Thursday, December 30, 2004

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Undergraduate College Over

Well it's all over. I finished my last exam this morning and on Monday I will graduate from UNLV and receive by Bachelors of the Arts in History in February. I will graduate with some sort of honors, though the school doesn't even know which variety yet.

I applied to four graduate schools for the Fall of 2005. They are the College of William and Mary, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brandeis University, and Clark University. They all either have stellar departments in early American history and great research facilities and collection or in the case of Clark, one brilliant man who I could see myself working with. I'll keep everyone posted on the results of this effort.

As for posting, I expect there will be a great deal more of it now that I have all my time to myself again. But I think I'll "decompress" in the words of George Costanza until Tuesday morning after I've donned the garb and walked for my degree.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Mr. Marriott Goes to Washington

I am off tomorrow morning to Washington DC to attend the Reagan-Truman Freedom Awards reception at the Embassy of the Czech Republic for the Victims of Communism Memorial being built in the nation's capital. This memorial, which is one of the few "charities" I have supported over the years, will commemorate the deaths of the nearly 100 million victims of communism all over the world and serve as a reminder to freedom loving people everywhere of the evils of communism. Unlike the National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, this effort has found scant support in congress and thus relies almost entirely on private funding to be completed. I hope everyone who can, will take the time to visit this organization's website, which I have linked on this blog, and decide whether or not this is a worthy value to donate time and/or money.

I'll be back Thursday afternoon.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Exit Polls Invalid on One Point, Valid on Another?

The exit polls conducted for all the networks during last weeks elections were discredited and thrown out as the night wore on and it became clear from the actual returns that they were very flawed and, indeed, very mistaken. When the first exit polls came out, they showed Kerry carrying nearly every swing state, winning the electoral college vote and the popular vote of the whole country. This was obviously not the case and yet these same exit polls have reemerged to explain Bush's victory. Because it was these same exit polls that put so called "moral values" as the number one issue for those voting for president. How can we discard these exit polls as not being in any way representative in terms of whom one voted for, yet representative of why one voted for whom one voted for?

The results of these exit polls were not only wrong in predicting the outcome of the vote, but are counter-intuitive in terms of why people voted. It is unlikely that with a campaign focused entirely around the War on Terrorism that the main issue for voters would be the nearly irrelevant side issues of moral values, which essentially means gay marriages, which were all invalidated by courts (except in MA) by the time election day actually occurred. How much of these issues does one actually remember from the debates? Aside from the two moments when Edwards and then Kerry made reference to one of the Vice-Presidents daughters, who also happens to be a lesbian.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bush's Mandate

This election was about the war on terror and the continuing military response to the war Islamists around the world declared and waged against us. John Kerry stood for (and this is me guessing since he contradicted himself most of the time) doing nothing. Kerry said he would respond swiftly to any attack on America, failing to realize in the moment he said it that we've already been attacked many times and that to prevent further attacks we must rid ourselves of onerous state sponsors of terror. Bush let three debates take place and Kerry, to his credit, was able to make the race much closer, but in the end his own waffling and anti-American veneer cost him the election. He will now disappear back into Massachusetts politics, likely to only reappear if someone asks him to serve in a cabinet or something some day.

Bush's first press briefing/news conference tells us something about how he wants to spend his last term domestically and noticeably absent were religious inspired domestic ideas like faith-based initiatives. He talked more about quasi-privatization of social security and keeping his tax cuts in place. In foreign policy he talked about finishing off the terrorists in Iraq, and a full scale assault on Fallujah seems very imminent. Weaker elements in Bush's cabinet like Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of State Colin Powell are likely to terminated. Perhaps Condoleeza Rice or Donald Rumsfeld will be transferred to State, but I think the ultimate goal is for Paul Wolfowitz, the man whose plan after 9/11 was to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria simultaneously, to become Defense Secretary.

The election was about the War and very little else. Kerry represented Clintonian ambivalence and the voters showed that they at least remember 9/11 a little bit.

Bush will also set up what seems the very probable ascendancy of Rudy Giuliani (or if the constitution is changed, Arnold Schwarzenegger) to the nomination in 2008.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Book Available on Barnes and Noble Online!

My book is now available on BN.com if anyone is interested in buying it. Will be available on Amazon.com shortly.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Iraq the Model, An Interesting Blog

I came across this blog while web-surfing and I find it very interesting. Get some idea of what many Iraqis think about the war and the upcoming election.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Another Kerry Endorsement He Isn't Going to Be Highlighting

This article by Jeff Wright of The Registar-Guard in Eugene, OR is yet another high profile Kerry Endorsement, this time form Academy Award winning "documentarian" Michael Moore. Of course everyone already knew he was going for Kerry, but I found this passage interesting:

Moore said Kerry may not be perfect, but is far superior to former Vice President Al Gore and this year's other Democratic presidential hopefuls. "There's a reason that they're saying Kerry is the No. 1 liberal in the Senate," said Moore. "It's because he is the No. 1 liberal in the Senate."

Hey, didn't Moore support former General Wesley Clark over Kerry? Now Kerry is "far superior" to all the other hopefuls. This guy changes opinions more than Kerry. Such as when he said there was no terrorist threat right after 9/11 and opposed the invasion of Afghanistan, and then did a 180 for his "documentary" Farenheit 9/11 in condemning Bush for "diverting" resources from the Afghan war into Iraq, even though Moore has opposed both.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

From The Marriott Chronicles

Want Flu Vaccine? Repeal Vaccines For Children Program
by Michael Marriott


WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 -- Over strenuous objections by some drug companies, the Federal Government is establishing a program guaranteeing free vaccine for millions of children who are poor or uninsured.

