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  1. 3 points
    Ted (in) Lieu (of fill in the blank) pulled out his cell phone and on the Congressional record called Candace Owens a ****er lover. I saw it !
  2. 2 points
    I’m not knowledgeable or passionate about art but I have followed many of your conversations with interest. When you point out the inconsistency that music doesn’t fit her criteria but she called it art anyway, they break into gibberish or avoid the issue, it’s comical, I’m always entertained by it. I also don’t get the either–or rigidity regarding whether this or that discipline is art, say, architecture. Keeping water out is utility not art, but a textured roof that looks like waves of wind over tall grass and costs three times a traditional roof and raises the cost of the home by 8% is art because it was done for contemplation and aesthetic consideration, the essential characteristic of art. Insisting on the absence of utility strikes me as definition by exclusion. We can make distinctions, we can call it fine art or pure art when there is no utility at all. But if someone’s favorite sculpture turns out, unbeknownst to them, to be a personal aircraft — you press this button here and wings fold out and you can fly away in the thing — then now they have to pick a new favorite sculpture because this one isn’t art anymore? Seems like definition by non–essentials to me.
  3. 2 points
    President Trump Prime Minister Trump King Trump 2020 , and let’s get 2024 for Ivanka !!!!! God bless POTUS
  4. 2 points
    Ellen, I see some. The Notre Dame Cathedral is definitely a human species thing. It was not built by one man or woman. It was a group effort over generations--the best of mankind--from the 1100's (with history continuing to be added over the centuries). The ancient building was in a form--a concrete, not abstract, form--anyone could walk into today. Walking into it (before the fire) was not like looking at artifacts from an archaeological dig, but was walking into a fully functional building in use in today's society. When you do that, all you can do is marvel about the human species (and about God for the religious) that it was built about 900 years or so ago. Knowing that things like that exist gives most people comfort on a deep "I came from that" level. That's what I feel. I think that is a species-related emotion although I don't recall Bloom talking about this particular emotion. But, to me, seeing that building go up in flames left me feeling like my great grandfather, who was in perfect health yesterday, just died. (That's a hypothetical to demonstrate the emotion.) The comfort of belonging to a historical lineage is something so much a part of me and underground in my mind, I never verbalized it properly. And hanging around Rand-world drove it further underground except as banter about coming from hillbillies and things like that. Now, one physical proof of my inner certainty of belonging to a long line of humans who strive for greatness has gone away. No wonder it's bothersome. It makes me sad and melancholy and really pissed off when I think it may have been arson. As an aside, Bloom says people who wither away and die of depression are suffering from a species emotion (my paraphrase since I'm going by memory--I think his words were different, but the concept is the same). Super-depressed people don't feel like they are worth anything to the species, to anyone else, or even to themselves anymore. Bloom says this self-destructive shutting-down emotion is built into all of us, meaning it can manifest under the right conditions in anyone, so the species can be culled of useless members like cells of a body organ die. The dead get replaced by the new. I find this thought fascinating and--for now at least--it sure seems like this mental mechanism (including for other emotions as well) is one of the core components of human values. For a fiction writer, this opens up a whole world of compelling nuance in big picture events and character motivations--nuance that will resonate universally in others as it does in me. Like I said, I don't believe this species thinking is either-or with individualism. Humans are both individuals and members of the human species. Good and evil exist for both the individual and the species. Ditto for illness and health. If some of Rand's scope excesses can be reduced to a size where their validation can be checked by observation of anyone, and room made for the stuff pertaining to individual human nature she left out, I think this kind of species thinking aligns perfectly with her kind of thinking. At least, I intend to pursue this path until it leads somewhere good or bad (or both ) in my writing and my own thinking. Michael
  5. 2 points
    You've probably heard of the concept "man cold" or "man flu." I've heard it mentioned in pop culture for a few years now, and have been observing it with interest. And I just experienced it firsthand for the first time. I'm not talking about the cold, but about certain women's reactions to it. The glee. The superiority. I have a cold. I'm still up and about. I've taken the standard over the counter remedies, but I'm coughing and sneezing, my nose is running, and my voice is a bit rough. Despite going about my life as normal, I've been ridiculed by a few women whom I barely even know. They're very excited about mocking me for having a "man cold," even though I'm not actually displaying the behavior that defines it (staying in bed, doing nothing, moaning -- in other words, being affected by it, where women with colds are said to not be affected, or are strong enough to not allow colds to affect them). It's very psychologically fulfilling to them to verbally kick men when they are experiencing illness or weakness, and to derive a sense of superiority from doing so. There's no accompanying interest in science or comparing symptoms and ailments. It's just pure psychological thrill of belittling the enemy. Anyway, it reminded me of this thread, and the excitement that Billy seems to experience in focusing on right-wing conspiracy believers, but not so much left-wing conspiracy believers. Seems to have a lot of similarities to the "man cold" relishers. J
  6. 2 points
    Her white nationalism is settled consensus.
