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Conspiracy theories and Conspiracy theorists

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7 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

The real danger of the coronavirus, to me, is if it mutates into something really nasty.

I guess you didn't get that a 2% death rate is "really nasty."  The Coronavirus rate isn't that high everywhere, mainly in Hubei Province, and it's highest with the elderly, falling off considerably with younger people.

I agree that Trump's approach is reassuring.  He's doing the right thing trying to prevent COVID-19 from getting any hold in the US.

What worries me about it is if it will muck up Larry's and my planned trip to Vienna in May.  All those Chinese tourists in Vienna....

Ellen

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And so many toys and wedding dresses are made in China. Now I have not heard about any problems in Vienna. 

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This is an odd question but is there “anything” in Objectivism that can keep us from getting the Coronavirus? What skill might Objectivists have by virtue of our philosophy, that will keep us safe and alive?

Reason>Logic> dot dot dot?

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1 hour ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

I guess you didn't get that a 2% death rate is "really nasty."

Of course I got that.

All death is really nasty. And one out of every fifty is not a laughing matter.

(Incidentally, about a year and a half ago I caught a horrible flu that knocked me on my ass for about a week. Kat got scared, and then more scared, because back than I stopped eating for the most part and lost about 50 pounds during the week. All I did was sleep about 18-20 hours a day and force myself to drink water and take meds. So I know personally how nasty the flu is.)

But is the coronavirus the only serious contagious disease in the world right now killing folks? No. In just one example, right now in California, the bubonic plague and leprosy are making a comeback among the homeless. The authorities are working to contain this, but where is the panic in the public? There is certainly not enough panic to solve the huge concentrations of homeless people.

It is suspect to me seeing the mainstream press going hogwild on pushing panic porn about the coronavirus. As I see it, they do that for two main reasons:

1. Fear sells. And there is nothing like a new bug-ugly to peddle fear.

2. The mainstream fake news press is owned by globalists. They would love nothing more than to have a good reason to increase one-world globalism "community of nations" central control. They can't jigger up that power unless they disarm the public at large. Fear is really good at doing such disarming since people in panic clamor for someone, something, anything to step in and make them safe. That's when they sell out their rights.

(This last, by the way, is exactly how the globalists keep selling manmade climate change.)

There's a third reason and it involves China, but my thinking is not as clear on this. Something is going on backstage, but I can't figure what. On the Chinese front, internally, this virus is a godsend to the government to quell the recent unrest there. Out comes their military and they are doing their thing big time as I write this. But outside of China, I keep getting mixed messages, even in between the lines on what I read and observe.

Oh well. Something will appear.

It always does. :) 

1 hour ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

I agree that Trump's approach is reassuring.  He's doing the right thing trying to prevent COVID-19 from getting any hold in the US.

What worries me about it is if it will muck up Larry's and my planned trip to Vienna in May.  All those Chinese tourists in Vienna....

Now we're getting serious. The world going to hell may or may not be a problem but don't fuck with vacation time.

:)

Just joking... I mean, how could I resist a setup like that? :) 

Seriously, I hope everything works out for your vacation in Vienna and you guys have a great time.

As I stand right now, I am fairly sure it will and you will.

Besides, you deserve it.

Back to point, if there's one thing I've learned, even at the lizard brain level, it's that I cannot trust the mainstream press for anything. I mean that all the way down. And the covert Create Panic-Grab Power subplot running throughout most of the press material has worn too thin to mean anything anymore to me.

Robert Campbell once wrote a devastating take-down of Peikoff's notion of the arbitrary and its use as a weapon to dismiss anything coming from a person whose thinking is deemed arbitrary (i.e., all intellectual communication of said person being dismissed as being based on assertions that are neither true nor false, thus having no cognitive status or content). Robert is right that this is a silly notion in the way it was developed. But when I think of the way I feel about the mainstream press right now, how angry and disgusted I am at them, that doctrine of the arbitrary assertion idea pretty much nails my judgment of their products. Not right, not wrong. Instead, without any cognitive content. Lips moving and words spewing and nothing more. Noise and junk.

Even propaganda-wise, they lost me due to such consistent piss-poor propaganda.

Great for banter, though. And for raising topics. But most mainstream press these days is noise and junk.

So why should I believe anything they say about the coronavirus or advance their subplot by panicking and giving more power to the government? Who knows what's real or not real with them?

I say let's wait and see what happens.

I know one thing for sure. There are serious people addressing this issue right now--people far more qualified than me to do that. And they have a great track record of getting these things under control. I say let them do their work, go on living life and living it well, and don't worry unless a bunch of them suddenly pop up and say, "Start worrying."

But news people and news pundits?

Bah...

Michael

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As an added thought to the above, something Rush Limbaugh said about this stuck in my mind.

He said people like President Trump do things about problems. Progressive people show they care and do nothing. That's their game.

He gave an example of President Obama appointing an Ebola Czar to great fanfare and Michelle Obama doing a tweet with a hashtag saying bring back our girls when Boko Haram kidnapped a bunch of them in Africa. All noise and no action.

(btw - The West African Ebola virus epidemic of 2013 to 2016 ended due to a mutation of the virus, not to the virus bowing down before a czar.)

The world is now being led, albeit with resistance, by highly qualified people who solve problems and build things.

Getting 'er done, not just bleating about it, is how they show they care.

That's why I'm not too worried about the coronavirus.

Michael

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11 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I didn't realize you were unable to figure out such a common sense thing on your own.

If I were unable to figure it out on my own, then I wouldn't have used "denominator." Duh!

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1 hour ago, merjet said:

If I were unable to figure it out on my own...

Merlin,

Then why didn't you when you made your nonsensical comparison?

:evil: 

btw - When you talk to me or others, are you ever interested in the topic or only in one-upmanship?

I mean, you've been around a long time and that, to me, is important. So you've got privileges. Including using this forum to vent about personal emotional imbalances if you so wish. 

I never see you stick to a topic. No matter what you discuss, you always go to straight to bickering over nothing and stay there, post after post.

You've got a wonderful mind. Using it mostly for that makes me sad.

But it's your choice.

Michael

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21 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Merlin,

Then why didn't you when you made your nonsensical comparison?

:evil: 

btw - When you talk to me or others, are you ever interested in the topic or only in one-upmanship?

I mean, you've been around a long time and that, to me, is important. So you've got privileges. Including using this forum to vent about personal emotional imbalances if you so wish. 

I never see you stick to a topic. No matter what you discuss, you always go to straight to bickering over nothing and stay there, post after post.

You've got a wonderful mind. Using it mostly for that makes me sad.

But it's your choice.

Michael

Why is comparing the coronavirus situation to a past pandemic nonsense? Did you regard Ellen's comments as nonsense?

My first post on this topic was not a gotcha. Yet that is what you took it to be. Why did you so often feel the need to play one-upmanship and be so snarky?

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Merlin,

We can do this all day.

My point is, the reader gets bored with this crap. So why bother unless you are scratching a neurotic itch and don't give a damn about who is looking at you doing it? This is a public forum.

Anyway, have at it.

