Set Up or Slander: Did Pelosi Defame A Salon Owner?

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Thirty years after the late D.C. Mayor Marion Barry’s famous statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that a Salon owner set her up in an embarrassing incident where Pelosi was shown not just violating San Francisco’s pandemic laws in getting her hair done but not wearing a mask while doing it. Pelosi refused to take responsibility for the violation (including the failure to wear a mask) and, in the tape below, only took responsibility to “failing for a set up.” She added “I think that this salon owes me an apology, for setting me up.” The Salon owner, Erica Kious, has stated that she expects to close eSalon after receiving a torrent of death threats and hostile massages after Pelosi’s allegation. The question is whether she could actually sue for defamation.

Speaker Pelosi has previously used the eSalon, according to Kious, and was shown below on Monday getting her hair down despite a ban on salons for such appointments.

While not addressing her failure to wear a mask, Pelosi publicly attacked the Salon.

Pelosi’s lawyer Matthew Soleimanpour further made damaging statements about Kious: “The fact that Ms. Kious is now objecting to Speaker Pelosi’s presence at eSalon, and from a simple surface-level review of Ms. Kious’ political leanings, it appears Ms. Kious is furthering a set-up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations.”

Carla Marinucci, a senior Politico reporter covering California, made her own veiled allegation in suggesting that the tape itself might be illegal: “Have to ask upon seeing this: Is it legal in CA — a ‘two party consent’ state — to videotape someone in a private home or business without their consent?” That reference to the politics of the owner further suggests an improper political hit job.

Marinucci’s question is not defamatory, though it is curious that the focus was on the legality of having the security camera footage as opposed to Pelosi’s conduct.

The incident was reminiscent of Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, getting a haircut after warning Chicagoans that they cannot go to barbers or salons in a mocking tone.  For Pelosi, the incident was particularly embarrassing after just blasting President Donald Trump for setting a “bad example”in allowing people to gather for his nomination acceptance speech without masks or social distancing. Pelosi was also previously criticized when the pandemic was unfolding for calling people to Chinatown in San Francisco to demonstrate.

In this case, Pelosi is suggesting that she might have been defamed or shown in a false light by being set up while Kious could claim to have been defamed due to the allegation of a politically motivate set up.  In liberal San Francisco, such an allegation is particularly deadly for a business.  A hair cut is certainly not in the league of using crack with Marion Barry. Yet, in San Francisco it may be worse to be accused of enabling a Republican attack on Nancy Pelosi than enabling a crack session with her.

Kious is likely a public figure under  Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 352 (1974) and its progeny of cases.  The Supreme Court has held that public figure status applies when  someone “thrust[s] himself into the vortex of [the] public issue [and] engage[s] the public’s attention in an attempt to influence its outcome.” A limited-purpose public figure status applies if someone voluntarily “draw[s] attention to himself” or allows himself to become part of a controversy “as a fulcrum to create public discussion.” Wolston v. Reader’s Digest Association, 443 U.S. 157, 168 (1979).  Her status as a salon owner alone would not trigger this status but her releasing the video and doing an interview on Fox would make her a public figure of limited public figure.

Pelosi is obviously a public figure. Indeed, arguably the third highest public official in the United States as third in line for the presidency.

The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. Ironically, this is precisely the environment in which the opinion was written and he is precisely the type of plaintiff that the opinion was meant to deter. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. In order to prevail, West must show either actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth. The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures.

California recognizes categories of per se defamation including alleging (1) a criminal offense; (2) a loathsome disease; (3) matter incompatible with his or her business, trade, profession, or office; or (4) serious sexual misconduct. See Cal. Civ. Code § 45a; Yow v. National Enquirer, Inc. 550 F.Supp.2d 1179, 1183 (E.D. Cal. 2008).

In the very least, Kious has been accused of a matter “incompatible with business, trade, profession, or office. Pelosi has also been accused for such misconduct.  (I am going leave the suggestion of criminality in one-party taping as meritless since this is a business where security cameras are usually posted and obvious).

For Kious, “truth is a defense.” While Pelosi said she was set up, she was in violation of San Francisco’s law and did fail to wear a mask.

For Pelosi, it gets tougher.  Her comments allegedly triggered threats and contributed or caused the likely closure of the salon. The hair stylist Jonathan DeNardohas insisted that the owner knew about the appointment. Kious said that she learned about it after it was set up.

Truth again can be defense but, unlike the Pelosi allegation of violating local laws on getting an indoor haircut and not wearing a mark (which is clearly true), this would be a matter for a jury.  It is ultimately a question of motivation.

The fact is that it could be presented as a viable defamation claim but, because of her status as a public figure, it would be difficult under the higher standard.  Complication this more is the heavy layer of political opinion during an election season.  Thus, my view is that a defamation claim is viable but challenging.

 

892 thoughts on “Set Up or Slander: Did Pelosi Defame A Salon Owner?”

  1. How soft we are on political leaders from the left and at the same time how dishonest they are along with their hypocricy, Nancy joins Hillary.
    —-
    Politico:

    Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged broker of Libyan weapons

    The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State…

  2. Allan wrote: “…leftists will cheat when they are told to do so. It is part of their DNA.”

    Ridiculous.

    More tripe, by Allan.

        1. Gotta be clear with guys like Allan because he distorts, misinterprets, lies…

          Allan is one of those folks on this blog who isn’t just stupid — he’s also crazy.

          And pay attention to the amount of time he spends here. He’s obviously a lonely guy who will now tell you what a wonderful and non-lonely life he has. Gotta laugh. He’s a nutter.

        2. Anonymous the Stupid for your education and in this case for everyone else this documentary tells us about Biden’s corruption.

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          Biden’s firm invested in Chinese surveillance technology;
          Biden’s firm helped China in its quest to control the world’s strategic metals;
          Biden’s firm bought a company that provides dual use technologies to the Chinese military and more

          Biden is Dangerous to American security.

          Riding the Dragon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=JRmlcEBAiIs

    1. And yet they do – historically – since the first leftists at the french revolution.

      Inherent in leftism is the presumption that the ends justifies the means.

      The substitution of the group for the individual inherently produces a flawed moral foundation where the ends justifies the means.

      Morality does not exist without individual free will. Which the left does not grasp.

      1. John I like you but you are confused by this liberterian john locke stuff

        The first apeman that had a big brain was an individual but to keep himself safe he needed his band of fellow cave men to watch guard while he slept

        hence the community precedes the individual in this way, the most fundamental way that existed long before even cities and agriculture, because SECURITY

        moreover, the individual comes from two parents mom and dad who sacrifice their lives to some degree to bring forth the new generation. it is by mixing their “individualism” and sublimating it that the family which allows new “individuals” to arise.

        Hence to conditions of FAMILY AND SECURITY individualism is secondary

        using it as a primary is not based in these facts of evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, nature, call it what you will

        emerge from the Enlightenment bromides, transcend them, and see how individualism is dividing us now at this critical time when we must come together fast to save our necks and our skins from the anarchists.

        1. Kurtz,. you’re wasting your time with John and your statement that the 1st caveman was an individual is false. Not only have humans – homo sapiens – never existed outside of social groups, but neither did our ancestors, other homo apes, or our fellow apes the chimpanzees with whom we shared a common ancestor. Johns calim is pure ignorance based on his religious belief in a fairy tale. He’s not gong to drop it as the facts are devastating to the fantasy he thinks is an ideology.

          1. I was not making a false statement, reread what i said. clearly you and I think alike on this subject.
            I just allow that EVEN IF one single caveman had some “homo sapiens” mutation that put him all above the rest– this is entirely possible in evolutionary terms– EVEN HE was not an individual in that he had a FAMILY that raised him when he was little and weak, and whom in later life he relied on his cave-band and family for security

            Democrats and leftists have dispensed with the fantasies of Enlightenment era “individualism” but due to the cunning influence of such like as Ayn Rand, Republicans and “liberterians” are still mystified by it. Kind of like a Rambo fantasy, one guy versus the world. Nonsense!

            All law is a form of collective security. All law is thus based on people coming together as a group. Individualism ever hampers what is needed now in more complicated times to secure our communities from harm from new complicated emergent threats.

            Now of course we respect individual initiative and the genius which comes from new positive ideas brought forth into action by mavericks. But society does not need to worship a cult of individualism to respect individual initiative.

            1. Kurtz – you are either at odds with BTB or you are conflating ants and humans. ‘

              Human families are NOT societies. Nor are those of Apes, or even wolves.

              Consequential human societies did not exist until about 10,000 years ago. Even then it has taken an additional 9,000 years to evolve to anything resembling a modern society.

              Further the left is intent on destroying the family as a unit, and the clan is very close to extinct in the developed world.

              I hope BTB is not teaching anthropology anywhere as he is completely clueless.

              Modern human society has no antecedent. Not ants, not family, not clans.

              It has taken millenia to create and evolve – regardless it is a human construction. It is not instinctual. It was consciously created, it has been consiciously changed and evolved. It is the product of the human mind – as much as the transistor.

