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

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Immigration "Reform": Two Victories

Now Playing: "Les Lignes de Nos Mains" - Patou ca. 1997, serious gooseflesh material for me - 'makes me feel like I'm standing on a Parisian street corner after a light rain...which in point of fact I was, shortly after I first heard this...

This has been a momentous week on a number of fronts - a lethal terrorist bombing averted in Britain, the Fed leaving interest rates alone, Bigelow Aerospace's unmanned test module for their private space station successfully launched to Earth orbit, and of course the infamous "comprehensive immigration reform" bill was defeated in the U.S. Senate under an avalanche of angry opposition from the American people.

Defeat of the immigration bill is an overwhelming relief, qualified by the fact that we've only regained zero, not progressed in any measure toward a proper immigration policy.

More significant than the bill's defeat itself was the manner in which it was defeated by the American people, and on the downside the backlash of censorship demands it provoked from the most corrupt of American politicians.

The bill itself was by all accounts a monstrosity, nearly 800 pages that few in Congress who voted on it either for or against had even read (understandably if not justifiably.) Not meaning to shock anyone, but it left the "public assistance" (read: welfare) dole and the government's atrocious education monopoly untouched - which implies the "internationalizing" of America's welfare state; It was utterly toothless in establishing English as a common language, which implies the eventual Balkanization of the United States; It did little or nothing to squeeze off the alarming conduit for terrorism that our borders have become in recent years; It made no significant streamlining of the process of legal immigration for those waiting patiently in line in their home countries.

The one most significant feature of the immigration "reform" debate has been what is absent from it, namely: A call to end welfare.

Again, excluding criminals, untreated communicable disease carriers and terrorist or revanchist agents, the only way in which any immigrant, legal or otherwise, can be a burden on American citizens is if he latches onto the government dole and begins feeding off of their taxed property.

The bill also did not raise a peep about correcting the root cause of the exodus from Mexico: that nation's needless economic inertia and resulting poverty.

Mexico is analogous to an emaciated man in rags sitting on a cache of buried treasure. Mexico's oil fields are reportedly as vast as those of the Mideast, albeit of a lesser grade of crude, which means it's somewhat more expensive to refine; Mexico therefore ought to be one of the most prosperous, vibrant and thriving economies on Earth. If our government were to adopt a focused policy of working with the Mexican government to establish laissez faire on a foundation of individual rights, one can envision a future in which Americans might be flocking south of the border for lucrative jobs.

None of that, however. Actually solving a problem by addressing its root causes would be out of character for government functionaries. So how does one account for the inexplicable and bizarre alliance of a Republican President with hardcore, goose-stepping leftists like Kennedy, Reid and Feinkenstein? Simple.

What the "reform" bill would have done, at least in the eyes of its "bipartisan" supporters, is buy gobs and gobs of future votes - at the cost of selling out America's identity, perhaps even sovereignty. The President is naïve and unprincipled enough to believe that currying favor with illegals rather than eliminating the mechanisms by which they become a detriment to American citizens will somehow translate to election wins down the road; Democrat-Socialists are merely acting in a manner consistent with their normal, countercultural corruption. The lot of them are little more than pragmatist power-whores.

On a different level, the defeat of the immigration monstrosity is probably the single most dramatic, tangible triumph for the American people-at-large over insular, monarchic government bureaucrats since the second Reagan landslide. This defeat was a smackdown of out-of-control, power-crazed politicians by the American rank & file, and we WON. Big.

More of this, please.

On a significant downside, a number of militantly-corrupt government officious are "considering" running our priceless and untouchable First Amendment through a fine-pitch industrial shredder. As evidenced by:

Diane Feinstein and her ideological blood-brother Trent Lott;

Democrat-Socialist Dennis Kucinich;

Senator and former D-S Presidential candidate John Kerry;

And of course yesterday on the floor of the Senate, majority leader Harry Reid vilified his opposition in talk radio and elsewhere - as "generators of simplicity" who are "filled with hate," etc. The jury's out as to whether his oration was a simple whine or a threat. I think both, and I find that chilling.

We have a lot of reason to be encouraged when we contemplate the actual mechanism by which the omnibus bill was defeated. As reported in the above-referenced Washington Post article, the outpouring of opposition on the bill was so overwhelming today that it shut down the Senate switchboard. The losers on the immigration bill are blaming the First Amendment, in so many words. Naturally.