I get bored with this crap, too, so I'll be in and out as the feeling hits me. Unfortunately, I rarely interact with you from a sense of discussing anything important. I wish it were not so. I tire of the constant bickering. Banter I like. But the mean-spirited bickering you like is a downer.

I don't live on that emotional tone.

Michael

  • Sad 1

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12 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

On the Chinese front, internally, this virus is a godsend to the government to quell the recent unrest there.

Who has a porous border with North Korea? China. Coronavirus cases are occurring in South Korea now but they will also occur in North Korea. It may have already arrived but we won't hear about it.

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Several years ago, I had the flu so bad I could only walk with a slow shuffle. It felt like I was dying. Since then I have always gotten the flu shot and a couple of times I have gotten two shots after the first one was reported as not being very effective. One time the second shot did cause a small lump and tenderness.

I also have gotten shots for pneumonia and shingles. I have never gotten the flu again even though my daughter teaches the 4th grade and has gotten the flu. I think she now gets the shot too.

If they find a vaccine for the coronavirus I won’t be in the first group to receive it but after the first guinea pigs survive and it works I will be in the second group to get it even if I need to get a shot as a walk-in at a medical care clinic or the drug store.

Cavuto on Fox was just saying the coronavirus spread “is being reported as” slowing down in China but it other countries the spread is speeding up.  Peter

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If anyone wants a constant update on coronavirus stats, here is a data page on a site called Worldometer:

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

As of this posting, given below is what the numbers look like. But note: when you click on the link above, those numbers will be updated as time goes on.

Here is what you see right now:

image.png

There is plenty of other data on that site, too. For example, here is the start of a table further down the page:

image.png

The overwhelming majority of cases and deaths are in China right now.

Incidentally, I don't know how accurate Worldometer is, but here is one discussion of it that gave it a rave review a few years ago. So until I come across information that is different, I'm running with the idea that it is reputable. There are other reputable-looking sites out there on the Internet, also.

This looks a lot better to me credibility-wise than going the mainstream news route.

Note that the death rate of those infected is higher than 2%.

Michael

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Michael wrote on the Coronavirus thread: Peter has a treasure trove of archives from the old Atlantis forum.

I block John La Cockroach but I read his message without logging in (since he is blocked and a block head.) I looked up the word Mason (and Free Mason) used on another OL thread and found this oldie. I seem to remember a picture of PinkCrash and she was pretty, with dark hair. Peter

From: "Erik Herbertson" To: "Atlantis" Subject: ATL: American Civil War Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 22:14:20 +0200. Here is an interesting article by a libertarian (Timothy Sandefeur) who have a different view on the American Civil War than the quite common among libertarians:

www.zolatimes.com/V4.22/civil_war.html

On www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo5.html there is the opposing view.

The reason I pick this one up is partly because it deals with David Boaz (Cato Institute) article about the recent Mississippi flag controversy, partly because the very James McPherson mentioned in DiLorenzo´s article wrote a review on three books about the Civil War in the April 12 issue of The New York Review of Books.

In the review McPherson writes that there are many facts (statements, articles, speeches, declarations etc.) supporting the view that the main goal of the leaders of the Confederacy in 1861 was the preservation of slavery. But after the war, many of them changed their motives in establishing a Confederacy to the issue of States rights instead.

McPherson points out the fact that during the forty-nine of the seventy-two years from 1789 to 1861 the presidents of the United States were slaveholding  Southerners. At all times before 1861 a majority of Supreme Court justices were Southerners. In the Congress, the Southerners were often in majority. In the House of Representatives Southerners had a disproportionate strength because of the electoral system "which stipulated that three fifths of the slaves were to be counted as part of a state’s population for purposes of determining the number of seats each state would have in the House. This provision gave slave states an average of twenty more congressmen after each census than they would have had on the basis of the free population above. The combined effect of these two constitutional provisions also gave the slave states about thirty more electoral votes than their share of the voting population would have entitled them to have."(McPherson). Anti-slavery Republicans called this situation the "Slave Power" and sometimes the "Slave Power Conspiracy".

This political dominance of Southerners speaks against the claim that the antebellum South was concerned with states´ rights. As long as their pro-slavery interests were secured by a pro-slavery president and a pro-slavery majority in the Supreme Court and the Congress, they did not really care about states´ rights. McPherson: "In 1850 Southerners in Congress, plus a handful of Northern allies, enacted a Fugitive Slave Law that was the strongest manifestation of *national* power thus far in American history. In the name of protecting the rights of slave owners, it extended the long arm of federal law, enforced by marshals and the army, into Northern states to recover escaped slaves and return them to their owners.

Senator Jefferson Davis, who later insisted that the Confederacy fought for the principle of state sovereignty, voted with enthusiasm for the Fugitive Slave Law. When Northern state legislatures invoked states´ rights and individual liberties against this federal law, the Supreme Court with its majority of Southern justices reaffirmed the supremacy of national law to protect slavery (Ableman v. Booth, 1859). Many observers in the 1850s would have predicted that if a rebellion in the name of states´ rights were to occur, it would be the North that would rebel.

The presidential election of 1860 changed the equation. Without a single electoral vote from the South, Lincoln won the presidency on a platform of containing the future expansion of slavery. Southerners saw the consequences that would likely follow. The Union now consisted of eighteen free states and fifteen slave states. Northern Republicans would soon control Congress, if not after this election then surely after the next. Loss of the Supreme Court would follow. Gone or going was the South´s national power to protect slavery; now was the time to invoke state sovereignty to leave the Union."

The issue I´m concerned with here is not really the right of secession as such, but the *motive(s)* for the South to secede. I would have wanted "pro-Confederates" using much more comments like the above in assessing secession. All too often I have read texts where libertarians elevate the Confederacy to the status of freedom fighters like the revolutionaries of 1776. I don´t think this is a reasonable position for the very reasons pointed out in Sandefeur´s article. Also, the Confederacy established in their Constitution the explicit right to own slaves. Many of the original Founding fathers had doubts about slavery, as most of us know, and wanted an end to it. George Mason called slavery "diabolical in itself and disgraceful to mankind". After nearly one hundred years of agitation against slavery as a violation of the American principles of self-determination, the CSA gives slavery constitutional protection. Some freedom! CSA was not more noble than the USA. Habeas corpus was suspended in the CSA as well, draft was introduced and civilian property was stolen. CSA had rotten elements just like USA had (and has). You don´t need to inform me about Lincoln´s actions.

The libertarian historian Jeffrey Hummel has written a book, "Emancipating slaves, enslaving free men", where he supports the right of CSA to secede, but he seems to have substantial information in his book, like criticism of CSA, for example. I haven´t read the book, just looked at some pages. It seems very interesting.