              Ants are social animals – they do not exist outside of ant societies. They did not design their societies, they are instinctual, and/or the product of genertic and environmentally driven evolution – not thought ideas and contemplation. Even the human family and Clan which you fixate on, are not societies – either in the concept of modern human societies or those of ants.

              For humans society is a value and a choice. Which should be self evident by our competing efforts to transform it into something different.
              The very existance of monarchy, socialism, representative governments are all evidence that human society and its structure is a choice.
              One we do not agree on.

              1. John continues to mistake a statement of a simple fact – we, along with about 4 insect families, are part of a very limited number of animal species to live in large social groups. That is a fact, but it says or implies no other area of similarity between us and these insects, much as John insists on pretending I said or implied it does. The point is not other similarities with insects, but how few species practice this behavior. It is a defining characteristic and individualism, which is much more common among species, is not.

                What we do with facts is our choice and a left or right wing plan based on them is usually available. Denying facts to fit ideology is a losing proposition and John’s strategy.

                1. “John continues to mistake a statement of a simple fact – we, along with about 4 insect families, are part of a very limited number of animal species to live in large social groups.”

                  Back to insects again I see. We already disposed of that. There is no consequential resemblance between human society and insects.
                  Within “social” insects” there are about 4 roles. Every single insect belongs to one of those roles. That is NOT a choice, You are a worker, a drone or a queen PERIOD. You are identical in every way to every other member with that role. You act completely on instinct not choice.

                  No choices were involved int he creation of insect societies.

                  “That is a fact, but it says or implies no other area of similarity between us and these insects, much as John insists on pretending I said or implied it does.”:
                  Whether you said something or not is irrelevant. Either there are large similarities between us and social insects or insect societies and humans have nothing to do with each other. Throw a rock and it makes a sound when it lands. Just as the New York Philharmonic makes sound. There are very few other similarities between them. They both make sound, that is all they have in common.
                  The character of the sound is radically different.

                  “The point is not other similarities with insects, but how few species practice this behavior. It is a defining characteristic”
                  Obviosly false – for exactly the reasons you noted – we have very little in common with insects. Human societies have very little in common with insect societies. The social nature of insects IS a defining character of insects. There are no examples of individual workers or drones of a specific species of insect going out on their own. All insect societies within the same species are nearly identical.

                  Conversely every existing human “society” is unique. It is a product of the CHOICES of INDIVIDUALS.

                  Insects do not vote, they do not choose to join specific hives, or to leave them and join another, or live entirely outside that hive.

                  “and individualism, which is much more common among species, is” – the defining characteristic of Humans.

                  You do not prefer the same colors I do, the same words, the same friends, the same foods – and on and on and on.
                  As humans have become more wealthy and they have formed these modern human societies – which you think are somehow our identity that dictates our choices, but the fact is that “modern society” is MORE individualistic, not less.

                  Because we are wealthier – we have smart phones – hundreds of choices, with tens of thousands of choices of cases.
                  Want breakfast – the breakfast aisle of the grocery store has hundreds of choices – or there are dozens of resteruants, or recepies for myriads more. In the middle of winter you can have fresh tomatos or strawberries from Israel for little more than you would have paid in season locally.

                  The modern free market economy and the society it supports is about CHOICE.

                  And make no mistake at all – the “society” the social relationships that you think are intrinsic to humans are not possible without that free market.

                  Contra your BS – all the benefits of modern human society are the CONSEQUENCE of individualism, and individual liberty.

                  Cave men did NOT have anything even approximating what we have. Even today much of the world does NOT have what we have today.

                  If you wish to assert that the family unit – is somehow intrinsically human – be my guest.

                  But modern complex large scale human societies are a CHOICE – one that is only possible with effort and afluence. They are NOT inherent.

                  “Denying facts to fit ideology is a losing proposition”

                  Then DONT – we can debate whether families are intrinsicly human – but that is irrelevant to this discussion.
                  You have an even weaker case regarding tribes and clans.

                  But most important you have ZERO case regarding modern society.

                  It has little connection to family units or tribes or clans. It did not even start to evolve until 10 milenia ago. And for most of the past 10 milenia what existed barely resembled modern afluent society. And even today that society only exists in the developed world Much of the world still lives in families and tribes and clans.

                  The modern society you think is the predicate – did not exist until recently and therefore can not be a predicte.

                  It is a CONSEQUENCE of individualism and free choice – it is what free individuals has CHOOSEN for themselves as they have become prosperous enough to do so. And just as they can choose it – they can choose differently.

                  Finally – humans make choices fundimentally as individuals. Modern human society is the CONSEQUENCE of the agregate choices that humans make. But we do not make choices as a group.

                  We pick out mates – individualy. We pick our jobs, our homes, our cars – individually. We are alone in the voting booth.

                  The society you think is a predicate is the consequence of trillions of individual choices.

                  1. “John continues to mistake a statement of a simple fact – we, along with about 4 insect families, are part of a very limited number of animal species to live in large social groups. That is a fact, but it says or implies no other area of similarity between us and these insects, much as John insists on pretending I said or implied it does. The point is not other similarities with insects, but how few species practice this behavior. It is a defining characteristic and individualism, which is much more common among species, is not.”

                    Carry on.

              2. John, you should study some sociobiology aka evolutionary psychology. that is fact and reason based explanation of how human actually are social animals.

                fixing this erroneous individualistic premise will allow you to gainfully reconstruct the political errors which the Enlightenment and you as the present advocate are advancing. the error in a word is individualism

                I do not wish to offend my Republican friends and colleagues but it is precisely the adherence to Lockean bromides that holds us back from dealing with the immediate problems posed by all the various troublemakers in our nation

                learn to march in the phalanx and together we will win

                1. Kurtz, one may wish to encourage individual behavior and rights within the facts of our social nature and the controlling principle of the survival of our social group – which is now the entire world, whether you like that fact or not – and I count myself among those who do. I also favor rights based on privacy, but like individualism, it is a luxury and accident of modern living. Within that context also, Enlightenment principles are worthy, and even they did not favor the individual over the greater good. Leave it to our rich kids libertarians to become so confused.

                  1. “I also favor rights based on privacy, but like individualism, it is a luxury and accident of modern living.”

                    I disagree. Neither has anything to do with modernity. Both are inherent to being human–endowed by our Creator, and all…

                    1. Prairie, can you point to some evidence for this belief that meets standards of evidence in science or even normal common sense standards?

                    2. “Prairie, can you point to some evidence for this belief that meets standards of evidence in science or even normal common sense standards?”

                      The vast majority of time when someone says something is common sense – that thing whether it is “common sense” or not is wrong.
                      I would suggest reading Bastiat’s that which is seen and that which is not seen.

                      The “common sense” consequences of most leftist polices are positive. The actual net effect is negative. All the policies of the left have not merely first order effects, but less obvious 2nd and 3rd order effects. These usually dwarf the obvious first order effects.

                      As an example the first order impact of federal student loan programs was to make college afordable for far more people.
                      But 50 years of experience have seen the loan programs have increased the cost of college several times faster than inflation. So the actual impact has been to make college more expensive and to saddle the students who could least afford it with enormous debt.

                      During the same period we have vastly increased spending on K-12 education with the expectation that quality would improve – but by nearly every measure quality has declined.

                      Lots of things that seem like common sense are in reality unwise.

                      There are not “standards of evidence in science” there is a single standard – reproducability – that is the ONLY standard to science.

                      If you propose a law of science, a rule of behavior of the natural world, then your proposed rule is valid if there are no exceptions that are not covered by the rule and if the predictions of the rule can be constantly reproduced in the real world by others.

                    3. Morality requires free will. The existance of free will proves that individuality is a foundational attribute of humans.

                      If you reject individuality as a foundational attribute free will and morality can not exist.

                      That is actually logic, not science.

                      Science can not exist without logic.

                    4. BTB is an idiot. Even his particular concept of man as a social creature is actually quite modern – while rights, liberty individualism are ancient.

                      BTB pretends that human families and tribes and clans are somehow proof that men are like ants somehow.

                      Yet families, tribes and clans have almost nothing to do with BTB’s idea of human socialization – further they are institutions that the left seeks to destroy not empower. Extended families are nearly nonexistant, even nuclear families are severly threatened – by the left. But the very ideology that BTB thinks is rooted in man’s purported social nature. And Tribes and clans ? These are institutions the left would describe as systemically racist.

                      So BTB’s claims that man is somehow social are based on human social structures that BTB hates.

                    5. By the Book,
                      Standards of evidence for science?? How do philosophical discussions of the rights of privacy or individualism have anything to do with science? I would like to answer but I’m not sure what you’re aiming at.

                      Each person has been uniquely created, even twins are unique individuals. They have their own experiences; their own path in life to walk; their own mind. In my mind, I have my own private thoughts that I can choose to share or not with others. These belong to me. As my mind inhabits my body, my body belongs to me, too. Since such things belong to me, and by extension, those things I have purchased or created, they do not belong to others. Therefore, all these things are not the provence for others to intrude upon unless invited in.

