Thursday, December 21, 2006
"There is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century"
Following are excerpts from an interview with Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan. The interview was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21, 2006.
Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete. (For the rest of the interview go to read and enter Wafa Sultan in the search box.)
Saturday, December 16, 2006
"Our enemies, as I keep saying, have problems of their own. For example, imagine yourself in the shoes of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, stopped at the border of Gaza by the Israelis, who want you to relinquish the $35 million in Iranian cash that you need to keep your supporters fed—but also knowing that the longer you stay out of Gaza, the more a civil war between your faction and Fatah escalates outside of your control. Then you enter Gaza, only to have Fatah try to shoot you.
"Haniyeh's problem is the problem of the Palestinians: they have so thoroughly embraced the morality of sacrifice that they worship blood, death, and the suicide bomber—and so they will pass up no opportunity to sacrifice themselves, even when it means systematically destroying their own society.
"There have been countries where millions have been massacred and economies have been plunged into subsistence-level poverty by the arrogance and power-lust of a ruling clique. But I don't know if there has ever been a society that has pursued its own destruction as a matter of broad-based, decentralized popular will. That is the distinction of the Palestinians." (read).
Saturday, November 25, 2006
"What can we do? Conservation—like the improved fuel efficiency so beloved by environmentalists and politicians—can get us only so far. We need to tap our domestic supplies, too. This will not only offset price hikes caused by ever-growing global demand, it will reduce our dependence on imported oil and gas—a boost to national security. "
"The U.S. Minerals Management Service (a branch of the Interior Department) estimates 102 billion barrels of oil and 635 trillion cubic feet of gas beneath federal lands and coastal waters. By way of comparison, the reserves lying beneath the North Sea, a major source of oil for Europe, are believed to contain a total of 18 billion barrels of oil.
"Geologists estimate that another 300 trillion cubic feet of gas and 50 billion barrels of oil are waiting, yet to be discovered, off the "Lower 48" states. The American Petroleum Institute (API) notes that this is enough oil to replace current imports from the Persian Gulf for 59 years.
"Overall, experts estimate that the undiscovered resources on the federal Outer Continental Shelf that could be recovered with today’s technology are some 420 trillion cubic feet of gas and 77 billion barrels of oil—as much oil as Canada and Mexico combined, and almost three times their gas resources. (Generally, the OCS begins three to nine nautical miles from shore, depending on the state, and extends 200 nautical miles outward.)
"Yet almost 90 percent of the OCS acreage is off-limits to production—on essentially spurious environmental grounds. With a peak output of 6 million barrels of oil a day in 1999, North Sea production has not caused environmental degradation; there is no reason to believe that OCS production would be any more environmentally damaging. "
The environmentalists have a history of wanting to take us back to the Pleistocene (pleistocene). It is time we take them forward to the 21st century
Friday, November 24, 2006
"Everyone knows that Intel, Yahoo, Google, eBay and Sun Microsystems are wildly successful U.S. technology companies. Less well known is that immigrant entrepreneurs played a role in founding each one -- and a whole lot of others."
"Titled "American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness," the report found that "Over the past 15 years, immigrants have started 25 percent of U.S. public companies that were venture-backed." These businesses employ some 220,000 people in the U.S. and have a current market capitalization that "exceeds $500 billion, adding significant value to the American economy."
"The authors surveyed smaller, private venture-backed companies as well and discovered that nearly half of the founders also were immigrants. Protectionists insist that immigrants "steal" jobs from native workers, but this survey found evidence that these newcomers are more likely to expand the job pool. "[A]lmost two-thirds (66 percent) of the immigrant founders of privately held venture-backed companies have started or intend to start more companies in the United States," according to the report.
"Despite these contributions, and the potential for more, U.S. policies today have made it increasingly difficult for foreigners to come here and start businesses...
"The U.S. currently grants just 65,000 visas annually to foreign professionals in certain fields, such as computer science and biotechnology. This year, as in nine of the past 11, the cap was reached well before the beginning of the fiscal year in which the visas can be used. Earlier this year, Republican Congressman John Shadegg of Arizona introduced a measure that raises the limit and allows it to fluctuate with market demand. The Shadegg bill also would shorten the average wait for a green card, which is currently between five and seven years and a disincentive for these skilled workers to stay in the U.S."
We don't need less immigration - we need more of these hard working people who have what too many Americans don't often have anymore: the yearning for a better life or as Robert Tracinski puts it in his article (TIA) a "normal life".
In nations struggling for liberty, and especially for those struggling to acquire the last institution of a free society, representative government, I found this yearning expressed in an unexpected form: young people talk about their longing to live a "normal life." ...What seems to be contained in the phrase "a normal life" is not the details of what constitutes a free society, but rather a vision of what kind of life is possible to man when he lives in such a society: prosperity; a profusion of opportunities for education , for expression, for advancement; a life free of physical fear.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
But today's schools are not much more than babysitting centers that basically throw a massive text book at the kid and command them to study and regurgitate. Today there is an added twist. Students must sit there and listen to their teacher's political diatribes and rantings.
Thomas Sowell in an article written on March 13, 2006 pointed out this disturbing trend.
"Governor Bill Owens of Colorado has cut through the cant about "free speech" and come to the defense of a 16-year-old high school student who tape-recorded his geography teacher using class time to rant against President Bush and compare him to Hitler….
"Unfortunately, there is much confusion about both free speech and academic freedom. At too many schools and colleges across the country, teachers feel free to use a captive audience to vent their politics when they are supposed to be teaching geography or math or other subjects.
"The public occasionally hears about weird rantings by some teacher or professor, what seldom gets any media attention is the far more pervasive classroom brainwashing by people whose views may not be so extreme, but are no less irrelevant to what they are being paid to teach. …
"Nowhere else do people think that it is OK to engage in politics instead of doing the job for which they are being paid. When you hire a plumber to fix a leak, you don't want to find your home being flooded while he whiles away the hours talking about Congressional elections or foreign policy." (Read)
Indeed I don't. I want my children to LEARN HOW TO THINK. I want them to know the history of man's challenge to know the world around them and the discoveries the great men of the past made to tame it. For that you have to have teachers who KNOW HOW TO TEACH, in a chronological and orderly fashion, the big ideas that were discovered in the past in such areas as physics, biology, math, history and art.
Our schools today are nothing more than holding grounds or prisons...prisons of the mind...for our children where their potential is stunted by the unbearable boredom of listening to "teachers" who don't know how to teach. VanDamme Academy seems to be a school where the mind is considered sacred and to be carefully nurtured and developed through a rational curriculum. Certainly, I've never heard of a school taking this approach to learning. (View) Maybe there's hope for a better school.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
"John Kerry stands alone, to be judged by his words. He has given us the rare opportunity to look into the soul of a politician, and he has shown himself wanting, especially in view of the fact that he asked us to allow him the honor and privilege of leading our gallant military at a time of war. It is rare in life to be able to know the consequences of both sides of a decision. Mr. Kerry has clearly demonstrated what manner of president he would have been. Fortunately the American electorate denied him that high honor." (read)
This excerpt by the father of a young soldier killed in Irak says it all. This is the "Kerry Soul" - the soul of a shallow, unthinking, unprincipled politician.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
The United States doesn't just export good ideas like freedom of speech, religion and good government. It also exports fraud. In a little reported story, it appears that we also export Creationism to countries all over the world (Creationism).
