The Objective Eye

"Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demand for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen."
- Ayn Rand, "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business" (1961)

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Location: Los Angeles, United States

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Births and Deaths: Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. GOP, it's an Objectivist....?; Conservatism R.I.P.

Now Playing: "Lookin' out for No. 1 (Reprise)" from the rock masterpiece Obsession.

What we've just witnessed is sad confirmation that at least 50% of the American voting population are too stupid to value their liberty, and though I'm trying not to be too negative here, a fact is a fact. As of the year 2008, there remains no plausible excuse for an embrace of shopworn Marxism, other than a vast and comprehensive ignorance of philosophy, economics and history. But tempting though it is, I can't really tap into the newly-popular phrase "For the first time in my adult... lifetime, I'm... really ashamed of my country."

Just part of it.

Sincere congrats are due to Obama and the Democrat-Socialist Party however, for a successful campaign that, unlike the Republicans', based its success on fidelity to core principles, albeit evil ones. [Note of emphasis to the GOP "leadership": I just made an evaluation of political ideology based on Ethics. Try it sometime, presumably for what would be your very first.]

Silver linings to the 2008 McCain trouncing:

- John McCain will never be a candidate for American President again;

- The fact of President-elect Obama's ethnicity is a devastating blow to all of America's racists: Black supremecists no longer have the last shred of plausibility in claiming America is a "racist nation," and white supremecists have just gotten the mother of all body-slams. Unfortunately, racism will never be eradicated on an institutional or societal basis until there is an explicit, widespread embrace of individualism. That goal remains a long, long way off, particularly given four years ahead under an American government largely dedicated to individualism's polar antithesis, collectivism;

- The Obama Administration and the Democrat-Socialist majority in Congress face an economic debacle entirely of their own making and a geopolitical situation that can only be described as a powder keg - and have absolutely nobody else upon whom to heap blame for any of the catastrophes their policies will initiate;

- The chaos that will result from Obama's neo-Marxian economics and the certain loss of liberty under his Orwellian government model will, assuming America as a nation survives to tell the tale, bestow upon a catastrophically-maleducated generation (read on,) a gargantuan lesson in economics, politics and history that they ought to have gotten in school, but all-too-clearly did not.

As to the valuation of liberty among the general American population, you may have missed it but we all had a kind of preview or "miner's canary" bellwether back in spring of 2000 with the polls on Clinton/Reno's forced de-liberation of Elian Gonzalez. It's no stunning insight to conclude that when a majority of a nation's people no longer understand and/or value liberty in the midst of such a horrific violation of it, that that nation will likely lose it, and even vote enthusiastically for a politician sworn to the systematic destruction of it.

More to the cause of the situation America finds itself in in November 2008 is the adage that "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." What I'm talking about here is the simple truth that a Marxist American Presidency as late as the 21st century is something that could only have happened via the intellectual default among the ostensible defenders of Americanism, the conservatives.

There is a lengthy chain here and for brevity (hah) I'm only going to touch on key links of it.

The reason more than half of the voting population of America are ignorant enough to have repeated the potentially-catastrophic choice of collectivist government is because...more than half of the voting population of America were educated in the collectivist cesspool that is American public education.

The reason that American education has become a collectivist cesspool is because the conservatives have nonchalantly conceded that entire institution's control to the hardcore Left over the last two decades. By default. Maybe it was just too much of a bother for them. As I posted earlier, if you've conceded the education of at least one entire generation of Americans to a system inundated with Leftwing ideologues from daycare classrooms up to "prestigious" post-graduate institutions, it is flatly irrational to expect that the products of that system will magically turn out to be something other than...budding Leftwing ideologues.

That vote.
That run for office.
That run newsrooms.
That print newspapers.
That run influential businesses.
That write screenplays and make movies consumed by tens of millions.

Similarly, the takeover of the Republican Party by RINOs, by 'neocons' and by 'social' conservatives more interested in theology than in the fundamentals of individual rights, was not a product of any cohesive effort, it was the filling of a void.

That void is the space where the Republican Party's core philosophy once stood. Every rank-and-file Republican I've spoken with and every one I've heard call in to talk radio and every one whose posts I've read online, has expressed a justifiable dismay at the intellectual rootlessness of today's Republican Party "leadership." Not of the GOP as a whole, mind you, but of its ostensible leaders - the ones who are running the show.

What Should Be Done

I've heard a number of commentators from within the GOP today repeating the same post-rout refocus on goals: "What should the GOP do now?"

1. Well, the first priority, clearly, is to toss out all of the current "leaders" of the Republican party's key organs - the RNC, the NRCC, the NRSC-M.O.U.S.E., etc.

2. The second priority, just as clearly, is for the GOP as a whole to perform a comprehensive head-shed and rediscover - or simply, discover - its core principles.

A mandatory springboard for that journey of discovery is an invaluable set of critiques published in the wake of the 2006 Congressional election rout, titled "Straight Talk About the Soul of the Republican Party. [Note that the "Straight Talk" title is coincidental, not to be confused with McCain's campaign slogan.] Excerpted from that booklet are some articles of vital importance to the GOP, if it is ever to regain a future as the champion of Americanism and of individual liberty:

- Edward L. Hudgins' landmark analysis The Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party;

- Robert J. Bidinotto's Folio Gold Award winner Up From Conservatism;

- Hudgins' amusing yet vital 12-Step Cure for Big-Government Conservatism.

Beyond those worthy introductions, one question looms large, and it goes just like this:

Now is it time to have a look at the philosophy of Ayn Rand?

If the Republican Party - and by extension the future of individual liberty and civilized society - are to recover, strengthen and prosper once again, they will require no less than a second Renaissance and Enlightenment, a.k.a. the intellectual context of America's Founding. To achieve this, they will of necessity need to study and adopt the key elements of objectivist philosophy, which means the explicit embrace of:

- Reason rather than faith as the bedrock of Americanism;

- the ethics of egoism rather than altruism;

- the supremacy and ethical propriety of Individualism and rejection of collectivism in politics;

- the imperative of government strictly limited to the purpose explicitly stated in the Declaration: the defense of rights;

- the moral, not merely pragmatic, defense of capitalism, together with the proper definition of capitalism as laissez faire;

- the moral and intransigent defense of America as a just, sovereign nation - as opposed to the entire edifice of "multicultural" relativism and the continuing atrocity that is the "United Nations."

- the entire philosophic chain that links all of the above into a cohesive intellectual whole, and the ability to defend it, in whole or in part, in rational debate.

The Republican Party has been in the grip of factions far removed from core American principles for at least fifteen years - chief among them that hazy fluff that calls itself "conservatism"; the gaping political void they've left where those principles and principled practice ought to have been has just been filled - by the most radical collectivist politician ever to reach the White House, backed by an equally-militant hard-Left Congressional majority.

After the blatant, altruistic cave-in by the "Freshman" GOP Congress in late 1995 over the "heartless" government shutdown; after the contemptible rewarding of Bob "What am I doing here" Dole with the GOP candidacy only months later and his subsequent trouncing by Clinton; after the steady election-by-election downward spiral of GOP Congressional numbers since, culminating in the loss of both houses to the Demo-Socialists in 2006; after the slap in the face of the GOP base that was the 2008 McCain nomination; after the shellacking of that candidate by the lunatic-fringe Left's candidate yesterday - one would hope that the message might at last have sunk in with our Party's conservative "leaders": Your habitual default on core GOP philosophy is destroying America and placing the very survival of America and of Western Civilization itself at risk.

Come to think of it, maybe you ought to just start with Rand's March 6, 1974 West Point address "Philosophy: Who Needs it?" The answer to that question ought to be amply clear at this point.

It's time for you to step down, and to return the Republican Party to... Republicans.
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11-05-08: The Golgafrinchans Have Landed!

Now Playing: Winston Smith Takes It On The Jaw by Utopia

Would you like to have a bath and a ducky?

I'm going to have a bath and a ducky.

Stay tuned for some announcements on deaths and births.
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Monday, November 03, 2008

Fred Speaks on the Election

Now Playing: This...



Good stuff, but he's putting it mildly. Too mildly.

Just yesterday we got a couple new glimpses into the retro-commie agenda behind Barack Obama's smiling mask:




So assuming you're making less than $250,000, ermm, $200,000, ermm, $150,000, ermm, $120,000, ermm, $75,000, ermm, $25,000, or...whatever is BO's latest Threshold for Human Rights Forfeiture, 'think your Obama "tax cut" will likely offset energy prices that "skyrocket" by his intentional plan?

Forget about that - do you think that a functioning, semi-free society will somehow continue onward if a power-crazed collectivist intentionally causes an economic catastrophe so as to create an opportunity for a vast upward-ratcheting of government power over individuals? 'Want to bet that that is the real meaning behind the "change" that he's been going on about?

