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Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence

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I know this continues a sidebar from the main topic, but I just wanted to thank Harrison for the link to that Bio on Youtube. That is pretty remarkable for only 20 minutes. I've three minor complaints. The use of photo scenes were a big plus, but the photos of Rand herself were sometimes out of synch with the period the presenter was talking about. Secondly, the medium does seem to allow for a way to tell the sources of one's biographical information in the presentation point-by-point, so on some particulars, I'm left in the cautionary grain-of-salt mode. Lastly, the rise in success of Rand's fiction after her death (naturally with all the personal help and political influence that success has brought along) was not simply by word of mouth and by crises such as the contraction of 2008. Those sales were significantly driven up by design and unremitting effort of the Ayn Rand Institute and Leonard Peikoff: efforts getting Rand's fiction into young hands and efforts getting more academics trained up and efforts in books on Rand's philosophy and on her fiction.

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13 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

The Virtue of Selfishness and later, when she discovered that he was having an affair with another woman (just like her other relationship with her husband except that it'd been kept a secret) she denounced him as evil and a fraud, cut off all ties with him and wouldn't speak to anyone who chose to continue dealing with him in any way.

Rand for whatever reason thought she was permitted to do that while other people were not. It's a failure to put moral standards to oneself consistently, not out of low self-esteem, but an exaggerated and improper view of oneself. The type of intense sudden emotionality (as if she were physically assaulted and the other person is a complete demon) she would express in various situations is the sort of sudden emotionality of people who exaggerate the value of who they are. I'm referring to more things than just how she treated Branden. In fact, I'm judging what Rand thought of herself, why she couldn't condemn her own bad actions as well, not what she thought of other people. If you really want to dive into it, please start another thread. I didn't do it myself because I'm not sure if you want to discuss Rand and my view on her moral failings, or my conception of narcissism.

And being that Rand has been influential on us in many intellectual ways we would have definitely ate up anything she wrote about the ways *exaggerating* who you are can be as dangerous as "underemphasizing" yourself. Unfortunately, there is nothing like that. 

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22 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 

Either your love of Trump is clouding your judgement over other, only tangentially-related issues or you just don't know what it's like to live under that monster's thumb.  If it's the latter (and if you're comfortable taking my word for it) then I'll just say that Kim Jong Un is easily as evil as Hitler was, if not worse.

How would you feel about a president who shook Hitler's hand and said that he "obviously loves his people very much"?

"Peace in our time" as Chamberlain put it ...

I'd like to think you'd be as forceful crediting Trump with placing the Ayotollahs and Iran where they deserved, back under the strictest sanctions. And as critical - when they were (and maybe will again, shortly) tolerantly, naively and appeasingly given license to continue their international, belligerent designs - and - with nuclear weapons. Their nuclear program has been secretly ongoing as the IATA inspectors inform us now, and any fool knew. "Peace in out time" yes? Talk about living under those monsters' thumbs, for Iranians and other regions they, their terror groups and IRGC have entered. Trump was correct to a fault in his response to them, reading their character well. (As all the peaceful inhabitants in the ME can tell you).

Nominated for four Nobel Peace prizes doesn't carry much weight today - but still. Another thing the media won't stress.

What I recall is the international alarm at the time of Jong Un displaying the threatening range of his missile capability. Several observers I read pointed out that past presidents had "kicked the can down the road" with NK, and those new acts were partly due to that. US evasion of that menace, if you like. So Trump should have ramped up the US Naval presence and tensions, certainly received NK military resistance, escalated, declared war on a ~nuclear~ North Korea and eventually invaded and occupied - because of those missile launches and aggressive rhetoric? Come on, man. How do you think the situation should have been objectively and morally handled? I don't know either, but clearly Trump confronted the issue, gave this his try, his way. Too much velvet glove for a vicious dictator, one might judge, but one can bet that Jong Un knew that Trump knew he had the steel fist to back it. At the very least he didn't evade the responsibility. The Chamberlain comparison is specious, dropping the context of a country which was already invading a neighbor and would be an ultimate peril to England. Also in the days of conventional weapons and armies.

