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    Stephen Boydstun

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  1. . Not to worry, Michael. I am going to send you the annual financial contribution I make for this site, though this year I better delay it from Aug. 1 to after the election. I don't want you sending the money straightaway to this guy you're selling, the product (Mr. Trump) you're so everywhere pushing on us, so bolstering in your own look at all information on the election, so distorting everything anyone not for your candidate says on anything about affairs of the world, so slipping from what they said to you to some imaginary saying they plainly did not, a product I'll not be buying. Rest assured, I will come through with the annual contribution. But no more posts until after the election.
  2. . Bob, your question about boots on the ground (our sons' and daughters' boots on the ground) is the excellent question. Excellent, that is, when posed as a rhetorical question. Lindsay Graham is the one who has been honest about this. I'm not interested in your "nuke 'em all" alternative. We (Bill Clinton and NATO) have won exactly one little war without our boots on the ground. That's not usually the feasible situation. When I hear Americans (over the last fifty years of my adult life) say "lets fight a war, but just from the air" I think one word: chicken. To say nothing of la-la land. We have boots on the ground right now in the campaign to take Mosel from ISIS. That is what is necessary, and the President (any President) will send more if necessary, and if, as I think, the toppling of their "state" hold on regions is a rational defense of the region that is the USA, they are right to do so. The entry question is what is the objective level of threat to the US and what is the objective estimate of loss of our life and limb and treasure to us to go over and destroy them and what would be the successor threats resulting from that victory. After the congressional vote of Declaration of War on that entry assessment, then the President and his Generals decide the methods for success in the mission. The President today is making such an execution, as was the President before him, without the Constitutional Declaration of War, due to that same one word, applied to the Congress: chicken.
  3. . We don’t have the full transcript of the Daily Caller interview with Johnson. We know the "out-of-blue" Michael mentioned of Johnson in their “report” of the interview, but nothing concerning context in the interview itself. (Rather like Rand’s essay “From the Horse’s Mouth,” but then it’s not the horse’s mouth, Kant’s text, but a scholar’s reporting what the horse said, that she invokes.) Sorry if this sort of sensitivity to accuracy-in-context vs. spin is boring. Different pleasures for different folks. We do have the full transcript of a couple of other interviews of Johnson at that same period of time and touching on that same issue. Here is one by Glenn Thrush. Thrush: So back to the foreign policy thing. You hear both Hillary and Trump talk about the threat that ISIS poses— Johnson: No question. Thrush: --an existential threat. How do you do that, cutting 20 percent of the federal defense budget, and how would you go after ISIS? Would you go after ISIS? Johnson: Well, first of all, involve Congress. We’ve got treaties with 69 countries in the world, would defend their borders, that were congressionally authorized treaties. . . . Our decisions with regard to the military are executive and they’re the military [decisions]. Involve Congress. Let’s get an open debate and discussion and declaration of war, if that’s the way that we want to treat ISIS. But how about [having] a skeptic at the table? Skeptics—Bill Weld and myself—we’re planning to do this as a partnership. . . . Thrush: . . . But I interrupted you. You were talking about sort of skeptics at the table. Would you— Johnson: With skeptics at the table, [about] boots on the ground, dropping bombs. Thrush: Would you order--; Johnson: Flying drones. Thrush: --would you, for instance, if you had reasonable intel—would you have done the bin Laden raid? Johnson: Yes. That was our goal. That was our goal from day one. Get bin Laden. . . . You attack the United States, we’re going to attack back, . . . Thrush: . . . and you do believe ISIS is an existential threat to the country [USA]? Johnson: Right, but how is it best—how is it best dealt with? . . . .
