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Justice Souter Evicted For Sake Of New Hotel

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I know some of you have seen Freestar Media's videos about imminent domain and social security but the latest press release is a hoot. The gist of the press release is thus: for the sake of society, Logan Darrow is petitioning the city of Weare where Justice Souter lives to tear his house down using imminent domain in order to erect a development "for the greater good of society."

Included in said development would be the Lost Liberty Hotel where instead of Gideon Bible there will be copies of Atlas Shrugged, a museum about the loss of liberty in America, and other things that will contribute to the well being of the community. Since there are only 5 members of the city council, all it now take, thanks to Justice Souter et al, is 3 of them to say okey dokey and the bulldozers are doing their thing.

You know, I could see some liberty minded individual with the coin to provide financing that is ticked off with this decision to actually bankroll this. Mind you, it probably won't go anywhere other than cause a great deal of consternation to Justice Souter and bring a great deal of light to the insanity of the SCOTUS decision but by golly, that is what it's there for.

I gotta say, I really have to hold a lighter up to Logan Darrow for his creativeness. :confused:

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Moose, think of it this way:

If you want to defeat any kind of vicious fraud--comply with it literaly, adding nothing of your own to disguise its nature--

You all know who wrote this. I hope this works and may the "fair market value" of the home of a tyrant be one dollar. :thumbsup:

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Matt Drudge picked up this story and linked to it. Since his site is visited by a lot of media folk, my guess is that some T.V. show will pick up the story too.

My google alert for "Atlas Shrugged" just picked it up so quite a few news blogs and smaller news sources have picked the story up. It should be interesting to watch it spread. I've seen about 10 sites picked up the story so far. Quite interesting.

It has good spin, so I could see the broadcast media picking up on it hopefully.

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He's (the guy behind this) a libertarian who actually ran against all the lunatics in the California recall election (the one Arnold won, the one where a porn star, among others, also ran against Arnold). Read the PS in Gus van Horn's blog post about him before jumping on the "any publicity is good publicity" bandwagon.

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He's (the guy behind this) a libertarian who actually ran against all the lunatics in the California recall election (the one Arnold won, the one where a porn star, among others, also ran against Arnold).  Read the PS in Gus van Horn's blog post about him before jumping on the "any publicity is good publicity" bandwagon. 

 

Yes he ran for governor and wanted to privatise the roads. And yes, he does use what publicity he can get but if you look at the videos on his site, you can see that they all follow the same tone. I doubt that he seriously will be able to pull it all together to push the Justice out of his house but it is a way of shining a light on the issue.

I fully agree that "any publicity is good publicity" is a bad idea but I think this does have a way of being spun right. Yes, it will have an element of being a spectacle to it. Watch the other videos on the site where he appears before the city council or taxi commission. Any time any person appears before the city council and states a position based on moral grounds tends to look like a crank or someone who has seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington one to many times. I'm not saying he's not a crank, I'm just saying that rarely do people look like Gary Cooper doing summary arguments.

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I think if people learn of Ayn Rand and Objectivism through his antics, we're in trouble.

Maybe not, my good friend and I learned of Objectivism throught the Libertarian party. A perversion of the facts could lead people to discover the truth if they're interested enough.

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The haughty elitism and knee-jerk reactions on this thread are likely to do far more damage to the reputation of Objectivism than Mr. Clements ever will.

I think you made the point for me when you said:

nimble, you can't expect us to take you seriously until you quit quoting losertarian frauds like Rothbard.

in this thread.

Why won't you take nimble's arguments in that case seriously until he stops using what you perceive to be non-credible sources? By the same token, do you think people are going to take Ayn Rand seriously when presented with her for the first time by a guy that ran against a clown and a porn star in the California Governor's election? Seriously, this is not some haughty elitist knee-jerk reaction, this is about pointing out that a guy with little credibility might do more harm than good by using his antics to promote Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Perhaps I apply too much weight to the credibility of a source than simply the argument the source is presenting; I personally think, as you appear to think as well, that credibility of source and content of argument are equally as important. On the other hand, perhaps most people are unaware of his history and thus would not be prone to brush him and the ideas he admires off as non-credible.

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By the same token, do you think people are going to take Ayn Rand seriously when presented with her for the first time by a guy that ran against a clown and a porn star in the California Governor's election?

I don’t see how the other candidates in an election determine one’s credibility. Does the candidacy of a porn star make all the other candidates in an election ridiculous? If the porn star had decided not to run, would that suddenly make Clements more credible? What’s wrong with running for office solely for the media attention anyway? Contemporary elections, rarely involve serious political issues – so what’s wrong with a candidate who introduces them?

Not all publicity is good publicity - but you don’t have to be a “true believer” to help a cause. I learned about Objectivism from libertarians – which may have adversely affected my opinion of libertarians, but did not discourage me from taking their recommendation to read Ayn Rand. (Clements himself has said that he does not support libertarianism, btw.)