"Creationism is a worldwide phenomenon, in which antievolutionary materials produced by the centers of creationism in the United States are exported overseas, either wholesale or with modifications to suit the local milieu; often there is reimportation, as creationists overseas become major players in their own right and are then welcomed by the legions of creationists in the United States. (The young-earth creationist ministry Answers in Genesis is a case in point: based in Florence, Kentucky, its chief executive officer is the Australian Ken Ham.) Perhaps owing to the spate of media coverage of recent defeats for creationism in the United States -- the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover in December 2005, the Ohio state board of education's removal of the "critical analysis of education" lesson plan in February 2006, and the primary election results for the Kansas state board of education in August 2006 -- stories about evolution education and attempts to compromise it have been in the news around the world.
"In Canada, the Quebec Ministry of Education is launching a crackdown on unlicensed evangelical schools, following a complaint from Pierre Daoust, director-general of the Commission Scolaire au Coeur-des-Vallees in Thurso, Quebec, about the failure of such schools to follow the provincial curriculum.
" In neighboring Ontario, the National Post reported, independent schools are not required to teach either evolution or sex education."
There are a multitude of "creation stories" around the world - mankinds early attempts at trying to understand their place in the universe. (Stories)
Now I have no beef with our early ancestors who were trying to make SENSE of the hostile world around them in order to survive - they did not have the benefits yet of science and logic. But today? What excuse have we today with all the knowledge gained by the keen insights and hard work of our great men of science and philosophy? Are we still to believe that we were spontaneously created by a supreme being (who never seems to be there when you need him).
Maybe, mentally we're still psychologicaly underdeveloped - in that we just cannot stand to look at the fact that each one of us exists for a short time and after that one IS no longer. And it sure doesn't help that our disgraceful public schools do not do a decent enough job to teach us about the nature of nature and man with all that it entails - the teaching of evolution and how Darwin's discoveries explain why we are on earth. The seductive lies of Creationism are appealing - but the truth of Evolution will always be there regardless of what tricks our mind wants to play.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
This is an amazing and horrifying video of murdering innocent pilgrims.
View this amazing and horrifying video shot by some mountain climbers. (watch)
"cameraman, Sergiu Matei, offers an exclusive interview to www.protv.ro about what happened on September 30, the day of the tragic event, when a Tibetan was killed in cold blood by the Chinese border soldiers. His body was then abandoned in the snow. ... (more) "
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Sometimes when you read the news stark reality hits you hard between the eyes and you see before you the basic live or die truth about man - the fact that he possesses the choice between good and evil. While some people on this earth choose to blow themselves and other innocent bystanders up in a grasp for the unreal world of the "afterlife", others choose to study the world around them - the real world of the here and now and to make life better for man.
Two very interesting scientific breakthroughs were announced on October 25: the unraveling of the Honey Bee and mice genomes. A research group supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute announced that the western honey bee's genome was more similar to humans than any insect sequenced thus far(Read), while other researchers announced that they now have the DNA sequences of 15 mouse strains most commonly used in biomedical research (read).
"The honey bee's social behavior makes it an important model for understanding how genes regulate behavior through the development of the brain and central nervous system. That may lead to important insights into common mental and brain disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, the bee genome may also provide an important window into immunity and aging."
" 'Comparing the genome of the honey bee with other species separated over evolutionary time from humans has provided us with powerful insights into the complex biological processes that have evolved over hundreds of millions of years,' said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. 'The genome of the honey bee has been added to a growing list of organisms whose sequence can be compared side by side to better understand the structure and functions of our own genes. And that will help speed our understanding of how genes contribute to health and what goes wrong in illness.' "
"After assembly of the genome at the BCM-HGSC, the center led an analysis team of more than 170 investigators representing nearly 100 research groups from 16 countries."
When your focus is on using reason and objectivity for discovery and advancing the frontiers of knowledge then you cooperate with people from all over the world and use proof as your argument. When your focus is religion and mysticism to attain a "better" after-life then you destroy, terrorise, maim and subjugate in order to force people into accepting your view.
Why study the mouse genome?
“Making this wealth of data freely available to the research community is a significant milestone,” said David A. Schwartz. M.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research. “Each mouse strain is genetically unique. Now that we know the DNA variations for these mouse strains, we can compare the genetic makeup of one strain that acquires a certain disease to another strain that does not get the same disease. In this way researchers gain insight into the same processes that may cause one human to get a disease while another human in the same environment remains disease-free.”
When you use reason to solve problems you discover the secrets of the universe and solve problems facing man. This approach to life necessarily leads to cooperation among men. When you use force to solve problems and abandon reason you discover only death and destruction. This approach to life necessarily leads to antagonism among men.
This is the choice facing humanity today: the choice between the scientist and the terrorist-between good and evil. If we choose the scientist then we have to decide to do what it takes to rid ourselves of the terrorist scourge that has afflicted us for far too long.
Friday, September 22, 2006
>>I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers.
The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America. Try to have things like the UnitedCaucasianCollege Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens...Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.
>>Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.
>>I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING >MARTHA>BURKE?
>>I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion. I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.
>>When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.
>>I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!
>>My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.
>>I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.
>>I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.
>>We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.
>>I don't hate the rich I don't pity the poor.
>>I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn't stop you from watching them.
>>I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building.
>>It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does >take a>parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary and say "NO!"
>>I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth >as you>serve me French fries!
>>I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be African-Americans"? Besides,Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, >great, great>grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and >nowhere else>>And if you don't like my point of view, tough...
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Following are excerpts from an interview with Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan. The interview was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21, 2006.
Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.
Host: I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?
Wafa Sultan: Yes, that is what I mean.
Host: Who came up with the concept of a clash of civilizations? Was it not Samuel Huntington? It was not Bin Laden. I would like to discuss this issue, if you don't mind...
Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: "I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger." When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to stop this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels.
My colleague has said that he never offends other people's beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves? Once, he calls them Ahl Al-Dhimma, another time he calls them the "People of the Book," and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians "those who incur Allah's wrath." Who told you that they are "People of the Book"? They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them "those who incur Allah's wrath," or "those who have gone astray," and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?
I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: Are you a heretic?
Wafa Sultan: You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural...
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran...
Wafa Sultan: These are personal matters that do not concern you.
Wafa Sultan: Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don't throw them at me. You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people's beliefs are not your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs.
Wafa Sultan: The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them. (Read)
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
"*The Islamic Republic of Sudan, in its attempt to force Arab/Muslim rule on the largely non- Arab and non-Muslim population of southern Sudan, has led to the killing of well above 1 million Christians and animists and black (i.e., non-Arab) Muslims, in addition to the widespread enslavement, rape and torture of those people.
"*No major international Arab or Muslim organization has condemned the Sudanese government's mass murders that border on genocide.
