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Everything posted by MtnGoat

  1. Human Shields

    It's anyone's right to commit suicide, if they think someone will not thumb the firing switch or bomb release because they are standing in the way, I guess this will provide a good example of natural selection.
  2. Tim Eyman is evil

    "it was the growth of the value of your investment that caused your taxes to increase, not a quadrupling of the rate." Which is part of the problem here. Until such time as Fairweather, or anyone else, actually *uses* that value, they're being taxed on what they have not gained yet. Property taxes should reflect the market value *paid* for the property, or the value used for a mortgage or equity loan, not what some third party claims the value is. Taxing someone on what the value "could" be, when they have not received that value, is merely a way to increase revenue.
  3. Free Press

    "If one's values and actions endanger others, and impede others' rights, then those actions and values can be deemed inappropriate, and, as such, be regulated. That is my belief, at least." It seems we agree then. The only problem is, what are "other's rights"? Since I elementally disagree with cases where "rights" involve positive action coerced by threat, we have an impasse. You seem to believe in positive rights, where one's rights include forcing action from others, where as the basis I'm coming from protects "negative" rights, the right to not be forced to serve others. the rest I'll address later. see ya.
  4. Free Press

    I see your point concerning those I do battle with here, Fairwether, but it's just not my style. Face to face is where I prefer rockin' and rollin' for fun, where body language, facial expressions, and tone can be perceived and take the sting out of racuous disagreement. What's OK face to face often looks far harsher in print, IMO. From time to time I'll get a sarcastic depending on how a poster is responding t me, but I try specifically to keep that to a minimum. Often though, direct and pointed questions are taken as attacks, but usually by someone who doesn't like the way a very direct question is being framed. Besides, by remaining steadfast and relatively low key, I can ask direct simple questions, and allow them to define themselves by how they answer. When other observers see one side asking plain old questions, and the other responding with attacks and dodges, bit by bit it become obvious just who is not being forthright. Some of my opponents here don't really engage in that much if at all, such as SC for example, while others engage in it all the time, and all it takes is a casual thread read to find those. Anytime I can ask regular 'ol questions and get an opponent to break into personal attacks, generally about "you don't care" and "you're killing the earth", I've gained some ground. I've never been able to understand the connection between "caring", and threatening other peaceful people to do things my way to prove I "care", but that's for another time. If it takes "caring" to essentially agree to gang up on the next guy and threaten them with jail because I don't like some peaceful activity they are engaging in, I'll pass on showing my "caring" that way. I do not intend to change those I debate with really, but to plant the seeds of doubt in casual readers and lurkers who generally outnumber active posters. I know it works, because I get PM's from them telling me to keep it up.
  5. Free Press

    "A representative government, with individuals voted into office who enact policy changes that the individual citizens want. " And? I must have missed where "wanting" became validation of taking someone elses right to determine their own values and actions. "Somewhat taken over by monied special-interests (often money "buys" access), but still theoretically sound, in my estimation(?)." What do you think will happen when you take the power from those who hold it in the first place? When decisions are in the hands of the individuals themselves, anyone wanting to convince them has to make a case directly to them and get them to choose differently. When you've removed that power from them and concentrated it where it can be purchased, you've created a situation where pressure only needs to be applied in a limited place, in order to result in changes *enforced* on everyone in the purview of those being suborned. The reason that power can be bought is precisely *because* it is no longer in the hands of those whose lives are affected. "So you see, it's not really some abstract "government" disconnected from the people, it's the people themselves. I don't understand why this is difficult to comprehend. " When a citizen has to convince millions of people to change a law effecting their rights, when they own that right to begin with, that innately makes it disconnected from them. I don't understand why that is hard to understand. Right now, any one of us can march right into a car dealership and use *our* values to pick out a gas hog or a fuel sipper. Given the ideas of some here, one of these options would vanish, and to make the same decision involves begging millions to change their minds. If that's not abstract and disconnected, I don't know what is. Having to convince millions instead of making your own choice is as disconnected as it gets. "(This idea works best with active citizen (and non-citizen) involvement.)" I posit making *your* choices, and allowing others to make theirs, works best with active citizen involvement.
  6. Free Press