I´m a Swedish citizen, and no expert on U.S. constitutional law, but it would be nice if some of you could comment this and perhaps bring me even more material on the subject. I would also like to know if Ayn Rand had any discussions about this subject. Erik Herbertson

Opposing viewpoint

Libertarians and the Confederate Battle Flag by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

The Cato Institute recently joined with the NAACP and the financial scandal-ridden left-wing hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, in denouncing the Confederate battle flag and calling for its eradication from public spaces. In an April 16 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal Cato’s executive vice president David Boaz argued that the last state to include the battle flag in its state emblem, Mississippi, should scrap it. Comparing the flag to posters of the communist terrorist Che Guevara or "vulgar bumper stickers," Boaz makes the untenable (and insulting) argument that the hundreds of thousands of Mississippians who favor keeping the emblem do so because they want to commemorate slavery. Anyone who disagrees with this theory, says Boaz, is a "spin doctor of the South," in other words, a liar.

That would have to include nearly every serious historian. In The Causes of the Civil War, edited by the noted "Civil War" historian Kenneth Stampp, the issues of states rights versus centralized governmental power, the political plundering of the southern states with protectionist tariffs, tyranny of the majority, a conflict of cultures, and political blundering are all cited as contributing causes of the war. Only a small band of Marxist historians claims that the war was caused by slavery alone. And David Boaz too, apparently.

Boaz buttresses his hypothesis with a quotation by University of Chicago philosophy professor Jacob Levy, who believes that "when the state speaks . . . it claims to speak on behalf of all its members." So, since not everyone approves of the Confederate battle flag, it should be taken down. That’s right, Cato’s executive vice president apparently believes that when Bill Clinton, the former chief spokesman of the American state, said that our taxes were too low, that criticizing government policy was tantamount to instigating terrorism, that he did not have sex with "that woman," and thousands of other lies and deceptions, he was speaking for all of us.

Rubbish. Only in totalitarian societies does the state purport to express the views of every last citizen. Indeed, the history of totalitarianism is a history of snuffing out all dissenting views with tactics ranging from censorship to mass murder. To this list should be added the rewriting of history, which is really what the battle flag opponents are up to.

In his book What They Fought For, 1861-1865, historian James McPherson reported on his reading of more than 25,000 letters and more than 100 diaries of soldiers who fought on both sides of the War for Southern Independence and concluded that Confederate soldiers (very few of whom owned slaves) "fought for liberty and independence from what they regarded as a tyrannical government."

The letters and diaries of many Confederate soldiers "bristled with the rhetoric of liberty and self government," writes McPherson, and spoke of a fear of being "subjugated" and "enslaved" by a tyrannical federal government. Sound familiar?

Many Confederate soldiers thought of the war as "the Second war for American Independence." A Texas cavalryman told his sister in a letter that just as earlier Americans had "rebelled against King George to establish Liberty and freedom in this western world . . . so we dissolved our alliance with this oppressive foe and are now enlisted in The Holy Cause of Liberty and Independence again."

An Alabama infantryman wrote his mother, "If the mere imposition of a tax [in 1776] could raise such tumult what should be the result of the terrible system of oppression instituted by the Yankees?"

Another theme in these letters was that many Confederates believed (and rightly so) that they were fighting to defend their property and families from a hostile invading army. "We are fighting for matters real and tangible . . . our property and our homes," wrote a Texas private in 1864.

Union soldiers did not believe they were fighting to end slavery but to "preserve the union." "We are fighting for the Union . . . a high and noble sentiment, but after all a sentiment," wrote an Illinois officer, "They are fighting for independence and are animated by passion and hatred against invaders."

Other Confederate soldiers sought revenge for the burning of southern cities and the murder of civilians, including women and children, while others voiced a desire to "protect the fair daughters of [the South] . . . from Yankee outrage and atrocity."

When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January of 1863, which freed no slaves because it exempted all territories under Union control, there was a massive desertion crisis in the Union army. Union soldiers ‘were willing to risk their lives for Union," McPherson writes, "but not for black freedom."

Boaz belittles the fact that tariffs and states’ rights were also motivations from the war, but the fact is, as soon as Lincoln took office the Republican Party, which virtually monopolized the federal government for the next seventy years, enacted tariff rates of nearly 50 percent, which remained at those levels for decades, and set in motion the great centralizing forces of federal power by adopting an internal revenue bureaucracy, central banking, corporate welfare, income and excise taxation, and the demolition of the system of decentralized government that was established by the founding fathers. Perhaps Boaz believes this was all just a coincidence.

By calling for the eradication of the Confederate battle flag from public places the Cato Institute, the NAACP, and the Southern Poverty Law Center are saying that we should destroy the most enduring symbol of opposition to centralized governmental power and tyranny, a symbol that to this day is a part of secession movements around the world, from Quebec to Northern Italy.

No one was a more articulate and outspoken abolitionist than the great libertarian legal philosopher Lysander Spooner of Massachusetts. But in 1870 Spooner wrote that "all these cries of having ‘abolished slavery,’ of having ‘saved the country,’ of having ‘preserved the union,’ of establishing a ‘government of consent,’ and of ‘maintaining the national honor’ are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats – so transparent that they ought to deceive no one."

The great historian of liberty, Lord Acton, wrote to Robert E. Lee on November 4, 1866, that "I saw in States Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of he sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. . . . I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo."

Disavowing the views of these great libertarian scholars, Boaz apparently prefers the interpretations of history given by Kwesi Mfume, Al Sharpton, and Morris Dees.

Some 620,000 Americans died in Lincoln’s war, at a time when the population of the U.S. was about 30 million. Standardized for today’s population, that would be roughly the equivalent of 5 million American deaths in a four-year war – 100 times the number of Americans who died in the ten-year Vietnam conflict.

On the other hand, dozens of other countries during the nineteenth century ended slavery peacefully through compensated emancipation. The death of some 300,000 Southerners, most of whom believed they were giving their lives for the causes of liberty, independence, and self government, is apparently of no concern to Boaz. He is only concerned about the purported sensitivities of American blacks, but shows no concern whatsoever for the descendants of hundreds of thousands of brave men who had nothing to do with slavery and who gave their lives for what Professor McPherson characterized as "deeply felt convictions."

In war, the victors always get to write the history. A century of federal government propaganda about the causes and effects of the War for Southern Independence has been so effective that even the Cato Institute has apparently fallen victim to it.

April 19, 2001

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is Professor of Economics at Loyola College in Maryland.

From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Re: American Civil War Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 17:01:31 -0500

Erik Herbertson wrote: "The issue I´m concerned with here is not really the right of secession as such, but the *motive(s)* for the South to secede. I would have wanted "pro-Confederates" using much more comments like the above in assessing secession. All too often I have read texts where libertarians elevate the Confederacy to the status of freedom fighters like the revolutionaries of 1776. I don´t think this is a reasonable position for the very reasons pointed out in Sandefeur´s article. Also, the Confederacy established in their Constitution the explicit right to own slaves. Many of the original Founding fathers had doubts about slavery, as most of us know, and wanted an end to it. George Mason called slavery "diabolical in itself and disgraceful to mankind". After nearly one hundred years of agitation against slavery as a violation of the American principles of self-determination, the CSA gives slavery constitutional protection. Some freedom! CSA was not more noble than the USA. Habeas corpus was suspended in the CSA as well, draft was introduced and civilian property was stolen. CSA had rotten elements just like USA had (and has). You don´t need to inform me about Lincoln´s actions."

