Mark

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  1. BG, Thanks, that will be useful. (For a while I’ll have to put off giving the reason for my question.) Peter, It’s hard to see how your post addresses mine.
  2. How did Barbara Branden occupy her time in the 19 years spanning 1968 (when Rand broke with her) to 1986 (when her biography of Rand was published) besides working on the biography? Especially where she lived, where she traveled, events she attended.
  3. Mark

    Barney’s Big Lie

    A reader told me about a strange reference Leonard Peikoff once made. First the background. Peikoff gave his The Art of Thinking lecture series at Conceptual Conferences in 1992. The lectures were recorded and later sold on audio cassette tape. ARI put them on YouTube a couple of years ago. In the second Q&A a woman asks Peikoff if it would be good to “jazz up” Objectivist lectures by making them more visual. Peikoff replies that movies rather than audio tapes would be a big improvement, the problem is that movies are very expensive to produce. At 1:16:43 he says (omitting the “you knows” and false starts): “If we had the kind of money that Dianetics has, put everything on that fabulous professional-quality tape, certainly I would do it. It’s absurd to do it the way we’re doing it.” Why not say General Motors or Rockefeller or anything except L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics? Living in Southern California as he does, he might have passed a Dianetics franchise not long before, still, it was a lapse in taste considering Objectivism's critics, and considering Carl Barney at the time was their largest donor (and Andrew Bernstein says Barney's past was no secret with him at least). Here’s a link which starts automatically at the woman's question: youtube.com/watch?v=oLVtV40SVyM&t=1h14m42s
  4. Mark

    Barney’s Big Lie

    Jon, I’ll pass over the doorknob remark and say a few words about indictments. The statute of limitations has expired for anything done (excepting major crimes like murder) as long ago as when Barney was in the Church of Scientology. Years ago he was sued in multiple courts for alleged fraud in running his trade schools. These are civil suits, so “indictment” – which applies only to a felony – isn’t appropriate. He’s fighting these lawsuits, of course, and they’re dragging on and on. He stands to lose a lot of money but won’t go to jail. That’s my understanding anyway. There are a few remarks about the current state of the lawsuits at the end of Andrew Bernstein’s Tribute to Carl Barney on ARIwatch. As for a storm in what might be called “organized Objectivism” – the Ayn Rand Institute & The Objective Standard – I think not. I’ve studied these people and they are shameless. They can brazen out any embarrassment. When Barney left ARI, Yaron Brook said they had to cut back by about a third. I suspect the fraction was more than that, but say it was a third. And suppose that that third went to TOS and Barney's Prometheus Foundation, which were both getting money from Barney already. That, combined with Barney making Craig Biddle (the editor of TOS) the CEO of Prometheus, makes TOS/Prometheus significantly more than half the size of ARI, perhaps even comparable in size. Though ARI isn’t going to disappear any time soon – see the last part of my last post – the center of gravity of “official Objectivism” has shifted from ARI a long way towards TOS. In other words and to exaggerate, a former Scientologist (and current I don’t know what) is taking over organized Objectivism.
  5. Mark

    Barney’s Big Lie

    From Who’s Who: Craig Biddle: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ When in 2010 Leonard Peikoff had John McCaskey ... thrown out of ARI, to his credit Mr. Biddle sided with John McCaskey. ARI then cancelled all his scheduled speaking engagements. Eight years later, on 24 August 2018, The Objective Standard website carried an announcement by Crraig Biddle saying “I’m pleased to announce that The Objective Standard and the Ayn Rand Institute have resumed cooperation.” ARI’s new President and CEO, Tal Tsfany said in an interview after the Objectivist Summer Conference 2018 that “there is now renewed cooperation between ARI and The Objective Standard” The ARI Impact Weekly of 1 February 2019 announced that ARI “has formally resumed cooperation with The Objective Standard (TOS) ... .” ARI put up a notice on its website about this at the time. However, by January 2020 the notice had disappeared. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It looks like on again off again. My impression is that Barney of the deep pockets has decidedly gone over to TOS. ARI had to cut its staff drastically when he left however they still have other well-heeled donors to keep them going. The following is from the first footnote to The Objectivist Gravy Train: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Other major current or past donors to ARI are the BB&T Charitable Foundation (John Allison), the Balyasny Foundation (Balyasny Asset Management), the Howard Charitable Foundation, the Rodney Fund, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Snider family, and several charities associated with the Koch brothers: the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Donors Capital Fund, the DonorsTrust (one word), the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Large current or past donors include Ed Snider, Edward Lampert (ESL Investments), Donald Smith, Arthur Dantchik, Kenneth Moelis, Monroe Trout. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  6. Mark