To be perfectly clear, I do not think that John McCain will ever be mistaken for a friend of economic liberty, much less an advocate of a restoration of laissez faire in America. But I do not believe that his opponent intends to leave open the possibility of his retro-collectivist experiment being scrapped after it does its inevitable damage to the American economy and population. His openly-stated contempt for the Constitution should be alarming to every American individual who yet values the institution of liberty.

California's electoral votes are universally conceded to be in the Democrat Party column already. But if you're a voter in one of those states where one's vote does matter - the key battleground states where it's neck-and-neck - and if you're still undecided, you need to ask yourself a very important question:

Given the picture that's emerged of Obama from the start of this calendar year - from the raging black supremecist and America-hater Jeremiah Wright to the evidence of Wright's influence in Michelle Obama's infamous "first time I'm proud" quote to Obama's warm relations with unrepentant and remorseless Stalinist butcher-wannabes to his stated belief that the United States Constitution itself is "fundamentally flawed" to this latest revelation of Obama's apparent plan to dump the American and world economies into chaos intentionally - do you still think he is "another mainstream Democrat Presidential candidate?"

Coulter is right: If one of our foreign enemies had announced this kind of intentional assault on America, we could get a UN Resolution on it - it would be tantamount to a declaration of war against America. And this guy is a candidate for President of the United States?

McCain we can work with. Obama, backed by a monolithic, hard-Left Congress would comprise a collectivist trojan horse, now openly bent on destroying the American and Western politico-economic system in hopes of dragging a new century into a "new" Marxist utopia.

All the rest of us know where that road leads, inescapably.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Open Letter to the GOP: Obama Candidacy as an American Crisis, i.e., Failure is Not an Option

Now Playing: True Love, from Pat Benatar's best and most-maligned album



Perhaps this post is superfluous in that McCain/Palin's numbers have seen a dramatic and consistent late-campaign surge in polls - even when filtered through the stunningly biased media that sponsor and report them. At any rate, I think it's worthwhile to reiterate the vast, crisis-level threat to core Americanism that the Obama candidacy and the political context in which it has appeared represent. For the knee-jerk types not in the habit of listening to reasoned discussion nor of reading earlier posts, you can drop the "fear of a black candidate" race-baiting pretty much any time now. I don't give a damn if the candidate is orange, blue or purple with aquamarine polka-dots. This is about ideology. If you want "proof of color-blindness," you can take note of the fact that Janice Rogers Brown stands foremost in my mind as the single figure within D.C. government who really gets it, all the way down the philosophic line to First Principles - something of which the GOP "leadership" currently have no clue.

On the other hand, what we have in Obama, in hard factual evidence, is a candidate that:

- Openly advocates the transformation of America's semi-free, semi-capitalist system into a full-blown socialist state with all its noxious and deadly trimmings: obliteration of property rights under "redistribution" or "spreading the wealth around," massive expansion of the size, scope, expense and power of the State over individuals, and by extrapolation of his chosen ideological and personal associations, the subjugation of any and all who dare disagree;

- Openly advocates moral capitulation to the absolute worst of the world's butchers, thugs and tinhorn dictators - to basically the Who's Who of Worldwide Tyranny - concurrent with a policy of gutting America's defense, which defense is the first obligation of government under the Constitution...;

- Openly advocates, along with his ideological clones in Reid, Pelosi, et al., the shredding of the First Amendment, the censorship of his/their prime political opposition via the corruptly misnamed "fairness doctrine";

- Considers the United States Constitution, that precious, indispensible lifeline to individual liberty, to be "fundamentally flawed" - which given the Obama "change" mantra one can only assume to mean: something to be obliterated in favor of some other (i.e., collectivist and therefore deadly) credo;

- Openly advocates the complete reversal of the Founder's magnificent, historically-unprecedented achievement: Their subordination of the collective to the individual, their subordination of might to right, their subordination of "nations of men" to a "nation of laws";

- Openly advocates writing into binding law a catastrophic logical contradiction that philosopher Ayn Rand identified explicitly a full forty-five years ago: the notion that one can establish "rights" that depend by their very nature on the violation of the legitimate rights of others - i.e., a "right to violate rights," i.e., slavery. For the first time in a generation a Presidential candidate and his Party are, once again, openly advocating not just confiscatory taxation, but the establishment of "rights" to goods and services produced by other people, to be confiscated by brute force for the purpose;

- Openly acknowledges - rather, brags about - having worked with militant Marxist "Weather Underground" terrorist William Ayers on education "reform" in Chicago - which "reform" involves transforming the education of American children into a neo-Leninist indoctrination in "revolution";

- Not-so-openly chooses as friends and mentors frothing, racist, America-hating black supremecists; Marxist professors; who remains curiously silent while those chosen mentors heap praise and awards on the "Nation of Islam's" virulent racist Louis Farrakhan, etc. ad nauseam.

Folks, over its 232 years America has seen its share of gutter-evil haters of humanity; its bloodthirsty killers; its fascist, socialist and other collectivist-variant killers and killer-wannabes; its domestic terrorists and its mass murderers. And always, they were ultimately acknowledged as outlaws acting in defiance of America's core principles of reason and ethically-inalienable individual rights.

But never has America had a Presidential candidate who has, at various times throughout his life, made ideological common cause with elements from all of those groups, in "unity" against the most moral, decent, demonstrably good civilization in human history: America and, by extension, the whole of that Western Civilization.

* It is time for the GOP to wake up - though I think it finally has - and mobilize to defeat the Obama machine;

* Time to stop complaining about media that are monolithically in the pocket of the Obama campaign, and rather to perform an all-out last minute voter mobilization drive and get this election won, decisively;

* Time to network geometrically with any and all who value liberty, to persuade any on-the-fence "undecided" voters that their very lives and the very civilization in which they live and thrive are at stake here.

_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ \_ \_ \_ \_ \_ \_ \_

=> Above all, it is time for the GOP to wake itself up to its most catastrophic of defaults: Its de facto relinquishment of American education into the hands of these selfsame militant collectivist thugs.

See, there is a reason for this seemingly bizarre Obama phenomenon - an obscure politician with next to zero political experience who's suddenly propelled into the limelight, then to within reach of the most powerful office in the semi-free world, in the space of a decade.

That reason is: A generation of new voters who've just completed 12+ years of education under militant Leftwing academics.

The reason for that, in turn and to complete the circle, is: Republican "leadership" that's long since jettisoned its grasp of its ostensible First Principles (see the essays Man's Rights and The Nature of Government by Rand,) and allowed the education of their children to be carried out by people with, at best, a sneering contempt for the best within America, and at worst with an open desire to repeat Hitler's bloodbath four times over, right here in America.

As Rand said again and again: It is ideas, not people, that determine the course of history and the fate of nations. It was not Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Guevara, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-Il, Milosevic, Ceauceascu and the like who created their respective barbarities by themselves or even via their cliques of like-minded killers, it was the people-at-large who put them in power and thereby enabled them to murder on a massive scale.

It is my own opinion that the frothing, goose-stepping collectivist ideologue is not motivated primarily by his/her warped, misanthropic worldview, but rather by a core-level bloodlust, a simple desire to... murder on a massive scale.

The ideology is just an enabling mechanism.

The choice of the wrong ideology, therefore, and to paraphrase John Ridpath, is as deadly as the choice of poison over food. If the population are allowed to be maleducated and/or intentionally miseducated with such poison, to expect some result other than disaster is irrational.

As philosopher Leonard Peikoff put it in his disturbing, landmark work The Ominous Parallels, we have come dangerously close to the point of no return.

So it is imperative that from this point forward the number one priority of the Republican establishment, as well as the libertarians and every other non-Democrat-Socialist organization in this country, should be to take back education from the intellectual killers who by their own admission seek to manufacture their future enablers via the replacement of education with collectivist indoctrination.

No, we can't know in advance if Obama's ideology, either stated or strenuously-concealed, is merely the rhetoric of a benign Leftwing radical (if such a thing can be posited with a straight face,) and we won't know until next Tuesday if the American population have become so intellectually corrupt, so historically vacuous, and so divorced from their valuation of even their own liberty that they will vote that liberty away in the manner of a collective/collectivist suicide.

What we can know with certainty is that if mankind is to have a future that does not involve a descent into the barbarity and raw evil of another collectivist "experiment," if mankind is instead to reclaim civilization's intellectual bedrock and spark another Renaissance and Enlightenment, then we must take back the whole of our educational establishment from the intellectual child molesters who have been allowed to set up shop right in front of America's young people.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yet More Debate Notes

Now Playing: "Slow Ride by KWS - bitchin' vid!

Another week, another debate in an endless campaign cycle. When McCain/Palin lock this thing up, let's hope that one of the first things they hammer out is a reform of Presidential primaries, maybe restoration of the earliest primary to a nice tolerable maximum of eight months prior to general elections.