It is misleading to say that most of America's founding fathers wanted to end slavery. Many supported it, and virtually all of those who opposed it were gradualists who took a position akin to that of St. Augustine's prayer, "Lord, give me chastity, but not yet." There was a widespread belief that slavery was economically inefficient compared to free labor, so the South would eventually be forced to abandon slavery out of self-interested motives. As far as political measures to end slavery were concerned, the original strategy (embodied in the Constitution) was to prohibit the slave trade (not slavery itself) 20 years after ratification, in the hope that a purely domestic supply of slaves would be unable to maintain the "peculiar institution."

Eric is right to point out that many founding father at least had serious "doubts" about slavery. Eric, for example, quotes George Mason's polemic against slavery, but he fails to mention that Mason himself was a slaveowner who said he would never free his slaves. He also conceded this was a contradiction which he would not attempt to rationalize or justify.

As for the Southern "motive" for secession, this can be a difficult thing to get a handle on, because "motives" pertain only to individuals, not to collective entities, such as states. Although most southerners did not own slaves (and many commoners resented the slave owning aristocracy), it is clear that for many southerners the issue of slavery lit the fuse that would eventually ignite the struggle for independence.

Nevertheless, the official southern rationale was independence. Likewise, the official northern rationale was the argument that secession is illegitimate. Lincoln was very clear about this: "My paramount object in this struggle *is* to save the Union, and is *not* either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing *any* slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing *all* the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union....." (Lincoln went on to note that this was his *official* position; personally, he would like to see all slaves set free.)

Two other things should be kept in mind. First, the Union itself contained four slave states. Second, the Emancipation  Proclamation "liberated" only those slaves in rebellious states; it did not free the slaves in the four Union border states, nor in those southern territories that had been conquered by Union armies. It is was simply and solely a war measure designed to weaken the South. (For more on this, see Jeff Hummel's excellent book, *Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men,* which Eric also mentioned.)

Eric correctly notes that slavery was explicitly sanctioned by the Confederate Constitution, But slavery had long been legally sanctioned in the Union, not only by provisions in the Constitution (such as the fugitive slave clause and the notorious three-fifths provision), but by federal and Supreme Court decisions as well.

Slavery aside, southerners had a number of legitimate grievances, such as the propensity of northerners to impose high tariffs that benefited northern manufacturing at the expense of southern agriculture. But we should have no illusions about the fact that the slavery controversy did play an important role in how some southerners thought about independence.

But whatever the motives of some southerners may have been (and they were complex, sometimes having as much to do with cultural as with political reasons), both sides agreed that the Civil War was being fought over the right of secession. There are some parallels here with the American Revolution. The physician Benjamin Rush (the guy who convinced Thomas Paine to write "Common Sense") estimated that the motives of around one-third of the American revolutionaries were less than noble. (Some, for example, wished to escape the responsibility of paying their debts to British merchants, whereas others did not like the restraints imposed upon them to protect Indians.) Moreover, the British (for military reasons similar to those later invoked by Lincoln) offered to free any slaves that fought on the British side, and it is scarcely coincidental that most Indian tribes sided with the British as well.

Thus, in the American Revolution as in the Southern Revolution, the motives of individuals were often varied and mixed. Lysander Spooner dealt with this troublesome issue by clearly distinguishing the right of secession from the motives that may impel some people to demand secession. Thus, although Spooner had long been a  vehement abolitionist, he defended the southern cause, claiming it was as legitimate as the American  revolution had been. I agree with him on this.  Slavery was sanctioned and flourished much longer under the Union flag that it did under the Confederate flag. We should therefore take them both down, everywhere and permanently. If we must have a national symbol, then let us salute the old revolutionary flag with a coiled snake and the motto, "Don't tread on me." This would be a clear indication that Americans oppose all forms of slavery, both chattel and political, and regardless of whether the tyrant prefers to be called "Master" or "Mister President." Ghs

From: "Erik Herbertson" To: "Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: Re: American Civil War Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 01:07:14 +0200

Thank you George, for your response. When I asked about the motives for secession, I was more interested in the views held by the leaders of the Confederacy, rather than the various inhabitants of the South, who obviously held different views.

In Sandefeur´s article there is a quote by CSA:s vice president Alexander Stephens, which underscores the claim that preservation of slavery was the main purpose for the leaders of the Confederacy. But yes, not even among "leaders" was this a unifying belief. General Robert Lee was against slavery. And certainly did many hold free trade arguments against Northern tariffs. But the British Manchester liberals and free traders Richard Cobden and John Bright supported the North.

Among Republicans, such as Lincoln, Union seemed to be more important than the abolition of slavery, yes. But the Republicans at least had an ambition to do something about it, by forbidding its expansion to new territories and states. They could not abolish it altogether, because of the federal structure. The Emancipation Proclamation only liberated slaves in CSA territory because Lincoln only had military authority to decide about it there, but not in the rest of the Union. At least that is what I have read. But I don´t want to be Lincoln´s advocate. He did a lot of damage. I´m just assessing who is "better" in this conflict, if that´s possible at all. I don´t think it´s possible.

The old revolutionary flag George mentioned seems to be a good symbol for real freedom fighters. Erik Herbertson

From: PinkCrash7 To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: American Civil War Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 21:25:05 EDT

George Smith wrote: >Eric correctly notes that slavery was explicitly sanctioned by the Confederate Constitution, But slavery had long been legally sanctioned in the Union, not only by provisions in the Constitution (such as the fugitive  slave clause and the notorious three-fifths provision), but by federal and Supreme Court decisions as well.

According to Steven Yates, author of "When is Political Divorce Justified?" in the book, _Secession, State and Liberty_, edited by David Gordon (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ 1998),  "the Confederate Constitution explicitly forbade importing any more African slaves, and [Jefferson Davis] once vetoed a bill which he deemed in conflict with this:

'Gentlemen of Congress: With sincere deference to the judgment of Congress, I have carefully considered the bill in relation to the slave trade, and to punish persons offending therein, but have not been able to approve it, and therefore do return it with a statement of my objections.  The Constitution (Art. I, Section 7) provides that the importation of African Negroes from any foreign country other than slave-holding states of the United States is hereby forbidden, and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same... This provisions seems to me to be in opposition to the policy declared in the Constitution - the prohibition of the importation of African Negroes - and in derogation of its mandate to legislate for the effectuation of that object.'

"In other words, Davis knew the institution would gradually die out as more and more slaves were able to buy their freedom or die and not be replaced.

"The reason the southern states gave for secession was their desire for a self-determination they saw themselves losing in the face of both government intrusions and broken agreements - in short, to escape a federal government which had already stepped outside its bounds...."

