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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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hatred of Humanity: The Ideological Core of the American Left

Now Playing: Nothing. 'Not in a particularly musical mood just now, for reasons that should become readily apparent...

Philosopher Ayn Rand once made the pithy admonition "Don't bother to examine a folly, ask yourself only what it accomplishes." There are times, however, when a depth of depravity is observed that veritably demands that one seek its cause - particularly when most commentators seem either unable or unwilling to identify that cause.

This week's contemptible charade involving the visit of Iran's collectivist butcher, or more accurately the treatment of it by secondary parties in the United States, brings into sharp focus the newest depths of Leftwing depravity, not to mention of ineptitude, default and generalized spinelessness among the conservatives. Another such focal point was news of the latest pilgrimages southward by Hollywood play-actors, to lick the boots of Venezuela's collectivist butcher.

These are but two examples of many, proliferating everywhere from college campuses to political headlines to cinema screens to MP3 players. There is a consistent thread running through all of it that one would expect is obvious, yet which remains largely, tellingly, unspoken:

- How is it that a "prestigious" (well, maybe at one time,) American university, an institution one would presume to be inhabited by at least semi-intelligent minds, would choose to engineer and grant a vast propaganda coup to one of perhaps the Top 5 most brutal human rights violators crawling the face of planet Earth?

- How is it that, aside from the scores of sane people protesting Ah'm-A-Dinner-Jacket's glorious Columbia University appearance, we heard an auditorium-load of students offering thunderous applause, repeatedly, to someone whose closest ideological counterpart is Hermann Göring? [I would invite those brainless little Leftwing sycophants to have a good, long look at the kind of thing they're applauding...]

- How is it that, given the fact that the struggle we face is literally a war for the very survival of America and Western Civilization, the American Left have positioned themselves, openly and unapologetically, on the side of America's enemies at every turn?

- How is it that a major figure in the Democrat-Socialist Party, Rep. James Clyburn, openly admits that positive news from Iraq - i.e., news that America is winning there - "would be a real big problem for us," with the "us" meaning the Democrat-Socialists?

- How is it that after one hundred years, dozens upon dozens of shattered economies, generations of destroyed lives, a mountain of corpses estimated by a group of unusually-honest European Leftists to be well in excess of 100,000,000, and the epochal, worldwide changes ca. 1989-1990, the American Left continue a vestigial, militant belief that collectivism is still A Pretty Neato Idea and seek to impose it here, by force?

- How is it that soul-crushing dictatorships like Hugo  Chavez' Venezuela, Ahmad-In-A-Jar's Iran, Castro's Cuba, etc., are worshipped by a broad swath of the American Left, while the most demonstrably just, benevolent, prosperous and free nation on Earth is reflexively vilified by those same Leftists - all of whom curiously choose to remain here rather than under the dictatorships they admire?

*  *  *  *  *

The old "blame America first" excuses they typically offer have grown increasingly threadbare as the gap between the semi-free world's basic decency and the unspeakable brutality of the regimes and ideologies they admire becomes ever more pronounced.

I could spend hours and reams documenting the manifestly absurd: the proposition that America in its most egregious faults bears rational comparison to the savage barbarity of collectivism of any variety or era. Frankly the latter subject is sickening to any civilized being, but like the horrific video of Iranian "justice" linked above, it is vital that we periodically remind ourselves what we're up against - and what the American Left, from mindless intellectual vandals like Soros and Chomsky to their applauding progeny at Columbia, are endorsing.

One could - more easily than is comfortable, even for a polemecist - come to the conclusion that the American Left are simply too stupid to grasp the difference between life and death, between survival and suicide. That the Left's cognitive mode is overwhelmingly emotion-driven is obvious, yet every living entity, from protozoan to human, possesses a purposive, hard-wired instinct to remain alive.

The difference is that human beings, exclusively, possess the ability to choose the evil and the irrational, consciously. That includes the choice of self-destruction.

Where that urge comes from, well that's the point at which I'll defer to Rand's admonition and/or the research of psychotherapists - why some people consciously choose destructive irrationality is beyond the scope of this post, at any rate. The point is, some do, in fact.

So I'm left with these elemental, nagging questions - so elemental, in fact, that they're difficult even to formulate in words. An attempt:

- What is it about leaving other individual human beings free to live and flourish as they see fit, unmolested, that Leftists do not understand?