What the Democrat-Socialist Party's corrupt, intentional truncation of Bush's second term by roughly one-half has done is to replace one half of this and every future American Presidential term with a different form of government: First a rule by committee or tribal council - made up of the pack of candidates from both Parties - followed by a de facto triumvirate, consisting of the sitting President and the two opposing challengers (assuming the sitting President himself is not running for re-election, in which case it's a kind of uneasy, two-year "co-Presidency.")

None of which is allowable under the Constitution.

As if the United States Constitution yet mattered to any given Democrat. By now it ought to be obvious that to today's neo-barbarian Democrats that particular document is only a tool, to be utilized or ignored as expediency demands.

In tonight's debate - and through the remainder of this campaign - the win is there for McCain/Palin's taking. Yes, I know that all of the polls are reflecting the Primacy of Consciousness view of the standings. In the interests of "fairness," maybe. For the philosophically uninitiated, the Primacy of Consciousness is the Platonic school of thought that says that there is no reality independent of consciousness, rather that consiousness creates or determines reality. In short, it's the view that "It's true because I say so." The valid antithesis to that demonstrable fraud is the Primacy of Existence, hammered out by America's first Founding Father, Aristotle - which states, irrefutably, that existence exists independently, regardless of the wishes of anyone within it. Anyhow, the polls' sponsors are singing a unison paean to Obama, with a current (as of October 15,) median (with the polar extremes excised,) of something like Obama 48% to McCain 44%, a.k.a. a dead heat.

This election is nearly impossible to call at this point, even though historically the polls were spectacularly, landslidingly wrong in their skew to the Democrat side in the 1980, 1984 and 1988 elections. The primary reason (pun if you want one,) is that never in our lifetimes have the media been so comprehensively, unconcealedly shilling for a single candidate. The factual examples are as endless as the last two years' "news" articles, but one need look no farther than a simple comparison between the media's treatment of the Foley scandal in 2006 and the near-identical scandal of his Democrat successor, Tim Mahoney, right today as you read this.

Yes, it's true: Foley's Democrat-Socialist successor, Tim Mahoney, is embroiled in a sex scandal. What, you didn't know? It differs only in the plumbing of the various sexual partners and in the fact that, for some reason, this time nobody's demanding the resignation of the House speaker for covering up the story. When the story started to filter through - mostly via talk radio, which the Demo-Soc barbarians' Constitution-shredding wing is clamoring to censor - Pelosi abruptly found her voice and decided it was time to have a look at it. Maybe she was just distracted.

So I have absolutely zero trust of what I hear from news media and their polls. They're giving the concept of "giggling cheerleaders" a bad name. Therefore we're left to rely on the one poll that is decisive, the one that will be taken on November 4. Even that has been clouded in doubt, since "ACORN," an Obamanista organization from way back that is up to its hairy eyebrows in the mortgage meltdown, has also been working diligently to destroy the cornerstone of America: pluralism itself.

If law enforcement is still capable of... enforcing the law, we will have this Obama-Campaign-sponsored attack on American pluralism cleaned up and indictments handed down for all involved, well before Election Day.  And assuming an accurate and properly-administered election, a whole lot of Obama supporters who've been glued to poll data will be in for a rude awakening on November 5.

If one half of the American population are committed to the destruction of American pluralism - and it would apppear they are - and if they are allowed to succeed as they very nearly did in November and December of 2000, then American liberty itself is in jeopardy.

Now, though the debate is roughly 40 minutes along, I'm going to grab some food instead of trying to do play-by-play. I'll have a look at it on repeat, but I expect it'll be roughly identical to that of September 26, (excepting the absence of a roomful of mostly clueless participant-questioners): No major advantage gained, no opinions changed.

I'll be glad when this endless campaign is over, and the saturation coverage of that Illinois Marxist will at last be behind us.
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Friday, October 03, 2008

Grilling The Perp

Now Playing: This...

video


Wesley Mouch lives.

It's never going to happen, but one wishes that at least a handful of Republican Congressmen would trade their "go-along-to-get-along" Nice Guy posture for some of what Mr. O'Reilly's been imbibing. Philosophically O'Reilly is all over the map but one thing he's got is a full understanding of how to scrap when the situation calls for it. No, emotion is seldom the best mode of discourse, but neither is the Dead Bug posture the GOP "leadership" have adopted - when they're not joining creeps like Frank in signing onto the monstrosity that's just become law. It's a sad thing when the simple fact of someone openly and unapologetically challenging a crook becomes cause for celebration...

To get a little perspective on what the Franks, Dodds, Pelosis, Reids and...Bushes and McCains have just signed off on; some of the lard, tinkerings, manipulations and goodies tacked onto this vast, slobbering mutant pig:


Targeted Tax Credits and Changes

Sec. 101. Renewable energy credit.
Sec. 102. Production credit for electricity produced from marine renewables.
Sec. 103. Energy credit.
Sec. 104. Energy credit for small wind property.
Sec. 105. Energy credit for geothermal heat pump systems.
Sec. 106. Credit for residential energy efficient property.
Sec. 107. New clean renewable energy bonds.
Sec. 108. Credit for steel industry fuel.
Sec. 109. Special rule to implement FERC and State electric restructuring policy.
Sec. 111. Expansion and modification of advanced coal project investment credit.
Sec. 112. Expansion and modification of coal gasification investment credit.
Sec. 113. Temporary increase in coal excise tax; funding of Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.
Sec. 114. Special rules for refund of the coal excise tax to certain coal producers and exporters.
Sec. 115. Tax credit for carbon dioxide sequestration.
Sec. 116. Certain income and gains relating to industrial source carbon dioxide treated as qualifying income for publicly traded partnerships.
Sec. 117. Carbon audit of the tax code.
Sec. 201. Inclusion of cellulosic biofuel in bonus depreciation for biomass ethanol plant property.
Sec. 202. Credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel.
Sec. 203. Clarification that credits for fuel are designed to provide an incentive for United States production.
Sec. 204. Extension and modification of alternative fuel credit.
Sec. 205. Credit for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.
Sec. 206. Exclusion from heavy truck tax for idling reduction units and advanced insulation.
Sec. 207. Alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit.
Sec. 208. Certain income and gains relating to alcohol fuels and mixtures, biodiesel fuels and mixtures, and alternative fuels and mixtures treated as qualifying income for publicly traded partnerships.
Sec. 209. Extension and modification of election to expense certain refineries.
Sec. 210. Extension of suspension of taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal properties.
Sec. 211. Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters.
Sec. 301. Qualified energy conservation bonds.
Sec. 302. Credit for nonbusiness energy property.
Sec. 303. Energy efficient commercial buildings deduction.
Sec. 304. New energy efficient home credit.
Sec. 305. Modifications of energy efficient appliance credit for appliances produced after 2007.

Other Tax Credits and Changes

Sec. 101. Extension of alternative minimum tax relief for nonrefundable personal credits.
Sec. 102. Extension of increased alternative minimum tax exemption amount.
Sec. 103. Increase of AMT refundable credit amount for individuals with longterm unused credits for prior year minimum tax liability, etc.
Sec. 201. Deduction for State and local sales taxes.
Sec. 202. Deduction of qualified tuition and related expenses.
Sec. 203. Deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers.
Sec. 204. Additional standard deduction for real property taxes for nonitemizers.
Sec. 205. Tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes.
Sec. 206. Treatment of certain dividends of regulated investment companies.
Sec. 207. Stock in RIC for purposes of determining estates of nonresidents not citizens.
Sec. 208. Qualified investment entities.
Sec. 301. Extension and modification of research credit.
Sec. 302. New markets tax credit.
Sec. 303. Subpart F exception for active financing income.
Sec. 304. Extension of look-thru rule for related controlled foreign corporations.
Sec. 305. Extension of 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements and qualified restaurant improvements; 15-year straight-line cost recovery for certain improvements to retail space.
Sec. 306. Modification of tax treatment of certain payments to controlling exempt organizations.
Sec. 307. Basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property.
Sec. 308. Increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Sec. 309. Extension of economic development credit for American Samoa.
Sec. 310. Extension of mine rescue team training credit.
Sec. 311. Extension of election to expense advanced mine safety equipment.
Sec. 312. Deduction allowable with respect to income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico.
Sec. 313. Qualified zone academy bonds.
Sec. 314. Indian employment credit.
Sec. 315. Accelerated depreciation for business property on Indian reservations.
Sec. 316. Railroad track maintenance.
Sec. 317. Seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports racing track facility.
Sec. 318. Expensing of environmental remediation costs.
Sec. 319. Extension of work opportunity tax credit for Hurricane Katrina employees.
Sec. 320. Extension of increased rehabilitation credit for structures in the Gulf Opportunity Zone.
Sec. 321. Enhanced deduction for qualified computer contributions.
Sec. 322. Tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia.
Sec. 323. Enhanced charitable deductions for contributions of food inventory.
Sec. 324. Extension of enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of book inventory.
Sec. 325. Extension and modification of duty suspension on wool products; wool research fund; wool duty refunds.
Sec. 401. Permanent authority for undercover operations.
Sec. 402. Permanent authority for disclosure of information relating to terrorist activities.
Sec. 501. $8,500 income threshold used to calculate refundable portion of child tax credit.
Sec. 502. Provisions related to film and television productions.
Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.
Sec. 504. Income averaging for amounts received in connection with the Exxon Valdez litigation.
Sec. 505. Certain farming business machinery and equipment treated as 5-year property.
Sec. 506. Modification of penalty on understatement of taxpayer’s liability by tax return preparer.
Sec. 512. Mental health parity.
Sec. 601. Secure rural schools and community self-determination program.
Sec. 602. Transfer to abandoned mine reclamation fund.
Sec. 702. Temporary tax relief for areas damaged by 2008 Midwestern severe storms, tornados, and flooding.
Sec. 703. Reporting requirements relating to disaster relief contributions.
Sec. 704. Temporary tax-exempt bond financing and low-income housing tax relief for areas damaged by Hurricane Ike.
Sec. 706. Losses attributable to federally declared disasters.
Sec. 707. Expensing of Qualified Disaster Expenses.
Sec. 708. Net operating losses attributable to federally declared disasters.
Sec. 709. Waiver of certain mortgage revenue bond requirements following federally declared disasters.
Sec. 710. Special depreciation allowance for qualified disaster property.
Sec. 711. Increased expensing for qualified disaster assistance property.
Sec. 712. Coordination with Heartland disaster relief.
Sec. 801. Nonqualified deferred compensation from certain tax indifferent parties.


