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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. That may be true, but one still has to try to respond to a call for reason, at least initially. I'm confident enough in my views to engage people with extreme views on their own merits without name calling. This can sometimes be very interesting, especially with libertarians who have a well-thought-out philosophy to their beliefs. Unfortunately, the race-based arguments don't seem to go anywhere. Even the smartest proponents of these racial theories can't even get very far before the reasoning becomes murky and unprovable.
  2. Please point at an instance of me defending McGuinty. I don't recall ever having done so in his entire office. It's very sad that our politics has become so binary that people automatically assume you can be only conservative or liberal.
  3. Harris' name came up regularly as I said. These are called 'feelers'. I'm sure Harris can speak French better than Manning could.
  4. Pfaff. I saw his name floated on for the Stockwell Day and the Harper elections, to complete indifference. Mike Harris and Dalton McGuinty are both mismanagers of very different types. Harris had absolutely no background in business, but spoke as if he could reorganize Ontario. Which he did until the public tired of the strife and the deaths. McGuinty papers over, taxes and manages by polls which is spineless and incompetent too, and even worse than Harris in a lot of ways. I wouldn't want to choose from the two, and in fact I won't. You shouldn't have to either. The idea that there are two ways to run government (cut to the bone, or wastefully and cynically) is a product of low expectations such as yours and lazy lawyers and smarter-than-thous running government.
  5. I plan to check it out. Don't get me wrong - I think we're inefficient, but I do think we have found a framework for social support that we can move forward from. Worrying is a strong word. Nobody really needs to worry too much, unless they're a worrier. They just need to be vigilant in asking for good information about what they're doing. That's all. But our economy allows for us to provide social insurance so as to keep anyone from falling to the lowest notches. Marxism was a reaction to the industrial revolution. We have no such structure today, it's already fluid. We should be educating people to plan ahead economically, as that is how we're configuring our systems to work.
  6. And a republic where a single objector can halt the construction of a road or power plan is a freedom loving utopia. I think what we're seeing here is that progress comes at a cost, which will never be borne evenly. Actually, they're paid market value but they don't have the option to say 'no'. I'm thinking of the visibility that foreign strife has in our news, and the degree to which we have been getting involved in foreign conflicts based on ostensible 'humanitarian' goals. Also, in the last 30 years, we've seen Live Aid and popular support for Tibet and Darfur. But your points are well taken with regards to foreign aid. And to add: the technology will help this immensely. For that matter, we may even evolve to something like a totalitarian state, but one where the citizens don't want or need input. But I'm just blue sky-ing here.
  7. I don't necessarily agree. Happiness happens from many things for many people. I didn't see the film. I don't see how they've moved to the right. They haven't cut spending or made any large changes to how government is run. They haven't changed foreign policy significantly. They haven't enacted changes to social policy that amount to anything at all. The challenges of life follow Maslow's heirarchy of needs, and as time marches on, we move up and up the pyramid. The top of the pyramid will always be there, and government won't remove that ever. However, removing the lower levels of challenge is a very good thing. Otherwise, why would we mitigate public security via government ? Your views reflect something that used to be called 'the protestant work ethic' and although there is truth in it, even socialists will tell you that they're looking to give people a leg-up and short-term help. Posting with you and Renegade convinces me even more that we have arrived at the 'sweet spot' of government and don't know what to do with ourselves. I say: let's review and reorganize ourselves to deliver government services at the same level as now, but more efficiently. Let's increase the visibility of the public into what government does. Let's figure out how to share productivity improvements, and encourage people to work harder and smarter for fewer hours, and develop themselves more.
  8. I guess I agree, but again, it's an abstraction. And our system is the result of thousands, millions of such negotiations albeit more cluttered and disorganized due to the scale. The startup costs and costs of purchase make it prohibitive to do so. Although a government wont' be as efficient day-to-day, they will be able to provide permanent service in the area of transportation and therefore better overall efficiency. Society is in fact less willing to let the poor die overseas than they were. Changing moral norms have increased our social awareness, simultaneously with the global conflicts we're involved in. That sounds like a tobacco tax. I'm familiar with the idea, and believe it or not I do think that in the very long term our society will appear more Libertarian. I think that management software and social integration will reduce the overhead required to administer civil society. But... over centuries not decades.
  9. Have you even heard Harris' name mentioned since Stockwell Day made a run for the Alliance leadership ? Leaving the Harris question out of it - yes I think that there is something serious happening here. I have visited the area and the Ontario government doesn't seem to be acting to mitigate the absolute loss of faith the locals have in the system. This is a very bad thing. Whichever side you take on the actual conflict, the breakdown of the system in this respect is something that we all need to pay attention to. Vigilantism has already reared its head and the government's response has been to shut down, avoid, and sweep under the rug. The local newspaper constantly has coverage of this while in Toronto we hear nothing. Agreed. ( I wrote the previous paragraph before reading this. ) I don't really think the US/Canada situation is all that different, but other than that I agree that McGuinty is playing the situation politically. By the province's own account, this is a federal matter but the security matter is provincial and they need to be more up front about it, and respond to the concerns of the community.
  10. Hey Shwa, I have long been a devotee of McLuhan. In fact, I want to host an online chat on the topic in a few weeks. Let me know if you're interested in discussing that. McLuhan indicated that the education budgets should include advertising, since that was where children received a large part of their education. I believe he felt that television in the classrooms wasn't a great idea, but I don't remember why.