The above paragraph appeared in the New York Times in August 1993. President Clinton had just signed legislation creating what came to be known as Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program. The article went on to explain that the federal government now had the power to purchase vaccines from pharmaceutical companies at “discount” prices and distribute them to doctors. Clinton’s aim in this, the first legislative proposal of his new administration, was to “… assure that all children in the United States are protected against vaccine-preventable infectious diseases by their second birthday.”

The Times article noted that drug company spokesmen lambasted the new legislation, quoting David R. Bethune of American Cyanamid that it would “destroy the vaccine industry in this country.” Of particular concern to the industry was the provision to allow the government to buy vaccines at a bulk discount, thereby controlling vaccine costs. In effect vaccine producers faced a price cap.

It hardly took an economic genius to predict the outcome of the legislation. Whenever the demand for a commodity rises while simultaneously the commodity is sold below market price, a shortage of that commodity is bound to occur. And in the ten years since the VFC Program took effect that is precisely what has happened. The vaccine market cannot reach supply and demand equilibrium since it is artificially constrained by the federal government from doing so.

As Mr. Bethune predicted, vaccine manufacturers know a losing proposition when they see one and have jumped ship, leaving vaccine production to fewer firms.

Today in the U.S., five companies make vaccines as opposed to twenty five companies 30 years ago. In particular, flu vaccine has been in short supply since at least 2000 as vaccine producers are unwilling to make a product whose price is controlled and where the risk of litigation is high. The Kansas City Star noted during the flu vaccine shortage of 2003 that the “… decision to force vaccine makers to discount their price resulted in 'declining financial incentives to develop and produce vaccines.'”

Another year of the VFC Program has only aggravated matters.

This year its affects on Americans would be laughable if not so deadly serious. Quoting the Star regarding the current flu vaccine shortage: “Scene by disheartening scene, the spectacle of a severe shortage of flu vaccine is unfolding around the country. Last week elderly and chronically ill people waited in line for hours to get flu shots. Some were turned away. One died after hitting her head when she passed out or fell while waiting.”

Government response to the mess it has created ranges from the heavy handed to the ham-fisted. One governmental reaction to the shortage is reported by the Star: “States threatened to fine or jail doctors and nurses who gave shots to anyone not in the high-risk groups.” In a less bellicose manner, a township in New Jersey totaling 70,000 people is holding a flu vaccine lottery this year to “parcel out” its paltry 300 available doses.

The net result of Clinton altruism is less flu vaccine, fewer vaccinations, much fewer vaccine producers, less research, more head injury deaths and possible jail time for doctors and nurses. Still, economic knuckleheads abound. Again from the Star: “Congress, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigations into how the nation has been left, on the brink of flu season, with half the flu vaccine it needs.” I can save them all time: the cause of the flu vaccine shortage is government interference in the vaccine marketplace. Congress must repeal the loathsome Clinton Vaccine for Children Program posthaste.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Re-importing Drugs from Canada

The first time I ever heard of this idea, and the fact that some Canadian politicians were encouraging it, I said "Hurrah!" Nothing could please me more than bankrupting the Canadian government, but I figured the Canadians would back down if American politicians actually allowed re-importation to occur. I am not worried about drug company profits because the Canadian government is picking up the regular bulk price of all the drugs it buys and is then selling them back to Canadians at a subsidized discount under the universal health care plan in Canada. The main reason I am not worried about drug company profits though is because it is readily apparent the Canadian government will not allow America to re-import the drugs en masse, because the Canadian government would in effect have to buy drugs for a population many times their own, an even more untenable situation than the situation already in place.

Sure enough, this is already beginning to dawn on Canadians as demonstrated by this article. I wish people would study economics more, but the chances of that are slim. The only reason drugs are "cheap" in Canada is because the government taxes the hell out of its citizens to pay for those drugs and then resells them to Canadians at a loss. Were Canada to engage in this dopey practice for their population and ours then their whole government would run out of money within 10 years at the maximum. Not only that, but as the article suggests, they will end up having massive drug shortages for their own citizens.

Let us see what ingenious idea John Kerry comes up with next to replace this idea when the Canadians recognize reality (for the first time in a long, long while) and tell him it isn't going to happen. Such an eventuality almost makes a Kerry victory worth it.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Gee, I wonder if he was pandering?

When asked to name his heroes, John Kerry named three people:

1) Michael J. Fox (actor afflicted with Parkinson's Disease who has endorsed Kerry so that government money will be thrown into stem cell research, thus guaranteeing that Parkinson's is never cured.)

2) Christopher Reeves (who just died, and who his running mate claimed would have walked again had Kerry been the President.)

3) Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland who lost both legs and one arm in Vietnam.


It's amazing that all of his "heroes" either actively support his campaign, or represent an emotional link to one of his few popular election issues. Also, all of his heroes were/are cripples, people striken with debilitating ailments.

Of course if the same question were asked to President Bush, I'm sure one of his answers would be that crazy carpenter from Nazareth.

WHy can't any of these people pay homage to a real hero once in a while? Has no one ever heard of George Washington????

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Government Affords Us Rights?

Finally, the last debate is over, but there was one slip-up by Kerry that Bush didn't address, except subconsciously.

In a question over the odious election year issue of gay marriage Kerry said,

"But I also believe that because we are the United States of America, we're a country with a great, unbelievable Constitution, with rights that we afford people, that you can't discriminate in the workplace. You can't discriminate in the rights that you afford people.