No more. I've reached my disgust limit for the day. Later.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Debate Non-Coverage

Now Playing: The VP Debate, natch...

I'm not going to do play-by-play commentary on this debate folks. I'm not a journalist, and I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm a journalist. Granted, a ham sandwich could do a better job than 90% of the "journalists" out there today - hence the explosive popularity of the New Media and the precipitous nosedive in viewership and readership of "mainstream" media.

I don't type that fast, so just some general observations, as they come up...

#1: Why is there a live audience? Is this "Jeopardy?" Given the Katie Couric interview and the blatant conflict of interest in the "moderater" of this debate I suppose you could say that it is, copyright infringement notwithstanding. Yet I have that question: Why? So far they're fairly well-behaved, but... I'm watching this to find out what these two - that's: two - people think about this and that vis-à-vis the American political scene, not what a random audience of irrelevant outbursts thinks.

- Both candidates have utterly, infuriatingly, remained floating entirely on the populist surface of the current economic debacle. The downside goes mostly to Palin, because (shock of all shocks,) she is the Republican candidate. And there she stands, pointing the fraudulent, populist finger at "the greed of Wall Street," and not a peep about the government-sponsored regulatory swamp that is the primary cause of what we're looking at in headlines today. No mouth on that stage has yet formed the words "Fannie Mae" or "Freddie Mac." (!) Tell me: What is wrong with this picture?

- On "climate change," a.k.a. "weather," Biden is spewing 100% faith in the eco-fascist line that EvilGreedyHumanity is the cause of... weather, and that EvilGreedyHumanity must therefore be punished. By government.

- Our "moderator" has just tossed Biden a helpful hint in his narrative with "Clean coal, clean coal." Nice.

- "Ahahahahahaha..." Are we watching a rerun of "The Munsters?" Hmmm... Why do we have a live audien... Oh forget it.

- Ohhh, serendipity! Despite the oddly selective camera POV changes that we're seeing - what union do they serve? - just as Palin is hammering Obama on his naïve pledge to meet face-to-face with international mass murderers, dictators and terrorists, there's another one of those split-screen things (that only show up when Palin is speaking, oddly,) and Biden, visibly knocked off balance, starts a neck-scratch that looks for all the world like someone trying to loosen his collar under the heat. As well it should. 8^D Bravo, Palin!

- One difference I'm seeing here - and I will acknowledge a bias in favor of Palin - is demonstrably obvious: Biden has given a series of what are obviously rehearsed mini-speeches, while Palin has been doing mostly extemporaneous responses off of rehearsed notes. Advantage: Palin.

- She hit it out of the park on education, and our "impartial moderator" appropriated her line by way of dilution... arrggh.

- My scorecard thus far says that, on the surface, these are two appealing candidates. Biden is someone I've always considered oddly likeable, in the manner of a circus clown - he's prone to some of the most spectacular verbal gaffes in American politics (so far absent in this debate) - unfortunately his ideology is entirely antithetical to individual liberty. Palin's palpable, Reaganesque self-confidence and command of both herself and facts and issues is nearly overwhelming. Just now she's touching upon Reagan's "Shining city on a hill" and it's got me ready to stand up and do the wave... Damn! Errrmmm... can we change the GOP ticket to "Palin/McCain?" Just wondering...

- Biden: "They're lookin' for help. They're lookin' for help." Hmmm, that reminds me of a great lady's simple statement: "Life is not one huge hospital."

- Oh, he's off again on another speech, this time the "McCain Is Not A Maverick" speech. Note to Biden: If you're gonna deliver a memorized speech in the context of a debate, you've got to try to keep it from sounding like... a rehearsed speech.

Number one is that you don't launch into it within 200 milliseconds of the "moderator's" prompt, as if we're supposed to believe a polished flourish of immaculate prose just sprung forth unbidden (un-Biden?) from a relatively mundane question. And you don't blurt it out in a machine gun staccato for two solid minutes. Geez.

- Closing arguments... Fluff, mostly, but Biden, apparently victim to some bizarre temporal shift, is going off on the Bush Administration. Closing arguments are speechlike by definition, but Biden is again sounding a little...too rehearsed. "Selfishly may God protect our troops." Huh?

- Ok, what's with Palin's lapel mic volume being jacked up to clipping level, pre and post-debate? 'Guess the Democrat-Socialist technical staff at this debate (say it isn't so!) are hoping for a usable gaffe. Errmm, why are these people so petrified by Palin?

My unvarnished appraisal of "Who won?":

More than any recent debate I've experienced, and (unfortunately) there have been one hell of a lot of them, this one reminds me of a PKA or WBA title bout. In a nutshell:

Nobody was knocked out, but one contender unquestionably dominated the ring: Palin.

To give Biden his due, he fought well and didn't make any major mistakes. But his younger, more articulate and down-to-Earth opponent danced rings around him, despite her often infuriating lapses in philosophical grounding.

As that MSM dweeb ('forget his name but I remember it was weird,) said earlier today: "This election is over."

But only if McCain/Palin don't make any serious mistakes.

.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What Would Ronald Reagan Do?

Now Playing: "Heretics" - Lane, Hellborg, Sipe, from "Time Is The Enemy 1996

Or more specifically, How Would Ronald Reagan Handle This Bureaucratic Meltdown?

Gee, see if you can guess:

"The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

That, in a nice nutshell, is a concise history of the twin Italian-Fascism-Revival entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and how they evolved into the corruption bomb we've just had blow up in our faces.

Where, oh where, is Reagan's brand of cut-through-the-crap leadership today? I'll tell you where it's not, and that's between the ears of that frothing, nonsense-spewing retro-Marxist and economic illiterate Obama, nor that craven conformist and... economic illiterate John McCain.

Gee, I'd like someone to vote for...

Once again, with feeling:

Dear France, can we borrow your President for eight years or so?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Le Monde Va de Lui Même: a.k.a. So...Where's the Economic Armageddon?

Now Playing: "Paper Money" by RonMon and... some singer

(Oh, those pesky - nay, infuriating - voids...)

Washington, D.C. (pAP) - In a development that wrought waves of apoplectic panic among scores of D.C. politicians and minor functionaries, the Economic Meltdown of 2008 rudely failed to show up today. The development sent deeply-cherished Visions of Discretionary Sugarplums and Bundles of Earmarks to evaporate in agonized shrieks. Rep. Barney Frank (S-MA) was rushed to an undisclosed Georgetown hospital today on complaints of drool-related dehydration complicated by a metastatizing guilt, and was assigned to a bed beside that of Senator Christopher Dodd (S-CT) who remains in critical condition with the same illness.

Seriously, with today's 485-point rebound from Monday's record plunge, haven't we all just seen a blatant, in-your-face, reality-based confirmation of the market's ability to take care of itself? Of the fact that the fervently-promoted $700B Mortgage Bailout is, in fact, not even pragmatically justifiable? (I mean "pragmatic" aside from the overriding need to pander.)

Hmmm?

Call me deeply not-shocked-in-the-slightest, but every single major politician is getting this mortgage crisis wrong, most conspicuously - and stupidly - the Bush Administration and GOP Presidential candidate John McCain.