I don't know if you believe that any evil dictator *should* be invaded and overthrown because of "what it's like to live under...etc.  No, any free nation has that right, but it's not a moral (altruist) obligation as commonly known from AR.

I'd tried to put across this false dichotomy which it seems everyone succumbed to: Love Trump- Loathe Trump. I had not succeeded. Tools of cognition, those emotions are not. A reminder, Trump was as much of a creation by media - like past and present presidents to a lesser degree - as he was his own making.

 

Edited by whYNOT
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9 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 

And being that Rand has been influential on us in many intellectual ways we would have definitely ate up anything she wrote about the ways *exaggerating* who you are can be as dangerous as "underemphasizing" yourself. Unfortunately, there is nothing like that. 

Moral of the story. Not to take Rand and Rand's over-publicized actions and behavior, sometimes out of context, as one's moral model. The standard of 'perfection'. That definitely will be the consequence of rationalism and intrinsicism applied into ethics.

The consequences of disappointed and disillusioned intrinsicism, anyone here knows from reason and observation - and Rand's writing - will logically be a skeptical subjectivism.

"Excess of wrath" is right, imo. To be precise, the wrathful responses Rand made, her subsequent actions. That emotion, one would think, was in keeping with her long-standing superior value-judgment of Branden; her acts were inappropriate.

Edited by whYNOT
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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 If you really want to dive into it, please start another thread. I didn't do it myself because I'm not sure if you want to discuss Rand and my view on her moral failings, or my conception of narcissism.

Well, a separate thread about "narcissism" as such would probably be in order at this point.

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I'd like to think you'd be as forceful crediting Trump with placing the Ayotollahs and Iran where they deserved, back under the strictest sanctions. And as critical - when they were (and maybe will again, shortly) tolerantly, naively and appeasingly given license to continue their international, belligerent designs - and - with nuclear weapons. Their nuclear program has been secretly ongoing as the IATA inspectors inform us now, and any fool knew. "Peace in out time" yes? Talk about living under those monsters' thumbs, for Iranians and other regions they, their terror groups and IRGC have entered.

Oh, absolutely.  I'd like to see nothing more than the ass-face dictators of both North Korea and Iran converted into glass ASAP.  And I'll join you in denouncing Obama for the once-in-a-lifetime sort of deal he just gave to the Iranians - and I hope you'll join me in denouncing Donald Trump for doing precisely the same thing for Kim Jong Un.

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

So Trump should have ramped up the US Naval presence and tensions, certainly received NK military resistance, escalated, declared war on a ~nuclear~ North Korea and eventually invaded and occupied - because of those missile launches and aggressive rhetoric? Come on, man.

YES!!!!!

 

YOU DO NOT HAVE DINNER WITH A MASS MURDERER LIKE THAT!!!  YOU GLASS HIM FROM ORBIT!!!!!  WTF IS YOUR MALFUNCTION HERE, SIR?!?!!

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And this is not to say that Joe Biden will do any better than Trump in that regard; I think we'll both be right in predicting that he won't even reach the depth of the bar that Trump left in his wake!  But you DO NOT SANCTION a man who has INDUSTRIALIZED DEATH CAMPS CURRENTLY RUNNING IN HIS OWN COUNTRY!!!

Jesus, fuck, do I actually have to explain why?

 

 

I actually think this one issue should serve as a pretty effective tribalism detector, depending on how everyone else reacts to it.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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WhyNot, both North Korea and Iran are actually worse than the Soviet Union ever was.

Would you also like a president who was capable of telling such regimes where they could stuff precisely all of their theories and books, until they'd freed their respective peoples?  Because I would.

 

I'm sorry; if you disagree with that sentiment then I'll have to come back and digest any reasons why another day (just finished another 12 hour shift & etc).  But I'd really like to think that there's no room for disagreement about any of that.

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I am still getting my head around sanctioning mega-deaths preferable to "a sanction of evil": meeting with a vicious dictator.

One is unspeakable the other - unpalatable. A principle clashes with reality.

Yes, think about it.

