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Counterpoint: Health care law threatens U.S. furs

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We are young and strange. By tendency, at least, furries are non-conformists with many years ahead of them. That's why the new health care law is a poison pill for our community.

Right now there are people dangling "free" drugs and other medical care in front of us and promising there's no cost; it'll all be paid for by some rich guy. Just let this law stand, they say, and help elect the people who will protect it.

But what are we actually signing away? Our freedom. All of it.

Our founders understood that there must be limits on government, or the people are slaves -- even if there are still elections. But modern politicians openly say they don't need limits, and that they can force us to do anything they please. This law relies on that theory, because it'd be massively illegal under the limited government that four Supreme Court judges thought we had. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) boasted that her power is now "essentially unlimited" over anything having to do with medicine or other large areas of our lives. (And her original reaction, when asked to justify the bill in terms of the Constitution, was "Are you serious?!") So the problem with this law is much bigger than health care.

What does unlimited federal power mean for us as furries? It means that for the rest of our lives we'll live under rulers who think they have the power to do anything they like to us. Have a look at 20th Century history to get a feel for what governments do to non-conformists. Should we furries use our active imaginations to pretend that laws like forced castration and psychological treatment "can't happen here"? (Remember for instance that FDR forced ethnic Japanese into concentration camps during WWII, and that the Supreme Court approved.) Do we really want to be an identifiable, unusual subculture living under a government more powerful than George III's?

Even aside from the destruction of our Constitution, even a group as young as ours ought to be able to see through politicians' lies about money. Do we think that the 2,700 pages of this law and all the taxes and bureaucracy they create will really make health care cheaper? Are we counting on staying poor for the rest of our lives so that we won't get hit by the increased taxes? Aren't some of us Catholics who're being ordered to violate our religious beliefs?

In short, we're being told to hop into the van with a government that promises free drugs. Get used to those collars that some furries wear, because we'll be on leashes for the rest of our lives and hoping that Master treats us well. If we have more respect for ourselves than that, then we must vote to throw out Obama and his friends this year, begin to repair our Constitution, and prepare if necessary for peaceful resistance to a law that threatens our community.

[Ed.: This will be the last story on this topic. Please address comments relevant to the topic. A separate piece addresses the issue of topic suitability.]

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (14 votes)

Politics don't belong on flayrah. Leave it to the pros please.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (6 votes)

Seconded.

I'll read with interest about what US furs have been up to (or furs anywhere else), but I've spent most of this year doing my best to avoid US politics.

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (7 votes)

I say, let the people post what they want. It's "Food for furry thought" right? Not "Food for furry thought WITH THE EXCEPTION of politics".

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

It wasn't that before GreenReaper who I do believe has been trying to push the site toward general news discussion with furries as a target audience. However, the site didn't naturally go that way, so his article was probably a violent shove in that direction.

He might get a new reader base, but he'll lose the ones he's got. A sister site would be the best way to not allow the rift between furry news and furries talking about news to grow to the point where one of them leaves.

Especially since the star system of voting on comments is not conductive to a political discussion since people who are against a party will just 1 star anything that goes against their party, so then it will eventually become biased towards who has more members of the party voting on comments.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (4 votes)

I've been posting the news people give me, not soliciting general news. My piece was not intended to change the general tenor of the site; I simply saw it as another topic that would be of interest to furries.

Politics has never been an "excluded" topic here, and several stories have touched on political and legislative developments that might impact furry fans. Of course, whether a law has such an impact is itself an opinion.

While not arguing that any of the pieces submitted recently count as "good opinion pieces", I think if people rank an opinion pieces or comments solely on whether they agree with the position, they are doing it wrong. I generally give a well-made argument a 2 ("OK, you can say that, but I think you're wrong.") or a 3 ("I see your point, it's a fair contribution, but . . ."), while reserving 1 for posts which I believe are truly damaging (swearing, personal attacks, etc.).

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

The problem is that politics don't work in that manner for the most part, you can write a whole article about why you think this political position is correct, and someone is going to one vote you, maybe even a majority.

Heck in a way my article is also political, it's just touching on local politics of Flayrah (taking what I see as the "populist" position) as opposed to the politics of the US.

The thing is you can think they're doing it wrong, they'll do it anyway. I know Xydexx one voted alot of the comments I did when we back and forthed in the comments, but I tend not to vote on comments that are in response to me, because if they're debating, I'm biased. Taking these things into consideration if you wanted to make a "general news from furry perspective" piece of the site, you have to bear this in mind if you pull over the current ranking systems.

If you keep the site as it, these kind of articles may not get past local political opinion about extra-fandom politics on the site.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

I advocate the "tit-for-tat" position towards congenital debate downvoters:

If a fur downvotes me, I'm-a downvote them back.
If it leads to the folds, then that be that.

The comment karma system is designed to discourage such users via a cumulative cost to their visibility. If they get into nasty arguments with everyone, all their threads will tend to disappear - past and present.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

I would rather have others judge what the comment presented against my position is worth. Needless to say, his comments were one stared, but not by my hand. I do have feelings, but I believe if there is truth to what I feel, then the outcome is that others will see it without my interference.

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (6 votes)

I'd leave a comment, but the one I have in the pipe-line is long enough as it is.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (10 votes)

It good note to end this wrongly placed subject on Flayrah on a balanced note. Please no more politics here.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (9 votes)

Thank you for offering the counterpoint, Squirrel, and an exceptionally well considered one at that.

This wasn't a left versus right issue. This wasn't a question of whether anyone "should" have access to healthcare, or at what price. The question was whether we remain free people, and whether this country remains a republic. We just received answers that should give pause to any who thought he or she lived in a free country.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (7 votes)

I've got to say though: I'm surprised this or the original article appeared on Flayrah. It's been nice having a haven from politics. Now that I've registered, I'll go five-vote some of the comments encouraging editors to keep Flayrah about furry!

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (8 votes)

Your argument is nonsense. You could substitute "health care bill" with anything else and make the same case, "OMG look the government has done something, therefore they have unlimited power and we are all doomed!"

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (8 votes)

This is not like "anything else." There is no precedent for the federal government imposing penalties on individuals for failure to participate in a market. To date, activity has been regulated by the commerce clause. But through inactivity, people could opt out when they judged that participation ran against their personal interests.

This aspect is new, and represents a large expansion of power. That's why this went before the supreme court.

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You don't drive a car? One could argue that since driving a car is a choice, so car insurance isn't mandatarory. However, unlike many countries & more progressive areas of the US, lousy public transportation means -not owning a car means not having a job-. It takes magical thinking to equate this to an expansion of power. The simple indisputable fact is healthcare is inexpensive and hospitals have to treat people whether they can pay or not, and many cannot & taxpayers end up with the cost, or they can simply die.

A Republican-created free-market solution that will save lives AND taxpayer-burden becomes a huge expansion of federal government power. Very interesting swiss-cheese argument there. Nothing in the middle.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (5 votes)

The government expanded its power by essentially levying fines when we don't do what it wants, and you think it's "magical thinking" to equate that to an expansion of power?

The "swiss-cheese" argument here is yours.

I think you meant to say "health care is expensive and hospitals have to treat people whether they can pay or not".

Why is health care so expensive? Oh, perhaps because it's the most heavily regulated and subsidized industry in the history of America. If not the most heavily regulated and subsidized, then it's up there with the banking industry.

Regulation artificially lowers supply by making it more difficult and expensive for producers to produce. Subsidies to consumers artificially increase demand by giving consumers "free" money to purchase goods/services. When you have low supply and high demand, prices skyrocket. This is basic, middle school economics that everyone should know, but sadly they don't.

Government intervention is the source of all our economic problems. In a free market, health care would be affordable and more efficient. And if there are procedures that people still can't afford, a free-market solution is financing, making payments on the bill, etc.

I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Neither a Liberal nor a Conservative. But let's be honest. Socialism is a trademark of the Left. You're only trying to confuse and misdirect when you focus on Romneycare and not Obamacare. To the extent that a Republican believes in socialized health care, he's a Leftist masquerading as a Rightist. Or in Romney's case, he's probably just a wishy-washy middle-of-the-roader compromising with the radical Left.

And don't use the word "Progressive". Progressive implies that radical socialist policies are something new and forward-moving. It implies that statism hasn't been tried before and hasn't ultimately resulted in atrocities on a massive scale. Laissez-Faire Capitalism is the only "progressive" social system that has ever existed. Socialism/Communism/Fascism/Theocracy, and any other form of Statism, is Regressive.

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To elaborate a bit. The reason the Right claims to be for the free market, but constantly compromises with the left, is because they're both starting from the same moral premise: altruism. Selfless sacrifice for others, the greater good, etc.

Socialism and other systems where the government forces people to serve others, are examples of selfless social systems. In that, if selflessness is the right morality, that's the best kind of social system. If it's morally right to serve others, then if people won't serve others of their own accord, they're being evil and it's morally okay to force them to. Why should any government protect peoples' freedom to choose what they want to do with their lives if it's evil for them to want anything for themselves?

Many people have correctly identified that Capitalism is selfish. And that's why, no matter how well it works, they keep fighting it. Because they see it as evil.

If it's morally right for you to pursue your own self-interest, your own happiness in life, then it's right for you to have some guarantee of owning your own life when there's other people around who might want to interfere. Inalienable individual rights are, thus, primarily a moral principle. An identification of the conditions that are right for the individual to have protected in a society. And Capitalism is the one social system that protects those rights consistently. Thus Capitalism is the only morally righteous social system that has ever existed.

To come back around to wishy-washy Republicans: The reason they claim to be pro-free-market, and then turn around and push statist policies, is because they're trying to defend a selfish system while holding selfless premises. They can't win, because the Leftists are logically consistent. Not consistent with reality of course. But consistent in that their political views do not contradict their moral premises.