  7. 2 points
    Yeah, but I've heard that she loves Hitler. They say that she's a black white-nationalist, and was caught on tape admitting that she wants another holocaust. Why would they say stuff like that if it wasn't true? Huh?
  8. 2 points
    Second that. Partly second that. Jon's form of trash talk doesn't bother me in the circumstances in which he's using it. He doesn't use it indiscriminately. I'd use a different metaphor for William. Insidious poison. Slithery. Never quite coming out with a thing. Insinuating. I've seen that for some while. Ellen
  9. 1 point
    Here is a link to my song "Ave Maria (Ellen's Prayer)" as performed March 10 in Minneapolis. The singer is Christina Christensen, mezzo-soprano (https://www.facebook.com/ccmezzosoprano) and the pianist is Emily Urban (https://www.facebook.com/emilylurban). (I am not sure how long this link will remain active; I will post a permanent link later. However, the audio file can be downloaded from this link.) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MXQSi8JqBFqXL4CszL7I38c4jEsLaQhZ/view
  10. 1 point
    As long as I am doing the Trump tweet thing, here's one for Mitt-mouth. Michael
  11. 1 point
    Kevin Poulsen has a different perspective, based on the Mueller Report itself: Mueller Report: Assange Smeared Seth Rich to Cover for Russians Julian Assange repeatedly blamed Seth Rich, the murdered DNC staffer, for Russia’s leaks. The Mueller report shows that Assange was lying from the start. See the Axios utility for searching the report for the details, page numbers, etc:
  12. 1 point
    “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.” Emerson They didn’t kill him.
  13. 1 point
    You're well expressing what I feel, and I'm crying a bit reading your post. Tears came to the point my eyes stung and the picture blurred when I saw a photo of the wreckage in the nave. I'll continue reading now. Ellen
  14. 1 point
    As I said on Monday, you aroused my curiosity enough, I bought the books. (I also bought The Muhammad Code.) The books arrived via Amazon Prime on Tuesday. I was just taking a look through them when Larry told me the news about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. I've been definitely upset by that news, and I'm wondering about my emotional response in relationship to Bloom's ideas. Feel free to comment or not as you have time and desire. I'm not of the Christian or any other religious persuasion. I decided that I was an atheist when I was twelve. I've never been to Paris and don't expect ever to go there. Notre Dame is a building I've never seen and had no expectation of ever seeing in physical actuality, only in photographs and drawings and paintings. So why do I feel that its having been badly damaged is terrible and that its total destruction, which apparently was narrowly escaped, would have been horrifically terrible? Do you see Bloom's thesis about group evolution as relevant? Ellen PS: I didn't feel about the World Trade Towers coming down the way I feel about Notre Dame's being badly damaged. The Trade Towers attack was an outrage and appalling for the loss of life, and I sometimes think with shuddersome horror of people's having to decide whether to die by fire or by jumping. But I disliked the buildings. (For a few years when I was living in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn and working in Manhattan, I saw those a couple times a day during the week, while crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on the "D" line.)
  15. 1 point
    You are ruled by criminals.
  16. 1 point
    William, I went ahead and saw the video you posted that I didn't see the other day. At the time, I imagined you were trying to present the idea that manipulation of results by the social media giants doesn't exist, it only exists by malicious viewers. If all you are talking about is spammers, though, yeah, the bots do exist and they do the things in the video. I even know where to buy some bots like that. And artificial views and all that. The process shown in the video of pumping out a large number of different videos with essentially the same content is called "video spinning," which came from article spinning, which was invented by a guy on the Warrior Forum about a decade ago. He invented a code to replace words at random within an article based on synonyms. Once you coded an article the right way, you would put it in his program, click and an article came out. Click again and a different article came out. Click again and a different one and so on. The idea was to trick Google into not thinking this was duplicate content (thus get better search engine rankings). Or, if you didn't want to write an article, you could get one off the Internet somewhere, spin it, then run it through Copyscape to make sure not enough was equal to the original to constitute plagiarism. This article spinning process is a common part of the arsenal these days in OMG's (one man gangs). The kind of video you showed above is an advance version of this. Instead of articles, you have different ways to manipulate different video outcomes. Also, the large viewership is not really that large--mostly bots or the followers of some celeb who got tricked into recommending one of these videos. The fact is, nobody watches more than once or twice. All the rest is artificially inflated. I just looked on Google and there is a free, low quality article spinner here. (There exist very high quality ones, too.) You don't have to code anything in this freebie since so many articles have been spun over the years, they already have an automatic bank of synonyms. Here is what the first five paragraphs of this post looks like spun once. (This way you will get an idea of what I am talking about.) I could spin it as many times as I want and it would be different every time. The idea in using these things is to clean up the ridiculous-sounding stuff before posting a particular version to a blog or site, but many people don't even bother. For the record, here's the sales page for a rather low quality