 

Edited by whYNOT
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22 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Secondly, the medium does seem to allow for a way to tell the sources of one's biographical information in the presentation point-by-point, so on some particulars, I'm left in the cautionary grain-of-salt mode.

There are several points that are wrong or highly dubious in that video. I'm not surprised that Team Branden enjoys it though. It's certainly biased in his favor.

22 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Lastly, the rise in success of Rand's fiction after her death (naturally with all the personal help and political influence that success has brought along) was not simply by word of mouth and by crises such as the contraction of 2008. Those sales were significantly driven up by design and unremitting effort of the Ayn Rand Institute and Leonard Peikoff...

True, it was an institutional boost with ARI purchasing millions of Rand books to give away for free. Between 2002 and 2018 they bought 4 million. In the last couple years they bought half a million. That's an average of roughly 237,000 books a year. So ARI has purchased about 25% or more of all Rand books sold in the last couple decades. And they account for about 10% of sales all-time. 

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9 hours ago, whYNOT said:

One is unspeakable the other - unpalatable. A principle clashes with reality.

"Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!" -DJT

and more:

https://web.archive.org/web/20190411191505/https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-president-moon-jae-republic-korea-bilateral-meeting/

"Kim Jong Un has been, really, somebody that I’ve gotten to know very well and respect, and hopefully — and I really believe that, over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen."

Not worse than sanctioning death camps, no one said that, no idea why you even suggested needing to make a comparison. But it's not just a distasteful way of speaking. It reflects his beliefs. Namely the belief that a literal dictator is honorable...  

 

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"His beliefs". Like no one knows that political leaders commonly dissemble for diplomatic effect. At least President Moon was grateful for Trump's mission in that very unpredictable time (and who can forget, an ally, Korea is right on the front line there):

PRESIDENT MOON: "...Singapore on June 12th, last year, we have witnessed a dramatic turnaround regarding the political situation on the Korean Peninsula.  Previously, because of the repeated nuclear and missile test from North Korea, we saw that the military tension at the time had been at its greatest, and we were in a very precarious situation.

However, since you met Chairman Kim and you initiated personal diplomacy with him, we saw the dramatic, significant reduction of military tension on the Korean Peninsula, and now peace has prevailed.

And also, in terms of North Korean nuclear problem, all Korean people have now — now we believe that you will be able to solve this problem through a dialogue.  So I have to say that this dramatic turnaround that we have witnessed is solely down to your strong leadership.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT MOON:  (As interpreted.)  Well, in this sense, I believe that the Hanoi Summit is not actually — was not a source of disappointment, but it is actually the part of a bigger process that will lead us to a bigger agreement.

So the important task that I face right now is to maintain the momentum of dialogue and also express the positive outlook, regarding the third U.S.-North Korea Summit, to the international community that this will be held in the near future."

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  • 2 weeks later...

The 65-Year-Old Helping to Un-Deplatform Parler
Jeffrey Wernick is not your typical tech investor.

When Wernick came to Parler late in 2019, he understood that his involvement would be more than financial. Matze, he said, “was looking not just for money but for mentorship.” Parler was getting little traction, and one of Wernick’s first suggestions was to not renew the contracts of the influencers the site was paying to attract users, except for one: Dan Bongino, the Secret Service agent turned lib-owning podcaster. Parler had its best download days when Bongino read its ads on his show. “We don’t even need a script with this person; he believes it,” Wernick recalled saying. [Bold: mine]

The power of conviction!

Even though the service is once again being hosted on SkySilk, an outfit in California installing the app to access the service is complicated by requiring a third party installation manager app.

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On 2/5/2021 at 12:17 AM, whYNOT said:

I am still getting my head around sanctioning mega-deaths preferable to "a sanction of evil": meeting with a vicious dictator.

One is unspeakable the other - unpalatable. A principle clashes with reality.

Yes, think about it.

 

It would be one thing if he had morally condemned him (like: "this is an evil monster but I have to try and deal with him") or if Kim Jong Un actually posed any real threat to the might of the combined American forces.  It's neither of those things.