The Democrat-Socialists we can take as simple givens: They will advocate whatever is most likely to facilitate the destruction of America, and what is most thoroughly at odds with the facts of reality. The Demo-Socialists remain reliably constant.

But... what's the GOP's excuse?

First, some necessary background, in the form of three excellent and beleaguered video summations, posted at The Bidinotto Blog

If only Bush and/or McCain had a couple sane economic advisors - for the record, Dr. George Reisman and Dr. Walter E. Williams are at the top of the list - and listened to them, they would likely make a new announcement that this bailout is not needed (if it ever was.)

But Bush and McCain do not have sane economic advisors, nor apparently even competent political strategists. The no-brainer position on principle (look the word up, guys,) is staring them right in the face, yet they're consumed with an obsessive-compulsive devotion to this $700 Billion Congressional hog-wallow. A prime opportunity to divorce themselves from the Demo-Socialist Party's power-grab and realign themselves with the overwhelming wishes of the American people is also there for the taking. Can you imagine the looks on the faces of Pelosi, Frank, Obama and that pack of clowns if the Republicans left them standing alone in the cold with their mega-looting bill? So do you think Bush or McCain will spot the principled option and seize it? Naaaaahhh.

Wall Street nosedived yesterday, but... has the economy melted down? Or is this just a massive yet otherwise normal self-correction, much like the self-correction of the market following the implosion of the tech bubble ca. Winter 2000-2001? As of today, the market has gotten its legs back handily, with absolutely no help from the Federal Government. That's: All by its lonesome. Say it isn't so! As testimony to the embarrassment now afflicting the pack of looters who've been licking their chops for some of that fabled $700B, note the near-unanimity of condemnations...not of Washington's "Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac" corporativist scammers (BARNEYFrank! Ach...ach...CHRISDodd!! 'Sneeze, sorry,) but of Wall Street and its producers. Naturally.

Granted, some of that stock rebound may be attributable to Wall St.'s expectation that the government will eventually play Mega-Santa. But could it be that maybe, just maybe, Wall Street can indeed wean itself off of the government teat and walk on its own two feet? The fact that "economic armageddon" has not occurred, as predicted so hopefully by the Democrat-Socialist Party, argues that Wall Street can.

So... what should Bush, McCain and the GOP "leadership" be pushing for? I mean, What Would Ronald Reagan Do? I... have some suggestions, which I trust will be roughly the opposite of what those "leaders" will choose:

1. McCain prides himself on the label of "maverick," and just today made the ridiculous statement that "'bipartisanship' is a tough thing." To paraphrase Mr. Limbaugh: No, it isn't. What is a "tough thing" is sticking to one's principles in the face of withering, often barbaric criticism from an opposition Party that has lost the capacity for civilized behavior.

If Bush and McCain wanted to embrace proper principle for a change, one or both would schedule a press conference tomorrow morning to announce that, given Wall Street's Tuesday rebound and its indication of a resilient and self-correcting economy, that the GOP has now canceled its endorsement of and now opposes any government bailout. This on the sound principle that any market correction needs to happen, not to be prevented.

2. As a reassurance in keeping with the government's mission to protect, rather than violate, people's property rights, Bush and/or McCain could unveil a modest, temporary and strictly as-needed fund to bolster the FDIC - to protect the property of depositers in any bank failures not absorbed by buyouts by solvent banks. Period.

Prior to the mass intrusion of government controls into the private banking industry, banks deposits were not guaranteed by government - the "FDIC" did not exist. So how did people bank with confidence? Oh, however did anybody function without an omnipresent government nanny?

Simple: The natural mechanisms of the market provided all the security they needed. Banks, bereft of any outside "guarantees," had to earn the trust of customers over a long period and with a record of consistent security and trustworthiness. After the government jumped in, the door was opened to any and all, honest and dishonest, competent and incompetent alike, into the wonderful profession of banking.

What we are seeing today is the end result of (among many other things, also government-caused,) an artificial, blanket guarantee that removed from the banking industry any natural incentive to trustworthiness and competence. It's a directly-analogous repeat of the 20th-century Welfare State's removal of the incentive to responsible, self-reliant behavior - and the consequence of multiple-generation welfare junkies.

Which means that after this particular crisis has passed, principled lawmakers must also proceed with the abolition and dismantling of Federal Deposit Insurance, along with the entire edifice of government involvement with the banking industry, of which, all too obviously, it knows nothing.


A must-read on a longer-term fix for this government-engineered calamity is economist George Reisman's March 22 article Our Financial House of Cards and How to Start Replacing It With Solid Gold

And as always, if you're not in contact with your elected officious at least quarterly, you're a chump. So don't be a chump.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reporting a Void; Science as Frankenstein; Democrat-Socialists Gone Wild and McCain/Palin's First Gaffe

Now Playing: "This Room Is My Castle Of Quiet" by Billie May and his Orchestra, from Space Capades

Seven years ago today this happened. Please take a few minutes, if you haven't already, and watch the video footage again. Understandably, the passage of time has transformed the evil of that day into an abstraction - yet it is vital that we review the events of that day as a concrete reality, not just "September 11, 2001."

This is the first time I've watched it since that day, and what I feel now is anger. Anger at the animals - porcine, to be precise - that did this; at their fellow pigs who cheered them after the fact, both in the Middle East and in some of America's "colleges"; at the fools in American government who gutted our national defense and intelligence capabilities throughout the 1990s; at the King of the Fools, Jimmy Carter, the official midwife to these animals - via his craven cowardice and "diplomacy" in the face of blatant aggression ca. 1979; at Carter's present-day apprentices within the Democrat-Socialist Party, from Obama to Reid to Pelosi to the rest of that pack; and at the gutter-sludge that follow and feed in their wake, the Moores and Churchills and Penns and Baldwins and Sheehans and Code Pinkos and MorOn.orgs and plethora of random others who despise America to its core.

Fortunately, that human debris has been driven back by the good and the decent the world over, from President Bush and Vice President Cheney to Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the firemen and policemen of NYC, to all of those in Congress who have consistently stood up against the cake-eating pragmatists who lost their stomach for America's defense within mere months of that monstrous attack.

I will say without the slightest hesitation that a review of that awful day brings into stark relief the dangerous stew of shallowness, irresponsibility and scarcely-concealed contempt for Americanism that is the Obama-Biden ticket.

The last time the American voting population got complacent enough - complacent following the Reagan-engineered collapse of the Soviet empire - to elect an irresponsible charlatan as President, it led to eight years of criminal neglect of American national security. Wildly-popular and poll-friendly neglect, but...neglect. Can you say "Peace Dividend?"

Which in turn led directly to the atrocity we remember today.

Some "peace."

So, is it time to re-elect Jimmy Carter? Oyeah! HipHipHooray!

We would do so at our grave peril, for the world is a vastly more dangerous place, and America's place within it significantly more precarious, than it was thirty years ago. It is essential that we have someone in the White House with enough rudimentary intelligence to distinguish good from evil.

Obama, as part of that New/Old-Left trendiness steeped in "PC"-relativist muck, has shown evidence of disdain for the idea of moral distinctions per se. I guess moral distinctions might offend the evil and hurt their feelings.

=> An important truism of life is the difficulty that lies in getting people to appreciate a herculean job of preventing a mess - precisely because the mess has been...prevented.

The "mess" in this case is a pleasant metaphor for: another catastrophic attack on America. The man who's done the herculean job of preventing it, for seven full years, has not just had his successful work ignored, he's been the target of some of the most consistently vicious and personal attacks any American politician has had to endure, in many cases precisely for that effort. His name is President George W. Bush.

I have leveled some hefty - and valid - criticism of the Bush Administration myself over his two terms, but the one thing you cannot fault President Bush on is his record of keeping the United States of America safe.

Columnist Ann Coulter of all people, a caustic political commentator for whom I ordinarily have little use, has nevertheless proven herself to be capable of flashes of admirable insight. Her September 10 article "Bush 7, Terrorists 0," is one such example and a must-read in this context. An excerpt:

"As many have pointed out, the reason elected officials tend to neglect infrastructure projects, like reinforcing levees in New Orleans and bridges in Minneapolis, is that there's no glory when a bridge doesn't collapse. There are no round-the-clock news specials when the levees hold. You can't even name an overpass retrofitting project after yourself - it just looks too silly. But everyone's taxes go up to pay for the reinforcements.

Preventing another terrorist attack is like that. There is no media coverage when another 9/11 doesn't happen. We can thank God that President George Bush didn't care about doing the safe thing for himself; he cared about keeping Americans safe. And he has, for seven years...

By
[the leftists'] own standard, Bush's war on terrorism has been a smashing, unimaginable success.

A year after the 9/11 attack, The New York Times' Frank Rich was carping about Bush's national security plans, saying we could judge Bush's war on terror by whether there was a major al-Qaida attack in 2003, which - according to Rich - would have been on al-Qaida's normal schedule.