video spinning software. So I don't agree with the guy in your video about the psychological manipulation of users with these kinds of tools. The different users are attracted to these things based on polarities, which are engineered by keywords and the like, but they are not persuaded by anything. In other words, the same people who do a pro-Trump channel also do everything the same, but with an anti-Trump channel to pick up that part of the audience. They want you to click on ads and only that. They're not into "changing the narrative." The social media giants are, though. They do the real nasty behavior engineering. These same social media giants have to fight spammers at the same time. Those are two completely different issues. Just because bots exist, that does not mean, for example, the despicable collusion by the social media giants to deplatform Alex Jones because they did not like his popularity on pushing an agenda they do not share was justified. It was not justified, it was done by humans on purpose for political reasons, and it was despicable Bots also do not mean "muh Russians" elected Donald Trump. To be fair, I mostly take back my negativity about the first video ("Manipulating the YouTube Algorithm..."). It's not bad. If you are interested in seeing a bit behind the scenes re spambots, it's OK. However, and here's the rub... If you think this has any political influence or covert psychological manipulation (like the guy says at times) to make people vote differently, etc. it's quite misleading. Use common sense. (I say this to the reader, too.) Would anyone change their vote based on the robotic voiced video you posted? How many people do you know would even watch it to the end? Michael
  17. 1 point
    Where did Cher learn all that right–wing drivel from? Doesn’t she know that unlimited immigration is a boon to all? They come here “to work” and every lover of logic and reason knows they could have no other motivation to come. They bring their energy, creativity and enthusiasm. And they enrich us culturally. What’s this nonsense about them needing help or being a burden in any way? To hear Yawon Bwook explain it, she should personally take them all in and thereby have all the wonderful benefits of immigration for herself. She doesn’t seem to understand how mass immigration works and how good it is.
  18. 1 point
    LOL... btw - Cher is getting roasted by her own peeps all over the Internet for this tweet. Michael
  19. 1 point
    Named dumb asshole spent about two years faithfully, breathlessly believing in the stupidest conspiracy theory ever. It hurts, and of course, he doesn’t deal with anything gracefully. My favorite was when he pointed his finger at me at said “at least I don’t believe in false ideas that cause harms.” Hilarious! This from the same asshole who pushes the false manmade warming conspiracy theory “the solution” to which is called mass murder. And Muh Russians! In control of American elections! Impeach! Assassinate! Hold no ideas that cause harms!
  20. 1 point
    Moving Illegal Alien Overflow to Sanctuary Cities This is a hoot. Here is what is happening from what I both read and infer. (We can add articles and links in the discussion.) Certain anti-Trump forces (crony establishment ruling class types) are trying to overwhelm the immigration system to create chaos and are funding massive quantities of immigrants to the US in a sudden surge. These ruling class idiots want to stop the wall and keep the borders open thinking this favors their ill-gotten globalism games and keeps them running things. So they are using a Cloward–Piven strategy. This means you overwhelm a government program (several at the same time is better), or any aid distribution system for that matter, with so many claimants and petitioners that the system collapses from lack of resources. Then you use this collapse as an excuse to completely take over and centralize the problem under the government. Essentially, it's a power-grab. Don't forget the cost of the new centralization will need to be paid for with new taxes and require new regulations, licenses, and God knows what all. That is what they are trying to do with President Trump right now. The Washington Post, obviously in on it, started the buzz with an article a couple of days ago saying that Trump was thinking of sending the overflow of immigrants at the border to sanctuary cities. Their intent was to stir up public opinion against Trump and his supporters by showing what horrible people they are. But the cigar turned out to be a trick cigar and it blew up in their faces. President Trump liked the idea and said let's do it. Suddenly, most of the local leaders of sanctuary cities are having a shit fit. Why? Because their own resources and system--not the federal government's--are going to be blown sky high paying for these newcomers and their own constituents are going to get irritated as all get-out when everything goes to shit in their neighborhoods trying to assimilate all these poor people who don't speak English. The number of illegal aliens needed to wreck local budgets and systems (especially of sanctuary cities) will not substantially aggravate the already horrible illegal alien problem of the US, so there's no real downside for President Trump to do this. Besides, according to the current law, the Federal Government can only hold immigrants for 20 days before they have to be released. President Trump's idea is that instead of releasing them in border cities and towns, he wants to ship them to sanctuary cities all over the US. This is a kind of Cloward-Piven boomerang. Rush Limbaugh pointed out that Nancy Pelosi called illegal aliens "Gifts of Love." Essentially, President Trump wants to ship a whole bunch of Gifts of Love to Democratic neighborhoods (including affluent ones like where Pelosi lives) and sanctuary cities to show them how much he cares. So why all the howling from Dems all of a sudden? Don't they want some love? Michael
  21. 1 point