And I am only sanctioning the deaths of Kim Jong Un and whatever unfortunate casualties may or may not ultimately be necessary to END him.  I would personally prefer a simple drone strike to reduce his palace to ash.  Do you doubt that our army could do that if they were ever given permission to?  Whatever collateral damage may ultimately be necessary, though, his demise is absolutely necessary for anyone in that area to live anything close to a semi-decent life.

His regime has stated that it will consider its mission successful if at least ten percent of its citizens DON'T starve to death; if the other 90% do (and it looks like they very well might) then that's acceptable.  In a way, if we can annihilate him without killing more than 90% of his civilians, we would still be saving THEIR lives while also preventing him from ever seriously threatening our own.

 

This is really not complicated.  It's actually one of the simplest and most straightforward geopolitical situations I can think of, off the top of my head: we have a nation full of slaves who're being held hostage by one very dangerous (although currently toothless) lunatic who's never tried that hard to hide how much he'd like to destroy the whole world, if he ever could.  The very straightforward conclusion that I think any sane person would draw from these facts is that we should never allow him to attain that capability, and that the world would in fact be a much safer and friendlier place if he were not in it.

 

You are aware that evil is impotent and can only ever succeed through the willingness of the (relatively) better to help it, right?  Do you disagree with that or with the idea that Kim Jong Un is evil?  Because in my opinion if HE doesn't qualify as evil then nobody ever has or will.

 

And yes, I am saying that Donald Trump is a (MUCH) better person than Kim Jong Un.  That's another aspect of this which is actually quite simple!  And yes, I'll also question the sanity of anyone who'd like to claim otherwise!  But the way he treated him while he was acting as the commander of our military forces is a disgrace to both himself and this country.

 

I suspect that if Ayn Rand were still alive she'd demonstrate much less patience for this subject than I am trying to.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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On 2/5/2021 at 11:09 AM, whYNOT said:

"His beliefs". Like no one knows that political leaders commonly dissemble for diplomatic effect. At least President Moon was grateful for Trump's mission in that very unpredictable time (and who can forget, an ally, Korea is right on the front line there):

Yeah; glorious:  they've still got that subhuman thug on their Northern border but he pinky-promised not to blow anyone up yet.  Which must've been a pretty easy promise for him to make since he's not actually capable of doing that ... YET!

 

We seem to have circled back again to the value of having "peace in our time".

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On 2/19/2021 at 6:11 AM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

It would be one thing if he had morally condemned him (like: "this is an evil monster but I have to try and deal with him") or if Kim Jong Un actually posed any real threat to the might of the combined American forces.  It's neither of those things.

And I am only sanctioning the deaths of Kim Jong Un and whatever unfortunate casualties may or may not ultimately be necessary to END him.  I would personally prefer a simple drone strike to reduce his palace to ash.  Do you doubt that our army could do that if they were ever given permission to?  Whatever collateral damage may ultimately be necessary, though, his demise is absolutely necessary for anyone in that area to live anything close to a semi-decent life.

 

 

And yes, I am saying that Donald Trump is a (MUCH) better person than Kim Jong Un.  That's another aspect of this which is actually quite simple!  And yes, I'll also question the sanity of anyone who'd like to claim otherwise!  But the way he treated him while he was acting as the commander of our military forces is a disgrace to both himself and this country.

 

I suspect that if Ayn Rand were still alive she'd demonstrate much less patience for this subject than I am trying to.

You are normally one of the sanest around, so I find this departure extraordinary.

Do you realize the delicate balance that whole SE Asia region depends upon?

There is China and Russia - while not always approving of their NK comrades - in de facto alliance with Kim Jong Un. There are the innocent parties, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. There's Pakistan quite favorable to KJU, and their long disputes with India which has had its own border clashes with China, which is also presently and belligerently upping the ante against Taiwan. A total of FIVE nuclear-weaponed countries in the vicinity. Some could, one imagines, align themselves against the common enemy, USA. You know the military term "escalation". Baby, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Start conflict with Jong Un, even a strike (without a retaliatory rationale), and one would have to be prepared to see it through to the devastating end. The consequent events would be unpredictable but predictably bad, and sacrificial to the USA, especially the US allies.