Essentially, the Left is fighting for what they think is right. The Right is fighting for what they think is wrong. That's why the Left is so much more consistent than the Right.

I'm fighting for Capitalism, knowing that I'm fighting for what's right. That's what it will take to win.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

Both of these comments?

Amazing.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Hehe, thank you. This is the first time I've posted like this on a public forum somewhere and got any kind of good reception. (Not counting the crowd that explicitly shares these ideas.) Interesting that it's on a furry forum that this happens.

Furries must just be smart like that.

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To elaborate a bit. The reason the Right claims to be for the free market, but constantly compromises with the left, is because they're both starting from the same moral premise: altruism. Selfless sacrifice for others, the greater good, etc.

I honestly don't think the right has an altruistic bone in it's body anymore - and if you think the right "constantly compromises" with the left, then I wonder which government you are talking about.

How about some common sense:

This is not really about *just* about altruism, it's about our basic stability as a country. You see, when you leave people to rot hopelessly in poverty, they become desperate and tend to turn toward violent crime & drugs - a form of cancer on a society which has a tendency to spread out and WILL EFFECT YOU in one way or another. It's a disease that takes root as the children who grow up in these environments have a tendency to repeat the pattern. And your solution is "ignore it and it will go away."

No. But thanks for trying.

Thus Capitalism is the only morally righteous social system that has ever existed.

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that capitalism is a religion. Wow. How wrong you are about everything. What is 'morally righteous' about capitalism when, say, PG&E failed to properly maintain gas lines, even after frequent complaints from residents & with funds granted, fails to do anything - and massive explosion destroys dozens of homes and 8 human beings forever in San Bruno, Ca. Just one example of countless.

I'm fighting for Capitalism, knowing that I'm fighting for what's right. That's what it will take to win.

Wow, that's a bit.....weird. How exactly do you "fight for capitalism" exactly? Go read up on a word called 'externalities' - or better yet go rent "Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room" or "The Corporation" if you want a more nuanced picture of what you say you're fighting for.

Fun convo, by the way. Thanks :)

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If the right had a selfish bone in their body, they wouldn't be afraid to bring up the idea of abolishing the welfare state. Or minimum wages. Or other examples of government coercion that make the needy the beneficiaries of productive peoples' actions. Because they dare not look like they they're opposed to serving the needy.

The fight between the left and the right is mostly non-essential. The Left just wants to make us serve the collective. The Right just wants to make us serve God. They both want to make us serve something other than ourselves. The more they put aside their differences, the worse off America is. Observe how Romney wants to repeal Obamacare after having created Romneycare. It's because he thinks socialized medicine should be implemented on the state level rather than the federal level. Also observe how Obama's religion at least partially informs his ideas that the rich should "give more" or whatever his wording was to justify taxing the rich more. There's no principled defenders of Capitalism anymore, because there's no politicians out there who start from a moral premise of rational self-interest. They're all altruists duking it out to try to implement the social system that they think is the most right, squabbling over petty differences when the essence is the same. The only radical Rightists are the religious ones, and they'll pay lip service to rights because they're "god-given", but then they're violate them the instant God tells them to. The others have no moral leg to stand on, so they slowly, inexorably concede ground to the Left.

You see, when you leave people to rot hopelessly in poverty

In a free society, people were not left to rot hopelessly in poverty. Even if unemployment was a problem (it would only be temporary if it did crop up, due to some correction in the market to meet shifting demand), there used to be charities that people could turn to. People used to get together and form "cooperatives", an early form of insurance where the members of the cooperative would make payments into the cooperative to pool their money in case they had financial trouble. If one of the members of the cooperative suddenly had financial trouble, the cooperative would support him with their pooled money while he got back on his feet. And if they didn't turn to a cooperative, friends and family and neighbors would be willing to give him a job or even support him for a little while. Since the establishment of the welfare state, cooperatives have disappeared and people have turned to the safety net that others are forced to hold up. And as taxes on the productive, regulations, etc, make it harder on those who do produce, the economy has been getting worse and more people have been getting poor and losing jobs. The cost of living has gone up, so even with the support of others, it's still much harder to get back on your feet nowadays. I remember when I was a kid (I'm 26 now), people used to be able to get a job and live in an apartment by themselves. Now everyone everywhere has to share apartments with other people and split costs because the economy is worse now than it was then.

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that capitalism is a religion.

Religion does not have a monopoly on morality. Morality is simply the branch of philosophy that examines what is good and evil, right and wrong. Capitalism is the right social system for every individual.

Funds granted to PG&E, by whom? Was it a government subsidy? If so, that's wrong. When the gas line exploded, was PG&E prosecuted? Did they go out of business for willfully endangering their customers? That's an example of a business behaving immorally and violating the rights of its customers. Its failure to act resulted in a destruction of other peoples' property and the loss of other peoples' lives. Ideally, they were severely punished for that. If they weren't, then that's not a failure of Capitalism. It's a failure to uphold Capitalism. A failure to enforce the protection of inalienable individual rights.

I fight for Capitalism the same way you right against it. By arguing in favor of it. Showing how it's good and how it works. It -is- good and it -does- work, so I guess it's wrong to say I'm fighting for it exactly the same way you're fighting it. You have to rely on context dropping and misdirection to make Capitalism appear to be impractical. But if you start from a morality of rational self-interest, the moral is the practical.

No idea what those books are about. But if they're going to talk about big businesses bribing politicians to gain advantages or monopolies, or big business otherwise getting in bed with the government, that's not Capitalism, that's Corporatism. Or to be more clear, that's Statism. When politicians are your masters, you have to scramble to win their favor before someone else does. Because if you don't win a handout from the politician first, someone else will, and it might be a handout that destroys your business. In full-on statisms, this power struggle takes the form of bloody coups. In our mixed economy, it takes the form of lobbying. A free society where nobody can coerce anyone else would eliminate this power struggle completely.

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This is not really about *just* about altruism, it's about our basic stability as a country. You see, when you leave people to rot hopelessly in poverty, they become desperate and tend to turn toward violent crime & drugs - a form of cancer on a society which has a tendency to spread out and WILL EFFECT YOU in one way or another.

Do you know why people are rotting in poverty right now? It's because they can't find a job. Do you know why they can't find a job? It's because the government is regulating the market to much. Businesses, especially small businesses, are trying desperately to ride out this recession, which means little hiring. Now with Obamacare, any small business with over 49 employees will have to pay a fee if they don't pay for health care, and many businesses simply can't afford to provide health care to all of their employees no matter how much they want to. As a result, many businesses are either putting many of their workers on part time or firing them so they can stay under the limit. So not only will employees be fired, even if they are hired they probably won't have health care. If you want to help the poor people, help the businesses and fix the education system. They are the ones who give people a living, not government handouts.

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I think you meant to say "health care is expensive and hospitals have to treat people whether they can pay or not".

Yes, that is what I meant to say. Typed up that reply a bit fast.

Why is health care so expensive? Oh, perhaps because it's the most heavily regulated and subsidized industry in the history of America. If not the most heavily regulated and subsidized, then it's up there with the banking industry.

Regulation artificially lowers supply by making it more difficult and expensive for producers to produce. Subsidies to consumers artificially increase demand by giving consumers "free" money to purchase goods/services. When you have low supply and high demand, prices skyrocket. This is basic, middle school economics that everyone should know, but sadly they don't.

Can you explain the specifics of where/how the FDA (I presume this is whom you're talking about) "artificially lowers supply" while "artificially increase demand by giving consumers free money" because having a sibling who's been in and out of hospital care for years, whose medical care has cost my family out of pocket around a million dollars, I'm very curious.... Because, as I understand it, medical costs have skyrocketed because a *lack of* regulation, overpriced medicine and equipment, a patent system that allows gives companies little monopolies on products (more ones often NOT invented with private R&D but publically funded at public universities).

Yet, isn't it the fact that medical care is MORE regulated in places other than the US yet runs more efficiently? Well, yes it is. And so, why not apply your "basic, middle school economics" to the fact that in other countries, getting an MRI exam costs about 1/4th than it does in the US..

Government intervention is the source of all our economic problems. In a free market, health care would be affordable and more efficient.

FALSE! There is *no possible way* you will ever make a solid argument to support that, but it only takes common-sense to connect all our economic problems with things like the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, years of anti-regulation Bush & Greenspan - naively (stupidly) believing that markets tend to self-regulate,
or lowering tax rates (aka. revenue) while initiating two hideously expensive wars. Those are things you can *intuitively* link to our current economic problems, right?

And if there are procedures that people still can't afford, a free-market solution is financing, making payments on the bill, etc.

What exactly is the free-market solution to getting medical care people can't afford? It's simple. There is none! As David Dreier (R-CA) says: "I don’t that think someone who is diagnosed with a massive tumor should the next day be able to have millions and millions and millions of dollars in health care provided" - right, forget treatment at all - just let them wither away and die.

But let's be honest. Socialism is a trademark of the Left.

Merely caring about the welfare of people is called socialism now? No, how about let's be *REAL* honest and call a political movement more concerned with acquiring personal wealth than fellow Americans dying of preventabl
e illnesses a psycopathic mental disorder.

And you gotta admit, ALL the people who've been pushing that dogma in recent years, the likes of Andrew Breitbart, Michelle Malkin, Pamela Geller, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, really all of them, are a pretty wretched group
of clowns. And if you aren't aware of Ayn Rand's early obsession with William Hickman, you would do well to consult Google.

Or, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Edward_Hickman#Ayn_Rand.27s_The_Little_Street

And don't use the word "Progressive". Progressive implies that radical socialist policies are something new and forward-moving.

I will use 'progressive' because that's precisely what it means.

Laissez-Faire Capitalism is the only "progressive" social system that has ever existed. Socialism/Communism/Fascism/Theocracy, and any other form of Statism, is Regressive.

