ARI Watch

Chris Grieb

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A few “ARI Watch” style, laughs from the past? Peter

From: Keyser Soze To: Subject: ATL: Humor Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 14:50:51 -0700 (PDT) I found this message posted on another forum. it is totally hilarious.

Atlas Shrugged, Again. The Sequel. A man is laboring over an engine. Sheer determination has kept him working for days without sleep. His hands cannot work rapidly enough as he tries to bring into reality the idea that exists only in his mind. When the final parts are wrenched into position, he looks at the engine with affection and satisfaction before throwing the ignition switch. The engine revs to full throttle. Eddie Willers has motive power. Galt and Dagny are to be married. Francisco stands as Galt's best man. Dagny has defied tradition by not selecting a maid of honor. Instead, she too, has chosen a best man: Henry Rearden.

The governments of the world have collapsed, and small scale capitalism has filled the void. Soon an official system of government will be needed. The strikers return to the world, hoping to guide the people through a smooth transition toward a world-wide government based on a profound respect for individual rights. They begin to educate the people by distributing ideological information.

After their honeymoon, the Galts make their home in New York City. Galt answers a knock at his door one evening, and is delighted to discover that the visitor is a refreshingly enthusiastic, young engineering student named Nathalie Brennand. He invites her in and they discuss his work until early morning. When he invites her to return the following week, she asks if she may bring her friends. He agrees. A Friday night gathering begins to occur weekly. Dagny has abandoned the railroad industry. She can no longer compete with airline freight rates and has become complacent. She joins the Friday night gatherings to fight her boredom.

One morning Galt recognizes a familiar face on the crowded street. He rushes forward to reunite with his friend Eddie Willers. Eddie speaks of his ordeal in the desert, and of his new found interest in engines and engineering, which he has acquired since repairing the stranded locomotive. Galt invites him to join the Friday night gatherings. Eddie joins the group. He is a very slow learner, but highly enthusiastic. The group's mild disappointment with Eddie's lackluster intellect is balanced by their astonishment at the brilliance and creativity displayed by Nathalie Brennand. She has discovered a method by which to drastically reduce the size and energy  requirements of Galt's motor, while at the same time, increase the power of its output. Her method uses the basic science of Galt's motor, but replaces the static electrical energy source with a revolutionary concept that she has developed, Gravitational Field Manipulation.

The people of the world are clamoring for laissez-faire political leadership. Galt announces his candidacy for the presidency of the United States of The Whole World. He chooses as his running mate Nathalie Brennand. He also announces that she is to be considered his intellectual heir.

During their world-wide campaign tour, Galt and Nathalie begin a love affair. Galt informs Dagny of the affair, and demands that she must accept the situation if she is to be considered rational: a man of his ability and intellect cannot possibly be satisfied with one woman. She accepts his reasoning and gradually slips into further complacency and alcoholism.

Mere weeks before the election, Nathalie informs Galt that she has been having an affair with another man, and that she is in love with him. She has agreed to marry him. In a rage, Galt publicly denounces her as a traitor to the party, a betrayer of reason and science, and requires that she sign a public admission of her deviousness. He replaces her with Eddie Willers as his new running mate and intellectual heir.

The World Laissez-Faire Party splinters into several petty, bickering factions. The vote tally on election night reveals that Galt and Willers have been defeated by the Balanced Moderation Mixed Economy Party.

Dagny dies, and Galt spends his remaining years a recluse, occasionally accepting lecture and talk show invitations. He passes his time in a slow, bitter decline. After Galt's death, Eddie Willers publishes several compilations of Galt's notes and research, and continues to admonish splitters and betrayers. He demands allegiance to Galt's static electricity theory, and ridicules anyone who is willing to consider Gravitational Field Manipulation as a topic of legitimate scientific inquiry. It has some accurate points that are based on Galt's ideas, he states, but the rest is just kooky mysticism. "Who are you going to believe, John Galt's intellectual heir, or some inherently dishonest, second-hand floozy who misrepresented herself to Mr. Galt, and tricked him into having a brief yet unimportant friendship?" asks Willers.

