Simple Exercise

James S. Valliant's picture
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Sun, 2009-05-10 18:08

This is a paragraph from the ethics section of Wikipedia's article "Objectivism."

It's so very bad that it provides beginning students of Rand's thought with a (simple) exercise: how many misstatements of Rand's ideas can you detect?

"In The Virtue of Selfishness [Rand] attempted to derive ethical egoism from first principles. Value is relative: something can only be valuable for a particular being, and it can only be valuable if that being has a choice. Only living things are able to choose, therefore values only exist for living things, and whatever a living thing acts to gain or keep is a value for that thing. Every living thing maintains its life for its own sake, and - according to Rand - for any living thing, only its own life is valuable for its own sake. On the assumption that every living thing should do or ought to do whatever is valuable for itself, it follows that it should do whatever promotes its own life. But people can only live if they are rational. Since reason is man's means of knowledge, it is also his greatest value, and its exercise his greatest virtue. 'Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive he must act and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch––or build a cyclotron––without a knowledge of his aim and the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think.' Therefore everyone ought to be rational."

My list.

1. Values require choice? Not according to Rand, who said that only conceptual consciousness is volitional. Or, is it that values require an "alternative" according to Rand? (For example, a living organism can adapt [either modifying its behavior within its own life-span or through mutation and natural selection]. Such adaptation is a kind of value pursuit that does not necessarily imply a volitional choice.)

2. Values are "relative"? Does this mean that values imply "of value to whom and for what?" That's certainly true, but it also here seems to require a state of consciousness.

3. Values are that which are pursued, sure, but, are values then subjective, i.e., "whatever" happens to be pursued?

4. Get this: "Every living thing maintains its life for its own sake"? IF ONLY!

5. Does Rand "assume" that "every living thing" should do "what is valuable for itself"? Is this idea any part of Rand's case? Isn't this precisely a circle Rand avoids -- and answers? (Talk about upside down and inside out.)

6. "People can only live if they are rational"? Say what?! As Rand knew and dramatically depicted, irrational people survive all the time -- but even for them, reason is their basic tool of survival, of course.

7. Finally, my favorite, the last "therefore" -- as if Rand's argument had just been recounted!

I've said it before and will say it again: Criticism, rational criticism, is a good thing. It sharpens that tool of survival to its finest edge. But the two sorts of criticisms which have unfortunately marred most of Rand scholarship are: 1. ad hominem, i.e., the Branden and Rothbard based lies and distractions about Rand herself, and 2. gross misstatements of what Objectivism says, i.e., the Nyquist, Whittaker Chambers, Robert Nozick, and, now, the Wikipedia, stuff.


( categories: )

This was the person that

PhilipD's picture

This was the person that said Bush was a murderer, but refused to provide a shred of proof. A wild accusation with poor grammar is her thing. Not sure that she answered the 'Why are all anarchists so ugly?' question either?

What case is that, Neil?

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Neil writes (#72934):

"I think the case against theValliants is quite strong."

Of what, specifically, are you accusing the Valliants? Of adding references to PARC without stating their connection to the book? Was this a crime (or at least a sin)? And you have no evidence that James was adding the references; on the other hand, you have both his and Holly's denial that he was. Plus there's one stretch of the proceedings -- after Holly had joined the Talk pages -- in which there's evidence that he was asleep, ill, while she was posting. Not hard to imagine that there were other similar times.

A few points:

-- It is not at all clear that James knew about the topic ban when he posted 4 posts on May 19 -- the first 4 using the "Pelagius1" sign-on.

(To find these, scroll down to the bottom here and click on "(diff)." The 4th of the group, a cite to David Kelley's The Evidence of the Senses, James said he'd made, in an email to WSS; the other three are terribly nefarious (sarcasm alert) edits getting correct the title of "Night of January 16th" in a section about AR's early fiction.)

 

-- When Holly said she was "new," she meant to the Talk pages. She hadn't posted on those previously. She didn't know where to add the entry she was trying to add, in which segment of which Talk slot. She didn't even know that there weren't PMs on Wikipedia; she tried to send the message as a PM to Skomorokh. The message appeared on Skomorokh's user page. (Here; scroll down to "I am New.")

 

Holly proceeded to learn where to post what on the Talk pages.

Following are some segments from her posts.

All times are UTC. SUBTRACT 7 HOURS for the time in California.

The bold highlighting is mine.

 

16:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC) - link:

[....] Mr. Valliant is asleep right now. I do live in the same house with him, but he'd rather I not do this at all. He is one my expert advisers and sometimes uses this account too. But never about himself. Wikipedia -- if you check the changes -- is the much better for it. I avidly and shamelessly promote him. As to the current controversy, he is investigating other means of redress. [....] For myself, I hope Wikipedia doesn't lose Valliant's help from all of this. [[User:Pelagius1|Pelagius1]] ([[User talk:Pelagius1|talk]]) 16:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

 

16:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC) - link:

I tried to say my honest opinion in as civil a manner as possible, but I apologize to Wikipedia for any breach of etiquette. It is worth observing that all the "unlogged in edits" from this household, even from another computer, have now been ascribed to Pelagius!. [[User:Pelagius1|Pelagius1]] ([[User talk:Pelagius1|talk]]) 16:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

NOTE: Possibly that explains something WSS wondered about, in the sequencing on May 19-20.

 

17:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC) - link:

The following segment was first added 17:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC). The second paragraph as I've quoted it includes a couple additions made in later edits.

The material starting with "But when he wakes up [...]," and the following paragraph, were then deleted by another editor (RL0919) as being "too personal."

He has already publicly posted about this empty allegation [that the book was vanity published], but I don't have the link handy. I was the agent for the book, so I happen to know, personally, that he got a standard (non-vanity) contract for the book. He paid nothing. This liberal (yes, liberal) house sincerely believed in the book. But when he wakes up, and he's quite ill right now, I'll have him get the citation for you or post a new one himself.
Since it's come up as an issue, and although I would like to take credit for all of this, he is the author of the new Wikipedia [[John Chamberlain (journalist)]] article, and the new [[Martin Anderson (economist)]] article, and he had the requested James Joyce and F. A. Hayek and L. von Mises references in the [[Max Eastman]] article at his fingertips. And all of those detailed citations from the critical reception section of [[Atlas Shrugged]]. (See what a "cultist"?) These are just a few of his contributions here (via me) that I can recall. [[User:Pelagius1|Pelagius1]] ([[User talk:Pelagius1|talk]]) 17:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

 

19:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC) - link:

She then woke James up and got him to post something on SOLO about the contract with Durban House.

It sure seemed that questions were being raised about the propriety of the edits here. Since all edits from this household have been swept into Pelagius!'s history, I must add that there was no effort or intent at "sock-puppetry." As for Valliant on Durban House, I got him up for this, so look [here]. It was easier than finding the old cite, lost as it is deep in the dense internet discussion of his book -- much denser than anything Walker inspired, btw. It was very much "commercially published," I can assure you.[[User:Pelagius1|Pelagius1]] ([[User talk:Pelagius1|talk]]) 19:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

NOTES: She's wrong about all the previous edits having been swept into Pelagius1's history; it was just a few of them on May 19, as described above.

The link won't work. It's to post #71353 on this thread.

 

20:19, 20 May 2009 (UTC) - link:

[....] He can't make dime right now on it. The Rand-related entries at Wikipedia were very poor quality, stated factual errors, and, in addition, failed to cite important new sources like Valliant's book. You will notice that I have added many, many other sources, as well. The citations for Rand-related articles have been radically improved with numerous sources, thanks to me. I have endeavored to be open and honest here, as I hope should be plain. This continued assault on personal motives is troubling. Mr. Valliant, as I have said, does not want me here. What am I to do?? Allow Wikipedia to revert to the ~ factual ~ mess I found it in?
[[User:Pelagius1|Pelagius1]] ([[User talk:Pelagius1|talk]]) 20:19, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

 

03:13, 21 May 2009 (UTC) - link:

This is part of a note Holly made on Karbinski's Talk page. (Karbinski is an Objectivist.)

I've just about ended my efforts here. Being upfront and honest gets you where? It's not the torrent of baseless attacks (e.g., the "self-published" charge) that need to be verified -- they must be refuted first. And even with the (non-Objectivist) editor's endorsement of the book on the jacket. At every turn, my efforts to provide information have been not only ignored, but held against me. Take the effort to "out" me as Valliant himself -- even though he'd be permitted here, wouldn't he? Okay, the attempted "outer" did not realize that all the edits from this IP address were lumped together when I logged in. No warning seemed to come from this effort. He gave IP numbers! So, when information was provided by me about Valliant's unlogged in but high quality (as you must know) edits, that is also out as providing "personal information." And no one here makes a dime on the book, not even Valliant, but, if they can't "independently" verify this fact, since none of those who know can be trusted, it seems, they will assume the very worst. How can this even be proved to them? [....]
Can you see my frustration?
Is my case here hopeless? Pelagius1 (talk) 03:13, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

 

After the exchange on Karbinski's Talk page, there's then a gap in Pelagius1's posts until June 6.

One of the developments which transpired in the meantime is that James Valliant was in the hospital the last few days of May.

Another is that Leonard Peikoff wrote his email to Jimmy Wales.

 

15:47, 6 June 2009 - Pelagius1 resumed posting on Talk threads.

Those interested in following the details of the whole progression up till June 13, when Pelagius1 identified herself as James' wife, start here. (You then keep clicking "Next edit" in the text at the top of the right-hand column.)

If you just want to see Pelagius1's edits, here is the link to the Special Contributions page.

To find a specific edit, you click where its says "(diff)."

There are:

6 edits on June 6;
4 on June 8;
12 on June 11;
5 on June 13.

27 total.

The first asks for the summary of what's been discussed thus far and enters the Leonard Peikoff letter.

The last, posted 23:49, 13 June 2009 (UTC), is a note (direct link) on Richard Lawrence's user-talk page acknowledging being "someone related to the author (his wife)."

Among the posts during that final stretch are those which read to me as if James was contributing to the wording. Maybe Holly was just using things from old posts of his. I don't know.

The whole history I think was mishandled and involves a certain amount of a comedy of errors. I fail, however, to see anything immoral about any of it. Nor do I see any reason not to believe that Holly was the one inserting the PARC references.

Ellen

It's You ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... who are the joke, Sharon, and a sick one at that. Copy-pasting lies from the O-Lying camp without a shred of substantiation, then claiming you're a tribe of one.

O-Lying is not part of any "fraction," by which you possibly mean "faction." It is not part of Objectivism, period.

Note:

sharon's picture

Let it be made clear--I am not from the “O-lying” camp here to subterfuge Solo (or “SLOP” as it is called from that tribe). I am not apart of any partisan US against any countering THEM. I am a tribe of one, proudly. The Lone Individual—a table for one, please. I think the entire Objectivist subculture--with all of its modern fractions and schisms--is a joke. The actual philosophy died long ago. What is left, the fractured subculture, feeds my contempt...but it is tempered by the fact that it also provides amusement.

Sharon ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The entirety of your post is one big lie, and you are a vicious bitch for posting it (and you never said of whom it was a copy-and-paste. Who are the "we" in "We have about 500 emails between us"?) The onus of proof is on you. You've repeated the lies from Sewer-world: go ahead and substantiate them. If you claim my own words back them up, go ahead and quote me.

Jesus, the depths to which you scum will stoop!!

'I can connect the

PhilipD's picture

'I can connect the dots...'

That would be a first, Sharon.

Mr. Perigo

sharon's picture

Why would I have to speak to you backstage when you have said all there is to say online? You have been heard and your words have been considered. But feel free to speak to something specific that has “O-lying smack” all over it. What specific outrage and injustice has been made against you that is part of the Big Lie?

Which part of ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... it's all lies don't you get, Sharon? "Established knowledge"? Established smears among Brandroids, you mean. Ask me about any part of it and I'll fill you in. Not for your edification, but for anyone who might believe a word of it. I've covered it all before. I note you didn't ask me about any of it in your backstage talking.

Mr. Perigo

sharon's picture

Oooooh, I think you are on to something fishy! Oh for the love of God, forget about backstage tongue wagging—all of this history is documented online. I can connect the dots from all the various testimony pertaining to this issue, and your own public words and actions hang you.

Now back to the real issues.

Mr. Perigo

sharon's picture

I have been talking backstage gathering information from people who are in the thick of this and have much more knowledge than me, I don’t deny that. But no, not Mr. Kelly himself.

And so what? Big Whoop. I am repeating established knowledge that has been covered many times but should be repeated. And...what?

More diversion tactics from the main issue that you single that out.

Oh dear me Sharon ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That's lies from start to finish, straight out of the mouth of Sewer. I note these words:

Micheal Stewart Kelly and Mr. Perigo used to be very close online friends online. We have about 500 emails between us.

Do you mean you and Sewer have 500 e-mails between you? Or have you just copied and pasted an e-mail from him, and forgotten to alter "we" to "they" and "us" to "them"?

There is much I have learned

sharon's picture

There is much I have learned from reading Objectivist forums, personal emails to me divulging information and just knowing the Objectivist sub-culture in general.

Pertaining to issues of fallouts and scandals, here are some interesting tidbits that I find interesting:

Micheal Stewart Kelly and Mr. Perigo used to be very close online friends. We have about 500 emails between us. Then some stuff happened, all involving his little "ego" in the most petty sense possible.

I also know that Mr. Perigo founded the Libertairan party in NZ (Libertarianz) and didn't do much with it. Then a one bigwig Libertarian Jim Peron, joined forces with Mr. Perigo to see if they could jointly push the movement forward. I understand that Mr. Perigo and Jim Peron didn’t have any “chemistry” and so they had a fallout. Mr. Peron then organized the party and became a force to be reckoned with in NZ politics. Mr. Perigo felt snubbed and started supporting all attempts to discredit Mr. Peron.

The plot thickened: Peron was in Europe for a Libertarian convention and at that point a small right-wing Christian organization in NZ contacted the Locke Foundation digging up papers from decades ago showing how Peron allegedly supported pedophilia in his San Francisco book shop by printing and selling a magazine called "Unbound". He also supposedly held Nambla meetings there as well. (All this information is available online, in the forums and wiki).

There was a formal movement among Libertarians to get age of sexual consent lowered to 14 or under and so I speculate that Mr. Perigo was playing that card against Mr. Peron—a new twist on the “guilt by association” canard. Consequently Peron's visa was cancelled while he was traveling as he was considered an undesirable for his former "pedophilic activity".

The issue moved to the SoloHQ for dialogue and I can see that Mr. Perigo tried to browbeat everybody into calling Peron a pedophile. Michael Kelly chimed in—and later regretted his actions because he did so without proper evidence. (Mr. Kelly later saw documents and sent them to Barbara Branden much later, but they were decades old.) Mr. Peron was a longstanding friend of Miss Branden’s and she balked in the face of this. Numerous high-profile people left SoloHQ around that time because of Mr. Perigo's crabbiness.

Mr. Perigo’s nastiness is legendary. I have read Mr. Perigo’s posts where he is telling esteemed people to fuck off and then Mr. Perigo would apologize the next day, saying that he drank too much the night before, but then it would happen again and again. Fury in the gut remained unsatisfied, and so it was at this point Mr. Perigo tried to leverage support to intimidate Miss Branden into turning on Peron. Miss Branden did not submit and was eventually banned.