Each talk radio host, each blogger (such as this one,) each podcaster, each commentator in any forum, is the de facto leader of a kind of coalition of American citizens - the audience for that commentary. Every instance of such a "coalition" gathering to listen to a radio show or surfing to a blog site, is an instance of Americans exercising their untouchable First Amendment rights.

Those talk show hosts, bloggers, podcasters, publishers are exercising their right to speak and print freely;

Their respective audiences, whether in the tens or in the millions, are exercising their right to assemble peaceably and exercising their freedom of conscience in considering whatever viewpoint they choose - regardless of how acceptible any given viewpoint is to others;

Those who subsequently choose to contact their elected officials - among both the commentators and their audiences - are exercising their right to petition government.

With the exception of the clauses on religion (which don't come up in this context,) the opposition press and audience that the neo-fascists are trying to demonize are the very embodiment of our Constitution's First Amendment in its every application.

Now back away a step or two and marvel at the sheer benevolent genius of America's Founders. One cannot help but experience a sense of awe at the magnificent system they built into our Constitution - yet another safeguard against the abuse of power by that most dangerous of entities, the state.

In this one crucial issue - how we are to handle immigration - the American people sensed a dangerous disconnect among elected officials on their sworn duty to represent, not dictate, and rose up to remind them of that duty. Our First Amendment has operated like a finely-tuned, well-oiled, precision machine, empowering the rank-and-file of American citizenry to rein in an insular, monarchic and power-crazed government. The astounding thing is that this mechanism operated spontaneously, as a function of the marketplace of ideas.

The rights enumerated in that Amendment apply equally to print, to the airwaves, to electronics. Speech is speech, the printed word is the printed word. The mechanism by which they are delivered to their audience is immaterial - but that is what those clamoring for censorship are hoping you won't realize.

The out-of-control government officials at the receiving end of that public outrage are predictably livid at having been brought to heel - that all of that opposition welled up as a function of free people exercising rights they (the politicians,) are Constitutionally forbidden to tamper with. Led by the fascist wing of the Democrat-Socialist Party - Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein, etc. - they're expressing a desire to smash that machine, our First Amendment rights, so as to wield monarchic power without any pesky feedback from us plebes.

And as I posted previously, the time has come for GOP lawmakers to begin taking the offensive on this. Legislation should be introduced to penalize - via censure or whatever other penalties are appropriate - any Congressman who proposes legislation that by its very nature represents a violation of that member's oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution.

As for the rest of us, that lurch to Constitution-shredding needs to be smacked down even more decisively than was the "immigration reform" monstrosity. Every politician currently jabbering about "fairness doctrines" and "net neutrality" needs to hear from us - loudly and proudly. Our system functions magnificently by design - but it cannot abide internal vandalism.

The assault on America's Constitution must end, now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Demo-Socialist Left's Neo-Fascist Lurch

Now Playing: Jupiter by Ayaka Hirahara, from "Odyssey" - more "cultural cross-pollination," as Mr. Peart would say... Stunning.

Just a few minutes ago the space shuttle Atlantis passed overhead on its approach to landing at Edwards AFB. Some 35 years after telling my piano teacher essentially to go to hell while I watched an Apollo launch the comings and goings of human spacecraft are no less thrilling, but I mention it here because it's also a vivid example of government getting something right, albeit at high cost.

At the opposite (gutter) end of the government activity spectrum, the Democrat-Socialist Party's alarming lurch into what can only be described as fascism continues with their new attempt at censorship of political opposition.

In this news item Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma says he overheard Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer talking about finding "a legislative fix" - read: censorship - to the "extremism" of talk radio. Here is the audio of Inhofe's interview on the John Zeigler Show.

Boxer's handlers vociferously deny that any such conversation ever took place and contest the date it didn't occur, but despite the diversions the handwriting Boxer's intellectual clones have etched on the public record remain in place and underscore Inhofe's account with uncontestable fact.

This attack on talk radio is a First Amendment attack to rival that of Traitor McCain's Campaign Censorship Act that was passed as Shays/Meehan in 2002, and something that must be stopped.