You can't disallow someone the right to visit their partner in a hospital. You have to allow people to transfer property, which is why I'm for partnership rights and so forth." emphasis added

This concept that the government and Constitution "affords" us right and "allows" us to do things is the sign of a pure statist, and it came through in an accidental way of a subconscious choice of words.

Bush commented on this underlying political principle in a similar subconscious manner, but with a different point in saying,

"I do know that we have a choice to make in America and that is to treat people with tolerance and respect and dignity. It's important that we do that.

And I also know in a free society people, consenting adults can live the way they want to live."

This difference won't be talked about by anyone except those of us who care about freedom and liberty and eventually getting rid of the statist influences in our government, not to mention defeating all forces of irrationality in our society in general. But I think this moment was very very important, and extremely telling about both candidates.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Happy Columbus Day!

While tomorrow is actually the real Columbus Day, marking the 512th anniversary of the great day when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, today is the day we observe the event.

This used to be done by parades, but now is done mostly with head hung low as people all over the country have been brow-beaten into feeling guilty for Columbus Day. Everything that went bad after Columbus discovered America, i.e. the spreading of diseases due to the gap of civilization between advanced Europeans and primitive Americans, etc, is supposed to be blamed on Columbus and then even more absurdly, on us.

Why? Because some people who had 50,000 years of unfettered time and space in which to develop great cultures to rival Europe (and which had finally begun happening about 1000-500 years before Columbus arrived, but obviously much too late to alter the course of history) and did not ended up being overwhelmed, assimilated, or destroyed by Europeans anxious to start anew in the New World. For this, we are to be condemned and made to feel guilty for eternity, because Europeans developed ships capable of carrying men back and forth across the Atlantic and developed weapons that allowed several hundred men to conquer millions (with a little help from disgruntled tribes the Incas and Aztecs ticked off). Not to mention the fact that Europeans had the gall to domestic animals and raise them for livestock (i.e. cows and pigs) thereby coming into contact and developing immunities to nasty things like smallpox, which a culture not yet developed to the stage of animal husbandry could not possibly deal with. Thank God the Europeans weren't convinced of their utter depravity and inferiority to those whom they displaced before they came up with cures to many of the diseases of the world, like smallpox.

The multicultural hysteria surrounding Columbus Day and the political effort to remain it "Indigenous People's Day" is just an outgrowth of the same irrational desire to worship the primitive "way of life" that created and continues to feed environmentalism and most other forms of loony leftism in the world.

While we must acknowledge and embrace the reality that Columbus was a man, not a God (like all men) we must also acknowledge his great achievements. He was a persistent man with a vision of doing something no one else had accomplished, not finding a new world, but opening a quick sea route for trade with China and India. When he found the New World (and eventually realized it was a New World) he quickly went about the task of trying to develop it for civilization.

Englishmen, of whom we Americans descend at least ideologically, were able to make a new start thanks to Columbus's pioneering voyage of discovery and his navigation charts and writings which allowed others to trace his steps to the New World and discover the land which would and still does hold the greatest and freest people on the planet. For this we should commemorate the man and his achievement as something which made the world better and exemplifies the greatest things of Western Civilization.

As always on Columbus Day, Thank You Christopher Columbus.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Arab-American PAC Supports Kerry

This quote was pulled from this Fox News article.

“President George W. Bush hurt us on many levels. He hurt us on civil rights. He hurt us on the war he started. He hurt us in the Middle East by leaving the Palestinians and Israelis [to] kill each other,” said AAPAC member Abed Hammoud.


Does Kerry really want this kind of endorsement? This same group endorsed Bush in 2000, but apparently his "starting" of the War on Terrorism and his carte blanche "allowal" of Israeli defense was just too much for this Arab-American group to stand. This despite what Michael Moore tells us are deep and troubling ties between Bush and the Saudis as well as the Bin Laden family. You'd think a President in bed with Arab governments would lock the nomination up easily, but alas, just as the "secret" Saudi oil deal didn't pan out, neither did the "secret" Arab-American support plan.

Also, what civil rights have Arab-Americans lost? If they are being more scrutinized or eyed more often, they should blame the 19 Arabs who attacked the United States on September 11. They should blame the thousands of Arab fanatics who kill themselves and others every year in heinous terrorist attacks. Why do they blame Bush?

The key in the quote is, "He hurt us on the war he started." What war did Bush start? This ridiculous quote shows just how amoral this PAC is as well as any candidate who continues to associate with it.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

THE MASTER DEBATER FALLS
By
Michael Marriott



The second Bush-Kerry debate held October 8 in St. Louis is now history. As I sit here on October 9 listening to the political wags grade the outcome in favor of Kerry, I shake my head in disbelief: George W. Bush thoroughly pummeled the hapless Senator from Massachusetts. Bush was stylish, forceful, commanding, fact oriented, humorous and glib; by contrast Kerry was halting, stumbling, dour, uninspiring, unspecific and mendacious. Kerry, the purported master debater, has fallen on his rhetorical petard.

If Bush was a racehorse his lead out of the gate was by lengths. Highly animated, he took the fight directly to Kerry, as when the first questioner expressed concern over Kerry’s inconsistencies (the questioner framed him as “wishy-washy”). After Kerry gave a rambling, incoherent answer about Bush’s campaign being a “weapon of mass deception” (so that’s why Kerry can’t keep a consistent position!), Bush put Kerry’s flip-flopping succinctly: “I can see why people at your workplace think he changes positions a lot, because he does.” Bush understands that A is A, that a thing or person is what it is.

