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Everything posted by Dupin

  1. Just so it is clear, Strictly’s first “Dupin said” quote-box contains a quote of Bernstein, or to be precise, of me quoting Bernstein. Bernstein says that rewarding good is more important than punishing evil. Very well, but this remark is part of Bernstein’s reply to the claim that Barney is a liar and a crook. He made ii after saying that Barney’s donations to ARI and TOS etc. had greatly benefited Obectivism. It sounds like even Bernstein thought he hadn’t adequately addressed the claim that Barney is a liar and a crook, otherwise what was the point of saying it is unimportant compared to Barney’s donations? That is why I said Bernstein’s position amounted to: Maybe Barney is a liar and a crook, but look at the millions he’s given to ARI, TOS, etc. spreading goodness everywhere. (And I noted that Biddle and Bernstein received some of Barney’s money.) I was being sarcastic about spreading goodness. Strictly asks: “.... what would constitute a moral analysis and assessment of the current situation?” As if to say I hadn't done it yet. But is lying moral? Is working the government welfare racket à la Barney moral? Strictly considers the case where a man gives money to ARI and TOS, and asks if this is moral. Mostly not. The villainy of ARI and TOS should be apparent. For example, since we were speaking of Bernstein, not long ago TOS published an article of his that praised Nat Turner to the skies. Yes, that Nat Turner. Strictly says that in order to judge whether giving to ARI / TOS is right or wrong we must ask, among other questions: “Do the actions, of ARI and TOS, the videos, conferences, books, scholarships etc. working to spreading Objectivism, all act to promote the man's life or not?” This is a loaded question. The load, the false premise, is that they are working to spread Objectivism. By and large they are not. Strictly asks if supporting ARI / TOS promotes life. Again, by and large it doesn’t. Besides “Valedictorians of Yesteryear” – an article on ARIwatch that analyzes Bernstein’s bizarre Nat Turner essay – read “Who Is Richard Minns?” (both easily found using a search engine), then talk about ARI / TOS promoting life! Strictly’s own answer to “Does supporting ARI / TOS promote life?” is this master statement: “That clearly depends upon whether the philosophy of Objectivism is life promoting or not.” He confidently takes it for granted that ARI / TOS promote the philosophy of Objectivism when to a very large extent they do not.
  2. dream_weaver, Thanks for bringing that paragraph to my attention. I thought it was perverse when I read it before but didn’t analyze it in detail. Bernstein spends the bulk of his essay arguing 1. When Barney was involved in (the Church of) Scientology it was a beneficial organization and movement, and 2. Barney’s college’s are beneficial too. But Bernstein seems uncomfortable with this because he ends by saying, in effect, none of it matters. In the following, ask yourself what was bad, what harmed life – and why does Bernstein refer to it in those negative terms? “... it is more important to reward the good than it is to punish the bad. That which promotes life is vastly more important than that which harms it.” In other words: Maybe Barney is a liar and a crook, but look at the millions he’s given to ARI, TOS, etc. spreading goodness everywhere. (Including Biddle’s and Bernstein’s pockets.) Bernard Madoff and Jeffrey Epstein gave millions to charity so at the end of the day they were good men? If the charity had been ARI or TOS? Apparently Bernstein’s position is this: When judging a man and his career we are to turn a blind eye to evil and see only good (he considers ARI and TOS good). According to him this is an “uplifting principle of the Objectivist ethics.” As MisterSwig pointed out, it is no such thing. The quote from Galt’s speech provided by dream-weaver supports that it is not: “... to withhold your contempt from men's vices is an act of moral counterfeiting, and to withhold your admiration from their virtues is an act of moral embezzlement.” Rather like the pithy line attributed to Aristotle: “Justice consists in loving and hating aright.” Bernstein not only withholds his contempt from Barney’s vices, past and present, he denies the vices exist. More than that, he turns them into virtues! He loves Barney, through and through. His essay is one monumental act of injustice. Denouncing evil is the counterpart of praising good; they are two sides of the same coin of moral currency. In MisterSwig’s terms, punishing evil is part of rewarding the good and vice versa.
  3. Andrew Bernstein, long on the Objectivist scene and these days a contributing editor of Craig Biddle’s The Objective Standard, posted "A Tribute to Carl Barney" on his personal blog. A friend of Bernstein, who hates the Church of Scientology, tried to get him to take it down, to no avail. If you search on the three B’s: ... Biddle Bernstein Barney using Google you’ll find a recent review of Bernstein’s tribute. (Bing and DuckDuckGo don’t have it indexed.)
  4. Appear to whom? Machiavelli would have been proud of Trump. “us” means Americans in the first instance, the U.S. government in the second. Israel may be the ally of our corrupt government but it is no friend of us.
  5. Though Trump is nominally in charge not only the Democrats but his own party do their best to undermine his immigration policies, as do rogue judges, the Kritarchy. The argument, mine anyway, is this: bad as Trump is about some things (for example Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, so far) he is fairly good in absolute terms and great compared to his opposition.
