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Everything posted by a-train

  1. I know a few lesbians that have good integrity. I know none which are lying scum.
  2. If you are cool with it, let him do it. If not, dump him. Simple as that.
  3. Why does a person considering such an operation care what the LDS church position is?
  4. The practice of mutilating the genitals of an infant (male or female) is disgusting and immoral.
  5. So are we going to say this for just the LDS God, or for all the gods?
  6. I think the gay rights movement will be ultimately successful in a short time. A Mr. President and the First Man could be here before we know it.
  7. Hitchens was awesome, a very eloquent speaker who brought a lot of solid arguments to the table.
  8. North Carolina - Raleigh. I enjoyed it and learned a lot.
  9. Scientists have long since realized this. Religionists continue to live under the oppression of false prophets and their lies. Very unfortunate for the masses living under it.
  10. Over the last couple of years I had forgotten my password. From time to time I would try to log on and could not remember. The email address associated with my account was no longer in use so I couldn't reset the password. Then, today.. ...out of the blue.... ...eureka! I remembered. So here I am. I see many familiar regulars are still just that. I have studied and grown a lot in the last two years: a life-changing process including my departure from the Church. After my vigorous study and service for 18 years, I have concluded that Mormonism is not true. This comes as a real tragedy for me, I really wanted it to be so. But with the grief of this loss comes the newness of life associated with a world-view I had never known. I have been reborn. I am VERY optimistic and excited, something I could not have understood without experiencing it myself. -a-train
  11. My wife and I married quickly and young. We had kids immediately. We did so in faith. It has been very difficult and we really could have planned better. The counsel to approach child-birth in that way has not proven good for us. Tough.
  12. Jesus is God. Few Christians disagree. He was born on an earth and lived the human experience in every way. -a-train
  13. Why do you want to return to Church? What do you hope to accomplish in doing so?
  14. Although you could have been much smarter in handling the situation, don't blame yourself for a failed marriage. That is of course if your account of the situation is accurate. If she was just that hard to live with, then it was HER that killed the marriage. I have family that went through similar circumstances. It was obvious that a particular individual made their spouse's life a living hell for many years. The victim endured relentless torture quietly and with dignity as toddlers grew to teenagers. Then, the victim made an escape to happiness. Today, that individual is much happier and healthier. The perpetrator remains bitter even years after the divorce. This is the awful reality that can come about when a truly altruistic lover of some sick person sacrifices his/herself in hopes that all will work out in the end. My advice? Don't let fear of anything, not even hell or God, and especially not any social circumstances, prevent you from being yourself using your own reason in determining your actions.
  15. Does a cell have a spirit? Does a snail? What about a single celled organism? A blade of grass? All speculation. My opinion? Man has a spirit, thats all I know. -a-train
  16. The Church is simply inconsistant with respect to marriage. It once called for liberty, it now calls for state control. Tragedy. The Church is still true. -a-train
  17. I don't think there is any correlation, much less a causal relationship between the rise of socialism and a decline in the interest of religion among the citizenry in a socialist nation. I am an ardent anti-socialist and a lover of captialism, but I don't see any reason for a decline in religious interests as one becomes more supportive of the nationalization of the means of production. In fact, a great many anti-capitalists stand on religous grounds. The current trend wherein atheists tend to favor the Dems over the Repubs is only a recent one. It is only the result of the religous right's control of the Republican Party in the past couple of decades. Previous to that, atheists tended toward the capitalist Republicans, not the do-gooder progressives in the Democrat Party. But now, atheists find themselves struggling to lend support to a party so deeply saturated in religous rhetoric. Socialism is nothing more than one of a whole array of various methods of economic interventionism. It has been proven mainly to cause more harm than good and as a result has been largely abandoned by most of the world including and especially the supporters of economic interventionism. The vast amount of evidence has become too undeniable that without real market signals management becomes impossible and massive misallocations result. This is the reason for the collapse of socialism throughout the world. Cronyism, however, lives on and becomes evermore sophisticated. The attempts of interventionists at abating it through legislation has and will be proven to be nothing but ill-fated fascism supporting none-other than those whom the legislation promises to remove from the status of privilege. Socialism, powerful as it has been in robbing men of their means of production, has been powerless to rob them of their means of thought and spiritual consideration. Because of this, it has not diminished the pursuit of godliness among men. -a-train