Later on, Mr. Perigo read PARC and, lo and behold, this became the gospel truth whereas before it had been refuse. Glory to God! The former sycophant became a present snubbed avenger. Mr. Perigo put on an Academy Award showing with his "I was lost but now I see the light".

Yes, sir, rejection by Objectivist icon Barbara Branden stung this petty aspirant to Objectivist leadership pretty hard. The only way for Mr. Perigo to “save face” was to try to dishonor her if he could not have her endorsement. And you know, I don’t really think that Mr. Perigo believes in PARC. Not really. I don't think he really gives a rat's ass. PARC is only a convenience that has become a banner for Mr. Perigo in his drive to establish himself as an Objectivist leader. In this respect, he is no different than any “leader” or aspiring politician. Lying, manipulation, string-pulling, tactics, libel—all the goodies that has become characteristic of the Objectivist subculture--is the strong suit of any politician. O-Lying indeed!

Edit: Feel free to correct any grammar lapses, Mr. Perigo. Eye

Sources of Irritation

Robert Campbell's picture

I don't know why Mr. Smith thinks the present discussion "did not need to start in the first place."

Obviously, he didn't think he needed to participate in it, but that is a rather different thing.

insulting Ellen Stuttle for no reason at all that I could tell

OK. This makes more sense.

Ms. Stuttle was going out of her way to find differences with a number of participants here, with the apparent aim of getting them to give up and leave. She also seemed to be going out of her way to find points of commonality with Mr. Perigo, an individual who I very much doubt she either likes or respects.

I don't know whether Mr. Smith has gotten involved in any lengthy discussions with Ms. Stuttle. If he does, he may discover that under no circumstances will Ms. Stuttle want to be caught entirely agreeing with any other participant. Even if the disagreements have to be manufactured...

Robert Campbell

More lies ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

In other words, Ayn Rand's ideas must be wrong, unless she was a 100% moral exemplar.

You ignored the words "by her own lights." I don't accept that her ideas must necessarily be wrong if she committed a moral breach. But she insisted that there is no theory/practice dichotomy and she had lived up to her own ideals "resoundingly." That is the claim you and the Brandroids wish to discredit, in your rush to diminish/deny her heroism.

A package deal that Mr. Perigo never showed much inclination to buy, until Barbara Branden diminished him,

As I've said, Babs didn't diminish me with her lies about me, she diminished—nay, totally discredited—herself, as do you, Prof., by your acquiescence thereto.

and he sought revenge in the line that those who cast the slightest doubt on Ms. Rand's personal exemplarity are committing sacrilege.

Utter rubbish. Just another of your lies, Prof. Galt, you stink.

Package Deal

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Perigo insists that

According to Rand herself, hers is a philosophy for living on earth. If it can't be lived by, or if she didn't live by it, by her own lights both are discredited.

In other words, Ayn Rand's ideas must be wrong, unless she was a 100% moral exemplar.

This is what Ms. Rand called a "package deal."

A package deal that Mr. Perigo never showed much inclination to buy, until Barbara Branden diminished him, and he sought revenge in the line that those who cast the slightest doubt on Ms. Rand's personal exemplarity are committing sacrilege.

Unfortunately for Mr. Perigo, there is no interesting or worthwhile system of thought whose validity depends on his having attained moral perfection.

Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged and Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and a bunch of other important stuff.

Lindsay Perigo hasn't done any such thing.

But he imagines that if he just keeps railing about his love for Ms. Rand, and sliming his personal enemies for allegedly betraying her, no one will notice the difference.

Robert Campbell

Lindsay

jeffrey smith's picture

This is not about mere "screwing up," which of course we all do. The Brandroid project is to show that Rand knowingly breached her own principles.

To which I would answer that even if Rand did knowingly breach her own principles, the merits and flaws of Objectivism are not affected one jot thereby.
(edit to add:)
The only way that Rand's own actions could discredit Objectivism would be:
1) she lived completely by her principles
and
2) the results were morally objectionable even from the standpoint of Objectivism

Dr. Campbell

jeffrey smith's picture

I take Mr. Smith at his word that I irritate him more than Mr. Perigo does. Mr. Perigo has fed Mr. Smith a steady diet of insults and I haven't, to my knowledge, insulted Mr. Smith at all, so I must have gotten under his skin in some other way.

1) by keeping alive a discussion that did not need to start in the first place and which should have been allowed to die at the first opportunity. Of course, you are not the only offender on that score, but you are the foremost one.

2)by insulting Ellen Stuttle for no reason at all that I could tell. Moreover, you charged her with needlessly nitpicking, when in fact you seem to be needlessly nitpicking all over the place.

To tell you the truth, 2 is far worse than 1. It wiped out my previous inclination to be sympathetic to another target of Lindsay's overheated rhetoric, and to consider the possibility that said rhetoric was at least for once deserved.

And, since you are the chief attacker in this thread of Mr. Valliant, you have become by default the "Branden side" of the argument here.

Jeffrey

Lindsay Perigo's picture

This is not about mere "screwing up," which of course we all do. The Brandroid project is to show that Rand knowingly breached her own principles.

As for being irritated by the debate, my advice is the same as to anyone else who's irritated: ignore it! Plenty of other stuff going on. Me, I minimise it, but I'll still defend Rand from her diminishers, without being a blind worshipper. And I'll defend Valliant for defending Rand against diminishers' bios that for 20 years were treated as gospel.

Lindsay

jeffrey smith's picture

If it can't be lived by, or if she didn't live by it, by her own lights both are discredited.

If it can't be lived by--yes, it is discredited. If she didn't live by it--no. She is discredited, but Objectivism is not discredited. No more than if you, or Diana Hsieh, or Dr. Peikoff, or anyone else claiming to be an Objectivist, were to be discredited.

a person who embodied it.
Et incarnatus est?
Christians claim Jesus embodied Christianity.
Buddhists claim Guatama embodied Buddhism.
Moslems claim Mohammed embodied Islam.
Orthodox Jews claim Moses and the Rabbis of the Talmud embodied Judaism. Chasidic Jews claim their preferred rabbi embodied Judaism.

Somehow viewing a specific individual with that sort of attitude does not quite cohere with what I know of Objectivism.

I'm glad this is becoming increasingly apparent to you.
Actually, it isn't. Of course, since I do not read the Other Location or any Objectivist forum besides this, the data coming my way is distinctly limited Smiling

People do screw up. That means that Ayn Rand screwed up from time to time. It does Objectivism no good to treat her screws up as anything else--not to treat them as "strange actions" (a term from Sabbatian Kabbalah, referring to apparent violations of the Torah which were claimed to have an esoteric application that rendered their status as violations irrelevant), but to admit they were screw ups and move on from there. The true hero is the one who, when he or she makes a mistake, gets up and resumes the task at hand. The person has never made a mistake can never be a hero, because the only person who never makes a mistake is the person who never does anything at all.

(And I don't intend to point at any particular action of hers as an example. I am merely relying on the fact that no human being is infallible, not even the Pope--and even he claims to be infallible when teaching ex cathedra. Ayn Rand was a human being. Therefore Ayn Rand made mistakes.)

So all of you take a deep breath and say, "Ayn Rand screwed up from time to time, and sometimes she screwed up so royally we can only respond with a WTF! Now, back to Objectivism and how to live it today...."

I am merely irritated that the controversy is being taken to such mind numbingly trivial levels as this imbroglio over Wiki editing. I think, if anything, that instead of discrediting one side or another, this sort of thing discredits Objectivism far more than any attacks on Rand by the Brandens ever could.

Future Irritation, Revisited

Robert Campbell's picture

I shouldn't have bid adieu to Mr. Smith in the first place. That was hasty.

It turned out there were additional matters I thought were worth commenting on here.

I take Mr. Smith at his word that I irritate him more than Mr. Perigo does. Mr. Perigo has fed Mr. Smith a steady diet of insults and I haven't, to my knowledge, insulted Mr. Smith at all, so I must have gotten under his skin in some other way.

I don't know where Mr. Smith acquired the notion that this thread has much to do with "the Branden side of the argument."

The main topic of this particular thread has been Mr. and Mrs. Valliant's clandestine capers over at Wikipedia, which were obliquely commemorated in Mr. Valliant's blog entry, and the effort by Mr. and Mrs. Valliant and/or some of their supporters to get Leonard Peikoff to intervene on their behalf.

The merits and demerits of Mr. Valliant's opus have been discussed on this site (and its immediate predecessor) for 4 years.

If Mr. Smith really wants to the know the "Branden side" of anything, he should read what Nathaniel and Barbara Branden have written. Neither of them posts here.

If he wants to know the "Valliant side" of certain matters pertaining to Mr. and Ms. Branden's relationship with Ayn Rand, he should read PARC.

If he wants to see critiques of Mr. Valliant's opus, he will find some on other threads at SOLOP, and more on clearly labeled threads at ObjectivistLiving.

Robert Campbell

Humanity-Diminisher(TM)

Neil Parille's picture

Linz,

***
Do not think Parille's admission to being a "humanity-diminisher" is insignificant. The Brandroids' obsessive fixation on finding even the smallest thing where Rand might have been vulnerable is testament to their motivation.

***

I don't think you should assume that Brandroids share my humanity-dimishing(TM) views. In fact, I've never met a Brandroid, so I have no idea what the consensus on this issue is.

-Neil

Jeffrey

Lindsay Perigo's picture

But I still maintain that, since Objectivism is a philosophy, and Ayn Rand was a person, the merits of one do have nothing to do with the other

According to Rand herself, hers is a philosophy for living on earth. If it can't be lived by, or if she didn't live by it, by her own lights both are discredited. Which is, as I keep arguing, the point of the Brandroid exercise. To discredit "man as a heroic being," the philosophy that espouses it and a person who embodied it. Do not think Parille's admission to being a "humanity-diminisher" is insignificant. The Brandroids' obsessive fixation on finding even the smallest thing where Rand might have been vulnerable is testament to their motivation. I'm glad this is becoming increasingly apparent to you.

Lindsay, did you notice?

jeffrey smith's picture

Quote in its entirety, including time stamp:
Future Irritation
Robert Campbell's picture
Submitted by Robert Campbell on Thu, 2009-06-18 07:52.

Mr. Smith,

I've said my piece here.

I have no plans to add anything unless Mr. Valliant reappears here (doubtful) or Mrs. Valliant decides to show up (vanishingly improbable).

Consequently, I won't be competing with Mr. Perigo and the rest of the crew in the irritation department.

Ciao,

Robert Campbell

Since then, he has posted 8 times on this thread.

I am getting less and less impressed by the Branden side of the argument....

But I still maintain that, since Objectivism is a philosophy, and Ayn Rand was a person, the merits of one do have nothing to do with the other

Sigh

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Mr. Valliant has done no such thing. Mr. Valliant has said nothing at all on the matter.

Mr. Valliant Must Really Not Be Coming Back...

Robert Campbell's picture

Why would an honorable man engage moral maggots like you?

Pretty heavy-duty, even for Mr. Perigo.

Mr. Valliant must have sworn up and down that he wouldn't return here.

Robert Campbell

Oh dear!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Typical of your camp, Prof, you can't take anything at face value. You assume everyone's like you.

After Mr. Valliant exited this thread, Mr. Perigo seemed to be warming up the excuses for his failure to return.

Seemed to be, to the conspiratorial deformity that passes for your mind.

Otherwise, why piss and moan about Mr. (and Mrs.) Valliant getting a hostile reception on a board that Mr. Perigo controls?

I was pointing out that *you* and your lot were pissing and moaning about his absence. Then, when he returned, you behaved in a way guaranteed to make him wonder why he bothered. You, Prof, said he was on the brink of mental collapse: a typically Brandroid smear, for which you've shown no remorse. Why would an honorable man engage moral maggots like you?

Will Mr. Valliant Be Back?

Robert Campbell's picture

I haven't seen Mr. Perigo in the vanguard of a group of unarmed demonstrators, shouting "Marg bar Doktator," and rushing motorcycle-mounted Basiji.

So I'm not sure why he keeps asking about happenings in Iran.

And what's with this claim that Valliant won't post here any more? That's news to me, and I think I know him a little better than you.

After Mr. Valliant exited this thread, Mr. Perigo seemed to be warming up the excuses for his failure to return.

Otherwise, why piss and moan about Mr. (and Mrs.) Valliant getting a hostile reception on a board that Mr. Perigo controls?

Robert Campbell

Diana responds

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I have received the following e-mail from Diana. As you will see, I have permission to reproduce it:

Linz --

You are -- once again -- making false claims about what I said to you
in private e-mail. You said:

"Though I agreed with the thrust of her expose, I dissented from its
conclusion that S was "fundamentally immoral." I thought he was
fundamentally decent but had been captured and corrupted by The
Brandens. (He had disappeared from SOLO at around the time the
Brandens' missive went out about not posting on SOLO.) I said so. I
got called an "asshole" for that by Diana privately. Too bad. Her
tortuous advocacy of the fatwa caused me to lose respect for her,
though it didn't invalidate her expose."

In fact, I was disappointed in your wishy-washy response on Sciabarra,
but I never would have used such a term, given that we were on
friendly terms. I only called you an asshole for your totally
unjustified smearing on SoloPassion in the election debate.

I checked my e-mail archives to verify that. Next time, you should
check yours. Your memory sucks.

Since this is not the first time you have done this, in the future,
please either (1) do not discuss our private e-mails or (2) quote from
them directly, giving the date and adequate context.

-- DMH

My recollection is that "asshole" covered both the Sciabarra and fatwa debates. I'll check.

Edited to add: I've checked, and Diana is quite right. "Asshole" pertains to the fatwa debate only, though my stance on Sciabarra is mentioned in the same e-mail. Here it is (again, please note Diana's request that if I attribute any view to her I quote it directly). The context is a series of exchanges between us re Diana's view that homosexuality is "unfortunate and sub-optimal." The date is January 8, 2007:

Linz,

If you hadn't behaved like such an asshole from the get-go in this election
debate, I might have told you what LP said about my argument for gay marriage.
(I voted "yes" in the referendum in Colorado -- on principle -- as I announced
publicly before the election in a blog post.)

If you hadn't acted like an asshole, I also would have been happy to tell you
that I think my prior comment about homosexuality wrong -- and I have thought so
for quite some time. (My thoughts on the whole topic of human sexuality are
still very provisional; that's why I haven't wanted to say anything publicly.)

In any case, I'm delighted to see that you'll be finding any conceivable excuse
to attack me publicly. And that you'll be doing so in the most derogatory ways
possible. It's a real sign that our friendship meant something to you -- NOT.
CMS got far more consideration from you than I've gotten -- and you actually had
evidence of his immorality.

Again, do not post any of this message publicly.

See Prof ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

There's not much point in relitigating Mr. Perigo's role in "Dialectical Dishonesty." His lies have been exposed, over and over again.

That's why I regard you as lower than the lowest of the low. I do not lie. I did not lie, about this matter or any other. But you keep insisting I did as though it were an established fact. You either genuinely don't grasp this, in which case you're loopy, or you do, in which case you're vile. Given the lying your pin-up did about me when you were both campaigning to have me dumped as a TAS speaker and the vicious fantasies spun by your O-Lying cohorts like Jonathan, I assume it's the latter. Lying is the currency of all of you. You're all vile. And perhaps a bit loopy as well; LDS is a pathology, after all.