  4. . Michael, I was aware that you use scream-font for headlines in your posts regularly. It is screaming, whatever the post. The word "screaming" for it was taught to us back in the 90's at our place by Tim Shell, a longtime associate of Jimmy Wales. Walter and I had gotten a computer, and Tim was showing us the internet and how the text communications looked in those days. We didn't have font-size choices in those days, as I recall, but he cautioned us on how exclamation points and all-caps come off in the electronic-screen text presentation then current. He told us they were seen as bad etiquette. He told us it was called "screaming." We laughed; it did look like screaming. We avoid it, although I do have a rare use for it just now. I'm having the first piece from a peach pie I made yesterday from scratch, and it is SO GOOD. PS - I do not care for Gary Johnson, for the clown-element noted by Steve the other day. Like Romney, I wish the pair on the Libertarian ticket were reversed. But it remains a happy season due to the many citizens learning of the ideas of libertarianism for the first time (including our friends who are from here and who support Trump). They had never heard of or anyway didn't recall the name Libertarian. Visiting us in our home, they asked who I was voting for, then what is Libertarian (sincerely, not by way of dismissing because not winning---they aren't that sort of people) and we got the simple first-brush ideas before them. These folks are pretty much Democratic voting for Trump this one shot. We don't try to change each others political views or choices. We just enjoy getting to know each other better, learning more about each other, and what's out there.
  5. . But if that headline (must you scream-font?) is bad for for the Libertarian vote, then that's good for your candidate, Michael. Rejoice. Well, actually, no. The polls of Clinton v. Trump v. Johnson when compared with polls for Clinton v. Trump are showing very consistently that the differential in Clinton v. Trump remains the same when the Libertarian is added to the options. He pulls them both down equally. So, at least not to worry for your interest. Although, you might be also interested in whether the perceived threat of radical Islam to America is overblown (blowing levels in this context being about perceived level of threat) in comparison to the blowing level on other threats. Well, you know what I think is the greatest threat, and it's boring to most voters, so it's way underblown. And any threat blown higher than that one---deficit spending and the national debt---is overblown. (Don't worry, I'm not so unsubtle as to seriously think this is an "also interested" in your post.)
  6. . Hi Jon, I did not give or aim to give any consolation on methods of atrocities, only to address the technical worry about atomic from these characters. The means to be prepared for are other than that, and Bob's picture that something along those lines is somehow more horrific than what was done on 9/11 is false; that I did mean to mention, but forgot. I did not insinuate any consolation that attacks will not be by ISIS inspiration, but by Al Qaeda, or by non-Islamic mass murderers (Dallas). I did not imply or insinuate any such consolation. I did not insinuate that it is better to do nothing than what we and the French are doing and what we will do from what we learn of the enemy in this long struggle. I did not insinuate that it is better to support Clinton over your candidate or insinuate anything about candidates at all. (I expect to vote Libertarian this time around, as I've said before, but my post did not have the election in its scope. Don't attack the moral character or sanity of your posting associates these several years just because they are opposed to your candidate, I'd say.) --S
  7. . Jerry, Members of the socialist faction (left socialism) in the US a century ago would find what today in America is the status quo delightfully socialistic. Clintrump is well homogenized in both socialism and pragmatism. There have apparently been a couple of impacts of ARI the last three decades on American individual lives and on American politics. In the last decade especially, ARI has facilitated some Objectivist scholarship in the academy and in academic publications. That impact may also reach to the general educated public. Be that as it may, the other impact of ARI has been the level of sales of Ayn Rand's novels they have boosted through their high school essay competitions which they have sponsored across these decades. I'm unsure whether the boost their project has given those sales is as large as they think. But the sales have been good, and I think that is a major reason there are so many voters today (running around 10% lately) who prefer the Libertarian ticket to Clintrump. Bye the way, the impact of Objectivism on individual lives and on people's political ideals has been mainly, overwhelmingly, through books. That's what done it, and that impact may endure a while. Individuals amenable to philosophy, such as Objectivism, make their own judgments on political election choices. The philosophy they have taken for their own does not determine one same choice by all those individual minds. I'm pretty sure that Rand's philosophy has influenced her followers in their voting decisions, but that her say-so, or Leonard's, or Harry's, . . . on whom to vote for has not mattered a whit. I believe it was a recent PEW survey that reported that among millennials Johnson is tied with Trump. However, their support for Clinton equals Johnson and Trump combined. There is a 400-pound gorilla in the room, I would suggest, and his name is altruism. Discussing and debating only political issues is not going to move him.