    Ellen, The fizzle I see comes from the academic or "bearer of the sacred torch" people and organizations in the Objectivist world. Out in the real world, there are countless A-Level entrepreneurs, celebrities, experts, etc. who openly acknowledge a Randian influence on their lives, although most only do this when asked. They don't volunteer it. I don't agree if you mean the hero's journey pattern is not present enough to be a feature in Rand's fiction. I see it all over her fiction. I also don't agree that it is required for what you said, although it is one of the more potent forms of storytelling in human nature. Let's put it this way. Using the hero's journey pattern certainly helps. In fact, in many of the screenwriting books I have read, they give examples how it raised a mediocre story to a higher level of success. But there are several other patterns (boy meets girl, comeuppance, etc.) that are equally powerful, inspirational and long-lasting. But I'm not being a contrarian qua contrarian and we are certainly in no contest. I want to hear what you have to say, so please elaborate on what's in your head before I entrench. On a different note, I got to looking into a work that has strong genre parallels with Atlas Shrugged (and I can just hear the howling when I mention it ). The work interested me because I got to thinking, how do you transmit a social-ideological message in fiction that is strong enough to make people act on it? And that led me to one very strange corner: The Turner Diaries by white supremacist William Luther Pierce. (Google it and you can find a copy for free, it's in the public domain. I prefer not to link to it.) This work inspired the Oakland City bombing (which was similar to a scene in the book and the book was on Timothy McVeigh when he was apprehended) and several acts of domestic white power terrorism over the years. Well, I just read the work. (What a trip! Note: I'm not going to discuss the racism in it here. I'm focusing on something else.) I finally understand what one has to do to convince readers through fiction in a way that is far more powerful than propaganda. The plot parallels are strong enough between The Turner Diaries and Atlas Shrugged to detect the patterns. The outer plot template (of both) is the destruction of the entire social order (and the scapegoats of the insider ideology) by an initial small group of insiders (they grow over time), but the inner drive of the "good guys" (if one can call them that in The Turner Diaries ) is reverence for an ideal, a form of worship. This is true in both books. The emphasis in on reverence, not hatred as is constantly portrayed by critics. (There is hatred, but it's a byproduct, a dirty job that has to be done, so to speak, not a prime spiritual mover.) Apropos, this reverence even leads the protagonists to experience emotional states of trance-like transcendence like Dagny listening to the Halley concerto, or Earl Turner reading the semi-sacred secret book after his interrogation. In this genre (as evidenced by these two works), pure outraged hatred is reserved for those who have seen the light and "betrayed" their ideal. The "lesser aware" scapegoats are--as in ancient religions--considered more as morally unclean and subhuman than evil. Some subhumans get to the level of evil, but the vast majority are cattle and merely unclean things that need to be eliminated (or redeemed or whatever) so that the ideologically pure insiders can have and spread their utopia. Whether the scapegoats are blacks and Jews (as in The Turner Diaries) or collectivists and altruists (as in Atlas Shrugged), their story role is identical. (The violence against them isn't, of course, but that is beside this point.) The scapegoats are on one rung of hell, the unclean rung that causes disgust and repulsion more than hatred, and those who have seen the light and walked away are far lower where metaphysical hatred resides. The "betrayers of their race" get "the Day of the Rope" in The Turner Diaries and Robert Stadler gets destroyed by his own machine after becoming a virtual outcast by the good guys in Atlas Shrugged. Also, don't forget that trainload of normal people who get blown up in a tunnel while their minor betrayals are listed. In this genre, a few from the unclean rung of hell break out and become leaders of the unclean, so they are more dangerous villains in the story than most of the individuals among the unclean masses are. Sometimes they are called evil and they always need to be fought and destroyed, but the real hatred is reserved for insider believers who no longer believe. No amount of nastiness is too much for them. That premise--people of reverence blowing up the world of the unclean, with fallen apostates as the lowest of the low, not simply good versus evil--is how one conveys a long-lasting impactful social message through a novel. Of course there has to be an ideology spelled out and so on, but that premise is the workhorse that carries everything else along and ensures a social resonance with a wide audience. Apropos, notice how Rand always denigrates the power of evil in AS? That's an indirect form of saying evil is metaphysically unclean instead of potent. I wrote some thoughts to a friend in an email earlier today and I'm giving them below (with a few corrections). Note, none of what I'm saying in this post should be considered as written in stone. I'm thinking out loud, so to speak. But I know I'm on to something and it's important. I'm obviously referring to The Turner Diaries at the beginning below. That's plenty for a good brain-chew for now. I fear some people will need to chew and chew and chew to not choke on the comparison of common ground between AS and TTD. Michael
  22. 1 point
    I think to be precise " she had his sentence commuted", and with out snark. The court martial involved Bradley Manning. It isn't dead naming to refer to the identity , the legal identity of the individual in the past , only if you refer to the person in the present as their past identity , yeah ? She received a commutation of a sentence he had incurred, legally. No?