"*The leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel. As the 6 million Jews of Israel do not plan a mass exodus from their ancient and modern homeland, such annihilation would in fact mean another Holocaust.
"*The holy center of Islam, the Muslim country where the holiest Muslim sites are situated, is Saudi Arabia. That country bans the practice of any religion other than Islam, amputates hands of thieves, does not allow women to drive a car, mandates what women wear outside of their homes and is the only country in the world to feature a weapon on its national flag. Women were treated considerably better and had more civil rights in ancient Rome, not to mention ancient Israel, than women living in the holiest cities of Islam today.
"*Virtually every Islam-based country decrees the death penalty for any Muslim who converts to another religion.
"In other words, every country that calls itself "Islamic" is morally inferior to just about every country in North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, almost every Asian country and many African countries.
"No Muslim country treats non-Muslims and their religions anywhere nearly as decently as any Western non-Muslim country (including Israel) treats Muslims. That is why tens of millions of Muslims immigrate to non-Muslim societies and virtually no non-Muslim immigrates to any Muslim society. In every Muslim country, non-Muslims are either systematically persecuted at worst or treated as inferiors at best." (Read)
"The blogosphere, and particularly Little Green Footballs, Powerline, Zombietime, Michelle Malkin, and EU Referendum, have relentlessly exposed the systematic staging of news events, fabrication of attacks against relief workers, and doctoring of photographic images by Hizbullah with the active assistance of international organizations and the global media." (Read)
Monday, August 28, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
In my last post I discussed the importance of defining the objective or object and then setting the criteria for action. Two words which are used interchangably in the minds of most people are the terms democracy and freedom. These two terms desperately need to be defined and differentiated. In an Op-Ed, Peter Schwartz (The Newsletter of the Ayn Rand Institute) does just that (ari.org).
The United States government makes a hugh mistake by declaring that freedom would be advanced by allowing Hezbollah participation in the elections. Mr. Schwartz writes that we granted them "something it could never achieve on its own: moral legitimacy". Other terrorist organizations also came to power because of elections promoted by the United States: Hamas in the Palestinian Authority and theocrats in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The premise behind the Bush administration's policy is the hopeless view that tyranny is reversed by holding of elections-a premise stemming from the widespread confusion between freedom and democracy."
Mr Schwartz continues by writing that "the essence of democracy is unlimited majority rule." This means that there is no contraints on the government as long as the majority voted and will it so. The majority rule. When Arabs line up and vote into office Hezbollah party members this act of democracy does not mean they are voting for freedom they are voting for tyranny.
In contrast, what defines America is freedom. And freedom exists precisely because America has LIMITATIONS on government which is backed up by the principle of INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. The Irans, Syrias and North Koreans of the world do not have limitations on government because they do not recognize such a principle as individual rights.
So just because a whopping number of people line up to vote and a theocratic dictator is given power does not mean it is legitimate or moral or that the people are free! In fact, by obfuscating the meaning of freedom with democracy we make the world a more dangerous place to live in and it prolongs the job of fighting evil.
Our politicians must be clear on what freedom and democracy mean or we will continue to make costly political decisions regarding The Middle East and its terrorists who want to rule and those that already do.
With nuclear weapons becoming more and more available to every wanna be dictator The West must understand what our Founding Fathers were attempting to do. They were trying to prevent tyranny in government. Their crowning achievment was writing a constitution that limited government action to protecting the rights of the individual. When voting our objective should be to vote for those politicians who are promoting and defending the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Do you see this in the Middle East?
Saturday, August 26, 2006
"…After years of wrangling and a week of debate, astronomers voted for a sweeping reclassification of the solar system. In what many of them described as a triumph of science over sentiment, Pluto was demoted to the status of a “dwarf planet.” ...
"Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology, who discovered UB 313 three years ago and so had the most to lose personally from the downgrading of Pluto and Xena, said he was relieved.
“ 'Through this whole crazy circuslike procedure, somehow the right answer was stumbled on,' Dr. Brown said. “It’s been a long time coming. Science is self-correcting eventually, even when strong emotions are involved.”...
"Under the new rules, a planet must meet three criteria: it must orbit the Sun, it must be big enough for gravity to squash it into a round ball, and it must have cleared other things out of the way in its orbital neighborhood. The last of these criteria knocks out Pluto and Xena, which orbit among the icy wrecks of the Kuiper Belt, and Ceres, which is in the asteroid belt." (Pluto)
In order to make decisions about anything from classifying an object in space to what vacation to take this year you have to define the objective or object and then set the criteria for action. For example if I want to go on vacation I have to define what constitutes a vacation for me. Do I like to visit exotic places or do I like to engage in physical sports adventures like white water rafting. Once I have defined what is a vacation then I set the criteria for taking one away from home such as how much money can I spend, how far away can I go, do I have someone to take care of the house and pets etc.
Well I think it's time to make a decision about whether we are at war or not and if the answer is yes then we should set the criteria necessary for winning it. Anything else would be called suicide.
Monday, August 21, 2006
"Behind the Palestinians and the Syrians lies Iran, the guiding light behind the present jihad. Iran, with its burgeoning nuclear weapons program is the single greatest danger to international security. It is the single greatest danger to Israel's survival. To date, Iran has sufficed to fighting Israel through its proxies, to great advantage. But Iran has made it absolutely clear that it intends to join the fray directly — when it is good and ready. And of course it will be good and ready when it has nuclear weapons.
"…As all of Israel's leaders have been quick to point out over the years, the threat of a nuclear armed Iran is not just dangerous for Israel but for the entire world. Iran has its Persian Gulf neighbors in its gun sites. It has directly threatened the US and Europe.
"…In the not so distant future, we will find ourselves at war with Iran. Today, the choice of whether we fight that was in our own time, and before Iran gets nuclear weapons is in our hands. If we hesitate, if we and the rest of the free world waste precious time with worthless diplomatic wrangling with the ayatollahs, war will come to us, but on the enemy's terms. And we will have only ourselves to blame.
"…Militarily, we must not relent in targeting our enemies. The IDF must target every Palestinian terrorist. It must reassert control over the international border between Gaza and Egypt. Israel must accept the reality that the PA is a terrorist organization not a legitimate regime and stop viewing Abbas and his associates in Fatah as potential peace partners. Obviously, Israel must give up the idea of transferring Judea and Samaria to Palestinian control and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground in a manner that neutralizes the threat of Palestinian jihad.
"…Finally, Israel needs a political leadership that will be capable of telling the Israeli public the truth that has been ignored for the past decade and a half. We are not a "normal" nation and we are not going get peace in the coming years. We are an abnormal nation in our neighborhood and in the world and will always remain so, as is our right. Our people must be ready to sacrifice for the survival of the state and the defense of our freedom to be abnormal. We need leadership that will tell the Israeli people that a struggle awaits us but that our democracy, our freedom, and our values give us the power of creative thought that will allow us to beat the dull forces of jihad that surround us."