Rich wrote: 'Since major al-Qaida attacks are planned well in advance and have historically been separated by intervals of 12 to 24 months, we will find out how much we've been distracted soon enough.' ('Never Forget What?' New York Times, Sept. 14, 2002.)

There wasn't a major al-Qaida attack in 2003. Nor in 2004, 2005, 2006 or 2007. Manifestly, liberals thought there would be: They announced a standard of success that they expected Bush to fail.

As Bush has said, we have to be right 100 percent of the time, the terrorists only have to be right one time. Bush has been right 100 percent of the time for seven years - so much so that Americans have completely forgotten about the threat of Islamic terrorism.
"


So...go have a look at those horrific videos, ask yourself why we've had no such horrors since - and at the very least breathe a word of thanks that we've had a President who cares more about national security than maintaining high poll numbers or "creating a legacy."

Then ask yourself the implications of a President-wannabe's plan to have a series of cozy chats with, among a vertiable who's who of international tyrants, a militant Islamofascist regime that stands on the brink of producing nuclear weapons and which has openly vowed to obliterate America and its chief Mideast ally by any means available. In context of foreign policy, "popular" and "poll-friendly" can also be deadly.


_/ _/ _/ _/ \_ \_ \_ \_


Since we're on the subject of appreciating negations: You may have completely missed it, but the universe failed to disintegrate on Wednesday when physicists started up the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN facility in Switzerland.

I'm not a particle physicist, but the panicky hysteria surrounding that experiment was at once comical and disheartening. For many, including hysterical types within the scientific community itself, the torch and pitchfork are always close at hand, should Victor Frankenstein persist in his unholy experimentation which will surely Doom Us All.

For those of us who are not torch-wielding villagers, and despite the ethics of its funding, we can look with optimism at the LHC as another avenue to unlocking physics puzzles that currently seem insurmountable. The LHC is a state-of-the-art tool with the potential to propel technology to dramatic new heights, perhaps including development of new, cheaper sources of raw energy, and long-overdue improvements in space propulsion.

Another interesting article, from this side of the gothic horror tracks.


_/ _/ _/ _/ \_ \_ \_ \_


To move just briefly to the Presidential campaign: It should come as no surprise that the vestigial, recidivistic Left have devolved, immediately and as if on cue, to their standard-default, the ad hominem, in their frantic effort to regain verticality after McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his Veep candidate.

Again, Robert Bidinotto has done some extensive cataloging of the post-Palin mudslinging by apoplectic Leftists in his September 10, September 09 and previous posts.

As I've alluded previously, ad hominem slurs are ultimately the only tool Leftists have at their disposal in any kind of political debate, because their ideology is flatly indefensible - logically, ethically, politically, even pragmatically - much less promotable. The increasing vileness and barbarity of their attacks only underscores the intellectual vacuity of their position, and ought to be left as the wonderfully self-refuting comedy that it is. As the saying goes, never get in the way of an opponent who is busily self-destructing.

Most recently there's been the flap over Obama's "Lipstick on a pig" gaffe. As Bidinotto put it:

"For an allegedly glib guy of such supposedly superior intellect, Barack "57 States" Obama seems instead to be a one-man gaffe factory. Today's example of his chronic case of hoof-in-mouth disease is his inadvertently likening Sarah Palin to a pig... Now, of course he didn't mean it that way; but his cheering audience took it that way, which speaks volumes about what he's attracting. More to the point, the Great Orator's epic verbal stumbles are making George W. Bush seem like Demosthenes. Maybe he should take some public speaking tips from his running mate, Joe "Neil Kinnock" Biden. Or perhaps he should just humble himself and take solace in his Muslim faith. No, he meant Christian faith. Whatever."


The McCain/Palin camp, in its first major gaffe since the Palin pick, chose not to ignore the slur, but rather to demand an apology. In displaying the kind of glass-jawed fragility previously owned by the Obama camp, McCain/Palin have turned an instant Obama negative - which ought to have just lain there in the middle of the road, emitting its fetid stench - into a needless confession of weakness.

Ermm, bravo?

.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mr. Bidinotto nails it with "The McCain Gamble"

Now Playing: 'Giving another chance to "Presto" from Rush, an album I've never liked much musically - at the moment it's "Show Don't Tell," with some of my fave Objectiv-ish lyrics...

Objectivist author and publisher Robert Bidinotto has done an excellent analysis of McCain's antagonism toward individual rights with his recent post The McCain Gamble and numerous updates.

In analyzing the Hobson's Choice principled Americans face this election, Bidinotto argues that the choice ultimately is between a mixed bag that nonetheless contains the GOP's vital intellectual elements along with the toxins of "selflessness" and Rooseveltian "Progressivism" (McCain) - vs. an opponent who is 100% hostile to every significant element of American individualism and liberty (Obama.)

I'm not convinced I could ever vote for McCain in good conscience - but actually casting a vote for a vestigial, recidivistic Marxist and closet anti-American is unthinkable, while a vote for Barr or someone else as a write-in (Janice Rogers Brown, etc.,) can be nothing but a throwaway vote of extremely-limited symbolic value.

Arrggh.
.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back in Convention Monitor Mode

Now Playing: Again, the GOP Convention, via the only objective news source left on the tube, Fox News.

Rudy is in the middle of his speech, and for the very first time at this convention I'm hearing some of the fire, the guts and no-punches-pulled oratory that's been singularly lacking.

Zowie! The man - my first pick of the GOP primary crop, for the record - is hitting the ball right out of the park! This is one for the books, folks. Geez, can we swap Rudy for McCain? Even Fred Thompson's speech came across as tepid and listless, but Giuliani is showing the kind of energy and enthusiasm - as if he actually believes what he says is important - that's so far been missing in the extravaganza.

Just now he's making a point I've been waiting to hear someone make since Obama's "change" mantra first appeared: "Change" is never neutral, it is either change for the better or change for the worse.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

- "If I were Joe Biden, I'd want to get that VP thing in writing." LOL 8^D

Ouch.

- Quoting McCain on the Russian invasion of Georgia: "We are all Georgians." Excellent. Standing up to Putin's neo-totalitarianism? I am too, proudly. For more, read this amazing account, by one truly courageous journalist, Michael J. Totten.

Again, this is going to go down as one of the greatest Convention speeches ever. Rudy is just kicking arse! This guy needs a Cabinet post, at the very least. Rudy Giuliani, like Sarah Palin, grows in my estimation with nearly every word he utters. BRAVO!!

Am I raving? I think I'm raving. I've been advised that this is not advisable, but I'm not listening. Rudy has set a new tone for a convention that has, up to this point, been a flaccid, going-through-the-motions affair, perhaps as a result of having been preempted by Hurricane Gustav and craven self-abnegation.

At last, the Grand Old Party has a Convention!

Bravo, Mr. Mayor, and hats off to you!
.
_/_/_/_/_/_/ \_\_\_\_\_\_

On to future-Veep Palin:

I tuned in a little late - editing! Hey, she couldn't have asked for a better opening band...

Ok, "...two decades and five children later and he's still my guy." Straight talk from "one of us." I like this lady. Intensely refreshing - and the feverish buzz in that arena is palpable.

Wow - "...They grow our food, and fight our wars, and run our factories." An advocate of American industry in the position of Vice President? Umm, I think I'll come out in favor of that. 8^D

In terms of aggressiveness, Palin is cut from the same cloth as Rudy, clearly, though her speaking style is markedly different. It's always a major relief to see someone who is 100% comfortable in front of an audience likely running to the tens of millions. "I'm not going to Wasington to serve their opinions, I'm going to serve the people of this nation."

Oyeah.

- Urp - "...to serve the common good, and leave the nation better than we found it." There's that circular concept "common good" again.

- "That luxury jet was over the top...I put it on Ebay." Heh-Heh.

- On to an affirmation of the Veto as a powerful tool against corruption. President Bush, are you listening?

- Facing off against Russia head-on? Compare Palin's straight talk to the nebulous fluff of BO-Biden.

- In her discussion of energy, she puts oil and nuclear first, then mentions clean coal and alternative sources. I like. I'm an Asimov nuclear enthusiast, which means that I, like future historians, look upon early the 21st Century's clinging to chemical energy sources as a primitive anachronism, to be overcome by embracing the untold promise of nuclear energy as man's logical next step in the evolution of power production technology.

- OOooo, Zingers: "...and those styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot..." 8^]

- She's citing the concrete example of her sister's business and the effects on it that Obama's massive tax burdens would present. Again, great stuff.

Whether you agree with her specific points or not, Palin's confidence and "coolness" under the spotlight is undeniable. After five days of vicious, caustic ad hominem assaults against Palin and her 17-year-old daughter by the vestigial and clueless Left, from the New York Daily Socialist Worker (a.k.a. the Times) to "US Weekly" to the vaunted National Enquirer, Palin's poise and unflappable self-discipline are truly admirable.