If you have a cast-iron stomach and want the full, explicit dope on what the neo-fascist Left have planned for the First Amendment, have a listen to any of the talks given last January at the Left's "National Conference on Media Reform" in Memphis. It was Hanoi Jane, Bill Moyers, Danny "Please Commandante Chavez may I lick your boots" Glover, Jessie "Hymietown" Jackson, Dennis Kuchinich, actress Geena Davis (thankfully in solid clothing,) and a number of lesser-known others.

In short, these neo-fascist Democrat crazies can "propose" all they want, but those in possession of Congressional seats who are talking about this stuff must be exposed and smacked down, hard. Which is the proper job of their ostensible opposition, the Congressional Republicans. As I've said before, if we allow these thugs - or their GOP blood-brothers like the insufferable Trent Lott - to destroy our right to speak, print, assemble and petition, using whatever media we choose, we're all serfs and as good as dead. I recommend rattling their cages, like right today.

I'm no Constitutional lawyer, but I think the GOP should take a new tack with this new crop of Constitution-shredders. Every member of Congress, like the President, swears an oath upon taking office that they will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. If a Congressman authors what is in fact a blatant attack on the Constitution, some form of legal censure needs to be leveled on that member for violating his oath. "Censure" is perhaps toothless but it gets the censor-wannabe's corruption exposed, and hopefully acts as a deterrent against those of similar neo-fascist bent.

I'm getting just a little frustrated out here in ConstituentLand because I expect that such an attitude of no-compromise hardball against this noxious, unconstitutional rot would be second nature for anyone calling himself a "Republican." But I'm not hearing a peep of protest from anyone on the GOP side of the aisle. This must change, immediately if not sooner.

More reading on this:

If You Can't Compete, Cheat by Blake Dvorak at RealClearPolitics;

Michelle Malkin's "Fairness Doctrine Watch"

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Tale of Two Debates

Now Playing: "Savitri" by Lane, Hellborg, Srinivas and the Vinayakrams, from the San Diego "Muzik3" concert 02/24/01, via DVD - as spellbinding a night as I'd remembered...

'Back from a brief vacation of sorts from all of this, and well, things haven't improved much in the Presidential Election arena.

On Sunday, June 3 the Democrat-Socialist Party of America held its second debate for the 2008 Presidential campaign. I missed it for some reason (?) so caught it in pieces later at You Tube (see link.)

What I heard didn't surprise me much except perhaps in the depth of potentially catastrophic naïveté on foreign policy - and let's face it folks, that would be the Go/NoGo test for any prospective President at this particular point in history.

It would appear that by some odd coincidental quirk these eight distinguished collectivists had all slept soundly through the month of September 2001...? The one striking aspect of their comments on foreign policy, particularly but not exclusively as relates to the war in Iraq, was that their entire context for policy is not American national security, but momentary American polling data.

Go ahead, listen to the segments of the debate addressing foreign policy. What you will hear is a consistent refrain of "The American people want out of this war," and "we need to bring the troops home," somber concerns about "the need to work with our allies" and "restore America's reputation with the rest of the world," and "This is Bush's war!" What you will not hear is any reference to the gravity of the situation we continue to face on a number of fronts. That very cut-and-run weakness and inconsistency the Demo-Socialists have adopted as their official Party policy on the Arab world since the Carter years has been a major factor in the rise of Islamic terrorism. As I've posted earlier, there remain areas beyond America's leftwing ivory tower that are similarly infested with predatory haters of individualism, of liberty, of trade, of prosperity - and which, like all predators, sense weakness in their prey. The Demo-Socialists won't even say the phrase "Islamic terrorism" publicly.

The Democrat-Socialist candidates, each and every one, show an unnerving obliviousness to the implacable danger America and the whole of Western Civilization face in the post-9/11 world.

* * * * * *

I've long thought that pacifism as a political ideology is an expression of perceptual-level hedonism, or more deeply of the subordination of reason to emotion. The emotionalist/hedonist mentality - an honored tradition with the "live for today" American Left since the '60s - wants to feel good at all costs and in defiance of all conflicting contexts. No matter that an international cabal of fanatics wants to kill us because we've moved out of the Dark Ages and are proud of the fact; "We wanna feel good" and... war feels bad.