Nathalie Brennand continues to explore her Gravitational Field Manipulation theory, and creates several new products, including a light-weight belt attachment and harness that allows people to fly. Eddie Willers claims that, "it's all probably done with mirrors and invisible wires." He spends his remaining years in a slow, bitter decline.

From: Michael Hardy To: Subject: ATL: Re: Humor Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 19:57:36 -0400 (EDT)  Keyser Soze's parody tacitly promotes the myth that Ayn Rand said Leonard Peikoff is her intellectual heir. So I'm using this as an excuse to raise again a point that unfortunately needs repetition:  That's a myth.  Peikoff himself, although he frequently calls himself Rand's intellectual heir, apparently doesn't say that ~she~ ever called him that.  I attended his Ford Hall Forum lecture in Boston this spring.  The man who introduced him said "he has been called" her intellectual heir, but didn't say who called him that. Mike Hardy

From: "M. Shane DeVault" Subject: ATL: Re: Humor Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 19:04:06 -0500. Mike Hardy writes: >Why is that interesting?  Did Rand actually grant Branden such permission?  Certainly she called him her "intellectual heir", but that was not a legality; it was rhetoric.

That is precisely why it would be interesting to discuss... If she *rhetorically* designated him as her intellectual heir, meaning that she said (which she did on many occasions) words to the effect of "This man is my intellectual equal, the keeper of the flame, the one to carry forth my ideas, etc...." can one *rescind* such a declaration? M. Shane DeVault 

From: "Ben  Lipstein" To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: The sinking of the Good Ship Leonard (was A word on Larry) Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2001 14:39:20 -0400. I thought your post was one of the few intelligent things I have read on this rather disappointing list. Not important if we agree. What it is important is that you speak with great insight and intelligence.

George Smith said: "Peikoff lacks the originality and personality of Ayn Rand, so his efforts to sustain the charismatic wing of the Objectivist movement have become increasingly strained and artificial, and liable to break apart at the seams. Thus, whereas Rand's charisma at least played a useful role (to some degree) in the early stages of the movement, Peikoff's second-hand "charisma" has no good consequences whatsoever, but is merely silly and destructive."

Very well said. If I am reading you right, you are saying Peikoff alienates the very people Rand attracted, the superior intellect of independent mind. Exactly my sentiments. The sinking ship sinks further. Andrew Taranto points out that the opposition often uses Peikoff as the generalized scapegoat for all of OB's ills, and I would agree. Objectivism is still filled with worshippers, people too ready to live off Rand.

From: Ari Cohen To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Peikoff, ARI Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2002 14:44:52 -0700 (PDT). IMHO, the worst thing to happen to the Objectivist world, after the death of Ayn Rand, was the ascendancy of Leonard Peikoff. Nonetheless, it occurred and one must deal with reality as it is, and not the way one wishes it to be. No doubt I must apologize for using words in less than their exact meanings, for I forgot I was talking to Objectivists, who many times, like computers only understand the exact literal meaning of a word or an entry, and not the larger, worldly context.

However, the truth is, at the end, when the smoke cleared LP was the only one left, and he "inherited" the throne, SO TO SPEAK, whether Ayn Rand intended this or not.

In the 1970's, when I was an active Objectivist, people referred to Peikoff as the heir apparent. Others referred to him as Son of Rand. At events, he was often seen with Rand, and appeared to be in charge of what took place. At the funeral in Valhalla, Peikoff gave the eulogy. He is the literary executor of Rand's estate. He controls her archives. He publishes the Ayn Rand Library series. He introduces her Journals and her Letters. His name appears on almost all of her books, either with an introduction or with notes. In his book, "Ominous Parallels" the favorable introduction is by Ayn Rand. It was Peikoff who donated the material to the Library of Congress, and it was to ARI that Michael Paxton went in order to produce his movie.

So whether there was an official coronation, or whether Ayn Rand knighted him at an official ceremony, is not the point. The point is Leonard Peikoff controls her books and material, and thus, whether anyone likes it or not, he has a monopoly over the name of Ayn Rand.