In a break from stale tradition, McCain himself has come out to salute Palin and her family. Despite his beliefs, you've similarly got to admire McCain's improvisational, unscripted, outside-the-box attitude.

Folks, there is a reason - rather, three of them - why the vestigial Left wing have latched themselves, wolf-pack-fashion, onto Palin the person and her innocent children:



#1. They simply do not have a persuasive argument against any given element of Palin's ideological position on any given subject, hence the vicious ad hominems;

#2. Palin's enormous and instantaneous popularity among vast swaths of the American public scares the hell out of them, as in "we are going to lose in November, badly, in the Presidential and Congressional arenas alike";

#3. Palin, as a woman and mother who is not a Leftist, represents the antithesis of everything the Left have strived - mostly successfully - to achieve in the nihilistic corrosion of American society ca. 1960-present. More on this in a bit.



Update: The McCain Acceptance Speech, Thursday Sept. 4

McCain's just finished his speech - I missed the "warmup" speeches this time - and I have to agree with Objectivist writer and publisher Robert Bidinotto, who asks, only partly in jest, whether we could possibly invert the ticket to read: Palin/McCain.

McCain's speech contained much to be enthused about: restoring the GOP to its roots; ending the spoiled-brats-in-the-toystore mentality that's gripped Congress and governments from Federal down to local levels; ending subsidies to "countries that don't like us very much" (a no-brainer, that); getting government the hell out of the way of Americans and returning it to the role of servant, not nanny and nursemaid; his Veto pledge "I will make them ['earmark' big-spenders] famous, and you will know their names."

But those positives are undercut by and contradicted at root by McCain's personal war against American individualism. As expected, he reaffirmed, in some of the most offensive language I've heard on the national stage, his irrational and profoundly mistaken hostility to what he calls "the shallowness of self" and "selfish individualism." Again, to the extent that he's directing that admonition at his fellow government officious, it can be an acceptable, even positive admonition - if locked within that limited context. Which of course it isn't.

McCain's sneering contempt for the concept of individualism and independence is also, clearly, directed at each of us, straight through to the core of America's unique ethics: the ethics of self-interest and self-sovereignty, the right of every individual to live his own life as he sees fit, for his own sake, as his inalienable right, first and foremost. It's the ethic that was woven into America's very foundation by the Founding Fathers: Every individual is a sovereign within himself, not an indentured servant to any king, tribe, church, government, collective, mob, tyrannical majority. Man is an end in himself; the role of government is to uphold and defend that fact and ethical sanction.

As a lifelong "Reagan Republican" and objectivist, McCain's attack on independence is a dissonance that offends me to the core of my being.

Obama, of course, remains exactly as Henry Mark Holtzer identified him in his September 1 article "Questions for Obama about Justice Thomas - a pompous, pretentious wannabe too dishonest even to admit his goose-stepping hard Left agenda to the world, much less his empty résumé - even as he trashes scholars of vastly superior intellect and integrity.

I truly do not believe America - and by extension Westen Civilization as a whole - would survive another Democrat-Socialist presidency. So I'm faced with the dilemma of casting an enthusiastic vote for what appears to be an American Margaret Thatcher in the making, while simultaneously holding my nose about the man who heads the ticket. Every time McCain opens his mouth and lets fly with another attack on America's ethical core - individualism - any such notion flees.

Though the debates remain to be won, even without my vote I think the Obama/Biden ticket is going to get its arse kicked resoundingly by McCain/Palin in November, perhaps as badly as Carter in '80, Mondale in '84, and Dukakis in '88. I remember in each of those cases the pollsters were gaga over the Democrat-Socialist candidates too - and their rosy stats were off by factors of ten. The two Clinton wins and the two Gore/Kerry squeakers were a function of weakness in, respectively, Bush I, Dole and Bush II as candidates, not any mythical strength of the Demo-Socialists.

As it stands today, and despite McCain's corrupt ethical inversion, McCain/Palin would have to screw up really, really badly to fail to walk away with this election with ease.


_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ LAISSEZ FAIRE \_ \_ \_ \_ \_

.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"Country First?" Correction: LIBERTY First.

Now Playing: GOP Convention Coverage (finally,) on Fox News Channel

I had known that McCain is yet another of those politicians whose ethical credo is "self-sacrifice" (for self-sacrifice's sake,) but I hadn't expected it to become the official slogan of my Party's Presidential Convention. Silly me.

At the moment President Bush too is making paeans to "selflessness," and after yesterday's ostentatiously "selfless" postponement of the Convention for the sake of...umm... ........aah......... does anybody know what that was for? Or what, precisely, it accomplished? At any rate, I'm wondering if there's another American left who understands the core principles upon which this country was built, who understands to whom it is that those principles apply, who understands their relation to the Party called "Republican."

Those principles are, for the record (now listen up John): Reason, Self-Sovereignty, Individual Rights, and Liberty. To recap, the entities to whom they apply are: Individuals.

Period.

The negation of those principles can come in many forms, but the prime destroyer, both in philosophic theory and in existential practice, of individual rights and the individual lives that depend on them, is precisely: "selflessness."

I know, I know - the intended context of McCain's usage, presumably, is an admonition to his fellow politicians to do their jobs rather than to pander to future voters. It's also a call to attenuate some of the rancorous partisanship that's appeared in the wake of Gore's and Kerry's razor-thin defeats in 2000 and 2004. Fine - tell it to those militant Leftists who are the ones who need to hear it, though they're not likely to listen nor even to comprehend.

McCain's Mantra is also a kind of feelgood demand on the rest of us to pull together as a nation to solve its many problems. [Problems. Not "challenges." If there isn't a guy in frilly ruffles and a ridiculous hat throwing his glove at my feet and demanding that I meet him at dawn for a manly duel, it's not a "challenge." It's a problem. 'K? We're Republicans - can we drop that Leftwing "PC" lingo? Words are important. Thanks. We now return you to our regularly-scheduled programming.]

But partisanship, though amplified to a disturbing new nihilism by the Democrat-Socialist Left, has always been a part of free - or even semi-free - political discourse in America. America's problems are not caused by its people, they are caused by its government, and occasionally, by various & sundry international thugs.

Unfortunately, the "selfless sacrifice" mantra is also an appeal to the gutter busybody mentality among us that seeks to control the lives of others - because those others are just "too independent." It's that old biddie who phones the police every time a neighbor has a backyard barbeque - because other people's open enjoyment of life is an unintentional reproach to a stale, embittered life; those envy-ridden mentalities that spew blanket condemnations of Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Phil Knight and basically...anybody whose income is greater than theirs - for their heinous crime of... succeeding at the American Dream; it's that "Why, there oughtta be a law against thaaat!" pathology that's responsible in part for the cancerous growth of our leviathan regulatory state over the past century; it's the eco-fascist mentalities who seek to ram their standard of living, from the homes we live in to the cars we drive to the bathroom equipment available to us, down other people's throats by brute force.

At root, the demand for "selflessness" is a frontal assault on the right of each of us to the Life, the Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness that America's Founders placed explicitly at the heart of the American Revolution - as something inherent to our nature as rational beings, as something ethically inalienable. That enumeration of rights applies to each one of us as an individual - not as a collective - and not as a temporary "privilege," to be withdrawn at the whim of condescending politicians who've forgotten, or never knew in the first place, that the rights of individuals are not subordinate to any collective.

McCain's "Country First/Service" placards represent the triumph too of an erroneous and potentially catastrophic ethical-political credo: "My country, right or wrong." It's an elevation of a place and a government over the vital principles that define what kind of place and how just a government may be present there.

Rand identified the corrected formulation as "My country is right, therefore I love it" - assuming it is right. Love of country is not a primary, it's a secondary consequence of that country's first accepting and upholding the rights of individuals, something America was the first nation in history to do. Even Thoreau had it figured out in 1849:

"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly."

Rand blew the issue wide open in her seminal lecture given on December 7, 1960 at Princeton University, titled "Conservatism: An Obituary":

"The American political system was based on a different moral principle: on the principle of man's inalienable right to his own life - which means: on the principle that man has the right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself, and that men must deal with one another as traders, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit...

The social system based on and consonant with the altruist morality - with the code of self-sacrifice - is socialism, in all or any of its variants: fascism, Nazism, communism. All of them treat man as a sacrificial animal to be immolated for the benefit of the group, the tribe, the society, the state.
"


To the extent to which he is demanding of his fellow politicians that they get their noses back to the grindstone and start doing what's best for the country - i.e., doing what's needed to re-establish and defend individual liberty - then McCain's "Country First/Service" slogan, while poorly chosen, is valid.

To the extent to which it's aimed at we the American individuals, it is a corrupt perversion of core Americanism, which needs to be rejected outright by all Republicans and all others who yet value their priceless freedoms.

