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Old 06-22-2002, 06:24 PM   #166
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It is an ever changing, continuously molded example of perfection, Z.



This guy is going to be good.. If I had the number one pick.. I would either take J. Will or Caron Butler.. Probably Caron above him...

Yao will be a waste.. as will Dunleavy.. Just giving more evidence to my rule.. never draft a white guy.. See.. Jason Williams.. Shawn Bradley, Christian Laetner, Big Country, Van Horn, Cherokee Parks.. But that's just me.. Though I'd always give those Europeans a second look..

One who thinks L.Bird was the greatest..

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June 18, 2002
Soft Touch
by Scott Burton
ESPN The Magazine


Jim Calhoun says Caron Butler is not one to cry. This is an odd notion, coming as it does from a man who sat right next to Caron when he broke down at his NBA-declarin' press conference -- before it even began. Perhaps Calhoun is trying to be droll and ironic, playing off your perception of Caron as a hardwood killer (which he most certainly is). More likely, Calhoun -- whom Caron calls Pops -- is trying to make a bigger point: that it takes a whole hell of a lot to make Caron cry. Which, as this story goes, is exactly what Caron has been through: a whole hell of a lot. To take it one step further: Caron doesn't sweat the small stuff. The big stuff, though? Life and death, destiny and God? Yes, Caron feels that. Hard.


Caron is feeling it now, as he drives the streets of Los Angeles in his black Escalade, tinted windows rolled down so as not to pique the curiosity of the LAPD. Caron is asked what this moment on the brink of mad fame, fortune and respect at age 22 means to him. He's been asked variations of this question several times already today, and each time his eyes swell. They swell because the question invariably makes him flash-forward to the June 26 NBA draft in New York and where he's going. And they swell because the question makes him think back to where he's been, too. Because it was not that long ago when he was just, as he puts it, "a f--in' statue," a nobody going nowhere.

"Everything positive," he says, reciting the line he'll recite another hundred times this day. "I'm doing all the right things. On the move. No limit."

Caron rubs the mist from his eyes, and puts his foot to the gas. Weaving through traffic, he says it again, softly: "Everything positive."

Yes, he's feeling it.

***

Caron Butler is dialed into the rhythm of LA: The bright, soothing sun that never seems to fade, early a.m. workouts that he wishes would never end and, after that, movies. Lots of movies. Spider-Man twice (loved it the first time, slept through it the second). The Scorpion King (eh). And in regular rotation at his Marina del Ray apartment: Boss of Bosses, The One and The Answer (read into that what you will). "I love it," he says while driving to the mall to pick out an outfit for his interview the next day with the Rockets. "Ballin' and chillin.' Ballin' and chillin.'"

At the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club, where Caron works out with trainer John Welch, a former Fresno State assistant, the 6'7", 235-pounder is trying to find his own rhythm. Scouts question whether Caron can consistently make the NBA three. That's why he's been working it deep since he moved out here in early May. This is how he worked it today: 20 shots from each of five spots along the arc, with 10 free throws between each set. Caron is on, popping 13 or 14 out of 20. After his last shot, he collapses to the floor in mock exhaustion. "I have to make sure I get good arc," he says afterward. "Put my legs into it."

The rest of his game is already tight. He's not a rim-wrecker on the order of Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady. But he has a killer handle, an explosive first step, a sharp sense for finding attack angles and a consistent midrange jump shot. And that's not even close to everything. He's a crafty -- but not reckless -- passer. He loves to attack the offensive glass for putbacks. He knows how to move his feet and use his hands to D-up. And as one Western Conference scout points out while watching Butler work out in LA, he knows how to do all the little things off-ball that separate a Paul Pierce from, say, a Vince Carter: setting screens, cutting to the basket, playing help D, directing traffic. "He makes everyone around him better," the scout says. "That kind of stuff matters."

Butler was the breakout star of the NCAA Tourney, averaging 26.5 ppg and 7.3 rpg while guiding the No.2-seeded Huskies to the Elite Eight, where they lost by eight to Maryland, the eventual champion. In that game, Caron made his legend. With the Huskies down by seven at the half, Butler told his 'mates in the locker room: I got this. Then he scored 26 second-half points, including a three with 13:29 left to give UConn its first lead. He finished with a game-high 32.

Afterward, as the team walked back to the locker room, Calhoun put his arms around his star sophomore. Caron remembers exactly what Calhoun told him, even now, so many months later, in LA, a world away. "He said, 'That might have been your last game in a UConn uniform. And I want you to know, you made me very proud. You were one of the best players I ever coached, and one of the best people I've ever been around.'"

Caron contemplates those words for a few seconds, as if Calhoun were in the room, waiting for his reply. His eyes swell. Finally, he says, "That really touched me." Yes, he's feeling it again.

***

Caron Butler doesn't want to hide from his past, ugly and sordid as it is, but he really doesn't get the lingering fascination with it, either. It's all the media wanted to ask him about during the Tourney run, and though he answered patiently, he seethed at times underneath. "What's the story?" he says now while walking from his car to the mall to pick up his suit. "What's the story?"

The story is this: Caron grew up poor and fatherless in Racine, Wis., a postindustrial city of 82,000 halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. With his mom, Mattie, working long hours on the assembly line at Great Northern Corp., Butler started skipping out on school and hanging with the gangs at Hamilton Park, just up the block from his home. At first, he says, he was just a statue. Then: "The statue started moving."

In and out of trouble, he was frequently in juvenile court before he started high school. When Butler was 14, he went to school to meet a friend who was going to give him a ride home. While he was hanging out in a classroom, the police burst in, searched him and found a small amount of cocaine and an unloaded gun. He was arrested and later sentenced to 15 months. The first six were spent at an adult facility near home, where guys from the neighborhood had his back. But no one looked out for him during his stint at Ethan Allen School for Boys in Wales, 57 miles from Racine. He attended classes, worked in the kitchen, balled -- "No such thing as layups in those games," he says -- and tried to survive. His first week there, one of his rivals from the streets recognized him and called him out. Butler didn't raise his fists, but he didn't walk away, either. That got him 15 days in solitary confinement -- one hour for recreation, 23 hours spent completely alone.

"A lot of people hang themselves in there," he says, while pacing six steps to illustrate the dimensions. "It's just you and your bed. And your head."

Butler had one thing going through his mind during those 15 days: "Never again. Never again. I got to get out." That had been permanently seared into his head three weeks earlier when he was being transported to Ethan Allen in a Wisconsin Department of Corrections van. Caron remembers looking out the back window as the van was pulling out of the parking lot and seeing Mattie in her car, tears streaming down her face. She tailed the van for the entire 80-minute trip upstate. Caron couldn't take his eyes off her. "I disappointed her," he says. "I never wanted to see her suffer again."

While Butler was locked up, the world around him changed. He became a father at 15 when his daughter, Camry, was born. And two friends were shot and killed. On the day in '96 when Mattie arrived to bring him home from Ethan Allen, he made her a promise: I'm gonna make you proud. "Anybody can talk a good game when they get out of prison," he says now. "But they don't follow through. I prayed to God to show me a way."

Butler's first step was connecting with Jameel Ghuari, who ran Racine's Bray Center for at-risk kids. Ghuari met Caron when the kid was 11, running the streets. He reached out, but Caron didn't reach back. The week after he got out of prison, though, Caron went to see Ghuari and asked for guidance. Ghuari hooked Caron up with a local AAU team. By the time he was 18, he was winning MVP honors over Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles in the Spiece AAU tournament at Purdue while leading his team to the title.

Ghuari urged Butler to get the rest of his life together, and Caron listened. When Washington Park High School wouldn't admit him after his release because he was a juvenile offender, he worked full-time at a Burger King and attended a local technical college under an assumed name. After one semester, he showed the school board his grades: all B's. Park admitted him. Says Ghuari, "Caron started to understand the difference between what he wanted and what he needed. He made tough choices."

