Michael Stuart Kelly

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Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.

...only in your academic fantasies, Frank. :laugh:

Impotently pouting about taxes like a petulant victim reveals the truth that you haven't learned how to secure your own economic freedom the American Revolution secured for you. It you truly followed their example... you'd be free.

You're a sucker... and you deserve to remain one because you did it to yourself..

Greg

If tax protests were impotent, then no voters would have been able to pass propositions or elect officials to reduce assessed value of real estate when it suffers a decline in market value. The fact that such initiatives have been successful establishes that good ideas can have positive benefits in the world.

Securing economic freedom means a separation of the state and the economy. Or, as Ayn Rand puts it: "When I say 'capitalism,' I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.

I am delighted to hear that you live in that portion of the United States where there are no federal taxes; no federal restrictions on oil drilling, mining, farming, or forestry; no EPA restrictions; no federal minimum wage; no federal welfare program; no Federal Reserve-controlled currency or interest rates; no Anti-Trust Division; no federally managed educational institutions; and no federal gun restrictions.

The fact that you've been so successful in Morrie's Gulch proves that the plan can be repeated elsewhere.

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Does this mean if a Google bot comes here 100 times in a month that's one "unique" visitor?

Brant,

That's correct.

The number of times people sign in is called "sessions," and when people access a page, that's called "page views." Here are today's stats for the last month:

Users (meaning unique visitors): 7,730

Sessions: 13,838

Page Views: 44,450

Average Session Duration: 00:05:01

Since we have a bounce rate of about 50% (which means people who visit, then go away without viewing another page on the site), and taking into account bots, the people who actually read the site are probably somewhere around 3,000 to 4,000 different people a month (counting one person per IP number, but taking into account some people have more than one IP number--note: this diminishes the total number of uniques a bit). And their average time on the site would obviously be higher than five minutes since folks who bounce don't stick around long (spammers and people like that) unless they read a specific long article, or watch a long video, from search results or something like that.

It wasn't too long ago when we were getting only 3,000 unique visitors a month.

Michael

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I can live with Ellen Moore. Just so long is FF's real name is not David Elmore.

That's a competitive dude from old SoloHQ days who hates my guts, lives in the Atlanta area, and reasons in an identical goofball manner as FF.

The only difference is that Elmore gets emotional and FF almost never does.

David Elmore posted for about two months on the old SOLO/RoR, back in 2005. He had at times a belligerent, insulting manner of posting, and picked a fight with SOLO's Joe Rowlands in a memorable comment on the thread Objectivism: Not Just a Better Set of Rules.

I remember Elmore for his tetchiness, his overwrought put-downs, and his nastiness; there was an aggressive and ugly undercurrent that I have never detected in FF's comments. Elmore often made issues personal, and never stood down from his nastiness.

Here Elmore gives his circa 2005 potted bio (he subsequently split from his partner Kelly Elmore):

I am 45, married to Kelly Reynolds Elmore for 3 years, have baby, Livy, who turns 18 months on March 15, 2005. I work in real estate, buying and selling homes in the Atlanta and Chattanooga areas of the country. I'm currently franchising out my business across the country. I worked in journalism as a writer and editor for 13 years but never got a chance to slap Dan Rather. I love to read (Austen, Dumas, Follett, philosophy, bios). I'm learning French again after not doing a bang-up job in college 18 years ago. I love golf, tennis, frisbee golf,

running. I love to spend time with Kelly and Livy. I'd like to do a complete inductive pyramid of objectivism in the next 10 years and hope to get started sometime soon -- though I got a fairly good start on it about six years ago. I first read Rand in late 1991 and ran my own Objectivist magazine in 1992-93 called Reality. I'd like to do that again someday as a publisher and let somebody else run it for me.

I don't agree with MSK that Francisco Ferrer uses the same identical goofball reasoning as Elmore. The style, vocabulary, tone and qualia of the two gents differs on more than emotional content, to my eyes (the 'fingerprints' are not a match).

On the issue that these speculations have grown from -- who is "Francisco Ferrer"? -- why can't we simply ask the questions of him that are in play in our heads?

Francisco, are you willing to post a we potted bio, or perhaps better, an intellectual bio, giving a short paragraph or two on how you 'met' Rand, which works enthralled you, how your personal libertarian philosophy emerged, and so on? It might make a great starting point for others to lay out their first steps of intellectual journey, and how such journey led them to OL rather than elsewhere.

