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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/20/2020 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    A mere three years? When government secrecy classifications routinely last ten, twenty, even fifty years, if indeed they're ever lifted at all? That's entirely unrealistic. Ye gads, Lyndon Johnson put an entire category of background sources for the Warren Commission under embargo until 2063. Disgorging such records can take generations. Many such exposés thus become timely whenever they're released. Fortunately, the Net and electronic infiltration tools are opening up more such archives, formal and informal, than ever before. Julian Assange of Wikileaks — now openly stalked for assassination by U.S. "Defense" Department operatives — is one of the true heroes of our time.
  2. 1 point
    In late 2018, I attended an event called the 21 Convention. One big reason is that the founder is a guy named Anthony Johnson. He is definitely an Objectivist and has said so on his show The Red Man Group. He started the 21 Convention when he was in his teens and is now around the age of 30. Yaron Brook has also spoken at the 21 Convention in the past. During that time, he has re-invented his event several times. He initially invited men from the seduction community like Ross Jeffries and Steve Mayeda. He has also over the years focused on self-improvement, inviting fitness and business gurus like Drew Baye and Elliot Hulse. The conference has become more focused on becoming an anti-feminist or even a male supremacist conference. In 2018, it was clearly a RED-PILL conference. Unfortunately, Anthony has also shown some of the same narcissism that Rand showed. He has had quite a few bad breakups with speakers--most recently Rollo Tomassi and Richard Cooper. His breakup with Tomassi has been about as silly as the one involving Rand and Branden in 1968. Personally, I've taken Rollo's side in all this. He has gotten a lot of attention lately because of his upcoming 22 Convention. The 22 Convention is advertised as a "mansplaining event," with the goal of "making women great again." He has been getting a lot of coverage lately--almost all of it negative. Here are some samples: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7838273/Make-Women-Great-convention-hosted-MEN-teach-attendees-ideal-women.html https://nypost.com/2020/01/02/mansplaining-conference-hopes-to-make-women-great-again/ https://www.dallasobserver.com/arts/florida-men-who-have-never-touched-a-woman-free-of-charge-want-to-make-women-great-again-11845861 Anthony's Facebook profile is here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100024606491279 The 21 Convention is here: http://www.the21convention.com/ The 22 Convention is here: https://22convention.com/ Here is what 21 and 22 Convention speaker Stefan Molyneux has said about all this: https://youtu.be/PbuuSKLVWr8
  3. 1 point
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  5. 1 point
    Good investigation from the BBC: How a boy from Vietnam became a slave on a UK cannabis farm
  6. 1 point
    That is a good question. First, Anthony made some charges against Rollo that were very much the same tone as the charges Rand made against Branden. Here is a video Anthony made, and it is quite silly: Here is the response from Rollo Tomassi, which includes a few others: I have not totally disavowed Anthony Johnson. There are still some speakers I would like to see at 21 Con, but I doubt I will go back. I also won't be surprised if Anthony and Molyneux have a bad break up in the future as well. There is just way too much narcissism there.
  7. 1 point
    The Rand/Branden breakup was not "silly." That implies trivialities. But what was important then is no longer now. The ideas remain. --Brant
  8. 1 point
    Part 3--without comment so far. I haven't even seen it yet. But I know it's good. I've seen Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham comment on it this morning. That means it is going to get a bigger splash audience than normal. Michael
  9. 1 point
    I find it humorous that people who doubt the 9/11 story are labeled as having a crazy imagination when actually, the official story of 9/11 is infinitely more far fetched than most other explanations, especially when we take into consideration the fact that previous US Governments have drawn plans up to use terrorist attacks against their own people to justify wars and have also lied about attacks on the US to launch wars. The only difference in this case is that people seem less inclined to accept that their government has lied to them (again). The government wouldn't lie to us, right?
  10. 1 point
    #14 seems to say that conspiracy theory is an anti-concept because it illegitimately links responsible, well-evidenced accusations with the nutzoid ones on the grounds that both contain accusations of criminal collusion when, in more fundamental respects, the two kinds of accusation are different. This won't fly. Standard usage reserves the phrase exclusively for the latter, and so does my own here in this thread. Thus conspiracy theory is a well-formed concept. Point c. in #12 caught my eye because the same point had occurred to me. The current thread illustrates it handsomely: #3: There was some cooked testimony in 1990. The media reported the Jessica Lynch story incompetently at first. Ergo the 9-11 conspiracy theories are true. #7, #9: NBI Book Service once sold a book in which one of the contributors argued a Pearl Harbor coverup. Ergo the 9-11 conspiracy theories are true. #9: These books reported secret ('twas hoped) criminal maneuvers by government officials. (You hardly need to go to back issues of The Objectivist Newsletter to find this out, with the daily revelations about Solyndra and LightSquared.) Ergo the 9-11 conspiracy theories are true. #16: The Reichstag burned in 1933. Ergo the 9-11 conspiracy theories are true. And that's if you don't follow up on the links.