                      I will have to think about how to express the larger ideas that undergird the concepts of privacy and individualism as endowed by our Creator.

                    6. Prairie, I fully respect your privacy, including not discussing thoughts and principles you’ve arrived at undoubtedly by serious and well meaning consideration. However, we are both humans facing the same essential questions about our origins and our purpose while alive, so we might be able to share our thoughts on these primary questions, and as a sign of our respect for each other, without condescension. In that regard, and I hope without being rude or trespassing on grounds you don’t wish to discuss, I choose to be polite but blunt. And since you made a statement on the origins of our rights on a public forum, questions on that conclusion seem fully in bounds. If you don’t want to go there now, OK.

                      As to evidence, I noted scientific or common sense standards, but some other standard other than faith – which we all generally don’t accept as sufficient in our daily life as a basis for sound decisions – which you may want to suggest may be OK too.

                    7. The origin of rights is that in nature no creature with free will can exist without rights.

                      Nearly all other creatures act instinctively. They do not have free will, and they do not have rights. They also do not have moral culpability for their actions.

                      Acts that humans deem immoral – rape, murder, theft, all occur throughout nature without any moral judgement.

                      But Humans alone have broad freedom to choose how they act. From that free choice arrises morality – the concept that because our actions are not instinctual, because they are a choice, some choices are good and some are bad.

                      Ants have no morality. They have no rights, they have no free will.

                      Because free will exists – morality and rights must follow.

                      I would also not that the primacy of the individual also follows from free will. If the good of the group is instinctive rather than a choice – free will can not exist. Free will requires the ability to make many many choices that the group does not like.

                    8. If you use the phrase “common sense” I am going to substitute “stupid”.

                      Common sense has no clear meaning. I doubt that you and I agree on what is common sense.
                      In fact the term common sense is pretty much never used when people by super majorities actually agree.

                      Common sense is pretty much always used by one group to disparage those who disagree.

                    9. John repeatedly accuses me of likening humans to ants, no matter how many times I have corrected his wilful – or moronic – interpretation. The point of my factual statement was that humans, unlike any other species on earth other than 4 types of insects, organize in very large social groups. The point of that fact in this discussion is not how similar we are to ants – obviously we are light years away from them biologically – but that contrary to John’s religious and dogmatic belief in Libertarianism, which colors his every thought, as this discussion demonstrates, humans are rare for their high degree of socialization, not their existence as individuals. In fact, neither humans – and especially humans – nor our evolutionary precedents or close relatives exist anywhere outside of social groups, never have and never will. Even misanthropic hermits survive by virtue of their decades long training by the family and tribe, and usually with a lifeline and outfitted by that group.

                      The Libertarian cult of the individual is a nice little rich Boys fantasy and luxury of the modern age, which of course was built on the civilizations which did not flourish until agriculture created the highly populated cities several thousand years ago.

                    10. “John repeatedly accuses me of likening humans to ants, no matter how many times I have corrected his wilful – or moronic – interpretation.”

                      Because you did – repeatedly.

                      “The point of my factual statement was that humans, unlike any other species on earth other than 4 types of insects, organize in very large social groups. ”

                      And there you go again. When you define an attribute as common to humans and 4 types of insects – you are likening humans to those insects.

                      Worse still you are doing so based on a phrase “large social groups” that does not mean anything close to the same thing for humans as it does to insects.

                      Just drop ants and insects from your argument and you will have less problems with me.

                      But so long as you claim that we are both “social animals” – social animal having the same meaning when refering to ants or bees as it does with humans, you will be RIGHTLY accused of comparing ants to humans – because you are.

                      “The point of that fact in this discussion is not how similar we are to ants”
                      Then do not bring up ants – or any other social animals unless you wish to have that comparison criticised.

                      “– obviously we are light years away from them biologically”
                      Correct. But more relevant to the argument – the meaning of “social animal” as it applies to ants, has almost no common ground with humans. You can call ants “social animals” and you can call humans “social animals” – but not using the same meaning for the term social animal – which is the flaw in your argument.

                      So long as you call both ants and humans “social animals” I am going to have no problem shredding any argument you make, because we are not the same, we are not even close, we are not in the same realm with respect to “social”. There is absolutely zero choice to the social model of insects. There is not even consciousness of the group – because there is not self consciousness.

                      “– but that contrary to John’s religious and dogmatic belief in Libertarianism, which colors his every thought, as this discussion demonstrates, humans are rare for their high degree of socialization, not their existence as individuals.”
                      Not merely false but unbeleiveably obviously false. The high degree of socialization that you attribute to humans is extremely modern and a choice. You also constantly compare humans to chimps. You note that Chimps typically function in groups of up to 150.
                      I am not going to debate the details of differences between Chimp society and that of primitive humans – that is 99.999% of human existance. But inarguably Chimpanzee’s do not have anything resembling that of modern humans. And in fact Humans have not for 99.999% of our existance had anything like modern human society.

                      Socialization – beyond some instanctive nuclear family aspects that apply to about 20% of life is a CHOICE for humans.

                      Agriculture – which made slightly larger than Chimpanzee social structures possible, was a human invention. Recorded history did not exist and possibly little more than primative language so we forever lost the identifiy of the individuals who bit by bit made agriculture possible.

                      But like all nearly all other human invention the human social structure that you prize is not merely a human choice. but one that was brought about by the discovery, invention, creativity, …. of a line of millions of INDIVIDUALS each bringing things one step further.

                      I have noted that if social was a higher value than individual – socialism would work. The fact is the modern society that you beleive so strongly reflects humans intrinsically social nature can not exist without our individuality.

                      Only a small part of the necescities for your highly socialized human society were not the product of individual minds seeking after their own self interest.

                      “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”
                      Adam Smith.

                      If you wish to eat – you have two choices – produce your food yourself or depend on the self interest of others to do it for you.
                      Even “groups” like General Mills, do not produce breakfast for you because that is good for society – but because their share holders – each individuals benefit.

                      You seem to like social sciences – look into Maslow’s heirarchy of needs. Social needs are a higher value – further up the pyramid.
                      What that means is that social needs are met AFTER lower order needs – like dinner.
                      Regardless ultimately we are responsibile INDIVIDUALLY to meet our own needs – whether for water or socialization.

                      BTW you cited the populations of the US, Germany and Japan and then tied them to WWII.

                      In 1942 the US population was 130M, the Japanese 43M, the Germans 90M.

                      ” In fact, neither humans – and especially humans – nor our evolutionary precedents or close relatives exist anywhere outside of social groups, never have and never will. Even misanthropic hermits survive by virtue of their decades long training by the family and tribe, and usually with a lifeline and outfitted by that group.”

                      To the extent that children are incapable of fending for themselves – something true of nearly all higher animals social or not, your remarks are true. Further as noted before the nuclear family is a necesity for any creature with a developed brain that is further from instinct and closer to rational and INDIVIDUAL decision making. Though in many cases that family consists just of a mother.

                      But the nuclear family is not evidence of some high degree of socialization. In fact by YOUR definition of socialization schools of fish are more socialized than human families – certainly more than chimps and early humans.

                      “The Libertarian cult of the individual is a nice little rich Boys fantasy and luxury of the modern age”
                      Nope, it is the foundation of the modern age.

                      The magna carte and declaration of independence predate the communist manifesto.

                      “which of course was built on the civilizations which did not flourish until agriculture created the highly populated cities several thousand years ago.”

                      That is correct – agriculture made cities possible. Not the other way arround.

                      Social relations – like love are a higher order value of humans. We want them, but we can live without them even if that life is diminished.

                      WE can not live without water. If we could live without free will – we would certainly be radically different creatures. Regardless, we can not sustain the society that you prize without the individuality you mock.

                    11. By the Book,
                      It seems I have difficulty expressing my thoughts with clarity after midnight. I was attempting to explain why I thought privacy and individualism were neither luxuries nor accidents of modernity, that they are inherent to our existence.

                      “And since you made a statement on the origins of our rights on a public forum, questions on that conclusion seem fully in bounds. If you don’t want to go there now, OK.”

                      It was not my intention to imply that I did not want to discuss such topics. I should not have used first-person pronouns; that seems to have made the whole shebang confusing.

                  2. Enlightenment thinking had a historic place but at this juncture it is mishmash of stale bromides.
                    I have said this a lot and I will now unpack my viewpoint just a little.

                    Lockean “tabula rasa:” obviously false and fails to comprehend the cognition and storage mechanisms of the brain and how they affect “knowledge” to say nothing of the inherent deep structures of languages

                    Rousseau “state of nature” preposterous. no explanation needed. noble savage is bunk
                    Rousseau “social compact” more nonsense. Nobody “agrees” to a social compact they are born into it like it or not. humbug

                    Voltaire, more valuable for his literature and aphorisms than any sort of politics

                    Hobbes is an Enlightenment era antidote to Rousseau and still worth reading

                    I have a lot of enduring appreciation for https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/montesquieu/ but maybe just because I am a lawyer

                    as a lawyer I do not reject individual rights. they are part of our system and I am sworn to it. I just do not “idolize” them!

                    however we also value certain corporate rights, that is to say collective rights. all sorts and forms of collective rights exist in our system, none the least of which is corporate or collective rights of private business entities; but also nonprofits; the rights of states and foreign governments or other sovereign or quasi sovereign entities; the rights of certain social relationships ie the family, a more vague notion but one which is a very real human social institution; the rights of ethnic groups, not only the usual “minorities’ but also national ancestry/ cultural groups, or family ancestry (inheritance law for example) or linguistic groups; one could go on and on. I have no problem with such rights in principle as they arguably relate to valid and organic forms of social organization– but the libertarian thinking paints them all with the same bad brush.