The fact that you are completely unable to register any nuance between 'progressivism' and 'socialism' seems clear proof that it's your views that are in the extreme.

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Regulation coerces individuals. The mind is the source of all value (contrary to the labor theory of value), so people can be most productive when they are free to act on their judgment. Regulation interferes with peoples' ability to act on their independent judgment.

The subsidies to consumers take several forms. Medicare/medicaid, and benefits when you get hired full time for a job. The tax code makes it so companies can pay you more by giving you benefits, because the money a company spends on your benefits isn't taxed. If a company gave one person a straight $16 an hour and another gave someone, say, (I'm just pulling numbers out of nowhere here) $12 an hour in cash and $4 an hour in benefits, The $4 an hour isn't taxed and the $12 is. So business can gain a competitive edge by offering benefits, because they can give a little more money to their employees via benefits than without benefits. So now everyone with a job can go to the doctor willy nilly for simple things like colds and stuff. And since everyone loses their insurance when they lose their job, preexisting conditions are a big deal. If there wasn't this incentive to tie insurance to a person's job, and if insurance companies were free to compete across state lines, it would be much easier for a person to just get personal insurance and keep it between jobs. And preexisting conditions wouldn't be such a big deal. And premiums would probably be cheaper because people wouldn't be using health insurance to pay for everything under the sun, like going in for a cold or sniffles or whatever. In a free market, medical care would be more affordable, and medical insurance would probably be more like car insurance. You'd just go visit the doctor on your own dime, but if something huge happened to you like a giant tumor, then insurance would be used.

Caring about the welfare of others is called benevolence. Benevolence doesn't include forcing people to pay for other peoples' needs. If you care so much, you should go help them yourself. Donate to a charity. Volunteer. Etc.

I don't really know much about most of those people. But I find it interesting that you bring up Ayn Rand. I'm an Objectivist. I've been studying Ayn Rand's philosophy on and off for the past several years.

It doesn't shock me that an anti-capitalist such as yourself brings up William Hickman. I see it all the time. You narrow your vision to what looks like a gotcha and you ignore the rest of the context. Ayn Rand did not condone Hickman's crime. She was a writer. She merely admired certain character traits, like how calmly and pridefully he stood against the whole world when the world was against him. She abstracted away the positive traits as potential character traits to put in her characters. She condemned the rest. Your effort to make out Rand as someone who supports child murderers is just another attempt at misdirection. Either that or you just listen to what other people tell you, and you didn't know they were being dishonest with you.

I'm surprised you didn't throw in Alan Greenspan while you were at it. He's a popular one for anti-Capitalists to drag around, because he used to be an Objectivist and used to be part of Ayn Rand's inner circle. He even wrote essays in Ayn Rand's book, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, which makes the moral case for Capitalism. However, when he became chairman of the fed, he abandoned Objectivism because he didn't think it worked. So it was an abandonment of Objectivism rather than embracing it that influenced his destructive monetary policies. (And the fact that the federal reserve is just a destructive institution anyway. There's no right way to run it other than to destroy it, stop printing money, and let banks set their own interest rates.)

'Progressive' is a term hijacked by the left as a name for their statist policies. Nothing more. It's an accepted term because nobody ever challenged it.

My views ARE extreme! Nothing less will do. To quote an obscure comic book artist who I admire, "Can't bring gray to a black and white fight."

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@Rabbitguy - See above, with emphasis added: "There is no precedent for the FEDERAL government imposing penalties on individuals for failure to participate in a market."

The auto insurance issue you speak of is a state issue. Not all states require auto insurance. Further, some states only penalize a citizen for not having insurance in the event that he is found liable for harm and is unwilling or unable to arrange a private settlement. The choice to not drive is a viable one in some areas, as is the option to self-insure. There are also states with no mandates, should one find the requirement onerous in his current state.

One can't move to another state to escape a federal mandate.

To your other point: Yes, some republican solutions require expansion of powers. These aren't "free-market solutions," no matter what Romney and his ilk choose to call them. Republican politicians generally only differ from new leftist politicians on which rights they would erode, not in whether they choose to defend liberty and free markets.

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Interesting and well-stated. One correction: liberty and free markets are mutally exclusive. #fact

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Under laissez-faire capitalism, a group can voluntarily enter into a contract wherein its members implement whatever other economic environment they wish. They cannot coerce individuals into participating because individuals are free. However, if individuals find some other economic environment works to mutual benefit, it is available to them.

Under any other system, a group cannot voluntarily implement laissez-faire capitalism. The individuals are not free to operate without external coercion.

Only one economic environment supports all individuals' liberty.

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By "group" you mean physically by city, county, state, city block, building? And if you live within the domain of one of these so-called groups, the choice of economic system is *completely voluntarily* imposed on you by.....group concensus, rather than a universal federal law - oh I know, you do have total 'liberty' to physically move out if that "group" suddenly decides upon a different economic system you do not want to live within. Of course, being "free to operate without external coercion" means no law to impose a fair process in which these decisions are made within these groups, when they are made or even whether they are even tenable. Individual liberty, what's that again? Human being being what they are, there is no "natural equilibrium" which tempers behavior in a "purely free" society, and one only has to look at human nature behind the wheel of a car to realize that.

Also, I don't think such a "laissez-faire" system would be entirely welcome to business in the sale & transport of goods across all these odd, differing economic societies with their own arbitrary laws and safety regulations - oh wait, these "groups" probably wouldn't bother with those - personal liberties...

Indeed, there can be no such thing as "individual liberty" under the system you describe because like it or leave it, human nature is human nature.

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The size of the group is irrelevant so long as participation is voluntary, not coercive. It could be a territory as small as a condo or neighborhood association. This is already common practice: All members voluntarily accept an easement on their land so that nobody who doesn't agree to communal terms will ever move in in the future. This could happen on a scale as large as a city or state, but universal consent is unlikely on that scale when some will be burdened more than they are protected.

Laissez-faire capitalism is fully compatible with government that places retaliatory force under objective control, and which enacts laws that are limited to protecting life, liberty and property. There's no argument here for relying on some magic equilibrium that replaces all government. Under laissez-faire capitalism, a man can still be arrested, tried, and convicted for having leaked poison upstream, having defrauded his customers, having threatened his neighbor, and so on.

Businesses that don't want to deal in any overhead imposed by groups won't deal with them. Some other business will, or the groups will have to alter their terms in order to attract business.

I'm not sure what you mean by your tautology at the end there. But if you mean that humans are imperfect and falible, that's another argument for minimizing those fallible humans' ability to control other innocent individuals' lives.

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Yes, there are homeowner's associations that resemble mini-governments, with their own unique sets of laws, mainly agreed upon to protect a certain character, or in the case of one friend's beachfront condo, being required to contribute $30,000 in order to build a retaining wall to protect one of his fellow member's home from erosion. That's fine, but sometimes a homeowner's property can be taken away from them without judicial process by an association. Without regulation, there *are* abuses. _I especially do not want these sort of arbitrary mini-governments to telling me how to spend my money or move out_

Under laissez-faire capitalism, a man can still be arrested, tried, and convicted for having leaked poison upstream, having defrauded his customers, having threatened his neighbor, and so on.

So, a *man* can be convicted for leaking poison - but not corporation? So, if it's unwritten but deliberate policy (for instance, reward that employee who finds a way of disposing chemical waste most cost-effectively, do not ask questions) to poison citizens, it will merely suffer the loss of that one employee? What's to discourage them when they do this time and time and time again, even with *weak* government regulation? If the fines are less than the cost of proper disposal, they will continue doing it.

It is an undeniable fact that without government regulation, corporations maximize profits by externalizing costs, and in most cases, the profits to them are a mere microscopic fraction to the costs to individuals such as you or I (dead-man switch vs. 10s of billions cleanup effort, proper disposal of waste vs. dozens of miscarriages & cancer deaths, ventilation systems & treatment of miner's lung, pollution vs. global warming, etc). So, the argument that government regulation ends up driving costs up for business is only true if you believe they are perpetual money-making machines, but they aren't. Everything they do has an externalizing factor to some extent, and without regulation, they will maximize their profit by 1% even if it kills someone.

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I would think that if there were a corporation engaging in practices that endangered and killed people that the law and courts, even under laissez-faire capitalism, could be arrested, tried, and convicted. Just because he said "A man" doesn't mean he's excluding groups or companies. That's like thinking he's excluding females just because he said "man".

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I would think that if there were a corporation engaging in practices that endangered and killed people that the law and courts, even under laissez-faire capitalism, could be arrested, tried, and convicted.

Yes, that's fine after the fact - after someone has been killed. Not before the fact - like setting safety standards and requirements that private corporate (and public) must follow to reduce the possibility that someone will be killed in the first place.

This is regulation - government intervention - that libertarian's oppose. The idea that a government entity - a central agency that itself spends billions on solely developing & revising safety standards each year - is a bad idea...but that profit motivation will lead private companies to develop better standards independently. I'd love to see the evidence.

Fact is, a company is a large association of people and it is remarkably easy to shift responsibility to other individuals when a profit-motivated decision leads to death, and the behavior never changes. Mainly because safety standards can be remarkably expensive, and so the decision amounts to spending millions of dollars vs. the chance of killing someone? Just one death is unacceptable, but business people are inherent gamblers and risk takers, so they do it again and again.

Ever hear of the Radium Girls?

http://www.damninteresting.com/undark-and-the-radium-girls/

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Cronyism, corruption and unprincipled populism are widespread in government. The negative behavior you describe isn't unique to actors in a capitalist state. Further, bad actors gain wider reach through government than in a typical company.

Disempowering the innocent and hobbling the economy doesn't make the bad guys go away. Many would argue it amplifies evil.