When he ran out of eligibility in '98, he packed his bags for prep powerhouse Maine Central Institute in rural Pittsfield, Maine, to ball for Max Good, a self-described hard-ass. Good would ride him so viciously in practice that Good's wife, sitting in the stands, would put her head in her hands to hide her tears. Then, after practice, Good would invite Butler into his room, and Caron would sit and listen to the coach talk: about life, hoops, his golf handicap, whatever. "He could have chosen a path of lesser resistance," says Good. "But I think he wanted the path of most resistance. He was dying for what he got here."

Two years later, Butler had his pick of D1 schools. He chose UConn and Calhoun, who, like Good, was a hard-ass with an open-door policy. For two years, without fail, Caron would show up at Calhoun's office before practice every day to talk about life, basketball and golf handicaps. "I pushed the living hell out of him," says Calhoun. "And he bought into everything I was selling. And by this year, we had the best player in America."

So who pushes Butler now? Says Caron, "Good, Ghuari, Calhoun -- they're people who are going to be in your life every day." Butler is pounding his fists now. "They pushed me. Now I know how to push myself. I have that voice in my head, like Rocky had with Mickey: One more round, champ. One more round."

***

Walking out of the mall, with his sharp new $500 ensemble -- black jacket, black pants, black shoes -- slung over his shoulder, Caron explains why he's not about to apologize for his past. "Why did I do what I did?" he says, voice rising. "Why does a child poop his Pampers when he's 3? There's no way to answer that." Caron is not angry. Just perplexed. A few hours later, he revisits the subject. He is calm and more thoughtful now. "When you're in an urban community, your dreams are small," he says. "I had no idea what I was doing. I got into more than I could handle."

Then he adds, "Only God can judge me."

Not entirely true, of course; the NBA will pass judgment too. Butler is fully aware of this. He says at one point, "Don't tell anyone I'm listening to Best of Both Worlds [the collaboration between Jay-Z and R. Kelly, an alleged sex offender]. Don't want anyone getting the wrong idea." So how, then, will the NBA judge Caron Butler? "His character is what separates him," says one scout. "It's what makes him a great prospect, instead of just a good prospect." But what about ... Before the question is finished, the scout says, "Strength through adversity." This is, in fact, the consensus: Butler's past is not a weakness. It's a strength.

And so Caron's mission to become the NBA's best (yes, he's serious about this) begins. He has already picked out the suit that he'll wear to the draft: black Armani, nothing flashy, tastefully done. Ghuari, Mattie and his fiancée, Audrea, will be at his table. So will Camry, now 7, and his son, Caron Jr., 2. (Both of his kids live with their mothers, with whom he stays in touch.)

Caron's eyes wander wistfully just thinking about draft night. "It will be hard," he says. "It's a dream come true. I don't know. I might break down." His eyes swell. He rubs away the mist. "I may come off as a big, tough dude," he says. "But I'm a very sensitive guy."

Yes, he's feeling it. Hard.




This article appears in the June 24 issue of ESPN The Magazine
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Old 06-23-2002, 02:24 PM   #167
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I love the cos.

Access Hollywood
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Cos Takes On Oz
Bill Cosby was America's most beloved TV dad for almost a decade. But the patriarch is not so happy with MTV's most famous TV dad -- Ozzy Osbourne. And when Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson sat down with Bill, he had some choice words for the veteran rocker.

"All of you need to stop with this Ozzy Osbourne -- this is a sad, sad family. It is a sad case. The children are sad and the parents are sad and it's not entertainment," Cosby told Access.

The funny man got serious. In no uncertain terms, prime-time's favorite dad takes a shot at MTV's wildly popular patriarch, Ozzy. "I’m telling you, it is a sad thing, as sad as laughing at Tiny Tim."

Cosby, 64, had audiences laughing at his family antics during the eight-year run of his milestone sitcom, The Cosby Show. But he told Access he finds nothing to smile about when it comes to the Osbournes' obvious dysfunction. "It is the kind of entertainment that you look at but you wouldn't want it in your home. I don't like to look at things like that."

Shaun caught up with the prime-time pop June 16, behind the scenes at the Playboy Jazz Festival. Access got a rare glimpse at big-band Bill, swapping his comic's microphone for a conductor's hat and intensely rehearsing his own specially assembled jazz outfit. It was for a concert, appropriately, on Father's Day -- a day on which his kids' gifts became classic Cosby fodder.

When asked if his children got him anything, Cosby joked: "It was all from money I gave them and then they bought stuff I wouldn't have purchased for myself. Then, I didn't even get any change."

For the last 22 years, Cos the conductor has hit the stage at L.A.'s legendary Hollywood Bowl, hosting and cutting the rug, at Playboy's annual two-day jazz festival. Next year will be Bill's 23rd year hosting the Playboy festival, and he tells Access it will be his last, but don't count him out entirely. Bill will still be sitting front and center for all the performances.
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Old 06-23-2002, 04:00 PM   #168
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Yet another step towards this 'One World Government' that some people want.. Thankfully we're having no part in that 'World Court' BS or Kyoto among others, Now.. If we can only get rid of the United Nations..

L.Unplugged

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Blair suffers a double defeat on asylum seekers at Seville summit
By Francis Elliott in Seville
(Filed: 23/06/2002)


European Union leaders yesterday moved to establish an EU border police force to patrol shores, ports and crossing points against illegal immigrants. The dramatic attempt to strengthen "fortress Europe" could mean foreign guards wearing an EU uniform patrolling in Britain.


European leaders gather for a group photo at the end of the Seville summit

The heads of government said that the moves were a stepping stone to the creation of a fully fledged European-wide force which would act in tandem with each nation's police.

The proposals were launched at the Seville summit against opposition from Tony Blair. The Prime Minister suffered a double defeat as his own rival plan to counter illegal immigration - withdrawing aid from some Third World countries - was thrown out.

In contrast, the move towards a common border force, to be called the European Union Corps of Border Guards, was given an enthusiastic welcome. The summit agreed to launch a series of working groups to hone proposals made by Italy for the new force, which would have its own uniform and badge and be drawn from all 15 member states. It could be in place by 2007.

As an early step, co-operation between the existing police and immigration units of member states is to be enhanced immediately. Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, confirmed that enhanced co-operation was a mere stepping stone to the corps. "The creation of a common police force to guard our border remains the long-term goal," he told reporters at the close of the two-day European Council.

Antonio Vitorino, the EU's Justice Commissioner, said that he expected the border force to become a reality within five years. "It is a gradual process, that will start with the mere co-ordination of efforts that could evolve quickly so that in the medium term, in four to five years, it will be possible to have a European border guard force," he said.

The proposal is the latest attempt to harmonise Europe's legal systems. It follows moves to create a common body of criminal law, corpus juris, across the EU and to increase the powers of investigation handed to the Europol agency, including search warrants.

European leaders have been rattled by the growing controversy over illegal immigration and the rise of Right-wing parties in recent elections.

The new plan was taken up after Italy unveiled the results of a detailed feasibility study drawn up over eight months. At its centre were the remarkable results of a 15-day trial, held last month, during which guards from all 15 member states joined forces to patrol borders in France, Italy and Spain, including 24 airports.

Officers on the teams succeeded in stopping 4,500 illegal immigrants and arrested 34 alleged traffickers during the study.

Italy and Spain are among several southern states which are desperate for the EU to pool its resources and to share the burden of guarding their immensely long coastlines against a flood of human traffic.

The Italian interior minister, Claudio Scajola, said: "The work that has been going on for eight months has been coordinated by our experts."

Ministers of EU member states and the 13 EU candidate countries agreed at a meeting in Lisbon last month to set up a "task force" to coordinate efforts to curb illegal immigration at Europe's busiest air and sea ports. The body is now expected to develop Italy's plans for a common force.

The British Government had claimed before the summit ended that the idea would not be taken up. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, made clear on Friday that he opposes the plan.

"Such is the opposition to the principle of a European Union border police that it will not feature except as an acknowledgement that a discussion took place," said Mr Straw.

In fact, the conclusions recorded that the leaders had "welcomed" the Italian plan and urged the creation "without delay" of a body to harmonise border controls. Eurosceptics said last night that moves towards a single EU border police were a prelude to a fully integrated EU force.