My original response was to Joe Duarte and his attempt to discount ARI and Leonard Peikoff as a branch of Objectivism. I view this as a large breech of reality and a self-defeating tactic. It is an attitude I have seen manifested amongst members of the open school, to varying degrees, and I view it as a tactic of weakness, and not something that will win the hearts and minds of the thinking world. Ari C.

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On 10/18/2007 at 10:05 PM, Mark said:

Michael makes much of welcoming me but soon is referring to my “ham-handed lopsided rhetoric” and “nonstop voluminous haranguing” etc as if reading such epithets will convince me to mend my ways.

He descends to the level of Robert Jones. My writing, Michael says, “borders on antisemitism.”

No, Michael, it is antisemitism.

Michel refers to ARI Watch as “bashing” – the word not only means severe criticism but connotes mindless and reckless criticism. He claims my writing “exaggerates too much” – rather vague that. I would say, along with Greybeard (thanks Greybeard) that it’s frequently restrained – and anyway ARI is so bad on some issues it would be hard to exaggerate.

On first reading I didn’t understand why Michael next digresses into a discussion of Jewish and Muslim culture. But we soon see why.



“I say this because ...”


Hold it right there. No he doesn’t. Israel does not represent Jewish culture (contrary to their propaganda), and not all Jews are Israelis (though they say something like that too). Michael continues:



“... I have detected a strong anti-Israel bias in your writing.”


Actually my disgust with the actions of Israel is as obvious as the Rock of Gibraltar. Michael would sail into the Mediterranean and with surprise declare: I have detected a big rock !

Note that my “bias” is not prejudice. I seek justice. After investigating, and getting over the “not perfect but the vanguard freedom” business, you’ll find that Israel is no ally of America. I elaborate on ARI Watch, replying to ARI with but a fraction of the articles ARI puts out promoting the contrary view.



“I am not a big fan of scapegoating-type rhetoric.”


Thus insinuating that the rhetoric of yours truly is “scapegoating.” The word is pejorative. By itself it’s just name-calling.



“Based on all this, I ... ask you a question. Do you have a pro-Muslim bias or are you affiliated with any kind of Islamic organization, or is ARI Watch?”


Michael’s question is not based on anything except the ridiculous notion that only a Muslim would critique Israel. Michael’s introductory phrase “Based on all this” makes his question a loaded one.

And why ask the question? It’s an arbitrary insinuation I made fun of in an earlier post. (On the other thread “The Effect by Mark ... on” post 23)



“I hope I have managed to convey that I favor speaking well of cultures on matters like achievement, and that includes the different Islamic cultures.”


This seeming concern for an alleged muslim’s sensibilities is, I suspect, only a way of saying yet again that ARI Watch looks like it was written by muslims.



“... despite the lapse I mentioned, I do find your standard of scholarship on ARI Watch generally pretty good ...”


OK, which is it, one lapse or riddled with errors?



“If you are interested in accuracy as a value ... .”


How shall I reply? Forget it Michael, I don’t value accuracy ? Stating the above premise is like beginning: If you aren’t beating your wife ... .

Another insinuation in the same vein: ARI Watch “would benefit greatly from using a fact-focused approach ... .” As if it uses some other approach.

Michael says he once wrote in my style. I didn’t know he wrote articles and have read only a few of his posts here, but maybe he flatters himself.

In his earlier post Michael claimed that in general ARI Watch makes things up. In his post considered here he insinuates several times (though once says otherwise) that ARI Watch is generally wrong. He refers to a plurality of errors. I trust even he will agree that his one alleged example – and presumably he put his best foot forward – is a very minor error if error it be.

There’s a mass of data on ARI Watch, hundreds of statements. Naturally I don’t think there are any factual errors but I will appreciate it if anyone brings any to my attention. I address Michael only substantive criticism in the next post.





One last thing. After all the insults, Michael has the fatuity to say:



“I hope you find value here and, please, make yourself at home.”


Who’s he trying to fool? Fortunately my home-life’s a lot more pleasant !


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On 10/18/2007 at 10:52 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


I could not have furnished a better example of the kind of rhetoric I deplore. You sure can speculate up a storm. But the following is serious:

You cannot preach antisemitism on OL. Do that on your own site or anywhere else. I will not host it. Personal insults ditto. This is the only warning. Future offensive texts and bigotry will be deleted without notice or explanation.