  18. But those restraints weren't suddenly removed. The South didn't see the last day of the war and say: "Ok, their right, lets all be capitalists now." Jim Crow laws were in effect well into the mid 20th Century, as well as protectionism for southern farmers and all sorts of other interventions. Heck, Kansas City schools were still keeping black students out of shool buildings just blocks from their homes because of racial quotas in 1995 when I was attending there! Isn't it fantastic!!!! Actually, corporations possess no human rights whatsoever. No right of speech, thought, religion, assembly, etc. The only rights it has are those its creators give it, and among those, none are those rights which we usually define as distinctively human rights. This is what I don't understand. I hear advocates of planning say this all the time. Yet what is their solution to the problem? Deliver highly centralized power to a small elite. This doesn't compute. I guess anything is possible, but do you really think that they could resist the massive profits that such a product/technique would bring? And, what indication is there that more expensive and less effective treatments would make more profits over the long run? I suppose Edison could have thought that the candle business was more profitable than the light bulb, but do we really think so? Could you imagine the marketshare that would be reaped over night by the company that brings a cure for cancer to market? If indeed they are selfish and greedy, I find it very difficult that they would go without bringing such an enormously profitable product (which they alone can produce) to the global market. I've seen the movie and have a particular interest in the auto industry. But you have to admit that the REAL reason the EV1 didn't go into full production was because it had about a 100 mile range and a 3 hour charge time. Plus, I can buy a compact gas car for a fraction of the price that has a much longer range and refuels in less than 10 minutes. The EV1, for the vast majority of consumers would be more hassle at a higher price.You can get an electric motorcycle like this one, many companies are now trying to offer these. These bikes are available to the general public, bikes like these have been available for years, they are not being supressed by some conspiracy. If you look at their locator map you can see that they are available locally all over North America and Europe. Why are they not changing the motorcycle world forever? They are just not cost effective. I can buy a Kawasaki 250 sport bike for less than half the price that will have a much longer range, a higher top speed, and refuels in less than two minutes. Don't get me wrong, just like the EV1, these bikes are usually selling out and are available only to those willing to sit for months on a waiting list. But they account for a microscopic niche market in the grand scheme of the motorcycle business which a great deal of people hope will eventually help developers build electric bikes (and ultimately cars) that are cost effective (both in money terms and in terms of the effort and time necessary to refuel). When that happens, there will be some big changes, I personally will be a consumer as I have watched and hoped for the last several years. I disagree, an unregulated market, a market of anarchy, will never correct cases of abuse, not even in the long run. A free-market is NOT an unregulated market, it is one made regular by the Rule of Law, not arbitrary rule. Now you are quoting Keynes. This is exactly why we don't want arbitrary regulation. Don't you see the difference?-a-train
  19. Liberal capitalists don't believe laziness is the cause of poverty, central planners do. Capitalists believe that the causes of poverty are many. Included among them are disease, famine, war, and a host of other factors, but among the greatest is centralized economic planning. Planners, not liberal capitalists, believe government needs to "stimulate" in order to keep people from being lazy. Liberal capitalists acknowledge that free people automatically tend to be industrious.The right-wing planners are those crying about how socialism will make people lazy and unproductive. The truth is we don't know if socialism will make people lazy or more industrious or have no effect in that sphere, but we do know it will only depress the productive capability of even the most productive individuals and injure the competitive edge of domestic businesses in the global market-place and that is the real problem and the reason why socialism will make a nation less wealthy overall. A fantastic insight to this understanding can be found in Democracy In America where Alexis de Tocqueville speaks of the contrast between the industrious north on the one side of the Ohio river and the lazy south on the other. He demonstrated that the issue which caused this contrast was not welfare, but freedom. Adam Smith pointed out the same issues with slavery in Wealth Of Nations. While it is quite possible that slaves in the south put in many more tedious hours of back-breaking labor than free laborers in the north, the overall productive capacity of the south was still greatly diminished by the strict economic and social controls of slavery. -a-train