Daniel Hannan, a Conservative MEP, said: "As usual, they are presenting something which, on the face of it seems reasonable, as a way of establishing a harmonising principle.

"In this instance they are being particularly clever since they have chosen an area that has traditionally been a concern of the Right.

"In fact the asylum crisis is the result of a previous integration of immigration policy and more of the same is not the solution."

Failure to block the EU border police plan helped make the two-day summit one of Mr Blair's least successful.

Having told other European leaders that it was "politically imperative" to agree a "tougher approach" on immigration he saw his rival plans unravel amid opposition from other EU countries, as well as from Clare Short, the International Development Secretary.

Miss Short's comment that any moves to dock aid to poor countries was "morally repugnant" meant that Mr Blair had little hope of overcoming resistance led by President Chirac of France.
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Old 06-23-2002, 07:32 PM   #169
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Capitalism FAQ (http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~shadab/capit-2.html)

Introduction
There is no social system more rational, benevolent, or just than laissez-faire capitalism; no social system which can bring to man as much freedom, prosperity, and peace as laissez-faire capitalism; and ironically, even with socialism in its death throes all over the world, there is no social system which is still more misunderstood than laissez-faire capitalism. This ignorance has lead well-meaning people to believe that capitalism is the system of exploitation, monopoly, and class warfare. Yet without exception, all accusations that are made against capitalism rest upon a flawed moral theory or an economic fallacy, or in other words, to condemn capitalism is to misrepresent capitalism.

Most Americans realize the importance of the separation of church and state: the institution which leaves people free to form and act upon their own values without the threat of others imposing their own values upon them through aid of the government. What most people do not understand, however, is that the separation of economics and state -- laissez-faire capitalism -- is just as important for human prosperity as is the separation of church and state.

Put simply, the vast majority of mankind is wholly ignorant of the life-serving nature of capitalism and, as a consequence, ignorant of the solutions to modern day politico-economic problems. The purpose of the Capitalism FAQ is to help end the ignorance of capitalism, economics, and rational political philosophy that keeps so many from championing capitalism, by shedding some light in the true nature of capitalism and pointing the way to further education about capitalism (for all of the truths laid out in this FAQ have been established elsewhere by other authors). Many, if not all, of the answers to these questions will challenge some of the deepest assumptions about capitalism and politics that have been ingrained in our culture. Given the nature of the issues involved, however, a thorough answer to each question would have to be much longer, but a complete treatise on capitalism is beyond the scope and intent of this document. I strongly encourage readers to research the issues for themselves.



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1. What is capitalism?
Laissez faire capitalism means the complete separation of economy and state, just like the separation of church and state. Capitalism is the social system based upon private ownership of the means of production which entails a completely uncontrolled and unregulated economy where all land is privately owned. But the separation of the state and the economy is not a primary, it is only an aspect of the premise that capitalism is based upon: individual rights. Capitalism is the only politico-economic system based on the doctrine of individual rights. This means that capitalism recognizes that each and every person is the owner of his own life, and has the right to live his life in any manner he chooses as long as he does not violate the rights of others.
2. What is capitalism's essential nature?
The essential nature of capitalism is social harmony through the pursuit of self-interest. Under capitalism, the individual's pursuit of his own economic self-interest simultaneously benefits the economic self-interests of all others. In allowing each individual to act unhampered by government regulations, capitalism causes wealth to be created in the most efficient manner possible which ultimately raises the standard of living, increases the economic opportunities, and makes available an ever growing supply of products for everyone. The free-market operates in such a way so that as one man creates more wealth for himself, he simultaneously creates more wealth and opportunities for everyone else, which means that as the rich become richer, the poor become richer. It must be understood that capitalism serves the economic self-interests of all, including the non-capitalists.
Contrary to widely held beliefs, capitalism is not a system which exploits a large portion of society for the sake of a small minority of wealthy capitalists. Ironically, it is actually socialism that causes the systematic exploitation of labor. Since the socialist state holds a universal monopoly on labor and production, no economic incentive exists for the socialist state to provide anything more than minimum physical subsistence for the workers except to perhaps prevent riots or revolutions. Exploitation is inherent to the nature of socialism because individuals cannot live for their own sake, rather, they exist merely as means to whatever ends the socialist rulers -- the self-proclaimed spokesman of "society," may have in mind.1

3. What are the philosophical underpinnings of capitalism?
All political systems are ultimately the expression of some underlying philosophy. For example, Marxian socialism upholds that man is a collective entity shaped by economic forces beyond his control whose greatest good is to serve the ends of "society." Capitalism, however, is implicitly based upon a world view which upholds that man's mind is competent in dealing with reality, that it is morally good for each person to strive for his own happiness, and that the only proper social arrangement for men to live under is one in which the initiation of physical force is banished. This is the ideological basis upon which the United States of America was implicitly founded. The importance of recognizing the philosophy upon which capitalism -- and America rests upon, lies in the fact that no social system can be properly understood or defended apart from its broader philosophical framework.
In regards to morality, capitalism is the only moral (meaning pro-human-life) social system because it safeguards a human's primary means of survival: his mind. Through upholding individual rights, capitalism recognizes the fact the each and every human being must use his own mind to grasp reality and act accordingly to better his own life. Capitalism is the only political system that is based upon man's true nature as a being who possesses the faculty of reason -- capitalism is the only system that recognizes that human beings can think. Indeed, individual rights and capitalism not only protect the individual person and property of each human being, but most importantly, they protect the individual mind of every human being.

Historically speaking, capitalism has been claimed to be consistent with philosophies such as utilitarianism, social Darwinism, and even fundamentalist Christianity. However, these philosophies are in fact antithecal to the true nature of capitalism because they subordinate the good of the individual's life on earth to some "higher good." In fact, the only philosophy that is completely consistent with the theoretical requirements for understanding and promoting capitalism is the philosophy of Objectivism.

4. What is the role of government in a capitalist society?
The only purpose of government would be to protect its citizens from force or fraud.
The protection from force, that is, the protection of individual rights, would be achieved through the use of a police force to protect the rights of citizens at home; a military, to protect the rights of citizens from foreign aggression; and a court system to enforce contracts and settle disputes between citizens. Since rights can only be violated by initiating force, the government would only use force in retaliation of those who initiated it.

The greatest aggressor against man -- the greatest spiller of human blood, has been the various governments that man has adopted throughout history. Because the government holds a legal monopoly for the use of force, the crimes committed by individuals acting on their own behalf are trivial compared to the crimes, tyrannies, and wholesale barbarism that governments are responsible for. This is why it is crucial that governments be limited in their ability to use force by a constitution based upon individual rights. That was the key insight of the Founding Fathers which made America freer than any other nation on earth.

Any other function of government than those listed above, no matter what its intentions, would necessitate the violation of rights by initiating the use of force against the people it is supposed to protect. For example, compulsory tax-supported education forces some people to pay for the schooling of others for whom they would not have voluntarily paid for.

5. What does capitalism have to do with freedom?
Everything. Capitalism the only system in which freedom and liberty can really exist.
Freedom means the absence of physical force, including all forms of fraud. An individual is free when force is not being initiated against him, which means that there is only one source of unfreedom for any individual: other men. That is, a man's freedom can only be infringed upon when another person or group of persons initiates the use of physical force against him. The fact that an individual is unfit to run a mile in under four minutes or too poor to buy food is not a violation of his freedom. Why? Because in both of these cases no one is forcibly stopping the individual from attaining his ends. However, the fact that an individual cannot start his own electric company is a violation of his freedom. Why? Because in this case his actions are impeded by the use of force -- the government's legal monopoly on utility companies prevents him from starting his own electric company through the threat of force. Freedom is only a negative, it imposes no positive constraints on other people's actions. In a free (or capitalist) society all men may act as they choose as so long as they do not infringe on the freedom of others -- by violating their rights through force. Subsequently, it is only a government limited to protecting individual rights that fails to violate the freedom its citizens. Since capitalism upholds individual rights as absolutes, capitalism upholds freedom as absolute.

