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, November 29, 2007

Atlanta (AP) - John, "DNC," Caught In Flagrante Delicto With Prostitute Identified Only As "CNN"

Now Playing: "The Pilgrim," from the 1973 Wishbone Ash masterpiece Live Dates

That seasonal - or just "periodic," perhaps? - disgust with politics has settled in a bit of late. One tires of mopping up other people's garbage, particularly when the season turns a festive and contemplative focus, and even more so when the "other people" in question seem to be acquiring ever more capacious dump trucks...

At any rate, last night's "debate" is now history - or rather, infamy - and with the backlash against DNCNN's comical attempt to pass off card-carrying operatives for various Democrat candidates and leftwing organizations as "undecided GOP voters," there are two basic messages to be distilled:

1. CNN has disposed of any shred of credibility it ever had, and has completed its transformation into campaign publicist for the Democrat National Committee;

2. Even against a deck stacked with hostile adversaries, the entire GOP field stepped up and met the assault with alacrity and surprising ease.

CNN/YouTube have actually done us a favor (inadvertently,) in drawing a vivid contrast between the two major Parties:

- The Democrat Party candidates do not dare appear in debates on the centrist Fox News Channel, hiding instead behind back-room demands for softball questions from CNN's Wolf Blitzer, demands happily agreed-to by that network - and still have trouble giving straight answers (or keeping massive contradictions on vital issues concealed);

- The GOP candidates unhesitatingly agree to appear on a hard-left network, submitting to (what turns out to have been) hand-picked "questions" from leftwing activists masquerading as "undecideds" - and still handle the onslaught with relative competence.

So...even though we're miles away from anything like an ideal candidate, which is better equipped to lead America and Western Civilization through one of the most dangerous eras in its history, the GOP or the Democrat-Socialists?


[Oyeah, on an activist point, you may want to contact your local cable company and ask that CNN and its affiliates be dropped from your channel lineup, in favor of news organizations that are marginally closer to ethics, or at least sanity.]

* * * * * * * * * * *

This debate was perhaps the worst example this year of my perennial (quadrennial,) peeve: the superfluous, disruptive live mobs arena audiences.

Once again we had a faceless herd of live attendees communicating to us, loudly, what they think the rest of us should like and dislike - on the irrefutable basis of...there being a whole bunch of them.

When a raucous cheer goes up after a point that is clearly noxious, rotten or just wrong, it brings to mind what Madison warned us about mob rule:

"Democracy is the most vile form of government... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention, have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property, and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."

There's that same gnawing in the pit of one's stomach that one imagines was felt - albeit to a far greater degree - by those lined up for the guillotines of '93, for the Salem witch trials, by those unfortunate enough to have been caught wearing eyeglasses by the Khmer Rouge; etc. In short, the mob mentality is the killer of rationality and of rational debate. It cares not a whit about the merits or demerits of a given point of view - it doesn't listen to points of view. It just obliterates all else in favor of an orgy of quantity, as if that's a substitute for reason.

Yet there it is, right smack in the middle of American Presidential game shows debates.

Once again, with feeling: Can someone explain to me the rationale for having any live audience at a Presidential debate? Does someone believe that careful analysis of contenders for the Presidency is in any way enhanced by juvenile pep squads trading cheers and boos while the rest of us...wait for them to shut up?

Enough already. 'Back in a few.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dear France: Could You Loan Us Your President?

Now Playing: "Ouray" - Andy McKee, from The Gates of Gnomeria

A few months ago I cheered the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as President of France, a country whose socialist leaders' general attitudes toward America had hovered between ambivalence and hostility for decades.

Sarkozy's unabashedly pro-American stance was reason enough to cheer his win; how stunning, then, to discover that his love of America not only eclipses that of most of America's political "leadership" in either party, but that his affection for America is neither causeless nor superficial. The man actually gets it, right down to first principles:

"From the very beginning, the American dream meant proving to all mankind that freedom, justice, human rights and democracy were no utopia but were rather the most realistic policy there is and the most likely to improve the fate of each and every person.

"America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who — with their hands, their intelligence and their heart — built the greatest nation in the world: 'Come, and everything will be given to you.' She said: 'Come, and the only limits to what you'll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent.' America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance.

"Here, both the humblest and most illustrious citizens alike know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That's what constitutes the moral value of America. America did not teach men the idea of freedom; she taught them how to practice it. And she fought for this freedom whenever she felt it to be threatened somewhere in the world. It was by watching America grow that men and women understood that freedom was possible."