  20. I waited until the end of January to start buying stocks, the DOW dropped from around 12,000 to around 8,000 from March '08 to January. I'm glad I got to miss that. While the CPI is in retreat, I don't chock that up to good policy. In fact, the FED has done all it can to prevent it. I do still anticipate an ultimate CPI hike. This won't happen until deleveraging slows. I am still extremely bullish on oil. I've bought some oil stocks and ETFs. I am still also bullish on commodities.While the Dollar index had a huge rally late last year, it has fallen almost to where it was in March '08, with a 13% drop just since Jan. The Dollar lost 26% against the Australian Dollar just since February. It lost 30% in the same period against the New Zealand Kiwi. Thus, the increases in the DOW have been no better than simply putting cash in an Australian savings account which has interest rates above 5%, while currently the DOW yield is only 3%. Is inflation still over the horizon? Definitely. -a-train
  21. Liberal government would handle this by refraining from the impulse to constrain wealth creation. Under such a system, the overall wealth would be much greater and more people would be able to afford healthcare. Also, healthcare would be less expensive.-a-train
  22. The liberal view (my view) is not a complete lack of law (anarchy), but a Rule of Law. Many see only anarchy on one hand and arbitrary law (an arbiter is law) on the other. Most of the west today sees arbitrary laws of different sorts as preferable to others. For example, they see a bureau as preferable to a dictator, but neither are the implemetation of the Rule of Law, they are only different forms of arbitrary law. The former is simply the case wherein rather than a dictator being the arbiter, a bureau is. Where arbitrary law exists, universal individual freedom does not. In fact, democracy as we usually define it cannot. Certainly there are plenty who want to sieze power, to supress innovation, and so forth. And that is the very trouble with arbitrary law, it is the best means whereby such usurpation is executed. In the case of Bell for example, did you not know that Bell's monopoly was government created? Bell was given exclusive license by government. When that monopoly went away, there were literally thousands of competitors. Microsoft has consistantly had to work tirelessly to hold marketshare, the so-called monopoly never even slightly existed and today the greatest threat to it still remains market competition. Name one monopoly created without government help. I've yet to see it. Arbitrary law is very helpful for monopoly.Laissez faire is often misunderstood to mean an economic policy devoid of law. The reality is that is meant to suggest the lack of arbitrary law and the use of the Rule of Law. But why are newspapers coalescing? Innovation and the free market. The information revolution is killing the newspaper industry as we know it. Future generations will probably have no newspaper at all. They will know the news long before any paper boy can put a hunk of dead trees on their lawn. And that future generation is already here. Suppose that a single newspaper company came to possess every paper in America by 2012. Would it be a monopoly? Hardly. It will still be mired in steep competition with the other instruments of the information age.The reality is not that some paper companies are siezing more marketshare in an expanding industry, but that they are the last men standing on a sinking ship as they watch even the rats float away. The liberal would quickly agree about anarchy. However, he would clarify that no free market exists in anarchy. A "free market" is not one where there are no property rights. A robbery at gun-point is not a function of the free-market.Liberal theory and the Rule of Law is easily visualized by an examination of lane laws. It is said in the United States that there are specific lanes (usually the right lane) on a roadway which are designated for travel in given directions. There are west-bound lanes and east-bound lanes. Without this demarcation, the freedom to travel would be greatly injured. The purpose therein is to allow all travelers to be benefitted the same. The enforcers of the law are commissioned to enforce this same rule for every traveler without prejudice. Travelers are freely allowed to go either east or west as they please, there is no arbiter to determine whether each traveler should be allowed to so travel. The Law Rules, not any arbiter. We cannot under this system determine whether travel will be more to the west or the east. Indeed, changing circumstances may alter that flow over time. This flow is NOT planned. Under an arbitrary law there would be some arbiter who would grant each traveler the right to travel either east or west based on his/her/their goals. This would be necessary if we were to attempt to control the flow of traffic so as to create a net western flow, or a flow of red vehicles east and blue ones west, etc. Individual travelers would be met with different rules. Some would be free to make their desired choice, while others would be disallowed such freedom. Travelers would change their plans based on changes made by the arbiter and the arbiter would therefore make further changes. Such is the nature of planning. Without planners, there can be no planning. Plans, once planned, must be conducted by arbiters of that plan. The execution of that plan would change as conditions change. In the case of economic planning, the flow of money, goods, resources, etc. are being planned. A simple Rule of Law is insufficient for economic planning. There must be planners empowered to control the flow of resources to reach stated goals such as causing the flow to go toward a certain class or certain industry. The democratic machinery becomes a major impediment to those goals. In fact, such machinery may find it