                    1. “Lockean “tabula rasa:” obviously false and fails to comprehend the cognition and storage mechanisms of the brain and how they affect “knowledge” to say nothing of the inherent deep structures of languages”

                      Kurtz, your focus on tabula rasa leaves you lacking with regard to the more important thing that face us. Reason needs to be used when searching for the truth. One shouldn’t rely on authoritarian answers. I don’t think his feelings regarding tabula rasa are all that important when considering his greater gifts to history.

                    2. “Enlightenment thinking had a historic place but at this juncture it is mishmash of stale bromides.”

                      Or more accurately the answer to this nonsense that the state is pre-eminent.

                      Tabula Rasa predata Locke and has no bearing on this debate.
                      You are correct that humans are not a blank slate.
                      At the same time the evolution of higher animals is specifically about creatures that are ever less instinctive and more learned.

                      I would further note that languages support rather than conflict with the concept. Language evolved as animals are LESS instinct driven.
                      Further human language is a LATE development. Humans may be the only creatures with sophisticated language, but they did not come by it instinctively.

                      Obviously the human brain has the capacity for language, but it does not come with language preprogrammed in.

                      Rousseau is fundimentally wrong – do we need to dwell on him ? Rousseau is the foundation for the modern left.

                      “as a lawyer I do not reject individual rights. they are part of our system and I am sworn to it. I just do not “idolize” them!”

                      The law does not come from thin air. We spent a couple of millenia developing it. I do not “idolize” gravity. It just exists.
                      Rights either exist or they do not. Rejecting them has dramatic consequences. It also ultimately does not work – even marx figured that out.

                      “however we also value certain corporate rights, that is to say collective rights.”

                      “collective rights” are essentially agregate sums of the rights of participating individuals. There are no corporate rights without corporate owners. I would further note our founders distinguished natural rights from those created by government – “priviledges and immunities” was THEIR term for ALL the things government was barred from interfering with in individuals.

                      “all sorts and forms of collective rights exist in our system, ”
                      Not as anything beyond agregated individual rights.

                      “none the least of which is corporate or collective rights of private business entities; but also nonprofits;”
                      There is no legitimate right of any group that is anything more than the rights of the individual members.

                      The lefts rant regarding CU is correct – only humans have rights. That said, all organizations are constructed from groups of humans.

                      “the rights of states and foreign governments or other sovereign or quasi sovereign entities;”
                      There are no rights of government – governments have POWERS, these are distinctly different.
                      Natural rights are inalienable. Givernment powers are at the pleasure of the governed.

                      “the rights of certain social relationships ie the family, a more vague notion but one which is a very real human social institution;”
                      There are not “family rights” – there are rights of mothers and rights of fathers and rights of children – all individuals.

                      ” the rights of ethnic groups,”
                      There is no such thing as an ethnic right. There are no white rights, no black rights.

                      “not only the usual “minorities’ but also national ancestry/ cultural groups, or family ancestry (inheritance law for example) or linguistic groups; one could go on and on.”

                      And you wonder why you are accused of being on the left – none of these exist, you are ranting nonsense., There is no logical or philosophical difference between these rantings and the garbage taught by post modernists – intersectionality. You might as well be ranting about ‘critical race theory”
                      You might as well go out and join antifa because you have no sound philosophy or logic and you are parrotting theirs.

                      “I have no problem with such rights in principle as they arguably relate to valid and organic forms of social organization”

                      They do not and can not exist. You claim to be familiar with history – the concept of independent group rights is inherent in socialism.
                      It is a major part of why socialism always fails. Early socialism fixates on class and tries to create class rights – for oppressed classes fighting class oppressors. Post modernism is just a permutation of marxism that adds race, gender, and other quasi group distinctions to class distinctions and mmanufactures faux rights for these.

                      Read your own comment – it is mushy and vague – that is because you are trying to create something that does not exist from thin air.
                      You have no foundation.

                      While your claim that humans are not inherently a completely blank slate is correct – it is also mostly irrelevant. Tabula Rasa is not some intrinsically libertarian concept. That said the fact that as animals evolved they shifted from instinct to learning – particularly as mamals developed, and that humans are the current epitomy of that – we are not blank slates, but we have the least instincts and have the largest learned component – that should be patently obvious.

                      Regardless every human is unique – we are NOT ants, Humans construct their social arrangements by choice and they have only superficial resemblance to that of “social insects” or other “social animals”. “Social” in the context of humans means something radically different than it does in the context of other animals. Absolutely other mamals – especially our closest relatives have very primative versions of SOME of these

                  3. “one may wish to encourage individual behavior and rights ”

                    Wow ! What delusion.

                    A Absent the use of force or fraud, failure to live up to agreements, or actions that actually harm others – the behavior of another person is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

                    You do not have the right or priviledge to “encourage” the behavior of another.

                    And in what world do you think that YOU are so much better than others that you are entitled to run their lives ?
                    Are you even able to run your own ?

                    Rights are those things that you are BARRED from infringing on. Again they are OUTSIDE the domain of your control.

                    BTW the very existance of rights confirms that humans are individuals FIRST.

                    Individuals have rights,. All “group rights” are the sum of the rights of the individuals.

                    To properly explain Citizens United and 200 years of law to you – no corporations do not have rights – but the shareholders that own those corporations DO. The legal fiction of corporate personhood is just a trick to avoid the complexity of weighing the rights of hundreds, thousands even millions of shareholders.

                    That ties back – because RIGHTS belong to individuals. All group rights – all “social” constructs are the expression of the wishes of individuals in the context of a group.

                    You keep fixating on this man as a social animal nonsense – completely missing the fact that your argument is pointless.

                    Man is an individual FIRST and FOREMOST. We form groups because that is in our INDIVIDUAL interests.
                    It is a choice – an incredibly common choice – because it is quite frequently in our INDIVIDUAL unterests.

                    All acts that you perform in life are as individuals.

                    If you buy a car – YOU buy the care, you may consult with others, you may defer to the wishes of others – but the choices are YOURS individually. You vote as an individual.

                    Every single action that you take that you might claim is a group action – you still must individually decide to perform.

                    You are NOT an ant. You are not a wolf. You perform only a few acts instinctively.
                    You – the individual CHOOSE. what you do.

                    “within the facts of our social nature and the controlling principle of the survival of our social group”
                    Nope, our nature is individual. Our survival is almost always individual.
                    Others may be present when you are born and die – but you do each ALONE.
                    You own your existance – not anyone else.

                    You talk about group survival – do you have the slightest doubt that 99,999 out of 100000 of us will not sacrifice our own INDIVIDUAL life for the world, the nation, our race, a stranger, our city – almost any social group we are part of.

                    Even those who would sacrifice their lives for their family are actually FEW.

                    Grow up – we are individuals first and foremost.

                    One of the reason socialism FAILS is because given a choice between the interests of the group and our own interests – very few if us CHOSE the group.

                    What you call our “social nature” is SECOND to our self interest. We are individuals FIRST.

                    “which is now the entire world, whether you like that fact or not – and I count myself among those who do.”
                    The only consequential danger the world faces at the moment is from those like you.

                    “I also favor rights based on privacy”

                    Rights are not based on privacy or anything else – they are inalienable. You have them because you are human. You do not earn them – though you can act to lose them.

                    “it is a luxury and accident of modern living.”
                    Pretty much the opposite – and I have addressed this repeatedly.

                    Your idea of man’s “social nature” has not existed for most of human existance – and does not exist even today among the majority of people. For most of human existance the only social units were the family, the clan, the tribe. That is all. Rarely more than a couple of dozen people and outside the family relations were not close.

                    Prior to the WESTERN enlightenment social relationships outside of your race, religion, tribe, clan, were almost non-existant.

                    It is the very individualist ideology that you rant about that created the diverse multicultural society that you think is intrinsically human – it is NOT.

                    “Enlightenment principles are worthy”
                    It is not a question of “worthyness”
                    They WORK, yours do not.
                    They have actually passed the test of time and reality.
                    Yours failed.

                    “and even they did not favor the individual over the greater good.”
                    People who speak of “the greater good” ALWAYS speak of THEIR greater good.

                    If you choose ten people at random from accross the world – you will get 11 different ideas of what the “greater good” is.

                    You are selling snake oil. Silky words – which sound reasonable, but in reality do not mean the same thing to those who hear them as those who speak them – and quite often that is deliberate. Because if you spoke clearly – if you were accurate about what constituted the “greater good” no one would support you.