  11. Do you mean, before 9/11 ? I imagine they didn't think it was relevant then.
  12. I have nothing to support this, but my general feeling is that people are at least paying closer attention to what is happening in Pakistan.
  13. They're essentially the same, but they're not the same. The essence of the points is that media doesn't pay attention to similar crimes in the same way. Although the nature of these things dictates that it's almost impossible to determine if that's true, I can believe that it happens for a variety of reasons. Kimmy and I disagree on what some of the reasons might be. Lictor, on the other hand, articulates this point by pointing at a broad conspiracy of liberals, and uses language that is insulting to anyone with a mature and reasoned outlook. So, essentially they're saying the same thing but in actuality Lictor is proposing fantastic situations, and his justifications are poorly put together.
  14. There's an odd dichotomy at play there, I think. People "like" strong leaders, yet leaders like McGuinty and Chretien will continue in office for many terms while Harris doesn't appear to be allowed back into politics at all. Bob Rae is still around, on the national stage no less. But 'Google' Mike Harris in the news section and the only current personality with that name is a Welsh football star. I think it's likely more descriptive to say we have a 'love/hate' relationship with strong leaders. Even Trudeau was shown the door in 1979 and called arrogant. Thankfully, we haven't had a Mike Harris type prime minister mismanaging the country as he did the province. But that's for another thread.
  15. Fair enough. Harris didn't seem to care if somebody got killed either. And somebody was killed. And we don't have Harris anymore. Don't run for Premier, Argus.
  16. "Maximized freedom" is a meaningless phrase. It's as meaningless as "Maximized beauty". "We believe that the city needs MAXIMUM beauty." "Yes, we agree." "Therefore, I have commissioned people to clean up the graffiti !" "What ? But I commissioned people to create MORE grafitti !" So, again, this idea of maximum freedom is very abstract and therefore enjoyable to discuss, but when applied it's hard to see how it would be difficult from what we have today. My freedom to make noise versus your freedom to have quiet, for example. These things are balanced via laws. But please don't tear apart this example. If you've examined this question in your learning about libertarianism, then just give me the best examples you have. There was a project that the people of the area wanted to initiate. The project was framed around that objective. Very cynical. Society in general wants to help out the destitute, not just to have them starve to death behind closed doors. If that weren't the case, why would we have social programs ? So, smoking isn't allowed then ? This libertarian society sounds quite restrictive so far. Yes, why not start a new libertarian thread where we can ask you about it. It's been awhile since we had one. A bad approach for this is to have me build what I THINK a libertarian society would look like, then have you correct me. It's your utopia - you build it !
  17. I have sent a news tip to 680 News to let them know that it's been a year and a half since the government has let us know about a meeting...
  18. I am willing to give the governments (Canada is the chief negotiator according to this website: http://www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/negotiate/sixnations/faq.asp) the benefit of the doubt, at least to a point. But the Ontario government has actually stopped updating the website. I guess now that this is no longer in the news, we don't need to be updated as to the status. ) http://www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/negotiate/sixnations/events.asp
  19. Your response amounts to a statement that you don't trust government, and that you believe it will become more totalitarian. That's fine, but how do you frame your argument to persuade people that their lives will get better under libertarianism ? And how would it be adopted ? You might once have suggested a phased approach, by opting for conservatism and then moving forward from there. But our conservatives seem about as libertarian as the liberals lately.
  20. jbg - edit the the post, then click 'use full editor' and there's a preview option.
  21. Yes, you did, you said: "Freedom Balanced? Not at all. It is like saying that the right to think for yourself should be balanced. " Balancing freedom means working out whose freedoms preside over others'. The question should be phrased as: should a person ultimately be allowed to decide what their own best interest is ? The answer clearly is: not in all cases. "Free society" is not a tangible goal, though. "To build 100 km of road going north from Kingston on highway 3" is a tangible goal. You can achieve a free society by basing your laws on human rights, but we can't even agree with bjre on an idea of 'freedom'. Well, they're not required if you're ok with having the poor broken and dying in the street. Ok, that makes sense to a degree. But how much right do you have to impact the environment ? Are there any other marked differences between such a society and ours, other than nanny government protecting you from being ripped off by telemarketers, and cocaine dealers ?
  22. On a basic level, though, freedoms conflict with each other and need to be arbitrated - or worked out outside the legal system. Emphasizing an ideal is good when you're talking about abstract issues, but government today is more about practical issues: payments, disbursement, planning projects and so forth. You wouldn't talk about ideals all the time when you were making a sandwich, and although I appreciate the urge to discuss and abstract ideas I think that government/democracy should be doing less of this in general. We should be focusing more on services and management. His own choices in what ? How about the environment ? The outcome of the debate, I believe, was that it stalled around these very questions.
  23. I abide by the moderators, and if they deem him worthy of being here then I reserve the right to respond. Besides, I don't like the idea of unresponded threads of that kind being out there. It leads people to think, sometimes, that there is something to the charges contained therein.
  24. Good for you for out-Googling Morris. He's a master Googler so that's saying something. Koch's numbers though, aren't correct. He's taking 2001 numbers only. If you look at the statistics since 1976, the year that the death penalty was restored, then it's a different picture. Depending on how you define the races (which is a separate problem, of course, ignored by those who base all rationales on race) then 2001 was a year in which white executions were over represented. Still, there's something to be learned from what he says. There used to be a bias in which accused received the death penalty, but that appears to have been dealt with as now the focus is on the fact that white victims elicit death penalty convictions at a greater rate.
  25. If that's the case, then he is simply a troll and should be taken off the board.
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