And what's with this claim that Valliant won't post here any more? That's news to me, and I think I know him a little better than you.

All this for the sake of diminishing a hero. That to me is the most unfathomable part. No trivium is too trivial, no lie untellable, no time unwastable in this feeding frenzy of Rand-and-humanity-diminution.

Know what's going on in Iran, Prof?

Robert

Brant Gaede's picture

SOLOP is a hostile environment for the Valliants plus it makes no sense at all for Holly Valliant to post here after all this fuss.

It is a hostile environment because James has no hope standing up to your avalanche of postings or Neil's persistent drilling unless he is in a lot better shape than I think he is physically. There is also the problem that only Gregster is even 1/4 capable of backing him up and Ellen is too objective.

The Wikipedia matter has been pretty much put to bed--by the Wikipedians. The Valliants obviously naturally enough have grossly over-valued PARC. The irony of PARC is it has done Ayn Rand's reputation not a whit of good. Her diaries should have been made available to competent scholars in proper time, not a lawyer putting up an elaborate prosecutor's brief. It's all a turf war. Get the Brandens. It doesn't matter how many times you drive back and forth over the real Rand because the bronzed one on display at the Ayn Rand Institute is the only one that matters to those guys.

--Brant

The Passion of Wikipedia's Critics

Neil Parille's picture

There isn't much more to say about this topic.

I think the case against theValliants is quite strong. IP160 gets banned, James shows up a day later complaining about a Wikipedia article he (or his wife) edited, without so much mentioning that he (or his wife) was involved in some of the editing. Had he done so this would have clued everyone in to the fact that his household was adding mentions of PARC to Wikipedia nine ways to Sunday.

Then Pelaguis1 shows up on Wikipedia saying that he or she made "several 'unlogged in user' edits," but trying to put distance between himself/herself and IP160, even volunteering that he or she is "new":

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/inde...

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/inde...

***

20:01, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) User talk:Skomorokh ‎ (→I am New: new section)

19:16, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Ayn Rand ‎ (→Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.': I'm new -- deleting duplicate.)

19:14, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Objectivism ‎ (→Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics': new section)

18:41, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Ayn Rand ‎ (→Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.': new section)

18:30, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Ayn Rand ‎ (→Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.': new section)

18:19, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Objectivism (Ayn Rand) ‎ (→Restoring James Valliant and The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics)

18:19, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Objectivism (Ayn Rand) ‎ (→Restoring James Valliant and The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics: new section)

***

New? Mrs. Valliant's first use of Wikipedia goes back at least to December 14, 2008, since that was the first mention of PARC from IP160.

Finally we hear from Mr. Valliant (on June 13, more than three weeks after the IP160/James Valliant connection was exposed) that Pelgius1 is his wife and that he didn't make any of the PARC inserts.

In other words, it went down like almost every other case of sockpuppety since the invention of the internet.

At the very least Pelagius1 is Mrs. Valliant's sockpuppet. I suspect that Pelagius1 was created to give Mr. Valliant some "plausible deniability."

I'd like to hear from Mr. and Mrs. Valliant concerning just what (if anything) they told Leonard Peikoff about Barbara Branden's supposed involvement in the Wikipedia banning.

We had The Passion of Ayn Rand, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics: The Case Against the Brandens, The Passion of James Valliant's Criticism, and now The Passion of Wikipedia's Critics: The Case Against the Valliants.

-Neil

EDIT:

WSS has collected the relevant posts here:

http://www.marciadamon.com/rnd...

Valliant's evasions are on full parade.

A Hostile Environment ... for Mr. Perigo's Friends?

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Perigo seems determined not to get my point.

Jim and Holly Valliant are refusing to post at SOLO, even though it is not a hostile site, not even a neutral one. Quite the contrary—it's run by their chief remaining partisan, who has banned some of their detractors at one time or another.

Chris Sciabarra's "invitation" was to post at a site run by his biggest enemy, who was openly collaborating with his other biggest enemies. All had made it clear they were playing dirty, believed themselves entitled to play dirty, and intended to keep playing dirty. Meanwhile, some of his supporters had been banned.

There's not much point in relitigating Mr. Perigo's role in "Dialectical Dishonesty." His lies have been exposed, over and over again. Ms. Hsieh's complaints, spun out to 12,600 words, actually had amazingly little to do with Mr. Perigo's, which she barely mentioned in her screed. All of that has become painfully clear now that Ms. Hsieh has made her exit from here, and Mr. Perigo has shown virtually no interest in defending any of her specific statements.

Obviously Dr. Sciabarra isn't coming back to SOLOP. He no longer posts anywhere, except on his own blog. But everyone should be aware how much the scene has changed. Ms. Hsieh, as a prudent observer would have known all along, has followed her career path within the Ayn Rand Institute, which took her away from Mr. Perigo in the fall of 2006. Except for Boaz Simovici, her entire ARIan cheering section departed with her. Mr. Maurone can be occasionally spotted here, wandering in ill-lit corners and muttering about Perigonian perfidy. Now Mr. Valliant has exited, perhaps for good.

What's remarkable, then, is not that some of Mr. Perigo's enemies have no desire to post at SOLO.

What's remarkable is how many of his friends don't want to post here.

Robert Campbell

How They Used to Do Things at ARI

Robert Campbell's picture

Gregster is either grossly ignorant of the Ayn Rand Institute way of doing things, or pretending to be.

I'm not sure which, but it's hardly worth researching.

Of Yaron Brook's recent appearance at a Republican gathering, he says:

And the purpose of Brook's appearance? To tell them where they are going wrong!

Yeah, well, I was at David Kelley's fatal libertarian supper club speech.

He was telling 'em to get right with Rand.

None of which prevented him from getting expelled, for "the sanction of libertarianism."

Robert Campbell

PS. I have no problem with Mr. Brook speaking at Republican gatherings, on libertarian talk shows, whatever. Just pointing out that if Dr. Peikoff's fatwa of fall 2006 still carried any weight, he'd be doing no such thing.

If "Sewer" takes up the challenge...

Ellen Stuttle's picture

...I hope the battles will be continued on a different thread.

Seems to me that at most there are two people (me and WSS) still posting on the current thread who have any lingering interest at this stage of developments in the minutiae of what was done on Wikipedia, by whom, betwixt the Valliant pair.

My own conclusion, after careful examining of the Wikipedia records, is that the story involves some marital dissension. I'm not desirous of documenting the bases for my conclusion.

Thus I'm going to bow out here. However, whatever use this thread might have for the Wikipedia editors who have been reading it will become buried if the thread now becomes fully dominated by battles amongst those who are fighting previous wars.

Ellen

BTW, Perren ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Do you realize that with your dander up you did your best writing ever? This may seem like sacrilege, but I laughed my tits off and applauded at the end. Shall I rile you up every day?

I'll forego the kind offer of a punch in the nose, however. How about an arm-wrestle? (Though I fear Hilton might get jealous.)

In such a contest, I would, of course, kick your sorry Sinatrian ass to the other side of the moon. We'll call it Mario vs. Frank. Eye

Good Lord!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The Prof. affects to believe Valliant and I would be welcome to post on Lying. If that were true, I wouldn't soil myself by doing so. But it isn't. Sewer made it clear some time back that no "Branden-bashing" would be allowed. Lying is a shrine to The Brandens.

Campbell complains that the deck would be stacked against Sciabarra if Chris ever chose to respond to Diana and me here, Sewer being banned and all. Poor Chris if he had to rely on Sewer to defend him. That would make him as pathetic as Babs.

But Sewer can come here if he wishes. He was banned for gross bad faith. The Prof. posts in gross bad faith and he's not banned, so I may as well be consistent. Good faith, good will, good humour ... the Prof. demonstrates none of them, yet I put up with him, for some reason, so I may as well put up with Sewer.

Since the Prof. continues to lie about the Sciabarra expose, I'll reiterate certain facts, yet again, for the record:

1) I did not instigate it.

2) I was apprised of it when it was well underway.

3) At approximately the same time I was apprised of Sciabarra's astonishing, back-stabbing e-mails about me to Joe Maurone.

4) Sciabarra's response when I confronted him privately was not to put matters right but to vow never to speak to Maurone again.

5) These e-mails reinforced the veracity of what Diana was claiming about Sciabarra in her expose.

6) Thus I had no hesitation in letting her publish it on SOLO as well as her own blog.

7) Though I agreed with the thrust of her expose, I dissented from its conclusion that S was "fundamentally immoral." I thought he was fundamentally decent but had been captured and corrupted by The Brandens. (He had disappeared from SOLO at around the time the Brandens' missive went out about not posting on SOLO.) I said so. I got called an "asshole" for that by Diana privately. Too bad. Her tortuous advocacy of the fatwa caused me to lose respect for her, though it didn't invalidate her expose.

Prof.

gregster's picture

"His 2006 fatwa to vote Democratic drew a lot of opposition, even within ARI; it was not renewed in the fall of 2008, and must really have become a dead letter, since Yaron Brook recently appeared at a Republican gathering in Virginia."

And the purpose of Brook's appearance? To tell them where they are going wrong!

Mr. Perigo's Complete Liberty

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Perigo's campaign against Chris Sciabarra keeps right on relying on his pious denial that he ever engages in behind-the-scenes scheming, or ever sets traps for anyone.

It is doubtful that anyone who has had significant dealings with Mr. Perigo believes this.

It is doubtful, for that matter, that Mr. Perigo really believes it.

But he persists, hoping all the while that no one else will suppose himself or herself entitled to the special privilege of publishing private emails from Mr. Perigo.

Mr. Perigo expects much better results out of sheer repetition than can be prudently expected.

(Speaking of which, if Mr. Perigo must keep running my photo alongside Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's bed-head special, he could at least get one of me in higher res...)

He, btw, has always been at complete liberty to refute Diana here if he wishes.

Hmm... yes... well... I don't speak for the management, over yonder, but I imagine that Jim Valliant is at complete liberty to refute his detractors at ObjectivistLiving, if he wishes.

So, come to think of it, is Mr. Perigo.

Neither has been in any hurry to exercise that liberty.

I wonder why.

Back in April 2006, Chris Sciabarra was being "invited" to post at a site whose owner had just sponsored a group sliming of his reputation, and played a major role in it personally.

He was being asked to respond to selective publication of his private emails, with the implied threat that more would be used against him if he objected. He did not want to quote anybody else's private emails in public, and the other major players seemed to be counting on him not to do so.

All three of the other principals in that collective trashing—Diana Hsieh, Jim Valliant, and Joe Maurone—were actively participating on the site. Ms. Hsieh had an imported chorus in those days, and Mr. Valliant could count on Mrs. Valliant and Casey Fahy for background jeering.

Meanwhile, some who might have been inclined to defend Dr. Sciabarra—Michael Stuart Kelly, for instance—had been banned from SOLO.

Others probably would have been. William Scott Scherk has been "ban ban bannity ban banned" from this board at least twice.

Meanwhile, Mr. Perigo pisses and moans because Jim and Holly Valliant don't want to face some of their critics on a site that Mr. Perigo himself operates, and that some of their detractors have been kicked off in the past.

Hardly comparable, is it?

Robert Campbell

The Big Country

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Although I don't engage in such activities as pronouncing on "the five best films in the history of cinema," and similar lists, The Big Country is one of my all-time very favorites.

The only thing I find "off" about it is the issue of why the character played by Gregory Peck fell for the character played by Carroll Baker in the first place. Necessary plot device to get him out there to the Tyrell (sp?) ranch, but I don't find the initial attraction believable. The rest of the story I think is wonderful. I remember scenes from that movie often. Even Charlton Heston actually acts in it. One scene especially, a particular expression and then decisive motion -- so much compressed of a crucial choice being made and the conflict of loyalties (to justice or to the man) behind the path taken.

That's just one detail. The movie is rife with telling details -- and is cinematographically a feast.

Ellen

time-stamp question

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Am I correct in thinking that SOLO time-stamps according to UTC (formerly GMT)?

My post below is time-stamped Sun, 2009-06-21 00:08; I submitted it at 8:08 pm 6/20/09 by my computer clock's time, which is EDT. Ergo, yes.........?

Ellen

Not quite, Neil

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Neil (in #72895, "Spy vs. Spy"):

"Notwithstanding the Spy versus Spy sleuthing and counter-sleuthing by me, WSS, Ellen and RC, the fact remains that PARC is an incredibly bad book. (I believe it was Ellen who said it was the second worst book she had ever seen.)"

I've forgotten myself the exact wording I used, but I know well the nature of the comparison I was making -- I've thought of the comparison many times during the several years in which my fingers developed a chronic itch yearning to perform editorial overhauling of PARC.

PARC is the most badly executed book in print which I've dealt with extensively. I have no doubt that there are in print books the execution of which is worse. I don't happen to have examined those in detail, however.

The comparison I was making was to a book which I extensively ghost re-wrote before it appeared in print. After my ministrations the book received a number of best-list awards for excellence of science writing in books for young readers.

I had a rep for being able to take a badly done manuscript and fix it. (I also outright ghost-wrote a few photojournalism works the "authors" of which were skilled photographers but lousy writers.)

I consider PARC very badly done.

The issue of the book's flaws, however, is irrelevant to whether or not the Valliants (or even one of the Valliants) were engaged in some sort of plot to get PARC insinuated all over the place in Wikipedia articles about Rand and/or Objectivism.

Two different issues.

Ellen

Carroll Baker

Jeff Perren's picture

"I don't know Carroll Baker, but I'm sure she was very good." Linz

If you don't know that I was referring to an actress in one of the five best films in the history of cinema, The Big Country, then your cultural education has been lacking. Rectify it asap. You won't be sorry.

Prof ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Mr. Perigo routinely refers to me as nutty.

"Skanky," actually, though your conspiracy theories are definitely nutty.

He has seen fit to liken me to Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.

Can't imagine what you mean.

He did not allow his compassion, if any, for Chris Sciabarra's debilitating, painful, ongoing physical condition to interfere with his program of lying about Dr. Sciabarra and teaming up with Mr. Valliant, among others, to publicly trash his reputation.

The only liar, not to mention backstabber, in that situation was Sciabarra. Even his sister told him he was being an "asshole." Ask him! He, btw, has always been at complete liberty to refute Diana here if he wishes. And I was always solicitous for his health. Again, ask him.

Goodness!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Very impressive, Jeff, and I hope you feel better Eye —except my remark was directed at Howard. Scroll down and you'll find the post of his to which I refer.

Since you decided to don the cap, let me just say, again, to *everyone*: if this debate is not for you, fine. But be consistent and stay *right* out—don't loftily declare your superiority by dint of not taking part. Don't enter the fray just to declare you're above it. To do so is moral equivalence right there.

I don't know Carroll Baker, but I'm sure she was very good. Eye

I Call Foul

Jeff Perren's picture

"Because believe me, low-lifes don't come lower than Campbell, apart from the creatures to whom he is in thrall.

Oh. One exception. Folk who make a virtue of taking no side, and submit masturbationary posts about how superior they are on that account. Odd how they never show up on the non-internecine, pro-freedom threads, which vastly outnumber the likes of this one." Linz

As Reagan said in a Presidential debate: "There you go again."