    "Someone's view of safety is imposed on you every time you take to the streets. Speed limits, stop signs, turn signals, etc., rules that most people seem not to view as an egregious burden. Only you, my friend." Well, my friend, I've already made the argument that no ones "pie in the sky" pure principle can totally work in an imperfect world, and that adjustments must be made. I don't think I've said I'm agaisnt stop lights or turn signals, because I'm not! Traffic lights, stop signs and turn signals impose an outcome specific choice on no one. Wether you drive a car, a motorcycle, a truck, a bus, an evil SUV, (or a tank), as long as you meet these minimal standards you are good to go. This is an example of non specific infrastructure laws, such as don't cheat on contracts, which support free use in many, many different ways, without specifically forcing any one person to meet goals different from those imposed on others, merely due to their choice of vehicle. As for presidential elections, if that's your yardstick for success, I can't really argue with that outcome. In terms of membership, they have the 3rd largest, and as measured by people holding office, they have 500+ accross the nation, something no other third party can match. At this time, most of the offices are local ones, but that's to be expected for a party a few decades old I think. I claim libertarians support *true* grass roots effort, where else will they begin? Besides, as the big two become increasingly restrictive, as we can see occurring today as the republicans pile on drug laws and damage some civil liberties, and the Dems imposing racial quotas, supporting massive taxation and continually trying for imposition of socialist health care, they create more consitutencies for us. "Some thought Gore to be "wonkish"?" I can't really figure out why folks talk about how complex a world is, how we need people who understand that, and then complain about discussing it's complexities. The matters we talk about are far bigger than three sentence answers will handle. Nor can I figure out what is more naive idealism than parties who figure the govt cares more about it's citizens, and knows what's "best" for them, than the citizens itself. People will complain all day long about the evil corporations, and ignore that govt beaurocracies have their *own* internal reasons for existence, are entirely dependent on taking money rather than bargaining for it, and when they make mistakes, their mistakes are forced upon every single persons their laws cover. Or the naive idealism of folks whose inclinations, when met with people who don't agree, is "lets force them". Don't like what they sell? Force em to do what you want. Don't like who they hire? Lets force 'em. Don't like what they drive? Lets force them. Yup, now that's real enlightenment and caring cupcake.
  7. Free Press

    looks like justice to me...
  8. What's in your SUV?

    wow tricky, you are stocked! and ready to be stoked, as well, noting one item in particular.... And you bring up another category I didn't think of: maps and references and other junk.. -field guide to birds -road maps of WA, OR, ID, MT, UT, BC and Alberta -Gazeteer -Harry Majors's "Exploring Washington" (which really kicks ass, if you're a history buff or just like trivia, it's a gold mine. Image an Gazeteer with hundreds of notes on History, geology, towns, wildlife, etc for each map) a bunch of 7.5 minute topo Quads -half dozen old copies of Discover magazine, for browsing during unplanned downtime -Nat Forest maps for Mt Bak Snoq, Okanogan, Gifford Pinchot, Wenatchee
  9. What's in your SUV?

    I see and reply...beep.
  10. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    thank you trask. I bow before your radiance.
  11. Free Press