Greybird, not Greybeard.

Yeah, right. When you are wrong, you are not really wrong. The wrong one is actually the one who shows where you are wrong.

Gimme a break. This sounds like the worst of ARI. You can do better than that.



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On 10/25/2007 at 1:51 AM, Mark said:

Reply to Michael, continued:

The Tar-Baby reference is apt. For readers unfamiliar with American culture, a Tar-Baby is something which superficially might seem worth fighting but by its nature you can’t win against, you only get entangled deeper and deeper. It’s a trap. The word comes from one aspect of a story in the Uncle Remus series by Joel Chandler Harris:

Br’er Fox has it in for Br’er Rabbit, who always gets the better of him. Br’er Fox constructs a statue out of tar and turpentine he calls a Tar-Baby and places it by the roadside, then hides and waits. Br’er Rabbit comes along – a type A personality judging from previous stories – and, thinking the Tar-Baby a living creature, says hello. The Tar-Baby stands mute and Br’er Rabbit feels insulted at its lack of response. He becomes all worked up about this and finally starts hitting the Tar-Baby and gets his forepaws stuck in it. Then he kicks the Tar-Baby and gets his hindpaws stuck. Br’er Fox jumps out of hiding and gloats at finally catching Br’er Rabbit. (But Br’er Rabbit outwits him, yet again – described in the next story in the series.)

Can you imagine Br’er Fox’s reaction if Br’er Rabbit, instead of getting mad at the Tar-Baby, had ignored its churlish taciturnity, delivered a cheerful soliloquy, and walked on?

It really annoys the Israel worshippers.

If you must bump, bump this one too.

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I remember saying something along the lines of, Israel should not be a one religion in charge state. It should be like America and be a place where no religion is considered dominant. And no laws should be made for any religion’s teachings or demands. A few people didn’t like my secular, pro-freedom view.  

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22 hours ago, Peter said:

I remember saying something along the lines of, Israel should not be a one religion in charge state. It should be like America and be a place where no religion is considered dominant. And no laws should be made for any religion’s teachings or demands. A few people didn’t like my secular, pro-freedom view.  

"Pro-freedom" - for whom? When Jews are in the minority, i.e. everywhere,  they eventually don't fare very well.

Judaism is considered an 'ethno'-religion. Especially suiting detractors of Jews. (You can take the religion out of a jew, but you can't... etc).

Israelis have a large contingent of irreligious who consider themselves "Jewish" and are glad to be there despite the mildly irritating Orthodox rabbis.

What you propose in all innocence, losing their demographic majority, their ethno-religious identity, and original purpose of an independent state to provide a safe homeland, will lead to the end of that people.  

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RIGA, Latvia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin could quickly order an invasion of Ukraine if he had a pretext for doing so but that NATO allies stand ready to inflict heavy sanctions on Russia’s economy if that happens. end quote

I always think humanity is evolving and becoming more rational. We have ALL of history to evaluate before pursuing our current actions and giants like AR Watch. But then there is the new Putin Soviet Union and the old Communist China trying the destroy reason, freedom, and rationality. There is always at least one or more evil humans who gain power and then seek to destroy our evolutionary and mental step up from olden times.

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On 12/2/2021 at 2:01 AM, Peter said:

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin could quickly order an invasion of Ukraine if he had a pretext for doing so but that NATO allies stand ready to inflict heavy sanctions on Russia’s economy if that happens. end quote

I don’t think China will be threatening Taiwan until after the Olympics but on the news tonight I heard that China and Russia may coordinate their invasions of other countries. I am amazed Putin has never understood that the whole world despises aggression and the enslavement of people. I guess he doesn’t care that Russia may become the most hated country on earth . . . with few trading partners, or the fact that the military might of the rest of the world, is against him. Russia won’t get any support other than from a few pockets of the former Soviet Union. Evil is always out there, but I thought the World had become more civilized and decent. Peter     

From Nation World: Russia won't rule out military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela. A top Russian diplomat said the country wouldn't rule out several provocative military actions if tensions continued to rise.

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