  6. I'm slow to understand. Willfully failing to enforce welfare laws is giving welfare to illegal aliens. In either case the illegal alien gets the cash. That's what he cares about, and we care that we're forced to pay for it. This reminds me of a debate back in 2003: Did Bush lie when he sold the public on invading Iraq? Con: He personally believed the falsehoods. Pro: He willfully refused to examine the evidence.
  7. Eiuol, More and more we live under what Sam Francis called Anarcho-Tyranny where the law is enforced or not to our detriment. “[W]e refuse to control real criminals (that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny).” What does it matter if on the books it is illegal for illegal aliens to get welfare when the government makes little effort to enforce the law.
  8. Trump may not be a thorough-going capitalist but viewed against Bernie Saunders and OAC he is much more a capitalist and much less a socialist than they are. This is so obvious I don’t know what to say to explain it further. Do you want your tax-deferred retirement accounts confiscated? Obama was laying the groundwork for it and OAC and friends might well go down that road. I doubt such a thing would enter Trump’s mind, crazy as he sometimes appears to be.
  9. How naive can one get? One example among many categories of fraud.
  10. Ali, If your best friend by himself invented a practical quantum computer wouldn't you be proud of him? The answer is not: I had no hand in the invention therefore I can have no pride in him. "Pride in someone" is a useful expression. Would you take all the camaraderie out of life? Camaraderie sounds like communism therefore it is evil?
  11. MisterSwig, I suspect – don’t know – that Barney organized this get-together to give the impresstion that Peikoff believes in him, that is, believes his story about the Church of Scientology being a benevolent enterprise when he ran five missions for nine years, and that Peikoff believes he runs his colleges honestly now. It looks like either Peikoff does believe these things or he isn’t paying attention. He has some excuse today for not paying attention because he’s quite up in years but he had no excuse 14 years ago when he allowed Barney on ARI’s board of directors. That was four years before Peikoff had McCaskey thrown out.
  12. MisterSwig, There’s something you might not know about. Leonard Peikoff recently celebrated his 86th birthday, and look where: https://CarlBarney.com/2019/10/21/leonard-peikoffs-86th-birthday-celebration/ (By the way, at least one of the statues you see in the video is by Richard Minns.)
  13. There were two exceptions, not that she wanted the Democrat to win, she just didn’t like the Republican. First Eisenhower in the elections of 1952 and 1956 (his Democratic opponent in both elections was Adlai Stevenson). She abstained from voting both times She hated Eisenhower for allowing the Soviet army into Eastern Europe. Second, Reagan in the election of 1980. She didn't like him for his betrayal of Ford in the previous election, for his exaggerating the power of the Soviet Union, and for his support of a national (not just state by state) ban on abortion. About Nixon, even in 1976 she said he was a “great improvement” over several earlier presidents “including Eisenthower.” (1976 Q&A of Peikoff’s lecture series “Philosophy of Objectivism”).
  14. Consider O.J. Simpson. Even after being found innocent at trial (incompetent judge, incompetent defense attorney, jury with an agenda) there is no question he was the murderer. Leonard Peikoff wrote a brief article in Tracinski’s now defunct The Intellectual Activist at the time decrying the verdict. That Minns wasn’t even questioned in the Piotowski Affair says more about Houston Police Department corruption than it does about his innocence. Minns was the prime mover in the shooting, the trigger-man behind the trigger-man. Now that Peikoff is retired he is not paying attention to what is happening in the very organization he founded.
  15. Well said, MisterSwig. It is why those in the Objectivist intellectual movement, especially those who want to promote its concept of egoism (and even if they disagree among themselves on some other matters) must separate themselves from Barney and Minns and call them out as the phonies that they are.
  16. Perhaps we can all agree on this: ARI is the sort of organization that promotes the likes of Carl Barney (predatory Church of Scientology honcho turned government fraudster) and Richard Minns (self-righteous murderer, braggart, egomaniac, and textbook psychopath).
  17. dream_weaver, It's pretty obvious. Independent, unorganized, intellectuals promoting the best of Rand. Rand in The Objectivist, May 1968, refers to “a philosophical or intellectual movement, in the sense of a growing trend among a number of independent individuals sharing the same ideas.” She approves of such an intellectual movement but not an organized movement (like ARI, which of course she doesn't mention explicitly not having a crystal ball). Rand in The Objectivist, June 1968: “I regard the spread of Objectivism through today’s culture as an intellectual movement – i.e. a trend among independent individuals who share the same ideas – but not as an organized movement."