    Barney’s Big Lie

    You’re right, Ellen, I need to change the verb tense for ARI. Barney stopped donating to ARI in mid 2018 and the ARI website announced his departure from the board in March 2019. I have this information in paragraphs beginning “UPDATE” in the article Who Is Carl Barney? ARI still advertises Barney’s Prometheus Foundation.
  7. I joined the Church of Scientology when it was a beneficial enterprise and left when it got loony. — that’s Carl Barney’s story and he’s sticking to it ! New on ARIwatch: Barney’s Big Lie
  8. Does Bernstein include any of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Edwin Armstrong, and Philo Farnsworth among his heroes?
  9. I haven’t read Bernstein’s book but if it is consistent with a talk he gave at the Ayn Rand Institute’s summer conference OCON 2015, 8 July youtube%2Ecom/watch?v=5npWQqOUFEY he would get the facts wrong for at least two of his heroes. Back then I started writing a review of the talk then decided there were larger fish to fry. From my notes: -------------------------------------------------------------- From the blurb for “Black Innovators and Entrepreneurs Under Capitalism”: “This talk by Andrew Bernstein celebrates a number of great minds — including Madame C. J. Walker, the first self-made female millionaire in America; George Washington Carver, who revolutionized agricultural science; and others —” About Walker: “Madame C. J. Walker” was the business name of Sarah Breedlove (1867 - 1919). She discovered an un-exploited niche market providing grooming products for blacks, worked hard and intelligently at it and became very successful. However she was not the first self-made female millionaire. In fact she probably never was a millionaire in the dollars of her day. Two years before her death she said she was not yet a millionaire, and when she died her estate was worth $600,000. In his talk (about 12:40) Bernstein says Walker “donated to the NAACP” and he thinks that laudable. He calls the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s “the individual rights movement” and never mentions – probably because he doesn’t think it true – that the resulting so-called civil rights laws were the greatest violation of civil rights in American history. The laurel for the first self-made female millionaire probably goes to Henrietta – Hetty – Greene, née Robinson (1834 – 1916), a Quaker. Certainly she was the richest female in America. When she died her net worth was between one and two hundred million dollars, in present-day dollars over two billion dollars. When alive she was always far wealthier than Walker, and most everyone else. She was quite a character, look her up. About Carver: Saying he “revolutionized agricultural science” is a stretch. He promoted the benefits of crop rotation to farmers ignorant of the method – good for him – but he didn’t discover it. In the talk itself Mr. Bernstein repeats the absurdity that Edison offered Carver a job at $100,000 per year. At least he doesn’t repeat the oft told falsehood that Carver invented linoleum. The blurb for Mr. Bernstein’s talk ends as follows, and note how selling shampoo to blacks and convincing the ignorant to rotate their crops have become not just good work but “great intellectual achievements” – a sort of affirmative action in labeling: “— that, under the freedom of the capitalist system, triumphed over bigotry to reach great intellectual achievements.” All our lives moralizing Leftists have been pushing the everlasting virtue of non-whites in our face. Mr. Bernstein intends his talk to inculcate guilt. He speaks of Caribbean immigrants in the early part of the 20th century who “like all immigrants were frugal and hardworking” – as if today most Third World immigrants are not on some form of welfare.
  10. The following is more or less from my review of Andrew Bernstein's tribute to Carl Barney: Mr. Bernstein repeats how wonderful the Church of Scientology used to be then relies on your already thinking Barney a fine fellow to argue the point: “In its early years, Scientology did a great deal of good for many students. Anyone who knows Carl even a little bit knows his immense good will and his benevolence that motivates his desire to help countless good persons. This is what drew him into that movement. “His desire to advance his own life and his selfish pleasure in aiding many other good persons is what impelled him to discover first Scientology and later Objectivism. Scientology, in its early years, was good for this.” There you have it. Scientology, in its original form (assuming with Mr. Bernstein that it changed), helps lead people to Objectivism. Perhaps sensing that something is wrong here Mr. Bernstein continues: “Objectivism was and is incomparably better.” But the damage has been done: he puts Scientology of the 1970s – what he would have us believe was the Golden Age of Scientology – and Objectivism in the same category.
  11. Mr. Bernstein invites people to call him a prostitute at AndrewBernstein%2Enet/2019/10/a-tribute-to-carl-barney Reviewed here: Andrew Bernstein’s Tribute to Carl Barney Not much new in the first two thirds of the article. The last third updates the lawsuits against Barney and his schools.
  12. Gene Autry sang the song "South of the Border" in a 1939 movie of the same name. If Wikipedia can be believed the song was written by Jimmy Kennedy (lyrics) and Michael Carr (music). It has been recorded many times since then.
  13. Ellen, Good point, I hadn’t thought of it. One could argue that since Minns’ subject matter in his “Atlas Shrugged Quadrilogy” concerns her work, her opinion of it would have more worth. Also, just because she goofed with Parrish (and maybe she confused him with another Max somebody) we shouldn't disregard every artistic evaluation she ever made. Still, from a propaganda point of view, that is, my wanting to persuade people, it is confusing to have to bring up Parrish in the same breath and it tells against my argument, as you say. That, plus because my recollection might be wrong, I removed the paragraph in question. (Again, you may need to press your browser's refresh key to see the update.) Setting aside aesthetic value, does anyone here remember Rand expressing annoyance from the copyright angle that some people were selling artwork depicting her characters? Of course the first question is: Was that happening?
  14. Jonathan just isn't thinking or he is intent on finding moral fault -- a rather common failing among "Objectivists.". What I wrote was not based on rumor. I can do without this. Jonathan can reply all he wants, I won't see it.