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Posts posted by Dupin

  1. MisterSwig posted something on Facebook that is relevant here:


    The “lesser of two evils” means there is some good in Trump. Otherwise they would be equally evil. But in this case I see more good in Trump than evil. So it’s not even a case of the lesser evil. It’s a case between a flawed good and an evil.

    Videos are an inefficient way to get news and commentary but this 20 minute video – skipping commercials – by Rudy Giuliani is worth the extra time.  Biden isn't just evil in the sense of evil politics, he is evil in the sense of corrupt as hell:
    How Joe Biden Got Millions in Foreign Bribes
    October 23rd 2020

    Skimpy prose comment by Paul Craig Roberts:  NPR, CNN, NYT, Wa-Po, MSNBC, Twitter, Facebook, Google Presstitutes Covering Up Biden Scandals by Refusing to Report on Them


  2. Eiuol,

    “How do you know that kneeling on someone's neck doesn't interfere with breathing?”

    The windpipe, which is fairly rigid by itself, is well-sheathed by muscle and tendon on the right and left sides of the neck.  For a muscular man like Floyd very much so.  

    The type of restraint used on Floyd is taught in many police departments and it is explicitly authorized by the MPD.  American police departments began learning it from the Israelis, traveling to Israel to train.

    I agree that this form of restraint should rarely be used.  It can be dangerous if a lot of pressure is applied.  The police officer in the video looks between bored and worried, waiting for the ambulance that he or one of the other cops had called.  He doesn’t appear to be applying much pressure.

    I know there is a lot of police brutality but I don’t think that this case is an example.  Seems to me the police acted with restraint considering Floyd’s mental condition and that he was resisting arrest.

    A cop’s analysis of the full video can be found by searching:
    "bob peele" floyd
    (The author will be prejudiced in favor of the police but in any case he deserves an ear.)


    1.  A “choke hold” uses pressure to the front of the neck.   

    2. Pressure  applied to *both* sides of the neck will interfere with blood flow to the brain.  In wrestling it’s called the “sleeper hold”; you apply the edges of your open hands to the sides of your opponent’s neck. (Pressure to just one side has little effect because upstream the carotid arteries share a cross artery; in a way two, forming a horizontal ring at the base of the skull.)  Unfortunately it’s also called the “sleeper choke hold” which is confusing.  (I’m not into wresting, I read about it during my investigation of the death of James Forrestal, who had been the first U.S. Secretary of Defense.)


  3. Eiuol,

    Even considerable pressure on the side of the neck doesn't interfere with breathing, and the office appears to be applying light pressure or even just touching.  What you see in the video is a restraint technique, not a choke hold.

    Also, recall that Floyd complained of having trouble breathing before the police placed him on the ground.  In fact they had Floyd in the police car and took him out at his own request and allowed him to lie on the ground.  But they had to restrain him.  This was an arrest that Floyd had resisted.  Furthermore he was under the influence of drugs and might harm others or himself. 

    Again, what would you have done other than what the police did:  call an ambulance and medics, and restrain Floyd somehow or other until they arrived.


  4. 3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

    Without any medical training whatsoever, one resuscitation tactic is "not kneeling on someone for eight minutes". 

    According to the medical report the kneeling didn’t apply enough pressure to do any damage.  Your complaint amounts to:   The cops did nothing but wait for the ambulance and medics that they had summoned.  

    What else were they supposed to do?  What would you have done?


  5. Ninth Doctor,

    Peikoff urged voting for the Democrat (Kerry) in the 2004 presidential election (that’s when he made his infamous “apocalyptic bad” remark) and a straight Democratic ticket in the 2006 Congressional election.  I’ll add that second part to the footnote, thanks.

    The archive.org server hosting Peikoff.com’s 2006 page is down at the moment.  This, from CapMag, will do as well:
    Peikoff is a smart guy, but ... well, at times what an idiot.

    The footnote is (now was) wrong about voting a straight Democratic ticket, that was in 2006 as you point out.   I fixed it, thanks a lot.

  6. Easy Truth,

    You write:
    “... [Trump] has replaced the previous deep state with his own deep state.”

    Previous?  Replaced?  The Deep State continues to very much exist.

    Trump’s administration is in every way better than Obama’s.  His biggest problem has been brought on by himself.  Perversely, he has surrounded himself by his own enemies.

    Our so-called intelligence agencies are corrupt and not to be believed.  I don’t know anything about Russia’s.

    Comparing Trump to Mao, or his actions to a Maoist revolution, is something Yaron Brook might say.  It’s absurd, a prime example of TDS.

    “Are you arguing that Trump’s immigration promises should have been kept?”  (Scare quotes around “should” in the original.)

    Not arguing, stating.  There are good arguments on ARI Watch, and you can find others by Lawrence Auster and Peter Brimelow on the Internet.

    I’m in the process of packing up and moving.  The computer gets boxed this evening.

  7. Easy Truth,
    Most Americans (excluding Third World immigrants) want a more anti-immigration stand from their government.  The tough job market is one reason but only one.  That Trump delivered only part of what he promised on that issue during his last campaign is a liability for him how.

    Though Trump has been a disappointment he has done some good things.  Probably the most important is that his administration made the existence of the “Deep State” – or whatever you want to call corrupt rogue bureaucrats and those who pull their strings – public knowledge.  And he has been slowly – too slowly – chipping away at it.


    As with his immigration policies, his two Supreme Court appointments were nothing to write home about but at least they were far better than what we would have gotten under Hillary Clinton.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg probably won’t make it through another presidential term so a Biden presidency will affect that branch of government for a generation or two.

    The article alluded to in the original post is
    Biden Must Win or America is Doomed
    It quotes most of the pro-Biden speech that Brook made on his show (link in the original post).


  8. If anyone is still interested in the goings on at the Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook has come out strongly in support of Biden for President: 
    Yaron Brook Show

    The article “Biden is Our Only Hope” comments on this in detail.  You can find it by  searching on
    biden yaron "christian right"
    using Google (Bing and DuckDuckGo won’t work); “christian right” must be in quotes.

    You will learn that after Brook’s comments it became known that Leonard Peikoff had donated $250 to Trump’s campaign.  So far Brook hasn’t commented on having once said that no “Trump apologist” should call himself an Objectivist.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.

  11. 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.)



  12. 1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

    ... [Trump] has caused Iran to become more belligerent and violent toward us, making us appear more justified in escalating our responses.

    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.


  13. 13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:


    If lack of enforcement is the issue, then Trump is at fault, he is in charge.

    Is the argument "vote for Trump because he will enforce the law even thought he failed to do it all this time"?

    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. 

  14. 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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? 









  18. 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.


  19. On 11/5/2019 at 6:19 PM, Wayne said:

    Rand, to my knowledge, was always happy when Republicans won the presidency.

    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”).


  20. 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.


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