The book, _Secession, State and Liberty_ is a fascinating book containing a collection of essays about secession -- including one by Murray Rothbard ("Nations By Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State") and another by Bruce Benson ("How to Secede in Business Without Really Leaving: Evidence of the Substitution of Arbitration for Litigation").  The one that I found the most interesting is by James Ostowski, "Was the Union Army's Invasion of the Confederate States a Lawful Act? An Analysis of President's Lincoln's Legal Arguments Against Secession".   I would highly recommend this book to Erik and to anyone who is interested in the subject of secession. Debbie

From: Michael Hardy To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: American Civil War -- answer to George Smith Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 16:09:27 -0400 (EDT)  I am surprised that George Smith doubts that the desire to maintain slavery was the major motive for secessions of the southern states.  The conventions that decided to secede published their reasons.

         The official "Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union" states that "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world," and goes on to enumerate various threats to that institution.

         The official "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union" complains at length about the refusal of northern states to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the harboring of slaves charge with murder or with inciting servile insurrection, etc.  It states over and over and over and over that it was from the "non-slave-holding states" that the state of South Carolina wished to be separated.

         Why just those ones?  Why not all of the other states? George, how do you answer that?  Did South Carolina have various separate grievances, unrelated to slavery, against precisely those states that, by some strange coincidence, also happened to be non- slave-holding states?  And did they then refer to them by means of that coincidence without suspecting that they were setting themselves up to be misunderstood as acting for the purpose of preserving slavery?

         The "Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union" makes much of the ""beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery."

         Below I quote from the official Declaration of Causes of Secession of the state of Georgia.

         These documents are

at <http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html>.          Mike Hardy

<< A similar provision of the Constitution requires them to  surrender fugitives  from  labor.   This  provision and the one last referred to were our main inducements for confederating with the Northern  States. Without  them  it is historically true that we would have rejected the Constitution. In the fourth year of the Republic Congress passed a law to  give  full  vigor and efficiency to this important provision. This act depended to a considerable degree upon the  local  magistrates  in the  several  States  for its efficiency. The non-slave-holding States generally repealed all laws intended to aid the execution of that act, and imposed penalties upon those citizens whose loyalty to the Constitution and their oaths might induce  them  to  discharge  their  duty.

 C

ongress then passed the act of 1850, providing for the complete execution of this duty by Federal officers. This law, which their own bad faith rendered absolutely indispensable for the protection of constitutional rights, was instantly met with ferocious  reviling’s  and  all conceivable  modes  of  hostility.  The Supreme Court unanimously, and their own local courts with equal unanimity (with the single and temporary exception of the supreme court of Wisconsin), sustained its constitutionality in all of its provisions. Yet it  stands  today  a dead  letter  for  all practicable purposes in every non-slave-holding State in the Union. We have their covenants, we have their oaths to keep and observe it, but the unfortunate claimant, even accompanied by a Federal officer with the mandate of the highest judicial authority in  his hands, is everywhere met with fraud, with force, and with legislative enactments to elude, to resist, and  defeat  him.   Claimants are murdered with impunity; officers of the law are beaten by frantic mobs instigated by inflammatory appeals from  persons  holding  the highest  public  employment in these States, and supported by legislation in conflict with the clearest provisions of the Constitution, and even the ordinary principles of humanity. >>

From: "George H. Smith" Reply-To: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: American Civil War -- answer to George Smith Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 17:30:07 -0500

Mike Hardy wrote: "I am surprised that George Smith doubts that the desire to maintain slavery was the major motive for secessions of the southern states.  The conventions that decided to secede published their reasons."

Mike then quotes from the Declaration of Immediate Causes from Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Georgia, all of which refer to slavery in some fashion.

I never denied that slavery played a significant role in secession -- indeed, I specifically stated that "we should have no illusions about the fact that the slavery controversy did play an important role in how some southerners thought about independence." But the issue is more complex that Mike has indicated. Secession occurred in two waves. Seven slave states seceded within three months of Lincoln's election, even though, apart from his opposition to the extension of slavery into the territories, Lincoln had pledged not to tamper with the peculiar institution.

The second wave occurred after the Fort Sumter incident, when Lincoln had refused to evacuate Union troops from Charleston Harbor. This was the spark that caused four additional states -- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas -- to join the rebellion. The Governor of Virginia (who had previously been critical of South Carolina's actions) flatly refused Lincoln's order to muster militia for to the purpose of forcing the rebellious states back into the Union, and he accused Lincoln of starting a civil war for the purpose of subjugating the South. As Jeff Hummel puts it: "Previously unwilling to secede over the issue of slavery, these four states were now ready to fight for the ideal of a voluntary union." (*Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men,* p. 141.)

This is what I meant in saying that the motives for secession were varied and complex. But it would be silly to say that slavery was the fundamental issue that was contested during in the Civil War (even if it was the motive that caused *some* southerners to demand independence), since neither side was calling for its abolition. (As I pointed out before, slavery was legal in four border states within the Union itself.) Rather, the fundamental issue had to do with the right of secession. This is an issue that had been debated in the United States for many years.

Btw, I have no sympathy with either side in that bloody and senseless war. Ghs

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What Happened to Amelia Earhart? The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is, perhaps, aviation’s greatest mystery. Unsurprisingly, it has led to the appearance of numerous theories and notions regarding her fate following her doomed 1937 flight around the world. Typically, the most accepted view is that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, died after crashing their Lockheed Model 10 Electra. Whether this happened somewhere over the Pacific Ocean or on an island is unknown. Some believe that Amelia Earhart perished at the hands of the Japanese because she was, actually, an American spy enlisted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Japanese military either killed her when they downed her airplane or captured Earhart and held her prisoner on the island of Saipan for the rest of her days. There was even a notion that the aviatrix was forced to become a Tokyo Rose – an English-speaking woman who spread Japanese propaganda to the Allies during World War II. Her husband, George Putnam, investigated this claim. He listened to numerous such recordings but never recognized his wife’s voice. There have also been several notions that Earhart survived the crash and lived under a new identity. One book alleged that she became Irene Bolam from New Jersey. Bolam sued the publisher, settled out of court and got the book withdrawn.

The Phantom Time Hypothesis. Without a doubt, one of the strangest historical conspiracy theories is the phantom time hypothesis. It asserts that part of the Middle Ages never actually happened and was manufactured in order to advance time a few centuries and place the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III in the year 1000. According to this hypothesis, the time period between AD 614 and 911 never took place. Charlemagne never existed and neither did the Carolingian Dynasty. The year is actually 1722. As far as motivation goes, it is usually presented as a conspiracy plot masterminded by King Otto III and Pope Sylvester II. However, some believers assert that those extra centuries could have been added by mistake or by misinterpretation of documents. If this was all an accident, it likely happened during the Gregorian reform when Pope Gregory XIII enabled the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. There are many ways to debunk this idea, but astronomy seems to work just fine. We have historical observations of cosmic events such as solar eclipses and the passing of Halley’s Comet. Astronomers can calculate with certainty when they have taken place and would notice if they were off by a few centuries.

