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Everything posted by AceofKY

  1. This is a good statement of what is officially termed "moral relativism." You are correct that I (and many other Americans) are quite intolerant of the results of this type of thinking and we want to elect leaders who are similarly intolerant. We believe that there are certain things (such as murder, rape, stealing, torture, etc.) that are always and absolutely wrong regardless of one's ethnicity or thought and regardless of one's intention or circumstances. Those who would commit these crimes will go to jail, and I for one want to keep it that way.
  2. The definition of a person is the key issue. Why? Because we both agree that it is ethically wrong to kill human persons. Go back and read my original statement: Opposition to direct abortion is the only rationally consistent position one can hold with our current biological knowledge if one believes that humans are something other than mere animals. The latter is an important qualifier. Consciousness, capacity for pain, rationality, etc. - all of these are characteristics of the human person. What I am attempting to show you is that they are not an adequate definition of what the human person is. They do not capture the essence of the person in its entirety. How do we know this? Because there are many persons who do not demonstrate these characteristics at various times in their lives, yet we would never dream of denying their personhood. Someone asleep or in a coma is not conscious. An anesthesiologist can easily take away a woman's capacity to feel pain when she is having a baby. Young children and some elderly with dementia are not rational, etc. By extension, then, to deny the fetus personhood because it is not demonstrating these characteristics at 20 weeks old is not rationally consistent. I wouldn't say we have laws and ethics because we are rational. I would say that our capacity for rationality enables us to discern/create/obey laws and ethics because we recognize that certain things are right and wrong according to the "internal moral compass" you referred to. The end of laws and ethics is not rationality; the end is right/just order. The capacity for suffering and self-awareness can be easily taken away from any human via the use of drugs. Does that mean its ok to kill them as long as they can't suffer and don't know that we are killing them? I don't think so, but that is because I believe that the human person is more than just an animal with a more highly developed brain. That is the cultural battle taking place in the U.S. right now. Palin at least partially understands this. Obama says these kind of questions are above his pay grade. I would accept language (i.e. communication of some type - not necessarily spoken) as a pre-condition to understanding the moral law, but I don’t see how language could cause us to feel that there is a moral law.
  3. Ahh...now we are getting somewhere. You have identified a characteristic of a person - one that is unique amongst all other animals. What you haven't done, of course, is advance any theory on WHY we are rational. The ancient greeks posited the existence of the soul to explain this. We are certainly not going to settle whether that is true or not here, but frankly we don't need to. Why? Because each of us has the moral compass that you referred to in our nature. We know that there is a right and a wrong, and we know that through reason we can discern what that right and wrong is in most cases. Even more shockingly, we are aware that we are free to disregard that moral compass and act against it. Do you have a theory for why humans seem to have this moral compass, whereas no other animals do? It is certainly possible to reach different conclusions on ethical questions. Many times, however, that is due to the assumptions one is working from. Your assumption seems to be that a "person" is a conscious/self-aware being with the capacity to feel pain. This, of course, describes many different species of animal and doesn't differentiate the human person. Then you added that the person is a rational being, and I agree with this. But you haven't seemed to put two and two together yet to figure out that unborn children and even young babies are not rational. They have the capacity to become rational as they grow older, but they are not rational yet (trust me - I have two of them.) So you are left with an uneasy feeling that there is something wrong with late-term abortions because at this time the fetus seems to be a developing person, but you have haven't yet given us a good rational explanation for how this differs from an early term fetus. I posit that they are both human persons. Tell me how I am wrong, please. BTW, I am not really defending Mrs. Palin's competency or lack thereof in general. I am defending her view that what you call a fetus is also a human person deserving of the protections due to human persons.
  4. The idea that a human is a "person" at all, at any stage of life, is a religious idea. Self-awareness/conciousness, capacity to feel pain, etc. - none of these are a description of a "person." The presence of a spiritual soul IS an indicator of the existence of a person (a person being a soul/body unity), but as you have noted this is by definition not observable or provable via science. Our current biological knowledge is that humans are animals, but that does not preclude the notion that human persons have other characteristics not shared with other types of animals. As for grounding law and ethics in science, you really have not thought this out my friend. Why do you think that other animals (besides humans) do not have laws, ethics, or even science for that matter?
  5. I think business loses either way; there's little difference between them economically. I'll be voting for Ron Paul.
  6. I think the article sums up the situation pretty well. Do you have another explanation for the situation? With respect to competency, most of us feel the same about Obama and besides she's not running for president yet anyway. Agreed, but what does one really need to know? Live within your means. Cut your expenses. Stop borrowing money. Balance your budget. Get out of bed in the morning and go to work and earn revenue. Any housewife should know how to do this. Just add some zeros onto the end of the numbers and you have a federal budget. The complicated alphabet soup of derivatives and financial toxic waste is what got us into this mess. I'd rather have a housewife that knows how to balance a budget than a financial engineer dreaming up exotic new schemes.
  7. I have tried to explain in the past on GEI that the U.S. is engaged in a cultural battle. Our economic problems are a result of that. We will never solve our economic problems until we solve our moral and spiritual problems first. Mrs. Palin at least represents hope for many Americans. Obama talks about change, but let's be honest here, he really doesn't have a clue. Neither does McCain. Opposition to direct abortion - including in the case of rape - is the only rationally consistent position one can hold with our current biological knowledge if one believes that humans are something other than mere animals. That is, at what point does a human person become a human person? To oppose direct abortion in all cases except rape is to undercut the very grounds one holds for opposing abortion in the first place - that the fetus is a developing human person and deserves the rights and protections of any other person. Sarah Palin is thinking clearly here. Your brother-in-law is not thinking at all; he's just calling names like a second-grade bully.
  8. Can it be done without outlawing or strictly regulating the television? It seems to be highly addictive and destructive of community.
  9. It's funny, isn't it, how urban dwellers live so closely together but yet don't know each other? When I was in college I lived in the City in an apartment complex and never saw my neighbors - perhaps due to bad design as Bubb suggests which results in absolutely nothing to see outside. We live in the country now and know all of our neighbors. Some of them we're not friendly with, but I suspect there's a little of that in all communities. At least my kids can play without being watched constantly. We train them to stay off of the road but otherwise they roam at will. I know several people who are constantly driving their kids around as Bubb suggests. I wonder, however, if that is not due to an overemphasis on sports involvement that we have here in the U.S.? People seem to think that their kids won't mature properly if they're not constantly playing in some team activity, and in other cases it seems that parents live their lives through their kids. In any case, what is the difference between jumping in a car to drive to the ball field and jumping on a train, subway, or bus to get to the ball field - besides the fact that the former might get too expensive to do in the future? One aspect of community that seems to be overlooked here is one's faith tradition. In my experience, community is generally always stronger when its members share the same beliefs (and ethnicity, for that matter.) Is this aspect of community being incorporated into the new "Urbanism"?
  10. AceofKY