-- I searched back in OL history around the time Francisco first entered discussion here, back in July of 2013. I vaguely remembered a couple of bits of personal information put up. Follows here what I did find, going forward from that first post to the middle of the month. In the first, FF was answering a question from Adam "at what point in your life did you adopt the view that you hold today":

In college when I turned away from the state idolatry of public schools and started reading independently. Incidentally, the books The Roosevelt Myth, Roosevelt's Road to Russia, Operation Keelhaul, and Are the Russians Ten Feet Tall, which detail the role Washington played in keeping Stalin in power, were all either recommended in Ayn Rand's newsletter or sold through her associate Nathaniel Branden's book service.
Adam subsequently asked "So my simple question is, what have you done, in reality, to restore our Constitutional Republic?" Francisco answered:

As to your personal question, I've been active at both the national and local level in numerous efforts to expand individual freedom, including the National Committee to Legalize Gold (1974), the Committee Against Registration for the Draft (1980), and Bureaucrash (2002). Over the past forty years I've donated thousands of dollars to pro-freedom organizations, think tanks, magazines and websites.

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Why should the self exist in agony?

The answer to this question will depend on whether you're a seeker or a sucker, Frank.

Not all agony is as meaningless and nihilistic as you imply in your question...

...especially when it's your own self inflicted agony of just and deserved consequences from poor moral choices. Agony can cause a seeker to question how they are living and to refine their character so as to rise above it...

...while a sucker like you stubbornly clings to your victim's blame (unjust accusation) of the government for your own failure to live like an American.

Greg

If agony is meaningful, then life consists of more than just suffering and thus life may be preferable to death.

I always make it a point not to inflict agony on myself, unless of course it is deserved. The last time that happened was in 1968 when I voted for Richard Nixon.

As for my "victim's blame," there is none to cling to. That is because I have no victims, or even unjust accusations against me (except for perhaps yours).

Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.

This is free will? You deserved agony because you voted for Nixon? You evaluated the situation subsequently then opened the valve and let the agony flow over you? I always thought the people who had this power were masochists, but only once?--that can't be you. Now, how about agony from the outside? I think that power of yours still obtains since nothing seems to get to you. Agony at the gates? There it stays. The gates stay closed. I'm really talking about the agony of dealing with new and coinflicting ideas. Only you know the rest of it--the purely personal stuff. As for myself and Nixon--I probably voted for him but that's only deduction. I long ago forgot the actual horror.

--Brant

A human responds to internal and external conditions. Nothing exists outside cause and effect.

It was agony for me when two of my classmates died in Vietnam, a full two years after Nixon took office with the promise to end the war. No, nobody deserves any form of government, but if I bear any responsibility for the growth of the welfare-warfare state it would have to be for helping to put Nixon in office.

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I don't agree with MSK that Francisco Ferrer uses the same identical goofball reasoning as Elmore. The style, vocabulary, tone and qualia of the two gents differs on more than emotional content, to my eyes (the 'fingerprints' are not a match).

William,

You're probably right.

FF may be many things, but he is definitely not a drama queen. I'm still chuckling over Deanna's Resting Bitch Face.

:smile:

However, I was being specific about the word "reasoning." I meant the over-reliance on semantics, not concepts (most specifically conceptual reasoning in an ITOE manner--conceptual hierarchy and things like that). I would have to reread Elmore's posts again to be sure, but I recall he got stuck on words a lot to compete with others.

In fact, I didn't feel like looking it up, so I didn't name that dude, but I just now made an indirect reference to him here.

Incidentally, I sometimes play the game of looking up my own name on Google. Not my finest moments, I know, but I admit I suffer from a small dose of vanity just like the next person. :smile: This is how I came across references from Elmore over the years talking about me. It hasn't been often, but he has gotten quite nasty. Usually a comment to a post by Diana Hsieh, or a comment on some other ortho's blog and places like that.

I just now searched to give an example and these comments are no longer in the Google index. Only RoR and SoloHQ (the archive at Solo Passion) stuff is. But I only searched for my full name with his. I didn't look for MSK or his name with "Ayn Rand" or other variations. Not worth it...

Michael

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Securing economic freedom means a separation of the state and the economy.

What utter bullshit.

Face it, Frank... you're irreversably stupid... and you'll take it and all of its consequences with you to your grave as you deserve.

Only losers like you blame (unjustly accuse) the government for your own lack of economic freedom. While Americans are securing their own economic freedom with the nation just the way it is right now.

So how come Americans can do that... while you can't?

Greg

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At William's request:

My interest in political philosophy began when I read George Orwell's 1984 during the early 1960's. That was my wake up call to the dangers of unlimited government. In 1964 during the Johnson-Goldwater contest, my friends were for Goldwater and my family was for Johnson. In order to make up my own mind, I did hundreds of hours of reading to decide what should be the proper limits of government. By luck, the local library had copies of The Freeman going all the way back to the Albert J. Nock and Frank Chodorov versions of the magazine. There's a very good chance I read every issue in its entirety from from 1920's to the mid-1960's.