All non-capitalistic societies force some men to live at the expense of others. Whether you are forced to live, in part or in whole, for the sake of God (as in a theocracy), "the underprivileged" (as in the welfare state), or the latest sadist in power (as in a dictatorship) does not matter, it is only the fact that some individuals are violating the freedom of others, not the method by which they do it, that matters.

6. Is capitalism a just social system?
Yes.
In fact, capitalism is the complete embodiment of social justice. In social or political context justice means that every person gets no more, and no less, than what he gains through voluntary association with other men. A capitalist society is a just society because all individuals are considered equal under the law. Capitalism recognizes that it is just for a man to keep what he has earned and that it is unjust for a man, or group of men, to have the right to what other people have earned. Since all people must live independently under capitalism, all of the material values that a person acquires must be earned. Thus, the expression of social justice under capitalism is that what a man earns is directly proportional to what he produces, with no antitrust laws or progressive income taxes stifling his achievement for the sole fact the he did achieve. All other forms of government, such as the welfare state, institutionalize injustice by legally expropriating the property of some men and giving it to others.

Many people have trouble accepting that capitalism is a just system because of the existence of economic inequality. It is observed that famous celebrities and sports stars have very large incomes for work that is perceived as trivial, and that many hard working people make incomes which pale in comparison for jobs that are perceived to be a greater benefit to society. What people must realize is that it is perfectly just for a superstar athlete, even with little or no education, to make a hundred times the income of a scientist who has a Ph.D. and works much longer and strenuous hours. Why? Because the athlete creates enormous profits through ticket sales and product endorsements whereas the scientist generates very little revenue through his research. That is, each of them deserves what they earn, and what they earn is the result of how much wealth each of them creates (Incidentally, this is not to say that the athlete is morally superior to the scientist because he is wealthier). Since each man has the right to the product of his labor, it is completely just for the disparity in incomes to exist, and the only injustice to occur would be or the government to take money from the athlete and give it to those who supposedly deserve it on the basis of their "need."

7. What is a capitalist?
From a purely economic point of view, a capitalist is a person who buys in order to sell for profit. However, the productive role that capitalists and businessman serve cannot be overstated.
Far from being exploiters, the true function of capitalists and businessmen "... is to raise the productivity, and thus the real wages, of manual labor by means of creating, coordinating, and improving the efficiency of the division of labor."2 By continuously improving the efficiency of labor, capitalists and businessmen are responsible for raising wages and creating employment which serve to raise the standard of living of everyone. Furthermore, by funding research and capital investments, corporations and capitalists make possible all of the modern day conveniences, from laser surgery to orchestra halls, that most people take for granted every day. In fact, since capitalists make available so much life-saving and labor-saving technology to so many people, they should be regarded as some of mankind's greatest benefactors. A few capitalists and businessmen have done more to help mankind live a more enjoyable life (indeed, most people would not even be alive today if it weren't for capitalists) than all of the humanitarians, social workers, and clergy men combined. If one considers human life a value, then they should regard capitalists as one of its greatest promoters. (If Mother Theresa really wanted to help people, she should try and accumulate enough capital to start a factory in a poor nation and employ thousands of people who would not have jobs without her.)

In a more fundamental sense, a capitalist is anyone (from a janitor to a millionaire) who lives solely by his own effort and who respects the rights of others. The best symbol of a capitalist is the trader. That is, the man or woman who only deals with other people on a voluntary basis. A capitalist is not an "exploiter" nor necessarily a "greedy" individual.

8. How is democracy related to capitalism?
An absolute democracy, which means unlimited majority rule, is incompatible with capitalism and freedom. This is so because capitalism rests on the principle of individual rights. In an absolute democracy, rights would really have no legitimate meaning because they could always be voted away in the next election. Individual rights must be consistently upheld if capitalism is to be achieved, and if the majority may do whatever it wants regardless of the rights of the minority, capitalism cannot exist, not even in principle.
When most people think of "democracy" they usually mean a constitutionally limited democracy. The function of a limited democracy is to decide who held political power and how that power is specifically exercised (such as how many policemen or judges are needed), but what that power is should be strictly defined and limited in the constitution. (This is basically the original American system.) In a proper capitalist nation, a constitution based upon individual rights would be necessary to limit the actions of its citizens and the government. Under capitalism, the majority would never be able to vote to violate the rights of the minority, no matter how large the majority or how small the minority. Individual rights would not be subject to vote.

9. What is the opposite of capitalism?
Statism, in any form.
Statism is the concentration of power in the state at the expense of individual freedom. Capitalism is the only system which protects individual rights and freedom, but the variety of political systems which violate individual freedom are numerous: socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism, absolute monarchies, military dictatorships, theocracies, or the welfare state are all systems which infringe upon individual rights, which means they institutionalize the initiation of force against their citizens.

It must be realized that there are only two fundamental political philosophies: those who are for freedom and individual rights and those who are against them. The types of political systems who are against freedom and individual rights are numerous, for there are many ways to violate the rights of man, but there is only one political-economic philosophy which upholds that the rights of man are absolute and immutable -- capitalism.

10. Is socialism ideal?
In order to answer one must first ask: What is an ideal and what purpose does it serve? An ideal is that which is held as a standard of measurement, or of excellence. As a standard, it is used to determine the merits of any system put forth to a specific end. A social system is a code of laws which men observe in order to live together. The measurement of social systems consists of the appraisal of, the relationships between men and the laws and institutions which govern the forms of association. In order to measure a social system, one must hold to an ideal, i.e. have a standard against which performance can be gauged. There is only one such possible standard: man's life.
A social system must be measured according to its ability to sustain each man's right to life, i.e. its recognition of man's nature and as such its defense of the requirements of a conceptual consciousness. Recognition of man's right to life means the recognition of the necessity of the freedom of man's mind, with reason as his sole means of survival, and of the freedom of man's body, by which the products of the mind are brought into reality. Therefore, an ideal social system must respect the nature of man, and provide a context in which the defining moral principle is the freedom to sustain one's own life by voluntary, uncoerced choice. Such an ideal system exists, if only in the minds of men, but it's name is not socialism.

Socialism holds that man is not an end in himself, and that he must sacrifice his own convictions for the sake of the "greater good" of the collective. Socialism requires the sacrifice of the individual mind, and hence denies the sole means of survival of man and in fact his very nature as a rational being. Such a system cannot honestly be held as an ideal.

11. Who are the defenders of capitalism?
There are two thinkers who stand as virtual twin towers in the history of pro-capitalist thought, namely the novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand and economist Ludwig von Mises.
The importance of Rand's ideas to the furthering of capitalism cannot be overstated, for she gave capitalism what it has badly needed: a philosophic defense. Rand recognized that the supremacy of reason and the morality of egoism are the indispensable philosophical foundations upon which capitalism is based. In particular, her connection of capitalism to individual rights, and her recognition that individuals have the moral right to live for their own sake makes her philosophy of Objectivism of utmost importance for a thorough and consistent defense of capitalism.

The other tower of pro-capitalist thought is the most prominent member of the Austrian school of economics, and the greatest economic thinker of all time, Ludwig von Mises. (The Austrian school has been the leading school of pro-capitalist economic thought since 1871). Mises's identification of capitalism as being the system which benefits all, his refutation of virtually every accusation made against capitalism (such as the claims that capitalism leads to exploitation and depressions), and his proof of the economic impossibility of socialism rank him the as other great defender of capitalism of all time. Other major pro-capitalist economists are the members of the Austrian school such as Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk and Carl Menger, the French economist Frederic Bastiat, and members of the British classical school such as Adam Smith and Dave Ricardo. Furthermore, economists and political philosophers such as George Reisman, Henry Hazlitt, Tibor Machan, John Locke, and the Founding Fathers of the United States, and less consistent defenders such as Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, and Murray Rothbard all constitute important names in the defense of capitalism.