impossible to come to any agreement on the goal itself. That is why it becomes necessary to defer authority to a small bureau outside the legislature (IRS, Federal Reserve, SSA, etc., etc., etc.....) This is why economic planning leads to the decay of democracy and did so in so many places during the last century. A democracy of diverse people will find it more and more impossible to concede on a given economic plan as diversity increases. Thus, those who wish to implement their plans push for the creation of planning bureaus outside the legislature with powers to create and enforce regulations swiftly. Liberal Theory does not have as its ends either anarchy nor arbitrary law, rather it acknowledges the Rule of Law as a necessary condition for individual freedom. A Liberal Government will not engage in economic planning, it will maintain the Rule of Law. It does not seek to control the flow of wealth. The sad history of economic planning is that while it was proposed as a plan to flow more wealth to the poor, it results in the flow of more wealth to the most wealthy. Why? Because the most wealthy have the means to best influence the planners. My desire to see liberal theory implemented, the Rule of Law restored, and economic planning abandoned is not for the rich, but for the poor who would be the most benefitted. What should not go overlooked is the fact that these older governments were just as much involved in starving people as they were in feeding them. In fact, much of the starvation going on in the world today is a result of economic planning. Sanctions, trade wars, regulations of products, all of these things are efforts on the part of governments designed to produce some economic benefit, be it for a small group or society at large, they are the leading cause of starvation in our modern world wherein the global capacity to produce food is far above current production levels. Farmers in the United States are paid by the Departement of Agriculture not to grow crops. Why? Economic planning.What has produced the modern era wherein wealth creation is far better? Liberalism. Once people were allowed to own the means of production and engage in free trade, they began furiously producing wealth. They continue to do so insomuch as they continue to have such freedom. There are economic ignoramuses who complain: "In the free market, producers try to limit production in order to keep profits high." This is actually 100% acurate, what they don't understand is that in such a case we WANT them to limit production. If demand is too low to make a given level of production profitable, we don't want that production to take place. Why? Because further production would actually be wasteful and the resources wasted would be resources which could have been employed in some other form of production which is actually valued. We don't want to go without bananas while apples rot in bins. This said, we don't want government making these limitations, we want invested free-market entities to do it. Why? These same ignoramuses who want economic planners to prevent such activity actually support government's efforts to do just that! They support interventions such as the paying of farmers not to grow crops so that crop prices will stay above certain minimums. The funny thing is, economic planners cannot actually plan supply without knowing demand, and they can't know demand without a free-market price system. This is why the countries with the strongest economic controls have suffered the greatest troubles with shortages and surpluses. Russians had cars they didn't want to drive while they went without toilet paper. Liberal laissez faire economic policy simply is such that it is generic, it makes no effort to plan the flow of resources among the people. It allows them to flow freely so they can go most effeciently to those places where demand is greatest. But like auto traffic, when too much tends to pool into one area, the independent travelers begin looking for other routes and/or destinations. Imagine the traveler who says: "They should kick some of these other travelers off the road so that I can drive in this area without all this traffic." or "They should ration the right to drive on this road so I can do so without traffic when it is my turn." These would be reactions of the interventionist. The liberal would say: "Let's build more roads." In a free-market, as the level of production in a given sphere gets too crowded, producers (we are all producers) begin producing other things in spheres that are not so crowded. If everyone on your street is selling tulips and a guy is selling them so low that you can't touch his price, you start selling roses. Society is now better off having not just tulips, but roses also, just as society is better not having just one road, but many. Liberal theory is not simplistic and it takes a lot of study to fully examine. Free-market economics alone takes a lot of study. I think this is why most of the population has such trouble understanding it. They equate it with anarchy. But no one would call our lane laws anarchy. I devote a lot of study to the subject and I am still just coming to understand all the various principles. But the more I study it, the more I am convinced that it is the best system possible. -a-train
  23. Let us not suppose that opposition among the Brethren to President Benson's outright advocacy from the pulpit of the John Birch Society and particular writings was some sign of some sympathy or agreement with soviet Communism or government usurpation of control over the means of production.-a-train