Bush continually scored points as the following sample indicates:


Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it's less than 1 percent, because we're working together to try to bring this deficit under control. Like you, I'm concerned about the deficit. But I am not going to shortchange our troops in harm's way. And I'm not going to run up taxes, which will cost this economy jobs.

And here he says he's going to be a fiscal conservative, all of a sudden. It's just not credible. You cannot believe it.

Now, he says he's only going to tax the rich. Do you realize, 900,000 small businesses will be taxed under his plan because most small businesses are Subchapter S corps or limited partnerships, and they pay tax at the individual income tax level. And so when you're running up the taxes like that, you're taxing job creators, and that's not how you keep jobs here.

MICHAELSON: Mr. President, if there were a vacancy in the Supreme Court and you had the opportunity to fill that position today, who would you choose and why?
BUSH: I'm not telling.
(LAUGHTER)


You're right, what does matter is a plan. He said he's for — you're now for capping punitive damages? That's odd. You should have shown up on the floor in the Senate and voted for it then. Medical liability issues are a problem, a significant problem. He's been in the United States Senate for 20 years and he hasn't addressed it.

Yes, I mean, he's got a record. It's been there for 20 years. You can run, but you can't hide. He voted 98 times to raise taxes. I mean, these aren't make-up figures. And so people are going to have to look at the record. Look at the record of the man running for the president. They don't name him the most liberal in the United States Senate because he hasn't shown up to many meetings. They named him because of his votes. And it's reality. It's just not credible to say he's going to keep taxes down and balance budgets.


One may disagree with President Bush but at least it is possible to disagree since his positions are clear, reasoned and unequivocal. Kerry, however, has a distinct problem in his responses. His generally tepid answers rarely are reasoned beyond blaming Bush for any and everything. The master debater is far from a master: indeed, his modes operandi was to avoid direct answers while continually sniping at Bush. Here are a few samples of his technique:


GIBSON: The next question is for Senator Kerry, and it comes from over here, from Randee Jacobs.
JACOBS: Iran sponsors terrorism and has missiles capable of hitting Israel and southern Europe. Iran will have nuclear weapons in two to three years time. In the event that U.N. sanctions don't stop this threat, what will you do as president?
KERRY: I don't think you can just rely on U.N. sanctions, Randee. But you're absolutely correct, it is a threat, it's a huge threat. The world is more dangerous today..And what's interesting is, it's a threat that has grown while the president has been preoccupied with Iraq, where there wasn't a threat.


GIBSON: I both — I heard you both say — I have heard you both say during the campaign, I just heard you say it, that you're going to cut the deficit by a half in four years. But I didn't hear one thing in the last three and a half minutes that would indicate how either one of you do that.
KERRY: After 9/11, after the recession had ended, the president asked for another tax cut and promised 5.6 million jobs would be created. He lost 1.6 million, ladies and gentlemen. And most of that tax cut went to the wealthiest people in the country.


BRONSING: Senator Kerry, we have been fortunate that there have been no further terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11. Why do you think this is? And if elected, what will you do to assure our safety?
KERRY: Thank you very much, Ann. I've asked in my security briefings why that is, and I can't go into all the answers, et cetera, but let me say this to you. This president and his administration have told you and all of us it's not a question of when, it's a question of — excuse me — not a question of if, it's a question of when. We've been told that.


GIBSON: Senator Kerry, we got several questions along this line, and I'm just curious if you'd go further on what you talked about with tort reform. Would you be favoring capping awards on pain and suffering? Would you limit attorney's fees?
KERRY: Yes, I think we should look at the punitive and we should have some limitations. But look, what's really important, Charlie, is the president is just trying to scare everybody here with throwing labels around. I mean, "compassionate conservative," what does that mean? Cutting 500,000 kids from after-school programs, cutting 365,000 kids from health care, running up the biggest deficits in American history. Mr. President, you're batting 0 for 2.



So Kerry has established that everything wrong in the world is the fault of George W. Bush, including the nefarious act of “label throwing”. Ominously, former Texas Rangers baseball owner Bush is batting zero for two, whatever the hell that means. What remedies does Kerry propose? The master debater has (get this) plans! The main characteristic of his plans is that he has them somewhere and if elected he may even use them, although for the present he cannot articulate what they are exactly.

Consider the following. Regarding health care: “I have a plan to cover those folks. And it's a plan that lowers cost for everybody, covers all children.” Regarding nuclear proliferation: “At his pace, it's going to take 13 years to reduce and get ahold of all the loose nuclear material in the former Soviet Union. I've proposed a plan that can capture it and contain it and clean it within four years.” Regarding legal reform: “It's in my health-care proposal. Go to johnkerry.com. You can pull it off of the Internet. And you'll find a tort reform plan.” Regarding plans themselves: “I mean, seriously — labels don't mean anything. What means something is: Do you have a plan? And I want to talk about my plan some more — I hope we can.” Regarding Bush’s lack of plans: “Now, you didn't hear any plan from the president, because he doesn't have a plan to lower the cost of health care.” The coup de grace comes in his response on Iraq policy: “I could do a better job. My plan does a better job. And that's why I'll be a better commander in chief."

Kerry has now firmly established his bona fides to become president, for while George Bush is busy bullying uninsured children, Kerry is diligently penning plans. His plans prove he will do a better job. Forget the fact that Kerry was without plans during his twenty year Senate career. His sudden fondness for plans is deep, revealing really; undoubtedly his unspecified plans, will, in the campaign rhetoric of the previous century, provide us with a “full dinner pail”. Keep in mind the president had given specific answers to all the above questions but no matter: various pundits, like Mor-tone Kondracke of Fox news, will later proclaim that Kerry has definitely won the debate. (As a note, I wonder if Mor-tone would consider buying some beachfront property I am selling in the Mohave Desert).