Some guys are never sure they like you until you punch them in the nose. Fine. Drop by and I'll be happy to accommodate. It wouldn't be the first time I've had to do that with some pushy, butch guy who thought I'd take it silently forever and wouldn't be satisfied until I fought back. So, enjoy the fact that you finally got me riled enough to respond. In the meantime, you'll have to be satisfied with my demonstrating that your whole position is complete bullshit.

I really don't know why you always have to distort my position, why always the blackest interpretation possible of my words. I also don't know whether your distortion is deliberate, in order to make yours appear supportable, or whether you are just being dense. I'll try one last time to explain my views and actions, and that your evaluation of them are entirely wrong, and if you still don't get it, there's no hope for you.

1. It's true I rarely give a good god damn if someone asserts that Ayn Rand was personally immoral, ditto for Gauss, Rachmaninoff, Gene Kelly (all of whom were reputed to be hard to get along with), or any other genius. Even if it were true, it's utterly irrelevant to an evaluation of and support for their great works, which is all that's important after they've been long gone. Feel free to disagree and allocate your own time as you see fit, but don't mock a reasonable position and choice just because it differs from your own. That's unreasonable, and unjust, not to mention at odds with rational individualism.

2. People who level ad hominems and gratuitous, undeserved insults at Rand are just demonstrating that they really have at best weak evidence or a non-viable argument to support their criticism. I don't feel the need to respond to them every time, in every forum. That you feel that need is your choice, not mine. Respect that different choice and knock off the distortions of my motives and character.

3. Why in hell should I - or any other person with a valuable life and limited time - spend much time arguing over (for the tenth or hundredth time, I might add) the views of fools with too much time on their hands? Unpleasant enough to devote oneself to flyswatting, which is sometimes necessary. But swatting the bacteria that live on their legs? Spray some long-lasting insecticide and move on.

If that's taking an attitude of being "superior" so be it. What it most certainly is not is "taking no side."

It does NOT imply a position of moral equivalence to regard the discussion as not worth my time and mental effort, nor yours. Quite the opposite. It depends on who is saying what, when. It's precisely because the participants on the two sides, and their positions, are NOT morally equivalent that it's NOT worth the time, certainly not over and over again. (See bacteria swatting and insecticide above.)

Even if the two sides were equivalent, which I repeat for clarity's sake they're not, it would still not be worth the time. (See Points #1 and #2 above.)

4. I remind you that you "advised" me to stay completely out of it. Now, following that advice gets me, once again, a gratuitous insult, in the form of being allegedly lower than Rand-diminishers and humanity-diminishers. Do you have any objectivity at all, not to mention a sense of justice? Where is your sense of proportion? What the hell standard are you applying in making this ranking?

5. On what basis do you conclude that I've taken no side, anyway? I said during the early days of discussing James's book that (a more or less verbatim quote): "I'm not convinced that it can do much to clear the way for an improved discussion of Rand's philosophy, but if it does, then bless you for that." Beyond that, how many times have I said clearly and publicly that I stand with those who regard Rand as a hero, no matter what peccadilloes she had, if any.

This occasional attempt to paint me as some sort of fence sitter or "rubber tube" is ludicrous. The audience here knows better (and if anyone doubts it they can read my blog or the hundreds of posts I've made here or at the old SOLO). Your attempt is just lending support to my view that you lack objectivity and justice on this issue. Am I somehow morally obligated to make extended comments every time someone asserts an opinion? If not, what obligates me in this case, and to do so multiple times?

6. And since when have I failed to comment on "non-internecine, pro-freedom" threads? My participation there is much heavier than it has been here, which is, after all, one of the reasons for your unfounded assertions and defamatory slams. Man, talk about cherry picking data to make your conclusion come out what you want it to be in the first place...

Tell you what, you post one and then make a little side note that "Hey, Jeff, be sure to comment on this one," and by golly I'll be sure to come a runnin' Massa Perigo. And if I don't say jus' what you think I outta you kin whip yo' lil nigger 'til he gets his mind right, yah? Since you've decided that my time and life are yours to direct, on pain of false, unjust assertions, why just speak right up with how you think I ought to arrange my personal priorities.

7. Can you not have a civil disagreement with someone who doesn't share your exact position on every single issue, no matter what the circumstances or what reasons he might have for his view and choices?

Are you just trying to drive away an ally who agrees with you 999 times out of a 1000? Does accepting "say what you mean and mean what you say" imply that one's every view must be stated publicly, and over and over again at that, or else be regarded as cowardly or otherwise morally defective?

Is every single issue equivalent to the protests in Tehran where silence or indifference is acquiescence to evil? And, while I'm spending time responding to every lesser issue, how am I to avoid sacrificing the time for those more important ones? Can't you see how inconsistent your position is, how impossible it would be to follow your advice and still support reason, freedom, and good values where it counts?

I'm getting a little tired of playing Gregory Peck to your Carroll Baker. As Jean Simmons' character said to Baker's in The Big Country "How many times does a man have to win you?"

Now I'm going to go act superior and get back to working on a novel with heroes doing heroic things, and blogging about real-life villains doing atrocious things, because I've only got so many hours left on this earth and I don't intend to spend more of them proving how wrong you are.

Barrel Scrape

Robert Campbell's picture

Here it is June of 2009 and Gregster has scrape back to January and February of 2006 for "inspirational" treatments of Mr. Valliant's opus.

The excerpt from Ms. Hsieh should remind us that she then saw Mr. Valliant's book as a recruiting tool for the Ayn Rand Institute; indeed, she would break off her alliance with Mr. Perigo less than a year later, because of his insufficient fealty to that organization. It should also remind us of her sense of fairness and her gift at proportionality. She does, after all, liken critics of the Ayn Rand Institute to Holocaust deniers.

The excerpt from Mr. Cresswell's piece alludes to his effort to out-Valliant Jim Valliant. That would seem an impossible feat, but in holding TheBrandens responsible for Ayn Rand's failure to complete To Lorne Dieterling, he came up with a charge unimaginable even to the author of PARC.

So where are we now?

Ms. Hsieh no longer mentions Mr. Valliant or his opus on her blog. Could she have decided that his book is not really the best recruiting tool for ARI, and promoting it will not keep her on a rising career trajectory within that organization? When two participants in her Wednesday open comment thread (June 10, 2009) mentioned Dr. Peikoff's letter to Jimmy Wales (posted at Peikoff.com on June 8 ), she did not respond.

Mr. Cresswell has been away from here for a long time. Does he still harbor any inclination to defend Mr. Valliant and his book? Does still he care for Mr. Perigo's online company? Who knows?

Leonard Peikoff sponsored the book. Recently, he was prevailed on to defend it, via his email to Jimmy Wales, subsequently displayed on Peikoff.com. But whoever manages his site has now removed the Peikoff-to-Wales missive (according to Michael Stuart Kelly, it had to be removed by hand; material at peikoff.com does not turn over automatically with each new podcast).

Dr. Peikoff elicited very few statements of support for Mr. Valliant or his book when he posted his letter to Mr. Wales. Perhaps he has learned something about the limits of his sway, even in the staunchest Orthodox neighborhoods of Rand-land. His 2006 fatwa to vote Democratic drew a lot of opposition, even within ARI; it was not renewed in the fall of 2008, and must really have become a dead letter, since Yaron Brook recently appeared at a Republican gathering in Virginia.

Besides, it is reasonable to assume that Dr. Peikoff was persuaded to complain to Jimmy Wales because he thought that his archenemy, Barbara Branden, was behind TheValliants' woes at Wikipedia. It may subsequently have dawned on Dr. Peikoff that he was fed some misinformation on that particular subject.

One wonders whether he got his misinformation from the same person or persons who urged him to cc an insane eeevul professor previously unknown to him.

Robert Campbell

The Incredible Disappearing Mr. Valliant

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Valliant really isn't coming back here.

At least, his ally Mr. Perigo is announcing as much.

James must be wondering why he bothered explaining himself here. First he was damned for his silence.

It was Mr. Valliant who boasted on this very board that all he had to do was say "open sesame," and the Ayn Rand Archives would admit Neil Parille into their exclusive precincts.

Once it became obvious that the Archives would do no such thing (one wonders whether Mr. Valliant would be able to get back into those Archives on his own these days), he absented himself from SOLOP. Even after Mr. Scherk and Mr. Parille were red-buttoned by Mr. Perigo, Mr. Valliant would not reappear. Only the collapse of his and Mrs. Valliant's clandestine efforts at Wikipedia brought him back here, and then not for long.

Then, when he stepped up, the Brandroids immediately started on their "gotcha" games, in the process attributing claims to him that he never made.

Which claims were these? And how would Mr. Perigo have any idea, since he can't be bothered dealing with evidence? During his last visit to the site, which ran just three days, Mr. Valliant contradicted himself more than once.

Campbell topped even that with his allegation that James—suffering from a debilitating, painful, ongoing physical condition—was on the brink of a mental collapse. That was surely the dirtiest moment yet in this dirty campaign by dirtbags to vindicate their dirtbag pin-ups.

Mr. Perigo routinely refers to me as nutty. He has seen fit to liken me to Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. He did not allow his compassion, if any, for Chris Sciabarra's debilitating, painful, ongoing physical condition to interfere with his program of lying about Dr. Sciabarra and teaming up with Mr. Valliant, among others, to publicly trash his reputation. Dirty campaigns are the only kind he knows how to wage. So he ought to refrain from cuing the violin section.

Mr. (or Mrs.) Valliant's recent demand (as "Pelagius1") that any Wikipedia citation to Nathaniel or Barbara Branden be automatically offset with a citation to Mr. Valliant's book was authentically crazy. Mr. Valliant's parting threat to Mr. Scherk and his final shot at Mr. Parille bordered on incoherent. They went well beyond "Italian barristry." I asked Mr. Perigo to make sense of the gibe directed at Mr. Parille; he hasn't offered an interpretation.

If Mr. Valliant was indeed losing it the other day, presumably the episode was temporary and there is a remedy for his condition. Unfortunately, no change of medication is likely to make Mr. Valliant a more careful scholar, a better writer, or a more honest human being.

Why would James and Holly engage with enemy partisans devoid of a shred of decency?

Getting past Mr. Perigo's wearisome melodrama and special pleading, a reader of this site might be tempted to wonder how Jim and Holly Valliant could be so reluctant to post at a site run by a prominent ally—not to mention, one of their few remaining friends.

It's not as though anyone is asking Mr. and Mrs. Valliant to post at ObjectivistLiving. Or Rebirth of Reason. Even a neutral site like Richard Dawkins'. We're talking about a board run by a ferocious defender of theirs, who hasn't hesitated to rip their critics in the past, and who has the power to ban people who offend him (recently using it against two of their detractors).

If Jim and Holly Valliant can't post at SOLOP, for fear of "enemy partisans," it's because they're so incompetent at publicly defending their actions that they can't post anywhere.

Robert Campbell

Print References to Mr. Valliant's Opus

Robert Campbell's picture

As Neil Parille and William Scott Scherk noted, there have been very few references in print to The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics in the four years since it was published.

Here are the ones that I know of.

Brian Doherty mentioned the book in a single long footnote in Radicals for Capitalism, published in 2007. Mr. Valliant's opus is treated as late-breaking news and is netted out in a fairly neutral manner, though Mr. Doherty begs to differ with one of Mr. Valliant's assertions and explicitly criticizes restrictions on access to the Ayn Rand Archives.

Rob Bradley mentions the book in an appendix to Volume 1 of his projected trilogy on Capitalism at Work, which came out late last year. The appendix is titled "The Ayn Rand Problem"; it presents Ayn Rand's affair with Nathaniel Branden as an instance of hubristic overreach, contrary to the principles that Ms. Rand claimed to stand for. Mr. Valliant's book is cited but his interpretations are sharply rejected; for instance, Mr. Bradley points out that any professional psychologist at work today would consider Ms. Rand's provision of therapy sessions for her business partner and estranged lover to be unethical.

I cited Mr. Valliant's opus in my essay on Eddie Willers, published in 2007 in Ed Younkins' edited volume on Atlas Shrugged. I quoted a brief passage from Ayn Rand's diaries (on Patrecia Scott as an "Eddie Willers" figure), cutting out Mr. Valliant's interpolated comment.

I cited Mr. Valliant again in my article on "The Peikovian Doctrine of the Arbitrary Assertion," in the Fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. I use Mr. Valliant's charges of arbitrariness (directed, of course, at TheBrandens) to illustrate (a) how ortho-Objectivists normally direct such charges at people who say unpleasant things about Ayn Rand's character and personal life and (b) how ortho-Objectivists fail to apply the doctrine consistently when they make such charges (the same statements that Mr. Valliant dismisses as arbitrary he also claims are false).

Meanwhile, how many print references has Mr. Valliant garnered from Andrew Bernstein, Tara Smith, David Harriman, Onkar Ghate, Bob Mayhew, Brad Thompson, Lisa van Damme, Shoshana Mllgram, Jeff Britting, Harry Binswanger, Leonard Peikoff, Greg Salmieri, and the rest of the ARI crew?

So far as I know... zero, zilch, zip, nada.

In the past four years, then, I have cited PARC more often in print than anyone else has.

I expect, of course, that both Jennifer Burns and Anne Heller will mention Mr. Valliant and his book in their forthcoming biographies of Ayn Rand. There's a chance they'll mention him at greater length than anyone else has so far. How favorable their mentions will be remains to be seen.

Robert Campbell
Insane Eeeevul Professor

Spy vs. Spy

Neil Parille's picture

Notwithstanding the Spy versus Spy sleuthing and counter-sleuthing by me, WSS, Ellen and RC, the fact remains that PARC is an incredibly bad book. (I believe it was Ellen who said it was the second worst book she had ever seen.)

The book has been out for four years and Valliant hasn't produced a single document or interview supporting the ARI take on Ayn Rand.

Not even Lindsay or Gregster will take a crack at the examples of serious mistakes that I've screen-shot.

Leonard Peikoff's claim that he would defend PARC in "any forum" now looks as likely as the restoration of the Stuarts or his DIM book being published before 2027.

But we'll see how the two biographers treat PARC, if at all.

The technique

Brant Gaede's picture

of broadening out the context of this discussion to refute or ignore or obscure the actual particulars is some kind of fallacy used by both Lindsay and now Gregster. It's an implicit appeal to ARI-type tribalism.

--Brant

Sleuthing

Ellen Stuttle's picture

I've spent the last 3 hours reading through details of edits and timing from the juncture at which the Pelagius1 account started and subsequent.

My eyes are killing me, and I can't start trying to explicate conclusions now. Summarizing in a few words: I don't think that either Valliant was up to "shenanigans" (borrowing Neil's description from a recent post).

===

Responding to part of Neil's "Nits to Pick and Bones to Chew" (#72856):

 

Neil writes:
(The links won't work; I just copied his text splat straight from the screen.)

~~~

Down yonder I asked Mr. Valliant:

****

http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

1. Which editor? Pelagius1?

2. IP160 was banned for uncivil behavior and various violations of Wikipedia protocol. How many of IP160's posts were you, and how many your wife? Were you the one inserting the references to PARC?

****

Mr. Valliant responded:

****

http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

Ask someone who knows, Neil, cause I sure don't. I did not "insert" PARC anywhere.

****

I took this as Valliant's denial of even knowing who was making the inserts/edits/additions or whatever you wish to call them. One reason is because Mr. Valliant told me in March that he didn't know who was making the inserts.