    Victory Nickel

    It's a no-brainer for INI shareholders. For NI shareholders, we just get diluted for a 4th asset when the first 3 aren't even close to being developed yet. All junior shares are worthless now anyway, so I guess it doesn't even matter anymore.
  11. Anyone know these directors? Victor Wyprysky, President, CEO & Director • Managing Principal of Toronto-based Crescent Financial Corporation • Founding partner, past President and CEO of Harris Partners Inc. • 25-Year Investment Banking Career with Burns Fry, Gordon Capital and Scotia Capital Paul Carroll, Chairman • Chairman and CEO of Diadem Resources Ltd. and President of Carnarvon Capital Corporation Bill Shaver, Vice Chairman • Co-founder of Dynatec, with over 40 years of mine development experience with Inco, Falconbridge, Barrick, Newmont, Goldcorp, Aur Resources and FNX Mining • EVP, Denison Mines Ian MacNeily, EVP, CFO & Director • Former CFO of North American Palladium Ltd. Past CFO of Tiomin Resources Inc. and Pangea Goldfields Inc. Jim Roxburgh, VP Project Co-ordination • Over 40 years in the minerals industry – has developed a track record of project evaluation, acquisitions, operations, and executive responsibility • Previous experience with Rio Tinto and Dynatec Ken Gum, General Manager • Previous MTM General Manager under Pasminco • Will oversee restart of Cumberland, Gordonsville, and East Carthage mining and milling operations John Thompson, VP Resource Development • Over 30 years of experience as a geologist and geological engineer • Has supervised and evaluated major greenfield exploration and mine development programs worldwide
  12. Second quarter financials are out on SEDAR now. Gentlemen, I think we can officially write SRZ off as a failed company now. My sole hope over the past few months was for some decent operational performance which might allow SRZ to at least continue as a going concern until zinc prices turn around. Instead we got bad grades, low recoveries, insufficient grinding capacity, and less than 25% of forecast production. More capital is needed to solve these problems. SRZ needs to raise $40MM right now to avoid bankruptcy. That's not going to happen with zinc prices this low. She has substantial debt, so there will be nothing left for shareholders even if the assets are sold. SRZ's proposed 125MM lb/yr production will not materialize and it will become part of the zinc supply destruction that will (eventually) contribute to a rise in zinc prices. SRZ is a dead fish, and yours truly is a bagholder. Hopefully other GEI members can at least learn from my mistake, the principle mistake being (I think) buying a high cost miner with no hedge and no exit plan in case the underlying commodity falls.
  13. AceofKY