- What is it that makes them strive to control the lives of others by brute force, either directly or by proxy(government policy)?

- What species of psychosis prompts some to struggle to appoint themselves as deities and subjugate entire nations under iron fists and reigns of terror?

- What is it that lowers a (former) human being to the level of depravity that finds gleeful enjoyment in the suffering of others?

- What species of worm admires and applauds such tyranny, or at best, turns a blind eye to it?

- What kind of ethical corruption must occur for a person to attack, simultaneously, the single most consistent defender of human rights in human history, the United States of America?

- What kind of militant self-delusion must one perform to obliterate the moral distinction between the extremes of pro-humanity and hatred of humanity that that inversion implies?

*  *  *  *  *

The non-Left, of whatever variety, need to pause for a re-examination of basic premises - most importantly, the premise that the American Left are just as concerned with the advancement of the human condition as the rest of us, but are merely mistaken as to means.

Whether it's just a consequence of the worldwide implosion of their cherished ideology ca. 1989, or the imminent collapse of their last-gasp replacement, is academic.

The salient fact is this: The Left, demonstrably, have devolved from mere advocacy of collectivist ideology into a raging nihilism that is at war against America and Western Civilization, therefore against humanity itself.

Look at the consistent irrationality in contemporary Leftwing advocacy, the inverted ethics in virtually every arena, from politics to academia to entertainment.

This inversion is "inexplicable" only if one presumes the Left to be fellow advocates for the advancement of humanity.

=> Now look again, from the perspective of the Left's ideological slide into raw hatred of humanity. You will find that everything fits, that their every action follows logically from that core.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Health Care Nationalization: The False "Auto Insurance" Analogy

Now Playing: "Brother Wind Shear" by Agent 22

One grows weary of hearing the rhetorical tactic of preschoolers used in political debates over vital issues, but a popular one is a variant of the one our parents and teachers typically dispelled with the question "If Johnny jumped into the lake, would you jump into the lake too?"

"We tax x, so why not y?"

"We regulate drinking, so why not smoking too?"

A particularly vapid form of this argument has already been advanced with some frequency in just the three days since Hillary "Umbridge" Clinton announced her wish to join litigation attorney John Edwards in nationalizing American medicine.

It goes like this: "We require people to carry auto liability insurance, therefore we should require people to carry medical insurance."

I say "particularly vapid" because the "auto insurance" argument, upon closer inspection, actually contradicts and refutes Clinton's/Edwards' authoritarian power-grab at root.

To recap the basics of America's Founding ideology, the purpose for which governments are necessary in the first place is, solely, to uphold and defend the rights of the individual against any and all who would violate them. That purpose is stated explicitly in the Declaration of Independence: Inherent to our nature as rational beings are the inalienable rights of life, of liberty, of property, and " secure these rights, governments are instituted among men."  Period.

Automobile liability insurance is required precisely because of the possibility that during the normal course of travel a given vehicle may collide with another vehicle, thereby causing personal or property damage to another person. The law is there to protect the rights of every person to their life and their property, should they choose to drive.

Clinton's health care nationalization scam would require that people's property be damaged, directly, as a matter of binding law - via coercive, forced participation and the attendant, inherently coercive taxation to finance it (until the scam's inevitable collapse.) Under Clinton's proto-fascist scheme this property damage would be an actuality in all cases, not just a statistical possibility of accidental damage.

By the same standard upon which automobile liability insurance is required - the defense of individual rights - Clinton's health care nationalization must be prohibited, not endorsed, at the outset.

So much for "If we require auto insurance, then..."

* * * * *

Again, we must demand - from our GOP "leadership" and Presidential candidates - an aggressive policy precisely the opposite of the Clinton/Edwards plan: an immediate dismantling of the entire edifice of government regulation of American medicine, with a complete separation of medicine and state as a specific goal.

If the state owns our very bodies, it also owns the "right" to dispose of them if it suits the whim of the bureaucrat du jour. I do not define Clinton's plan as "fascist" for cheap hyperbole - it's an identification of fact.