  11. 1 point
    Well, if they weren't called "conspiracy theories" they'd be "conspiracy facts." Conspiracy theories don't give me "food for thought" - except to wonder about the psychology of the theorists themselves. What makes them so badly WANT to believe? Some comments about conspiracy theorists: a.They believe that it is only they who have the 'Gospel' on inside information, while everybody else is a naive dreamer (nope, at least 50% of people I've met personally are "theorists", so they are as guilty of being sheep too) ; b. believe one "theory", and they are inclined to believe most, or all of them; c. if just one component of a "theory" is shown to be factually correct, then, QED, the whole conspiracy must be correct; d. for some strange reason, the more intelligent they are, the more they "believe" (a failure of common sense?) e. their common accusation to a doubter is "paucity of imagination", when all they are doing is regurgitating someone else's Hollywood script, so, they are the ones lacking vision and imagination. (I have enough imagination to make up my own dark plots, thanks very much: in fact, send me $5, and you'll get the real low-down on 9/11.) The real truth is mostly obvious and self-evident (what you see, is what you get), and often also extremely complex - requiring historical perspective, analytical powers, constant checking of sources, and non-stop thinking. (Anyway, who is claiming, too, that Government/Big Business, etc does not attempt to cover up some things, sometimes?) "Theories" are enticing and exciting - but mostly provide one a convenient package for avoiding hard thought. A bleak view of the world and humanity, lack of independence in their own cognition, the suspicious 'us' and 'them' mentality, and a childish desire for simplicity - that is the composition of regular conspiracy theorists for me. Tony
  12. 1 point
    More psychologizing. One more QED. The books you mention deal with documented history, not conspiracy theories. They have nothing to do with the case you're trying to make. I'm not surprised to see that you elide the distinction. You fail to mention the Illuminati, the Insiders, the Elders of Zion or the Homintern (an international network of homosexuals bent on controlling entertainment, fashion and the arts) - not to mention the reports that the Duchess of Windsor was a female impersonator. I wonder how well you know even the stuff you're peddling.
  13. 1 point
    An apt analogy: That some people can’t deal with the extent of their own government’s corruption is like a man in a state of denial over his fatal disease. The psychology might well be the same. Many people who allege a conspiracy – in the legal sense of the term – were unhappy to discover the conspiracy. Like most people they would rather their government be honest. Some people want so much for their government to be honest that they just tune out when you try to point out the evidence that, for example, Vince Foster was murdered, or there was a lot more to the Oklahoma City bombing than Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, or that Edgar J. Steele (a free-speech attorney who defends unsavory characters) was framed, or the CIA and DEA engage in cocaine smuggling, or that the Underwear Bomber was facilitated by the feds. But the analogy doesn’t cover another important factor: peer pressure, the tendency to mindlessly go with the perceived crowd. Ayn Rand not publishing a review of a book promoted by NBI hardly negates her implied endorsement. Other old-timers have told me that NBI sold several "conspiracy" books but so far I haven’t been able to find out what the titles were other than Perpetual War by Barnes. Ayn Rand published favorable reviews of the following books which describe acts by government personnel that were criminal even by the government’s own alleged standards and which the government tried to keep secret: East Minus West = Zero: Russia’s Debt to the Western Worldby Werner Keller. The Objectivist Newsletter, November 1962. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Roosevelt Mythby John Flynn. The Objectivist Newsletter, December 1962. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Roosevelt’s Road to Russiaby George Crocker. The Objectivist Newsletter, January 1964. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development: 1917-1930by Antony C. Sutton. The Objectivist, January 1970.
  14. 1 point
    There is always more to conspiracy theories than is in the news. Crackpots start where the facts leave off.