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Then you have the "green helmet guy", apparently a wanna be screen director anxious to get his day in the sun. He is seen in various footage posing a dead child for the camaras. This video footage by the "green helmet guy" is particulary disgusting (Read).
David Perlmutter, a professor of Journalism concludes correctly: "The stakes are high. Democracy is based on the premise that it is acceptable for people to believe that some politicians or news media are lying to them; democracy collapses when the public believes that everybody in government and the press is lying to them. And what of future victims of war? Will the public deny them their sorrows because we will dismiss all smoking rubble and dead children as mere digital propaganda? Photojournalism must live, but not if its practitioners and owners are determined to jump into the abyss" (read).
A famous philosopher once wrote - "The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles".
Ayn Rand wrote this during the last century but her words will always ring with truth. The basic principles today are man has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of freedom. Israel is a nation who respects these principles. Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iran (especially Iran), Egypt do not. Israel is constantly being attacked precisely because it is an oasis of Western values in a cesspool of evil. But it may lose the battle because we, the West, are constantly compromising our values in order to appease the purveyors of evil.
Your know we have lost our rudder when the news establishment publishes doctored up pictures. Maybe this will be the last straw that the West will take before it decides to really confront evil. Maybe the West will say enough of lies, murder and mayhem by these Islamic terrorists. The Western news outlets form the first wall against evil and tyranny. Israel was right in retaliating against an act of war started by the kidapping of two of their soldiers by Hizbollah which everyone knows is backed by Iran and Syria. Maybe it's time the West didn't botch every effort at vanquishing this relentless evil that is in our midst.
Maybe it's time to do something really simple - think, decide who is the evil and who is the good and then act accordingly without cowardice and without appeasement. We need people who can see through the fog of lies and misinformation not just by our enemies but by our own western news outlets.
We need people who are brave in the face of incredible assault on the truth. We need Churchill not Chamberlain in order to win this World War.
Friday, August 18, 2006
"An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Cuban, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan or any other. An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans. An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
"An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.An American is generous.
"Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country! As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
"Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American."
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Thus, the world's bloodiest conflict was brought to an end; 62.5 million people died during WWII. Including the Holocaust victims, 38.1 million of those who died were civilians.
While Germany and Japan had a very real chance at world domination, the Islamic fascist enemies we are fighting in the Middle East today have no chance in hell of achieving their own obvious desires of world domination.
Iran and its minions have brought war to our front door. The longer the West continues its policy of dithering and appeasement, the greater the chance that more blood will be spilled.
It is unfortunate, but inevitable, that men, women, and children will die in the current conflict.
But the only way to lower the number of casualties in the long run is to prosecute war against Iran and its allies sooner rather than later—time will only allow for a greater military buildup on their part and more opportunities for them to wreak destruction.
We need to take a lesson from our fathers and grandfathers and ruthlessly eradicate our enemy until he surrenders unconditionally. (read)
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Danielle Pletka at the American Policy Institute for Public Policy Research writes this:
"Throughout the Middle East, American priorities have lost steam. Mr Bush's signature issue democracy promotion has been thrust aside by resurgent dictators, with few real consequences. Egypt's abrogation of municipal elections and a brutal crackdown on civil rights and press freedoms, for example, brought a threat from the US Congress to cut Egyptian aid but little more than limp language from the administration.
"When America is perceived as weak, challengers will not hesitate to take up arms. Can US capitulation to Iran and to North Korea have been far from the minds of extremists in both Hamas and Hizbollah when they chose to escalate conflict in the Middle East? Will al-Qaeda be far behind?
"So what accounts for the "kinder, gentler" Bush administration? The fighting in Iraq has certainly wearied both the administration and Congress; it could be that there is little stomach for further confrontation. Or, America's mid-term elections are approaching and the administration does not need a new crisis to worry the voting public. Or perhaps a new foreign policy team at the state department simply prefers a pre-September 11 2001 approach?
"No one knows for sure. Without doubt, alienating allies for the sheer pleasure of it offers little reward for the US. Yet embracing allies without achieving results is hardly better. Similarly, plain speaking and diplomacy are almost always preferable to sanctions and war, but only if diplomacy yields a real outcome. The goal in the case of both North Korea and Iran is to end their nuclear weapons and missile programmes. It is not to keep the parties talking while Pyongyang and Tehran continue to develop weapons of mass destruction.
"At the end of the day, Mr Bush may revert to his cowboy roots and exert American power to deny our enemies the weapons they long for. But, statecraft is not poker and pretending to have no cards to play can lead to dangerous misjudgments by friends and enemies alike.
An opportunity has been afforded to the West to finally confront the backers of Hizbollah - Iran and Syria. The question is why is Bush throwing this away to continue with diplomatic mumbo jumbo?
1. Hizbollah initiated a daring and incontrovertible act of war against Israel.
2. It is common knowledge that Hizbollah and Hamas are tools for Iran and Syria.
3. We are supposedly determined to crush Islamist fascists - wasn't that our goal?
I believe most of us yearn for a real hero larger than life. We are tired of slimey appeasers everywhere we turn from the United Nations greatest appeaser of them all Kofi Annan to our our own two bit politicians in Washington looking for the next vote. A James Bond right now would do just fine - thank you.
"... James Bond's popularity is rooted in the fact that he is on a crusade for the good in a morally gray world. The world of James Bond is the stalemated battle of the Cold War. Many of its elements are morally gray, filled with glad-handing politicians and dyspeptic bureaucrats - but the stakes are not. They are black and white - and Bond acts to make sure that good overcomes evil, usually on his terms, alone, with only his wits to carry the day.
"Even though the war Bond fought is long over, and we now know the outcome was assured all along, in this age of new threats and new wars, Bond serves as a symbol that great evil can be overcome by one rational man acting morally." (The Real James Bond by C.A. Wolski in the June 2003 issue of The Intellectual Activist).
The West is the good. Fanatical, tyrannical muslims and the states that sponser them - Iran and Syria - are the evil. Mr. Bush is the leader of the West which means he is the leader of Western Civilization. It is time for him to step up to the plate and do what should have been done by Reagan, Carter, Bush Sr., and Clinton. If we value life, freedom and the future then the hard decisions must be made and the people of the west must put up or shut up. If we put up we have a resplendant future ahead. If we shut up then only death and destruction awaits us.
Monday, July 24, 2006
This famed "Bill of No Rights" was written in 1993 by Lewis Napper, a self-described amateur philosopher and from Mississippi who ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2000 as a Libertarian. It still rings true today (Read)
"We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other bed-wetters.
We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they r equire a Bill of NON-Rights.
"ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.
ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful . D o not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing , we're just not interested in public health care.
ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim , or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.
ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training aid before you to make yourself useful.
ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness which, by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language Learn it or go back to wherever you came from!(Lastly....)A
ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!
(NOTE: We should not have the phrase In God We Trust - it is irrational and a leftover from our past of mystism, it has no place in the modern world. The Muslim terrorists trust in God and look where we are today! Sarita...)