12. How is theory related to practice?
The Capitalism FAQ is divided into two parts: Theory and Practice. This is not to suggest a dichotomy between the two. Theory does not exist qua floating abstraction, without reference or basis in reality. It is not an "essence" apart from cognition. Theory is human theory, and it is theory about something: existence. As such it is a reflection on the nature of existence, the nature of man, and the relationship between the two. Practice, or action, is human action. It is volitional, i.e. chosen (among alternatives), directed at a specific end, and based on a value judgment(s) of the facts of reality.
Political-Economic theory is the body of fundamental principles underlying the science of human action. Theory is abstraction. It is a process of identification; an attempt to describe perceptual data by means of a conscious focus of the human mind. To identify the ideal economic system, one must observe and understand what is, and what man is. Obviously then, theory is not an object (idea) detached from its subject (man). If a theory is correctly formulated, it is eminently practical. After all, if theory has nothing to do with reality, i.e. cannot be "put into practice", then how does one evaluate whether it is good or not? Ideas are not apart from those who think them. Actions are not apart from those who act. And actions are implementations of ideas. One may defend capitalism on the basis of its practicability as long as one is aware that the reason "it works" is because it is good theory.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Reisman, George. Classical Economics Versus the Exploitation Theory. pp. 17-18
2. Ibid. p. 11




1. Aren't coercive monopolies a natural product of laissez-faire capitalism?
No.

One of the most common fallacies about laissez-faire capitalism is that it inevitably leads to the formation of monopolies, so this topic deserves special attention. To find out why this assumption is false we must ask: what are monopolies? and where do they come from?

A coercive monopoly is exclusive control in a field of production, completely exempt from competition and the normal laws of supply and demand. The only reason competition could ever be absolutely barred is because the monopolist is benefiting from what is called a "barrier of entry." These barriers, however, can only come from one place: the government. It is only a government which has the power to "raise" a business above the laws of the market. In a free market, all businesses are subject to competition, and therefore must constantly be competing to stay ahead of their competition. But when the government grants a certain business a franchise, subsidy, or tariff protection, competition is legally barred. In other words, government interference into the free market is the real source of all coercive monopolies. And it is precisely these types of monopolies that Adam Smith condemns in The Wealth of Nations. It should finally be noted that socialism, where the government has complete control over the means of productions, is the ultimate form of monopoly. For example, in the United States all utility companies are coercive monopolies. This is not because they deliver utilities, such as water and electricity, better than any of their competitors, but it is because the government has granted them a franchise for a certain territory. This means that no one else is allowed to enter the utility business apart from the government, and any attempt to do so would be treated as a criminal act.

In a free market, the only type of monopoly that could exist is a non-coercive monopoly, one that is earned. This could be accomplished only if the firm "delivered the goods" better than any of their competitors, and even if they did, they would only have monopoly status only so long as they were the best in their field and they would still be subject to competition from other firms in their industry. Historically speaking, any business that tried to establish a monopoly in a free market by buying out its competitors or undercutting prices by selling at a loss has gone bankrupt. Thus, free market "monopolies" should be applauded as a demonstration of superior business skills on the part of the firm who best serves their customers.

2. Doesn't unregulated capitalism lead to worker exploitation?

No.

The simplest answer to this question is that in a capitalist society all workers are free to choose who they are going to work for. If a worker doesn't like the terms that an employer is offering them for a job, they can simply look for work elsewhere until they find a better job, or not accept any job at all. Just because a worker doesn't like everything about his job doesn't mean he is being "exploited." For someone to be exploited they have to be physically forced to work against their own will. It is only a government, not a businessman, that has the type of power necessary to force people to work against their own judgment.

In a free market economy, all employers must compete for the services of their employees. If an employer offers lower salaries or poorer working conditions than other employers in a given field, workers will seek to work elsewhere, and the employer will lose his employees and go out of business. This means that it is in the economic self-interest of employers to provide higher wages and better working conditions than their competitors. Wages are not set by employers as a reflection of their kindness or cruelty. Wages, which are prices for the labor of individuals, are primarily determined by the productivity of labor. It is an inevitable consequence of capitalism, through the accumulation of capital, the widening of labor markets, and an increase in the productivity of labor, that workers' real wages rise and their choices of employment increase over time. It is thus due to capitalism, not monopolistic unions or "pro-worker" legislation, that the standard of living of the average worker has been increasing since the industrial revolution.

3. Wouldn't unregulated capitalism lead to unsafe products and services?

Many opponents of an unregulated economy fear that without government safety regulations unscrupulous businessmen will try to maximize their profits by selling cheap, unhealthy, and unsafe products to an ignorant populous. On the contrary, however, it is the profit-motive that would ensure the safety of products and services in an unregulated economy at a level higher than in an economy with safety regulations.

In a free market there are no government agencies deciding what products, foods, and services qualify as "safe enough" to be sold. This means that under capitalism all companies would have to earn their reputation through a demonstration of consistent quality and safety to their consumers. Since most consumers consider quality and safety to be very important features of the products they buy, a good reputation would be essential to success of any company in a free market. The importance of reputation for quality would force any potential profit seeker to ensure that his products were safe and his customers trusted him, or else they would simply purchase from another competing company whom they do trust.

Furthermore, the free market would prevent any "fly-by-night" scams from having any real success because before any company could achieve real success, it must establish itself with a good reputation for quality and safety which can take many years. For example, what investor would take the advice of a brokerage company that just opened its doors, and with no success rate to speak of, as opposed to a firm that has been in existence for decades with an unparalleled reputation for quality investment advice. Thus, it should be realized that it is in the economic self-interest for companies to provide quality products and services in order to satisfy their customers' demand for quality and to beat out their competitors. Finally, it should be observed that in a free market private agencies and publications, such as Consumer Reports, would exist for the sole sake of recommending quality products and services which would help to set health and safety standards for a given industry.

Ironically, it is safety regulations which actually operate to lower the quality of products and services. When safety regulations force companies to divert their capital into areas of production that they would not have done so on their own, it leaves the company with less capital to invest into areas of production which they otherwise would have, which will end up affecting the overall quality of the product. Furthermore, it is usually much easier for a business to obtain a government safety license than it is to actually earn a quality reputation -- which may take up to several years. This leaves the possibility of scam artists taking advantage of people, because the typical consumer is all too willing to place their faith in a government license which could have easily been earned by bribing an official. Lastly, safety regulations create a false sense of security and promote consumer irresponsibility because they discourage the need for consumers to be responsible for their own choices.

Most importantly, all forms of government regulation, whether they are personal or economic, are violations of rights -- the right to free contract, and should not exist in a free, i.e., capitalist, society. If a company wants to sell cheap and unsafe products, and people are willing to buy them, then no one has the right to stop them from doing so.

4. Is the United States of America a capitalist nation?
No.
Capitalism means the complete separation of economy and state, and the American economy is far from being separate from the American state. Minimum wage laws, all public "services," and regulatory agencies (such as the FDA and the EPA) are all anti-capitalistic because they represent the government interfering into the economy, infringing upon the voluntary association of individuals, and thereby violating their rights (which are the foundations of capitalism).

America can properly be referred to as a "mixed economy," which is a mixture of freedom and controls, or free market and socialist policies. In its founding principles the United States of America is a capitalist nation, but one need only to look at history to see how the founding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were violated from the outset (and especially since the "New Deal") through an ever expanding government encroaching on people's political and economic freedoms.

It cannot be stressed enough that it was capitalism that led a small group of colonies to become the most powerful and productive nation on earth in less than one hundred and fifty years. It was capitalism that unleashed the productive forces necessary to raise the standard of living in America to levels undreamed of in earlier times. It was capitalism that led people to come from all over the world to start new lives and take advantage of new found opportunities. It was capitalism that was America's glory. Yet the philosophical and economic foundations of the United States have been under heavy attack since the turn of the century, and nothing but misery has been the result.

5. Doesn't capitalism promote racism?

No. (If you've begun to notice a pattern in these answers, its because there is one. Without exception, all accusations that are leveled against capitalism are false and are ironically a product of the abrogation of capitalism.)