I repeat, seeing you invoke Rand's "patience", she specified that any free nation has the right to attack or invade a dictatorship. But NOT the moral duty. If the costs would be greater (off the scale greater, here) than the gains - that's Altruism. One lets a totalitarian country like that stew in its own juices. Not to say that if tensions involving your own ally are increasing, one should disallow diplomacy to try to defuse them. I return to Trump's asset, I've kept repeating. He was quite finely aware of which past encumbrances, agreements, deals and acts constituted self-sacrifice for his country. Being global policeman for the world is one of them.

Edited by whYNOT
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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Start conflict with Jong Un...

There's a world between starting armed conflict and Trump's actual relationship with not only Kim Jong Un, but Modi, Erdogan, etc., etc. Trump had clear admiration for "strong men" and the liberation that tyranny affords a leader, and this had practical influence on his foreign agenda. But honestly, I wouldn't care so much about his relationship with North Korea if Trump were not so damaging to democracy in America.

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On 2/20/2021 at 6:05 AM, whYNOT said:

Start conflict with Jong Un, even a strike (without a retaliatory rationale), and one would have to be prepared to see it through to the devastating end. The consequent events would be unpredictable but predictably bad, and sacrificial to the USA, especially the US allies.

I disagree.  We do still have the mightiest military on Earth (at least for now); if we put our mind to it I seriously doubt any combination of nations could stand up to us.  Furthermore, Kim Jong Un has showed us exactly what he'll do if he's left to his own devices - he'll keep trying to develop a nuclear ICBM with which to destroy America.  He hasn't exactly been secretive about it.

I would rather we didn't let him rule for however many more years he'll need to actually become a threat to us.  That is quite possibly the single worst strategy we could pursue.  Yet it seems like that's exactly what we're going to do.

And beyond that, as DA pointed out, it's not just that Donald Trump negotiated with him; he showered him with praise and positive reinforcements.

On 2/20/2021 at 6:05 AM, whYNOT said:

You are normally one of the sanest around, so I find this departure extraordinary.

Thank you.

 

I'm pretty much done trying to get you to admit that there is a single thing Trump has ever done wrong, though.  I thought I'd chosen an action on which there could be no ambiguity or misunderstanding but obviously not.  We'll have to agree to disagree.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bloomberg gives Amy Peikoff, Parler, Ayn Rand a plug. (A limited # of free articles/month site.)

In July, Peikoff became chief policy officer at Parler, and these days she finds herself working to salvage the controversial social media platform, which in January was driven off the internet in part by the very company she once defended on Fox.

Parler, which came back online a few weeks later, continues to promote a hands-off approach to content moderation that is largely being driven by Peikoff, who wrote the rules that dictate what’s allowed on the site, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

Since it went online in 2018, Parler has promoted itself as the antithesis of Big Tech, a free speech champion that keeps policing of its users to a minimum. “Our goal is to provide all community members with a welcoming, nonpartisan Public Square,” according to Parler’s latest, two-page community guidelines, which were written by Peikoff, according to the people. “We prefer that removing users or user-provided content be kept to an absolute minimum. We prefer to leave decisions about what is seen and who is heard to each individual.”

This is the crux relating to Parler. The questioning must have gone south from there.

Peikoff, 52, initially agreed to be interviewed but stopped responding to requests.

The rest of the article appears to have been constructed from references extracted from Ms. Peikoff's blog. 

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Aside from the legitimate ideals she tried to embody within Parler, the platform itself failed on a technological front in that they were not sufficiently able to deal with actual violations of free speech (such as explicit calls to violence). They don't need to right the wrong, but they certainly should be able to respond quickly. It's important to remember that the quality of the product matters here, not just the ideas it tries to embody. A for effort, but I don't think there is anything Amy Peikoff could have done. 

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When explicit calls to violence are heeded in the absence of a moral foundation, a contributing factor to Amy Peikoff's hands appearing tied in the matter, is a disconcerting shift from the focus of identifying a cause to examining a consequence.

 

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