If you agree, share this with a friend. No, you don't have to, and nothing tragic will befall you if you don't. I just think it's about time common sense is allowed to flourish.Sensible people of the United States speak out because if you don't, insensible people will.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
"To achieve peace in the Middle East, as in any region, there is a necessary principle that every party must learn: the initiation of force is evil. And the indispensable means of teaching it is to ensure that the initiating side is defeated and punished. Decisive retaliatory force must be wielded against the aggressor. So long as one side has reason to think it will benefit from initiating force against its neighbors, war must result. Yet this is precisely what America's immoral foreign policy gives the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Hezbollah reason to think.
"Israel is a free country, which recognizes the rights of its citizens, whatever their race or religion, and which prospers through business and trade. It has no use for war and no interest in conquest. But for years, Arafat and the Palestinian authorities, with the aid of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other states, sought not to learn the conditions of freedom, but to annihilate the only free nation in their midst: Israel. Did the United States demand that the Palestinian leadership be destroyed?
"No. Clinton invited Arafat to dine at the White House and Bush declared that peace requires Israel to give in to its aggressor's insistence on a state." (Read)
Saturday, July 22, 2006
"So even as terror-stricken residents of the north flee, the rest of the country is prepared to fight, whatever the cost: A recent poll found that 80% of Israelis support the present military operations, and three-quarters of those would be prepared to launch a full-scale invasion of Lebanon if that is what it takes to defeat Hezbollah. No similar consensus has existed among Israelis since the 1967 Six Day War.
"Up in his winery, Mr. Dalton fears that if the war continues, he will have no one to tend the vines and take in the harvest, and an entire season's worth of business will be ruined. Yet as we stand beside one of his fields, watching an Apache helicopter fire missiles at a Lebanese village visible in the far distance, he muses on what his decision to remain here means. "Being here is part of defending the country. If Hezbollah wins this, the terrorists win this war, and not just against us but against the free world. You think I'm coming down from here? Never" (Brett Stevens - Read)
"Imagine what the U.S. would do if, on its northern border, a terror state-within-a-state pledged to its destruction was established from which flurries of missiles were fired at Chicago, its third-largest city. With that in mind, to suggest, as some have, that Israel is not acting with restraint is preposterous. Unlike Hezbollah, which is indiscriminately launching hundreds of missiles at Israeli cities and towns to kill as many civilians as possible, Israel is using only a fraction of its firepower and is in fact acting with great care to minimize harm to civilians. But because Hezbollah not only targets civilians but also uses them as human shields by hiding its missile launchers in population centers, Hezbollah has deliberately placed innocent Lebanese civilians in harm's way." (Benjamin Netanyahu Read )
We all know how Winston Churchill warned of Hitler's rising power and the danger it posed to Europe. But today as in the 1930's most are blinded by the philosophy of appeasement and inertia. In a speech given by Enoch Powell in 1988 he describes Churchill: "It was not so much the triumph of distant deductive reasoning as the long vista of historical and personal memory which, when others were still blind, revealed to him the nature and inevitable outcome of the resurgent German empire. He was a man who thought with his memory." Read
Just as "talking" to Hitler to dissuade him from his irrational dreams of "empire" was useless so are we beyond the point of "talking", "negotiating" and mostly appeasing fanatical lunatics who crave for death and destruction. A lesson must be taught and it must be taught with infinite finality now before we too have to fight a "WWII" and lose millions of people in the process. These terrorists are serious with their designs of annhilating the west. We should be serious too about utterly defeating them. But for that we need leaders who think with memory.
Friday, July 14, 2006
How is it disproportionate to attack a country who foments acts of war against another country? Is constantly sending rockets into Israeli territory to be sloughed off? Is kidnapping Israeli soldiers to be shrugged at? How much terrorism and how many acts of war is enough before a country attacks its enemy? Is evil to be allowed to persist just because one side has overwhelming military capabilities? Is no one ever to call a spade is a spade but rather we must all cover our eyes and ears to the fact of Islamist evil?
Evil cannot be evaded by saying the "correct thing" or accepting humility as our only way to reconciliation. Evil must be confronted everywhere and anywhere and at any time. Although we live in a relativistic world that says modern art is just as good as representational art, that a malaria ridden country full of thugs is equal to a western country, that being poor and illiterate is just as good as being rich and that Islam is just as good a religion as Christianity - in the real world we don't live in a sea of relativity. Every second of every day an individual as well as a nation must make honest assessments of life as he encounters it. There are some things that are bad and some that are good and some that are neutral but a judgement is made about everything whether you want to admit it or not because it's a matter of survival.
Israel made a judgement call: They had enough of attacks and they decided to retaliate in their own self-interest. I applaud them for it.
Friday, June 23, 2006
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
So whined Natilie Maines of Dixie Chicks fame showing us all her level of intelligence and awareness (read).
Maines is representative of a segment of the American population (who knows what their numbers are) that live complacent lives filled with the conveniences, rewards, pleasures and a full belly that are possible when a people are free to “pursue happiness”. Where and how did these things come to be so available to us when a great portion of humanity still live in utter poverty and oppression? Blank out by the Dixie Chicks. All that they have must have dropped from the sky somehow.
So why do so many people care about patriotism and love of country? Blank out. The Dixie Chicks just cannot make the connection between despotism and poverty and death on the one hand and freedom and the right to your life and pursuit of happiness guaranteed to us by the blood of our founding fathers on the other hand. We care about America because it was founded on a radical idea that has allowed us flourish beyond anyone's wildest dream in just 250 years. That idea is the notion that an individual should not have to submit to anyone and governments are instituted among men to protect the individual against despotism and criminality.
The Chicks just cannot comprehend why so many of us Patriots thank our lucky star for having been born or having immigrated to this land of bounty and opportunity. Their ignorance of America’s unique place in history and the shining star that it is tells the shame of our uneducated young of today. And I place the blame squarely on our dismal public education system.
Chicks – READ YOUR AMERICAN HISTORY – then you will come out of the wilderness of your ignorance.
Monday, June 19, 2006
"It is only by understanding this worship of the suicide bomber that one can understand the political choices made by the Palestinians. Taking the suicide bomber as their moral model, they seek to emulate his fate: in their lust to destroy Israel, they are willing to accept the utter destruction and collapse of their own society.
"It is important to recognize that, aside from the cynicism of a few corrupt officials, for the great mass of Palestinians this worship of sacrifice is sincere and thoroughly un-self-interested. By rejecting every chance at peace and coexistence with Israel—breaking every truce and turning down every peace offer—they have lost everything and gained nothing. Their decisions are driven, not by any narrow, practical goal, but by a moral imperative: the morality of self-sacrifice.
"Look to the other side of the security barrier and you see a very different society. While the Palestinians raise their children on visions of blood and murder, the Israelis—like us Americans—are largely preoccupied by the business of producing, creating, making a living. Consider, for example, the vast Gaza greenhouses handed over from the departing Israelis to the Palestinians. In the hands of the society that "made the desert bloom," these greenhouses produced millions of dollars worth of produce. Under Palestinian control, they were looted and their products have literally been left to rot.
"As with the Cold War examples of East and West Berlin, Palestine and Israel offer side-by-side laboratories for opposing moralities. The contrast to America is even more vivid."