    Victory Nickel

    Crowflight is showing some interesting insider buying activity, including the CEO for almost $100k. Even the new CFO lady is buying: Aug 01/08 Aug 01/08 Ladd, Anna Man-Yue Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 4,000 $0.345 Aug 01/08 Aug 01/08 Ladd, Anna Man-Yue Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 16,000 $0.340 Aug 01/08 Aug 01/08 Hoffman, Michael Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 300,000 $0.330 Jul 03/08 Jul 03/08 Collins, Gregory Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 40,000 $0.480 Jun 05/08 Jun 03/08 Wilson, Bernard Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 19,000 $0.640 Hopefully this means the startup is going well. Or maybe a potential acquisition in the works? Both FNX and Xstrata have publicly announced that they're looking for acquisitions in nickel. Crowflight seems rather small to me to be of interest to these operators, but they are on the edge of production and their equity has been obliterated so who knows?
  14. AceofKY

    Selling Lead Mine

    Teck's smelter at Trail is likely closer to you, but I doubt if they'd be willing to accept your offtake unless you're talking sizable quantities. You have to be very careful in the States, especially with lead. Look at all the hoops Mines Management is jumping through in Montana, just so they can drill! What you really need is some data to indicate the scope of the project. Did his grandfather have any drilling performed? I'd recommend hiring an experienced consultant to evaluate your grandfather's files, the property, and perform some sampling, etc. They will then be able to make a recommendation on whether to proceed to the next step, or go to plan B.
  15. Hi Daniel, I put in a bid for Photochannel the other day after reading your writeup and doing a little DD. Not sure if the order filled or not; I don't log into my brokerage account these days since it's too depressing. I'm just concentrating on my primary business and waiting for the market to turn around. I don't want to talk about SRZ right now.
  16. AceofKY

    Geothermal heat pumps

    I'm not sure about seismic activity, but poly pipe is very forgiving and will bend/flex long before it will crack. I never use expansion tanks on this type of piping because it will expand itself much more than other types of piping. Yes, the heat pumps heat in the winter and cool in the summer from the same water loop and using the same air system. There is a reversing valve in the refrigeration circuit that switches automatically from one to the other based on the thermostat setpoint and mode. All of this is packaged into the water source heat pump. All the homeowner has to do is connect up the piping, electrical, and duct. Except for the geothermal water loop, it is basically a drop-in replacement for a standard central air conditioning system with air-cooled condenser. There is no need to warm from low level unless you have really high ceilings. We use ceiling diffusers almost exclusively on ceilings from 8 to 12 feet without having any heating problems. You can also get ceiling diffusers with adjustable vertical throw if needed; I use these when designing HVAC systems in gymnasiums which have higher ceilings. Remember, with the typical geothermal system, you don't get "hot" or "cold" water and thus it won't do any good to run it through the floor or through ceiling beams unless you use some sort of secondary chiller or heater. The ground stays at about 50-65 degrees F year round. The water loop will range from a low of around 40 degrees F in the winter to a high of around 95 degrees F (if properly designed) in the summer. You must use a heat pump (which is basically the same refrigeration cycle as a refrigerator) to push the heat into the water in the summer or extract the heat in the winter. The cheap way to do it is using the standard water-source heat pump with packaged air heat exchanger and supply fan and duct the air to the rooms in the exact same manner as the traditional central air conditioning system.
  17. AceofKY