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
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It's not just that there were dubious candidates running against him that casts doubt on his credibility--it's that the California race was an absolute circus and anyone who chose to run knowing they'd have no chance to win and that they'd be placed side-by-side with a porn star and a clown is insane. Who in their right mind would engage in a campaign where the publicity they'd be getting would be tied to these other hopeless candidates? What possible purpose was he serving in running at all? In terms of the number of votes he received, he necessarily places himself publicly on par with similar vote-getters, which included the porn star and clown, with anyone placing most of their attention on the contenders.

Don't you think he would've gotten much more done had he donated the money he wasted campaigning to ARI or bought copies of AS for high schools? I mean, c'mon, the guy's a loon and his entry into the California Circus of 2003 is not the only evidence.

Furthermore, form follows function--one doesn't try to move the culture through politics first, but by influencing the minds of those that still retain a good chance of listening closely to a reasoned argument. Getting into politics, especially into the California race, speaks to his understanding of this principle.

Clements is a loon, but if people aren't aware of that, as I said I think this recent publicity could do more good than harm because this exposure of the madness of eminent domain is so crystal clear that his very obvious lack of credibility (at least to me) might not take away from his message.

As Noumenalself put it in blog post post on the matter of the election:

So, what is the principle here? The principle is that the how determines the what: the way in which a message is communicated has implications for the actual content of the message. A simple example is the following: suppose you decided to set up a debate on the subject of capitalism vs. socialism. In defense of capitalism, you had a well-trained Objectivist intellectual. On the side of socialism, you had Josef Stalin. No matter how logical or persuasive the Objectivist, whatever content the audience might have come away with otherwise would be completely negated by the fact that this Objectivist was debating with Stalin, thereby indicating that he considered him to be a civilized human being, and that the question of mass slaughter was even debatable. Of course the Random House poll and California recall examples were simply errors, not moral transgressions. But the principle is the same: the message is more than the words.
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Clemen[t]s is a loon [...] his very obvious lack of credibility (at least to me)

It is not obvious to me, and frankly, I am puzzled by why you think so. I agree that his running in California was a useless waste of time, but that alone does not make him a loon with zero credibility. What other evidence have you got against him?

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As someone who claims to be an Objectivist, Clements decides to spread Objectivism politically. Not only that, but he tries it in a California election in that placed him on par with all other sorts of wack-jobs. Like the Stalin-Objectivist example sited above, an Objectivist placed side by side with a clown and a porn star, in a competition about ideas, implies that he considers them to be worthy opponents, and that the question of whether or not a porn star and a clown could be viable governors is actually dabatable.

His show is another example of his lunacy. The show "will cover stories of people challenging laws that prohibit them from engaging in activities that do not involve the initiation of force or fraud." Note the type of stories the show runs:

# John Thoburn refused to plant more shrubs on his own land, jailed 6 months

# Jack Kevorkian broke Michigan's assisted suicide law on camera

# Oswaldo Paya Sardinas circulates Varela petition demanding freedom in Cuba

# Thana Minion keeps feeding deer on her own land and keeps getting arrested

# Woman in Oregon offers taxi rides without license challenging the law

# Seattle man defies taxi code by serving customers in Elvis outfit

Note what he's trying to do here, he's trying to be provocative, like Michael Moore, and tap people's emotions. Just as Moore taps emotions and then smuggles in ideas that are believable and plausible considering the nature of today's culture (the junk-pile of ideas most hold subconsciously), Clements seems to be trying to do the same. However, still, having provoked emotion will not change the fact that reason-based ideas will not win popularity contests when the cultural soil is not ready for them. Just as how a reason-based political campaign will not work today, so will a show based on reason.

So what can his show accomplish? It's basically a reality show that covers people who go out of their way to get arrested, and it's not as if the act they're getting arrested for is critical to their life (and so breaking the law is a necessary incidental consequence). No, they are intentionally doing things to get arrested, things that are pretty loony if you ask me. So, how much credibility can I award a guy that will film such things? Not much, he's a loon, albeit a good-intentioned one. If anything, the show could become popular only due to the sheer lunacy and stupidity of people getting arrested for things like repeatedly feeding deer on one's land--because that's what's popular these days. The image will, if anything, be one of pro-anarchy, because again, people will more likely than not fail to make the connection between the emotion provoked by the show and the ideas presented afterwards and likely retain an image of a group of "Objectivists" that recommend breaking the law for no apparent good reason.

So to bring it all to full circle, if people know Clements as the guy that ran in the California election, and as the guy with the show where people do stupid things to get arrested, how credible will they consider him?

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So to bring it all to full circle, if people know Clements as the guy that ran in the California election, and as the guy with the show where people do stupid things to get arrested, how credible will they consider him?

Most people had never heard of Clements until now. They will know him as the guy who stood up for the rights of property owners. If he pulls this through, it will far outshine any election run or show he did or has been doing.