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I never ever said it was unique to a capitalist state, nor that it was unique to private industry. Any large association of people with elevated responsibility can act in corrupt ways. However corruption is only corruption when it's recognized and it's dependent upon violation of laws. The laws that govern private vs. public institutions are very different, the latter being far more restrictive. Cronyism in government is quite a grey area but in private institutions, it's perfectly acceptable.

Individuals in public institutions have very specific laws on their roles, what information they have access to, whom they speak to, what personal business they conduct and when, and who they go to work for after they leave public work. These are very specific and prosecutable laws - unfortunately, 8 years of a new-scandal-a-week Bush Administration, countless examples of blatant corruption (Joe Allbaugh), cronyism ("Heck-uva-Job Brownie"), coverups (US Attorney firings), illegal acts (torture), and just plain f***ing evil (Scooter Libby) that went unprosecuted, it really started to look like a dictatorship.

How ironic that the people who share the mantra that the best government is less government immediately try to prove it by example.

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Cronyism is, by definition, business getting in bed with the government. I'd like to hear an example of "private cronyism".

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A group just means a number of individuals. Geographic areas don't necessarily come into it. If a group of people decides to start acting out a system where they pool their money together or what have you, that's their choice. Nobody else in the area has to comply if they don't want to. Unless this idea gained traction and a whole town starts practicing it and its members refuse to do business with people who aren't participating in their system. Nobody's rights are violated in such a system because a) It's completely voluntary on all sides, and b) Nobody should be forced to do business with someone they don't want to. This would be a weird scenario, but if a non-conformist finds their life difficult in such a town practicing such a practice voluntarily, they should just move somewhere else.

It's a good thing we're a constitutional republic rather than a democracy. (Or rather, we're supposed to be.) The whole point of inalienable individual rights is to protect the individual against coercion by any number of people, from one to 51% to 99% of the population who might vote to coerce him. Socrates being voted to death because his ideas were seen as disruptive to the youth or whatever is an example of pure democracy.

No idea what the rest of your post is rambling on about. Except I think you're suggesting that under a "free society", there's nothing to stop people from stealing from or murdering each other. Laissez-Faire Capitalism is not anarchy. There'd still be police, courts, (volunteer) army. There'd still be rule of law and not of men. And don't even try to conflate laws and regulations. (I'm pre-empting that, because all anti-Capitalists invariably try to conflate things like that.) Legitimate laws protect inalienable individual rights by defining crimes that violate those rights and defining punishments for those crimes. That way people know for sure what actions are crimes and what the punishments are. (And before you pick that one out of the whole argument to pick at, you don't have a right to violate someone else's rights. Protecting other peoples' inalienable individual rights is not coercing you. It isn't coercing you to ban you from murdering someone.) Regulations coerce people who have not violated anyone's rights.

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No idea what the rest of your post is rambling on about. Except I think you're suggesting that under a "free society", there's nothing to stop people from stealing from or murdering each other.

I'm being very clear in my writing, you are not. I have never said that.

Let me repeat this to you very clearly, and in clear, pure, non-abstract terms as opposed to saying: "The whole point of inalienable individual rights is to protect the individual against coercion by any number of people, from one to 51% to 99% of the population who might vote to coerce him. Socrates being voted to death because his ideas were seen as disruptive to the youth or whatever is an example of pure democracy." which is yapping in the clouds about nothing at all.

Let's get real:

  • PG&E, ignoring complaints of bad odors, massive explosion in quiet neighborhood engulfs dozens of homes and 8 human beings including children.
  • KBR/Halliburton, incompetent pump wiring shocks hundreds of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan from appliances, at least 12 are electrocuted to death while in the shower.
  • Massey Energy, 300 safety violations, 9 directly related to death of 29 employees.
  • BP, multiple effenses
  • Monsanto, Agent Orange, and other stuff
  • Many, many, many, many more!

Just a few who are happily still doing business.

But one historic case that really made an impression on me: The Radium Girls

Am I getting my point across? In concrete terms? This is happening with *weak* government regulation after 8 years of George W. Bush. How do you propose this will get better with *less* government regulation?

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Let's get real indeed. A few google searches and here's what I find and/or conclude.

  • PG&E: Over 100 plaintiffs, through approximately 20 law firms, have sued Pacific Gas and Electric and/or its parent, PG&E Corporation, in the Superior Courts of California in over 70 separate lawsuits. -Wikipedia (I assume you are referring to the explosion in 2010.)
  • KBR/Halliburton: Corrupt definitely. Not sure if lawsuits are being filed or not. But they're basically in bed with the government, taking advantage of the fact that we're going on a warm, fuzzy, nation-building campaigns using tax-payer dollars. Even just returning to a gold standard would largely prevent these kinds of abuses. Nobody would allow the government to go to wars they don't agree with if they saw up front what the cost was. The cost of this "war" is mostly hidden from us because the fed is paying for it by printing money. But sooner or later, we're going to pay for it in the form of inflation, among other things.
  • Massey Energy: I assume you're referring to the mine explosion in 2010. The claim you're probably making is that not following regulations is what lead to the explosion, and that if they'd just followed the regulations, everything would have been fine. What lead to the explosion was simply unsafe practices, whether the regulations said so or not. What would have prevented the problem was rational thinking, not regulation. Unsafe practices that could lead to an explosion is a sign of shallow, short-term, in the moment thinking. Which regulation actually encourages, by giving you a false sense of security that you can run a business well without knowing how, as long as you comply with the regulations that magically guarantee that you're being safe. Abolishing regulation would weed this behavior out by making people think for themselves, and competition in the free market would reward the most rational, long-term thinkers. Oh, also, it was a tunnel mine. Environmentalist laws ban strip mining, which is much safer. But heaven forbid we be allowed to mess with nature for the selfish goal of making human lives better and/or safer. Not that they should get off the hook for the dangerous practices. And I doubt they did.
  • BP: Same as above. Regulations encourage faith in regulatory agency, faith and reason are contradictory, etc etc blah blah. And if environmentalists allowed us to drill in Alaska or closer to shore, BP would not have had to drill to such dangerous depths. Not that that means BP should have gotten off the hook. They chose to do what they did and still rightly had to pay damages and cleanup costs, as far as I know.
  • Monsanto/Agent Orange: Agent Orange was being used to give us an advantage in the Vietnam War by defoliating the trees that enemy guerrillas were hiding in. I don't think it was known at the time that it was poisonous. Monsanto (And Dow Chemical) simply manufactured it. Our army used it. But litigation was brought up against Monsanto anyway.
  • The Radium Girls: They sued U.S. Radium. There was wide media coverage over it. U.S. Radium's reputation was probably destroyed. Sounds like justice was done to me.
  • Every example you provided either a: Started with a violation of someone's rights and ended in punishments being meted out to the violator, through the justice system, upholding Capitalism; and/or b: is made possible or is influenced by the government violating peoples' rights, which is a failure to uphold Capitalism.

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Not that they should get off the hook for the dangerous practices.

Really? Why would you think they should be punished? In your free market Capitalist utopia all they need do is make sure the employment contract specifies that this is a dangerous job and the employee understands there is risk of death, and they are home free. You have already abolished all forms of social security, IIRC, so there will always be people desperate enough to take whatever job they can get. Labor is cheap. Profit is everything. The free market rewards whoever can cut the most corners, waste the least resources on safety and clean-up, and still get the job done.

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Sorry, I missed this reply - will run thru them very quickly as I see fallacies are so easily addressed.

PG&E: Over 100 plaintiffs, through approximately 20 law firms, have sued Pacific Gas and Electric and/or its parent, PG&E Corporation, in the Superior Courts of California in over 70 separate lawsuits. -Wikipedia (I assume you are referring to the explosion in 2010.)

What's your point here? Sympathy for PG&E? Really? People die because of negligence of this company, and your answer is "Well, look at all the shit they have to go through now." No, they were sued in 1996 for leaking chemicals into groundwater of a tiny town and lost, forced to pay out some $300 million. This doesn't stop business from doing it again. To them, it's simply a cost of doing business.

Let me repeat. Companies factor in fines as a cost of doing business. PG&E remains *VERY* profitable. $300 million dollars to them is to simply lay off a few thousand full-time employees - no big sweat for execs. These are people who love calculating risk and inevitably with large energy companies, quite a few decisions that weigh profits vs. the chance of indirectly killing people they.

Do you feel comfortable with people making those gambles? What if I mentioned some of them are Ayn Randian Objectivist A-holes who strongly believe Ayn Rand's stated gospel that average people lives aren't worth more than dirt, sufficiently exploitable? What an self-contradicting intellectual dilemma does that put you in?

Massey Energy: The claim you're probably making is that not following regulations is what lead to the explosion, and that if they'd just followed the regulations, everything would have been fine.

Again, I never ever say such things. I said that 9 safety violations were found to have directly *LEAD* to the deaths. Disasters really can happen when you follow the rules - but the likelihood of accidentally driving off a cliff if you are not legally drunk, driving illegally fast, or an unsafe car is considerably less so.

BP: Same as above. Regulations encourage faith in regulatory agency, faith and reason are contradictory, etc etc blah blah. And if environmentalists allowed us to drill in Alaska or closer to shore, BP would not have had to drill to such dangerous depths. Not that that means BP should have gotten off the hook. They chose to do what they did and still rightly had to pay damages and cleanup costs, as far as I know.

You think if Exxon were allowed to drill for oil in Alaska, BP would kindly discontinue their offshore drilling? How nice.

Faith and reason are contradictory. Why do you have such faith in objectivism when you can't even connect your ideology to basic common sense?

Monsanto/Agent Orange: Agent Orange was being used to give us an advantage in the Vietnam War by defoliating the trees that enemy guerrillas were hiding in. I don't think it was known at the time that it was poisonous. Monsanto (And Dow Chemical) simply manufactured it. Our army used it. But litigation was brought up against Monsanto anyway.