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Although Dr. Ferris of the State Science Institute speaks these words to Hank Reardon in Ayn Rand's famous philosophical novel
Atlas Shrugged you'd think it was something that Ted Kennedy would say to Bill Gates.
"When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them." If one tries just a little bit one can think of the following actual examples of how we are made to be criminals: substance abuse laws, antiporn laws, taxation laws, licences, racial quotas, environmental laws, or what about the biggest doozie of them all the antitrust laws. I'm sure you could come up with more off the top of your head if you really tried. A popular one today are the imminent new immigration laws.
What's going on in Washington with their firebreathing rhetoric on how Mexicans are pouring in here to work you'd think that work will be outlawed next. I know Mexicans, Colombians, and other South Americans who are more hard-working than many born and bred Americans and yet we would brand them criminals as well as the business owners who hire them for the mere desire to earn a decent living working in America. This is nothing but another form of power grabbing by our corrupt politicians who seem to have forgotton that our nation IS a country of immigrants.
This is how politicians gain ever more and more power - by creating a nation of law-breaking people. Pretty soon you wake up one day and find it hard just to get through the day without breaking some law. Sounds like Nazi Germany doesn't it?
An end to immigration quotas is demanded by the principle of individual rights. Every individual has rights as an individual, not as a member of this or that nation. One has rights not by virtue of being an American, but by virtue of being human.
One doesn't have to be a resident of any particular country to have a moral entitlement to be secure from governmental coercion against one's life, liberty, and property. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, government is instituted "to secure these rights"--to protect them against their violation by force or fraud.
A foreigner has rights just as much as an American. To be a foreigner is not to be a criminal. Yet our government treats as criminals those foreigners not lucky enough to win the green-card lottery.
Seeking employment in this country is not a criminal act. It coerces no one and violates no one's rights. There is no "right" to be exempt from competition in the labor market, or in any other market.
It is not a criminal act to buy or rent a home here in which to reside. Paying for housing is not a coercive act--whether the buyer is an American or a foreigner. No one's rights are violated when a Mexican, or Canadian, or Senegalese rents an apartment from an American owner and moves into the housing he is paying for. And what about the rights of those American citizens who want to sell or rent their property to the highest bidders? Or the American businesses that want to hire the lowest-cost workers? It is morally indefensible for our government to violate their right to do so.
Immigration quotas forcibly exclude foreigners who want not to seize but to purchase housing here, who want not to rob Americans but to engage in productive work, raising our standard of living. To forcibly exclude those who seek peacefully to trade value for value with us is a violation of the rights of both parties to such a trade: the rights of the American seller or employer and the rights of the foreign buyer or employee.
Thus, immigration quotas treat both Americans and foreigners as if they were criminals, as if the peaceful exchange of values to mutual benefit were an act of destruction.
To take an actual example, if I want to invite my Norwegian friend Klaus to live in my home, either as a guest or as a paying tenant, what right does our government have to stop Klaus and me? To be a Norwegian is not to be a criminal. And if some American business wants to hire Klaus, what right does our government have to interfere?
The implicit premise of barring foreigners is: "This is our country, we let in who we want." But who is "we"? The government does not own the country. Jurisdiction is not ownership. Only the owner of land or any item of property can decide the terms of its use or sale. Nor does the majority own the country. This is a country of private property, and housing is private property. So is a job.
American land is not the collective property of some entity called "the U.S. government." Nor is there such a thing as collective, social ownership of the land. The claim, "We have the right to decide who is allowed in" means some individuals--those with the most votes--claim the right to prevent other citizens from exercising their rights. But there can be no right to violate the rights of others.
Our constitutional republic respects minority rights. 60% of the population cannot vote to enslave the other 40%. Nor can a majority dictate to the owners of private property. Nor can a majority dictate on whom private employers spend their money. Not morally, not in a free society. In a free society, the rights of the individual are held sacrosanct, above any claim of even an overwhelming majority.
The rights of one man end where the rights of his neighbor begin. Only within the limits of his rights is a man free to act on his own judgment. The criminal is the man who deliberately steps outside his rights-protected domain and invades the domain of another, depriving his victim of his exclusive control over his property, or liberty, or life. The criminal, by his own choice, has rejected rights in favor of brute violence. Thus, an immigration policy that excludes criminals is proper.
Likewise, a person with an infectious disease, such as smallpox, threatens with serious physical harm those with whom he comes into proximity. Unlike the criminal, he may not intend to do damage, but the threat of physical harm is clear, present, and objectively demonstrable. To protect the lives of Americans, he may be kept out or quarantined until he is no longer a threat.
But what about the millions of Mexicans, South Americans, Chinese, Canadians, etc. seeking entry who are not criminal and not bearing infectious diseases? By what moral principle can they be excluded? Not on the grounds of majority vote, not on the grounds of protecting any American's rights, not on the grounds of any legitimate authority of the state.
THE MORAL AND THE PRACTICAL
That's the moral case for phasing out limits on immigration. But some ask: "Is it practical? Wouldn't unlimited immigration--even if phased in over a decade--be disastrous to our economic well-being and create overcrowding? Are we being told to just grit our teeth and surrender our interests in the name of morality?"
This question is invalid on its face. It shows a failure to understand the nature of rights, and of moral principles generally. Rational moral principles reflect a recognition of the basic nature of man, his nature as a specific kind of living organism, having a specific means of survival. Questions of what is practical, what is to one's self-interest, can be answered only in that context. It is neither practical nor to one's interest to attempt to live and act in defiance of one's nature as a human being.
Yet that is the meaning of the moral-practical dichotomy. When one claims, "It is immoral but practical," one is maintaining, "It cripples my nature as a human being, but it is beneficial to me"--which is a contradiction.
Rights, in particular, are not something pulled from the sky or decreed by societal whim. Rights are moral principles, established by reference to the needs inherent in man's nature qua man. "Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival." (Ayn Rand)
Every organism has a basic means of survival; for man, that means is: reason. Man is the rational animal, homo sapiens. Rights are moral principles that spell out the terms of social interaction required for a rational being to survive and flourish. Since the reasoning mind cannot function under physical coercion, the basic social requirement of man's survival is: freedom. Rights prescribe freedom by proscribing coercion.
"If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work." (Ayn Rand)
Rights reflect the fundamental alternative of voluntary consent or brute force. The reign of force is in no one's interest; the system of voluntary cooperation by mutual consent is the precondition of anyone achieving his actual interests.
To ignore the principle of rights means jettisoning the principled, moral resolution of conflicts, and substituting mere numbers (majority vote). That is not to anyone's interest. Tyranny is not to anyone's self-interest.
Rights establish the necessary framework within which one defines his legitimate self-interest. One cannot hold that one's self-interest requires that he be "free" to deprive others of their freedom, treating their interests as morally irrelevant. One cannot hold that recognizing the rights of others is moral but "impractical."
Since rights are based on the requirements of man's life as a rational being, there can be no conflict between the moral and the practical here: if respecting individual rights requires it, your interest requires it.