[Essential reference: "Health Care Is Not A Right" by Leonard Peikoff, 1993]

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"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Iraq the MSM Don't Want You To See

Now Playing: "Perfect Flight" from Billy Currie's "Transportation"  (disc #5 of the brilliant but short-lived instrumentals-only series on the defunct I.R.S. NoSpeak label)

I have another take on Clinton's Orwell Care - specifically its self-refuting reliance on the analogy to compulsory auto liability insurance - but I must push all else aside in favor of freelance journalist Michael J. Totten's article "Anbar Awakens Part 1: The Battle of Ramadi".

Set aside some time and read Totten's astounding - and newsworthy, for news outlets that are rational - story of the transformation of the Iraqi city of Ramadi. What was once the most dangerous al-Qaeda infestation in Iraq, is now one of its safest and most enthusiastically pro-American cities.

Totten has just posted Part II: Hell is Over. In a perfect world, some Congressional Children would be sat down in front of this material and required to memorize it verbatim. Alas, coercing the coercers is not a high probability. Instead I recommend doing your part to make this article go viral. Spread the word/URL to everyone you know. This story needs to escape The Spike.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Achtung! You Vill Haff Health Insurance! Or Else! Obey!

Now Playing: "Ibland" from Bla Kongo (more frostbitten musicians - this time from socialist Sweden, newly threatened with peaceful Islamic violence for...publishing cartoons.)

Today Hillary "Dolores Umbridge" Clinton announced the 2008 repackaging of her proto-fascist health care nationalization scheme. Its most shocking aspect is its core element: forced participation under the Orwellian euphemism "Individual Mandate." The rest of it, similarly, consists of ramming a large-bore weapon up the nose of every business owner in America, demanding compliance with a panoply of new government edicts to make Mussolini weep.

This may come as a shock, but Clinton's latest effort to expand #21 of the infamous "25 Points", is of significantly less importance than the thing that enables such an intellectual atrocity in the first place:

Republican Default.

Yeah, that again.

I presume that most are familiar with that Burke quote about "all that's needed for evil to triumph is the silence of the good." Whether they're cognizant of the fact or not, the GOP "leadership," the entire 2008 roster of GOP Presidential candidates, and the most dialed-in talk radio pundits, have all taken an entirely defensive/passive/roll-over-and-play-dead posture on American Medicine.

Aside from opposition to Democrat ravings, which is the simple part, and a few vague mumblings about "cost control measures" and "tax deductions," not a single one of them has proposed a principled, aggressive antidote to the Clintons' (and before them Lyndon Johnson's) militant statism. Not - a - one - of - them.

Hello? GOP? Is there anybody out there? Your proposals, please?

Well, somebody's got to do this...

~PSSST! LOOK! RIGHT HEEERE! => Here's what you do to unravel the mess that is American Medicine ca. 2007-08:

You take a tip from the late, great Ronald Reagan - plus eight or ten brilliant but ignored giants of economics - and you...


What I'm talking about here is taking the offensive, seizing upon the precise, polar opposite of Clinton's and Edwards' neo-fascist lurch and using that stark contrast not only to prevent a calamity but to illuminate the vast gulf between the Democrats' authoritarian nightmare and the ethics of individual liberty, and to restore freedom to a vital, shackled industry.

Instant analogy: The Airline Industry.

Recall the pre-Reagan decades: Air travel was heavily regulated and generally the sole province of people of considerable wealth and/or businesspeople on expense accounts. The price of even a routine "milk run" flight, in real dollars adjusted for inflation, ran well into the thousands.

By the time Reagan left office, air travel had become inexpensive enough to be routine transportation for everyone from business travelers to middle class teenagers and blue collar working stiffs.

And so it continues today, even with the massive blow that the 9/11 atrocity dealt to the airline industry, and the cancer that is the "TSA" that was subsequently dealt to it (and us,) by the Federal government. In the intervening years we've seen half a dozen new "budget" airlines take root in turf formerly only trod by industry giants, offering an ever-expanding variety of choices. Some have failed, but most have prospered and expanded operations. Airline safety stats have shown vast improvement over that same period as well.

The same results have been replayed in every arena in which regulated businesses have been deregulated - and that is an economic no-brainer. The market, when left alone, regulates itself: Costs plummet, efficiency and plenitude expand dramatically. And this is just the pragmatic side of the issue.