    "You think anything goes; I think we can collectively (as individuals with individual voices!) decide what is acceptable and what isn't. Pretty basic, really." We have a different view of the morality of collectivism. There are two kinds of collective action, one where many individuals choose something and do it themselves, thus creating collective decision while entirely respecting the rights of those who disagree. And the other route, where a "collective" threatens the rest to get what they want done . If a "collective" *actually* wants something, they'll choose it on their own. If the "collective" in question will not implement it's own claimed values on it's own, it can scarcely legitimize threatening others to make choices it's own members won't even make on their own. If enough people agree with you and refuse to buy or drive SUV's, the collective will, through personal choice, would result in market collapse for SUV's, and they would vanish. Since I have no "right" to force you to drive one, and no "right" to force anyone to make them, and cannot capitalize to do it myself, your wishes would be met without *once* violating my rights, or yours. All you seem to want, is the shortcut which frees those who *claim* to not want SUV's from actually, really taking that stand. By threatening other people, they can achieve their claimed value, when they will not choose it themselves, or conversely are not a sufficient majority. If the number who agree with you is great as many claim it is, the result will be as I describe. The result is a direct outcome of peoples actual commitment to the values they claim. Neither I nor anyone else should be a tool for your values simply because people won't actually choose what they claim to value. "We collectively decide that murder isn't allowed, because it's an impingement on other indivuals' rights." And this is entirely consistent. "In the same vein, we can decide that SUVs must be regulated (and tanks!), because they are an impingement on other individuals' rights." They are not. We elementally disagree. I have no right to make you drive one, and you have no right to impose your view of "safety" on me. I do not hold you at gunpoint myself or by proxy, and demand you stay off the road, choose a vehicle you don't want, or figure your risks anyway but the way you want. Your intention of making anyone not choose an SUV forces *your* risk assessments on them. Changing peoples choices by law in favor of your view of risk doesn't eliminate risk, it just tilts it your way by threat, while exposing them to alternate risks *specifically* due to your threats. There is no right to "feel" safe, just as there is no right to not be offended.
  12. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    "you are so eager to bash that you didn't even realize I was answering RobBob. So what were you saying?" My mistake. There are so many replies flying it was not clear whom was responding to whom. I withdraw my comment.
  13. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    "you are such a crackpot. You standard of proof for all intent and purpose does not exist in science." You mean I don't find that shaking chicken bones in your closet at midnight in front of the black candles, proof it kept the elephants out of it? Shocking. It's gonna be pretty funny in a decade or so when solar conditions change, or whatever drives the oscillations, and new ozone holes open up while you're claiming your laws fixed them. What will be needed then? Limitations on soda pop? "the logging industry only adjusted to continued corporate subsidies and has kept cutting disappearing stands of quality trees. And its only one example." And it's a good one. It's a perfect example of how subsidies distort true costs and market operation, resulting in overuse of limited resources, at falsely low prices, because there is no actual free market interaction between cost and benefit. . logging should never have been subsidized in the first place. "if you think we'll be able to continue wasting energy the way we have been doing once oil is gone, you are dreaming!" No matter who uses what, someone will always come up with a reason someone else is "wasting" it. Waste is in the eye of the beholder. If you pay for what you use, how you use it is your choice. If you wish to travel down the way to criticizing waste, shall we begin with you and your non essential desires? Do you waste energy taking vacations? Isn't the earth more important than your selfish desire for variety? When you are off work, do you do anything for fun? what about that waste? What about the pollution created to provide you with more than one pair of pants? Multiply that times a lot of people , and that's a lot of waste. Now of course, some will claim this doesn't count. And that's the problem. They want to pick and choose who's use is "waste" and whose isn't, using their own personally perfect standard. "So what does it tell you? there is no tomorrow and you don't care?" Hardly, it tells me there's a great tomorrow, as long as we can keep stasists like you from placing everyone and everything in a box of artificial limitations. I care plenty, I don't need to buy your view of limitations in order to do so.