                    This is like Obama Care. At most any time – even now, it is not difficult to find a majority even a super majority who agree that healthcare – or health insurance need reformed. But start talking specifics and you have far more opposition than support.

                    Phrases like “greater good” have no appeal at all when you actually define what you mean.

                    We do not agree on what the “greater good” is, and we never will.

                    “Leave it to our rich kids libertarians to become so confused.”

                    Neither a kid, nor particularly rich.
                    Most libertarians are neither kids nor rich.

                2. Mr. Kurtz,
                  You are confusing rights of the individual with some kind of radical “I rely only on myself” individualism; they are completely different things. Individuals can definitely come together to jointly solve problems as a community such that the individual rights of the participants are not infringed upon by the majority. It prevents mob rule. The current problems do NOT necessitate the devolution into some stupid tribalism. E. pluribus unum.

                  1. I am not confusing them. I have thought this out carefully over decades.

                    You might more fairly say I am “conflating” them. And you’re right that there is a negative solopsistic individualism with a more healthy individualism which relates to the healthy psychological process of individuation.at least as it is conceived in the Jungian sense.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individuation

                    Prarie you used the word devolution. This is an interesting word. I think like a pagan that we are usually in some state of devolution not progress. Hesiod’s Golden age, decays into the iron age; the Hindu Golden age decays into the Kali Yuga; or as Daniel prophesied that the empires decay into “Feet of clay”

                    Enlightenment thinking posits progress as some magical process in human history. I do not see it that way. I see a dialectical process at work, which does not necessarily equate to anything wonderful. In this way I am “cynical”

                    Our partner in dialogue Book provides an opposite viewpoint which is convinced of “progress”

                    Finally, I have no problem with tribes. They are in our nature. We all came from tribes and we have them even now though we may not realize it. The strength of the wolf is in the pack. Of course we can seek to mitigate the excesses of tribal conflict such as genocide. I would agree we should mitigate those excesses but not by destroying the legitimacy of tribal belonging in the first place. I am not on board with throwing the baby out with bathwater

                    1. Kurtz, progress is not a theory, but a proven fact and the unarguable trajectory of human existence, unless you think foraging and dying before your 30 are desirable states. Yes, there are many steps backwards, and many of them nastily brutish and horrible – welcome to the real world – and we could stumble seriously in the future with cataclysmic results. Progress is not guaranteed. On the contrary, it requires serious effort by the living. But, it is entirely attainable – look at the record – and our duty to those who will follow. We owe it as the legacy passed on to us and we owe it on the basis of f..k ups we need to atone for, for us and those who came before.

                      A failure to appreciate what we have, what we have achieved as humans, and the suffering of those who came before is a blindness of staggering proportions . We all like to complain – must have gotten that from somewhere – but c’mon on!

                    2. I almost completely agree with you.

                      We owe nothing to the past.
                      Our lives are our own to succeed and fail as we wish.

                      The past is a resource not a commandment.
                      It is an incredibly important one.
                      We should not lightly deviate from the institutions of the past – even if we beleive they are flawed because it is fact that the success we have today occured in a system that included those institutions.

                      Put simply even when we deem old ways as flawed we should replace them carefully because it is easy to make things worse, and hard to make them better.

                    3. Mr. Kurtz,
                      There is a lot to sort out in your answer.

                      “Prarie you used the word devolution. This is an interesting word. I think like a pagan that we are usually in some state of devolution not progress. Hesiod’s Golden age, decays into the iron age; the Hindu Golden age decays into the Kali Yuga; or as Daniel prophesied that the empires decay into “Feet of clay””

                      I am not completely in disagreement. Things tend toward chaos if left untended–like my garden if I do not stay ahead of the weeds. But, like my garden, we can continually move towards progress with attention and effort. I can keep ahead of the weeds. I can dust and fertilize and water as needed. I can replant and interplant and then hopefully harvest with abundance.

                      “Enlightenment thinking posits progress as some magical process in human history. I do not see it that way. I see a dialectical process at work, which does not necessarily equate to anything wonderful. In this way I am “cynical””

                      I am not sure why you think “enlightenment thinking posits progress as some magical process”. Neither progress nor thinking is some magical process. Both require attention and effort and organization and reflection and discernment.

                      I am perplexed by your comment, as well, considering I also see any kind of progress (and thinking, in some ways) as a dialectical process, too. Progress requires a weighing of perspectives and needs and possibilities and limitations to create some kind of improvement. The dialectical aspect can be with yourself (like Tevya discussing with himself–on the other hand…), or, with other people.

                      What are you thinking of when you say “does not necessarily equate to anything wonderful”?

                3. “John, you should study some sociobiology aka evolutionary psychology. that is fact and reason based explanation of how human actually are social animals.”

                  I study lots of things. But I focus on reality. I would hope by now you would grasp that I have zero problems disagreeing with the “mostly left wing” purported experts – on any given subject. I have even less problem disagreeing with what others – mostly left wing nuts tell me that “experts” say on a given subject.

                  “fixing this erroneous individualistic premise”

                  I would suggest that you should study some philosophy, and probably some logic and epistemology.

                  What separates humans from all other creatures is the scope of our free choice – individuality. Deny that – and you can not have all the rest of these things that you think are intrinsically human.

                  No two humans are the same – and not merely in surface features like height, hair and eyes. We do not have the same intelligence, talents, skills, and ultimately we do not have the same values.

                  I would reflect your remarks regarding “polticical” and other errors back to you.

                  I would further note that even in those fields you note such as sociobiology, and evolutionary psychology – and myriads of others – as steeped as they might be in your misperception of human social constructs, they still ultimately must cope with the fact that humans at their core are unique as individuals in ways inherently distinct from any other species that has ever existed.

                  The enlightenment is NOT some aberant period of human history and thought – it is the consequences of 150,000 years of human advancement.

                  Humans are also evolutionarily relatively unique amoung all creatures – as we have taken control of our own advancement. While all the traditional darwinian mechanisms still exist – if they alone drove human advancement we would still live in caves in clans and tribes.

                  Human advancement is the product of the constant effort of individuals to improve their condition – something that is nearly non-existant in any other species.

                  It is entirely possible that in a generation – or a millennia humans will produce artificial life that supersedes us.
                  The mere fact that we are trying to do that – to change our own desitny – to evolve through completely non-darwinian mechanisms should radically alter all those disciplines that you think define humans as social first and individual second.

                  I do not debate that humans place an incredibly high value on social relationships.

                  But the key words is VALUE – because that means it is a choice. And choices are made by humans as individuals. “Social choices” are the agregate of individual choices.

                  You change a humans thoughts and acts through persuasion or force. To change anything in the human sphere you MUST change individuals.

                  The enlightenment was not some aberation, it was part of a natural progression of human thought.

                  This modern collectivist concept that you are selling emerged slightly later, is a competative ideology and in the real world has failed repeatedly, from the french revolution to the present.

                  It does not matter whether you cast it as right collectivism or left – it just does not work.

                  “will allow you to gainfully reconstruct the political errors which the Enlightenment and you as the present advocate are advancing. the error in a word is individualism”

                  Kurtz – while you frequently and eloquently obliterate leftist nonsense – your core principles are barely distinct from those of most on the left.

                  Right socilaism – or whatever you wish to call it has a bloody history too – just less bloody than that of the left.

                  You are not fighting the lockean – you are fighting pretty much all non socialist thought from hamurabi through to Coase or Olstrom.
                  You are not fighting a few bromides – you are fighting the only human philosophy that actually holds together without self contradication across all disciplines and that fits with facts and has suceeded in practice to the extent it has been tried.

                  I have as little interest in marching with you as with BTB – if anything you are probably far more dangerous – as you are far smarter and even when wrong far more capable of making bad ideas work.

                  My concerns about the problems facing the nation are radically different from yours.

                  While I oppose much of what you oppose – it is NOT an existential threat. It is a speed bump. Maybe small maybe large.

                  This social fixation – that of BTB or your own permutation ALWAYS FAILS.

                  It does not matter if Biden is elected or Sanders or Obama – to the extent government loses touch with the individual it fails.

                  I would prefer that we do not have to learn again by failure. But the failure of YOU for the lack of a better term “anti-lockean” approach is inevitable. It is likely that the Kurtzian approach will fail more slowly than that of BTB, but it will still failure.

              3. John Say,
                We definitely agree on many things when it comes to civil liberties and the value of the individual. Even on the point of discussion of the development of human societies, I do agree that much of what is seen in our societal structures are the results of thought, consideration, and choices–quite unlike the instinctual behavior of ants.

                That said, I do also see the problematic element of the de-individuation that occurs to people in crowds. People can subsume themselves to the “mind” of the crowd–a quite often detrimental thing to do (such as what we observe in the riots afflicting so many cities). The crowd psychology is what can make us seem, at times, more like ants, which do things without thinking as individuals.