~~~

 

I think you read the answer wrong, Neil. Notice that you asked JV several questions:

1. Which editor? Pelagius1?
2. IP160 was banned for uncivil behavior and various violations of Wikipedia protocol. How many of IP160's posts were you, and how many your wife? Were you the one inserting the references to PARC?

 

He replies:

Ask someone who knows, Neil, cause I sure don't. I did not "insert" PARC anywhere.

 

I read the first sentence as answering your questions up to the last one ("Were you the one inserting the references to PARC?"), and the second sentence as the answer to that last question.

 

Re:

"One reason [you took the answer as you did] is because Mr. Valliant told [you] in March that he didn't know who was making the inserts."

I don't know:

- exactly how you phrased your question;

- exactly how he responded;

- how many references there were to PARC by that time;

- how much mention Holly had made to him, and in what detail, about the references.

But just suppose that she told him each and every time she put in a reference, wouldn't you imagine that he might have considered ~you~ not the person to whom he wanted to reveal this? Further, it would have been a circumstance wherein a response of "None of your business" would of itself have revealed that he knew (if he did).

Ellen

More underhand tactics?

gregster's picture

At least you correct yourself there Neil. And you know he didn't withdraw it, it was no longer current on Peikoff's podcasts.

Linz: I see what you mean.

Peikoff

Neil Parille's picture

Linz,

***

How/where did Peikoff resile from his attempt to rally the troops against Wikipedia? What did I miss?

***

If "resile" means withdraw, then this took place when he removed his letter to Jimmy Wales from www.peikoff.com.

I should not have used "retract."

-Neil

Gracious!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

How/where did Peikoff resile from his attempt to rally the troops against Wikipedia? What did I miss?

Now Greg, are you going to remain solid this time, or will you be seduced by Campbell again? Because believe me, low-lifes don't come lower than Campbell, apart from the creatures to whom he is in thrall.

Oh. One exception. Folk who make a virtue of taking no side, and submit masturbationary posts about how superior they are on that account. Odd how they never show up on the non-internecine, pro-freedom threads, which vastly outnumber the likes of this one.

Time's Up Parille

gregster's picture

You're full of shit.

"Neither has said anything about PARC, best I can tell, in over a year."

That's meaningless, they haven't retracted their clear statements either.

"Neither commented upon Leonard Peikoff's attempt to rally the troops against Wikipedia, which Peikoff even backed away from a week later."

Meaningless again. And as for Leonard, he has done much for his restating of PARC's essential truth.

"So this doesn't constitute a ringing endorsement of PARC by those close to the ARI."

Because they don't have anything to prove. Rand's genius speaks for itself, in case you fuckwits hadn't noticed.

"Peter Cresswell doesn't post much here anymore."

Again, meaningless. He's a man with a life, unlike you you miserable piece of shit.

Gregster

Neil Parille's picture

Gregster,

Diana Hsieh wrote a favorable review of PARC, as did Edward Cline of the Center for Advancement of Capitalism. Neither has said anything about PARC, best I can tell, in over a year. Neither commented upon Leonard Peikoff's attempt to rally the troops against Wikipedia, which even Peikoff retracted a week later. So this doesn't constitute a ringing endorsement of PARC by ARI supporters.

Peter Cresswell doesn't post much here anymore.

And while you and Mr. Perigo claim the mistakes I have found in PARC are minor, no one has been willing to spend 10-15 of his time actually defending the book.

No wonder theValliants(c) had to resort to their Wikipedia shenanigans.

-Neil

Backtrack

gregster's picture

Some reminders lest we forget.

Diana Hsieh wrote:

"Jim Valliant's case against Nathaniel and Barbara Branden in The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics is so overwhelming that no honest person can read it without dramatically changing their judgment of the Brandens for the worse -- and of Ayn Rand for the better. Moreover, a person who accepts any part of the Brandens' portrayal of Ayn Rand, yet refuses to read the book is either dishonest, irresponsible, or a coward. There's just no excuse for self-inflicted blindness -- particularly not from people with any measure of trust in or contact with the Brandens.

And yes, that includes those who attend TOC Summer Seminars, claiming that TOC's involvement with the Brandens isn't important. As PARC shows, Nathaniel Branden is determined to destroy Ayn Rand and Objectivism by whatever dishonest means he can -- all because Ayn Rand dared to reject him after discovering his years and years of immorality concealed by deception. Such a person ought never speak under the banner of a supposedly Objectivist organization, particularly not with his reputation as some kindly grandfather of Objectivism. Any supposedly Objectivist organization willing to give him a platform ought to be boycotted -- by every person who sincerely values Ayn Rand's philosophy. The issue is just that serious: it's like attending a "Freedom Summit" with Uncle Joe Stalin as the keynote speaker."

Peter Cresswell wrote, in a great piece here:

"As Rand’s Journals now show incontrovertibly, at the time of abandoning her novel on value-betrayers, Rand was up to her eyes with the real thing: offering psychotherapy to a man—her chosen legal and intellectual heir—who had over the years play-acted the role of an Objectivist hero in order to ingratiate himself with Rand, and to literally gain his chance at the big time—at fame, fortune and professional advancement through the sexual and romantic exploitation of a famous and widely-respected woman. That man was Nathaniel Branden. No wonder he hoped the Journals would never see the light of day; they expose him as a con-man and a fraud."

The yapping Parille and the nutty Prof. have been laying down smoke and the Wiki activities are even less significant than the minor quibbles NP has proved of PARC.

Laundering Reality, Tainting PARC

William Scott Scherk's picture

Neil: Of course, that IP160 posted a reference to PARC 16 minutes after Valliant emailed from IP160 isn't conclusive proof that Valliant made the edits, but it counts for something.

The more I see of the actual contributions of TheValliants© to the Wikipedia articles and talk pages, the more I figure that it was a package deal. Considering that the two are spouses, and worked closely on the book, and very closely in its initial promotion, and that Holly was a regular participant in PARC-related matters online, they are to all intents and purposes a tag-team, a single actor. Trying to figure out who did exactly what isn't fruitful, finally -- as Ellen points out, there is no 'proof' to be had; in the absence of TheValliants© giving an explanation, the only arbiter that matters has ruled: TheValliants© abused Wikipedia.

Thus, in Wikipedia's editors' and admnistrators' eyes, both IP160 and Pelagius are in effect one single account: the topic ban has since been applied to the entire team. Moreover, the editors and administrators are alert to any further kind of gaming of the system on behalf of PARC. It's going to take some concerted efforts of PARC's detractors, of those who don't have a partisan position in its defence, for it to have a chance of being cited there . . .

I understand that WSS had some exchanges with Jim that overlap with Pelagius1's comments, so maybe he will chime in.

James wrote to me that he had no idea about any topic ban a week after the six month was applied, some twenty days after IP160 had initially been blocked by a first, 31 hour ban, and some ten days after IP160 had been subject to a week-long topic ban. The week-long ban was lodged on 9th of May -- this is the ban that blocked the changes to the very passages James remarked upon in his article up top here on the 10th. (all the Wikipedia pleading, comments, warnings to IP160 on this page) In other words, the ban on IP160 contributions happened the night before James' posting here. Co-incidence perhaps.

Also coincidental -- when James wrote to me on the 19th, as it turns out, this was the very first evening that Pelagius1's account appeared on WP. That's right -- the email to me denying any knowledge of a topic ban, and the blithe assertion that he was presently editing Wikipedia, this within an hour of the inception of the Pelagius1 account**

In support of the statement that he had no idea of the IP160 topic ban, James wrote that he had just edited/added a reference to Kelley's 'Evidence of the Senses.' Now, maybe James was 'coming clean,' maybe he was unaware that anything had happened. Maybe Holly had adjusted to the topic ban by finally creating and logging in to a new account, and then drifted off to feed the dogs. But, is it credible that he and Holly had just completed several months of work on Wikipedia, and had been subject to many escalating warnings, cautions, entreaties and finally three separate bannings . . . and that they didn't share information about these events?

The same evening there were a number of contributions, listed below. It is possible that James did only the one contribution in the long evening of posts, and that Holly took over controls before and after the acknowledged contribution. As I said, it doesn't matter. Neither of them will be back doing any kind of work on Wikipedia, and it seems neither of them will be appearing on PARC topics here. Which is a shame.

To follow Lindsay, who had and has not a clue what was going on and doesn't care, he figures that the 'detective work' clears TheValliants© of making a mess on Wikipedia. If Lindsay thinks James has 'come clean' about the mess he and his wife made, its a testament to his ability to launder reality.

As a final point, I'm wondering if your opinion of PARC has changed and what use, if any, you think Mr. Valliant's opus might have in the world of Wikipedia.

The first use of references to PARC are that it be entered in the record, so to speak. As I wrote in my last note here, the culture of silence and avoidance of both PAR (by ARI) and PARC (by ARI and TAS) means that the general public gets little knowledge of the controversies that continue to ripple outward from The Break.

Maybe this is congenial to some, but it doesn't represent reality. While ARI honchos and fuhrers pretended that Barbara and Nathaniel Branden ceased to exist and publish in 1968, the world took notice of their subsequent work. The world of letters took notice. Historians took notice. Academics and biographers took notice. Hollywood took notice. As James and Holly both rue, the story of Ayn Rand in the mainstream will always include her years with her young lover and second-in-command, will include the odd love quadrangle and the collapse and splintering of organized Objectivism. It is still the biggest 'human interest' story of Objectivism and that's what the world knows about Ayn Rand the person.

So, what happened with the publication of PARC? How many official, reliable sources even bothered to review it? With the exception of Kirkus Reviews (now behind a paywall), nobody at all, nothing of note in the press or journals or media -- nothing notable above the walls of the Objectivist compounds. We have the nutcases at the Autonomist, and a barnyard full of squawkers at the old SOLO, some clucking at the Speicher list, some flutterings at Noodlefood, and some affiliated hooting and scratching in other venues. But the highest profile persons in the O-orbit to put an actual review out are Seddon and Sciabarra, and each of those efforts are ephemera, web-based and not useful for Wikipedia.

And now? PARC barely sold 2000 copies and the publisher is out of business (according to Holly) . . . where is its mark? It is cited in actual published material from a reliable source only by Robert Campbell in the pages of JARS (itself hardly out of the compound) -- and that reference merely makes note of the journal entries.

What an ugly irony for TheValliants© efforts if the only citation to PARC that can be managed on Wiki pages is the one aboveground reference by The Insane Evul Professor.

So, no, my opinion of the book has hardly changed. Although the clucking and hooting hasn't risen above the background noise of Objectivist online squabbling, I do think it deserves mention on Wikipedia. Presently, I don't know how to accomplish that. The author and agent are incommunicado, the publisher has decamped, the prime defender (Peikoff) has removed his letter of support from the record, there is not a chance of a second printing . . . and the interim hopes of anyone from the Objectivist stream actually working to have it mentioned on Wikipedia has dwindled to nothing. It has effectively died, notwithstanding the lengthy campaign by TheValliants© to keep it alive . . .

We must wait until the next two Rand biographies appear. Each one, if it cites and discusses the journal entries surrounding The Break, will allow PARC to be finally entered in the record at Wikipedia. Who knows, maybe Peikoff will cite it in the forthcoming publication of the DIM hypothesis, currently scheduled to appear in 2037.

At the moment, the only ones here hoping to engage and get PARC back on Wikipedia seem to be me, Ellen, you and Robert Campbell, Neil . . . three horrid, squalid little Brandroids and one Detective.


WSS
___

** Pelagius1's first contributions to Wikipedia. The bolded entry is the only edit to which James Valliant has clearly admitted. Note the two entries "I'm new" -- an obvious pretense and attempt to separate IP160 efforts from Pelagius1 . . .

  • 02:17, 20 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Template:Objectivism and Ayn Rand Cross Talk ‎ (Valliant revisited: Is this the right way to add a comment?)
  • 20:01, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) User talk:Skomorokh ‎ (I am New: new section)
  • 19:16, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Ayn Rand ‎ (Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.': I'm new -- deleting duplicate.)
  • 19:14, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Objectivism ‎ (Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics': new section)
  • 18:41, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Ayn Rand ‎ (Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.': new section)
  • 18:30, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Ayn Rand ‎ (Restoring References to 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.': new section)
  • 18:19, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Objectivism (Ayn Rand) ‎ (Restoring James Valliant and The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics)
  • 18:19, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Objectivism (Ayn Rand) ‎ (Restoring James Valliant and The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics: new section)
  • 17:26, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Objectivism (Ayn Rand) ‎ (Epistemology: reason: added citation)
  • 16:53, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (Early fiction)
  • 16:52, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) m Ayn Rand ‎ (Early fiction)
  • 16:51, 19 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (Early fiction)
  • Linz

    Neil Parille's picture

    Linz,

    1. What claims have I attributed to James that he didn't make? He told me he didn't know who made the edits.

    2. When the story broke, why didn't James and Holly say who did what and when; who knew what and when?

    Why instead did we get a sockpuppet?

    -Neil

    Ellen

    Lindsay Perigo's picture

    I congratulate you on the quality of your detective work, and your patience in carrying it out.

    James must be wondering why he bothered explaining himself here. First he was damned for his silence. Then, when he stepped up, the Brandroids immediately started on their "gotcha" games, in the process attributing claims to him that he never made. Campbell topped even that with his allegation that James—suffering from a debilitating, painful, ongoing physical condition—was on the brink of a mental collapse. That was surely the dirtiest moment yet in this dirty campaign by dirtbags to vindicate their dirtbag pin-ups.

    Why would James and Holly engage with enemy partisans devoid of a shred of decency?

    Nits to Pick and Bones to Chew

    Neil Parille's picture

    Ellen,

    Down yonder I asked Mr. Valliant:

    ****

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    1. Which editor? Pelagius1?

    2. IP160 was banned for uncivil behavior and various violations of Wikipedia protocol. How many of IP160's posts were you, and how many your wife? Were you the one inserting the references to PARC?

    ****

    Mr. Valliant responded:

    ****

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    Ask someone who knows, Neil, cause I sure don't. I did not "insert" PARC anywhere.

    ****

    I took this as Valliant's denial of even knowing who was making the inserts/edits/additions or whatever you wish to call them. One reason is because Mr. Valliant told me in March that he didn't know who was making the inserts.

    Incidentally, when Jim was editing up a storm on Wikipedia, I'm sure he hit "user contributions" from time to time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

    This would have brought up a list of previous edits. He wouldn't have to make any additional clicks to see that references to him and PARC were being made from his computer.

    ************

    17:20, 6 May 2009 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (Branden is every bit as "partisan" and "non-neutral" as his critic, Valliant.Unless Wiki partisan, too, of course.Same with Rothbard. Suppressing any mention of responses speaks for itself.)

    14:27, 29 April 2009 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (→Criticism: Why "vague" when charge equally "vague"? R. TOLD NB not to treat her ideas as DOGMA!Why +THIS source more "dubious"? See WIKI article on Valliant! Read the KIRKUS review of his book!)