  15. 1 point
    You can find a transcript of the video, with explanatory links, at The Corbet Report - 9/11: A Conspiracy Theory Without endorsing any particular conspiracy theory – some of which are loopy – Corbet makes the point that there's a lot more to the conventional 9/11 conspiracy than we are being told in the conventional news. To appreciate parts of his video you need to know a bit of history. For example, that girl tearfully testifying was testifying before the U.S. Congress in 1990, claiming that Saddam Hussein’s soldiers were snatching premature Kuwaiti babies from their incubators and leaving them to die. Her testimony was used by senators and the president as a reason to back the dictatorship of Kuwait against that of Iraq in the Gulf War – which the president wanted to do anyway. It later turned out the girl was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. Her speech before Congress was a theatrical act, a "public relations" stunt thought up by the firm of Hill & Knowlton working for the "Citizens for a Free Kuwait" – the free referring to a dictatorship as brutal as Saddam Hussein’s. The mainstream media repeated this fraud uncritically. Also the Jessica Lynch fraud, etc. Corbet’s point is that maybe they aren’t doing very well on 9/11 either. For some interesting articles about what happened on 9/11 see http://ARIwatch.com/Links.htm#9-11
  16. 1 point
    I picked three years out of generosity. None of the cases in which a conspiracy theory has been shown true (e.g. the crimes of the Nixon and Clinton administrations) has taken nearly that long. The time has come to apply the classic open-and-shut test of empirical seriousness: under what circumstances would you be willing to conclude that time has run out on Those Claims about Pearl Harbor, 9 11 or the Kennedy assassination and that they have been proven false? To anticipate the obvious: some circumstances (not necessarily the only ones) under which I would conclude that burden had been met are: - corroborated public admissions by the perpetrators; - corroborated handwritten admissions. Corroboration could be court-admissible documentation of the contacts among the perpetrators, the plans they made and the means by which they carried their plans out.
  17. 1 point
    The objections to my 3-year criterion (see 7 - 9 above) employ two classic charlatans' techniques (I didn't say you are charlatans, merely that charlatans like to argue the same way you do). One is to make one's claim unfalsifiable; the other is to shift the burden of proof. The observation that some of the material is still classified points to both. Much of the material is not classified, and it hasn't supported the theories in all the years people have tried to prove said theories. If the conspiracy theorists were confident that the suppressed material supported their claims they'd try to get it unclassified. They might succeed, and if they didn't they'd at least attract up a serious audience for their insinutations, as they have failed to do. In the first few generations of Christianity the faithful believed that Christ would return any day. When that didn't happen, the church fathers told them all we said was that it's going to happen; we didn't say when. When communism took hold in the USSR, Marxists around the world thought that worldwide revolution would happen within a decade. The Stalin regime came up with a similar answer. When global warming predictions didn't come true, the meaninglessly broad phrase "climate change" got abroad. In all three cases, the defenders switched from a testable, falsifiable prediction to one that was neither. When the Pearl Harbor, Kennedy assassination and 9-11 conspiracy theories came up dry, they were rephrased in ways that defined away any possibility of disproving them. As for burden of proof: when you say that particular individuals made particular plans and carried them out, you accept a responsibility to name the individuals and to document the plans and their execution. In Kennedy's case, plenty of people tried for years to do this in the media, Congress and the courts. The media patiently took up the 9-11 claims and just as patiently refuted them. The Pearl Harbor conspiracy was a favorite of lowbrow conservatives circa sixty years ago. To go on saying that as long as new knowledge might come to light, these notions have a claim to truth is an instance of what Rand called a demand for omniscience.
  18. 1 point
    No, I haven't read the book, but I can't get worked up about the notion that somebody has found some new data or insight after all these decades in which the attack has been one of the most thorougly examined events in history. My policy is to give coverup and conspiracy stories three years to prove themselves, after which they become crackpot territory. The Watergate coverup and the charges against Alger Hiss pass the test. Pearl Harbor, 9-11 and the JFK assasination fail.
  19. 1 point
    I was unaware you'd both read the book and sifted through all the evidence and competing theories. Have you also read through Robert Stinnett's Day of Deceit and Thomas Fleming's The New Dealers War?
  20. 0 points
    Rand's thing was "non-initiation of force" and Rothbard's NAP defined "aggression" as initiation of force. If someone puts their money down for a second and I snatch it when they aren't looking, then how do I run afoul of either of those two? Here are other things that don't involve force initiation: Hacking. Trespass. Dumping garbage onto someone else's property. Breach of contract. Murdering someone by dropping poison into their drink when they aren't looking. Not paying for the food you eat at a restaurant. An honest reading of "initiation of force" would permit the things listed above. It could even allow taxation if the tax collectors were surreptitious about it! (They come in the middle of the night and take a few dollars out of your safe.) So why does anyone continue to use that word choice? Other movements don't try to act like all of their positions can be spun from a single sentence. It would be better to accept that trying to do it that way leaves a lot of openings through which undesirable policies can slip through.