    Geothermal heat pumps

    This is old, but still very good, technology now. You can generally expect 5-8 year paybacks on increased capital costs. I have designed many geothermal wellfields for schools in KY. This is a very popular technology here; the only thing preventing near universal acceptance in residential applications is the very cheap power we have which makes air cooled heat pumps' low capital costs more attractive for small budget homes. I haven't performed any calcs to support this, but I doubt if there is enough area under a house for a horizontal heat exchanger; i.e. - you can't put the pipes in the foundation and get enough heat transfer to the ground. The opposite is usually practiced around here; piping is sometimes placed in the floor slabs to heat the building. There may be some high tech heat exchanger that I'm not aware of that would do this, but you're not going to get enough heat transfer to the ground with just standard poly piping so you can expect to pay much more in capital costs. For a residential application in a city, it is much more feasible to use vertical heat exchangers (which are just polyethylene pipes). One 300 foot well, by itself and not in a wellfield, can typically handle around 2 tons of cooling load. The cooling load dominates around here. A 300 foot well with piping installed will cost you about $3500. The poly piping has a very long life. I haven't heard of any piping failures yet and we've been installing geothermal since the early 80s here. Some people push the limits on pressure, however, with very deep vertical pipes. The main problem that we have run across over the years is that, since the cooling load is so dominant (i.e. since we push a lot more heat into the ground in summer than we withdraw during the winter) our wellfields for larger buildings are heating up over the years and we are losing capacity. I have been addressing this by adding closed circuit evaporative coolers to the loop as this is less expensive than just adding more wells.
  18. AceofKY

    The Dark Ages

    Sorry, I thought Frizzers was talking about Augustine of Hippo. Either way, the first christians in England predate either of these two Augustines.
  19. AceofKY

    The Dark Ages

    According to Bede's history, the first Christian missionaries arrived in England in the late second century which predates Augustine. To my knowledge, Augustine never traveled to England but I could be wrong about this. At least I don't remember it in his Confessions. The latter is supposedly Western Literature's first autobiography and I highly recommend it.
  20. I have corresponded with Daniel for over a year now and read his blog periodically although I'm not sure if I've read the one you're mentioning. Yes, it is very possible that SRZ will be a $5 stock and I'd say it will be sooner than 2010. That's not a lot of consolation for someone who bought shares at $4! There is a lot of upside potential here, but not without a cooperative zinc price.
  21. Still in it, unfortunately. It has been my worst performing stock this year. Volume has been too low for fund selling, I think. The problem is that no one is interested in bidding for zinc equities right now. My understanding is that the plan is still to eventually extract the G's themselves but since zinc is so low they needed to sell the next couple of year's G's to attain positive cash flow. I'm not sure what chart you are looking at because SRZ is only about a year old. They IPO'd last spring. Zinc won't stay this low forever. Breakwater and several other juniors will likely go bankrupt at this level. Teck is closing a mine early, I heard. The question is: can SRZ attain positive cash flow from operations with the G credits, service their debt, and avoid overly diluting their equity until zinc price recovers? Like you and myself, no one knows the answer and so no one is buying the equity. It would be nice if they'd give us better details on the G credits that were negotiated and issue an update on the production ramp up. Don't forget they sold puts at $1.20 zinc on about six months of production, so we'll at least have a nice gain on derivatives in the 2nd quarter financials. It is friggin crazy that SRZ is trading at a market cap of about half of what they've invested into this asset in the past year.
  22. Utica NY is not a small town; there are ~60,000 people there. It doesn't matter whether oil goes to $400 or $4000/barrel; I still can't produce food as efficiently as large scale american agriculture b/c it requires more oil per unit of production to do it myself. In fact, it's likely I'd quit gardening period if oil goes that high. The basic infrastructure is not in place in small towns. That's the problem. That's what I said. It's called American agriculture. For me it's a hobby. For the farmers, it's a business. You'd better pray that that is the case. Because there's not enough acreage per person in Utica NY to support its population if everyone has to grow their own food. If what you are really saying is that the city will remain as is and the farming will all happen outside of it in the surrounding country, I have news for you: that is still commercial agriculture and it is already the case that towns and cities throughout this country are surrounded by farms. You guys seem to forget that cities and towns existed long before the internal combustion engine.
  23. please. If Mr. Kunstler would stop all his advertising and start living the stuff he proposes then maybe he'd change his tune a little. KY is full of small towns. They all require cars. A small town can't afford mass transportation. We could go back to horses I suppose, but they're more expensive than cars. Growing food close to home. Gee, there's an idea. I grow a vegetable garden every year. We have corn, beans, cabbage, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. To suggest that this is somehow less energy intensive than large scale american agriculture is ludicrous. A garden requires breaking, discing, tilling throughout the summer, lots of sweat and hoeing and harvesting and chemicals. Our apple, peach, and cherry trees require constant maintenance, spraying, and trimming too. It is merely a hobby; I can buy all of the above less expensively by going to a grocery store because our farmers can do all of this much more efficiently than I can. Mr. Kunstler can move back to the 17th century if he likes. The rest of America will continue to develop alternative energy sources.
  24. Are we going to bust through that quadruple or quintuple top this time?