                People are a paradox and standing as an individual amongst the pressure (perhaps even persuasion and manipulation) to conform to ‘the crowd’ is challenging but possible. “There was that ant that stood up to me,” once said a bully of a grasshopper in Bug’s Life. It can also happen in a restaurant when a crowd demands of patrons to raise a fist in support of BLM and one person refuses, despite the intimidation.

                1. “That said, I do also see the problematic element of the de-individuation that occurs to people in crowds. People can subsume themselves to the “mind” of the crowd–a quite often detrimental thing to do (such as what we observe in the riots afflicting so many cities). The crowd psychology is what can make us seem, at times, more like ants, which do things without thinking as individuals.”

                  I do not beleive that even the left is arguing that the inherently bad behavior that humans have historically engaged in when in large enough groups, is reflective of some inherent “social animal” aspect of humanity – but if the left truly wants to go there great – it is a bad thing that we should strive to overcome, not a good one.

                  “People are a paradox and standing as an individual amongst the pressure (perhaps even persuasion and manipulation) to conform to ‘the crowd’ is challenging but possible. “There was that ant that stood up to me,” once said a bully of a grasshopper in Bug’s Life. It can also happen in a restaurant when a crowd demands of patrons to raise a fist in support of BLM and one person refuses, despite the intimidation.”

                  Again if the left wants to claim that human conduct in crowds is instinctive, or inherent – fine, it is also BAD – destructive and something we should work to overcome.

          2. “humans – homo sapiens – never existed outside of social groups, but neither did our ancestors, other homo apes, or our fellow apes the chimpanzees with whom we shared a common ancestor.”

            I COMPLETELY AND RESERVEDLY AGREE WITH THIS

          3. “Not only have humans – homo sapiens – never existed outside of social groups,”

            We have been through this before. Though you are backpeddling. First men were like ants and bees – which are actually social animals.
            Now we are like Apes.

            Lets start with some basics – the family – even a Clan is NOT a society.

            As a leftist you should know better than that. You seek to destroy all relations EXCEPT that of man to society.

            Regardless most mammals remain with atleast one of their parents until adulthood – that does not make them social animals.

            No human grouping larger than a clan existed for 99.9% of human existance. And even though Clan and family membership was common – you could get evicted from a clan or choose to leave it.

            Humans formed no units larger than a clan until about 10,000 years ago when agriculture and cities evolved approximately concurrently.

            What ape builds cities ? What Ape farms ?

            These are CHOICES humans have made.

            I would further note that TODAY particularly in the modern world that the left inhabits there are no clans no extended family relations, religious ties are intentionally destroyed – as are family ties. YOUR idea of society or man as a social animal has no resemblance to any pattern man or apes have ever had.

            And your back to mind reading – what has religion got to do with this ? What do you know about my spiritual beleifs ?

            I have cited the bible on occasion for its wisdom – does that make me an evangelical ? I have also cited Mao – am I am maoist ?
            I am pretty transparent about who I am – and yet you are constantly seeking to find something else that is not there.

            Libertarianism is an ideology. It is also one of four core philosophies, and you would find the other 3 unpaletable.

            1. John to BTB: “As a leftist you should know better than that. You seek to destroy all relations EXCEPT that of man to society.”

              That is exactly what most despots do and destruction of religion, family, social boundaries among others are foremost in the minds of the leftist despots like Stalin and Mao. Destruction of social society leads to acceptance of the state as society.

        2. You have an odd understanding of time.

          The community did not precede the individual.

          Absolutely humans chose community because it is beneficial – but it remains a choice – even for cave men.

          Family and security are very important. Important enough that we often CHOOSE to trade some of our freedom for them.
          But it remains a choice.

          Individualism is not dividing us. The left is dividing us. And though current post modernism is an interesting retread of marxism, it is still marxisim – socialism, collectivism – maybe with some oddball nihlist twists. But still fundimentally collectivist not individualist.

          Absolutely we must come together – or we will all lose our liberty – conservative, real liberal, libertarian alike.

          But coming together to fight a very dangerous common foe does not require sacrificing principles.

          1. I understand that accepting the facts of our species existence and that of our preceding species means the destruction of John’s fantasy upon which he has constructed his entire ideology, but facts are facts. Neither we – homo sapiens – or our ancestors – including the common ancestor we shared with chimps – were ever not social animals, and have always been completely dependent upon a larger group than even an extended family. There is no such thing as a homo sapien not raised and inculcated with it’s group’s understanding of life and accepted norms of behavior, nor has any survived without that socialization process and then support of the group for it’s physical needs. The individual is a pleasing concept and modern luxury of our species success which of course would not have occurred without our ability to act socially.

            Carry on.

            1. “I understand that accepting the facts of our species existence and that of our preceding species”

              Other species are to a large extent irrelevant. Humans are unique among animals. No other animal publishes books. Builds skyscrapers. drives vehicles, travels the entire world, and has figured out how to leave the planet.

              We can debate whether some other animals make tools or have small degrees of self awareness, but no other animal demonstrates all the unique abilities of humans.

              There are no chimpanzee’s or other apes that can demonstrate the broad range of accomplishments that humans have.

              “means the destruction of John’s fantasy upon which he has constructed his entire ideology, but facts are facts.”

              Facts are facts. Humans have free will, they express that free will in inumerable ways. You can claim that some other animals might have free will too – but at best only in extremely rudimentary form.

              Free will is the foundation of morality – we do not make moral judgements of fish or cows.

              I am at best marginally interested in your rants about other creatures – they are inapplicable as their similarities to humans beyond biology are superficial. Do you really want to argue that Chimps or wolves or ants are able to send themselves to space, write books, … ?

              “Neither we – homo sapiens – or our ancestors – including the common ancestor we shared with chimps – were ever not social animals,”
              You have a definition of “social” that changes with every post.

              Humans – and most mamals form families. That is NOT usually what is meant by a social animal. Further the LEFT eschews families and all the “social” units that you claim that humans and apes have formed for milenia.

              No apes have formed “governments”, no other animal in existance has ever formed the “socities” that you are fixated on.

              Even humans have not formed governments for 99.9% of human existance. They have not formed cities for 99.99% of their existance.

              As you say “fact are facts” – and the fact is the social structures that you claim are inherently human have not existed anywhere in humans or any other animals prior to the last 10,000 years. And that most have not existed even in humans until the last milenia.

              Absolutely cave men had families – so do bears. Those families are a necescity for raising animals with the intellect of mamals that must learn over years or even a decade or two before adulthood. Unlike prior animals that operate almost entirely from instinct.

              But those family bonds weaken significantly – in humans and other animals as the child reaches adulthood.

              Absolutely cave men fequently voluntarily organized into clans and tribes – almost exclusively based on very close blood relations.

              But:

              This was a choice – you do not seem to be able to grasp that anything that nearly all people choose – is STILL a choice.
              This has virtually no resemblance to what YOU call society.

              Unrelated adults from different tribes, clans, races, religions have not come together in any scale in any species besides humans.
              Nor have they done so until relatively modern times.

              Until the last millenia humans at best enslaved or killed those of different races (or religions) when they encountered them.

              What you call society is a modern creation unique to humans – and quite clearly a CHOICE.

              Nearly all humans wear clothes – yet we do not pretend that cloths are some instinctual innate human attribute – they definitely are not one of other apes.

              Nearly all humans use transportation. No other animal in existance does. Even humans did not for 99.9% of human existance.
              But the use of transportation as ubiquitous as it is, is still a CHOICE.

              “and have always been completely dependent upon a larger group than even an extended family.”

              If you wish to claim that familiy and extended familiy is an innate human characteristic and not a choice – you would be far more credible if your concept of society did not involve DESTROYING that charateristic.

              You rant here constantly about race and racism. It is clear that you think those are incompatible with “society”.
              Yet it is only society within less than the past millenia, where those of a different race were not killed or enslaved.

              The pluralistic society which bother you and I actually value is a CHOICE, and a very modern one. It is a CHOICE that goes AGAINST the entire history of the planet. All other animals are RACIST by nature. All humans prior to the past millennia were RACIST.
              Even today in 75% of the world consequential racial diversity is nearly non-existant.

              YOUR idea of society – and man’s “social nature” have never existed before – it is a CHOICE.

              Your argument about family and tribe and clan is irrelevant – as if those are man’s “social nature” – that has little resemblance to modern society.

              The actual society that you think that man is by nature part of, is indisputably a creation of man – modern man, VERY modern man.

              It is a CHOICE, not an instinct, not intrinsic.

              “There is no such thing as a homo sapien not raised and inculcated with it’s group’s understanding of life and accepted norms of behavior, nor has any survived without that socialization process and then support of the group for it’s physical needs. ”

              I would suggest rereading what you wrote, because I doubt it means what you think.

              Regardless, absolutely Humans like bears are raised in families. So What ? Those have nothing to do with your thesis.
              Families exist in all mamals. They do not exist in ants – the social animal you keep trying to compare us to.
              Families are rudimentary outside of mamals.

              Family bonds – in all animals including humans last until adulthood and then fade.