    15:55, 17 April 2009 (hist) (diff) Objectivist movement ‎ (→The Nathaniel Branden Institute: relationship lasted to 68 but terminated months before "break", this is key to Valliant's case)

    00:06, 17 April 2009 (hist) (diff) James S. Valliant ‎ (corrected citation)

    23:45, 8 April 2009 (hist) (diff) Objectivist movement ‎ (→The Collective: It wasn't ALL "result" of affair, as Valliant's work+Rand's own notes have shown,and as Rand herself wrote in 1968!+Sures, eg, simply moved w/o any kind of break, so"num.reasons")

    23:40, 8 April 2009 (hist) (diff) Objectivist movement ‎ (→The Collective: Wasn't just LP "calling himself" this,eg Binswanger does, Valliant does, etc+Rand did say LP's best explanation/made him her LEGAL heir+Tuccille is bad source/secondary.)

    17:19, 8 April 2009 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (→Later years: Szasz cite is derivative of the material next cited, B. Branden and Valliant (which reprints Rand's own journals), so unnecessary and secondary.+page # on other cite is there.) (Tag: references removed)

    01:33, 10 March 2009 (hist) (diff) Journal of Ayn Rand Studies ‎ (→Controversy: Kinsella had no evidence whatever of "pestering" and Valliant denies any such pestering. Both facts MUST be made clear to remain NEUTRAL and objective.)

    19:08, 1 March 2009 (hist) (diff) James S. Valliant ‎ (→See also)

    19:06, 1 March 2009 (hist) (diff) James S. Valliant ‎ (Fact correction: The "Brad Hunt" link was to the wrong person, an actor, not the computer specialist "Brad Hunt" who was actually interviewed. Added a date.)

    18:53, 24 December 2008 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (→Objectivist movement: How long will Wiki insist on FACTUAL errors? Affair w/ Rand did not end when affair w/ Scott began, as "until" states. Rand and both Brandens AGREE here!!)

    01:02, 20 December 2008 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (→Objectivist movement: Please do not belittle Rand's other reasons for break or minimize extensive time Rand mulled break before learning of B.'s affair! That's not "neutral"!)

    22:30, 18 December 2008 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (→Objectivist movement: Rand's journal (cited-PARC) shows that the Break was not "abrupt" at all, but had been developing in her mind for many months and NB knew it.)

    22:15, 18 December 2008 (hist) (diff) Ayn Rand ‎ (→Objectivist movement: Per all sources (N. Branden, B. Branden and J.Valliant): Branden had not yet ended his affair with Rand when he started his affair with Scott, as the original text implied.)

    20:47, 18 December 2008 (hist) (diff) James S. Valliant ‎

    ****

    Of course, that IP160 posted a reference to PARC 16 minutes after Valliant emailed from IP160 isn't conclusive proof that Valliant made the edits, but it counts for something. And James Valliant doesn't exactly have much credibility.

    I understand that WSS had some exchanges with Jim that overlap with Pelagius1's comments, so maybe he will chime in.

    As a final point, I'm wondering if your opinion of PARC has changed and what use, if any, you think Mr. Valliant's opus might have in the world of Wikipedia.

    -Neil

    Nitting

    Ellen Stuttle's picture

    Neil:

    "This note explains the change made at 17:19 and I assume was part of the same edit.

    "When do you think the note was added?"

    The note was signed off on, i.e., officially entered, at the time of the time stamp. But the note, although it mentions PARC, isn't an insertion of a citation of PARC.

    You wrote in your previous post (#72826):

     

    "Mr. Valliant claims that he did not add references to PARC to Wikipedia articles.

    "Mr. Valliant claims he didn’t know anything about them."

     

    The first he did claim (if adding a reference is interpreted as meaning making an "insertion" in an article); the second he did not.

    Although Robert, in the post below (#72767) where he copied most of Valliant's posts pertaining to Wikipedia, interpreted JV's "I did not 'insert' PARC anywhere" as "Mr. Valliant['s] denying any knowledge of the editing," the statement isn't a denial of any knowledge of the editing; it's a statement that ~he~ didn't make the insertions. In others of James' posts, he exhibits knowledge of Holly's having inserted PARC references into articles.

    The edit of which you're speaking is not an insertion of a citation of PARC, although the note refers to the book; it's a deletion of a citation of Szasz. Thus even if James made that edit, his having done so wouldn't contradict the story he's telling.

    And you don't have definite evidence of his having made the edit on the basis of the time frame. Maybe he sent you an email and then left the computer and Holly went on line.

    There was the day around this place -- some ten years ago -- when I didn't have so much as an email account of my own; I sent mail using Larry's email address. I began to be active on the Old Atlantis list, from which I was receiving a lot of email. The musical chairs at the computer (and the sorting out of whose mail was whose) became tricky (and sometimes irate) choreography.

    I can attest from experience that you don't have proof about who did what from a shared computer without better evidence than close juxtaposition in time (including within a minute of close juxtaposition).

    As to attempting to demonstrate the falsity of a claim that James had no knowledge of Holly's activities, since he didn't make this claim, demonstrating its falsity isn't useful to getting a "Guilty" verdict against James.

    Ellen

    PS: Here, again, is a link to the edit page for anyone who wants to compare the before and after text:

    http://tinyurl.com/m7f7cb

    See the blocks of type in yellow (left) and green (right). The only changes made are deletions of the Szasz citation and of the indicator that a page number is needed. (I was wrong in my previous post in thinking that that change was a mistake; the page number is there.)

    I don't see anything overweighting or obtruding PARC or PARC's interpretation in the text. Maybe that passage had further material added to it later. As it reads in this incarnation, it sounds like text an outside uninvolved reporter would write.

    Nits

    Neil Parille's picture

    Ellen,

    As far as the time goes, a time conversion program indicated that April 8, 17:19 (UTC) was April 8, 13:19 where I live.

    The edit to which I'm referring is the note on top, which mentions Valliant and by implication his book.

    ***

    (→Later years: Szasz cite is derivative of the material next cited, B. Branden and Valliant (which reprints Rand's own journals), so unnecessary and secondary.+page # on other cite is there.)

    ***

    This note explains the change made at 17:19 and I assume was part of the same edit.

    When do you think the note was added?

    -Neil

    Next Nits to Neil

    Ellen Stuttle's picture

    Neil:

    "On April 8, 2009 at 1:03/13:03 USA (EST), I received an email from James Valliant. It was from IP160.

    "On April 8, 17:19 UTC, IP160 made an edit that referenced PARC. That’s 13:19 USA (EST)."

    No, it's 12:19 USA (EST). It would be 13:19 EDT.

    (Maybe you meant Eastern Daylight Time. Eastern Daylight is 4 hours behind UTC; Eastern Standard is 5 hours behind UTC.)

     

    "In other words, 16 minutes after emailing me from IP160, someone using IP160 was mentioning PARC on Wikipedia."

    The reference to PARC was already there. The edit at April 8, 17:19 UTC, deleted the material in red about Szasz, and also took out the indicator of a page number being needed. (Taking that out looks to me like a mistake; the poster mixed up page number and ISBN number, I think; hard to read the type. The delete of the Szasz reference is perfectly reasonable, since Szasz is hardly the place to go to find information on AR's affair with NB.)

    It looks as if the reference to PARC might have been added in the first place -- on an earlier edit -- by IP 160. But it wasn't added at the time of the edit you're speaking of.

    None of which says who did the editing.

    Ellen

    James Valliant, Teller of the Truth or Teller of Tall Tales?

    Neil Parille's picture

    According to James Valliant, his wife Holly made the various edits and insertions on Wikipedia mentioning his book, The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics (“PARC”) from IP160.

    Mr. Valliant claims that he did not add references to PARC to Wikipedia articles.

    Mr. Valliant claims he didn’t know anything about them.

    Jim Valliant is the Sgt. Schultz of the Wikipedia age.

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    James Valliant knows nothing. He blames his wife Frau Holly. He's playing Sgt. Schultz to Lindsay Perigo's Col. Klinck.

    I question this, to put it mildly.

    On April 8, 2009 at 1:03/13:03 USA (EST), I received an email from James Valliant. It was from IP160.

    On April 8, 17:19 UTC, IP160 made an edit that referenced PARC. That’s 13:19 USA (EST).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/inde...

    ***

    Szasz cite is derivative of the material next cited, B. Branden and Valliant (which reprints Rand's own journals), so unnecessary and secondary.+page # on other cite is there

    ***

    In other words, 16 minutes after emailing me from IP160, someone using IP160 was mentioning PARC on Wikipedia.

    James Valliant said he didn’t have anything to do with the PARC inserts; he didn’t even know about them.

    Really?

    Like Bob Dylan sang, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

    Unless you are Lindsay Perigo . . . .

    -Neil Parille

    ... on the lighter side

    Howard's picture

    Oh dear, such earnest antipathy, ... well, I for one think some humor is in order.

    Besides, in many ways this is a delightful thread; and what a spectacle it makes when such honorable men have a go at each other. Just imagine a wrestling match between an educated racist Baptist minister and a clever former hippie/lifelong loser.

    Now at first glance you may be tempted to side with the racist Baptist minister, since he at least bathes and holds something to be sacred. Still, the former hippie does have his charms as well, especially if you desperately feel the need to destroy something beautiful. And of course, there is always the wild card element; like a former hippie turned minister, or is it former minister turned hippie, or is it a former hippie-minister turned …

    Now just in case you’ve decided to waste your time and take a side in this argument, remember these following two pearls: 1. If you're healthy, your instinct will be to recoil from the former hippie/lifelong loser; however, once befriended this type usually stands by your side, but be very careful, for leprosy of the soul is highly contagious, and 2. while it’s often true that the educated racist Minister can be charming and make for interesting conversation, keep your wife and wallet away from him, for this type is always, utterly, and ruthlessly, practical

    God is great, and may peace be upon you ....

    Two thumbs down

    Brant Gaede's picture

    Whoever made all those Wikipedia Rand/Branden/PARC interjections now stands as a discredited source or sources making the kind of misrepresentations about the Brandens exposed by Neil.

    Barbara Branden had nothing to do with this. Why did Leonard Peikoff get the idea she had? He obviously got that from James or Holly Valliant or an unnamed, unidentified third party scurrying around in the background. It is doubtful that party exists.

    --Brant

    Future Irritation

    Robert Campbell's picture

    Mr. Smith,

    I've said my piece here.

    I have no plans to add anything unless Mr. Valliant reappears here (doubtful) or Mrs. Valliant decides to show up (vanishingly improbable).

    Consequently, I won't be competing with Mr. Perigo and the rest of the crew in the irritation department.

    Ciao,

    Robert Campbell

    Epithet Tracking

    Robert Campbell's picture

    I'll take Ms. Stuttle's word that she largely refrains from exchanging private email with Mr. Perigo.

    But Mr. Perigo has employed a broad array of epithets in my regard, and "batty" was not one that has appeared on this board.

    Hence my mistaken inference that he must have used it in some other setting, known only to Ms. Stuttle.

    Robert Campbell

    Gregster

    Neil Parille's picture

    Gregster,

    I don't get your point.

    In any event, why don't you take a crack at these and show how these are either not mistakes on Valliant's part, or are minor:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    It will take all of 10-15 minutes of your time.

    -Neil

    You've omitted

    gregster's picture

    Frank O'Connor's alcoholism and whether Rand was embarrassed by him etc. I'm surprised Neil. Geez I'll go thru it again?

    I read your stuff but it's not a priority. Just wish there was a quicker payback of any sort.

    "Search" failure

    Ellen Stuttle's picture

    Linz:

    "Ellen, you might have better luck with 'skanky.'"Eye

    I find one use of "skanky Prof" on this thread and two of "skanky Professor," but all in posts non-locatable to link without reading through particular posts which have gone off the first page. I also find "the skanky Robert Campbell" and similar on other threads, and "batty" as a description of various of RC's viewpoints.

    This is an illustration, Linz, of the inferiority of the SOLO "Search" facility. On OL, I could plop your name into the user box, skanky Prof* -- or alternately batty Prof* -- into the find slot, click the box for searching whole posts, and have displayed and ready to link every post in which you used either word combination.

    I guess this also illustrates that I don't keep tabs on Linz's epithet use. I'm reminded of a story Allan B. told about a client of his who, upon being asked why he used so many swear words, replied:

    "Mister, where I come from, all a swear word means is that a noun is coming."

    Eye

    Ellen

    Gregster - Nitpicking?

    Neil Parille's picture

    Gregster,

    You say:

    ____

    nitpicking just like Parille, who has found minimal errors in PARC and they're of little significance.

    ____

    As anyone who can see from reading my essay http://www.scribd.com/doc/9421...
    Valliant's mistakaes neither minimal nor insignificant. I should also mention the fact that the mistakes I criticize Valliant for concern the very things he uses in attempting to undermine theBrandens(TM).

    Valliant makes many claims which, even if true, do not undermine theBrandens' account. These include:

    1. TheBrandens attended a surprise party for Rand.

    2. TheBrandens disagree with Rand concerning libertarianism.

    3. Barbara Branden contends that the changes in the two editions of WTL are more significant than Rand let on.

    Now, even if true, how do these demonstrate that theBrandens are lying?

    There are issues and incidents Valliant discusses which, if his interpretation is correct, would undermine theBrandens. For example,

    1. Barbara Branden speculates that Rand's use of diet pills may have caused paranoid symptoms.

    2. Nathaniel Branden admits that he authorized a loan that depleted the cash reserves of The Objectivist in 1967.

    3. Barbara Branden doesn't tell her readers that the Blumenthals left Rand (rather than the other way around).

    Here I show that Valliant signficantly distorts theBrandens on these matters, thus rendering his critique faulty.

    I have screen shot four of Valliant's claims and theBrandens' respective books and responses so that the reader can see for himself.

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    Please show why the mistakes I identify here are minor.

    -Neil Parille

    Hahahaha!

    Lindsay Perigo's picture

    Just noticed this is an earlier post by Gregster, quoting Babs:

    Michael,
    there is no question in my mind that you are correct and that you are naming something important. For the Objectivist fundamentalists, many of whom are consumed with hatred and rage, their "enemies" are scum, morally worthless, deserving to be with the doomed and evil passengers on the last run of the Comet in Atlas Shrugged.

    Never thought of that. Wotta good idea!

    No moral blame could attach to whomever saw to it that they received justice.
    You say such people would sell out the tenets of Objectivism once they were in power. It's true -- but they would do something still worse; they would convince themselves they were remaining true to their Objectivist beliefs.
    Barbara"

    Silly old bat must be drunk again. Eye

    Confirming ...

    Lindsay Perigo's picture

    ... what Ellen said:

    Robert,
    I've never exchanged a word about you in private with Linz.

    Correct. The Prof. is imagining conspiracies again.

    Linz has described you as "the batty Professor" a number of times in posts -- or something like that; I can't find an example with "Search."

    Ellen, you might have better luck with "skanky." Eye

    Prof. Campbell would do well to read the post by Mr. Smith. Certainly no fan of mine, certainly not part of any "alliance" with me, with no horse in the race, his comments should give the Prof. cause for pause.

    "in private"?