  23. 1 point
    Let me add to that, but apply McGrath's tweet about Hitler to Candace at Congress instead of Scruton. Michael
  24. 1 point
    Objectivism is not a top-down philosophy like Marxism, though Rand wanted it to be but as in freedom. She correctly centered it on the ethics but those ethics are her hero's not the great unwashed. Hence the prevalence and perseverance of the Judeo-Christian ethics and conservatism with its cultural gravitas albeit intellectually bankrupt. On the individual level the philosophy must have liberated millions of Americans from guilt respecting the pursuit of self interest. If we take a standard human model his self interest is much broader and deeper than her model. Thus Objectivism fizzles as a cultural force. As for politics, this country has to die of old age or be destroyed before it can be reborn in freedom. That's because of entitlements. This doesn't have to happen soon. We are entering the age of empire, not in respect to foreign relations for we are already there but in respect to Americans. --Brant
  25. 1 point
    Candace knocked it out of the park in Congress today: Also, there was a kerfuffle with Ted Lieu. He played a recording of Candace mentioning Hitler--out of context, of course (and, frankly, poorly expressed in light of her normal beliefs). In her comments, she said that Lieu believes black people are stupid and will not pursue the full audio. Nadler immediately rebuked her for calling Lieu stupid--which she did not do. I think he was sleeping or something while she was talking. But now he can't do anything about it. This dumbass gaff is in the congressional records You have to see it to believe it. Anyway, for that old white male Democrat, no uppity-ass young black woman is going to get sassy with him or his friends and get away with it. The point is, "muh racists!" is the conspiracy theory the left and fake news media selected to replace the "muh Russians!" hoax. Michael
  26. 1 point
    Confucius say: If you have plan for one year, plant rice. If you have plan for ten years, plant trees. If you have plan for one hundred years, indoctrinate educate children. This is an example of the death throes of the leftwing indoctrination campaign that was inflicted on American children. It's still there, but it's dying. The idiots who planned and executed this indoctrination of American children didn't count on the fact they needed at least four generations, maybe five, to make it stick. They blew their wad with Obama and the establishment crony elitists (both sides) stepped in to help make it happen the way it was supposed to happen.(Remember Common Core?) But then Trump happened... And the fake news media happened (muh Russians!) Now I don't think they are able to indoctrinate anyone, at least not for a couple of generations or so. Not even a cat to chase mice, and that doesn't need any indoctrination at all, but these bozos would find a way to screw it up. Michael
  27. 1 point
    Interesting point about real versus faked science. In re the guy's claims in his published work, I checked in with David Gorski, and put a skeptic hat on ... ... from the blurb posted at the Youtube page Jerry posted: Passionate believers in whole food plant based diets, no chemicals, minimal pharmaceutical drugs, no GMO's. Fighting to stop climate change and extinction.
  28. 1 point
    This video is not about autism but about vaccine studies. It is about real science vs fake science. The purpose of real science is to find truth. The purpose of fake science is to peddle a product. When there is a product to peddle a red alert should go off in your head. A vaccine qualifies as a product to peddle.
  29. 1 point
    Is your fiction debut about ready to go? Scott Adams did a show on this topic today: Nothing to do with Rand of course.
  30. 1 point
    Michael: I’m looking forward to this project of yours. Cool stuff.
  31. 1 point
    Today is the day after the day the United Kingdom was supposed to have left the European Union. The way forward is ... unclear. Brexit news latest: Theresa May faces calls for cross-party 'unity government' to end deadlock after deal rejected again -- from a story on the person who proposed a 'national unity government' ...
  32. 1 point
    Peter, from what modest amount I've read of some system-philosophies, it seems the very thing required of one is a broad acceptance of whatever view the philosopher-genius shows you. *He* had these personal epiphanies about existence, emanating from his own mind - they remain *his* concluding principles that you swallow and follow. His product is everything. He writes for other philosophers, later students decipher the work and pass it down to the public. However, the process which led to this product of his inspiration is a mystery one cannot or will struggle to replicate for oneself (and would likely fall apart, if one could). Which, blindly accepted this way is cultish- religious, since you have to believe a philosopher's outcomes on faith. While there was - necessarily - very much of that transcendent and authoritative vision from Rand, you may agree she places equal responsibility on one to work this philosophy-for-life out for oneself, to gradually build it from the same blocks available to her from perceptual reality, and make the vision your own. Quite, beginning with the axioms she laid down and using her methodology--but, both proving themselves by dint of and in the course of their usage. Objectivism is mostly a cohesive method. Has there ever been a philosophy such as this, that places the weight of independent effort back onto its subscriber? Here is a "DIY" system taken from real things which one needs compare with and will apply back to further real 'things'. Reality = the philosophy, and the other way round. When they don't correspond, one's made a mistake. Most critics of O'ism - of course - resent the hoi-polloi being directly presented with a 'useful', non-ivory tower philosophy which bypasses their revered authority figures, one that eventually liberates the individual even from his mentor. In fewer words, I'll second MSK.