Freedom or force, reason or compulsion--that is the basic social alternative. Immigrants recognize the value of freedom--that's why they seek to come here.
The American Founders defined and implemented a system of rights because they recognized that man, as a rational being, must be free to act on his own judgment and to keep the products of his own effort. They did not intend to establish a system in which those who happen to be born here could use force to "protect" themselves from the peaceful competition of others.
One major fear of open immigration is economic: the fear of losing one's job to immigrants. It is asked: "Won't the immigrants take our jobs?" The answer is: "Yes, so we can go on to better, higher-paying jobs."
The fallacy in this protectionist objection lies in the idea that there is only a finite amount of work to be done. The unstated assumption is: "If Americans don't get to do that work, if foreigners do it instead, we Americans will have nothing to do."
But work is the creation of wealth. A job is a role in the production of goods and services--the production of food, of cars, computers, the providing of internet content--all the items that go to make up our standard of living. A country cannot have too much wealth. The need for wealth is limitless, and the work that is to be done is limitless.
From a grand, historical perspective, we are only at the beginning of the wealth-creating age. The wealth Americans produce today is as nothing compared to what we'll have two hundred years from now--just as the standard of living 200 years in the past, in 1806, was as nothing compared to ours today.
Unemployment is not caused by an absence of avenues for the creation of wealth. Unemployment is caused by government interference in the labor market. Even with that interference, the number of jobs goes relentlessly upward, decade after decade. This bears witness to the fact that there's no end to the creation of wealth and thus no end to the useful employment of human intelligence and the physical effort directed by that intelligence. There is always more productive work to be done. If you can give your job to an immigrant, you can get a more valuable job.
What is the effect of a bigger labor pool on wage rates? If the money supply is constant, nominal wage rates fall. But real wage rates rise, because total output has gone up. Economists have demonstrated that real wages have to rise as long as the immigrants are self-supporting. If immigrants earn their keep, if they don't consume more than they produce, then they add to total output, which means that prices fall (if the money supply is constant).
And, in fact, rising real wages was the history of our country in the nineteenth century. Before the 1920s, there were no limits on immigration, yet these were the years of America's fasted economic progress. The standard of living rocketed upward. Self-supporting immigrants were an economic benefit not an injury.
The protectionist objection that immigrants take away jobs and harm our standard of living is a solid economic fallacy.
A popular misconception is that immigrants come here to get welfare. To the extent that is true, immigrants do constitute a burden. But this issue is mooted by the passage, under the Clinton Administration, of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity and Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which makes legal permanent residents ineligible for most forms of welfare for 5 years. I support this kind of legislation.
Further, if the fear is of non-working immigrants, why is the pending aimed at employers of immigrants?
America is a vastly underpopulated country. Our population density is less than one-third of France's.
Take an extreme example. Suppose a tidal wave of immigrants came here. Suppose that half of the people on the planet moved here. That would mean an unthinkable eleven-fold increase in our population--from 300 million to 3.3 billion people. The result? America would be a bit less "densely" populated than England (360 people/sq. km. vs. 384 people/sq. km.). In fact, it would make us less densely populated than the state of New Jersey (453 per sq. km.). And these calculations exclude Alaska and Hawaii, and count only land area.
Contrary to widespread beliefs, high population density is a value not a disvalue. High population density intensifies the division of labor, which makes possible a wider variety of jobs and specialized consumer products. For instance, in Manhattan, there is a "doll hospital"--a store specializing in the repair of children's dolls. Such a specialized, niche business requires a high population density in order to have a market. Try finding a doll hospital in Poughkeepsie. In Manhattan, one can find a job as a Pilates Method teacher or as a "Secret Shopper" (two jobs actually listed on Craig's List). Not in Paducah.
People want to live near other people, in cities. One-seventh of England's population lives in London. If population density is a bad thing, why are Manhattan real-estate prices so high?
THE VALUE OF IMMIGRANTS
Immigrants are the kind of people who refresh the American spirit. They are ambitious, courageous, and value freedom. They come here, often with no money and not even speaking the language, to seek a better life for themselves and their children.
The vision of American freedom, with its opportunity to prosper by hard work, serves as a magnet drawing the best of the world's people. Immigrants are self-selected for their virtues: their ambitiousness, daring, independence, and pride. They are willing to cast aside the tradition-bound roles assigned to them in their native lands and to re-define themselves as Americans. These are the people our country needs in order to keep alive the individualist, hard-working attitude that made America.
Here is a short list of some great immigrants: Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, most of the top scientists of the Manhattan Project, Igor Sikorsky (the inventor of the helicopter), Ayn Rand.
Open immigration: the benefits are great. The right is unquestionable. So let them come.
Copyright © 2006. TOF Publications, Inc. www.hblist.com/immigr.htm Permission hereby granted to republish, in whole or in part, provided no changes are made in the wording of material used, Harry Binswanger's authorship is stated, and this notice is carried.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Four and a half years after September 11—which was supposed to awaken us to the threat of devastating attacks by state-sponsored terrorists—America is finally beginning to confront the world's largest and most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
For the past week, newspapers and magazines have been filled with discussion of possible military action against Iran. The debate, so far, is between those who merely want to "threaten" the use of force, and those who argue that the Iranian threat is illusory. No one is yet willing to face the fact that Iran is already at war with the United States—and that Iran is the central enemy we have to defeat if we are going to win the War on Terrorism.
In all of the obfuscation generated by the backward-looking debate over what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, it has been easy for some to claim that the Iranian threat is being blown out of proportion by the Bush administration. But grasping the case against Iran doesn't depend on secret dossiers and obscure intelligence reports. All it requires is that you open up your newspaper and read the pronouncements of Iran's own leaders.
In early April, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hosted a pep rally at which dancers in traditional Persian garb held aloft vials of refined uranium, while Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had succeeding in enriching uranium, the first step toward producing a nuclear bomb. Iran "has joined the club of nuclear countries," he boasted. An Iranian official followed up by announcing that Iran would immediately take the next step, expanding uranium enrichment to an industrial scale, allowing Iran to start building its nuclear arsenal as early as the end of this year.
Why does Iran want to enrich uranium? Ahmadinejad isn't interested so much in joining a nuclear club as he is in wielding a nuclear club. He has openly boasted that Iran wants to "wipe Israel off the map." Is Ahmadinejad just a wild-eyed "radical," out of touch with the rest of the Iranian regime? A few years ago, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani—a man considered "moderate" by the standards of the Iranian regime—boasted that "a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel." In case you don't think they're serious, Iran's religious establishment recently released a fatwa sanctioning the use of nuclear weapons.
But the biggest threat posed by an Iranian nuclear weapon is not in Israel, but in Iraq—where Iran is already fighting a proxy war against America and its allies.
In the Iraqi conflict, Iran has been playing both ends against the middle—that is, against the United States. In Western Iraq, the Sunni insurgency is supported by a flow of terrorists, weapons, and money from Syria—a key Iranian ally. In Southern Iraq, Shiite insurgents have been using sophisticated Iranian-built shaped charges in their bomb attacks on American convoys. But this is the least of the Iranian threat. Violent Shiite militias that seek to impose an Islamist dictatorship are funded, organized, and take their ideological inspiration from Iran. The leader of the most pro-Iranian faction, Muqtada al-Sadr, has publicly pledged to fight on Iran's behalf if it is attacked by America.
