Sunday, September 21, 2003

Thank You Christopher Columbus
Alexander Marriott September 21, 2003

Most Columbus Days are marked by rabid condemnations of the explorer as a genocidal maniac bent on destroying the peaceful and innocent native peoples who populated the Caribbean islands which Columbus discovered. These condemnations are not only unwarranted but indicative of the hatred those delivering them have for all that Columbus stood for and brought to the primitive New World.

Two myths regarding Columbus to dispel quickly are 1) that everyone thought the world was flat while he thought it was round and 2) that the legacy of Columbus was one of death and destruction.

Columbus and everyone else who was educated in Europe knew the Earth was round, a fact which had been proven by the Ancient Greeks. What Columbus got wrong was the circumference of the Earth, causing him to think he could sail from Europe to Asia going west, which of course you can, but luckily enough for him the Americas were in his way or he would have ended up starving.

The legacy of Columbus was not death and destruction. Most Indian deaths were caused by the introduction of diseases that the Europeans brought with them unwittingly. It must also be remembered that the Indians living in the Americas were largely primitive Stone Age level savages who advanced virtually very little in the thousands of years they inhabited North and South America. The two built up “civilizations” of the Americas, those of the Incas and the Aztecs, were hardly much better, being built upon irrationality, human sacrifice, and brutal primitivism.

Contrary to the myth of the peaceful natives who Europe unleashed war upon warfare existed in plenty before Columbus arrived and it continued as the Indians clashed with the European explorers and each other.

It’s always asserted that we, like Columbus, stole the land of the Indians. Could Columbus be responsible for stealing anyone’s land, let alone that of the Indians? This seems dubious considering the nomadic nature of many of the peoples he encountered and their lack of any private property or organized settlements. What was there to steal? The land was not in use, evidenced by the pathetic level of any kind of progress, intellectual or material, on the part of nearly all Indian tribes despite thousands of years in lands of great plenty and separated from the other people of the world who could have potentially meddled with them.

So what is the true legacy of Columbus? We are. The Discovery of the New World allowed people to start anew away from the growingly absolutist and mercantilist kingdoms of Europe. As a result the ideas that could not be put into action easily in Europe, those of individual rights, individualism, capitalism, limited republican government, in short all the ideas upon which our country was predicated were allowed to flourish in an environment far away from the Kings and aristocrats of the Old World.

The Indians, forced either to join civilization or cling to their primitive savagery, became as the nomadic barbarians of the Old World. But unlike their Old World counterparts, the ridiculously low development of Indian “civilization” in comparison to that of the Europeans and the later colonists didn’t allow them to have the same devastating effects the Huns, Mongols, Vikings, Vandals, and others had had. As a result their tribal primitivism and mystical world view was supplanted by the budding fruits of human reason which eventually led to the foundation of the American Republic.

Finally, why are the condemnations of Columbus so visceral and continual year after year? We’re told in college that all cultures are equal and that to prefer our culture over any other is ethnocentrism. Of course this is absolutely absurd. If all cultures are equal then why do people move? Or why do people move, predominantly, to prospering societies as opposed to tribal primitive Indian-type societies? The answer is simply that not all societies are equal. Some are, indeed, better than others.

But the goal of such bromides as “All cultures are equal,” is to tear down cultures like ours which are, by every objective standard, far better than the savage primitives out in the middle of forests and oceans who eat other people or sacrifice them to the sun or volcanoes or practice any other such absurdity.

Humans, having the ability to reason, are in a unique position to prosper far more successfully than any other animal. Columbus was the harbinger of reason for the New World which was shockingly devoid of it, a situation which was entirely inexcusable. Similarly, any defense of the pre-Columbus condition is glorifying perpetual irrational primitivism and death while condemning the introduction of reason and the ideas that flowed from it. Columbus is thus cursed when in fact he should be thanked, not only by us, but by the descendents of the Indians who escaped conditions barely better than death that their ancestors experienced millennia after millennia.