  14. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    "it is plain ridiculous to accuse organic agriculture of being responsible for the loss of crop land." I did no such thing. You seem to have difficulty with recognizing what I actually write. I suspect my posts are often so visceral to you it kicks some impulse and you take right off on that tangent, instead of reading what I wrote. What I said was along these lines. Organic agriculture uses more land and give lower yields, thus keeping more land under cultivation than industrial agriculture for the same total yield. I never claimed organics lost crop land, I said they used *more* of it.
  15. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    "so what stopped the expansion of an ozone hole with deadly consequence for life on earth? supply and demand? of course not! it was top-down regulatory measures." now you're gonna claim it was regulation, when like human driven warming, the ozone/ CFC linkage was never actually proven? From what I understand, proxy studies show that like temperature, Ozone levels rise and fall all on their own for unknown reasons, have done so in the past and will do so in the future. And ozone is likely related to solar activity as well. On the other issues.... Why don't you explain how the reality of reserve vs price is "nonsense"? "oil production will peak ~2005 and the current rate of consumption is 4 times the rate of discoveries. This should give you an idea of how rapidly reserves will fall. Oil reserves will last a few decades (~30years)." Fine. I knew whatever I said you'd have a different version. Anyone so enthusiastic about getting oil out of use should be *thrilled* reserves are so short lived, because it will achieve their goals that much sooner. I have no problem at all with small reserves, as long as market forces are allowed to drive alternatives. "we have used up to 85% of the US topsoil mineral resources over the last century. We have no alternative but keep adding nutrients and fertilizers in ever growing amounts that leach into our water supply." No one growing food or removing plant material on a continual basis has any alternative but to replenish nutrients lost, regardless of topsoil erosion or not. Even organic farmers in their holy gaiain state of grace must fertilize. There is no alternative to replacing nitrogen, sorry. If you grow and then remove crops, the nitrogen goes with them. If you have one I'd be glad to hear it. As for adding nutrients "in ever growing amounts", that makes no sense. Once you replace what is removed, there isn't a need for more. Farmers lose money by using more than they need. In the past when proper fertilization and pollution issues were less well characterized, fertilizers have been a problem, yes. since we know better now, and over fertilization is not only waste but damages the fields themselves, growers are far more careful. Now if you're using more land, you may be using ever increasing amounts, in which case you'd be using more anyway, no matter how minimal your usage per acre was. "in the face of dwindling natural resources across the board, no attempt whatsoever to adjust the infinite growth economic model demanding ever higher income per capita, widespread corporate welfare, etc ... it is plain loony to expect the market to automatically start accounting for sustainability." If you have a belief in stasist/socialist economic models, with no cognizance of the role of innovation or replacement, of course not. The reality is that markets adjust themselves to shortages, the attempts you speak of are market driven by actual need and cost effectiveness as they become necessary. "It is even loonier to except us developing technologies that will offset the broad decrease in natural resources when the planet could not support its present (but increasing) population if it attempted to live at the standard of industrialized nations." Only if you view economies as fixed pies, ignore innovation and replacement. People don't want tin, they want what tin does. People don't want oil, they want what it does. We are not irretrievably tied to any one way of doing things, markets and needs are not static and fixed. You go ahead and do your planning and distribution, and a free market system will do so with greater efficiency and more innovation at lower cost every time. Count on it. Market forces are true magic, resulting in spontaneous organization and structure without the need for some ascetic directing who shall use what "dwindling" resource, based on their elitist morality. If you are so concerned about dwindling resources, I can't see how you can justify anybody using anything, after all we're just taking it from the people of 102,345 AD. If we each use one nail less per year, we can stretch that out to the year 102, 650 AD. Or don't you care about the future? Need I point you to the famous bet made decades ago concerning the price of supposedly dwindling resources, between a malthusian such as yourself and a free market advocate?
  16. Free Press

