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Posts posted by Dupin

  1. 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.



  2. 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."


  3. MisterSwig,

    You should be a lawyer, LOL.

    Objectivist or not he sure can spout Objectivist boilerplate:

    “... 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 ...

    “[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.

  4. 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.


  5. 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.


    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.


    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):


  6. 17 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

    ... it isn't some super secret thing. ...



    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.


  7. 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.”


  8. 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.



  9. 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. 

  10. dream_weaver,

    Carl Biddle wrote an article about a tribute to Carl Barney, saying it was wonderful.  The article featured a photo of Barney and Richard Minns being quite chummy:
    Yet Richard Minns is a truly awful man.  If morality means anything no decent person would want to be associated with him.  Biddle and Barney, and others in Objectivist circles, are making a big mistake.  On the other hand it may not be a mistake; it's hard to believe they don't know about him from the Internet.



  11. dream_weaver,

    I don’t know why you speak in a riddle. In the Yukon you pan for gold nuggets in the mud of rivers.  If you found a gold nugget – something that might be one – you would examine it very closely.

    Maybe you intend a metaphor something like this:  If you pan for interesting facts surrounding the TOS article and find something bizarre, you should examine it very closely.

    Well, someone has.  If you search on “richard minns”  you can find the article “Who Is Richard Minns?” and it is a pretty thorough look at the case.


  12. This British article reviews and event in London 2016 that featured Yaron Brook and Richard Minns.  
    It’s the usual hatchet job on Rand – Wikipeidia says the author is an avowed Leftist – but this part made me perk up:


    In a biography passed around on the evening, Minns is described as a former boxer, doctor, journalism professor, athlete and health spa owner. One detail that is notably omitted is that Minns, who has a notable Texan drawl, fled the US in the 1980s when his ex-lover Barbra Piotrowski was shot by hired men who failed to kill her but inflicted wounds that left her wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life. At one point, Piotrowski – who has since changed her name to Janni Smith – maintained that the men who were jailed were  assassins hired by Minns. He was eventually arrested for multiple accounts of passport fraud and deported, though the damages claim was overturned on appeal.

    Weirder and Weirder.

  13. The first sentence of Craig Biddle’s article is:


    I recently posted a tribute to Carl Barney by Richard Minns and the Ayn Rand Center Israel, which honored Carl for his enormous, decades-long contributions to the advancement of Objectivism, free minds, free markets, and capitalism.

    I’d never heard of Richard Minns.  Searching on him you get a lot of newspaper articles and court records about his time in Houston, assuming it’s the same guy – which would be really, really weird if it is.

    Anyone here have firsthand knowledge of him?


  14. Thanks for the link.

    Ten different vaccines in the first year?  The author forestalls common sense with this gem:
    “For some parents, common sense tells them that this is too many, and they should be spread out. Of course, common sense also tells us the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth.”
    This is as much an argument as:  “Common sense tells us that eating sand is a bad diet, but then common sense also tells us that the earth is flat and the ...”

    Anyone who objects to anything about vaccines the author lumps in with “anti-vaxer.”  That’s why I like the first article I linked to by Dr. Meryl Nass.  She doesn’t say she is anti-vaccination, she asks what there might be to criticize about the promoted vaccination program.


  15. Dr. Meryl Nass has an article on Pertussis.

    Since A Shot in the Dark came out, and I think partly in response to the splash it made, the Pertussis part of DPT was changed to what they had been using in Europe for some time and it is less dangerous today.  From reading the book, the evidence of an adverse reaction to the DPT vaccine in the earlier years was a persistent, inconsolable, single pitched scream, and the cause and result was brain damage.

    One thing that will stay with me after reading that book is that vaccine manufacturers cannot be trusted.

    If a child is otherwise healthy, whooping cough is not a major disease.  Furthermore, should the child get whooping cough, there are better ways of treating it today.  And even yesteryear, without treatment, it almost always was not life threatening.  


  16. Objectivist oldtimers may remember Dr. Jane Orient.  ARI featured her prominently in the 1990s for her writing against various regulations restricting doctors, especially regarding Medicare.  She is still concerned about his, for example Medicare for Bernie.

    She ialso opposes making vaccination mandatory.  See for example:
    Statement on Federal Vaccine Mandates.

    Two other doctors with something to say on the side of skepticism are Dr. Meryl Nass:
    Missing, hidden and destroyed adverse event data. Who vaccinates?

    and the lawyer Patricia Finn.  She has a website and you can look her up with a search engine and in YouTube for more.