  33. 1 point
    What do you call yourself philosophically? A fan of Rand? An Objectivist with a capital ‘O’? An objectivist with a lower case ‘o’? A Toleration-ist? An ARI guy? An Atlas Society gal? Cultish people have been called Rand-roids and other derogatory terms. Is there a “secret home of objectivists” hidden in the landscape? Is there a Galt’s Gulch in the mountains, or on an island? Of course the co-founder of Wikipedia and a former moderator of objectivist forums, is Jimmy Wales and he is a fan of Ayn Rand. Peter Some notes from: Objectivist movement From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . . . . The claims of cultism have continued in more recent years. In 2004, Thomas Szasz wrote in support of Rothbard's 1972 essay, and in 2006, Albert Ellis published an updated edition of his 1968 book that included favorable references to Walker's. Similarly, Walter Block, while expressing admiration for some of Rand's ideas and noting her strong influence on libertarianism, , described the Objectivist movement as "a tiny imploding cult.". . . . Rand stated that "I am not a cult", and said in 1961 that she did not want "blind followers." In the wake of NBI's collapse, she declared that she did not even want an organized movement. Jim Peron responded to Shermer, Rothbard and others with an argument that similarities to cults are superficial at best and charges of cultism directed at Objectivists are ad hominem attacks. Objectivism, he said, lacks layers of initiation, a hierarchy, obligation, cost or physical coercion: I cannot see how a disembodied philosophy can be a cult. I say Objectivism was disembodied because there was no Objectivist organization to join. The Nathaniel Branden Institute gave lectures, but had no membership. You could subscribe to a newsletter but you couldn't join. Objectivism was, and is, structure-less. And without a structure there cannot be cult. [...] The vast majority of self-proclaimed Objectivists are people who read Rand's works and agreed with her. Most have never attended an Objectivist meeting nor subscribed to any Objectivist newsletter. In 2001, Rand's long-time associate Mary Ann Sures remarked: Some critics have tried to turn her certainty into a desire on her part to be an authority in the bad sense, and they accuse her of being dogmatic, of demanding unquestioning agreement and blind loyalty. They have tried, but none successfully, to make her into the leader of a cult, and followers of her philosophy into cultists who accept without thinking everything she says. This is a most unjust accusation; it's really perverse. Unquestioning agreement is precisely what Ayn Rand did not want. She wanted you to think and act independently, not to accept conclusions because she said so, but because you reached them by using your mind in an independent and firsthand manner. Meanwhile, Shermer, who considers himself an admirer of Rand, has tempered his judgment. Contrasting Leonard Peikoff's "heavy-hammer approach" with the "big-tent approach" of The Atlas Society, Shermer told Ed Hudgins: "If we're close enough on the same page about many things, I think it's more useful to cut people some slack, rather than going after them on some smaller points. I don't see the advantage of saying, 'You shouldn't have liked that movie because ultimately, if you were an Objectivist, you wouldn't have.' I guess it was those sorts of judgments made by some Objectiv[ists] that I objected to." end quote
  34. 1 point
    Peter, We can go all the way in public the other way, too. Would a group hug help? You rock. I mean it. I love your happy-go-lucky manner Your postings of old archives are treasures you keep serving up. They are like special unexpected presents from the past, a pure delight. If you and Jon were in the military, I would see you in provisioning and Jon as a front-line warrior. To do both jobs well, different temperaments are needed. I doubt many people in these two positions in actual military situations find the same jokes funny, get angry about the same things, hang out, get drunk together, etc. But they all fight for the same side. When he trash-talks you, I see it mostly as misunderstanding where you are coming from, what you have actually read, etc. Sometimes I see him attribute you with positions I know are not yours. But you've been pretty good at clarifying over time. I don't know if the following will help, but here goes. I'm reading a fascinating book right now called The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History by Howard Bloom. Here is a quote I find pertinent. If we understand these four archetypes, alpha male, bully, joker and nerd to be tendencies that can mix and match with each other and can mix with other archetypes, meaning they are not all-encompassing delimiters, we can see them in almost all ensemble stories from TV shows like NCIS on up to superhero movies, soap operas, even love stories. Your tendency on OL is to be a good-natured joker sidekick who provides a ton of value. Jon's tendency is to be a fiercely loyal bully--and his greatest loyalty is to his principles. William went from joker keeping people honest to nerd. Everybody kicks him around nowadays. And he earned it. As to Ellen, oddly enough, I see a dose of alpha male as her animus mixed with some archetypes that are not in these four like rebel and, believe it or not, mother-figure. I'm not going to keep going, though, because I'm going to end up pissing off everybody. Michael
  35. 1 point
    Letendre is frequently trying to incite a "flame war." He should not be allowed to continue doing it, Michael and Kat.