              Humans also form Tribes and Clans – units of a few dozen in size at most. Units in which everyone knows everyone else, where everyone is not merely the same race, but is closely biologically related. While this is a common arrangement in some mamals, it does not scale beyond a few dozen people. It is NOT the same as society. And it is a CHOICE, while it is not common for adult humans to live outside a family a tribe, a clan, it still happens.

              What you call society has not existed for nearly all of human existance.
              In fact only in the last 10 millenia have even the rudiments of what you call society existed.

              Modern pluralistic society is a creation of the past couple of hundred years, of WESTERN society, and is mostly urban.
              Even today the vast majority of the people in the world DO NOT live in anything resembling your idea of society. And that modern society has values at odds with those of clans, tribes and families. Put simply THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.

              I do not grasp how it is that you think that something has not existed ever before and outside of a subset of modern humans is somehow intrinsic to human nature rather than a choice.

              “The individual is a pleasing concept and modern luxury of our species success which of course would not have occurred without our ability to act socially.”

              Bzzt wrong. It is CLEARLY modern human social relationships that are the LUXURY – they do not and can not exist but for the prosperity of modern humans.

              Further for all of human existance – there is you and I. There is no WE, except by choice.
              I vote, you vote, I walk, you walk, I eat, you eat, I act, you act.
              WE do not ever do anything except either as a plural observations – lots of individuals are acting at the same time, or BY CHOICE.

              There is no WE of any kind except when you or I CHOSE to be part of that we.

              If you doubt that – then why is Trump president – certainly not because YOU chose that. It is the consequence of the INDIVIDUAL choices of 60+million people who you want absolutely nothing to do with. They are certainly not part of YOUR society.

              1. Scanned only the first few paragraphs – I do have a life – but John’s complete ignorance on the subject of both out natures as humans and evolution is amusing in the sense that it’s ridiculously funny. Other animals are of importance to understanding ourselves because down to our bones literally, we are from them. In our particular case, our antecedents were also social animals, though not to the extent we have taken that attribute. There is no history of individualism along that chain going back more than a million years.

                In fact, the defining behavioral characteristic of our species is increased socialization, which is what led to the advancements which John likes to pretend sprung from isolated individuals . Obviously the greater the numbers of humans able to live together in early cities due to the success of agriculture over foraging, the greater – and faster – those advancement came. We call it civilization. John likes to pretend that preceding this we existed as families only – you know, Biff and Karen and the tykes Mary and Todd climbing trees for fruit and driving bison over cliffs. In fact, foraging tribes could be as large as 500, though mostly smaller, the principle being how many people we could personally know and therefore trust directly or indirectly. Our chimp relatives – same common ancestor – have social groupings of about 150. As the author Noah explains in his book “Sapiens”, our ability to create abstract belief systems increased our ability to form larger and larger groups of trusted “insiders”. We therefore are Americans, all 300+ million, and in WWII that was largely enough to define our loyalty against those other tribes of Germans and Japs – about 80 million each?

                1. “Scanned only the first few paragraphs ”
                  Do you feel compelled to tell us that ?
                  So you are admitting you do not really know what I said.
                  So why do you think your oppinion has merit ?

                  “– I do have a life”
                  I will take your word for that as there is not much evidence.

                  “but John’s complete ignorance on the subject of both out natures as humans and evolution”
                  %s/John/BTB/g

                  Now your statements are correct.

                  I have rarely encountered people arguing so doggedly against the facts.

                  We have been over and over this repeatedly.

                  There are no human social units larger than a couple of dozen members for 99.999% of human existance.
                  The massive human social structures humans have today are incredibly new, and the product of deliberate choice.
                  They have absolutely no equivalent of any kind in the rest of the natural world.

                  Nor are they the product of evolution – evolution is a process of nature, not a conscious choice of a creature.
                  Birds did not choose to grow feathers and fly.

                  Bacteria did not decide to become multi-celled organism’s.

                  You are incredibly ignorant of both science, evolution and reality. You are the epitomy of the problems of the left.
                  You conflate your ideological views with reality and science.

                  The real world does not support your views.
                  Actual science – which MUST conform to the real world does not support your views.

                  Humans groups have poor resemblance to those of ants and “social insects” – the only other creatures that have social structures on the scale of humans. But no one would claim that ant colonies are voluntary or that ants had any choice about pretty much anything.
                  Nor would they claim that ant colonies are diverse. It is a feature and a requirement that they are not. further ant colonies are clearly the result of evolution while human social groups are clearly the result of choice – evolution does not work that fast or in that way.

                  Absolutely primative humans compare in many ways to higher apes and to other mammal tribal groups. That is where we evolved FROM.

                  But man today is not the primative he was for 99.999% of his existance, AND the primative evolutionary social structures that humans had that strongly resembled that of other mamals WERE instinctive, and evolutionary.

                  But today only vestiges of those remain.

                  I would further note that your claim that man is intrinsically a “social animal” in the way of ants or primatives runs afoul of your own ideology.
                  Primative human social groups were inherently racist right down to the tribe and clann. Human social groups for the vast majority of human existance were in most every way structured at total odds to all left wing values.
                  They were family focused, race based, religion based, sex based. Pretty much what the modern left seeks to destroy.

                  1. But man today is not the primative he was for 99.999% of his existance,

                    Homo Sapiens are thought to have emerged 200,000 years ago. Cities emerged not quite 6,000 years ago, which accounts for shy of 3% of that time period. Short of cities, you can have agricultural villages with far more than two dozen people in them. The development of agriculture dates back about 10,000 years.

                2. “Other animals are of importance to understanding ourselves because down to our bones literally, we are from them.”
                  Absolutely. And yet you keep trying to make our ancestors into things they are not, and/or pretend we are the same where we are clearly different.

                  “In our particular case, our antecedents were also social animals”
                  You have not made that case. Ants are clearly social animals.
                  Other mammals ? They pose several huge problems for your argument:

                  First the small groupings of many mammals have no relationship at all to the massive social structures of actual social insects like ants.

                  To the extent that primative human organizations were the same as other mammals. They are radically different from the social CHOICES humans make today.

                  The nuclear family – something that is incredibly strong in most mammals, is weak in the few other animals that have it, and non-existant in most animals. With few exceptions mammal families are entirely about protecting children who are born with increasingly larger brains and more capacity to reason, at the expense of weaker instincts. A newly hatched ant goes straight to work. Within hours it is doing what it will do the rest of its life. While humans are not crystalized until their mid 30’s if ever. The entire purpose of the family is to protect the child as it learns. That evolution towards a creature that learns rather than a creature of instinct is inherently the progression towards unique individuals. If the priority is the group – then why aren’t humans exactly like ants – being born and going immediately to a role that is theirs for life and indistinguishable from the millions of others in the same role.

                  The purpose of mammal families is to produce creatures that can learn and adapt WITHOUT having to evolve. it is to produce INDIVIDUALS that can make choices for themselves.

                  And Humans are the current pinnacle of that evolution.

                  “There is no history of individualism along that chain going back more than a million years.”
                  Correct, there is only the rudiments of individualism in mammals. Even the great apes.

                  Individualism as a significant attribute is not only unique to humans, it is the distinguishing characteristic of humans.

                  Name any other creature that can debate its own role ?

                  The entire purpose of our big brain is to elevate learning and reasoning above instinct.

                  “In fact, the defining behavioral characteristic of our species is increased socialization”
                  More word salad.

                  absolutely most modern humans CHOSE to exist in larger social structure than anything that has existed prior to ants.
                  I would note that many of us choose to exist in a variety of different sized structures – not everyone wishes to live in megalopolises, and some of us actually choose to live in near or total seclusion.

                  That said the massive social structures humans live in today have large numbers of weak connections and far smaller numbers of intimate connections. City dwellers tend to have weak ties to family and extended family and those are the strongest bonds they have.
                  While both primative humans and those who choose more rural life have fewer social ties but much stronger ones.

                  Put another way – even as humans move towards larger social structures they are LESS bonded to those structures.

                  “Obviously the greater the numbers of humans able to live together in early cities due to the success of agriculture over foraging, the greater – and faster – those advancement came. We call it civilization. ”

                  You have inverted cause and effect. Agriculture allowed larger scale groups, it did NOT require them.
                  Once they were possible, they occured as a CHOICE.

                  “John likes to pretend that preceding this we existed as families only”
                  No. but the fundimental human grouping larger than the individual has for most of human existance been the family.
                  For most of human existance few larger groups existed and those were smaller in scale than anything modern.
                  While being closer than anything modern.
                  Humans formed Tribes and clanns much as some other mammals, but anything larger had to wait for agriculture.

                  BTW I do not care what you say some author you favor says. Provide FACTS, not some other persons explanation.
                  That said I would note that the vast majority of “anthropology” is speculatuve. We do not have direct observations of primative homo sapiens, much less other homo. With few exceptions we GUESS why past humans behaved as they did or changed as they did – and that gets even worse as we leave humans and go to other animals.