Of course it was known to be poisonous. Funny, if you want to talk true justice in terms of dollars, you'd think that a company that "negligently" produced a chemical that has maimed half a million people would be put placed out of business rather than making $12 billion a year. Hmm.

The Radium Girls: They sued U.S. Radium. There was wide media coverage over it. U.S. Radium's reputation was probably destroyed. Sounds like justice was done to me.

You're being funny. They DIED before they received any settlement money. Even if they lived, they'd have lived with incredibly uncomfortable disfigurements that no amount of money would've corrected.

But no, they all died.

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I never tried to drum up sympathy for any of those who violated peoples' rights. The point I was making is that they were punished for their crimes. And if they weren't, then that's a failure to uphold Capitalism. Not a failure -of- Capitalism.

Here. This article makes an important point.
http://www.drhurd.com/index.php/Daily-Dose-of-Reason/Society-Culture/The-Medium-...

You think I have faith in Objectivism? Funny. I thought I studied it for years, trying to make sure that I understand how the facts of reality give rise to Objectivist principles rather than just blindly accepting what Rand says. But you'll say anything to try to discredit me. Have you even read anything Rand has written? What exactly am I taking on faith?

You also have an elementary school view of business. You've been watching too many children's movies where the bad guy was a "greedy" businessman. You honestly think businessmen sit around thinking "How many people can I murder or maim before the lawsuits cost me too much money?" I'm glad you're not trying to start your own business. Leave the production to people who understand that it's irrational to harm your employees/customers/your reputation.

I've not once worked at any place where I was put at unnecessary risk just for them to make an extra buck. The least safe place I've ever worked was an industrial granary. They didn't have safety fences around their moving equipment. But I had to watch safety videos and take a tour of the place where the foreman showed me all the things that I had to stay away from. Why? Because that particular company knows that its workers are valuable to them and they don't want to be responsible for their people getting wrapped around or ground up in their machinery. That company also employs competent workers who work safely once they're taught the things they need to know in order to work safely.

You're pointing to a few dishonest businessmen and trying to use that as justification to control everyone. It's like banning guns because a few people used them to commit murders. I refer to the article I linked above. You're trying to blame Capitalism for a few peoples' irrationality. And if you think they were acting in their rational self-interest when they maimed and killed people, then once again, I'm glad you're not a businessman.

But you haven't read anything Rand wrote. If you did you'd know that Rand didn't think average peoples' lives are worthless. Everyone who tries their hardest to live a productive life is living a worthy life. And the free market has a place for everyone, from the highest executives to the lowest janitors. In a free market, everyone is free to rise as far as their ambition will take them. Everyone who can think and who can produce enough to at least sustain themselves is valuable. In fact, every human being you meet is a potential value, since humans are capable of rationality. Unless of course they demonstrate that they are a disvalue.

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You think I have faith in Objectivism? Funny. I thought I studied it for years, rather than just blindly accepting what Rand says. But you'll say anything to try to discredit me. Have you even read anything Rand has written? What exactly am I taking on faith?

Well... to say you've "[tried] to make sure that I understand how the facts of reality give rise to Objectivist principles" AND state that global-warming is just some secret agenda among 99% of the world's published climate scientists, as opposed to some secret agenda among thinktanks like Heartland Institute that receive millions of dollars from Exxon, BP, etc and pay off a small group of low-rank denialists.

This suggests you are rather selective of which "facts of reality" you choose to believe.

You need to go back to square one.

You also have an elementary school view of business. You've been watching too many children's movies where the bad guy was a "greedy" businessman. You honestly think businessmen sit around thinking "How many people can I murder or maim before the lawsuits cost me too much money?" I'm glad you're not trying to start your own business. Leave the production to people who understand that it's irrational to harm your employees/customers/your reputation.

You have an elementary view of my argument. I never said such a thing as a businessman making a deliberate decision to kill someone. Again, deliberately distorting an argument because you are unable to argue against what I'm actually saying.

EVERY business decision has an element of some risk, but not all decisions involve risk of human life. Life is filled with complex interactions and a small decision by a trucking company to require their driver's to place skirts behind the wheels at a nominal cost may have saved the life of one motorcyclist by having their face crushed by a rock. Those are the small things.

However, many businesses however DO make big decisions like this every day that can directly or indirectly involve the life and death of human beings, employees and regular citizens alike. Energy companies have to weigh decisions like this all the time, which could involve spending tens of millions or more for only a slight percentage of decreased risk, such as a redundant water cooling system at a nuclear plant or a dead-man's switch on an oil rig. These are increased costs with no guarantee of reward.

The problem is precisely this: In a truly competitive free market system, safety is not directly rewarded by profit. If Company A volunteers to spend $20 million on 10% increased safety to the public, but Company B gambles on not doing so, Company B will be rewarded while Company A may be forced to charge higher to cover costs - driving customers away to Company B. And either way, the public is ultimately faces the cumulative risk.

Companies have a love/hate relationship with regulation - they hate regulation when they are the monopoly (or, as proven often the case, conspired to fix prices) but they kinda love-hate it when in real market competition, as it provides a nice and somewhat competitive baseline for which these companies to weigh these costs. It also frees up capital spent on public safety, by placing it on the public. Your tax dollars to shield you and your private business from the carelessness of others. Reality is complex. Energy and money, like all things in nature, are a closed system. Everything interact. Get used to it.

And it's always the maddeningly stupidest things that lead to Fukushima & Chernobyl meltdown, Exxon & BP oil spills, etc.

Am I crystal clear enough?

Also, more truth: Ayn Rand was an opportunistic, talentless hag who based her entire philosophy on her admiration of a murderer and pedophile named William Hickman.

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I'll be the first to admit that I haven't studied the science. I doubt you have either. From my perspective, this whole global warming debate is a he-said she-said. But I distrust environmentalists, for the reasons I stated. The ends always justify the means for them. And the ends are "saving the planet" no matter what the cost for mankind.

First they attacked coal, with the obvious justifications that it's polluting the air. Then we developed nuclear, which is safe and clean. But they attacked that even more harshly. We also have natural gas, but the environmentalists are attacking fracking. Now that they've thoroughly beat those horses to death, I've even heard that they're starting to attack wind and solar in California, saying that it's unsightly, kills birds, and makes local livestock go deaf. No matter how much we appease these green freaks, they'll never be happy until we're back in the stone-age dying in our teens. And they'll never run out of junk science to "back up" their attacks on power as such. They also didn't just leak e-mails, but I read that one of them even stole documents from a facility belonging to their opponents. They'll do anything to "save the earth".

Let's say for a second that it's true that we're the main cause of global warming. Boo hoo, the temperature is going to be half a degree hotter this summer. Industrialization has allowed us to conquer nature so far. If this becomes a problem, industrialization will provide a further solution. Industry has already given us the amazing invention of air conditioning which helps us stay cool on really hot summer days.

Regulation is antithetical to industry, so regulation will actually leave us more vulnerable to things like global warming. If these "scientists" are wrong and it really is just the atmosphere and cloud cover trapping in more heat from the sun, then regulation would have hampered our ability to deal with changing temperatures. (I suspect regulation would be your solution.)

Sure, companies take risks. That's true. I think now YOU'RE not taking all the facts of reality into account.

The only values a business can gain aren't just money. They also have their reputation to worry about. Business B gambling on unsafe practices might get a financial advantage in the short term, but what about the long term? The longer you consistently gamble, the higher chance you lose at some point. If you kill someone because you were cutting corners, that reflects on your reputation. If people learn that someone died because you're cheap, that drives people to company A, costing you money.

The most rational businessmen are the ones who see the biggest picture. Taking things like your company's reputation into account should allow you to get greater rewards in the long term. For example, when people go out to eat, they're probably more likely to eat at McDonald's then a burger shack they've never been to before. Because McDonald's has earned a reputation of being trustworthy. Never mind that fast food is unhealthy. Everyone knows that. But when they go out to eat unhealthy fast food, they trust McDonald's (or Burger King, or Taco Bell, etc) to give them a consistent product. When you see those Golden Arches, you know what you're getting.

Actually you bringing up Chernobyl allows me to point to another example. Since then, nuclear power plants have been absolutely safe. The Fukushima plant was the only disaster since then, and it was hit by a friggin' earthquake followed by a tsunami and all it did was vent radiation.

Companies do tend to have a love/hate relationship with regulation. Honest businessmen are obviously strangled by it. Dishonest businessmen want to use it to get an unfair advantage by getting the government to enact regulations that they can meet more easily than their competitors.

Also: I already rebuked your idiocy about William Hickman. (I don't know where you got Stephen Hickman.) Rand was a novelist who abstracted certain character traits from him that she admired, while condemning the negatives in him, including his crime.

If she were talentless, she would not have died extremely wealthy, leaving an entire estate behind. And I suspect you say "opportunistic" to jab in the false rumor that she took medicare. She didn't. Her lawyer tried to put her on medicare, but she rejected it. She didn't need it. As mentioned, she was extremely rich when she died.

You like to push your epistemological point that "reality is complex". That it is. But reality is also non-contradictory. IE, reality is logical, and logically consistent. Merely by forming concepts, all of us humans, including me and you, are "simplifying" reality. But the "simplifications" can be valid. Categories, abstractions, generalizations, principles, are valid. And indeed, required for any human being to function in this world. Just because you worship complexity and think every concrete is unrelated doesn't mean that valid laws can't be discovered and valid generalizations formed.

Ayn Rand didn't just sit in an armchair and pull her philosophy out of her ass. She was a master of induction and integration. Her entire philosophy is built ultimately on observation. It appears as if it were simply deduced from her axioms because she integrated so tightly. But at every logical step, her philosophy is firmly rooted in reality. It takes years to fully understand it, because to get a proper understanding of her philosophy, you have to make the connections for yourself. You have to understand how reality gives rise to it, and make it your own philosophy, or else you're just memorizing and repeating.