In particular I admired selections by Ludwig von Mises and began the process of reading everything by him in print. I became an advocate of extreme laissez-fairism, and by 1969 or 1970 a free market anarchist.

I've lived in several states, and I've always sought out pro-capitalist, limited government, and anti-government groups. I've had long conversations with Birchers, Georgists, Objectivists, Catholic anarchists, militia survivalists, anti-abortionists, anti-immigrationists, and anti-Illuminatii conspiracy theorists. For two years in the early 1970's I was a member of the Libertarian Party. I've also joined anti-draft, anti-tax, gold freedom, gun freedom, and drug freedom organizations.

Like Ayn Rand I believe the best hope for America is to overhaul society's basic beliefs about individual freedom, capitalism and the role of government. Towards that end, I contribute a portion of my income to putting pro-freedom books in public and university libraries.

For that is how I began my half century journey down this road.

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Securing economic freedom means a separation of the state and the economy.

What utter bullshit.

Face it, Frank... you're irreversably stupid... and you'll take it and all of its consequences with you to your grave as you deserve.

Only losers like you blame (unjustly accuse) the government for your own lack of economic freedom. While Americans are securing their own economic freedom with the nation just the way it is right now.

So how come Americans can do that... while you can't?

Greg

Securing economic freedom through a separation of the state and the economy is both a moral and practical political goal. It may not happen in my lifetime, but the closer we get to it, the better people will be, economically and ethically.

Ayn Rand believed in that goal--and she was not stupid. Ayn Rand blamed the government for a lack of economic freedom in America--and she was hardly a loser.

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Less state = more freedom including economic freedom as the regulatory leaches are pulled off. It's not the only way to greater economic freedom for much is possible on the personal level.

Now, if you desire to spend much of your life trying to pull off leaches that's time not spending creating or maintaining your own wealth. But I don't understand Greg dumping on the leach puller-offers--or would bes. So, in 1830 FF is up in New England beating the drums of abolition while Greg is down in North Carolina on his plantation drinking mint jubalees served by his black slave Horace while dishing out instructions to his foreman about his slaves planting the cotton and vegees while dictating a letter to FF about how things are great down here you unproductive parasitical SOB who doesn't understand business!

--Brant

keeping the ball rolling

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Thanks go out to FF for his intellectual biography synopsis. I am impressed that he has put his money where his mouth is, in causes that may strike the Objectivish as well worthy of support. It illustrated what I suspected, a self-educated man with depth and heft to his philosophical roots. The essential seriousness and the iron-clad principles that underlie his comments are things I respect, even where I would have wildly divergent views from him. It struck me that on the evidence, despite Greg's name-calling, similar bedrock sits beneath both of them. The difference is that Greg mistakenly believes Francisco lives a dishonorable life.

I wish Greg would resile from calling 'sucker' and 'loser' someone who is here on good faith. Set aside the comments about Francisco's person that degrade discussion. Comments like that splash the whole forum, not only the emitter.

Here's a couple things that stood out for me as quite likely fascinating and informative.

I've lived in several states, and I've always sought out pro-capitalist, limited government, and anti-government groups. I've had long conversations with Birchers, Georgists, Objectivists, Catholic anarchists, militia survivalists, anti-abortionists, anti-immigrationists, and anti-Illuminatii conspiracy theorists.

Not every pro-capitalist, limited or anti-government group is as rational as the other. I can well imagine a conversation between you and a Bircher or anti-Illuminati activist, without knowing how the discussions resolved over time. It might seem at first glance that between Birchers and Illuminati enthusiasts you group the others as equally dubious, but that is not likely your intent.

What are the Georgists, and how did your conversations with them turn out?

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...I've always sought out pro-capitalist, limited government, and anti-government groups.

Well, there it is, Frank... your weakness in your own words right there in front of everyone.

Addicted to collectives because you can't even earn your own economic freedom on as a sovereign individual American.

Greg

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Securing economic freedom through a separation of the state and the economy is both a moral and practical political goal.

That's not an answer, Frank. It's evasion. Again...

Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now... while you can't?

Greg

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They duck. They sliver. They slide. They cheat. They steal. They lie. Crony capitalists and socialists. They take. They get. They produce. They adduce and deduce and seduce. They dance and enhance and romance. They coast--on America!

--Brant

down below the fire grows hotter

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They duck. They sliver. They slide. They cheat. They steal. They lie. Crony capitalists and socialists. They take. They get.