Thank you Christopher Columbus.
Killing Arafat
Alexander Marriott September 16, 2003

After years of duplicitous dealing and overt support of terrorism the Israelis finally started talking about removing Arafat from the Middle East peace process, killing him if necessary. They have removed the killing option in the last week or so, but the fact that the Israelis are now talking about removing one of the many obstacles to peace is a hopeful sign that the drawn out mess over ther may eventually be solved.

Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, has been a fomenter of terrorism virtually his entire “professional” career. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s Arafat served as the nexus between the Soviet money and arms and the terrorist training camps in Syria and Lebanon which trained and supplied many notorious terrorists. One such person to come out of Arafat’s Terrorist “College” was Abu Nidal, notorious terrorist madman who was only recently killed in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Irish Republican Army, Hezbollah, and Hamas terrorists trained under Arafat as well.

With the fall of the Soviet Union Arafat’s money supply dried up. His terrorist connections were still in place though and there was a regional enemy to use them against, Israel. It was in this way that Yasser Arafat was able to drum up pressure on Israel to allow him and all of his terrorist cronies in exile in Tunisia to come back to the West bank.
The western world, particularly the United States under Bill Clinton were all too willing to forget Arafat’s transgressions and puppet him up as the leader of the Palestinian people. This is how the much heralded Oslo Accords came about.
What everyone involved with the Oslo Accords failed to realize, accept Arafat of course, was that Arafat had always been a consort of terrorists and still was. Israel’s release of authority over the Palestinian areas precipitated an Arafat sponsored and run terrorist regime. This on and off use of terrorism has continued unabated since 1993 when Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Rabin sold the Israeli people out to a known terrorist who gave no signal of being “reformed.”
So it is no surprise that we remain in the same mess now, because Arafat and the terrorist apparatus he built are still in place. Israelis know all of this by now; there have been more than enough deaths since 1993 to illustrate the truth of this over and over again.

Western liberals say that it’s all Israel’s fault for defending themselves, which they cloak in the term “cycle of violence.” There is no such thing. The Palestinian terrorists bomb civilians indiscriminately and Israel kills terrorist leaders in the most targeted way that they can. There is no equivalence in these two actions. One is an aggressive act of murder against innocent civilians while the other is an act of self-defense to kill the people responsible for murdering Israelis.
The Israelis should be lauded for being so restrained for so long. The spiritual leader of Hamas, a skinny and creepy looking Sheikh has been allowed to offer succor to terrorists for years and continues to do so unabated. This is an illustration of Israel’s restraint in killing only those terrorists who have directly participated in ordering or planning attacks.

The United States would never be so restrained in fighting terrorism, nor should it be. The nature of terrorism and religious fanaticism requires the wholesale destruction of all who are involved in it. Fanatics won’t relent or change their minds. Those they abandoned and discarded long ago.

This is why killing Arafat as opposed to exiling him, where he can still communicate with terrorists on the ground, is preferable. His death and the prompt subsequent deaths of everyone else in the terrorist hierarchy will effectively clamp down the terrorism problem which has only been emboldened by Israel’s limited and timid responses. If they don’t do this then they can only expect more of same and the blood of Israelis will continue to run in the streets as it has been.
The Privilege of Driving
Alexander Marriott September 12, 2003

It is often said that driving is not a right, but a privilege. As such it can be extended and revoked at will, by those vested with the granting of the privilege, a government. The question that must immediately strike anyone is, “What gives the local governing authorities the right to designate driving or anything else, a government granted privilege?” The answer is quite simple, their audacity and your complicity.

Think of the ridiculous nature of the assertion that driving is a privilege. Is government a parent that we hire after we leave our real parents? I hope not, but increasingly things that are our rights as human beings are being made into privileges granted and revoked at will by governments all over the United States and the world.

Automobiles were an invention created by the genius of individual men working in concert all over the planet without the muddling hand of governments to “help” them out. Of course when the first cars were produced many people were content to stick with their horses and donkeys, but eventually, as the technology got better and the prices came down, people were more willing to try out one of the new machines. Over time they discarded their workhorses in favor of their cars.