* * *

The root cause of the current health care mess - also at the pragmatic level - is best illustrated by a little historical perspective and the question philosopher Leonard Peikoff asked in his seminal lecture "Medicine: Death of a Profession"[paraphrased]: "Why was it possible for a person of modest means to afford good health care [50] years ago, but not today?"

A quick glance at a graph of aggregate medical costs in America over the last century would show something very curious beginning in the late 1960s - namely, a cost spiral into the stratosphere. And what happened in the mid-'60s? Why, the wholesale invasion of America's once-free health care industry by government, that's what.

As Peikoff correctly noted, initially Medicare/Medicaid was a big hit: (using the analogy of a food subsidy program,) everybody loved being able to eat steak & lobster every night on the government's dime.

And then the bills started rolling in.

And then the frantic cost-control mechanisms were imposed, which translate as: comprehensive micro-management of an entire industry by a vast bureaucracy.

Which is why we have the mess we have today.

Naturally, the initial, disastrous consequences did not prompt the bureaucrats to scrap their intrusions into the medical market, but rather to pile on more and ever more regulations to compensate for the havoc wrought by the previous regulations, etc. ad infinitum. This is how leviathan government metastasizes. In 1947 Ludwig von Mises wrote an indispensible little book about it, describing this upward-ratcheting statist mechanism in detail, but he was ignored.

* * *

All Mrs. Bill Clinton's latest power-grab represents is a gargantuan pile of new regulations designed to smooth over the wreckage caused by the previous ones (which are blamed on private industry,) thickly wrapped in sunny promises of goodies for all. All that's needed in exchange is your individual liberty, your willingness to ignore the entire concept of Ethics, and your willingness to ignore a century worth of theoretical and practical proof of collectivism's vicious falsity.

On the other hand, all that is needed to "fix" American medicine - that's: actually solve the problem - is...the sole antidote that not one candidate, Democrat-Socialist or, most conspicuously, Republican, will breathe a word of:   A program of full deregulation and divestiture of all government involvement in American medicine, a program at least as aggressive as the nationalization agenda of the Clintons and Edwardses. To boil it down to a catchy one-liner, you demand - and fight for, without compromise - a complete Separation of Medicine and State.

But....not a peep.

And then there's the Litigation Lottery - just don't get me started.

On that too...not a peep.

So - is there a Republican running for President somewhere out there?

Here's some essential reading on the root cause of the medical crisis in Ethical principle.

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

P.S. - Sign the petition to the Swedish government in support of the cartoonist and editor threatened by al-Qaida.

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

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Zenith for American Higher Education

Now Playing: "The Big Wheel" from Roll the Bones, by the Frostbitten Canadian Boys

I was gonna try to be funny here but I couldn't top the source material. You just can't make this kind of stuff up - another shining example of what an "education" consists of in a prominent American college:,2933,296809,00.html

Thursday, September 13, 2007

And Now, The...Weather

Now Playing: "If You Go Away," Patou '02, from the Piano Bar disc.

Baton Rouge (pAP) - Hurricane Humberto, the...ahem!...first hurricane to make landfall in the United States in nearly two years, was downgraded to tropical storm status today as it moved from Texas toward Louisiana. LA governor Kathleen Blanco immediately declared a state of emergency and has scheduled an early press conference at which she will, according to a source at the governor's office, "have a good preemptive cry." New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was also seen in the late afternoon hours, burning the United States Constitution in effigy over a large bonfire on the steps of New Orleans City Hall.

Meanwhile, though skies were clear above Washington D.C., Albert Gore and a number of environmental activists expressed shock and bitter disappointment that their cause was deprived of a high death toll and, worst of all, impressive disaster footage for Gore's upcoming film "Day After Tomorrow: III." One environmentalist, who asked not to be identified, said he "felt betrayed" by global warming's continued failure to show up. "It's enough to make a guy just give up and start using toilet paper again," he said, tossing his copy of Tuesday Night Music Club across the room with a defiant huff.

"He needn't worry," commented Jonathan Beardsley, senior diviner at the Greenpeace Meteorological Center, "Our forecast for September 13, 2238 is 4,610 degrees under a light rain of molten basalt - he just needs to be patient and have faith."