    Ellen Stuttle's picture

    Reference the PS of "Ms. Stuttle and Mr. Perigo" (#72777):

    Robert,

    I've never exchanged a word about you in private with Linz. Nor have I exchanged much private correspondence with Linz about anything, or with James Valliant at all.

    Linz has described you as "the batty Professor" a number of times in posts -- or something like that; I can't find an example with "Search."

    Ellen

    You're on to it Jeffrey

    gregster's picture

    Good post.

    nitpicking just like Parille, who has found minimal errors in PARC and they're of little significance. See his files if you're bored.

    It's near surreal - as if these characters actually don't realise that people reading the exchanges can make their own minds up.

    find something important to fuss and fume about I've yet to see what Parille, Campbell, Scherk, Kelly et al, as individuals, stand for. Little more than bemusing and somewhat of the darkside.

    The Vs versus The Bs & the Wikiwitches and Wikiwarlocks

    William Scott Scherk's picture

    TheValliants® v TheBrandens™

    I take the middle line between Ellen and Robert on which of TheValliants® added the 1385+ contributions to Wikipedia. We will never know the relative percentage since TheValliants® have taken the Fifth and retreated to their bunker near San Marcos -- and the number of the respective contributions isn't really important.

    What is important is that their efforts to counter TheBrandens™ failed and poisoned the environment of Randian material on Wikipedia. This is a shame since the Wikipedia entries are by far the most consulted references to Rand and Objectivism on the web (see reference below).

    That TheValliants® failed is not a particularly horrid, squalid little Brandroidian thing to point out: it's just a fact. Another fact that Lindsay can't get his head around is that the failures are not due to a squalid conspiracy by malevolent scumbags, but are actually due to the actions of TheValliants®. Now, it can be argued that neither Holly at the keyboard nor James at the shelves -- throwing references at her between bouts -- can be faulted for being naive about Wikipedia policies. It is arguable that the six months and 1385+ contributions were the work of naive but brave examples of Reason and Passion, and that neither of them had the least clue that the whole long campaign to improve the articles would blow up into the most interesting Objectivist imbroglio of 2009.

    I'll let other worthies argue for naiveté. It could be true. I, cynical horrid squalid scumbag that I am, I would compare it to children wandering through Los Angeles: six months of horns, swerving, screaming, flashing lights, sirens, investigations, tribunals, moving violations, and ultimately, two bloody smears on the tarmac.

    Do we blame little Pollyvalliantanna-Gretel and her roommate Pollyvalliantanna-Hansel for their doom, do we blame their parents, or society, or the dang traffic rules? Maybe we can blame Rand herself for not instructing the tots to Stop. Look. Listen. In any case, not important. We hose down the smears, install more traffic signals, and move on.

    Shoud PARC be represented on Wikipedia?

    Like Ellen and Robert (and Neil) and a fair proportion of those who have read this thread 10437 times, I think PARC references should be part of the Wikipedia record, and I will work over the next few months to help get some useful mentions back in (I thank the unnamed Cabal of interested parties for their chatroom and offlist efforts and offers to help, and understand that James would consider any communication on this matter outside of SOLO to be stalking and such. If he chooses to return to his household's contested contributions, to revisit the deleted work [archived here by Richard Laurence**], to offer his opinions and advice, great. If not, not. I will start another thread to start off the festivities).

    Crazed mental cases, ignorant sluts, scummy liars and witches, insane fuckbags -- and other important epithets

    As for Robert's characterization of James as a crazy fruitloop bag of nuts, frothing and foaming in incoherent dementia, this I don't agree with. At the same time, it's a kind of payback for the ferocious name-calling that James has applied to Robert in the past, in which Robert was characterized as an insane, crazy fruitloop sack of nuts himself. Lindsay's namecalling is as usual tiresome and unimaginative. While no one can easily stop the Emperor from his perorations nor easily extract TheValliants® from their bunker, perhaps the rest of us can hose down the tarmac and get back to SOLO's usual business.

    I will say that the recent Valliant posts have verged on word salad -- but this is because James is a lawyer, not because he is demented. Like an Italian barrister he tends to use ambivalent and obscure phraseology in responses to simple questions. It's an occupational hazard. In effect, when asked how much of TheValliants® contributions were by Hansel and how much by Gretel, he responded with a farrago of unresponsive and tedious waffle. It's in the interests of the lawyerly to drag out proceedings until everyone is dead and the sun is a cinder. Surprise, surprise. But let's lay that aside.

    The WikiProject Objectivism

    Those who are interested in contributing to the bettering of Rand/Objectivist articles should consult the comprehensive project site, here. The goals of the project are probably shared by the majority of SOLOists, be they horrid, squalid little Brandroids or glorious exemplars of ignorant Linzoid sluttishness. Here's the gist:

    The purpose of this WikiProject is to co-ordinate the creation and editing of comprehensive articles on Wikipedia covering all aspects of the philosophy of Objectivism and related topics.

    Work on the Objectivism-related articles on Wikipedia has all too often descended into edit wars and other unpleasantness that only serves to hamper progress. However, participants in this project believe that disputes on articles relating to Objectivism can be resolved amicably, and it is hoped that this formal WikiProject will foster communication among those with an interest in Objectivism, and assist in overcoming the factionalism that so often causes editwars and other disputes on the Objectivism-related pages here.

    Of special note are the associated editors. They range from committed Objectivists like Karbinski and Brandonk2009 to Objectiskeptics like TallNapoleon and JReadings.

    Wikipedia traffic stats

    The importance to the Objectivist 'movement' of the Wikipedia pages is reflected in the traffic statistics. Click the links below to compare three Objectivist related articles (of which Wikipedia has a rough dozen or more) in a cool interactive graph. The two top pages receive millions of hits a year.

    Linking to Wikibyzantium -- New Thread?

    One can only imagine the enormous number of hits the SOLO site would receive should it have a link somewhere in Wikibyzantium. I've always thought that one of the weaknesses of the contemporary Objectivist movement comes from not only its 'aural/oral' traditions (think of how much fatter the Wikipedia entries could be if there was some way to refer to the 18 million miles of tapes buried under Mount ARI in Irvine) but also from the fact that the daily rush and gush of Objectivism-related discussions do not appear in magazines or journals, but in the 'walled gardens' of online communities and e-lists. As can be seen from the exclusion of most internet sources from Rand/Objectivism articles, the enormous volume of 'Objectivish Thought' today has no present chance to be read by the millions of Wikipedia readers of the articles that are contested.

    There's a thought. Perhaps the insane scheming Brandroids and the ignorant scheming sluts can put down their cudgels and figure out a way to drive a portion of Witchipedia readers to savour the joys of SOLO. Perhaps James can be persuaded to post the remaining chapters of PARC here now that Durban House has gone out of business and hopes of reprints die.

    Perhaps James can be persuaded to re-insert the notes to the existing chapters here, and to post at least some of the important Rand journal excerpts. Certainly Peikoff would give permission. I will let another worthy contact the bunker to propose this to James or his agent, since contacting him directly would be interpreted as stalking.

    That's my last contribution to this thread, unless there is some question put to me that is germane.


    WSS

    [ added to heading Linking to Wikibyzantium. Not having had any of the suggestions taken up, I suppose no one is actually interested in working to get PARC references re-inserted in the popular Wikipedia pages, except those who take issue with it ]

    ____________

    ** with Lindsay's permission, I would like to post the not-too-lengthy list of deleted references to another SOLO article. I also note that discussion of the deletions has a dedicated page hosted at Wikipedia by Richard Laurence, here. As of yet, no one has attempted to wade in to do the yeoman's work of helping, in Lindsay's words, "efforts to counter Rand-diminishers and distortions of Objectivism such as those at the top of this thread."

    Demented?

    Brant Gaede's picture

    I think JV's physical health is impacting his ability to engage here.

    --Brant

    Mental collapses

    jeffrey smith's picture

    The Prof. goes on to say that equally unexceptionable posts by James show him to be on the brink of a complete mental collapse. Where on earth is the evidence of that?! This is pure smear, of the kind in which Brandroids specialize. Let the record show it.

    Actually, given his continued nitpicking parsing of meaningless details to prove--well, I'm not sure of what he wants to prove, other than Mr. Valliant is not to be trusted--Dr. Campbell is himself showing signs of mental collapse. Obsessing over this subject does not bode well for one's mental stability. And now we have the entirely uncalled-for belittling of Ellen Stuttle. In fact, Ms. Stuttle picks over every detail. would apply even more to Prof. Campbell.

    The whole Branden vs. critics of Branden is of no real interest to me. The answer to the question, "which was the bigger bitch, Ayn or Barbara?"of no concern to me. But I am getting annoyed enough by the bickering--which bickering seems to orginate mostly from Prof. Campbell--that I'm halfway to deciding against the Branden side, solely because the chief spokesman here annoys me.

    Prof. Campbell--can't you find something important to fuss and fume about if you have to fuss and fume over something?

    The Fact-Free Mr. Perigo

    Robert Campbell's picture

    I have no interest in who was Pegasus, who was Ipod, how much each knew of the other's activities, blah, blah, blah.

    In other words, facts are beneath the notice of that supposed paragon of objectivity, Mr. Perigo. And who can be bothered with Mr. Valliant's actual conduct? His hatred of Mr. Perigo's enemies so purifies him as to render his behavior irrelevant.

    I wish James and Holly well in their efforts to counter Rand-diminishers and distortions of Objectivism such as those at the top of this thread.

    Their countering will be severely crimped for the next few months, on account of their dopey capers at Wikipedia. In addition to the topic ban till November and the permanent conflict of interest ruling in that venue, their credibility will now be severely depleted with almost everyone else who is still paying attention to them. (I doubt that even Leonard Peikoff will be nearly so responsive to their entreaties, next time they're in a jam.)

    I would take the word of James Valliant over that of the skanky serial liar Campbell any time.

    Mr. Valliant hates "Babs"; Mr. Perigo hates "Babs." Mr. Valliant delights in evasiveness and sleaze; so does Mr. Perigo. Hence Mr. Perigo feels called on to accept the word of Mr. Valliant, even when the latter is patently babbling, or serially contradicting himself. Hence, too, Mr. Perigo accepted Mr. Valliant's charge that "Babs" was behind his latest predicament, when a review of those oh-so-tedious facts would have made it evident how Mr. and Mrs. Valliant were the authors of their own woe.

    Robert Campbell

    Ms. Stuttle and Mr. Perigo

    Robert Campbell's picture

    The alliance between Ms. Stuttle and Mr. Perigo is a most peculiar thing.

    Ms. Stuttle picks over every detail. "Little aware of much" is massively different from "oblivious," and how dare anyone suggest otherwise.

    Mr. Perigo is grandly ignorant of the facts, can't be bothered learning about them, and pretends to be utterly dismissive of anyone's concern with them.

    I have no interest in who was Pegasus, who was Ipod, how much each knew of the other's activities, blah, blah, blah.

    Now if everyone else vacates SOLOPassion, and only Ms. Stuttle and Mr. Perigo are left, she will have an easy time finding picky errors in everything he posts.

    I suspect, however, that in the absence of shared enemies, Mr. Perigo's amusement with the picking process will wear thin very quickly.

    Robert Campbell

    PS. Being told—cue drum roll!!!—that Lindsay Perigo merely considers me "batty" is, um, anticlimactic. Surely a guy who compares me to Khalid Sheikh Muhammad in public would have even worse things to say about me in private. Mr. Perigo needs a long hiatus from SOLOP, so he'll have the time and the leisure to replenish his supply of insults.

    What Does It Mean?

    Robert Campbell's picture

    Mr. Valliant's final statement, before his recent exit from this thread, reads:

    Then, Kant was on the side that you claim (without proof) PARC had taken, i.e., one morally critical of the deception and manipulation (using others as "means," Kant might've said) involved in any such parties... so, how "saintly" could he have been, Neil? Well, at least he would have thought my actual point was worthwhile, I guess.

    It retains the customary form of Mr. Valliant's public utterances. It includes: obsessive references to his book, bobbing and weaving around matters anyone else would consider obvious, attempted jabs at one or another of Mr. Valliant's countless enemies.

    But what is the substance?

    Over to Mr. Perigo. If the statement is "unexceptionable," I'm sure Mr. Perigo can easily explain to the rest of us what the hell it means.

    Robert Campbell

    Robert C., wrapping up

    Ellen Stuttle's picture

    Robert graciously (ha!) provides a track-down through the complete sequence of James Valliant's posts on this thread re the Wikipedia imbroglio.

    Only in (small) part do my conclusions agree with Robert's. I agree that James' posts are confused and confusing. However, I think that some of the confusedness results from James' hardly understanding the issues of "IP 160" versus "Pelagius1" and of what was posted on which account. I agree that he didn't flat-out deny contributing any material to the edits pertaining to PARC. (I think he did write some of the Pelagius1 posts pertaining to the dispute over PARC's "reliability," per Wikipedia standards thereof; however, it's occurred to me that maybe he didn't write those posts in the recent past; maybe Holly used a template from some of his earlier posts elsewhere. As Robert pointed out, and I'd noticed myself, the similarity of wording to some of James' earlier posts is striking.)

    I'm not going to go through parsing the details of what was asked of James and what James replied.

    I'll give just one indication of the pattern of Robert's interpretative approach, from a detail of Robert's comment about one of my comments:

    Robert:

    Now back to Ms. Stuttle's position. She quotes herself saying that Holly Valliant was busy editing and posting at Wikipedia, and either her husband was oblivious to her capers:
    [quoting ES] I think Holly really was the instigator of the Wikipedia activity from the Valliant household and that James was little aware of much of what was going on.

     

    Notice that "little aware of much of what was going on" DOES NOT EQUAL "oblivious." Through such details, meaning is twisted. Also, "capers" is Robert's evaluation.

    Robert has stated someplace on this thread that what he wants to accomplish is to pay Linz and JV back for the Sciabarra incident. I think he isn't achieving the goal of causing trouble for them, beyond some nuisance value. They both consider him "batty" (Linz's description).

    He has caused some trouble for me, tracking and quoting what was actually said versus the interpretation placed on what was said.

    At this point I think the whole history is laid out in a compressed form which folks can follow and judge for themselves.

    Ellen

    Brandroids up to Usual Tricks

    Lindsay Perigo's picture

    I have no interest in who was Pegasus, who was Ipod, how much each knew of the other's activities, blah, blah, blah. I wish James and Holly well in their efforts to counter Rand-diminishers and distortions of Objectivism such as those at the top of this thread. I would take the word of James Valliant over that of the skanky serial liar Campbell any time. And I am struck by this, in the Prof's post below:

    And made a last attempted jab at Mr. Parille that reads like the product of acute dementia:

    Here is the "acutely demented" post in question by James:

    Then, Kant was on the side that you claim (without proof) PARC had taken, i.e., one morally critical of the deception and manipulation (using others as "means," Kant might've said) involved in any such parties... so, how "saintly" could he have been, Neil? Well, at least he would have thought my actual point was worthwhile, I guess.

    What on earth is "demented" about that?!

    The Prof. goes on to say that equally unexceptionable posts by James show him to be on the brink of a complete mental collapse. Where on earth is the evidence of that?! This is pure smear, of the kind in which Brandroids specialize. Let the record show it.

    Ellen S.