All of this proceeded quite naturally in the free market with numerous producers making and improving automobiles to the point where people wanted to buy them. It did not take long for the problem to arise, with all of these new drivers out on the roads, for these cars to hit one another.

Now in a society of private property this presents no problem, insurance or no insurance. The two or more parties involved in the wreck can either solve it right there on the spot of the accident by the offending party admitting his fault and agreeing to pay for the damage he caused. Or if the altercation cannot be agreed upon, it can go before the appropriate judge to decide who is at fault, through the help of witnesses and the like.

The point is, as a property altercation, which is what a car accident amounts to, assuming no one is killed, the remedy is quite easy to come by and obviously the incentive of all parties is to drive cautiously so as to not ruin one’s own property and also not to have to pay for the ruined property of others.

Government, not content with its adjudicating role, then inserts itself where it has no authority or right to. Starting this infringement, every driver, to be able to use his or her own property, must be licensed by the government to do so. Then they must pay a registration tax of some sort to the government for being so audacious as to buy a car. Next, every driver must purchase automobile insurance, which is a direct piece of corporate welfare to insurance companies. The net effect of all of this ends up contradicting the stated purpose of the intervention to begin with, supposedly to make the roads safer.

For what does the government know of driving that anyone couldn’t figure out in a few days behind the wheel? Obviously nothing. But people have accepted that governments have some sort of mystical driving encyclopedia that makes them qualified to hand out licenses to drivers. These licenses create a psychological security that should not exist. Meaning that since this all knowing group of chaps has given me a piece of plastic certifying my good driving skills I must actually be a good driver! Granted not everyone is this foolish, but a great many are and as a result they are more careless on the roads.

Another government-enforced component of careless driving is seatbelts and laws requiring you to wear them. This promotes carelessness for obvious reasons, as the perceived benefit of wearing seatbelts decreases the perceived negative of an automobile crash.

So why do governments engage in all of these activities? Because people say nothing about it. Many people think it is such a fine and dandy thing to be given their piece of plastic from their pseudo-parents that they don’t even contemplate other methods of dealing with careless driving or the idiocy of the government system now in place.

It also reaps enormous profits. All any given government has to do is build some ramshackle buildings and put some unionized government employees in there to make the rest pf us stand around and take tests and get different pieces of plastic that all cost money and waste valuable time. Or we can stand in other lines to get flimsy pieces of metal that cost even more money so that the government can know who has what car or cars at any given time.

It is useful to have all sorts of information about people if you are in a government. In case the time ever arises where certain people need to be put away, you can immediately know where they live or what car(s) they might be using to get away.

This is not just some paranoid delusion on my part; this country did throw thousands of many perfectly innocent people into concentration camps at the beginning of World War II just because they happened to look Japanese. No tyrannical governments spring up from nothing, they are built over time and no modern tyranny could survive without knowing as much as possible about every single person to which it plans to dictate. Driver’s licenses are just one in many such government schemes that could be done away with provided a number of people woke up and smelled the proverbial coffee.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Beating George W. Bush
Alexander Marriott September 5, 2003

As the elections creep up Republicans are increasingly confident that they have the Presidency locked up and Democrats are fluctuating back and forth between despair that this is true and confident denial. The Republican opinion is, of course, wrong and the Democrat opinion is whiny and annoying. Bush is not unbeatable, as no President is, and Democrats aren’t predetermined to loose.

However, Bush can be made unbeatable; much like Ronald Reagan was in 1984 by the sheer honesty of the Democratic nominee. Whatever you may say about Walter Mondale, the Democratic nominee in 1984, he was exceedingly honest in his campaign, to his detriment.

He promised bigger government and bigger taxes to pay for it. He promised to stop defending the country so much and to deal kindly with our enemies. In essence he laid out in precise and honest words exactly what he and the Democratic party were all about, self-sacrifice for everything. Sacrifice to your fellow Americans and sacrifice to America’s enemies.

This message, while honest, was also overwhelmingly rejected by the American people with every state except Minnesota voting for Reagan in what was, to this day, the biggest electoral landslide in US history.