  36. 1 point
    Jon, The new message on the "Site down" page doesn't sound much like him, either. And if it is him, it sounds coerced or dictated by someone else. I don't think anyone is holding him in a room or something like that, but I do think there are government people telling him he will not be allowed to keep his site online, and I believe they might be threatening him with jail time. This is speculation, but it sounds about right to me. btw - There never used to be any such drivel as a Solo pledge like the one above. Not that I remember. Here are the two texts that he Perigo used for this kind of message (I got them off older copies of the site.) And this: I can't believe I am defending Lindsay fucking Perigo, but life is weird at times. And this is a time for principle. Michael
  37. 1 point
    So, then you are saying his desire to "debunk" crimes is a crime deserving of slander and libel?
  38. 1 point
    Don’t celebrate the perversion of my country’s system of justice quite yet, pedophile. 😆😆
  39. 1 point
    How long do you think it will take to forget the name of the judge overseeing this decision, I'm not even aware of the name now. Any bets that person retires in say two years, just to be safe, and lives remarkable well on a judge's pension (?) , or am I just too cynical.
  40. 1 point
    Just Jussie escaping justice ...
  41. 1 point
    Am I missing something here? What's with the triple parentheses? Billy, are you accusing someone of antisemitism? Peterson and/or MSK? Or are you practicing it? WTF? J
  42. 1 point
    There is no Federal debt. It's de jure not de facto. This "debt" is money already put into the economy. If it's a cause of inflation it's already happened. Tackling the debt means taking money out of the economy causing a recession or depression. --Brant
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    Why is Maddow going to prison? For corrupting "reason" or for overblown emotionalism?
  45. 1 point
    We can check—off Mueller exoneration.
  46. 1 point
    I agree it is odd that few people have heard of him, outside of scholars. I'd say Comte observed and approved of the sacrifice sickness always visible in society, and uplifted the concept (and named it). An idea precedes, outlives, and is larger than the thinker. Like philosophers do, he had spin-off influence on others e.g. on Marx (!) and Mill and Spencer. Robert Campbell has a very good essay in OL somewhere, on Comte and altruism, wrt Rand's take on them. He confirms she got it precisely right. Wiki: Influenced by the utopian socialist Henri Saint-Simon,[4] Comte developed the positive philosophy in an attempt to remedy the social malaise of the French Revolution, calling for a new social doctrine based on the sciences. Comte was a major influence on 19th-century thought, influencing the work of social thinkers such as Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, and George Eliot.[6] His concept of sociologie and social evolutionism set the tone for early social theorists andanthropologists such as Harriet Martineau and Herbert Spencer, evolving into modern academic sociology presented byÉmile Durkheim as practical and objective social research.
  47. 1 point
    Interesting! So I Googled it: U.S. Space Force estimated to cost $13 billion in first five years: memo https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-military-space/u-s-space-force-estimated-to-cost-13-billion-in-first-five-years-memo-idUSKCN1LX2GZ WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force estimated start up costs for a proposed U.S. Space Force, a new military service backed by President Donald Trump, will be around $13 billion in the first five years, according to a Department of Defense memo seen by Reuters. The Air Force, the U.S. military branch that takes responsibility for space, authored the Sept. 14 memo outlining a proposal for “a lethality focused organization that will field space superiority capabilities.” [...] The memo estimated that creating a Space Force will cost in excess of $3 billion in the first 12 months with an additional $10 billion needed over the following four years. The U.S. Air Force estimated that there could be more than 13,000 people in the new “Department of the Space Force.” ________ But the Air Force already handles these responsibilities, so Donald Trump is adding an unnecessary program costing taxpayers money. What's the difference between him and a Democrat when it comes to this?