Many fear that under a system of laissez-faire capitalism -- without legal penalties for racism in the workplace -- many employers will refuse to hire minority workers even when they are better qualified for the job. Yet the exact opposite is true. It is capitalism that operates so as to make all forms of irrational discrimination economically unsound, and it is state intervention into the economy that impedes poorer minorities from achieving economic advancement.

The driving force driving all economic activity under capitalism is the profit motive: firms want to maximize their profits at all times. The simple fact is that it would not be in the economic self-interest of companies to hire white workers who are less qualified than minority workers for the same wage, or to hire white workers who are just as qualified as minority workers at a higher wage. If the minority worker is able to do the same work for a lower wage, then it would be in the economic self-interest of the employer to hire him. It would also be in the economic self-interest of the employer to hire a minority worker who can do the job better than a white worker for the same wage because this would increase his companies overall efficiency. Conversely, if a racist employer was willing to pay higher wages for white workers or if he was willing to hire less skilled white workers because he prefers the color of their skin, he would be at an economic disadvantage in a competitive market place where other companies could afford to offer cheaper services or products than him because they were not practicing racism in their hiring practices.

In other words, if a company wants to maximize their profits and be as competitive as possible, they will practice colorblindness -- the profit seeking businessman is a minority's greatest ally against economic injustice. To borrow an example from Professor Reisman1 let us look at a small company with just 10 people. If the owner is racist enough that he is willing to pay whites just 25 cents more per hour to work for him. In a forty-hour work week, with fifty work-weeks in a year, he will lose $5,000 (since .25 X 40 X 50 X 10 = $5,000) As Reisman notes, this employer's racism is costing him a new small car each year.

Finally, it should be known how the mixed economy under which all minorities live serves to stifle their economic equality. For example, all antiprofit legislation, which either limits the amount of profit a business can make or taxes profits so heavily as to make it a burden to try and attain them, impedes minority advancement because employers are free to practice irrational discrimination without fear of economic punishment. Secondly, minimum-wage laws artificially raise wage rates (see above) and cause employers to hire less workers, the impact of which is always felt on the poorer and least educated, of which blacks comprise a disproportionate amount. Also, the welfare system allows minorities who could otherwise get jobs to live off of welfare payments. These payments serve to stagnate the ability of the recipient because even if the welfare income is higher paying than a job would be, in the long run the recipient does not acquire the abilities that could promote him to better jobs in the future. Furthermore, the self-perpetuating cycle of the welfare system (see below) leads many minorities to a life of dependence and self-abasement. Finally , it should be noted that anti-discrimination laws which force employers to hire minorities serve only to increase tension between races and do not achieve any permanent form of stability.

6. What would happen to the poor without the welfare state?

Before answering this question I would like to point out that the welfare state represents a gross injustice and massive violation of individual rights. Simply described, it is a system in which the government steals money from most of citizens to give it to others on the basis the those with more wealth have a duty to serve those with less. There is nothing that can justify the violation of rights, especially not the "need" of the recipients of grand scale theft.

Like all false theories, the welfare state crumbles when put into practice. The goal of the welfare system is to help certain citizens when they "need" financial help in order for them to become productive members of society. But running counter to its intentions, welfare actually helps to create the problem it is supposed to help by literally creating a class of dependents. These dependents are people whose concept of self-responsibility has been stifled because they can easily look upon the government to take care of them just as their parents did (or were supposed to) when they were young. Once again, it is the government that is the source of the problem, in this case the large number of poor people in America, not capitalism.

If one were really concerned with poverty they should realize that capitalism has raised man's standard of living, created more opportunities for economic advancement, and done more to increase human happiness than any other system ever could. Without the welfare state, those unfortunate individuals who could not support themselves would have to rely on private charities. In capitalist society, however, these individuals are necessarily a small minority and have always been in more capitalistic periods throughout history.

[Note: no principled advocate of capitalism could morally justify "over night" abolition of the welfare state, a quick down sizing would be the only appropriate action]

7. Isn't the government necessary to stop pollution and industrial waste?

No.

The key to stopping unnecessary pollution is the hallmark of capitalism: private property. The reason that it is so easy to pollute rivers, oceans, the air, and land is because they are publicly owned. Since public property partially belongs to everyone, no one person takes care of it, and property with no real owner is easy to pollute. However, if all property was privately owned, then no one could dump in a river that they owned only a section of because the waste would drift into another person's part of the river, thus violating their property rights. The same applies to beaches and oceans. If the ocean was divided up into privately owned portions, then no one could pollute their part of the ocean without the pollution spilling into someone else's property. Also, if the beaches and parks were privately owned and the owner charged money for people to use his land, then it would be in his economic self-interest to keep his beach or park clean and pollution free so people would frequent his property more than his competitors.

8. Shouldn't the state provide public education?

No.

It is a clear violation of rights for the state to force children to go to school with or without their parents' consent to learn ideas that their parents may or may not approve of (today's "private" schools are not truly private because they must meet the educational standards set by the state). Government schooling is bad in theory because it assumes that a proper function of the state is to provide education for some of its citizens at the expense of others -- it is not. The state must never enter the realm of teaching ideas because then it becomes nothing more than a tool for social engineering. Teaching is necessarily selective, therefore it should be up to the parents to send their children to schools who teach in the manner they deem best. It should not be up to pressure-group influenced politicians to decide the content of a child's education, and therefore his mind.

The sorry state of American education, which has become nothing but a vast bureaucracy, pays tribute to the fact that the government cannot provide quality education (or anything else) to its citizens. For example public schools actually consider teaching, and sometimes do, that the Bible's "creation" myth has equal scientific validity with the theory of natural selection. The solution to give America's disastrous educational system is to give the market free reign on education and end the state sponsored monopoly on education. If the government can't even deliver mail on time, then how are they supposed to be expected to properly educate people?

In an industrial society there is a very real economic need for education. If educational institutions had to compete for the value that is attached to the diplomas the offer, educational standards would necessarily rise. Like all goods and services provided in the free market, quality education would become a service that would available to nearly all of the population because of its high demand. Just look at what a (basically) free market has done to the computer industry, with cheaper and more powerful computers being made every few months, just imagine what it could for education. Schools would be competing with each other to provide the best education at the lowest price to all consumers.

There is a concluding principle that should be realized: The free market can do anything cheaper and with higher quality than the government can, except provide protection from force. The state necessitates bureaucracy and waste because inherent in all government operation is a grave split between service and payment which means there is little or no incentive for government to ever improve the quality of its services.

9. Shouldn't the government enforce a minimum wage?

No, minimum wage laws violate the freedom of two people to enter into a voluntary association with each other and actually end up hurting those who they are intended to protect, the worker.

Minimum wage laws are supposed to stop employers from offering wages that are considered to be "too low." In an attempt to protect workers, minimum wage laws actually turn out to hurt workers by causing unemployment. For example, if the minimum wage is $4.25/hr, then it means that anyone who's labor is worth less than $4.25/hr cannot get a job. This can be easier understood if looked at from the point of a worker who has labor to sell. If an unskilled worker (who is usually more desperate for a job than a higher skilled worker) only has labor to sell that is worth $3.00/hr, then a minimum wage of $4.25/hr will stop him from selling his labor and he will not be able to get a job. If an employer is forced to hire workers at a rate above what their labor is actually worth (as determined by the labor market) he will necessarily hire less workers -- causing unemployment, or raise prices -- shifting the burden onto the consumer. Furthermore, minimum wage laws stifle economic advancement because it is usually the poor who would be willing to work for less than the minimum wage, and if they cannot find jobs, they cannot better themselves.

10. Doesn't the government have to regulate medical products?

No.

Regulation of medical products is an attempt by the government to intervene in the free choices of individuals regarding what medical products they should consider "safe." Since 1938 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided what medical goods may be sold in the United States. The FDA requires that every new medical product must establish its safety through often time consuming and unnecessary testing procedures. But does the FDA actually save lives? No. It is possible that the FDA may stop some dangerous drugs from coming on the market (assuming that they would have been bought any ways), but the number of lives lost due to delays of life-saving drugs far outweighs any lives that might have been saved. For example, the FDA kept beta blockers off the market for ten years, and estimates show that they could have saved about 10,000 lives a year. This means that the FDA is responsible for more deaths than the Korean and Vietnam Wars combined.(!) In a free market, it would be in the economic self-interest of a medical product or drug company to only release safe products so that they would earn the trust of the public and they buy their products more often.