It remains to be seen whether Sarkozy's words will be borne out in action, but I'm not particularly worried. We may very well be witnessing the ascendance of France's Reagan. With Germany's new chancellor Angela Merkel garnering comparisons to Margaret Thatcher and signaling a moderation of that nation's largely anti-American stance, could the entire character of Europe be transformed from a Kantian/Rousseauian muck into a new embrace of Enlightenment values? We now have reason to hope, at least.

As for Sarkozy's November 7, 2007 speech in Washington, methinks it is no accident that the full text of it is buried deep even on the Internet, to say nothing of the standard (read: leftwing) media. To hear these Reaganesque sentiments coming from the new leader of...France... is deadly news for a hard-left Democrat Party that's heavily invested itself in the premise that America is despised internationally. As for the GOP "leadership," which has been mostly silent on the subject of American greatness for two decades, the pure Americanism expressed by Sarkozy has got to be a source of profound embarrassment for that contrast. As well it should.

Can you imagine a single one of the current Presidential hopefuls - of either Party - coming anywhere close to Sarkozy's grasp of core Americanism? I can't either. And that's lamentable, because never in America's history has it been needed more.

So let me post a reply directly to M. Sarkozy and to the people of France as a whole:

Neither will Americans - Americans of principle - ever forget that without France, the United States of America likely would not even exist. We shall never forget that France risked war with the British Empire by covertly supplying desperately-needed money and munitions to the American colonies from the start, and by becoming the first foreign power to recognize America officially as a sovereign nation in 1778. France took this enormous risk out of a love of and commitment to the same ideals for which America was struggling. And we shall never forget. Vive la France!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Venezuela: Pro-Chavez Thugs Open Fire on Student Demonstrators

Now Playing: "Sojourn" by Billy Currie with Steve Howe, also from Keys and the Fiddle

Breaking news from Venezuela: Masked gunmen opened fire on university students today as they returned from a massive but peaceful demonstration march against dictator Chavez' impending alteration of the Venezuelan constitution to keep himself in power indefinitely. There are conflicting reports about deaths, but eight confirmed injuries. Note that the Associated Press report initially tries to make it appear as though this attack was caused by its victims, not by Chavez' thugs. Oh, excuse me, by the pro-Chavez thugs - there is no evidence available to link them with Chavez himself. A-ahem...

Today's events serve as an object lesson on what leftwing ideology ultimately means in practice, what it must of necessity mean: Rule by iron fist by a self-appointed deity, over a population reduced to the status of rightless serfs.

Why "of necessity?"

Logically, every form of collectivism, from Chavez' budding totalitarianism down to Gore's budding eco-fascism or the Clintons' recidivistic Marxism, is characterized by an assertion of the "rights" of a group at the expense of the valid rights of individuals (if indeed the latter are even acknowledged.)

Yet in reality a "group" is only a figure of speech we use to denote two or more...individuals. To assert the supremacy of a concept while simultaneously denying the validity of the constituent referents of that concept, is to engage in a gross logical contradiction, the fallacy of the stolen concept. The entire edifice of collectivist philosophy is built upon this logical contradiction.

To attempt in real-world practice to invert that logical relationship, to ascribe rights to a concept at the expense of the valid rights of the very entities that compose it, requires the violation of individual rights by force. Keep in mind that rights can only be violated by force or some indirect species of force (such as fraud.)

That is the insignia of collectivism in any variant: It literally cannot be implemented without the violation of rights.

My condolences to the victims of this particular attack, and to the people of Venezuela in general for the descent of their once-free nation into the cesspool of collectivism. May Chavez and his cancerous regime be overthrown by the good people he's currently stepping on and liberty be restored to Venezuela quickly.

Though she has not yet posted on today's shootings, I recommend bookmarking The end of Venezuela as I know it - an insightful blog published from the belly of the beast by a student in Caracas who has a simple thirst for liberty one dearly wishes more of her American counterparts shared.

Essential reading:
George Reisman's Blog on Economics, Politics, Society, and Culture: Hugo Chavez: Collectivist Throwback

Weather Channel Founder Calls Global Warming Hypothesis "The Greatest Scam in History"

Now Playing: "Quiet Words" by Billy Currie, from Keys and the Fiddle

'Rough day for the "global warming" faithful as John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, called the "global warming" hypothesis "the greatest scam in history."

That would be obvious to anybody with an elementary-level education in science and history, and anyone else who's had the chance to watch The Great Global Warming Swindle, the decisive rebuttal to Gore's sermon by British filmmaker Martin Durkin. [Note: The film is viewable in full at a German video site, but I urge the purchase of the film, either via Amazon or the WagTV site linked above.]

More on this later...