You should do more than just read Atlas Shrugged and "fail to be convinced" before you start criticizing Objectivism. ("It failed to convince me" is one of the most common reasons I see why people don't agree with Rand after reading her. Which amounts to "I don't feel that it's right.") Not that "ad hominem" and "argument from intimidation" fallacies against Ayn Rand counts as criticism anyway. I have seen almost zero critics of Rand that didn't root their arguments in namecalling. And the few I've seen who tried to give an honest criticism of her philosophy were relying on some misunderstanding of her philosophy in order to proceed.

But having the balls to tell the world that each individual has a right to the own life, and each individual should pursue their own self-interest, their own happiness, is going to draw a lot of critics, because that goes against the very foundation of what almost everyone in the world consciously believes.

There are no conflicts of interest among rational men.

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To be considered is the unlikelihood that any rich businessman or politician has the same concept of rationality as the common man on the street. They may know what to say to pacify those they regard as a lower life form, but what they say and what they do are often two different things.

Capitalism fails because it breeds detachment, selfishness and irrationality in those who attain wealth. Wealth, or even the prospect of wealth, breeds insanity - to such an extent that some people would destroy the world if they became convinced there was some profit in it for them.

It is unwise to make determinations based on the pros and cons of Capitalism or Randisms. The human condition is what you should study, the tendency of wealth to corrupt reason, and the will to expediency when it seems that great accomplishments can be made by cutting corners or taking risks.

These aspects of the human condition are not negated by following any particular philosophy. Humans with great wealth and power live in a reality apart from the real world. To expect them to act rationally with their view of reality distorted would be irrational. Those in such positions of power who act rationally for the good of all are the rare exceptions, not the rule to be expected.

There are no conflicts of interest among rational men.

But who defines rationality among men? The corporate criminal who kills thousands for the sake of his profits regards himself as rational and intelligent. So does the altruist who seeks to prevent such destruction. Who gets to say which is rational and which is not, or if they are not both rational? Yet, if they are both rational, they are in conflict.

It would seem that man has no solid concept of right and wrong, only of personal interest. Both corporations and environmentalists are equally guilty of diverting reason, logic and truth to get to the solutions they desire to be best. Thus there are no heroes or villains in the global warming fiasco – no side one can take that is unerringly right.

Likewise, there is no politician one can vote for who can be trusted to be as righteous as he portrays himself. No word a human being can say which can be trusted to be a universal truth.

Thus, if you think you see truth in Capitalism or Randism, or even someone’s definition of altruism, you are automatically wrong. There is no truth in such things that is universal for everyone. True reason or rationality can only be achieved when the mind is set apart from the various schools of thought that have been established. Only when you see all other human beings like onto yourself can you be rational enough to define right and wrong unselfishly. This is the most difficult thing a human mind may strive to achieve – true impartial rationality.

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"based her entire philosophy on her admiration of a murderer and pedophile named William Hickman"

Citation?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1KGfnn3cbc

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That doesn't support Rabitguy's assertion.

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Well, it supports that she got ideas from that person. But not that her entire philosophy was based around it.

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I know. It supports truth and reason, actual study and awareness. My apologies if these things are inappropriate for a political discussion on the internet.

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What are you talking about? Liberty and free markets go hand in hand. That's a blatant contradiction. Unless you're a Marxist who believes in self-contradictory ideas like "Slave-wages" and "property is theft".

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What are you talking about? Liberty and free markets go hand in hand. That's a blatant contradiction. Unless you're a Marxist who believes in self-contradictory ideas like "Slave-wages" and "property is theft".

Wow, like debating a Scientologist when you question their fundamental illogic and they scream back at you "WIFE-BEATER!" Free-markets and liberty do not go hand-in-hand because - and this is unarguable - any group of associated individuals, whether public or private institutions, government or industry, have the power _and incentive_ to trample on the individual's (YOUR) rights. YOUR rights are fundamental, not governments nor private industry. What part of this statement do you need me to explain?

Corporations have different incentives and powers, but, key, their's is still far more than yours ever will be.

What *liberty* to be able to buy a computer that isn't pre-infected with Windows, the *liberty* to not pay that $25 charge tacked on for an OS you do not plan to use? What *liberty* to reverse-engineer a piece of hardware I own so I can make it do what I need? What *liberty* to be able to choose a car that is safe to drive - and *liberty* to be informed if something is found on that car that may kill someone - and the *liberty* to have that potential defect fixed? What *liberty* to keep myself healthy and eating foods free of deadly contaminents, and the *liberty* to be told IF and HOW contaminents get into products? What *liberty* to travel where I want with the ease of knowledge that the airline/cruiseline/busline hires mentally-ill or incompetent pilots or mechanics? What *liberty* to live on a planet that keeps breaking records in climate conditions and devastating hurricanes. etc.

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I would think that if people were being injured or dying the companies would change it, especially if the people found out an took legal action...boycotting and so fourth. If no one is buying a computer "Pre-infected" with Windows, Microsoft won't make money off of those computers. Why keep putting them out then?

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You would think that if people were dying or being injured, companies would change - but that isn't the case for a very simple reason. Individuals within any assocation of people (public or private) do not usually feel the full responsibility of their actions, and in private companies, they are shielded by shared responsibility. The only pressure they ever feel is to the owners/shareholders of a company, which is to profit - and those shareholders/owners often are the type who live for taking risks for great reward.

Tobacco companies have known for decades that their products have a very high probability rate for causing deaths, yet it took government regulation to prohibit companies from claiming cigarettes are healthy. Can you believe it, companies knowing their product, which has no positive health benefits but directly causes death, were claiming for years that their product was healthy.

Fun fact, I have a DVD of a thousand TV commercials from the 50's thru 70's - for fun, I googled up every single actor endorsement in a 1950's cigarette commercial, confused as to why I never heard of them - surprisingly nearly all died in their 30's or 40's. I don't know, I guess it's a possibility some prominent actors had evidence destroyed when they realized they were taking part in murder, but who knows...

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Oh, you're one of those Richard Stallman types who think that intellectual property is coercion? Haha! You could do what I did and build your own PC using parts off of newegg.com after you do some research on what parts to buy. You don't have the "liberty" to make a computer manufacturer provide you a blank computer if they find it in their interest to have a deal with Microsoft.

I used to be a linux/open source fanboy too. (Ubuntu.) I used to also think proprietary is the devil. Then I learned/realized that a: In many cases, proprietary software is more polished than the open source variant. And b: I didn't give a damn about Richard Stallman's concept of "free". I only cared about "free as in free beer".

Though there are some examples of open source software that can compete with or dominate proprietary. Such as the Apache server and Mozilla Firefox. But now I'm willing to pay for an operating system that works correctly and that I can play games on without bugs and graphical problems.

The hardware that you're not allowed to reverse-engineer? You probably agreed to a contract (ToS or EULA) when you bought it. So you'd be committing fraud against the company you bought the hardware from if they're only willing to sell it to you on the condition that you don't reverse-engineer it, you agree to that, and then you reverse-engineer it anyway.

What you've said implies an idea I've seen around. The idea that intellectual property coerces you by controlling what you're allowed to do with your physical property. That ignores the fact that whoever invented something or created a song or wrote a book or whatever, is responsible for the creation of a new idea that would not have existed if they had not done the mental labor to create it. The value in the physical objects was created, not by the labor it took to create it, but by the mental labor that the originator of the idea spent on it. They earned the right to exploit that idea for their personal gain. And you'd be getting something for nothing from them if you exploited their idea by creating physical instances of it without their permission.

As to the rest of it: Most cars are safe to drive. Most car companies make announcements if terrible defects are found in one of their models, and will probably offer to fix it if it's dangerous. But if you want to be informed specifically, demand, as a condition of buying the car, that you be alerted to things like that. If they aren't willing to comply, then both them and you are just shit out of luck. But you could still sue them for fraud if they withheld information from you that would've influenced your decision to buy the car. You have the liberty to buy organic if you think non-organic is unsafe.

Wait wait wait. Hold on. The "liberties" you're demanding sound like "liberties to be given stuff", especially at the end there. Which doesn't make sense. There are implied expectations you can demand of things, such as food being non-poisonous and cars being safe and airlines having competent pilots. You could sue if you get into an arrangement where they lead you into thinking you're getting something and giving you something else. Selling a faulty car or poisonous food without saying anything would be examples of breaching that implied expectation. But you sound like you want everyone to give you what you want and if they don't comply and offer you exactly what you want, or if you aren't allowed to go against their wishes to get what you want from them, then you don't have "liberty". That sounds like the "liberty" anarchists and Occupy Wall Streeters talk about when they think they have the "liberty" to do anything they want on anyone's property, and that if the police have to forcefully remove them, then it's "violence" against them.

Also, humans are not causing the climate changes/devastating hurricanes/etc. That bs has been disproven already.

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Oh, you're one of those Richard Stallman types who think that intellectual property is coercion? Haha!

HAHAHAHA! Uhh, wait....... Why do you continually misinterpret what I wrote and throw back something that makes utterly no sense to this conversation? Richard Stallman is an ideological extremist but he's done far more to help create a thriving computer industry than any other individual, especially Bill Gates. Almost every product that runs some sort of software, whether an alarm clock or Android phone or Apple MacBook Pro or Sony Playstation or Los Alamos Roadrunner supercomputer or Google, was developed using tools Stallman created and gave away. Many companies would simply not exist if it weren't for Stallman's free software offering a standard baseline to create products, as the alternatives are prohibitively expensive Unix OS (per system licensing sucks) or licensing compiler source code for a new processor IP.