11. Isn't capitalism like Social Darwinism?

No. This question can be answered by recognizing a fundamental economic fact: Wealth is not a static quantity, it is created.

Many people falsely believe that a capitalist society is much like the animal kingdom. It is believed that humans compete through the marketplace for a static quantity of wealth in which the economic gain of one person is necessarily to the economic detriment of another. This view leads one to logically conclude that those who are wealthy became so simply by depriving others who are not as wealthy. Yet this "analogy" with the animal kingdom is not only false, but it is actually the precise opposite manner in which a capitalist society operates.

Under a division of labor capitalist society, wealth is created. By rearranging the physical world in such a way so as values which did not previously exist now do, wealth is created. For example, if I put two potatoes in the ground and cultivate five, three new potatoes have been created not only not at the expense of anyone else, but actually to the benefit of others who want a potato and are willing to trade for it. Thus, under capitalism, one man's economic gain is another man's economic gain.

This is why doctrines like Social Darwinism do not apply to the realm of human affairs. Non-human animals compete for a given quantity of recourses, and only those who are best suited to obtain certain values, such as food and safety from predators, will survive. This method of survival, however, does not apply to human beings. If it did, human population would not have increased by 300% since 1900. Thanks to capitalism and the division of labor enough wealth has been created for even the most ignorant and inept person to be able to live. This economic principle has been easier to grasp since the industrial revolution, which created a level of material abundance on earth that no Pope, Czar, Pharaoh, or King could have even dreamt of (let alone equaled) in previous times.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

see Reisman, George. Capitalism: The Cure for Racism. P.5
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Old 06-25-2002, 07:50 PM   #170
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Fizzing.. I think this applies to our recent conversations..

Is this promoting Equal opportunity?... Colorblindness in society?.. I'd be hard pressed to say it does...

BLINDED BY RACE
NYPOST

By MICHAEL MEYERS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



June 25, 2002 --
CIVIL-RIGHTS activists ought to be outraged that a prosecutor willfully withholds possibly exculpatory evidence from the defense, like federal prosecutor Alan Vinegrad did in the trial of former Police Officer Charles Schwarz. Instead, their outrage is over the racial makeup of the jury for Schwarz's third trial, a trial made possible by appellate court actions.

These activists decry that the jury is "too white." Some believe that Schwarz is the darling of the media and a "terrorist." The activists' ranks include 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, who say they're going to "monitor" Schwarz's trial.

Schwarz has already twice been convicted of participating in the torture of Haitian Abner Louima in the bathroom of Brooklyn's 70th Precinct. The activists obviously want for Schwarz the same fate meted out to Justin Volpe, an NYPD bad apple if there ever was one. Volpe's rotting in jail for 30 years for having sodomized Louima with a plunger.

Thirty years is too short a sentence for such a moral monster, but that's beside the point. It is still Charles Schwarz's right to the legal presumption of innocence and to an open-minded, disinterested jury to weigh the evidence against him.

A prosecutor isn't supposed to cheat just to get a conviction.

And the black community is not entitled to a "majority-minority" jury just because the victim of this ghastly crime is black, any more than Schwarz is entitled to a white jury because he is Caucasian.

The American justice system doesn't work that way; there's no racial apartheid in our courtrooms, at least not anymore. To create it would be a setback for black and all other Americans interested in fair trials.

But you can't convince the black activists of this. To them, there being "only two" blacks on the jury and nine whites (plus one Middle Easterner) is not right. It's another form of racial exclusion. It's in their eyes an "outrage" that the jury is not blacker: They expect a blacker jury would be more likely to convict, because blacks as a group are fed up with police brutality.

And, yes, blacks are fed up with police brutality. But so are whites, and every decent-minded citizen who knows how dangerous it can be for a lone man to protest or to stand up to a brutal cop who has the power of life and death - and authority - on his side.

Any person with an ounce of decency wants those who violated Abner Louima punished, and punished severely. And whites are a part of that cabal for justice. Indeed, a mostly white jury already convicted Charles Schwarz, don't forget. And a white prosecutor and white judge put the monster Justin Volpe in the slammer.

A disinterested, open-minded jury is what all civil-rights leaders used to ask for, not "majority-minority" juries. Now, though, today's "civil rights" leaders want all of those notions of fundamental fairness tossed out the window whenever allegedly brutal white cops are on trial.

The standard of presumption of innocence is forsaken for political correctness and political expediency. The no-justice, no-peace crowd electrifies the demagogues in our midst.

Even Norman Siegel, the civil-liberties lawyer, frets that the community is being misled into a thirst for vengeance without regard to evidentiary and procedural rules. He told me that as a lawyer and as a citizen he believes in the rule of law and that it is wrong for a prosecutor to withhold evidence. It is wrong for activists to demand convictions without sufficient evidence.

These jurors, the black ones and the white ones, whatever their verdict, have seen this lack of appreciation for their task before - like when the black jurors in Albany were excoriated by black leaders as "Uncle Toms" for acquitting the four cops who killed Amadou Diallo in a hail of 41 bullets. Like when some white jurors were pummeled for cutting O.J. Simpson loose.

Better that jurors get ready to accept the condemnation of the cops or the cop-bashers than give in to the police community's pulse for acquittal or the activists' vengeful impulse to wipe out the ordinary safeguards of the American judicial system. A man stands innocent before those jurors until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.
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Old 06-25-2002, 08:52 PM   #171
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l.u. - you should know that this damn thread is so freaking long that my poor little modem can barely handle it. it takes approximately a day and a half to open it. i think it might be time to let this one die.
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Old 06-25-2002, 09:06 PM   #172
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But, But, but.. this is my baby... Actualy it ended up being my storehouse for articles and things I wanted to keep alive.. plus making it available to people to discuss.. Maybe i'll put out a greatest hits, but ya never know.. That's me.. Mr. Spontaneous.. Hahaha..

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Old 06-25-2002, 09:22 PM   #173
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Freak thread

Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
l.u. - you should know that this damn thread is so freaking long that my poor little modem can barely handle it. it takes approximately a day and a half to open it. i think it might be time to let this one die.
Why on earth would you want to open it?
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Old 06-25-2002, 09:22 PM   #174
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I bought you some soap for your bath Mr. Lemon.

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Old 06-25-2002, 09:53 PM   #175
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This thread is the most current, the most up to date, resource for intelligence (Yes even including the title) that is relevant to go out and live each and every day in complete control of your destiny, achieving things that man once only dreamed of.. This includes such amazing practices as ways to cheat Ebay.. Smuggle.. and well.. It's like a Starbucks that lets you remove the pole out of our .. ah damn.. Bama.. I can't think of anything else relevant.. Well.. so who has tried teh latest 'processed cream' double shot of espresso that Starbucks is selling.. thank you very much, I'll stick with my Red Bull... it's a multi purpose drink...

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Old 06-26-2002, 11:17 PM   #176
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Re: Freak thread

Quote:
Originally posted by Sicy


Why on earth would you want to open it?
Hey.. I didn't write the thing..

Bathe on...

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Hormones in Semen Shown to Make Women Feel Good
Wed Jun 26, 2:09 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Hormones in semen may help to ease female depression because women whose partners don't use condoms are less likely to feel down.


Scientists at the State University of New York suspect the mood-altering hormones are absorbed through the vagina and make women feel good but they stressed that their results are not an excuse for unprotected sex.

"I want to make it clear that we are not advocating that people abstain from using condoms," Gordon Gallup, who led the study, told New Scientist magazine on Wednesday.

"Clearly an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease would more than offset any advantageous psychological effects of semen," he added.

The researchers assessed the moods of 300 female students using a standard questionnaire. A score of more than 17 was considered moderately depressed.