The Lost Dauphin. King Louis XVI of France and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were sent to the guillotine in 1793. Although the French Revolution brought about the fall of the monarchy, there were still loyalists in the country who considered the young Dauphin of France, Louis-Charles, to be the rightful ruler. Therefore, the heir apparent was imprisoned where he seemingly died of scrofula in 1795, aged 10. Not everyone was convinced that this actually happened. Rumors soon sprouted that crown sympathizers successfully broke Louis out of prison and that somebody else was buried in his place. This idea became particularly commonplace two decades later when the monarchy was briefly restored. Dozens of men came forward claiming to be the “Lost Dauphin.” Their descendants continued their claims for centuries that they were part of the House of Bourbon. Modern technology invalidated those claims. Philippe-Jean Pelletan was the surgeon who performed the autopsy on the young body purported to be that of Louis-Charles. He smuggled and preserved the heart of the boy in the hopes that it would be given a royal burial later. The relic has been in the same crystal urn for almost 200 years. DNA tests in the early 2000s showed that it really belonged to Louis and the “Lost Dauphin” was nothing more than a legend.

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From  Rolllng Stone. Coronavirus Is Spreading — And So Are the Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories Around It

The government introduced the coronavirus in 2018, and Bill Gates was also somehow responsible.

 

There is a vaccine or cure for coronavirus that the government won’t release

 

Coronavirus originated with Chinese people eating bats When it comes to major world events, it’s not uncommon for enterprising sleuths to dig deep into fictional sources to find a premonition, however tenuous it may be. (Remember when people thought that Back to the Future II predicted the Cubs’ big World Series win? Or Trump?) In that same vein, last month a screengrab of a passage from author Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness went viral on Twitter, as the passage appears to allude to the creation of a deadly virus known as Wuhan-400, named after the city from which it originated. Aside from the reference to Wuhan, however (which didn’t even appear in the first edition of Koontz’s book), there are no similarities between Wuhan-400 and COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19, which has about a 2% fatality rate, Wuhan-400 kills 100% of its victims, mostly by creating a “toxin that literally eats away brain tissue,” rendering victims without a pulse. So while it may be tempting for proponents of the COVID-19 as bioweapon theory to point to Koontz’s book as a harbinger of events to come, it appears the parallels between the two are tenuous at best. Still, there’s no shortage of other works of fiction for armchair COVID-19 detectives to point to, up to and including…

The Simpsons predicted the coronavirus Because The Simpsons has been on the air for more than 30 years, there’s been no shortage of elaborate plotlines for internet sleuths to point to as harbingers for various world events, to the degree that “The Simpsons predicted it” is now more of a meme than anything else. Case in point: screengrabs allegedly from the 1993 episode “Marge in Chains” about an outbreak of a mysterious illness, with one appearing to show a newscaster delivering a report about a “corona virus.” Although the episode in question is legit, it focuses on an illness called “Osaka flu” (with Osaka obviously being in Japan, not in China), and the screengrab, which is from another episode entirely, actually reads “Apocalypse Meow,” not “coronavirus.” So chalk this up to Photoshopping and morbidly wishful thinking on internet commenters’ parts. 

A “miracle” bleach product can cure coronavirus. In one of the most sickening examples of conspiracy theorists taking advantage of the panic surrounding coronavirus to sell a product, supporters of the elaborate far-right conspiracy theory QAnon have been telling people to drink Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a bleach-based product that has been touted by anti-vaxxers for years, as an effective means of warding off coronavirus. The product contains toxic chemicals and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and acute liver failure if ingested in large amounts. (Horrifyingly, in the past some mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder have been known to administer it to them as a “cure.”) Although YouTube instituted a ban on videos promoting MMS last year, as Rolling Stone reported in January, it was not difficult to find such content on the platform, illustrating the immense difficulties platforms have faced in attempting to curb the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation.

The country will be placed in a nationwide quarantine effective immediately. 

If you can’t hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing, then you have coronavirus. 

Vitamin C can help you ward off coronavirus

Coronavirus will go away by summertime. 

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9 minutes ago, Peter said:

What Happened to Amelia Earhart? The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is, perhaps, aviation’s greatest mystery. Unsurprisingly, it has led to the appearance of numerous theories and notions regarding her fate following her doomed 1937 flight around the world. Typically, the most accepted view is that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, died after crashing their Lockheed Model 10 Electra. Whether this happened somewhere over the Pacific Ocean or on an island is unknown. Some believe that Amelia Earhart perished at the hands of the Japanese because she was, actually, an American spy enlisted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Japanese military either killed her when they downed her airplane or captured Earhart and held her prisoner on the island of Saipan for the rest of her days. There was even a notion that the aviatrix was forced to become a Tokyo Rose – an English-speaking woman who spread Japanese propaganda to the Allies during World War II. Her husband, George Putnam, investigated this claim. He listened to numerous such recordings but never recognized his wife’s voice. There have also been several notions that Earhart survived the crash and lived under a new identity. One book alleged that she became Irene Bolam from New Jersey. Bolam sued the publisher, settled out of court and got the book withdrawn.

 

The Phantom Time Hypothesis. Without a doubt, one of the strangest historical conspiracy theories is the phantom time hypothesis. It asserts that part of the Middle Ages never actually happened and was manufactured in order to advance time a few centuries and place the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III in the year 1000. According to this hypothesis, the time period between AD 614 and 911 never took place. Charlemagne never existed and neither did the Carolingian Dynasty. The year is actually 1722. As far as motivation goes, it is usually presented as a conspiracy plot masterminded by King Otto III and Pope Sylvester II. However, some believers assert that those extra centuries could have been added by mistake or by misinterpretation of documents. If this was all an accident, it likely happened during the Gregorian reform when Pope Gregory XIII enabled the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. There are many ways to debunk this idea, but astronomy seems to work just fine. We have historical observations of cosmic events such as solar eclipses and the passing of Halley’s Comet. Astronomers can calculate with certainty when they have taken place and would notice if they were off by a few centuries.

 

The Lost Dauphin. King Louis XVI of France and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were sent to the guillotine in 1793. Although the French Revolution brought about the fall of the monarchy, there were still loyalists in the country who considered the young Dauphin of France, Louis-Charles, to be the rightful ruler. Therefore, the heir apparent was imprisoned where he seemingly died of scrofula in 1795, aged 10. Not everyone was convinced that this actually happened. Rumors soon sprouted that crown sympathizers successfully broke Louis out of prison and that somebody else was buried in his place. This idea became particularly commonplace two decades later when the monarchy was briefly restored. Dozens of men came forward claiming to be the “Lost Dauphin.” Their descendants continued their claims for centuries that they were part of the House of Bourbon. Modern technology invalidated those claims. Philippe-Jean Pelletan was the surgeon who performed the autopsy on the young body purported to be that of Louis-Charles. He smuggled and preserved the heart of the boy in the hopes that it would be given a royal burial later. The relic has been in the same crystal urn for almost 200 years. DNA tests in the early 2000s showed that it really belonged to Louis and the “Lost Dauphin” was nothing more than a legend.

First, you know nothing of the history discussed above and you don’t grasp a word of it. Second, you couldn’t answer a single probing  question about the theories presented above.

So what is your point?

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13 minutes ago, Peter said:

From  Rolllng Stone. Coronavirus Is Spreading — And So Are the Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories Around It

 

The government introduced the coronavirus in 2018, and Bill Gates was also somehow responsible.