And I'm not convinced his show is all that bad. You say,

Note what he's trying to do here, he's trying to be provocative, like Michael Moore, and tap people's emotions. Just as Moore taps emotions and then smuggles in ideas that are believable and plausible considering the nature of today's culture (the junk-pile of ideas most hold subconsciously), Clements seems to be trying to do the same. However, still, having provoked emotion will not change the fact that reason-based ideas will not win popularity contests when the cultural soil is not ready for them.

Assuming--for the sake of argument--that this is actually what he is doing: Although the culture may not be ready for reason as a basis of political ideas, some ideas will shape politics, won't they? They will necessarily be emotion-based ideas, but they will be there in politics, right? So just what is wrong with trying to provoke emotions that lead to the acceptance of OUR ideas, rather than Moore's?

Trading your right to property for non-provocation of emotions is no less futile than getting arrested for feeding deer.

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I never meant to imply that provoking emotion to promote ideas is necessarily wrong, only to highlight what I see as his tactic and how it will fail for him even though it suceeds for Moore.

My general point is that his attempts at provoking thought in the culture are futile, and his antics more likely than not will send the wrong message to people who've never heard of Ayn Rand or Objectivism.

But as I said, if people don't know much about him, then his intention to take the Justice's home using eminent domain is a brilliant move and will likely make people think.

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Felipe: Have you seen the shows or is that list from a web-site or some such place? The reason I ask: if you have seen them, I'd like to know how much he ties himself to Objectivism (other than just mentioning it a few times).

Without the link to Objectivism, his show sounds like "Stossel on steroids". One would need to see how the show was presented before making a judgement.

As has been discussed in some "rule of law" threads, many Objectivists think that immoral law should not be broken "sneakily". The exception these Objectivists make is where one wants to break the law openly as a form of protest. Even if one thinks that this is too narrow, surely breaking the law as an act of protest, and being willing to take the consequences is a fine tactic.

I grant you that the Elvis guy might just want the notoriety. However, without knowing more, I would assume that many of the others started as quieter protests against the law. For instance, the guy who didn't plant shrubs, or the person who was feeding deer.

As for Kevorkian, he appears to be a reasonable person, who felt strongly about physician-assisted suicide and the filming was a way to prove he was not committing murder. He knew the prosecutors were getting increasingly threatening. Still, he persisted. Shame on this country, not on him, that he is now in jail.

Also consider that a T.V. show will necessarily push the envelope on the principle that "a picture is not an argument", and may also border on being staged. Again, the important thing is the entire context of the show. For instance, if the commentary on a show explains how this is not an isolated nut-job breaking the law, but that many people across the country break this law quietly, or would like to break it... then the show could serve its purpose. (In fact in replying to the Objectivist bloggers who were critical of him, Logan said: "find me compelling video regarding the topic of income taxes, social security, the FDA or whatever topics you would cover on such a show.... Just having two people in a room debating the ideas will probably not change too many minds. ...."

When I visited this Logan fellow's web-site I read the page with the now famous press release. I clicked on one or two other links. Nothing kooky showed up. The majority of folk will not even go that deep. When I saw him on Fox news, he mentioned Objectivism, but again did not appear kooky at all -- spoke very calmly, was dressed in a suit, and sounded very reasonable.

The most one can hope for from his campaign is that people hear about eminent domain and question it a little more than they did before this. It is wholly tactical, and revolves around a single issue.

Yet, even single issues can be important as "reverse slippery slopes". The eminent domain case is a good example. Over the decades, the court has been relaxing the rules of what cities can do. If the court or legislature can be convinced to draw what Dana Berliner calls "a new bright-line rule" imposing limits on eminent domain, then by applying a "reverse slippery slope", the next step would be to use the principle behind that bright line to move the line further back.

"Tactical battles" are not completely futile. One aspect is a cost-benefit. More importantly, a tactical win is fuel for the soul.

If people are attracted to the libertarian party because of this campaign, great. What better recruiting ground for Objectivism than LP members seeking a more principled approach.

So, the only real danger is that people who are turned off the LP will also be turned off Objectivism, but I don't see how this campaign in particular would turn people away from the LP if they haven't already rejected it for other reasons.

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The list is straight out of his website.

"Tactical battles" are not completely futile, personally, if they bring more personal benefit in the cost-benefit calculation. In the scope of the Objectivist movement, however, it might be futile if for every one person you make think positively about the ideas, ten think of Objectivism as some wacky notion.

As for the tactic of breaking the law, who in their right mind would choose to spend six months of their lives in jail because they did not want to plant more shrubs, or even make a point? Personally, I think there are way better ways of making a point than spending six months in jail. The battles he films, in my opinion, are not wroth fighting in that way.

As for your other points about him and his show, they are well taken. Perhaps if his videos were working I could have more context to judge him by.

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