But the master debater was not yet finished. Even he has limits when it comes to nebulous, inexplicable plans. Launching what he considers rhetorical attacks on Bush, he tries to score debating points. His first mode of attack is to appeal to authority for his candidacy.


The president — and this is one of the reasons why I am very proud in this race to have the support of General John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Tony McPeak, who ran the air war for the president's father and did a brilliant job, supporting me; General Wes Clark, who won the war in Kosovo, supporting me; because they all — and General Baca, who was the head of the National Guard, supporting me.

…you know, I was at a forum with Michael J. Fox the other day in New Hampshire...

Chris Reeve is a friend of mine.


Obviously General John Shalikashvili, Admiral William Crowe, General Tony McPeak, General Wes Clark, General Baca, Michael J. Fox and Chris Reeve are all-knowing, infallible beings when it comes to picking presidents. The good news for Kerry is he chewed up debate time by his incessant name-dropping, thereby leaving less time to have to explain the particulars of his aforementioned plans.

Kerry’s second prong of attack was to say funny, dumb things. This mode of attack is uniquely effective within his democratic base. Consider the following Kerry statements followed by my analysis.


A Portion of a Kerry Response: …But you heard the president just say to you that we've added money. Folks, the test is not if you've added money; the test is that you've done everything possible to make America secure. He chose a tax cut for wealthy Americans over the things that I listed to you…

A Portion of another Kerry Response: …And I'm going to put in place a better homeland security effort. Look, 95 percent of our containers coming into this country are not inspected today. When you get on an airplane, your bag is X- rayed, but the cargo hold isn't X-rayed. Do you feel safer? This president in the last debate said, "Well, that would be a big tax gap if we did that.”. Ladies and gentlemen, it's his tax plan. He chose a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans over getting that equipment out into the homeland as fast as possible…


Comment: So our security depends on more money to X-ray cargo and to fund other terrorist prevention measures. But wait, this is not a test of money. To think people have the audacity to criticize Kerry for flip-flopping!


Senator Kerry, would you be willing to look directly into the camera and, using simple and unequivocal language, give the American people your solemn pledge not to sign any legislation that will increase the tax burden on families earning less than $200,000 a year during your first term?
KERRY: Absolutely. Yes. Right into the camera. Yes. I am not going to raise taxes.



Comment: God I can’t stop laughing. What first hit my funny bone are the dual notions that Kerry can use simple, unequivocal language and issue a “solemn pledge” within the confines of a single answer. The second thing to strike me as humorous is that Kerry will not raise middle class taxes. Bush stated that there is a gap of over a trillion dollars between Kerry’s spending promises and the money he plans to collect by repeal of tax cuts on wealthy Americans. Kerry never bothered to explain the discrepancy, commenting in a withering display of verbal prowess that Bush was using “fuzzy math figures”. I can only conclude, unless Kerry plans to monetize the debt, that he is lying regarding this point.


And I've gotten good people, like former Secretary of the Treasury Bob Rubin, for instance, who showed how to balance budgets and give you a good economy, to help me crunch these numbers and make them work.


Comment: Whoops, I forgot to include Rubin as an authority figure for Kerry. Never mind. Even Kerry knows that the numbers don’t work without “crunching”, which makes his eyes-in-the-camera pledge even funnier. In fairness, perhaps he meant he would not raise taxes on cameras.


I'm going to be a president who believes in science.


Comment: Yeah sure you do global warming breath.


Secondly, we're going to create a manufacturing jobs credit and a new jobs credit for people to be able to help hire and be more competitive here in America.


Comment: For a guy who believes in science Kerry has missed the boat here. Either that or the social science of economics has totally overlooked this method of job creation.


Boy, to listen to that -- the president, I don't think, is living in a world of reality with respect to the environment. Now, if you're a Red Sox fan, that's OK. But if you're a president, it's not.


Comment: Okay Senator, time for the long crooked staff to pull you off the stage. Dissing the president is one thing, dissing Red Sox fans is not only stupid, it puts Massachusetts into play as a swing state.


DEGENHART: Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?
KERRY: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now.

First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.

But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that.

But I can counsel people. I can talk reasonably about life and about responsibility. I can talk to people, as my wife Teresa does, about making other choices, and about abstinence, and about all these other things that we ought to do as a responsible society.

But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. And I have to make that judgment.

Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don't deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can't afford it otherwise.

That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning.

You'll help prevent AIDS.

You'll help prevent unwanted children, unwanted pregnancies.

You'll actually do a better job, I think, of passing on the moral responsibility that is expressed in your question. And I truly respect it.



Comment: What the hell kind of answer was that? I think it interesting though that former alter-boy Kerry points out that faith is an important guiding force in his life. Those who plan to vote for Kerry because of Bush’s religiosity need to take note.


Ladies and gentlemen, that's just not true what he said. The Wall Street Journal said 96 percent of small businesses are not affected at all by my plan. And you know why he gets that count? The president got $84 from a timber company that owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right.


Comment: The debate was in effect over at this point. I can’t top President Bush’s reaction. BUSH: I own a timber company? (LAUGHTER) That's news to me. (LAUGHTER) Need some wood? Even dour Kerry had to chuckle at Bush’s rejoinder; he had a “God what a doofus I can be” look on his smiling face.