  48. 1 point
    To those who have sent in a contribution so far, thank you. This will go to good use, that is, keeping the site running well. To those thinking about it, well... You know... Michael
  49. 1 point
    (shrug...) That's still city thinking, Brant. The first thing city people think is "what about the government?" It's such a huge factor in living their lives because of their dependence on it. I had quoted this staggering statistic: The government cuts 200,000,000 checks every month. Need breeds the control mentality. Greg The problem, Greg, is your answering a simple question with your standard boilerplate. I'm going to respect that for reasons I won't go into in this case. They could be important from your perspective. I don't respect, however, that insofar as it's been generally applied by you on this site when those reasons aren't applicable, which is most of the time. To digress a little, I understand there is a stark differentiation between your personal and philosophical in your postings. You may not. That doesn't matter. If it were all personal I'd not have a basis for not doing actual business one on one with you. But taking you as a whole, here expressed, I could not trust that in business there would not be a serious bleed over to the detriment of the business, at least to my detriment, all of which is to say I could not trust you. You see, I consider your philosophical positions to be essentially a pile of rationalizations. I wouldn't care to take the chance of a bad business deal accompanied by a rationalization to the effect it was all my fault and you're clean as a whistle. You see, your entire philosophicalizing seemingly is to leave you in all circumstances as clean as a whistle, which you more credibly ascribe to all your business transactions. I don't respect a human being's ability to compartimentalize that well. I could trade with you, though. What is being traded would be the security buffer. I give you a buck and you sign over your SUV. You're happy(?) and I'm crazy happy (except it's low on gas). [Joke Alert (JA)!] --Brant
  50. 1 point
    Subject: Educating the Educator in how to Educate--The Power of Story I was going to post this on the "my job" thread, but since a new thread opened up specifically about Phil, I'll do it here. When I saw the following post from over there, I cringed. I kinda knew what was coming. After all, I'm no stranger to this stuff. I am going to presume that this was not presented with malice, but with an intent to bring truth (as Phil sees it) to the eyes of the people he cited. I do not agree with these observations as stated, and I definitely know that Jonathan is not malicious (he apparently has a carbon-copy of my own BS meter and even more intolerance for hypocrisy than I have), but I don't want to discuss defending or attacking right now. I want to discuss persuasion. Agree or disagree, the Truth According to Coates is in his post. I think it is reasonable to assume that he believes it as he said it and he wanted to convey this truth--with good intent--to those he mentioned. That given, and with the reader's permission, I will tell a story (my version) from ancient Jewish culture. There was a beautiful maiden named Truth who wandered throughout a city greeting all people she passed. No one greeted her back and few looked at her for more than an instant. As she walked on, she became lonely and frustrated, so she tried to speak louder, but to no avail. People would not listen. She stood right in front of them and they walked around her. In a moment of inspiration, she thought, "I know what will make people notice me." So she disrobed and walked the entire city nude. She was stunning to look at. What a sight! But not only did people act as before, they started to shy away from her with intent. Some folks crossed the street to avoid walking on the same side she was on. Those in houses closed their windows so they would not have to gaze upon her. She was shunned. As Truth walked along dejectedly, a stranger came up and told her he had been observing her plight and could make people notice her. She asked what he wanted, and he replied, "Nothing. Merely that you cover your nakedness with this cloak. It is called Story." So Truth vested the cloak of Story and forged on. The very first person she encountered said, "How beautiful you are!" Others started gathering and praising her. Soon there was a crowd of people following her footsteps. Those in houses opened their windows and doors and invited her in. Truth was finally welcome in the city. This ties in well with the purpose of this forum (people thinking for themselves). Story is one of the main keys. Nobody likes to be ordered what to think, even if it is right, but especially if it is wrong. Each person needs to decide for himself. Story is the most effective manner to get into a person's thoughts during the choosing. A good story will not necessarily convince a person of anything, but it echoes unbidden in the person's mind whenever he ponders the problem it addresses. Story is a context that thrusts itself into a person's thinking as an alternative way of looking at something. Story is an influential handmaiden of volition. People have a choice about what they decide. But most of the time, they do not have a choice about remembering a story they heard when it is walking right alongside that choice. If you force a person to agree with you, say through intimidation or ridicule, he might say he agrees but he will not. If the person chooses to agree with you because of a story you told, you left the choice up to him. He will mull the issue over in the light of the story and come to his own conclusion. Thus, when he agrees, you will have no stronger advocate than him. Now look what Phil did. Instead of getting agreement from the very people he apparently wanted to "command to rise" (to use Rand's term), he pissed them off. Even should they agree with something he said, they will tend to close their minds to the message, simply because of his presentation. People call Phil a "schoolmarm"? Marm, maybe, but I don't see the school part. I say a good educator educates by getting through to the student. He tells stories and talks about the meaning of them. He guides a student to a choice. He doesn't ram ideas and agreement down where they are unwelcome. I want to tell another story, because this one is so appropriate to the present situation. I got it from an author named Annette Simmons, but it is my paraphrase. A person came upon a construction site. He walked up to a worker who was obviously toiling very hard and asked, "What are you doing?" The worker replied, "I am laying bricks." He went to another worker, one who looked busier, and asked the same thing. The other worker said, "I am building a wall." He saw a third worker whistling and apparently having a great time. He asked, "Why are you so happy?" This guy looked at him and smiled. He said, "Because I am building a cathedral." Taking this to Phil, I now ask him, which approach and vision do you think will make people change to suit your idea? Inviting them to build a cathedral with you or fussing at them for pissing on the bricks? You are an educator, Phil. So educate, if that is your heart's desire. May I suggest a good story once in a while? (After all, if it was good enough for Ayn Rand...) Michael