/2002 7:44:06 AM PST · 94 of 109
    LSJohn to betty boop
    The same Randian rationale which has given birth to annalex's "new appreciation" sends me scurrying away. Rand was no libertarian.

    [l]ibertarianism is a philosophy of government and interpersonal relations, not a religion, not a comprehensive moral code, not an attempt to identify every aspect of Reality, not a Utopian search for earthly social/political perfection.

    IMO, libertarian philosophy is founded upon three ideas which depart to a degree from both (in the current American sense) liberal and conservative thought:

    1. Man will usually act in what he perceives to be his own interest, albeit far too often in his short-term interest.

    2. No other person or group should be given the authority to determine what is in an individual's interest, nor to use force, fraud or coersion to get him to behave accordingly.

    3. No person or group of persons may justly initiate force, fraud or coercion against another for any reason.

    Proponents of these ideas do not suggest that individual, societal and governmental adherence to them would bring about earthly perfection, as people will often make poor and self-damaging choices; some of those choices will harm not only themselves, but often indirectly or secondarily harm others as well and have a detrimental impact on society at large.

    Here, however, is the important point:
    Less harm will be caused by the self-destructive decisions of individuals than by the use of force by third parties in the attempt to prevent, punish or over-ride them. Where libertaians most often find disagreement from both liberals and conservatives is in the matter of defining what goes beyond the merely self-destructive and causes harm to others. This is admittedly subjective, but libertarians, as I'm sure you've seen said many times before, draw the line at whether an individual has used force, fraud, or coercion in the allegedly harmful act.

    Absent governmental authority to act against behavior which has directly harmed no one but the actor, there will be less security and more freedom (except perhaps to those individuals whose security is most threatened by government itself, sometimes because of societally unacceptable lifestyle, sometimes as a result of the unintended consequences of "benevolent" government action).

    [l]ibertarians are willing to make the trade.

  • The United Front Against Liberty

    12/29/2001 12:16:14 AM PST · 80 of 126
    LSJohn to x
    Rather than shed an even light over the world, so that we can figure out what should be done, Rockwell uses his zine to project his own view of the world

    This is what makes him different from others?


    ...blinding his followers with it, and obscuring the view for his readers.

    Right. You criticize Rockwell for treating his ideology as "holy dogma" then presume that anyone who fails to see his views as you do must be "blind."

    Of course you think he and those who agree with him are off track -- you have other views.


    No more or less than every religion and every political philosophy you can name. Each person thinks his/her way best. Few think his/her way would lead to earthly perfection. Rockwell et al. are no different. Their views can be distilled, IMO, to a willingness to accept less security to gain more freedom. Not everyone feels that way, and many of those who think or say they do will disagree on the details.

    What the hell is wrong with that?

  • Forgive Us Our Injustice System

    12/29/2001 12:12:07 AM PST · 13 of 31
    LSJohn to Ada Coddington
    No one will be safe until a lot more people realize how easy it is for police and prosecutors to manipulate evidence and for judges to tilt the odds heavily in favor of the prosecution. All forensic evidence is suspect.

    Fingerprints at the scene? They can be transferred.

    Defendants blood at the scene? List the people who had access to the police lab where the samples were kept, with their labels, until the trial.

    Hair samples, fiber evidence, soil and chemical residues can all be manipulated by anyone who has access to the lab.

    I continue to think that most manipulation of evidence is done by people who are convinced of the guilt of the defendant but fear that the case isn't strong enough without "help," but this is just as wrong as when it is done to pad conviction rates, shut up a critic, or act out a personal vendetta.