    Robert Campbell's picture

    Ms. Stuttle asks

    Exactly who do you think has claimed that all the material provided by either account was written by Holly and that James didn't know she was contributing on Wikipedia?

    Let's start with what Mr. Valliant said.

    Rewinding Mr. Valliant's assertions since he reappeared on SOLO last Saturday, we find ourselves at:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    Forgive me if I am short and sweet. The editor in question was, of course, Holly, a passionate believer in all that she writes.

    When Neil Parille asked Mr. Valliant whether he was referring to Pelagius1 or AnonIP160, and referred to AnonIP160's habit of inserting irrelevant references to Mr. Valliant's book, Mr. Valliant responded:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    Ask someone who knows, Neil, cause I sure don't. I did not "insert" PARC anywhere.

    Here Mr. Valliant was denying any knowledge of the editing.

    But when further challenged by William Scott Scherk, Mr. Valliant started providing something that looked like detail, while holding to his denial that he had inserted any of the questionable references to his book, and again pretending not to know what IP160 and Pelagius1 were. He did now claim authorship of some non-Randian articles; in fact he said that he had "submitted" a couple—an ambiguous expression in this context:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    No, Mr. S., let me try again: I had nothing to do with mentions of PARC at Wikipedia. I have no idea what those designations Neil used mean. At the Wikipedia discussion, Holly tried to identify herself and to indicate, by content, which contributions belonged to whom, only to have this material removed from the discussion by others, as you probably already know. While the debate over PARC has aged with the book, interest in Rand has dramatically increased lately. One of my favorite Holly-contributions remains as the first four paragraphs of the "Early Activism..." section (and the title) of the Ayn Rand biography there. Check it out. Made me proud. See, many of our friends have worried that the wave of new Rand readers being born out there would be poisoned with the worst deceptions of her critics. Holly's contributions are her own, but when asked, I provided citations, and tossed books and journals at her. Of course, I was outraged when Holly told me that John Chamberlain had no biography at all over there, so I submitted one, as she said that she lacked the confidence to do so. The same happened with Martin Anderson. But I was and remain, in general, a skeptic of their standards and practices. But don't let me interrupt your sermon.

    When rechallenged by Mr. Parille, Mr. Valliant finally admitted that "Pelagius1" had an, er, familiar ring:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    I knew that "Pelagius1" was the name she recently chose, but I have no idea how to sort out the differences or what has been ascribed in the Histories to that handle. Not a clue. And, no, most of Holly's edits had nothing to do with PARC, for which she certainly does not to need me to provide citations.

    When I challenged him to account for AnonIP160's edit (yanked back in 7 minutes) on Pelagius1's talk page, Mr. Valliant became abusive:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    "Whatever"?

    Holly did that, good sir, and maybe she will log in when she tries again.

    Since Peikoff has so obviously backed away from PARC, as you once claimed, maybe you should consult your mind-reading skills to sort out her mighty "blunder."

    When confronted by Mr. Parille over his continued failure to say whether he, Holly, or both were responsible for the references to PARC inserted via Wikipedia edits, Mr. Valliant became more abusive:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    Huh? What evasion, Neil?

    To repeat: I did not provide citations from PARC, since she did not need me to do that.

    What "anyone could see" was that you had made a baseless assumption from what I said. (That is, your own habitual evasion.)

    When re-confronted by Mr. Parille ("how and to what extent did you contribute to posts by Holly that mentioned PARC?"), Mr. Valliant bobbed and weaved some more, while flashing some 24 carat contempt:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    I think readers can see the exchange for themselves, Neil, but to answer the current question, not at all.

    Which leaves us with a net denial that Jim Valliant contributed to posts by Holly Valliant that mentioned his book. But still, after all these exchanges, there is no clarity as to whether Jim Valliant made his own Wikipedia edits that mentioned his book.

    Mr. Valliant's reply to my series of questions, none of which he had any intention of answering, is nearly pure verbal abuse:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    Then Mr. Valliant issued a dodgy response to his ally, Mr. Perigo. If it can be taken seriously, it implies that Holly did everything on Wikipedia that emanated from IP 160 and Pelagius1.

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    ... she has made a difference there -- on so many issues -- and she's owned up and started to dialogue with others. We'll see. As this thread shows, once more, the name "Valliant" inevitably attracts a certain kind of inevitable attention from some, like moths to a flame, no matter what the context.

    Mr. Valliant's next post once again appears to pin everything on Holly:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    Jeeze, we had assumed that they had linked everything up already, and she has acted as if she was so restricted for some time now, even inquiring if she can participate in the Discussion there. Mr. Scherk is also mistaken. It is this household which may not reference PARC at Wikipedia, and there is no time limit whatever to this restriction. That was the real mistake: the "conflict of interest" to which she should have been on alert from the outset, whatever the motive or other activities. See, this error does not "prevent" her from using PARC, Mr. S. -- it ignored the fact that she may never use it, however relevant it may be. As an advocate of PARC's inclusion there, Mr. Scherk is still free to do so, I believe. But I'm not holding my breath.

    Mr. Valliant started out pretending not to know what IP160 and Pelagius1 were, but he had already fessed up about Pelagius1, and here he is obliquely acknowledging IP160 as well: "we had assumed that they had linked everything up already."

    Jim Valliant was now implying that Holly Valliant had inserted all of the references to PARC: "That was the real mistake: the "conflict of interest" to which she should have been on alert from the outset..."

    There wasn't much left to go.

    Mr. Valliant explained that his wife would not be posting on SOLOP (because she might inadvertently contradict his stories?):

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    He spewed semi-coherent threats at Mr. Scherk:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    And made a last attempted jab at Mr. Parille that reads like the product of acute dementia:

    http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

    I doubt that Mr. Valliant will be back here any time soon.

    Over a couple of days he told obvious lies (he eventually fessed up on his feigned ignorance of Pelagius1 and obliquely admitted knowing about IP160). He contradicted himself. He tried to played some old Valliantoid games. When pressed on issues he didn't care to talk about, and there are a lot of things he doesn't care to talk about, he produced some of his old showers of abuse. His last two posts sadly revealed a man on the verge of complete mental collapse.

    Mr. Valliant's testimony on these matters is, to put it mildly, unreliable. Not least because of his evident lack of intention to tell the truth.

    Now back to Ms. Stuttle's position. She quotes herself saying that Holly Valliant was busy editing and posting at Wikipedia, and either her husband was oblivious to her capers:

    I think Holly really was the instigator of the Wikipedia activity from the Valliant household and that James was little aware of much of what was going on.

    or maybe he did know what she was doing, but made only a small minority of the edits and/or talk and discussion page posts:

    (4) Holly Valliant made by far the bulk of the contributions from the Valliant household on both the IP 160 and the Pelagius1 accounts.

    I think these can be reasonably taken to pin the blame for the Wikipedia capers on Holly, not Jim Valliant.

    My conclusions:

    (1) I think Ms. Stuttle is quite wrong. So far as I can determine, Jim Valliant was much more heavily involved in the Wikipedia capers than she thinks—and a whole hell of a lot more than he has been willing to admit.

    (2) Ms. Stuttle appears to rely an awful lot on Mr. Valliant's word (though not entirely—she expresses skepticism about a few items that Mr. Valliant never admtted posting). But why should anyone rely on Mr. Valliant's word at all? His word is worthless if he was non compos mentis when making his statements. It is worthless for a different reason if Mr. Valliant was sharp enough to play his usual online games.

    Robert Campbell

    PS. Ms. Stuttle now further asks, concerning Holly Valliant's alleged failure to notice what was on the talk page for AnonIP160:

    What motive would she have had to refuse to appear on the Talk pages if she knew she was being asked to appear and discuss edits? Wouldn't discussing have seemed a favorable thing to do in getting the edit disputes ironed out?

    That's assuming that Holly and/or Jim Valliant ever had anything vaguely resembling a normal interest in ironing out editorial disputes via the Wikipedia process. Ms. Stuttle doesn't know who was making all the edits that emanated from IP160. She knows even less about that person's (those persons') motives.

    An alternative hypothesis is that Holly and/or Jim Valliant ignored all of the talk page queries until harsh sanctions started getting levied: brief topic ban, longer topic ban, determination that PARC was not reliable by Wikipedia standards, boom-lowering concerning IP160/Pelagius1's conflict of interest regarding PARC.

    From either Valliant's standpoint, aren't those who question the veracity or relevance or importance of PARC all "enemies of Objectivism"? PARC is a book that they want to believe is so big as to put the lifetime output of Chris Sciabarra in its shadow; they claim that it has changed lives and sparked a mass migration of scholars from TAS to ARI. Is there any obligation to play fair and square with any pathetic specimens of subhumanity who dare to block PARC's triumphal progress? Very little in Mr. Valliant's conduct, during his time at SOLOHQ and SOLOPassion, suggests any felt need to play by the rules when his opponents are "enemies of Objectivism." And to Mr. and Mrs. Valliant, isn't nearly everyone else in the world some kind of "enemy of Objectivism"?

    Robert C., PS

    Ellen Stuttle's picture

    A point I forgot to mention in my previous post.

    Robert wrote:

    "[...] AnonIP160/Pelagius1 had been refusing for months to respond to anything on the talk pages[.]"

    This conflates the history of the 2 accounts. The Pelagius1 account didn't start until after the ban on the IP 160 account. The Pelagius1, unlike the IP 160 account, was a registered log-in.

    I'm of the opinion that Holly might not have known about the User-talk page for IP 160 and the numerous entreaties made there for the poster to appear on the Talk pages. What motive would she have had to refuse to appear on the Talk pages if she knew she was being asked to appear and discuss edits? Wouldn't discussing have seemed a favorable thing to do in getting the edit disputes ironed out?

    She did start appearing on the Talk pages after the Pelagius1 account was opened.

    Ellen

    Robert C.

    Ellen Stuttle's picture

    "For those who still believe that Holly Valliant pulled all of Anon IP160 and Pelagius1's capers at Wikipedia, while Jim Valliant didn't even know who AnonIP160 and Pelagius1 were, the following posts (on another editor's talk page) should prove instructive."

    Robert,

    Exactly who do you think has claimed that all the material provided by either account was written by Holly and that James didn't know she was contributing on Wikipedia?

    If you're referring to me, for instance, you are distorting what I said, which was (#72656):

    Best I can piece it together, this is the breakdown of who did what:
    Holly did at least the vast majority of the IP 160 edits; James contributed some articles from the IP 160 account, either via Holly (as a "forward" unidentified as such) or with Holly's help managing the mechanics;
    Holly has been the main contributer to the "talk" fora from the Pelagius1 account; some of the Pelagius1 remarks have features so characteristic of James' writing I'm unlikely to believe a denial that James wrote them, but maybe Holly did the actual posting even of those remarks.
    [....]
    I think Holly really was the instigator of the Wikipedia activity from the Valliant household and that James was little aware of much of what was going on.

    And, in #72713:

    (4) Holly Valliant made by far the bulk of the contributions from the Valliant household on both the IP 160 and the Pelagius1 accounts.

     

    Regarding this comment, part of which you highlighted:

    "So, when information was provided by me about Valliant's unlogged in but high quality (as you must know) edits, that is also out as providing 'personal information.'"

    Are you intimating that this is new news?

    The exact wording of the Pelagius1 comment referred to -- a comment which was then deleted by RL0919 (Richard Lawrence) -- has been posted on this thread by WSS, and then quoted by me previously (#72679):

    Since it's come up as an issue, and although I would like to take credit for all of this, he is the author of the new Wikipedia John Chamberlain article, and the new Martin Anderson article, and he had the requested James Joyce and F. A. Hayek and L. von Mises references in the Max Eastman article at his fingertips. And all of those detailed citations from the critical reception section of Atlas Shrugged. These are just a few of his contributions here (via me) that I can recall. Pelagius1 17:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

     

    Ellen

    More from Pelagius1

    Robert Campbell's picture

    For those who still believe that Holly Valliant pulled all of Anon IP160 and Pelagius1's capers at Wikipedia, while Jim Valliant didn't even know who AnonIP160 and Pelagius1 were, the following posts (on another editor's talk page) should prove instructive.

    Italics and bold were provided by me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...

    **************

    I've just about ended my efforts here. Being upfront and honest gets you where? It's not the torrent of baseless attacks (e.g., the "self-published" charge) that need to be verified -- they must be refuted first. And even with the (non-Objectivist) editor's endorsement of the book on the jacket. At every turn, my efforts to provide information have been not only ignored, but held against me. Take the effort to "out" me as Valliant himself -- even though he'd be permitted here, wouldn't he? Okay, the attempted "outer" did not realize that all the edits from this IP address were lumped together when I logged in. No warning seemed to come from this effort. He gave IP numbers! So, when information was provided by me about Valliant's unlogged in but high quality (as you must know) edits, that is also out as providing "personal information." And no one here makes a dime on the book, not even Valliant, but, if they can't "independently" verify this fact, since none of those who know can be trusted, it seems, they will assume the very worst. How can this even be proved to them? Despite the fact that multiple scholars have been impacted by the book to the extent that they have changed institutional affiliation, and despite the fact that the internet discussion of the book is denser than discussion of titles from Sciabarra and others, this is "fringe" or "obscure" or "unreliable." Well, the entire field of Objectivist scholarship can be called "fringe" and "obscure" -- so, what standard is being employed here? That a book is ignored by hostile sources? Oh, those "independent" sources, like 'The New York Times' which has slimed Rand hersellf [sic] at every opportunity since Atlas was released? But not Kirkus, even if they're positive? And if an academic's work gains about zero assent within the scholarly community, like Sciabarra's thesis, that means nothing, but a non-academic publisher is fatal, even if the book changes lives?

    Can you see my frustration?

    Is my case here hopeless? Pelagius1 (talk) 03:13, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

    I have [read the Wikipedia policies on conflict of interest and reliable sources] and that's part of the frustration - the double standards that seem to be routinely employed. The "aim" here was to improve Wikipedia and its usefulness to students. Exactly. Pelagius1 (talk) 03:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

    One line stood out: "Remember: an editor with a self-evident interest in the matter turning up on the talk page is an indication that they are playing it straight." (italics omitted) I have "turned up" on the Talk Page and have shown a willingness to reveal anything about this matter, only to have that willingness apparently used against me. If you can tell me that it would do any good whatever, I'd try to have Valliant "turn up" here, too. You very much could use him. But this episode has hardly been inviting. Pelagius1 (talk) 03:48, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

    **********

    There's nothing new in the style of game-playing being employed (AnonIP160/Pelagius1 had been refusing for months to respond to anything on the talk pages).

    Note, too, how Pelagius1 says he/she could get Jim Valliant to show up as himself on Wikipedia, but why bother, as the cruel Wikipedians would drive him away (i.e., Mr. Valliant had no intention of showing up as himself).

    Just as Jim Valliant recently announced that Holly Valliant would make no return visits here...

    Robert Campbell

    GregSter

    Neil Parille's picture

    Greg,

    1. For the record, I do not support Obama and never have.

    2. Dr. Peikoff said in his letter that he would defend Valliant's book "in any forum." Since Jim is on friendly terms with Dr. Peikoff, maybe he could shoot Peikoff an email and ask what he meant by that and if he still stands by it.

    -Neil

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