So understand this. Richard Stallman's "sacrifice" in creating free software actually HELPS the computer industry in a way you can not possibly even fathom. Systems are complex, not simple and blind stupid like libertarianism. Much like the federal highway act HELPED commerce thrive in the 1950's. Much like the federal funding that made the internet possible.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/07/26/what-will-it-take-for-the-wsj-to-correct...

Then I learned/realized that a: In many cases, proprietary software is more polished than the open source variant.

Again, reality is not as stupidly simple as you choose to see it. There is polished open-source and complete garbage proprietary. It has nothing to do with public/private, it has everything to do with the quality of the programmers and project leadership. For every Windows XP or Windows 7, there's a Vista and 8. I like Microsoft's UI guidelines, such as the ability to use same keyboard shortcuts anywhere, and hate lack of them on Linux. I love the fact that I can be more productive from the command line in Linux than I could ever be on anywhere with Windows. There's a bit more convergence with KDE and PowerShell, which is nice because I use both side by side.

Unfortunately with open source, the best software is guided by ONE individual with a very clear sense of direction. Too many open source projects get muddled by too many "good" ideas that turn one good idea into a disaster. Gimp is a great example of too many great ideas, absolutely no vision. You really don't know if a tool transforms on one layer or all layers, or nearly identical tools in the same app, and so on. Yet I can do very specific scripted things in Gimp that'd take quite a bit longer in Photoshop CS.

The rest of the stuff you write is pretty ridiculous mischaracterizations of things I've said - because that's the only way libertarians can argue. Particularly:

The hardware that you're not allowed to reverse-engineer? You probably agreed to a contract (ToS or EULA) when you bought it.

Funny, I've never even been shown a ToS or EULA whenever I've bought a piece of hardware in a store. Have you?

There are implied expectations you can demand of things, such as food being non-poisonous and cars being safe and airlines having competent pilots. You could sue if you get into an arrangement where they lead you into thinking you're getting something and giving you something else.

Yes, of course. If I get food-poisoning at a fast food place, I could _simply_ take them to court. You really think that'll work? Lawyer up!!

Also, humans are not causing the climate changes/devastating hurricanes/etc. That bs has been disproven already.

Ahhhh, you're a global-warming denialist who believes that 99% of every published climate scientist (and 90% of ALL published scientist) who believe it is related to human activity, must be part of some sort of big conspiracy.

No. It is real, it is happening, and not an opinion but a statement of fact. Just a heads up, before you tell anyone else you're a global warming denialist. ;)

Your rating: None

Why do you continually misinterpret what I wrote and throw back something that makes utterly no sense to this conversation?

What *liberty* to be able to buy a computer that isn't pre-infected with Windows, the *liberty* to not pay that $25 charge tacked on for an OS you do not plan to use? What *liberty* to reverse-engineer a piece of hardware I own so I can make it do what I need?

I didn't know isolating the essential principle behind what you said (whether you realize it or not) is misinterpreting what you wrote and throwing back something that makes utterly no sense to this conversation.

One of the most common arguments against IP is that it prevents people from using their physical property however they want. IE, copyright prevents you from using your paper and ink however you want. But the truth is, you don't have a right to violate someone's rights. The proper justification for property rights, including intellectual property rights, is that people have the right to be the beneficiaries of their actions. Including people who create an abstract value such as a song or software or an invention, a hardware design.

I already know the principle you're pushing, and I know how it's wrong. It's not my fault that you think in isolated concretes rather than principles and essences derived from the facts of reality. Just because every phenomenon is something new and unprecedented to you doesn't mean that I can't form true abstractions and generalizations and apply them to new scenarios. Such as applying what I know about IP to your argument that you should be able to reverse-engineer the hardware you buy.

Again, reality is not as stupidly simple as you choose to see it.

See the above paragraph. Also see the post you're responding to where I acknowledge that there are good open source programs. And if I didn't in that post, then I also acknowledge that there are bad proprietary programs too. I think the point I was making is that, A: If you don't like that computers come with Windows, build your own, and B: That I choose to pay for Windows because it works better than the Linux distro I've tried. (Ubuntu.) Granted I enjoyed using the terminal for everything and it's rewarding to break your system and then single-handedly fix it again. But in the end Windows is less of a headache. Windows 7 on an SSD, oh goodness it's so nice. I don't have to do two hours of research every time I want to get a game to work on WinE. And when Ubuntu gave me an upgrade to X that didn't support fglrx and took away the option to downgrade back to the version that worked, I was done with them.

But anyway, so what if Richard Stallman made things and gave them away? Why did he make them? Probably because he liked the idea and wanted to make it a reality. If you want to go holding one person's contribution over the heads of everyone in society to justify the superiority of your morality, then here, have this one.
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18419231

Linus Torvalds

In many ways, I actually think the real idea of open source is for it to allow everybody to be "selfish", not about trying to get everybody to contribute to some common good.

In other words, I do not see open source as some big goody-goody "let's all sing kumbaya around the campfire and make the world a better place". No, open source only really works if everybody is contributing for their own selfish reasons.

Now, those selfish reasons by no means need to be about "financial reward", though.

The early "selfish" reasons to do Linux tended to be centred about just the pleasure of tinkering. That was why I did it - programming was my hobby - passion, really - and learning how to control the hardware was my own selfish goal. And it turned out that I was not all that alone in that.

---

Ahhhh, you're a global-warming denialist

Consensus does not equal truth. Correspondence to reality does. The reason there's such a big consensus is because environmentalism is popular. Environmentalist scientists, as was demonstrated by the leaked e-mails, tend to A: start from a conclusion and work backwards, cherry-picking and fudging the evidence to fit their pre-formed conclusion, and B: believe the ends justify the means. IE, it's okay to be dishonest because we're working for the "greater good".

There are scientists challenging their position and claiming that we're experiencing natural temperature shifts due to something to do with the atmosphere and cloud cover trapping in more heat from the sun. The effect humans have on the climate is barely detectable. You can't ignore what a minority of scientists say just because it goes against the consensus. If we always went with the consensus, we'd all be flat-earthers and we'd all live in the stone-age still.

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I didn't know isolating the essential principle behind what you said (whether you realize it or not) is misinterpreting what you wrote and throwing back something that makes utterly no sense to this conversation.

If you think you are isolating "the essential principle" of what I'm saying, you're not. You're simply distorting my argument to recognizability, then creating an argument against that.

One of the most common arguments against IP is that it prevents people from using their physical property however they want. IE, copyright prevents you from using your paper and ink however you want. But the truth is, you don't have a right to violate someone's rights. The proper justification for property rights, including intellectual property rights, is that people have the right to be the beneficiaries of their actions. Including people who create an abstract value such as a song or software or an invention, a hardware design.

Copyright protects ownership of ideas, not physical objects. When I purchase a piece of hardware, I have every right to make it operate as I see fit. Apparently law sees it that way.

I already know the principle you're pushing, and I know how it's wrong. It's not my fault that you think in isolated concretes rather than principles and essences derived from the facts of reality.

You know, coming from someone who states that they believe 99% of PUBLISHED (as in, peer-reviewed, not published on some blog) climate scientists are wrong that human beings are very significantly and potentially irreversibly changing climate, "principles and essences (wuht?) derived from the facts of reality" might not be the best phrasing for you to use, sadly.

Granted I enjoyed using the terminal for everything and it's rewarding to break your system and then single-handedly fix it again. But in the end Windows is less of a headache. Windows 7 on an SSD, oh goodness it's so nice. I don't have to do two hours of research every time I want to get a game to work on WinE. And when Ubuntu gave me an upgrade to X that didn't support fglrx and took away the option to downgrade back to the version that worked, I was done with them.

That's what you get trying to use Linux with an ATI GPU. :) Sorry, but the argument that Windows is less of a headache is very wrong. Linux is what you put into it. I've been using it since it came out as 2 floppies on ftp://nic.funet.fi, and pretty nonstop since. The beauty of Linux is that everything is interchangeable. If you know how it works, it's very easy to make it do what you want. The inelegance of Linux is that everything is interchangeable. Lots of components written by different authors with differing ideas of how files are organized, config syntax and so on.

Windows does have some stability benefits - self-healing is a big one that Linux distros generally (universally?) lack. On the other hand, if you've ever dealt with a corrupted registry or if Windows for some inexplicable reason stops booting, or driver issues, or whatever - you're largely closed off from solving the problem yourself. Quite literally, Windows seems elegant and simple from the front-end but architecturally, it's a bit of a mess, layers of crufty APIs, bad design and greedy vendors.

Drivers, for instance... You buy a new printer, the software installs a few 100MB worth of crap you don't want. Even a webcam requires a 60MB driver file. 99.9% of that is garbage you don't want, .1% is driver. Now, take any of 10s of thousands of peripherals and plug that into a PC running Linux a basic 700MB Linux distro. It will recognize almost any device you plug in instantly, and begin using it transparently. That is simply because most products use common chipsets, and Linux needs only one chipset driver to support dozens or hundreds of products. Windows drivers are by vendor ID and in many cases will not work on 64-bit Windows or even for some artificial reasons. (i.e. vendor trying to resell you "enhanced" versions of the same product)

I don't know about you but I only have a finite amount of time on this planet and profit motivation of others should not get in the way of MY LIBERTY in having the piece of hardware work right for me. This plug-and-play aspect of Linux would not exist, like many other things, if the industry were guided purely by profit. Profit only drives a specific class of innovation, and worse, stifles others, and you can sum this up very squarely by looking at the entire history of Microsoft. Oh, but think of how *wonderful* society would be if it were all managed the same way AT&T, Verizon and Sprint provide data service - but without government regulation. Libertarianism is nutty.

If you want to go holding one person's contribution over the heads of everyone in society to justify the superiority of your morality...