There was a Saturday Night Live skit during the 1988 Bush-Dukakis election where Jon Lovitz played Governor Michael Dukakis. In mock disbelief after Bush mangles an answer, Lovitz deadpans, “I can’t believe I am losing to this guy”. Similarly, it is hard to imagine that President Bush is barely ahead in the polls considering Kerry’s contradictions, misstatements and method of argumentation. Moreover, only the most partisan of commentator can claim Kerry won this debate. Such proclamations defy objective analysis of what was actually said. The only way that Kerry won this second debate is if Bush: 1) sat placidly on his stool, 2) drooled into the camera and 3) wore a dunce hat. Short of this it was a decisive Bush win. The master debater is a mere apprentice at best.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Kerry Engages in Context Dropping

The following comments are based on what I saw in John Kerry's press conference this afternoon, I could not find a transcript of it for some reason, so if I incorrectly attribute ideas or comments to the Senator, I apologize in advance. If anyone notices any, please let me know so I can correct the post as quickly as possible.



John Kerry, on the heels of a government report which claims Saddam Hussein hadn't produce Weapons of Mass Destruction since 1991, is now claiming that knowing what we know now, he wouldn't have led the United States to war in Iraq. Knowing what we know now? How can he so blatantly drop the context in which the decision was made? We didn't know in 2002/2003 what we know now in October of 2004 about Iraqi weapons, this is an impossibility. The only reason we are in possession of our new knowledge is because we control Iraq and have access to all of their old government documents, officials, bureaucrats, and dictator. When the war was looming, we could only rely on Saddam's actions, which are still bizarre and inexplicable, and our intelligence agencies, including the American, British, Israeli, French, German, Russian, and the United Nations services. No one in the security council or elsewhere, except the unbelievable Iraqis, said that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and given the events of September 11 as well as Saddam Hussein's past record of using his WMDs and numerous terrorist connections, how could anyone not see Iraq as a threat that needed to be dealt with? Kerry's previous position that the war was conducted improperly, as opposed to being wrong because of what we know today, made more sense. Also, there existed other very legitimate reasons to get rid of Saddam, such as planning to kill an American President or his daily unprovoked attacks on the U.S. military by firing missiles at our jet fighters.

Kerry didn't stop there, he made two other totally ridiculous and idiotic assertions.

First, he claimed that Al Qaida is in sixty different countries, why aren't we invading them? Yes, Al Qaida is in countries all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, France, Germany, etc. According to Kerry, Bush's action in Iraq would be the equivalent of invading France to route out Al Qaida. The only problem is that most countries aren't a safe haven for Al Qaida, the terrorists must operate in secret and attempt to evade searching authorities. Countries like Syria, Iran, and until recently Iraq and Afghanistan let Al Qaida and other terrorists operate in the open, to raise money, plan, and organize. To compare this situation to how Britain, France, and the United States deal with terrorists is ridiculous in the extreme and shows better than President Bush ever could, what is wrong with John Kerry's mind, i.e. it cannot process information properly or integrate information in any rational way.

Secondly, he continued this same idiocy in a different vain by saying that numerous countries possess the knowledge and ability to produce weapons of mass destruction, including South Africa, Brazil, Japan, etc. and hence why are we not invading them? Again, what threat does a chemically armed Japan pose to us, or for that matter any free country?

John Kerry actually understands our war against Islamic fundamentalists worse than President Bush, he sees no difference in Britain having Al Qaida within its borders and Saddam's Iraq, he sees no difference between Brazil having a nuclear weapon and Iran or North Korea having nuclear weapons.

This means that in a Kerry administration he will not only be just as concerned with Brazilian nuclear weapons as Iranian, but that he will out of hand reject military action against Iran, because he wouldn't do it against Brazil.

It appears the mouse running the wheel in Kerry's head has finally died.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Christians and Mystics on the Left Get a Pass

Much has been made, and should continue to be made, of religious mysticism and its unfortunate and harmful influence on American conservatism and the Republican Party. But the media and mainstreamers give a wholesale pass to the exact same influences on the left when they are just as glaringly bad and harmful.

For instance, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore are both "Born Again" Christians (as is President Bush) but you might never know it from the media bias and omission. Jimmy Carter as President was directly influenced by his beliefs in his foolish attempts to force a peace between Israelis and Palestinians even though the leaders of these two groups have somewhat differing goals (the Israelis would like to live and the Palestinian would like the Israelis not to live). But even more glaringly, it was under Jimmy Carter's tutelage that a U.S. embassy, which is American sovereign territory, was overrun and the people inside taken hostage by a hostile foreign regime. The U.S. response was to do absolutely nothing aside from a harebrained and half-ashamed covert helicopter rescue which ended in failure and more U.S. deaths. The media portrays this as a tactical error, as opposed to the broad generalizations we would and should expect them to make if similar situations occur under a religious Republican.

But even more dangerous than "Born Again" fundamentalists is the primitive mysticism residing on the left in the form of environmentalism. This issue hasn't popped up much in the campaign, but environmentalists and their concerns make up a large part of Democratic/Liberal orthodoxy and a large part of the constituency of the Democratic Party. They are so blindly beholden to their primitive beliefs in the infallibility of nature and the total evil of mankind that they block out all evidence and rational argument to the contrary. At least the Bible has generally good things to say concerning man's relationship to the environment (the nature of all "revealed" knowledge, such as that based on the Bible, Koran, Buddhist sutras, etc., is the possibility that they could potentially be correct on things, but for the wrong reasons and in a way which is useless once one can throw out "revealed" knowledge as legitimate knowledge), environmentalists are wrong about every single one of their outrageous claims, as well as their fundamental belief system.