    Gus van Horn is uninformed on the subject of vaccination.  I first got interested in the subject after reading A Shot in the Dark: Why the P in the DPT Vaccination May be Hazardous to Your Child's Health, the P standing for Pertussis (whooping cough).



  17. The “Woman who sleeps” article paints with too broad a brush:


    “... there remains no biological explanation of how non-ionizing radiation could cause health effects. The low-frequency radiation from phones, televisions, Wi-Fi, radios, computers, and remote controls is too weak to blast ions off of molecules and atoms.”

    Intense EMF, such as emitted by a cell phone transmitting antenna clapped to the side the head, could do harm in other ways.

    Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health


    In 1960, [Allan] Frey, then 25, was working at General Electric's Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University when he was contacted by a technician whose job was to measure the signals emitted by radar stations. At the time, Frey had taken an interest in the electrical nature of the human body, specifically in how electric fields affect neural functioning. The technician claimed something incredible: He said he could "hear" radar at one of the sites where he worked.

    Frey traveled to the facility and stood in the radar field. "And sure enough, I could hear it, too," he said, describing the persistent low-level hum. Frey went on to establish that the effect was real—electromagnetic (EM) radiation from radar could somehow be heard by human beings. The "hearing," however, didn't happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as EM waves interacted with the brain's cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. This idea came to be known as the Frey effect ...

    The waves that Frey was concerned with were those emitted from the non-ionizing part of the EM spectrum—the part that scientists always assumed could do no outright biological damage. When Frey began his research, it was assumed that the only way microwaves could have a damaging biological effect was if you increased the power of their signals and concentrated them like sword points—to the level where they could cook esh. In 1967, this resulted in the first popular microwave oven, which employed microwave frequencies at very high power, concentrated and contained in a metal box. Aside from this engineered thermal effect, the signals were assumed to be safe.

    Allan Frey would help pioneer the science that suggested otherwise. ... he found what appeared to be grave nonthermal effects from microwave frequencies—the part of the spectrum that belongs not just to radar signals and microwave ovens but also, in the past fifteen years, to cell phones. ... Frey tested microwave radiation on frogs and other lab animals, targeting the eyes, the heart, and the brain, and in each case he found troubling results. In one study, he triggered heart arrhythmias. Then, using the right modulations of the frequency, he even stopped frog hearts with microwaves—stopped the hearts dead.

    Frey observed two factors in how microwaves at low power could affect living systems. First, there was the carrier wave: a frequency of 1,900 megahertz, for example, the same frequency of many cell phones today. Then there was the data placed on the carrier wave—in the case of cell phones, this would be the sounds, words, and pictures that travel along it. When you add information to a carrier wave, it embeds a second signal—a second frequency—within the carrier wave. This is known as modulation. A carrier wave can support any number of modulations, even those that match the ­extra-low frequencies at which the brain operates (between eight and twenty hertz). It was modulation, Frey discovered, that induced the widest variety of biological effects. But how this happened, on a neuronal level, he didn't yet understand.

    In a study published in 1975 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Frey reported that microwaves pulsed at certain modulations could induce "leakage" in the barrier between the circulatory system and the brain. Breaching the blood-brain barrier is a serious matter: It means the brain's environment, which needs to be extremely stable for nerve cells to function properly, can be perturbed in all kinds of dangerous ways. Frey's method was rather simple: He injected a fluorescent dye into the circulatory system of white rats, then swept the ­microwave frequencies across their bodies. In a matter of minutes, the dye had leached into the confines of the rats' brains.

    Frey says his work on radar microwaves and the blood-brain barrier soon came under assault from the government. Scientists hired and funded by the Pentagon claimed they'd failed to replicate his findings, yet they also refused to share the data or methodology behind their research ... For more than fifteen years, Frey had received almost unrestricted funding from the Office of Naval Research. Now he was told to conceal his blood-brain-barrier work or his contract would be canceled.

    That was written in 2010.  In more recent cell phone models, some anyway, the antenna is at the mouth end instead of the ear end, presumably so it will not be so close to the head.


  18. What 2946 calls the reversed situation – first people then station – always happens.  Broadcast station investors aren’t, to use a favorite word of 2046’s, dumb.  They don’t build and operate stations in no man’s land and wait for the day when lots of people have moved to the area to make money.

    Rand worried about the radio wave infringement question so it probably isn’t absurd for us to worry about it too.

    What other justification could there be for a universal or automatic easement for radio waves other than that the ether is owned in common by everyone and the government parcels out frequencies in their name.  In practice that‘s what is done, so we’re just arguing about nomenclature.