Back to you, Larry...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

No More Bong Hits For You, Osama

Now Playing: "More Love, Less Attitude" by Curtis Salgado, from Soul Activated

If you were fortunate enough to have been in high school during the '60s or '70s, you likely remember being at one of those ubiquitous keg parties when someone who'd had a bit of the Forbidden Weed would start pontificating at length on his/her worldview in wacky flourishes only possible via the synaptic distortions of THC. The performance was invariably delivered in a tone suggesting a strenuous attempt at sobriety and seriousness - the impossibility of which made its unintentional humor all the more uproarious.

Last week Arab playboy and fugitive mass-murderer Osama bin Laden waxed Micheal Moorish and released another of his video sermons. A transcript of it is here. When talk radio host Hugh Hewitt read the entire thing verbatim on his Friday show, I had an unexpected High School keg party flashback. If I'd read something like this at the time my instant reaction would have been "Too much drugs for you, bub." Come to think of it, there is the close proximity of all them Afghan poppy fields...

Comedy aside, the speech is valuable in its identification of the intellectual symbiosis of bin Laden's Islamofascism with just about every popular cause championed by the American Left. Just read the thing. But then, we had a vivid, dramatic confirmation of that fact just prior to the September 11 attacks, in the Left's highly-regarded (by them,) film "Fight Club." In short, the "progressive" Left have been aching for something like the WTC attacks to happen since the late 19th century - and they want more.

Along with, again, some hilarious lines like "...more than a million orphans in Baghdad alone" and "...during it [the Vietnam War] Rumsfield and his aides killed two million villagers," Osama professes:

- a warm admiration for the "sober words" of Leftwing messiah Noam Chomsky;
- vilifications of "major corporations" strident enough to bring hot tears of filial pride to Ralph Nader;
- an uproarious tie-in of all geopolitical strife to "Global Warming" and our refusal to sign the Kyoto Fatwa. Allah be pissed.

Significant too is his visceral frustration with the Democrat-Socialist Party's failure to end the Iraq war after taking control of the Senate in '06. In the fantasyland that is Leftwing ideology, "major corporations" have an all-encompassing, magical power that allows them to exercise mind control on any and all who come into contact with them - and so it is with Leftist Osama: "And since the democratic system [sic] permits major corporations to back candidates, be they presidential or congressional, there shouldn't be any cause for astonishment - and there isn't any - in the Democrats' failure to stop the war."

Earth to Democrats: Your Blood-Brother-In-Spirit is not happy with you.

His narrative thereafter morphs from the high comedy of Leftwing ideology to standard mystical quackery, including a prediction of the demise of the "American Empire" based on "the thinkers who study events and happenings...among them...the European thinker who anticipated the fall of the Soviet Union..." Oddly, he doesn't mention who he's talking about here - Nostradamus? C.F. Volney? Brigitte Bardot? Hmmm...

At any rate, it's nice to know the world's most evil mass-murderer is openly identifying his ideological unity with Leftism, and that - reading between his lines - he's apparently getting a little desperate.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

America Ditches Presidency For Triumverate

Now Playing: "Wanna Be Your Idol," also by Tomoko...

An unprecedented epidemic of States moving their primary dates earlier in the already ridiculously-long campaign season signals a trend that could change the very structure of American government: from an executive branch featuring a single President, into a Roman-modeled Triumverate.

Project this trend a few years into the future, say November 2012: As the Thompson/Giuliani ticket celebrates its re-election victory and prepares for its second term, the 2016 candidate rosters for each party have formed up, and by mid-March 2013 the primaries and conventions for the 2016 race are concluded and nominees chosen. For the duration of the 2012-2016 term, sitting President Thompson is joined, second-guessed, advised, critiqued, conferred at and consulted to, by pontificating, soapboxing, and as-yet-unelected candidates for the next election.

In effect, we'll have three Presidents instead of one.

I exaggerate only a little. Given the gravity of the times in which we live and the undeniable tendency of the campaign season to interfere with both the focus of governance and the motives of elected officials, the expansion of that season is precisely the opposite of what should happen.

How about scheduling all primaries after Marx Day, April 15, in the Election year? A nice way to sharpen people's political focus on taxation, that.

And we'd only have to listen to these clowns for 6 1/2 months every four years.

** Tangent **

Somebody once had a simple but valuable idea for a revision of the IRS's deadline: Move Marx Day from April 15 to October 15 - a mere two weeks prior to Election Day.