Religion is a problem in today's America because an irrational metaphysics threatens everything about America that is rational, i.e. Capitalism, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, etc. But we must also realize that today's religionists, while certainly containing a lot of nuts and wackos who occasionally do very crazy things, i.e. David Koresh claiming to be Jesus reborn and organizing a cult of heavily armed loons in Waco, TX (while also molesting children he was supposedly teaching the word of God to), the religious craziness we see today is timid in comparison to what occurred in this country in the heyday of the Second Great Awakening in the 1820s and 1830s. People routinely claimed all sorts of weird mystical visions as conversion experiences, fasted themselves to death, became so absorbed by religion that they gave up their careers and all other social activity, founded all sorts of different religious sects, claimed they talked to God and were prophets, and basically engaged in the purest practical application of the ideas of Saint Augustine and Martin Luther our country has ever had the unfortunate experience of witnessing. And this was a mere generation after men the likes of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin, and George Washington strode the political and cultural landscape. We are certainly no where near this level of outright hysteria today, but the effects of it are still around today in the likes of evangelical Christians and Mormons.

The point is not to downplay the threat religion poses to the country, far from it, but we must put today's events and trends into the historical context of which they are inexorably a part. The growth of primitive nature worship, or regrowth rather since it was destroyed along with the Indian "way of life," is what is new, combining earth worship with a Luddite-like hatred for mankind's progress (even though man's advanced brain and therefore his ability to reason were produced through evolution, a natural process). The ebb and tide of religionism is an unfortunate recurrence in American life, so long as it can be kept out of the government (an endeavor no more successful now than it was in the days of the founders), it should be contained in the battle for ideas, which it must ultimately lose. Environmentalism is a religious and political movement combined in every aspect from the devout irrationality of its adherents to their propensity for violence when they face dissent and disagreement.

Mysticism and religion are always a threat, a serious threat, to the freedom and liberty of men. They are no more threatening from the right as from the left and in some cases the latter is much, much worse.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Cancel Nuclear Weapons? For Us?!

From tonight's Presidential Debate.

John Kerry, when asked about what he thought would be the most important issue in the next fours years for his possible presidency, said the most important issue was nuclear proliferation. He then went on to explain how much he was angry with the Bush administration for daring to develop a nuclear tipped bunker buster bomb. Implying of course that the goal of destroying nuclear weapons, even to defend the United States, is a noble and worthy good.

How can limiting the ability of the United States to defend itself be good in any way? George Bush didn't pick up on this outrageous statement instead deciding to point out that nuclear proliferation, to the extent that it risks getting weapons into the hands of terrorists, is the main problem. Kerry's statement shows us that he is still stuck in his old hippie mindset where the United States with nuclear weapons is just as dangerous as the USSR, or in this case, Islamic terrorists.

Of course the media won't highlight this.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Draft Talk

The media is at it again, letting itself be dangled along by DNC baloney about a resurgent draft by Republicans.

Not that the Grand Old Party is above such measures, but it was Richard Nixon who ended the draft, Jimmy Carter who introduced the Selective Service machinery that all of us young men must sign up with to avoid going to jail, and it is notoriously liberal New York congressman Charles Rangle who has been going around actively supporting the idea of a new draft, to eliminate the supposed racial bias against blacks in the US military (you see there are too many blacks in the military helping their country and trying to better themselves, lord knows that's a terrible thing!)

Why is there no media coverage of prominent Democrats actually caling for a draft as opposed to internet rumors and Michael Moore fabrications that it would be Bush to bring the draft back? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

NPR Appearance

So I did the panel discussion this morning, and it went very well. A couple of exceptions though, a call-in panelist from the Anti-Defamation League said that the quote from my Columbus article, that some cultures are better than others contrary to the doctrine of cultural relativism, was "ignorant." Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to respond to that but I find it amusing in the extreme. Would the Anti-Defamation League condemn (as they should) a comment that Jewish or Israeli culture was/is no more valid than German culture through the lens of Nazism? Of course they would and should condemn such a barbaric statement and assertion immediately, not because they think all cultures are valid, but because it is painfully and tragically apparent that some cultures are savage, barbaric, and evil, while others are just the opposite. She even contradicts herself later on by admitting some practices of the Incas and Aztecs were indeed barbarous, which cannot be if one accepts fully the doctrine of cultural relativism.

Another point, the representatives of the Rebel Yell and the Hispanic and Indian student groups did not show up for the discussion. This makes the panel a bit long winded as the remaining panelists agreed almost entirely on the main topics. I was looking forward to a good debate and instead all I got was the vision of my detractors running scared.

You can listen to the program here.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The blog address for this blog is changed now because of an error I made in a settings change yesterday. So if you have bookmarked the site, please know that the correct address is now www.alexandermarriott.blogspot.com. Thank you.
CELSIUS 41.11


A movie refuting Michael Moore is coming out, go and see it!!!!
Money Generated from Book: $4.80
"Debates"

On Thursday the first of what is being called "debates" will take place between George W. Bush and John Kerry. I intend to watch, principally for screwups, one liners, and possibly the picture of candidate Kerry profusely sweating (as his debate negotiating team wasn't able to get the temperature in the room below 70 degrees).

This is not what a debate is for, and if the candidates never intend to have a real debate then they should eliminate this campaign sideshow. For a real debate watch Leonard Peikoff and John Ridpath debate the morality of capitalism with some socialists, or dig up transcripts of the Lincoln and Douglas debates. These are just forums to show how well the candidates can memorize answers to questions and fit them into the appropriate time allowed for response. The candidates aren't even allowed to question each other. What kind of debate is that?
Change of Location

I may soon be changing location in the world of cyberspace. This is merely a plan in the early formative stages, but I may end up with my own web site in the near future. I will of course post such an occurrence before this blog is terminated.