    In another thread MisterSwig makes the case for a valid concept of public property, a public property based on private property that uncorrupted by Leftism.  It applies to very few property types:  the ether, land not privately owned, high airplane space.  Maybe there are other types but I can’t think of any.

    In this thread MisterSwig asks why Rand didn’t realize we need this idea of true public property.  One conjecture, and of course we can only conjecture, is that she felt stuck with the Leftist interpretation of the phrase.  She ended up using the idea in the particular case of the ether, but would not call it public property.

    We need to realize that we own the public property – streets, parks, government buildings and so forth – because it gives us the right to restrict immigration as if we were restricting who can enter our homes.  This is our country, something lots of Objectivists don’t understand.

  19. After describing the relevant difference between a radio broadcast station and a plot of land I tried to sum it up with

    “A broadcast station doesn’t have the same level of existence as land does.”

    Admittedly the idea of “levels of existence” won’t bear close inspection but it’s good enough for poetry.

    2016 isn’t content to call it dumb, it is “literally dumb,” and yours truly is “someone not fit to be reasoned with,” LOL.  How 2046 can pour it on.

    Addressing myself to others than 2046, if my poetic phrase offends just consider my description of the difference and leave it at that.  The point is that it’s a significant qualitative difference relevant to the analogy I had made and I think MisterSwig was making.

    In any case I set that difference aside and wrote that

    “... if the radio waves are undetectable without an appropriate radio receiver and otherwise harmless, I think the automatic easement, where the ether is viewed as public property, is the solution.”

    That is, the solution to justifying radio stations.  Then I quoted MisterSwig who I thought said it rather well.  2016 finds this incoherent.  He explains (I interpolate some unstated assumptions) that if a broadcaster homesteads a wavelength when no one owns property between him and his listeners, he owns that wavelength.  If someone then:

    “... builds his house [in between] and ... complain that he's being ‘penetrated’ with the radio emission ... the common law will regard him as having ‘come to the nuisance.’ [That is, it’s his own fault, the radio waves were there first.] It's kind of like an easement, yes. This is kind of the whole point of the Rand essay. However, at no point, does something called ‘the public’ own the radio emission, or the air, or anything at all.”

    The situation 2046 posits is so rare that I doubt it ever happened and ever will happen.  In the real world many people and their property already surround a new radio station.  It’s a legal maxim that law shouldn’t be based on “hard cases.”


  20. Suppose you live on a farm in the boondocks.  A man, a rather mean man, manages to buy up parcels of land that together form a ring around your farm.  Then he starts charging you a toll to cross over to and from your farm.  

    A more realistic example would be that the man buys up a long strip of property tangent to yours so you either pay the toll or go many miles out of your way going around the strip.

    In either case though, you have a common law right to access your property more or less directly, and to actualize that right you apply to the local government for what is called an easement, which entitles you to cross over the mean guy’s property at designated points even though you don’t own them.

    The easement is based on the fact that you simply must have access your property.

    The radio broadcaster is like the farm owner, he wants to send his electromagnetic waves to people far away who want to receive them, yet  various people’s ethereal property is in the way, like the mean man’s ring or strip was.  So the broadcaster ought to be given an automatic easement for his radiation to cross over everyone’s property.

    The analogy is pretty good but has a weak spot.  In the farm case access is absolutely essential to the farm’s value to its owner, and furthermore the land of the farm is “just there,” always has been and always will be.  In the broadcaster’s case too, the ability to broadcast is essential to the station’s value.  However the broadcast station is an ephemeral affair, something artificially constructed.  It could just as well have not been constructed, or having been constructed can be taken down again.  A broadcast station doesn’t have the same level of existence as land does.  

    It may not be a slam dunk, but if the radio waves are undetectable without an appropriate radio receiver and otherwise harmless, I think the automatic easement, where the ether is viewed as public property, is the solution.  As MisterSwig says:

    “... when people form a community or society ... [they] must agree to share some things which come along with the nature of a properly functioning city. And we have learned, through trial and error, that these things can include publicly claimed lands and spaces.”

    Not to mention the ether.

    If I understand MisterSwig’s discussion of Rand’s article, she dimly recognized that radio broadcasting presents a property rights problem.  At first she just ignored it and attacked the idea of public property without recognizing that there is a valid, property rights based version.  Then she ended up implicitly using the valid version without recognizing it – to our detriment when it comes to the problem of immigration.

    It seems to me that an automatic, universal, easement for broadcasting radio waves requires public ownership of the ether.  I haven't thought about it much though.


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