Ooh, you can just imagine the squeals of opposition such a proposal would provoke from the Kings of Compassion(read: pork.) Can you imagine the remedial effect it could ultimately have on the ratio of conscientious Republicans to RINOs and Democrat-Socialists in Congress? On the rate and/or form of taxation in America?

Boggles the mind, don't it?

An idea whose time has come, I'd say.

GOP Debate Morphs Into Rocky Horror Screening

Now Playing: "2bfree" by Tommy Heavenly 6 (a.k.a. Kawase Tomoko) - J-Pop with some great, punchy guitar.

The umpteenth Presidential debate, this time the Republicans, just concluded and once in awhile we heard the candidates talk about political issues - in those little gaps between the cheers, boos, applause, tossed toast and rice, shouts of "where's your neck," and I believe a fan-produced costume facsimile of the spectacle at one side of the arena.

Not to belabor the point, but this debate was aired (cabled, whatever,) and therefore readily available for viewing, on the highest-rated news network in the United States. The entire thing will be posted in dozens of versions on YouTube in the days to follow, for anyone who missed the real time version and Fox's repeats.

So somebody please explain to me the rationale behind staging the event in a large arena with a live audience of rival cheerleading squads, gathered in force to alternately squeal with delight, hoot with indignation, shout out worthless "suggestions" and applaud endlessly while the rest of us, candidates and viewers alike, ...wait.

This is a debate for the future occupant of the single most important office in the semi-free world at a time when the lives of every one of us hangs in the balance - and we get stuck with a game show held at an arena-scale version of a frat house?

As I mentioned in a previous post, a number of years ago I saw a debate for Canadian Prime Minister on C-Span and it was just the candidates, the host/moderator, and the unseen camera crew. Period.

What I noticed - and what's made it stick in my mind all these years - is that the depth of discussion and the sheer absence of cheap posturing were in stark, painful contrast to these contemptible game show formats we've had to endure with American debates. There was no "playing to the crowd" because there was no crowd. There was more time for discussion - because nobody had to wait for random, meaningless noise to subside. There were no cheap "sound bite" one-liners dispatched - because there was no need to enlist applause in the manner of instant spin.

If you've been as disgusted on this as me, contact Fox News and let them know what you think of their formatting.

As for what little substance of it remained, some general observations:

Surprisingly, confused Democrat John McCain actually gained a little respectability this time with a one-two punch:

- Illuminating Romney's limp RINO-speak assertion that "the surge is apparently working." McCain's response: "The surge is working. No, not 'apparently,' it's working."

- Stating a hard line on government spending the others seem curiously unwilling to match.

I still consider McCain to be unworthy of Republican Party affiliation, not to mention the Presidency - an appraisal that won't change, unless he suddenly announces that his 2002 Campaign Censorship Act was indeed an abomination that must be destroyed as a first priority in January 2009. That and a dozen or so other authoritarian gems he's sponsored through the years...

Paul reinforced his militant unsuitability for the job of leader of the semi-free world in the most vivid terms yet, with comments on foreign policy that were as noxious as they were misguided. Consider this statement: "The fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia was one of the three reasons given for the attack on 9/11. So why leave them in the region? They don’t want our troops on the Arabian Peninsula."
Credit goes to moderator Wallace who replied with this followup question: "’re basically saying that we should take our marching orders from al Qaeda? If they want us off the Arabian Peninsula, we should leave?" Yes Mike, that is what he said, basically.

The fact that Paul is so catastrophically, dangerously wrong on the vital issue of America's (and Western Civilization's) continued existence, while being dead-on with nearly every domestic issue, means that he is of vastly more use to the cause of liberty as a member of Congress than as President. Unfortunately, his going off the deep end on national defense represents a kind of PR disaster for the valid positions he holds on other issues. Fortunately, the media are focused on his foreign policy position rather than his valid criticisms of leviathan government in any case. The quicker he drops out, the better.

All in all a lackluster evening, and at last Fred Thompson is ending what time will show to be either a clever strategy or a vast political blunder. I'm curious to learn more about the man and to compare him to the current pack. I don't watch network television - ever - so all I know of him is the vague snippets written about him in the press and that rather brilliant 'back atcha' he delivered to Michael Moore back in May. And - on the downside - the fact that he voted for McCain's shredding of the First Amendment back in 2002.

Stay tuned...