There is no need to invoke the doctrine of pre-emption against Iran. Iran is already fighting a war against the United States. We just haven't been fighting back. We have held our fire as if Iran were protected by a shield of nuclear weapons. How much more aggressive will the Iranians become when they are actually protected by such a nuclear shield?
Iran's reach is not limited to Iraq. Late last year, when Bashar Assad's Syrian dictatorship was reeling from the loss of Lebanon, Ahmadinejad made a trip to Damascus in which he urged Assad to stand fast and pledged Iranian support. The Assad regime, which had been sending up trial balloons about political liberalization, instead threw hundreds of dissidents into prison. At the same time, Ahmadinejad met with leaders of Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist militia in Southern Lebanon, and representatives of two Palestinian terrorist groups: Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Now that Hamas has won the Palestinian elections, it is looking for diplomatic and financial support from—where else?—Iran.
Iran's tentacles even extend beyond the Middle East. Iran has been cultivating an alliance with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, including discussions about providing the anti-American firebrand and protégé of Fidel Castro with nuclear technology.
This expansionist pattern is no accident. The mullahs who rule Iran's system from behind the scenes maneuvered Ahmadinejad into power last year because they knew he had the fiery fanaticism to go on the offensive, pressing Iran's advantage in the face of American wavering on Iraq. Ahmadinejad has not disappointed them. Like the super-villain of a corny James Bond film—but one who commands actual armies and actual missiles—Ahmadinejad has a master plan for the domination of the world. In a document presented to Iran's parliament last year, he declared that the US is a fading "sunset power," while Iran is poised to become the "core power" of the Islamic world, the center of a totalitarian Islamic empire.
Everywhere you look in the Middle East, if you ask who is the biggest threat to America's interests, you will find the same answer—Hamas in the Palestinian territories, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Assad regime in Syria, the Sunni terrorists and Shiite militias in Iraq—directly or indirectly, Iran is supporting them all.
Iran's global ambitions are as grandiose as anything put forward by Osama bin Laden—but they are backed by control of a country of 70 million people with an army, navy, and air force, a vast network of terrorist organizations across the Middle East, and, very soon, nuclear weapons.
If America's failure to act against the comparatively minor threat from Bin Laden in the 1990s resulted in the horrors of September 11, we can expect far worse if we fail to act against Iran.
A war with Iran must begin with the destruction of its nuclear facilities, but it must not end there. Iran is likely to respond to any American attack by escalating, inciting an uprising in Southern Iraq, unleashing a wave of terrorist attacks, launching missiles against US targets in the Middle East, attacking oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. And even if we neutralize all of these threats, Iran's theocrats will not drop their global ambitions. They will merely wait for our attention to wander and attempt to strike us again. The goal of a war against Iran must be to topple the Iranian regime—and to support the rise of a new government formed by the secularist dissidents who now languish in Iran's prisons.
The wars we have fought so far, against the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Baathist regime in Iraq—were necessary, but they left the largest, most dangerous Islamist regime untouched. The Iranians know it. Sensing American weakness, they are moving against us on all fronts—and any further delay in pushing them back will only make the task more difficult. We have to act—and we have to act now.
There can be no victory in the War on Terrorism until we confront—and defeat—the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the real war, and it's time we started fighting it.
President Bush has declared the end of "major combat operations" in Iraq, but he has not declared victory in the War on Terrorism—and that's a good thing, because the largest and most important battle in that war still remains to be fought.
The road to victory goes through Tehran.
An end to the threat of Islamic terrorism requires, not just the toppling of one state sponsor of terrorism in Iraq, but the toppling of the regime that is the Middle East's most active promoter of terrorism—and the most virulent center of the ideology behind Islamic terrorism: the theocracy that rules Iran.
The most recent evidence for the urgent need to confront Iran is the simmering conflict in southern Iraq. Post-war Iraq has been touted by the administration as an attempt to create a free, peaceful, and prosperous society as a model to be followed by dissidents in neighboring countries like Iran. But Iran also wants to turn Iraq into a model—a model for American humiliation and the triumph of Islamic fanaticism.
The evidence of meticulous Iranian planning is everywhere. Note that Shiite demonstrators showed up just days after the fall of Baghdad carrying elaborate, professionally made banners proclaiming their theocratic agenda—with slogans printed in both Arabic and English, for the benefit of the Western media. This is not the work of poor, uneducated Iraqi peasants. It is the work of well-funded political operatives. Indeed, US forces have already begun to capture Iranian agents in Iraq and believe that thousands more Iranian-backed fighters have flooded over the border in the past month.
A peaceful Iraq that respects the rights of its citizens—and allows the presence of US troops or military bases—is a grave danger to Iran and to its co-conspirator in terrorism, Syria. So these two nations are trying to turn Iraq into "another Lebanon"—a quagmire of terrorist attacks and guerilla warfare. Their hope is that the United States will be so afraid of looking like a "bully" imposing an "occupation" that we will withdraw and abandon Iraq, letting Iran set up its own Khomeini-style regime there—in the same way that we abandoned Lebanon, allowing it to be colonized by Syria.
If we let this Iranian strategy work, we will have achieved "regime change" all right—we will have exchanged a fascist anti-American regime for a theocratic anti-American regime.
The nascent guerilla campaign in southern Iraq is a clear hostile act against the United States. Yet Iran is hoping that America will refuse to recognize this as an act of war. The mullahs hope we will once again put ourselves in the impossible situation of having to fight bands of guerillas among Iraq's civilian population, while refusing to confront the terror masters they serve.
What makes them think they can get away with it? Ultimately, Iran is counting on the administration's loudly proclaimed refusal to "impose our values" or our form of government on Iraq. But fighting for liberty is never an "imposition." No one has a right to violate the rights of others—and so it is no limitation on the "freedom" of Iraqi Shiites or Iranian agents if we deny their ambition to impose religious strictures by force.
The vow that we will not try to influence the new Iraq is a declaration of America's unilateral moral disarmament—our failure to fight for and protect the crucial values at stake in this war.
America needs to recognize that this war is inherently a conflict between two opposing value systems. Our enemies are driven by the theocratic philosophy shared, despite minor sectarian differences, by Osama bin Laden and by the mullahs who rule Iran. The destruction of the Iranian theocracy would do more than just eliminate the world's largest supporter of terrorism; it would do more than end a nuclear-weapons program that is far closer to completion than Iraq's ever was; it would do more than stop the Iranian-staged Shiite agitation in Iraq. The end of the Iranian regime would destroy the Middle East's laboratory of theocracy—the leading example and exporter of a system of religious dogma enforced by terror.
President Bush called the military victory in Iraq "the turning of the tide" in the War on Terrorism. That may be true, but the tide won't stay with us—or carry us to victory—until we are willing to take the war to Tehran and topple the most important material and ideological supporter of Islamic terrorism.