  8. Bob. Set off the first small nuke in Manhatten? In 1946 the first important book on nuclear strategy appeared. It was called The Absolute Weapon. In that book, one writer envisioned a suitcase atomic bomb that could be set off in cities. To this day, no one has invented such a thing (atomic or thermonuclear), and were it ever invented, it surely will have been invented by the government of a technologically advanced country. As for a radioactive “dirty bomb” by terrorists, I know that has been imagined and much mentioned in the US. But a high school classmate of mine in Oklahoma City, who was a military man and was associated with the OKC Bombing memorial there, was interviewed on CNN on 9/11 or 9/12, and I’ve never forgotten what he said: No. Rather, he thought: They will use the incendiary modes such as bombs or gas explosion and crashes such as had just happened. He has proven right over all these years later. Bombs stationary, bombs in moving rail (Spain), blowing up airliners, firearms, and now the truck weapon. They don’t need to put time into exotic things like radioactive material, though they have dreamed on it. I think the Islamic State is going to be defeated in that that state, such as it is a state, is going to be defeated. They will be toppled in their territory holdings in Syria and Iraq, and elsewhere if they get some territory elsewhere. The truck atrocity in Nice, like the shooting atrocity in Orlando, . . . could as well be with allegiance to an Al Qaeda type organization, which is what ISIS will be­—same old thing—when their territories are retaken. I see it is reported by a neighbor of the mass murderer in Nice that the killer was not observant of the Muslim faith. He did not go to Mosque, and he smoked. But perhaps his accomplices, if any, were devout and more of the kill-for-Allah bent, rather than the simple kill-because-I’m-a-failure-and-hate-well-whomever-and-I-now-see-how-to-fake-and-escape-the-zero-I-am sort of mass murder.
  9. . Welcome to OL, Anirudh Siiai. Valhalla is more modern than I had realized. I’ve just received a fax down from Rand up there. She wanted me to direct you to a passage in Galt’s speech. It concerns those potato chips you stole. “Whenever you chose to say: Let me withdraw from the judgment of reason the cookies I stole, or the existence of God, let me have my one irrational whim and I will be a man of reason about all else—that was the act of subverting your consciousness, the act of corrupting your mind. Your mind then became a fixed jury who takes orders form a secret underworld, whose verdict distorts the evidence to fit an absolute it dares not touch—and a censored reality is the result, a splintered reality where the bits you chose to see are floating among the chasms of those you didn’t, held together by that embalming fluid of the mind which is an emotion exempted from thought.” She goes on to say that it is the causal network in which those cookies (or chips in your case) came into existence that one should not neglect, and that this should dissuade you from the theft. I think, rather, that the disunity of mind she spoke of in the paragraph I quoted has as much to do with severance of other persons from one’s own person, with good treatment of and presence with other persons as persons, as with absent recognitions of causal realities. Rand’s is a stilted view of human nature, to the end of her stilted morality.
  10. . Hi Steve. From the audio of the video, it is very unlikely the officer was out to get a black man. His utterances are of overwhelming horror at what he has just done. And he gives his lines about the reason for what he has done (kind of beginning a justification account, though still in extreme stress over what he has just done), and the woman immediately contradicts the sequence he is alleging. Rather oddly, he does not seem to call for medical. Perhaps he realized that there was no hope, and that the man was dying and would cease in a few seconds more. He seems to be shocked that he has just fired multiple rounds (3-5, by the woman's perception of them) into the man and that the man is dying because of it. The racial element would likely be, I expect, only in extra fear and suspicion of black people that could go into the officer's extreme response (and with two other people---mother and child---in the car) and how the officer behaved in the whole encounter prior to the beginning of the video (which we the public haven't seen). Concerning the legality of guns for civilians, I think the Dallas shooting is not essentially different than the one in Orlando. It would be good if we could prevent such crazy individuals from getting those rifles, though I don't know the technicalities of how that could be set up while still allowing the general citizenry to own them. It is my understanding that the attractiveness of that particular rifle is that it does not have so much kick as our old rifles, so one can site and fire in a faster sequence, and the rifle tears up the flesh much more than the rifles we had in our youth. Among the 800 or so protesters at the Dallas shooting, it is reported that 20 of them were sporting, legally, their rifles. I think that would deter me from continuing in the demonstration. A few years ago here in Lynchburg, some men (white civilian men) were carrying and showing their holstered pistols at places like the grocery store and in the queue at the voting site. You could tell that people did not like that and avoided contact and friendliness with such characters. Naturally, we wonder how nuts and how hot-head such a display-character like that may be (here in our culture, not the wilder culture of my grandfather). They have stopped doing that display stuff the last few years. I don't think the US is coming apart. A few years ago, at RoR, a couple of participants were saying that Obama would get the country to where there would be no more free speech or elections. Over the top, I thought, and I was easily right. Beyond this particular President, in the libertarian set, I've heard talk of imminent economic collapse of the US for decades. (I have to admit, however, that the level of the national debt and continuing deficit spending and the possibility that the Democratic and Republican nominees for President will do nothing but set targets for balancing only by the end of or beyond their own term is very worrisome.)