Interesting Torvalds quote, but just because he uses the word "selfish" doesn't mean he's contradicting Stallman in any way. In fact, he isn't. Stallman started GNU precisely because he believed people need the freedom to "selfishly" fix bugs in software that vendors might have no motivation to do so. That's pretty much it. You already bought hardware, why should software hold you hostage from what you need to get done as efficiently and securely as possible?

Although, if you want to really pick Stallman's argument apart here, it's the superficial distinction between hardware and software - since hardware is itself a form of software (not merely firmware but microcode, and HDL at a lower-level) and the same bugs & security backdoors can (and have) exist inside an integrated circuit.

Consensus does not equal truth. Correspondence to reality does. The reason there's such a big consensus is because environmentalism is popular.

You don't understand science.

Environmentalist scientists, as was demonstrated by the leaked e-mails, tend to A: start from a conclusion and work backwards, cherry-picking and fudging the evidence to fit their pre-formed conclusion, and B: believe the ends justify the means. IE, it's okay to be dishonest because we're working for the "greater good".

Okay, you fail. Thoroughly debunked. The "leaked e-mails" were from a discussion list involving a lot of scientists, scientists who naturally disagree and cherry-pick each other arguments just like we are doing here, and are pretty much EXACTLY what you'd expect on any discussion list involving scientists and researchers (I should know, I used to maintain several big ones - Ray Kurzweil was involved on one)

But the fact that you formed an opinion without even looking at these leaked e-mails nor any of the science behind climate change suggests you form opinions without "correspondence to reality" - at all. Not even based on reality. Not even resembling reality in any vague kind of way. Why not go and actually read them?

And after you do that, how about go read the leaked mail from the Heartland Institute?

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nationworld/papers-center-plans-anti-global-warm...

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute#Funding

The part about paying off $100,000 to gov officials and $300,000 to climate change skeptics is particularly cute. Also, this was the same "thinktank" that spent the 90's similarly trying to convince the public that smoking doesn't cause cancer. Do you believe smoking does not cause cancer, too?

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Wow, like debating a Scientologist when you question their fundamental illogic and they scream back at you "WIFE-BEATER!"

Same to you by the way. You offer the above argument from intimidation (a fallacy identified by Ayn Rand) in response to me questioning your fundamental illogic.

But I suppose I should make this clear. When I say "freedom", I mean "freedom from coercion". You seem to mean "freedom from inconvenience" or "freedom from want". Effectively, "freedom to have what I want". Which is a violation of the freedoms of the people who have to provide you the things that you're "free to be given".

Freedom and entitlement are opposites. Liberty/Freedom and Free Markets go hand in hand.

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (8 votes)

Okay seriously... Why? Why is this here? I don't come to Flayrah for political tirades, I come here for news on furry happenings and things that are very specifically of interest to furries - this is not that.

On top of it all, it's so logically flawed that it makes me facepalm. Slippery slope nonsense. I'm in agreement that the government is horribly corrupt but there are many, MANY other things that are more at the heart of the problem aside from a new tax (which is what this is, you pay a tax or you can avoid the tax by performing a certain action - that's not exactly unprecedented).

So really, I'd rather NOT see this stuff here, I don't come to Flayrah for partisan bickering.

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The fur community is large as in fat as in at risk. The fur community is bisexual, and at risk for some diseases. All as accurate as the fur community is young. Just part of the problems with this.

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This article is excellent. I made an account here just to comment on this article. I'm glad SOMEONE gives a damn about our inalienable individual rights, and I'm glad SOMEONE sees that the bullcrap our government is doing has implications on our lives. I had never even considered it from the perspective of being a furry. I'd considered it simply from the perspective of a human being watching his rights slowly slip away more and more each day.

Consider this: The government already imposes "sin taxes" on things such as alcohol, tobacco, etc. The local government of New York banned sugary beverages above a certain size from being sold outside grocery stores. Who's to say ten years from now, some Dudly do-gooder politician won't learn about the fandom, think we're gross, and impose a "sin tax" on conventions or (try to enforce one) on fursuit makers.

Just because the government is already doing something doesn't excuse or justify it. The Supreme Court established an unprecedented precedent when they ruled Obamacare constitutional. They said loud and clear to the world that, somehow, the Constitution gives our government the power to control our actions and penalize our inactions in order to control every aspect of our lives. It's only a matter of time before the politicians start pushing more and more of this crap now that that message has been sent out.

Keep hiding from politics. Just don't complain when you wake up one day and you aren't allowed to do anything that gives you joy in life anymore. Hopefully, people like me and the OP will help win this war against America on the battlefield of ideas, so that we and the rest of you don't have to wake up to a world where we have no liberties left.

Five stars on this article!

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Oh no, not health care. Please don't let the government give me health care. I've only been uninsured and unable to afford insurance my entire adult life.

Fuck you slimewads for thinking that this is a feature and not a bug. Damn you all to hell.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Health care would be affordable in a free market. We have a very, very mixed economy. We've had a mixed economy for most of American history, and it's only been getting less and less free as time went on.

"Please don't let the government give me health care."
The question you don't ask is, "Paid for by whom?" There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. (TANSTAAFL, a concept most social studies classes teach in middle school.)

I don't know about you. But I don't think it's right for the government to take other peoples' money and give it to me.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (7 votes)

A moral government cannot give you free health care any more than a burglar can give you "free" televisions. Government produces nothing. Government can only redistribute. To say that you want something from the government which is produced by individuals is to say that you want the government to seize it from someone else on your behalf.

My position is that I would like you, Taryn, to have healthcare. I also would like for individuals to be free.

This means that I am against government mandates. I don't regard anyone else as my property, and so I can't forcibly compel them to give me things directly, or via a middle man. If you want this to be a free country, there is no other position you could take either.

This also means that I support other ways for you to get healthcare, including through charities. I have personally volunteered time, and have made blood and financial donations that support people like yourself. I am also aware that most medical facilities charge me a premium that compensates for their giving some percentage of their service to people who cannot pay. I have no objection to this, and if I did I could choose a clinic that didn't have such practices.

Which part of the above makes me a "slimewad?"

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You're a breath of fresh air in an increasingly smoky world, friend. Keep up the good work.

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Freedom is in the eye of the beholder. I have lived in the UK, and now in the US, and I feel more constrained by the American system where I only have access to decent healthcare so long as I keep my job or have the financial resources to obtain insurance out-of-pocket. In the UK, at least I would always have access to healthcare regardless of what misfortune befell me in other aspects of my life.

It surprises me that a country that aspires to promote entrepreneurship would choose to place unnecessary additional obstacles in the path of people setting up on their own. ("You went and started a new business and foolishly got sick before it was doing well enough to pay for health insurance? You now have a pre-existing condition and can never get insurance again. Sucks to be you!")

Ultimately, I care more about the loss of liberty of people who die or are financially ruined because they didn't have access to affordable healthcare, than I do about the minor inconvenience to people who are forced to get health insurance when they might otherwise have chosen not to.

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And when Supreme Court Justice Scalia suggested that States should have the authority to outlaw masturbation; when Rick Santorum proposed overturning the Lawrence vs Texas and Griswold vs Connecticut rulings; what outrage over threatened freedoms was there amongst the Right then?

Outrage came there none, because Scalia and Santorum don't have a (D) after their names.

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Indeed. Both the Left and the Religious Right are threats to our freedom. I think it's just easiest to side with the Republicans because they at least pay lip-service to freedom. The Dems don't even give us that. But we shouldn't forget that both sides are horrible.

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That's a rather whimsical argument to make. Anon just pointed to direct cases in which Scalia and Santorum (both Republicans) are trying to limit (limit) your (your) actual freedoms (freedoms), and your response is:

I think it's just easiest to side with the Republicans because they at least pay lip-service to freedom.

Then you go:

The Dems don't even give us that. But we shouldn't forget that both sides are horrible.

False equivocation.

Is your thinking process so utterly broken that you're saying you'd rather side with the party that is more forthright about taking away your liberties and choices rather than the party that obviously must be taking away your freedom because they support a lot of rules on businesses but you can't explain any direct correlation but it must be true because you read it on some blog somewhere?

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You ignored the context of what I said which should've allowed you to understand what I meant.

When I said "I think it's just easiest to side with the Republicans", I meant generally. It's easier sometimes to fall for thinking they're the good guys because they talk about smaller government, more freedom, etc. Then they get all religious on us and remind us that they want just as much as the Left to take away our freedom. The Left and the Right just want to take away different freedoms.

The last sentence was a warning: We shouldn't forget that both sides are horrible. Don't let the Right's occasional pro-freedom talk fool you into thinking they'll let you be free if they had their way.

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Where is there a side that is not horrible? If there is not one, what point is there in taking a side? If you can not vote for what you want, why vote?

Instead of arguing about which side is less horrible than the other, should you not be demanding a side that is not horrible?

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I am not sure just where it fits in here, but I recently said this in a review of 'Brave': "I briefly visited the Scottish highlands in 1991, and I can personally attest that moss and lichen cover everything; there are drifting fogbanks all over; and I saw a ruined castle (from the outside) just like the one that Merida discovers the giant bear Mor'du in. It was posted with a Scottish government sign that said basically, "You are warned not to go into these ruins. They are unsafe and very dangerous. Explore at your own risk; the government does not accept any responsibility for your safety."" The decision whether to enter the ruins or not was left to the individual, after having been warned.

Fred Patten

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I see a lot of "explore at your own peril" in the US too. For instance, at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco. However, the whole 'explore at your own peril' falls entirely flat because if you die, someone else has to climb down on those rocks to collect your remains. So... How about a collection box right under that "explore at your own peril" so that your peril doesn't come at the cost of my dime.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I would say that any topic that generates as many comments as this one has -- almost seventy and still going -- does not "not belong in Flayrah".

Fred Patten

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Squirrel (Kris Schnee)read storiescontact (login required)

    from Florida