 

 

 

There is a vaccine or cure for coronavirus that the government won’t release

 

 

 

Coronavirus originated with Chinese people eating bats When it comes to major world events, it’s not uncommon for enterprising sleuths to dig deep into fictional sources to find a premonition, however tenuous it may be. (Remember when people thought that Back to the Future II predicted the Cubs’ big World Series win? Or Trump?) In that same vein, last month a screengrab of a passage from author Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness went viral on Twitter, as the passage appears to allude to the creation of a deadly virus known as Wuhan-400, named after the city from which it originated. Aside from the reference to Wuhan, however (which didn’t even appear in the first edition of Koontz’s book), there are no similarities between Wuhan-400 and COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19, which has about a 2% fatality rate, Wuhan-400 kills 100% of its victims, mostly by creating a “toxin that literally eats away brain tissue,” rendering victims without a pulse. So while it may be tempting for proponents of the COVID-19 as bioweapon theory to point to Koontz’s book as a harbinger of events to come, it appears the parallels between the two are tenuous at best. Still, there’s no shortage of other works of fiction for armchair COVID-19 detectives to point to, up to and including…

 

The Simpsons predicted the coronavirus Because The Simpsons has been on the air for more than 30 years, there’s been no shortage of elaborate plotlines for internet sleuths to point to as harbingers for various world events, to the degree that “The Simpsons predicted it” is now more of a meme than anything else. Case in point: screengrabs allegedly from the 1993 episode “Marge in Chains” about an outbreak of a mysterious illness, with one appearing to show a newscaster delivering a report about a “corona virus.” Although the episode in question is legit, it focuses on an illness called “Osaka flu” (with Osaka obviously being in Japan, not in China), and the screengrab, which is from another episode entirely, actually reads “Apocalypse Meow,” not “coronavirus.” So chalk this up to Photoshopping and morbidly wishful thinking on internet commenters’ parts. 

 

A “miracle” bleach product can cure coronavirus. In one of the most sickening examples of conspiracy theorists taking advantage of the panic surrounding coronavirus to sell a product, supporters of the elaborate far-right conspiracy theory QAnon have been telling people to drink Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a bleach-based product that has been touted by anti-vaxxers for years, as an effective means of warding off coronavirus. The product contains toxic chemicals and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and acute liver failure if ingested in large amounts. (Horrifyingly, in the past some mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder have been known to administer it to them as a “cure.”) Although YouTube instituted a ban on videos promoting MMS last year, as Rolling Stone reported in January, it was not difficult to find such content on the platform, illustrating the immense difficulties platforms have faced in attempting to curb the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation.

 

The country will be placed in a nationwide quarantine effective immediately. 

 

If you can’t hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing, then you have coronavirus. 

 

Vitamin C can help you ward off coronavirus

 

Coronavirus will go away by summertime. 

Tantrum noted.

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Ayn Rand's 1957 novel, ATLAS SHRUGGED, contained a counter-conspiracy involving a radio speech given by a man who vowed "to stop the motor of the world."
On March 28, 2020, we have this speech dropped by the counter-conspiracy known as "Q", via the internet...

"The entire world is watching.
Patriots from around the world are praying for AMERICA.
We are all bound by a feeling deep inside, a feeling that cannot be publicly expressed for fear of ridicule, a feeling that challenges the mainstream (narrative), against that which we are told to accept and dare not question, put simply, that people are being abused by those in power and time is running out. "

Read the entire drop here:

https://qmap.pub/

https://twitter.com/StormIsUponUs/status/1243987443533205504?s=20

Many have criticized Rand for Galt's speech being too long to hold people's attention, and too unfilmable for a movie. But whatever else one may think about "Q", you gotta admit, they figured a way around all that...

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On 2/25/2020 at 11:41 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

What worries me about it is if it will muck up Larry's and my planned trip to Vienna in May.

Ah. Sweet words from my 20 year "online crush." Perhaps NZ or Australia? Peter

Grind, Grind. Michael, if you make rules, live honorably by your rules. Those “rules” may be the basis for civilianized interaction on Objectivist Living. The name of your site should mean something. For you say the hell with it, anybody can expletive, expletive based on whatever equivocation you come up with at the time . . . well, I’m outa here. Read your own g.d. rules. Just one more suggestion.  Peter

From: Jimmy Wales To: atlantis Subject: ATL: David Kelley on civility Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 08:33:13 -0800/ Here's a fairly long quote from David Kelley that is directly applicable to questions about why a civility policy is a good idea on a mailing list which makes an effort to be creative, open, and intensely intellectual.

From ”Un-rugged Individualism’: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence, p. 38: The forms of civility, and the broader realm of manners, are therefore dismissed by some people as arbitrary.  "Why should I confirm to arbitrary social standards?  I am an individualist."  But while the forms are conventional, what is conveyed through those forms is not. If my argument so far has been correct, then it _is_ objectively important to acknowledge each other's independence in some way or other, whether by saying 'please,' or 's`il vous plait," or by some gesture understood to have that meaning.  It doesn't matter which forms we use to convey this, any more than it matters which sounds we use to express a given concept in language.  But insofar as civility has a communicative function, it does matter that we use the same forms.  Someone who does not practice these forms is rude.  We can assume that his failure to comply reflects indifference to what the forms express (unless he is ignorant, as in the case of a foreigner).

A similar answer can be given to the complaint that the forms of civility are inauthentic. "What if I don't like the present Grandma gave me and I don't really feel any gratitude?  Am I not falsifying my feeling if I say thank-you nonetheless?"  The purpose of that thank-you is not to convey one's specific feelings about the gift, or the person who gives it.  Its purpose is to acknowledge that it was a gift, from an autonomous person, not something owed one by an underling.  (If Grandma wants more than this, and makes it clear that she really wants to know whether one liked the gift, then one should tell her, as tactfully as possible.) Civility, then, may be defined as _the expression -- chiefly through conventional forms -- of one's respect for the humanity and independence of others, and of one's intent to resolve conflicts peacefully_.

 

From Bing. Jimmy Wales · Net worth $10 million USD (2016)

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47 minutes ago, Peter said:

From: Jimmy Wales To: atlantis Subject: ATL: David Kelley on civility Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 08:33:13 -0800/ Here's a fairly long quote from David Kelley that is directly applicable to questions about why a civility policy is a good idea on a mailing list which makes an effort to be creative, open, and intensely intellectual.

 

From ”Un-rugged Individualism’: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence, p. 38: The forms of civility, and the broader realm of manners, are therefore dismissed by some people as arbitrary.  "Why should I confirm to arbitrary social standards?  I am an individualist."  But while the forms are conventional, what is conveyed through those forms is not. If my argument so far has been correct, then it _is_ objectively important to acknowledge each other's independence in some way or other, whether by saying 'please,' or 's`il vous plait," or by some gesture understood to have that meaning.  It doesn't matter which forms we use to convey this, any more than it matters which sounds we use to express a given concept in language.  But insofar as civility has a communicative function, it does matter that we use the same forms.  Someone who does not practice these forms is rude.  We can assume that his failure to comply reflects indifference to what the forms express (unless he is ignorant, as in the case of a foreigner).