  11. . Travis Smiley remarks in TIME - "The NRA Means Not Really for African Americans" "When Philando Castile was murdered in Minnesota, after apparently telling the police officer that he had a gun in the car that he was licensed to carry, the best the NRA could come up with was a statement calling his execution 'troubling'. “Troubling? "What’s troubling is the absence of the NRA’s full-throated Second Amendment defense which it rushes to air whenever any questions are raised about a white citizen legally carrying a concealed firearm. "What’s troubling is that it appears that the race of Philando Castile is the primary reason the NRA has toned down its typically vigorous pro-gun frontal assault in defense of all guns under any circumstances." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I grew up with rifles and shotguns in the family. They were for hunting. We did not suffer from the later mass delusions that our guns were needed to resist the US and State governments (like somehow the citizenry would come to rise up and agree on the right year and direction [one's own direction] of the revolt). Near the end of my close association with my family down there in Oklahoma City area, in the late '60's, I recall many of them started buying handguns. They had not owned any previously. With these new guns too, the purpose was not to resist the governments. It was to defend oneself against "the niggers." No, none of them ever had had nor ever would have any legitimate occasion to use the handguns against the race they so feared and hated. I think the NRA was pretty much white in those days, perhaps to this day. / My grandfather had worn a pistol whenever he went into town (small, country town called Caddo, in the "Little Dixie" area of OK) in the early years of the twentieth century. It got stolen from the check at some dance hall, and he never replaced it. Creeping civilization. So we inherited only rifles and shotguns. His brother John, my father's uncle, once killed a black man, well before my generation. The man was stealing one of John's hogs, so John jumped the thief with a knife, slit his throat, practically cutting off his head. No static from the law, so far as I ever heard. From when I was a child in the '50's, I remember my parents' generation reminiscing about it with a proud smile all around. And often they would tell us the old proud saying of their childhood: "The sun never sets on a live nigger in Caddo."
  12. . According to ABC News last night: "Philando Castile's mother and two of his uncles are condemning a shooting in Dallas that left five police officers dead and wounded several more. "In an interview with CNN, Valerie Castile says her son would not have approved of the shootings 'because he believed that all lives matter'. "Police say Dallas suspect Micah Johnson was upset about the fatal police shootings of Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. "Tracy Castile says while the video of his nephew's death is horrific, he is glad it came out. He says he and his family are looking for due process. He wants the officer involved to be 'treated like any other criminal'.
  13. . Reports as of 4:30 p.m. Shooter was Army Reservist, regular firearms target practice, etc., nutcase. The authorities now apparently believe he told the truth in saying he acted alone.
  14. . In our country, at this time and a long time:
  15. . “Conservatives are trying to change party rules so that they can regain control of the party in the future. Presumably after Trump loses in November. . . . “If trump loses, Republicans will simply obliterate Trump from history. Tea Party conservatives will retake control of the Republican Party. “But what if Trump wins? When the populist Andrew Jackson became president in 1829, voters divided between Jacksonians and anti-Jacksonians. The Jacksonians became the Democratic Party and the anti-Jacksonians turned into the Whig Party. It’s not hard to imagine a Trump party and anti-Trump party emerging in the wake of a Trump presidency.” —Bill Schneider Clinton with 46, Trump with 33 in this July 1-5 poll. Nearly half of the Clinton supporters said their reason for support was “I don’t want Trump to win,” not agreement with her positions (39% of supporters) nor “like her personally” (13%).