  18. MisterSwig, You should be a lawyer, LOL. Objectivist or not he sure can spout Objectivist boilerplate: hayhillgallery·com/minns/atlas1.htm “... because of increasing government controls to establish a state of total collectivism, the weight of freeloaders is too much [for Atlas] to bear. ... Atlas breaks out of the suffocating World of Collectivism. ... After Atlas is free of the world of Collectivism, he will then create his own perfect world ..., conceived in freedom of individual rights and embodied in laissez-faire capitalism ... artlyst·com/whats-on-archive/richard-minns-meet-the-artist-evening-hay-hill-gallery “[Atlas] challenges us to exert our individual force, shatter the state of total collectivism and live freely. This struggle of individualism versus collectivism is not a political ideal but concerns a man’s soul. The idea mirrors Ayn Rand’s beliefs that the individual is of supreme value, the “fountainhead” of creativity, and that selfishness, properly understood as ethical egoism, is a virtue.” Properly understood! Express your disgust in 25 words or less.
  19. dream_weaver, Ever since Rand wrote The Fountainhead her defenders have had to deal with people claiming that she advocated “walking over and stomping on anybody you don’t like” – something along those lines. And now ARI, TOS, TAS promote someone who does just that, and who claims Rand had a “profound influence” on his life, and who calls himself an “Ayn Rand archetype” – see any of the three links at the end of my last post. To repeat, a propaganda disaster.
  20. dream_weaver, I’m not sure what an Objectivist sculptor is either but that’s what the TAS CEO called Minns. When I wrote “his history should be of interest to people interested in Objectivism” I should have said “the Objectvist movement.” The murder-for-hire and Minns' subsequent history is a disaster from a propaganda point of view, that is, the spread of Rand’s ideas. Eiuol, If you investigate this affair I don’t think you would say Minns “skirts moral norms.” He hired a hit man who pumped four .44 caliber rounds into Barabara Piotrowski’s back. Who or what has pretty good marks? Apparently Minns sees himself as a Roarkian hero hated for his virtue. I don’t see the point in trying to enter into his self-deception. MisterSwig, Where did you unearth the “Artist as Atlas” article? I’d very much like to have a link. Minns claims to be an Objectivist and even boasts that he is a Rand hero. See for example (bracketing the dot in dot com so as not to increase the search ranking): hayhillgallery[.]com/minns/atlas3.htm hayhillgallery[.]com/minns/atlas1.htm artlyst[.]com/whats-on-archive/richard-minns-meet-the-artist-evening-hay-hill-gallery
  21. Eiuol, Indeed, it is very well known. An acquaintance who lived in the Houston area at the time said the hit and the aftermath was big news throughout the entire state of Texas. (Minns was quite well known because of his health spa business.) Some people in each of ARI, TOS, and TAS have at one time or another promoted Minns. They have no excuse for not knowing his history. Everybody looks up people on the Internet. Some of them must have found out, and the case is so horrendous they would have told the others about it. Anyway, if they are reading this discussion they know now.
  22. dream_weaver, Richard Mimms presents himself as, and some people in Objectivist circles have called him, an “Objectivist sculptor.” His history should be of interest to people interested in Objectivism. Correct, there is no statute of limitation on murder. But now Minns is 90 or pushing 90. He got away with it as much as matters. That the HPD didn’t touch him speaks to the corruption in the HPD. Read the two court case links in my last post. Even the judges thought the HPD was corrupt. From the first: “The State’s evidence shows that, in July, 1980, appellant [Bell] asked at least two people to kill complainant [Barbara] at the behest of Minns.” From the second: “This is a disturbing case-both in terms of what happened to Piotrowski and how members of the Houston Police Department (“HPD”) conducted themselves before and after the shooting. Piotrowski was shot and rendered a paraplegic by a hit man procured by her ex-boyfriend, Richard Minns. The evidence connected members of the Houston police and fire departments to Minns and his hired investigator Dudley Bell in acts that harassed and threatened Piotrowski before the shooting.”
  23. dream_weaver, He wasn't even questioned about it ! During the entire investigation the police left him completely alone.
  24. dream_weaver, It’s true that Ivery (the trigger man) and Steen (the get away driver) were convicted and sent to prison. As was Robert Anderson who hired them. As was Dudley Bell who hired HIM. And Richard Minns hired Bell. He was the “prime mover,” the man who pulled the trigger on the process that ended with four bullets in Barbara’s back. See http://www.leagle.com/decision/19891558768sw2d79011469 and https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1120575.html
  25. Eiuol, It is the sculptor Richard Minns whose middle initial is L, good grief. The reason he ultimately won the lawsuit is that he fled the country when it was brought and stayed out. His claim that he couldn’t attend court because of a medical condition is ridiculous. Barbara, the victim, was not rich. I doubt she could afford to continue fighting. Both the criminal and civil aspect was a travesty of justice. This was a cold blooded murder-for-hire and Minns got away with it. Read more about it than the link you posted. ADDED: Search on richard minns ayn rand and read him saying at an exhibition of his "Atlas Shrugged" sculptures in London that he is an Ayn Rand hero. It is beyond disgusting.
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