...Ah, they've got former Republican Newt Gingrich on the tube, in an interview with a reporter. The same Newt Gingrich, mind you, who sold out to the Climate Armageddon Cult a year ago (in his pusillanimous "debate" with John F'n Kerry.)

'Think SpongeBob Squarepants is on - where's that remote...

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin Veep Choice is a Brilliant Strategic Coup

Now Playing: Rick Wakeman's jam ("Gone But Not Forgotten," "Catherine Parr" and "Merlin the Magician,") from An Evening of Yes Music Plus by ABWHL

WOW! A mere matter of hours after Obama's attempted "big splash," nobody anywhere in media is talking about anything except McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as Veep candidate. Announcing it on the eve of the Labor Day holiday means the American population will be talking to each other about it all weekend, rather than being soaked with the customary Leftwing propaganda about it from the monolithic Leftwing "mainstream" media. The MSM as a single unit will certainly launch into full-blown attack mode against the McCain-Palin ticket for the duration of the election season, right after next week's saturation coverage of...Hurricane Gustav.

Love McCain or hate him (I pretty much despise him, for the record,) you have to admire the sheer brilliance of political strategy in this pick. If you're a Republican you've got to be completely jazzed at the fact that McCain has brought back a sense of razor-sharp political strategy to the GOP, something that's been gone for far too long. In one single stroke, McCain has absolutely buried the Democrat-Socialist Convention and news about it.

To say there is a lot to admire about Palin is a vast understatement - she's someone who's elevated "unconventional" and "overachiever" to near-freakish levels, and I'm not talking about her gender vis-à-vis the VP candidacy:

- Governor of Alaska, the only American state that borders on two foreign countries, maintaining approval ratings ranging from the upper 80s to mid-90s;

- a competent mother of five;

- an aggressive opponent of taxation, wasteful spending and corruption, with a rep as a whistleblower;

- an avid firearms proponent, NRA member and shooter;

- operator of a snowmobile/watercraft/ATV business, an adept snowmobiler and outdoorswoman;

- a hockey player, eh?, a champion basketballer and former beauty queen


From the standpoint of cross-partisan election season appeal:

- she's been a union member and has strong blue-collar roots;

- she will instantly appeal to the woman's vote and Clinton supporters angered at being snubbed by the DNC;

- she's spent more time with American troops in the Middle East than the Democrats' candidate for President would spend with American troops at a hospital in Germany - which means instant appeal in particular to "military moms," a powerful voting block.

- as a woman, her ascendance to the historic position of "first female Vice President in American history," though philosophically trivial, will steal a huge political prize from the Democrat-Socialist Party. If she goes on to the Presidency and wins that too...

- a woman as Vice President of the most powerful and benevolent nation on Earth will send a long-overdue message to foreign nations and, er, religions, that are steeped in often monstrous misogyny.

On the downside, Palin has raised taxes against the oil industry as Alaska Governor; she, like McCain, has drunk the Kool-Aid on "climate change," a.k.a. "weather"; she shows every sign of being firmly entrenched within the religious right, reportedly even to the point of advocating "creationism"; and though an indirect negative, McCain praises her commitment to "the common good" - an inherently circular concept - and that she's "fought oil companies."

[Earth to McCain: The very reason we're shoveling $4 a gallon into the bank accounts of OPEC and al Qaida, is that government has been "fighting oil companies" - instead of getting the hell out of the way and allowing them to produce.]

All in all the positives vastly outweigh the negatives, and the pick is indeed strategically brilliant.

Expect the "mainstream media" to focus almost exclusively on Hurricane Gustav in their every single broadcast, above-the-fold headline and article, for the duration of the coming week. For obvious reasons. So those of us who are interested in the Presidential campaign will have to stick with the 'Net.

Not a problem.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some Brief Notes on the Democrat-Socialist Party's Pep Rally

Now Playing: "Payin' the Cost to Be the Boss by B.B. King - a lyrical aptness to this week's events that's none too subtle...

'Been a long time gone - so sorry, but summer beckoned and I responded. Anyhoo, the Democrat-Socialist Party is having its pep rally in Colorado this week, and frankly I can't stand to sit through more than five consecutive minutes of it. It's not really what's being said so much as the mind-numbing boredom. Didn't I see and hear all of this same drivel exactly 32 years ago? Déjà Carter...more on that in a sec.

To be perfectly even-handed here, I'm not planning on doing much different with the GOP convention, though there may be a speaker or two I'm interested in hearing, should they turn out to have been invited - Shadegg, Pence, Coburn. You know, the people McCain wouldn't touch with a forty-foot Constitution-tested flamethrower as VP options. We'll see - in every sense.

Obama's choice of Biden was very, very strange - as was his decision to make The Earth-Shattering Announcement at 3am on a Saturday, almost as if he were embarrassed at his own pick and were trying to conceal it.

As if to confirm the sentiment, today's Gallup Daily tracking poll shows zero bounce for the Obama camp after the Biden pick. I could have told BO that - Biden and his appalling, often comically misguided worldview flatly bores me. Sorry folks, but aside from the occasional spectacular verbal gaffe, the man is a walking yawn factory, a Leftwing cipher. As a lifelong Republican I can't say I'm unhappy with his choice, but it's yet more evidence of Obama's lifetime of poor judgment.

On a lighter note, America's worst of the worst, Jimmy Carter, was essentially Miltonized by the Obama camp yesterday. The ex-President and proud midwife to modern Islamic terrorism was relegated to a four-and-a-half-minute prerecorded video clip, shown when the crowd had thinned for dinner, and a 60-second stroll across the stage with Rosalynn. That's it. No speech, just a walk & wave.

I wouldn't want to make a hasty assumption, but I think the Obama-Carter comparisons have gotten a little too close to the truth and a little too hot to handle. Or maybe the Democrats-in-charge have decided it's more prudent to keep the frothing anti-Semitism a little more discreet.

At any rate, it's looking more and more like a McGovern-type landslide defeat for the Democrats this November - even the expected rosy picture for Congressional Democrats has evaporated. Polls are showing overwhelming public support for new oil drilling that Pelosi & Co. have militantly stonewalled. That ought to be a no-brainer, and if the GOP "leadership" have enough remaining sense to focus on that issue - not just in the Presidential contest but Congressional ones too - they ought to be able to neutralize any Democrat-Socialist Congressional advantage.

And that's about all the silver lining I can pull out of this muck. Regardless of how badly Obama loses, we're still...stuck with McCain, and unless he has some kind of Matrix-Neo-type headshed that rearranges roughly 75% of his synaptic roadmap, we don't have much advantage over Obama except on national defense and energy.

More later.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Popping The OPEC Oil Price Bubble in One Easy Step

Now Playing: Ride 'Til I'm Satisfied from Mr. Trout's classic Go The Distance

An uncompromising commitment from the Federal Government to reawakening American oil production through deregulation and government roadblock elimination, would a.) almost certainly pop that portion of the current oil price attributable to a speculative bubble, and b.) scare the hell out of OPEC by guaranteeing future competition from America in the oil market.

Both would translate as a rapid, dramatic downward pressure on oil prices worldwide.

As I've said here repeatedly, the fact that America has locked away its resources as a shrine to the religion of "environmentalism," thereby granting to OPEC a pledge of non-competition by what ought to be its largest competitor, is ethically obscene.

We have it within our power to relegate OPEC to the status of secondary player in the world petroleum market, if not bankrupt it altogether, even reestablish America as top dog in oil production and export. Economist George Reisman's landmark article Free Markets Would Be OPEC's Undoing discusses the point in some detail. All we have to do is get our power-junkies in D.C. to swear off their legislative hooch, get the hell out of the way and let American producers produce. Just that.

Increasing American oil production, whether today, next week or next decade, will be a vast, no-brainer benefit on multiple levels:

- Every new barrel of oil produced in America is a barrel NOT purchased from OPEC;

- Every new barrel of oil produced in America is a barrel that can be sold on the world market;

- Every new barrel of American oil sold on the world market represents an addition to American GDP;

- Every new barrel of American oil sold on the world market represents an increase in global oil supply vs. demand;

- Every new barrel of American oil sold on the world market represents further reduction in revenues to OPEC, via both downward pressure on oil prices and by drawing international customers away from the OPEC cartel;

- Every new barrel of American oil sold on the world market represents more jobs and income for Americans;

- Every new barrel of American oil sold on the world market represents a powerful shot in the arm of the world economy, with the potential to spur another long-term economic boom cycle;

- History has shown that worldwide economic recession is a catalyst for war, while worldwide economic prosperity is a powerful catalyst for peace - therefore every new barrel of American oil is a brick in a new foundation of world peace.


So...why isn't this simple regulatory tweak being performed by Congress, to set that long-overdue avalanche of oil prices in motion?

Simple: The Democrat-Socialist Party holds the majority in both houses of Congress, and refuses to restore freedom to America's energy industries.



Solution: Oust those neo-Luddite morons in November.