None of those are even remotely associated with what it means to live like an American.

Greg

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"The worth of a state, in the long run,

is the worth of the individuals composing it."

-- John Stuart Mill

(1806-1873) English philosopher and economist

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What are the Georgists, and how did your conversations with them turn out?

Thank you for your comments.

Henry George was a hugely popular 19th century political economist. He followed Locke's theorem that people own themselves and what they create through their labor. George insisted, however, that men do not create land and that therefore land belongs equally to all members of a community. George advocated a land tax (and no other taxes) to rectify the inequality of land ownership. This tax was called the Single Tax. George was also critical of intellectual property, militarism, and the role money played in elections. George introduced millions to the study of economics and influenced key intellectuals on both the left and the right, including libertarians Albert Jay Nock, Frank Chodorov and Friedrich Hayek.

Georgism vanished as a political movement by the middle of the 20th century. However, in 1972 while attending a libertarian conference in New York City, I met several people associated with the Henry George School of Social Science who were very laissez-faire except for their advocacy of a Single Tax. I don't remember much about the particulars of our conversation other than the fact that they were all a generation older than I and seemed not at all bothered that I disagreed with them.

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Securing economic freedom through a separation of the state and the economy is both a moral and practical political goal.

That's not an answer, Frank. It's evasion. Again...

Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now... while you can't?

Greg

Since you have recently described the "separation of the state and the economy" as "utter bullshit," one may reasonably doubt that your definition of "economic freedom" is same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism.

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"The worth of a state, in the long run,

is the worth of the individuals composing it."

-- John Stuart Mill

(1806-1873) English philosopher and economist

That's the proper bottom-up order that produces a nation... not top-down. And notice that principle, like all double edged truths, cuts both ways... good or bad.

Sovereign morally strong independent individuals who are united by a common vision....

... not weak immoral spineless dependent failures seeking the comfort of a collective in the false belief that it will give them strength.

Greg

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Securing economic freedom through a separation of the state and the economy is both a moral and practical political goal.

That's not an answer, Frank. It's evasion. Again...

Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now... while you can't?

Greg

Since you have recently described the "separation of the state and the economy" as "utter bullshit," one may reasonably doubt that your definition of "economic freedom" is same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism.

You've misrepresented what Greg was referring to. You did that by chopping off what you quoted. I know you've got brains. That leaves dogmatist or sophist, assuming you simply just didn't take your time to understand what he actually said.

--Brant

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Securing economic freedom through a separation of the state and the economy is both a moral and practical political goal.

That's not an answer, Frank. It's evasion. Again...

Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now... while you can't?

Greg

Since you have recently described the "separation of the state and the economy" as "utter bullshit," one may reasonably doubt that your definition of "economic freedom" is same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism.

Still weaseling, Frank... you have not answered the question.

Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now...

...while you can't?

Greg

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I answered you in Post #151:

I am delighted to hear that you live in that portion of the United States where there are no federal taxes; no federal restrictions on oil drilling, mining, farming, or forestry; no EPA restrictions; no federal minimum wage; no federal welfare program; no Federal Reserve-controlled currency or interest rates; no Anti-Trust Division; no federally managed educational institutions; and no federal gun restrictions.

The fact that you've been so successful in Morrie's Gulch proves that the plan can be repeated elsewhere.

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Securing economic freedom through a separation of the state and the economy is both a moral and practical political goal.

That's not an answer, Frank. It's evasion. Again...

Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now... while you can't?

Greg

Since you have recently described the "separation of the state and the economy" as "utter bullshit," one may reasonably doubt that your definition of "economic freedom" is same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism.

You've misrepresented what Greg was referring to. You did that by chopping off what you quoted. I know you've got brains. That leaves dogmatist or sophist, assuming you simply just didn't take your time to understand what he actually said.

--Brant

Let's see:

Securing economic freedom means a separation of the state and the economy.

What utter bullshit.

If securing economic freedom does not mean a separation of the state and the economy, then perhaps we can have taxes, regulations, wage controls, subsidies, currency manipulation and also not have taxes, regulations, wage controls, subsidies, currency manipulation.

We'll eat the cake and we'll also still have it. If you get arrested for drilling for oil where drilling is forbidden, you just pass on the cost of jail time to your customers.

Since the Moralist apparently has not separated himself from the U.S. economy, his economy is both mixed and unmixed, laissez-faire and non-laissez-faire.

But why shouldn't that make perfect sense in the point of view of a person who makes accusations about me being a robber without offering a shred of evidence?

I'll stand by what I said previously: one may reasonably doubt that his definition of "economic freedom" is the same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism.

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