  17. Free Press

    moved reply to proper thread
  18. Free Press

    "I just really think the philosophy you espouse is terribly naive and idealistic, disregarding all ramifications in favor of its trumpet-call: The Individual Above All!" So you think "society above all" is less naive and less idealistic? What about disregarding the ramifications of that? How can a society be fulfilling if the individuals are not happy? "society" is not a person, "society" has no feelings, no one can ever know "society" as anything but a construct? But we *can* know what makes individual people happy, because they are we and we each define it for ourselves. Think about it... how can anybody truly be happy if they are not able to follow the dictates of what they value? It's impossible to force values on people. They may obey coercion where it is unavoidable, but in all the other actions where it's not visible, they do what they want anyway. I think may be mistaking basic principles as outlined by me here, as arguing for absolute and total adherence to these. Of course that is not the case, adjustments must be made. But these organizing ideas are no less pie in the sky than any other unreachable ideals which form the basis of other ideologies, such as the quest for perfect equality, perfect distribution of employment by race, or anything else. Still, the basic but unreachable ideals point the way, and it seems to me you are following your own set of ideals you would also admit are unreachable.
  19. Free Press

    "Competition? You don't believe a damn word of what you say; it simply provides a platform from which you can argue. I think the reason you found Libertarianism attractive is cuz it was the most antagonistic philosophy, suiting your personality to a tee." thus the elite speaks, and you know what someone else "really" means or believes. Just how is it you are so sure no one else can actually believe they don't want you dictating their lives? When I debate you, I give you the respect you deserve and at least figure you hold your position honestly, even when I don't like it. You aren't doing that. I must be lying, right? So who is it respecting the personal views of others, here? Of course you find it antagonistic, because a) you insist on divining what I "really" mean, and b), it provides little outlet for your seeming need to fix everything, for everyone elses own good, to your standards. There is little way a philosophy which does not support your use of others, for your personal ends, would be anything but antagonistic to you, because it stands in the way of your plans for everyone. Here we have a situation where your philosophy justifies your proxies in my face, with threats, in so many inescapable areas of my life, and you say *I'm* antagonistic! ......At the same time, while you defend your intent to order my life, and I refuse to do the same thing to you. It's odd to say the least. Who is the antagonist, really? "The only reason I say this is because your arguments above prove your position to be entirely irrevelevant and short-sighted." Instead of rebuttal of content, the rebuttal is just "they're irrelevant". I cannot see anything more short sighted than insisting "people" or "society" want something they don't already choose on their own. Further, I fail to see why protecting individuals means they will not care about their decisions and their effects. If this was true, you wouldn't take others into account in decisions which are not legislated for you, but I'll bet you do because you obviously care. Why assume that merely because you are not forced to care, that you won't? "This is why Libertarianism will continue to be only a marginalized sect, devoid of any powers of influence (in a positive sense), except on the already marginalized." It's already the third largest party with the largest number of elected officials outside the big two. If you can't see past your own desire to use so many people for so many reasons you justify, I can't explain it to you. IMO you stand for false "democracy", where people who will not do what they claim to value on their own, use the short cut of threats to get others to do so. Hardly a basis for compassion or respect. IMO, everyone knows morality cannot be forced, then many set right out to do so. Everyone knows change must come from within by people who truly respect each other, but then we ignore that and set right out to force change by external means. In each case the results are poisoned by the means folks already know deep down inside don't work, but it seems so noble. "Sorry if I sound harsh, but I think it's readily apparent." No worries, I'll bounce right back as you've seen. Have at it!
  20. What's in your SUV?

    I'll play... tire kit air compressor shovel bow saw jumper cables tp water oil and power steering fluid spare overnight gear lighter
  21. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    "how many years of oil reserves are left at our present rate of consumption?" I don't know. I don't need to know, though I suspect it's many decades, if not centuries worth, given current consumption *and* fixed price, which is not likely. All we need to know is given normal market operation, higher prices drive alternatives without central planning needed at all. And that they are inherently cost effective, because market action itself is driving their development in the first place. Unlike programs that aim to force "cost effectiveness" by artificially increased prices, which encourage avoidance, cheating, special deals for preferred industries, and all the rest. No one escapes *actual* market driven price increases, because there's no alternative. In order to encourage actual, market based energy efficiency, remove subsidies from producers, and buyers, and let the market work. Also, we must remember that what are considered reserves are measured in large part by market price, and as that goes up the number of previously economically marginal oil fields goes up. I think it's reasonable to assume the density and richness of oil fields in the earth is probably some kind of random function following a gaussian curve or somesuch, and since we only drill the best ones now, I'd guess that as prices rise, the number of newly economically viable fields will actually increase. Which when combined with the lower usage that higher prices represent in the first place, means even longer supplies. But back to basics. The notion of reserves being innately linked to price is well established, and is identical to any market for raw materials. When I worked gold exploration, reserves were measured on the basis of market price vs size of deposit, among other factors. Trying to determine reserves without price, is like trying to do toxicology without taking into accout dosage of a toxin. "How many trees worth cutting are left compared to what was once?" I don't know. Again, like all markets, what is "worth" cutting depends on supply and demand. You seem to have the idea that supply and demand are not flexible. How does this relate to discussing oil and then launching into cutting all the trees down? Did I somewhere comment I thought all trees should be cut down? I like trees. I have been offered much for the large cedars on my property, but I refuse because I like the trees. Cedars are worth a hell of a lot, and one concern my wife and I have is how to protect them if we ever sell. We may donate that portion of property to the city in return for waiving the costs of subdivision to do so. If you wish to discuss trees at length, I'd appreciate more detail. "How fast are the major aquifers inherited from glacial times being depleted per year? at the present rate of water use how many years are left in, say, the aquifers of the great bread basket of the midwest?" Don't have an answer for you. Have I claimed to know this? I do know that water, unpriced or held at an artificially low price, will result in higher usage rates like any other market good. "I'll wait for your answers showing that none of these issues are critical, but please don't stay up for me." To my knowledge I didn't claim any were non critical, water is pretty nice and so are trees. I merely stated someone had been reading Malthus (seemingly without noticing that markets are inherently flexible, and people are ingenious), and that I didn't understand why a conversation about oil turned into a doomday screed about all kinds of other things. And no, I don't get paid by the word. I don't get paid at all. I don't need to be paid to defend people's self determination, choices and the incredible ingenuity of the free market. If people want soundbites, they can and do skip these posts, (and complain and gripe) but folks who understand complex issues cannot be discussed in bite sized chunks deserve more. There are a few, I know they exist. By providing details such as how "reserves" are not just fixed, but depend on other factors such as market price, which is rarely if ever mentioned when enviros carry on about running out, I provide interested folks with a few tools necessary to examine more closely what they are being told by many. If they're not interested, there's a scroll bar on the right hand side of the screen.
  22. Free Press