Americans, while overwhelmingly linking themselves to religions, which all preach self-sacrifice as the path to salvation or oneness or nirvana, are incredibly inconsistent on that point and remain a generally selfish people. This selfishness saved the country from the horrors of a Mondale presidency that would have made the Jimmy Carter presidency look good by comparison.

Of course the number of people who acknowledge their selfishness in a good way is severely limited as it is seen as immoral by most and evil by some. This is all beside the point though, because, in speaking of the upcoming presidential election, this general selfishness could be brought back into play.

If the Democrats run an honest campaign again they will make Bush unbeatable by default. This is simply because the philosophy of Democrats, when presented without the clich├ęs and catchphrases, is truly heinous and un-American. Un-American simply meaning that it rejects individual rights, liberty, and the other ideas the country was founded and is predicated upon.

To beat Bush a candidate need merely point out Bush’s mistakes in office and his contradictions visa vie campaign promises and actual actions.

Bush promised to be a free trader and to cut back on farm subsidization. In both instances he lied and as a result increased farmer subsidies and steel tariffs. Both of these actions have hampered economic recovery by keeping the prices of farm products and steel artificially high.

An opposing candidate could also point out that Bush’s emphasis on religion has prevented his seeing properly that the enemy in the war on terrorism is religious mysticism. This in turn has allowed mullahs to come to power in Afghanistan when we should be making sure that the government established there is secular and free, nothing more and nothing less. The results in Iraq, it can be credibly argued, will probably be the same. The long term results of this folly will simply be war and oppression, which can be seen from the numerous examples that litter the history of Western Civilization.

One could argue successfully that George Bush, in fighting a war, hasn’t made the true sense of urgency really known to the American people. Usually when wars are fought there is a call to arms, not a draft, but it is clear that more troops are needed in general. This is simply because there is a plethora of enemies to be dealt with as soon as possible, i.e. within the next five years.

Dangerous countries have made it through the war unscathed thus far. Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Libya, Cuba, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and elements of the Pakistani Government have been involved, overtly and covertly, in international terrorism for years. If we are fighting a war to truly eradicate these terrorists why aren’t we threatening military action against all of these countries? Part of the reason is a lack of forces, which I’ve mentioned already.

Also it has become clear that certain allies of ours have set themselves up as a counterweight to US foreign policy. This is because, philosophically, they are no longer in anyway friends of ours and they are aware of it. Why hasn’t the administration realized this and taken the proper actions, such as withdrawing from international organizations dominated by anti-US members and stopping all handouts to countries, like Egypt, that are hostile to us?

These policies are hurting us at home and abroad, but none of the potential enemies of Bush has raised all any of them, but only one or two in isolation. Libertarians are no better, agreeing with Ralph Nader, that the war is our fault and as long as we get out of all international entanglements (for Nader this is confined to military and private financial concerns only) the attacks will stop.

They both fail to realize that we are engaged in a massive war of ideas that goes beyond just terrorism and could lead to wars with a great many other countries further down the road. Removing ourselves from all international relationships would not stop mystical religious fanatics from attacking us. If anything it would only embolden them.

Republicans are ecstatic because the President pays lip service to ideas they like and has attacked some countries and is religious. Some are throwing around ludicrous terms like “great” to characterize the Bush presidency. He is unbeatable in their view.

Democrats think the improving economy is their ticket into the White House, because they mischaracterize all the economic statistics to make out like Bush has laid people off, when in fact he’s responsible for the creation of many new government jobs where people can never be fired except maybe when they kill someone.

If this remains the Democratic strategy then Bush will win. It won’t be like Reagan’s victory in 1984, but winning is winning, especially in the case of a second term.

Winning against Bush is actually easy, but it would require an intellectual who appealed to reason. In our current system he’d also have to be a millionaire because neither party would touch such a candidate with a ten foot poll. This is merely because when things are laid out logically only a brain-dead fanatic (a Religious fundamentalist or a socialist) wouldn’t be persuaded.

Luckily these people aren’t a majority even if they voted together.