                  I would further note today or 100,000 years in the past, the number of people that you can know well enough to trust is close to constant and very small. One of the functions of free markets, even government is to provide mechanisms to increase our ability to trust those we do not know. Even the modern internet era’s success is driven by the ability to trust people you not only do not know but have not and will not ever meet. These people are NOT part of your community in any meaningful way. Do you honestly think that my purchase of some item on ebay from China is a consequential social connection ? Yet, it absolutely requires mechanisms for trust.

                  I would go on to note that Trust is inherently an INDIVIDUAL choice.

                  You and I clearly do not trust the same people.

                  I would further note that you fixate on the 99.999% of human history that is characterized by extremely small and intimate social groups, that were bound by all the core attributes you reject – family, race, religion sexual roles.

                  Then you pretend that the modern era which is quite obviously NOT the result of evolution, but choice is not driven by the preimenence of the individual.

                3. Lets try something else.

                  If as you claim humans value the group more than the individual, then pretty much by definition socialism even communism would work.

                  They do not. There are many reasons that socialism has never worked but high among those is that humans are unable to consistently elevate group interests over individual interests.

                  We are individuals first and foremost as reflected in both our choices and our differences and even the pride we take in those differences.

                  You noted that over time Humans have acheived great things. But you fail to note that pretty much all consequential human creation and production follows Price’s law – that 50% of what is produced is the product of a few numbering approximately the square root of the whole.
                  And that price’s law is recursive of the 50% that is produced by only a small portion of the whole, 50% of that is produced by only a small portion of the smaller group.

                  Again we are individuals. Even our success as large groups depends on the accomplishments of small numbers of individuals.

                  near Universally advancement is accomplished by individuals.

          2. Ayn Rand talking point: “collectivism versus individualism”

            I read all her fiction and nonfiction on the point and a lot more besides from her literary executor Piekoff. I actually met Piekoff once.

            He like all her circle was a pointy headed geek, reliant on the “collectivism” of police forces and law to protect his cherished “individualism’

            if the individual holds his own life in highest regard, then he is not fit for any form of duty to anyone besides himself. never a soldier or cop nor even a decent parent
            because he can never be trusted to make the final sacrifice for duty that is called on for soldiers cops first responders etc.
            why would he? in his value system he is his own supreme god and society is just a mere collection of individuals like him but less than him since he is his own god

            even a normal parent works even to the point of exhaustion for the lives of the children.

            observe Ayn Rand and various others of her clique, were childless

            I completely repudiate all the foolish words I said when I was an objectivist which related to this simplistic proposition of socalled “collectivism versus individualism”

            think carefully John, did you feed yourself when you were 1 year old? you were completely reliant on other people. if that is not a natural and proper form of “collectivism” than what is.

            1. If you do not wish to be accused of being a leftist – quit using stupid leftist techniques.

              Calling something an XXX talking point is NOT AN ARGUMENT.

              I do not give a $h!t whether you think something is a randian talking point.

              If you wish to persuade me – FACTS, LOGIC, REASON – not fallacies.

              Unlike most of the leftists here – you have the skills to do so – which makes it more disturbing when you fail to use them.

            2. Kurtz – you have a giant bug up your ass regarding Rand – let go.

              While Rand paralells lots of other “enlightement” thought, it is still a paralell track. She starts with Aristotle, pretty much ignores the entire enlightenment and reaches much the same conclusions completely independently. ‘

              I like some of Rand’s work. But some of it is just bad. I am not a Randian. I am not an Objectivist. I do not care that you have read everything she has written or that you can dissect subsequent objectivists.

              I can get wherever I want without anything from Rand. I could care less about Nathaniel Brandon. If I need modern thinkers I can use Nozick or Coase or Lucas or Barro, or Olstrom – or an enormous body of late 20th, 21st century thinkers and economists, and studies and data that confirms and expands on “enlightenment” ideas going back to Locke and Smith and Hume.

              In fact I can get the same places using many thinkers and much data from sources that are tied to other ideologies.

              There have been several meta studies of the optimal size of government. Because every government in existance has asked that question.
              Quite often with the hope and expectation that the answer would be more govenrment and they could use that result to bolster promises of future prosperity.

              Everyone has studied the optimal size of their government – from France to india to Egypt to nigeria – every nation.

              The outcome is universal – about 10% below whatever it is now. Thousands of studies all with much the same results.

              This has resulted in broader studies as well as meta studies – resulting in the conclusion that we do not know what the optimal size of government is – but we do know that it is no bigger than 19% of GDP.

              This should not be surprising. Look at the question differently. What is the optimal amount of medical care ?
              It should be trivial to grasp that as important as medical care is – we would not spend 90% of what we have on medical care. ‘

              Why would govenrment be different ? No matter how valuable the services government provides – they are not the only highly valuable services that we want and need. But the more we must pay for government (or healthcare) the less of other things we want and need we will have.

              Both logic and data get us to the same place – Big government is a bad idea.

              Or how about a different fundimental argument:

              It is unlikely that you will lose if you bet on the failure of pretty much any new business of venture.
              Humans have an infinite number of ideas – most of those fail.

              At the same time if is highly unlikely that you will lose if you bet more generally on the improvement of humanity.

              We fail alot – far far far more often than we succeed, but our failures have small consequence, they are a punch in the gut that we hipefully learn from and then they go away. Our successes are enduring – a successful idea dominates until another more successful idea overcomes it.

              This pattern about is the pattern of human improvement.
              It is immutable.

              It should also be pattently obvious that it is a pattern that rerquires individuals – not groups.

              Collective decisions making inherently slows the rate of progress – often reversing it. Groups are incredibly bad at succeeding – because they are unable to risk failure.

              In somethings that is even a positive.

              Government is an institution that we would greatly prefer never fail – the consequences of government failure are enormous.

              You are not BTB – I should not need to write another 10,000 words for you to grasp this means effective government must be limited and individuals must have large amounts of individual freedom – the freedom to fail, because if we can not fail, we will not succeed.

              And that is but one of thousands of arguments – rooted in facts and data.

              Locke was right – but Locke and the scottish enlightenment are a tiny portion of a picture that tells the same story over and over and over again.

              You have some bitterness regarding Rand – but she is just another voice telling her permutation of the same story.
              She and locke and the whole elightenment are part of a chorus of voices and thinkers and facts all telling the same story.

              The only story that has worked in human history.

              1. John’s time would be better spent reading modern books on anthropology and evolutionary biology books so he would have some factual basis for ideas.

                1. I have no interest in your advice as to how to spend my time.

                  AS is typical of those on the left – why do you seem to think you are entitled to excert control over others.

                  Psychology which is orders of magnitude more “scientific” and advanced than Anthropology is in the midst of a crisis – because many of the foundational principles of psychology and critical experiments of the 50’s have proven irreproducable.

                  Last time I was at the Smithsonian museum of natural history the new ascent of man exhibit was closed – because 30 years or more of anthropological research had been tossed, nor was this the first time. Even in Physics a Nobel was just awarded to an Israeli for work in crystalography done in the 70’s. For the past 50 years the denizen’s of physics called him a charlatan and crackpot and did not bother to read or attempt to reproduce his work because it went against what was accepted.

                  I find anthropology and evolutionary biology interesting and fascintating.

                  But the work produced has less consequence than Thomson’s plum pudding model of the atom.

                  Much of these “sciences” is guesses and speculation. Sometimes good guesses. But there is very little in the way of foundations.

                  Even evolution which is far more scientifically sound and has orders of magnitude more evidence than anything in anthropolgy, has serious mathematical and observational flaws. It is the best science that we have at the moment. It is not sacred.
                  Nothing in science is sacred. When it becomes sacred you are engaging in religion not science.

                  1. “AS is typical of those on the left – why do you seem to think you are entitled to excert [sic] control over others.”

                    True of some on the left, some on the right, and some in-between.

                    1. “True of some on the left, some on the right, and some in-between.”

                      The important thing is it is true with only one individual that you have direct control over. Yourself.

                    2. Today this is predominatly true of the left.

                      It is also intrinsic in leftism.

                      If you were to accept that you may not use FORCE to control others except:
                      In response to force or fraud by others.
                      To enforce binding agreements.
                      To make whole those who have been actually harmed by others.

                      You would be libertarian.
                      Because in essence that is the definition of libertarian.
                      It is also the definition of legitimate government.

  3. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54092960

    Trump Nobel Peace Prize nomination

    Christian Tybring-Gjedde told Fox News on Wednesday: “For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other peace prize nominees.”

    Adding that he was not a big Trump supporter, he added. “The committee should look at the facts and judge him on the facts – not on the way he behaves sometimes.”

    1. Excellent advice – not just about Trump – but about everyone and with regard to all things.

      I do not care that you emote all over the floor.

      I do not care that you rant about racism and homophobia, and …..

      What have you DONE ?

      What have you accomplished ?

      Even Christ judges based on what you do not what you say.
      Matthew 25:31-46

  4. Unrelated: not sure if you noticed, but it’s now confirmed that you were wrong when you claimed last week that “Judge Sullivan apparently intends to hold the Flynn hearing after the election. … Delay seems to be part of his intention.”

    Oral arguments are scheduled for September 29.

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