    For a rickety abacus, my designer did pretty well holding off the likes of the competition I see here. If you want to drive your tank to work, by all means do so. You may be assessed weight fees like a semi, and additional user fees may be necessary if you damage the pavement more than is costed for when doing road maintainance tax costing for normal vehicles.
  23. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    "Are you trying to say that a many-million dollar media campaign is all that is needed to convince the public of the conservatives’ selective way of accounting for cost?" Not at all. All it takes is the everyday person seeing the reality of what the green socialists with their religion wind up doing to their everyday life. A falling standard of living, state control every place they turn, immensely expensive energy, and constant demands to match the green ascetics pushing their religion and hatred of the twin eco evils, consumption and free choice. Oh, forgot, they care and they know what's best. Everyone else is just too stupid to understand. "Well, in fact all the public has to know is that if we ever get to the point when we are forced to wean ourselves from oil, any tree worth cutting is gone, our aquifers and soils are depleted, etc ...the 'magicians in funny economics' will jump on the bandwagon of the newer technologies they criticize so hard today for being too expensive and will cash in on the new markets as if nothing had happened." Geez, someone's been reading too much Malthus. We didn't end the stone age because we ran out of rocks, and we didn't end the steam age because we ran out of steam, or the candle age because we ran out of candles. They ended while all these things were still available, because better alternatives entered a free market all by themselves, no top down big mega plan needed. Oil won't just run out and bang, prices skyrocket. Supply and demand is a wonderful thing, as things get more expensive to find, price pressures drive alternatives all by themselves, in places no planner can predict, in ways so widespread no beurocrat can dream of imposing, all simply because the advantage is self evident. No govt program or top down socialist manipulation necessary. When the use of oil became linked to cutting all trees and depleting the soil, I have no idea, but it sure shows the kind of doomday scenario some have in mind when we argue over something simple like oil and it's prices and uses. Drill for oil, my god we'll have to cut all the trees and deplete the soil too! Ya wanna talk soil depletion, talk to the folks against biograins and who are big on opposing fertilizer. They're the experts in using more land instead of less, for lower yields, as well as being caught in an enormous catch 22 over soil depletion that is the dirty little secret of "organic" farming pushers.
  24. Shared Successes Under Dubya

    "Let him first sign kyoto," Why should any nation sign onto a plan that wastes so much money for such a miniscule effect, and ignores many many nations? "drop plans to drill for oil wherever he can," oh my gosh, drilling for oil? How horrible. "reinstate power plants emissions standards," Are you now telling us there are no emissions standards?
  25. TV Ads Say S.U.V. Owners Support Terrorists

    "We will only have fuel efficient transportation via one of two avenues:" That's odd, take a look at any dealership, right now, today, and you'll see fuel efficent transportation parked right there, ready for anyone who chooses it.