Add to that the frantic need to cater to the actual or perceived whims of the masses as indicated by the poll du jour, plus the stultifying dread of offending "the International Community" (presumably as exemplified by the International Tyrants' Day Care Center, Manhattan Campus, a.k.a. the UN,) and what you've got is...the Democrat-Socialist Party platform, ca. 2007.

On an epistemological level pacifism is a manifestation of the skepticism/subjectivism/relativism axis that festers at the core of American leftism - respectively: "There are no absolutes, your ethical evaluations are just opinions, and nobody is more evil or more good than anyone else."

Voting Democrat in time of war is like snorting coke: It's pushed as something that'll make you feel real, real good, but in reality it's something that will ultimately kill you. They're not even particularly subtle about this, their blissful disconnect from reality. If you listen to the Demo-Socialist Party candidates for the 2008 election, then stack them up against the Republican candidates (contemptibly lame as these latter are,) what will smack you right between the eyes is the utter juvenility, the intense naïveté of their attitudes toward the dangerous world in which we live.

As I've mentioned before, what is at stake here is nothing less than the very survival of Western Civilization. It is absolutely not something to be entrusted to children.

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

The third Republican debate was held two days later and was thoroughly as annoying, but for an entirely different reason. In a word: Default.

What could be heard of this debate between CNN's mysterious audio anomalies - loud periodic crackles of static interjected freely over those speaking and strangely regular muting of Giuliani's microphone - was significant primarily in what was missing from it. Just a few absent items I jotted down:

- In context of war, ending the Clinton-era "Rules of Non-Engagement" that essentially transform American troops into shooting gallery ducks;

- In context of war, ending the Bush-era "Compassionate" war concept that has essentially transformed American national security into an immoral exercise in altruistic martyrdom rather than decisive victory;

- The full, absolute and comprehensive negation of John "Traitor" McCain's censorship abomination, the Shays/Meehan act of 2002 - as a first domestic priority;

- Evidence that any one of the candidates has seen and digested Martin Durkin's film "The Great Global Warming Swindle" and has the audacity to point out that anthropogenic climate change is at best a neo-Marxian myth;

- Proposals for the drastic reduction in the size, scope, expense and intrusiveness of government at all levels - starting with major "alphabet soup" government departments and the welfare state as a whole;

- The word "deregulation." Just the word, simple as that, is all I wanted to hear. I'd have settled for it in pretty much any context, but it has left these boneheads' vocabularies entirely while the great Ronald Reagan spins in his grave;

- The word "privatization" - see above;

- More specifically, privatization of the United States Postal Monopoly, so that we can have at least as good a level of service with first class mail as bureaucratic Japan, socialist Britain and Ahmad-in-a-jar's Iran - each of which has recently privatized its postal monopoly, successfully;

- Privatization of the TSA/ThousandsStandingAround, which, predictably, has morphed into an arrogant, monarchical, unaccountable and un-criticizable monster bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Gestapo or NKVD;

- The phase-out and ultimate privatization of Social Security - rather than Bush's timid proposal to "allow" up to 4% (zowie) of wages to be diverted into "voluntary" private accounts. The only ethical Ponzi scheme is a dead Ponzi scheme;

- The full privatization of that vast, colossal failure that is "public education";

- Replacement of the Income Tax with a consumption tax - not an elimination (yet) but a dramatic change with a multitude of positive consequences for American liberty, privacy and prosperity;

- On immigration, the elimination of any possibility of illegal immigrants to access public (read: taxee-funded) services of any kind; denial of voting rights until full citizenship is gained through normal, legal channels - i.e., after the people in line before them who've played by the rules.

So in the absence of these basic Reaganesque proposals or anything remotely like them - certainly they're radical but consistent with Reagan's vision of eliminating entire cabinet-level departments and the like - what we're left with is ten "Republican" candidates who seem committed to: the Status Quo.

Which means: committed to sliding into full-blown totalitarian statism, but at a slightly slower rate than their Demo-Socialist counterparts would do. Swell.

Again, what a dismal lineup.

Addendum, June 21:

WagTV has announced that an expanded version of Martin Durkin's "The Great Global Warming Swindle" will be released on DVD in July, and that you can reserve a copy now. I would hope that a full-blown theatrical release of the documentary could be arranged for North America and Europe given the film's popularity, but that we'll have to keep lobbying for and just wait and see.