Women whose partners never used condoms scored about eight on the test while those who never had sex without condoms scored 11.3. Women who weren't having sex at all scored about 13.5.

Depression in the students who sometimes or never used condoms was more severe the longer they went without sex.

The scientists said they looked at other factors, such as the use of oral contraceptives, frequency of sex and personality type, but found that none could account for the findings.

The magazine said the results are not a complete surprise because scientists know that semen contains several mood-altering hormones including testosterone.

"Some of these have been detected in a woman's blood within hours of exposure to semen," the magazine said.

The scientists suspect semen will have the same effect on women regardless of how they are exposed to it.


More from > Science
Next Story: No Link Found Between the Pill and Breast Cancer
Wed Jun 26, 5:04 PM ET - (Reuters)
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Old 07-01-2002, 08:52 PM   #177
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This is getting obscene.. I think these kinds of things are what Elvis was referring to in his admonition of deep shame for being a human.. May I suggest a Sugar Glider?..


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Political Correctness Rings Hunchback Death Knell
Thu Jun 27, 8:14 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A British theater company has dropped the word hunchback from its stage adaptation of the classic novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" to avoid offending disabled people, newspapers reported Friday.


Oddsocks Productions has renamed its touring production "The Bellringer of Notre Dame" after discussions with a disability adviser raised the possibility of offending people with spina bifida or the disfiguring scoliosis of the spine.

"We have not changed the novel in any way, we simply felt changing the title would cause less offence of people," producer Elli Mackenzie was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

French author Victor Hugo's classic 1831 novel, set in 15th century Paris around the cathedral of Notre Dame, tells the tragic story of a deformed bellringer Quasimodo and his love for a beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda.

The novel has been translated into 20 languages and adapted several times for the stage and screen -- including a 1939 Hollywood film starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara.

The original title of the novel was "Notre Dame de Paris," but its name was changed when the book was translated into English and the hunchback has remained part of the title until now.

Libby Biberian of the Scoliosis Association told newspapers she was pleased at the change.

"I would be embarrassed and offended by the original title," she said.

But David Baguley, professor of French at Durham University, said: "It is a concession to political correctness."
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Old 07-01-2002, 09:28 PM   #178
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The NBA Draft... Yao Ming No. 1

The Houston Rockets Drafted Yao Ming Number one.. then Thirty Minutes later felt like they wanted to draft him again.

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Old 07-02-2002, 09:42 PM   #179
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I think this is for a few of my detractors..

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EIB:

Last week, we had a great montage of 14 Democrats on the floor of the House, one after another, saying the identical thing about the GOP prescription drug program. They screamed that there'd been a cut sin the program, when not even a dime had been spent on drugs yet!

Well, now we've put together a similar montage about the media's coverage of the J.C. Watts retirement. They all say the same thing: he was the only black Republican member of the House of Representatives. Aren't these the people that tell us they never notice color? They are always accusing us of being racist. They're a bunch of phony hypocrites.



How come they never talk about Republican Colin Powell as the first black secretary of state or Republican Condoleezza Rice as the first National Security Advisor of color? None of these things are ever talked about - and, again, I remind you, there's not one black member of the United States Senate on the Democratic side.

Why isn't the media asking, "What's going on in the Democratic Party that there's not a single black member of the Democratic caucus in the United States Senate?" If they want to focus on race, why don't they talk about the only Klu Klux Klansman in the Senate, Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia? That's a story right here, not a man who happens to be black.

As you listen to this riff, keep in mind that Watts said in 1994 that he'd only serve three terms, but decided to stay on for a fourth in 2000. Keep in mind how much the man accomplished. Keep in mind that government is not a career for him; he was working in the true sense of a citizen legislator. Then listen to what CNN, PMSNBC, PBS, ABC and the rest had to say about him. All the media could talk about was the color of his skin, because that's all liberals ever see.

I'm not saying that these media people call each other and say, "Okay, here's how we're going to play this today." They don't have to do that. The point is they all think the same way. This is why I say, "If you missed the news on CBS, don't sweat it; go to NBC. If you miss that, go to CBS; miss that, go to CNN; miss that, go to MSNBC; miss that; go to CNN again; miss that, go to CNN Headline News; miss that, go to the New York Times, but miss my show, and you have nowhere else to go."
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:44 PM   #180
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Yet another Shining example of Liber.. Excuse me Communism at work..

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Hong Kong marks handover anniversary in grim mood

01 July, 2002 16:51 GMT+08:00


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By Tan Ee Lyn and Carrie Lee

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa was sworn in for a second term on Monday as protesters marked the fifth anniversary of the city's return to Chinese rule by blasting his government over the ailing economy and human rights.

As storm clouds gathered outside, Tung and 14 ministers he handpicked to run the government took their oaths in Hong Kong's futuristic convention centre before Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who flew in for the anniversary ceremony.

With protesters kept well out of earshot outside, Tung said in a sombre speech after his swearing-in that solving the city's economic problems will be "long and arduous".

"Worries are weighing on the hearts of Hong Kong people...the biggest challenge facing the second term government is to lead Hong Kong out of the economic downturn and to restore the confidence of Hong Kong people," he said.

Deeply unpopular with Hong Kong residents, the Beijing-backed leader pledged to do everything necessary to create jobs but gave few concrete details of plans to ease the economic pain.

Celebrations marking the anniversary were modest and low-key, reflecting the gloom pervading the tiny territory of 6.7 million people on China's southern coast.

The once proud former British colony is facing a crisis of confidence after being mauled by two recessions in four years. Unemployment is at a record high of 7.4 percent and a third of its families are living below the poverty line.

Five years ago, Hong Kong was consumed by fear its new rulers in Beijing would renege on their promise to give the city a high degree of autonomy and keep its freedoms intact.

Now, fearing the loss of Hong Kong's vaunted Midas touch, more residents are looking to booming China as their economic salvation. Hardly a month goes by without a prominent Hong Kong figure making a pilgrimage to Beijing.

"Somewhere along the way, we seem to have lost our 'can do' spirit," former Hong Kong chief secretary Anson Chan wrote in an article in Financial Times on Monday.

"Mainland China does not owe us a living any more than the rest of the world does. It is unrealistic to expect Beijing to come to our rescue."


FREEDOMS SUBTLY ERODED

While most of the territory's people have been preoccupied with money problems, rights activists say civil liberties have been subtly rolled back in recent years and that local leaders are increasingly intolerant of any criticism of them or Beijing.

Scuffles broke out shortly after dawn when police blocked a group of protesters carrying a mock coffin to the convention centre where Tung and some 800 dignitaries were attending a flag-raising ceremony.

The protesters denounced the Communist Party's iron grip on the mainland. They splashed red paint over themselves to symbolise Beijing's bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Tiananmen Square.

"Step down, Jiang Zemin," they yelled.

About 400 people from more than 30 pro-democracy and grassroots groups marched to government headquarters to protest against growing layoffs, poverty, the government's failure to fix the economy, and perceived threats to freedom and civil rights.

"We want work," they chanted. "Give us back our ricebowls."

Nearly 100 critics of Beijing have been barred from entering Hong Kong in the last week. Some had planned to make speeches, while others wanted to join demonstrations.

Tung, who owes his position to Beijing's strong backing, will run Hong Kong with the 14 ministers for the next five years.

Political analysts expect he will tighten his grip on the territory in his second term, pushing an anti-subversion law and new taxes to reduce the ballooning budget deficit.

But it remains unclear whether he will begin public consultations on expanding democracy in the territory.

Hong Kong's constitution allows for full direct elections after 2007 but Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen was quoted last week as saying Beijing was against any rapid changes in its political system.

Tung has been harshly criticised in the past for being indecisive and even some of China's leaders have said his government has been too slow to put policies into action.

Jiang urged Hong Kong residents on Monday to give more support to Tung's government in the next five years, but also said he would like to see the administration work even harder.

"I hope the executive, legislative and judicial bodies of Hong Kong will constantly improve their job performance to provide better services to the public and society," he said.

The Chinese leader's visit lasted less than 24 hours. He left Hong Kong early on Monday afternoon.
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