 

A similar answer can be given to the complaint that the forms of civility are inauthentic. "What if I don't like the present Grandma gave me and I don't really feel any gratitude?  Am I not falsifying my feeling if I say thank-you nonetheless?"  The purpose of that thank-you is not to convey one's specific feelings about the gift, or the person who gives it.  Its purpose is to acknowledge that it was a gift, from an autonomous person, not something owed one by an underling.  (If Grandma wants more than this, and makes it clear that she really wants to know whether one liked the gift, then one should tell her, as tactfully as possible.) Civility, then, may be defined as _the expression -- chiefly through conventional forms -- of one's respect for the humanity and independence of others, and of one's intent to resolve conflicts peacefully_.

 

 

 

From Bing. Jimmy Wales · Net worth $10 million USD (2016)

Peter,

Jimmy Wales killed the Atlantis forum by not understanding how to make it work.

Later he sold out to the establishment for his money.

May he live long and prosper.

But his way is not my way.

I will not kill OL. Nor will I sell out.

Be well.

Michael

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9 hours ago, ThatGuy said:

Go google "Ready Reserves". Look at Google Maps. Look at the address.
#64



https://twitter.com/JemeleWilliams/status/1244012286882336769?s=20

TG,

I didn't understand this. Too cryptic and I didn't feel in a "Where is Wally?" mood.

:) 

But I did go to your link and it linked to one hell of an article by Praying Medic (from the comments, his name is Dave).

How President Trump Uses Concealment In the Silent War

Just a few quotes:

Quote

The deep state has had as its primary objective the subjugation of the world’s governments to its agenda. They understood that the United States could not be conquered militarily. Thus, a plan was developed to infiltrate our nation rather than invading it. They set out to replace patriotic voters with people who had no affinity for our culture and heritage and put in positions of power, corrupt people who would allow our government to be subverted.

Once President Trump understood this was the goal of his enemy, he determined to build a wall on the southern border as one way to prevent the infiltration. The pushback on the idea of building a wall by politicians is evidence that he had correctly identified one of their objectives. Trump knew Congress would not agree to fund a wall, so he came up with another way to do it.

. . .

If there were a way to legally build a wall without using Congressional funding, Trump would find it. Once he found it, he would need to do two things. He would need to recruit the electorate to support the construction of the wall, and he would need to conceal from his enemies his actual plans to do it.

During his rallies, Trump became notorious for inspiring crowds to chant, “Build that Wall!” The first goal was easily accomplished. He battled Congress for two years in what appeared to be an attempt to get them to approve funding for the wall. We now know that was never his actual plan. He anticipated that the swamp would resist the wall, so he planned to use the military budget to fund it and the Army Corps of Engineers to build it. To do so, he needed to declare a national emergency at the border. Declaring a national emergency gives the President sweeping legal authority to take whatever steps are deemed necessary to mitigate a crisis. He fought Congress over wall funding and, in the process, revealed their allegiance to drug cartels and human traffickers.

. . .

On January 4th, 2019, he said he was thinking about declaring a national emergency and using the military to build the wall. The following day, The New York Times published a scathing op-ed, claiming the idea was idiotic and unconstitutional. For the first two years of his presidency, Trump concealed his real plan because it allowed him to achieve the objective with little effective resistance to the plan.

. . .

A plan was put in place by the Obama administration to prevent Trump’s election, and once he was elected, to remove him from office. The Mueller investigation was intended to run the entire length of his first term in office. The goal was to keep Trump under constant suspicion of having engaged in criminal activity. As long as the public suspected he might have done something illegal, the Justice Department could not bring charges against members of the Obama administration without it looking like retaliation. 

. . .

That plan failed.

Next, they launched the impeachment plan. The goal of impeachment was to smear Trump with false allegations of corruption going into an election year, hurting his chances for re-election. A secondary goal was stalling for time in the hope of replacing Trump and Barr this November before John Durham’s investigation is complete. The impeachment hoax failed.

Enter the coronavirus. Although the pathogen itself is real, as I’ve written previously, the President’s enemies weaponized a series of news cycles about the pandemic. One objective was to cast Trump in a negative light by creating the appearance of a crisis and then portraying his handling of the crisis as incompetent. The media published sensationalized stories that created investor fear, which crashed the stock market. They also pushed a narrative that people must be quarantined, which put millions of people out of work and destroyed businesses.

. . .

If self-quarantine were stretched out long enough, it would lead to long delays in the normal functions of society. For example, many courts have not been in session during the pandemic. Would not a primary objective of a criminal be the avoidance of prosecution by any means necessary? The coronavirus itself accomplishes nothing without the self-quarantine angle. The pandemic is being used as a smokescreen. Two of its objectives are delaying the prosecution of criminals and removing Trump from office in November.

If corrupt people are using the coronavirus as a smokescreen, you know Trump is, too. 

. . .

Yesterday, the President signed an executive order authorizing the callup to active duty up to one million reservists from all branches of the military for a period not to exceed two years. This decision was made, ostensibly, in support of the administration’s response to the coronavirus. The pandemic will soon be on the downhill side of the curve. In a few months, it will only be a distant memory. The activation of reservists makes no sense in the context of the pandemic. Since we know Trump is likely concealing his real agenda, it’s uncertain what the reservists might actually be used for, but if I were the deep state, I would be terrified.

. . .

Trump is in a zero-sum game. There is only going to be one winner of this war. If he doesn’t utterly destroy the deep state, they will destroy him. If you think he’s not aware of that reality, you don’t know your President.

The whole article is worth reading.

Michael

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Atlantis was from the bottom up. The posters. Jimmy came along and tried  to be the top. He asked me and maybe some others to help run the place. We mostly departed for Yahoo Groups Atlantis 2. Nathaniel Branden had his own site there. They both lasted several years then petered out. Last fall Yahoo destroyed all those archives. 

Libertarian(?) Tim Star set up his pro-Iraqi war site on Yahoo at about that time (2003). I was against that war. Because of that war I became much more libertarian oriented while he went the other way. But I was and am grounded in basic Objectivist philosophical principles. I still consider libertarianism to be without lasting philosophical roots and Rand to be the proper successor to Lockean individual rights which this country is built on.

Rand refused to sanction libertarianism but was so ham-fisted about it she hurt Objectivism more than libertarianism. This was also on and about the split with Branden. She (and Branden) had made Objectivism (off Galt's speech) a top downer while libertarianism was essentially a bottom upper.

I say "was" because both Objectivism and libertarianism have gone sub rosa. How strongly they will re-manifest themselves consequent to this virus scare, which is going to change the world for good or evil, remains to be seen.

The key will be the role of technology.

--Brant

Atlantis was a libertarian site even though it had its Objectivists including the execrable Ellen Moore because dogmatists, like Ellen, had a hard time there, but nobody, as I imperfectly recall, ever asked for "civility" but that was okay with Ellen when Jimmy took over

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