NPR Appearance

This is still a go for tomorrow morning. Interestingly I will be up against someone advocating for some sort of federal holiday for indigenous peoples, or something like that. It should be a rather amusing hour, or totally not, I'll know after its over.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Book Published!

Due to popular demand, ok so due almost entirely to the minimal cost, I've had a book published through On Demand publisher LuLu.com. The button on the left which says, "Buy Now," goes right to the book order page where the book is going for $9.72, with no shipping or tax charge. It includes nearly all articles written for the Rebel Yell and for Capitalism Magazine, as well as selected essays, book reviews, and research articles I've written in the past few years.

It makes up the main body of serious work I've done and I'm pretty proud of it. If you like what I do here then please buy the book so that I can rake in the royalties, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Or if you just want it for your collection, God knows why.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Another Russian Revolution

Listening to last night's McLaughlin Group I thought I had just stepped off the spaceship into some sort of bizarro universe. I half expected the bizarro Superman to walk in saying "goodbye," wreck the place, and then leave saying "hello." Pat Buchanan, Lawrence O'Donnell, Tony Blankley, and Eleanor Clift all agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a great Russian patriot whose authoritarian reforms were needed. I wonder if there was a similar group of dupes back in 1933 who thought Adolf Hitler was a great German patriot initiating hard and necessary reforms. Of course there were, they worked in FDR's administration, or were truly misguided dolts like Henry Ford.

Vladimir Putin has been putting Russia on the road to total despotism since he became President. He's spent his time, not fighting terrorism, as he now portrays himself to the rest of the world, but assaulting free enterprise and the free press in order to solidify his own cult of personality. He's been installing his old KGB colleagues in posts all over the government and has just recently, in a supposed response to terrorism, suspended all the regional governor elections.

If the Russian people really care about terrorism, or about their own freedom, they need to unseat Putin immediately, by another revolution if need be or else their freedom, new found and imperfect as it is and was, will disappear as quickly as it arrived.
Iraq War Casualties

As a student of military history it has bothered me in the extreme about how the Iraq War and post-war period have been portrayed in the media, especially the numbers of troops killed. By historical standards the numbers of troops lost in this war has been almost absurdly low, and any attempt to portray the numbers as anything other than this, no matter by whom, is irresponsible and ignorant in the extreme.

Take for instance that in the Battle of the Bulge, approximately a several month engagement, over 10,000 Americans were killed. In a year and a half of conquering a country and then running it while it contains some extremely hostile elements has cost slightly over 1,000.

Perhaps relating this to something else will help illustrate my point. Using the approximation of 420,000 total deaths of US troops in World War 2 it would take an ongoing Iraq occupation for 630 years to equal the total of three years of World War 2 fighting.

Hurricane Ivan, which I will say has damaged America for about a week, has been blamed for 25 deaths in the United States. If a Hurricane Ivan hit the United States every week for a year and a half the deaths caused would total 1,950, easily out-pacing the deaths caused by this "deadly insurgency" in Iraq.

By any and every standard ever applied to casualties in war, except for recently, this war would be considered an overwhelming success. The way we are currently reacting to these minimal casualties isn't a good sign if we're ever to attack bigger threats, with better militaries than Iraq, i.e. North Korea, Iran, China, Syria.

The political cost of any number of casualties beyond a couple thousand may be seen as too great for the risk to be taken by current or future Presidents. I hope to be wrong, but unless the media stops dwelling on these numbers I fear that I am not.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Kerry Doesn't Take My Advice, BIG SURPRISE!

In a post on this blog on September 9, 2003 and then again when that article was printed in the UNLV Rebel Yell on September 10, 2003 and then again when that article was posted on Capitalism Magazine on November 15, 2003 I advised Democrats, and their nominee (not known at that time), on how to win the election.

Below I have cut the relevant part of that essay on the particular weaknesses of George W. Bush, implying that the exploitation of these rather obvious flaws would surely lead to a Democratic victory.

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?

.....

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.


Obviously my advice was ignored and not followed. I am not surprised, I never expected them to act rationally or to attack Bush based on any of his real and serious flaws. Instead they have engaged in a campaign of ad hominem arguments and overt appeals to statism and pacifism.

They will lose by this strategy, and by the looks of recent polls, quite handily. So long as Democrats reject reality and refuse to deal with it, they are destined for future and large electoral defeats. Their pliant media monopoly has been shattered and they can no longer count on Dan Rather and agents of similar ilk to go unchallenged.

Perhaps ten or fifteen years ago it may have worked, but I doubt it. Remember Bill Clinton, the only Democrat elected President since 1976, won in two consecutive three-way races. He received a minimal 43% of the vote in 1992, a percentage that roughly makes up the base level of Democrats in the country, suggesting that Ross Perot took away a large number and independents and Republicans who would otherwise have voted for Bush. In 1996 he only received 49%, even though he was already starting to tout his "greatest economy ever" propaganda. Based on this and the crushing defeats the Democrats suffered in 1980, 1984, and 1988, I'm not convinced they really ever have a legitimate chance at winning a Presidential election.

The 2000 election illustrates this exceedingly well, because after eight years and the general acceptance that the economy was great, the incumbant party still couldn't hold onto the office. Unlike during the Cold War, when there was a large part of the party at least paying lip service to defending the country, the Democratic Party is largely run and populated by pacifist McGovern and Carterites.

The Democratic Party, on its current course, reminds me very much of the Federalist Party which was beaten to oblivion by the Democratic-Republicans after their irresponsible behavior and positions during the War of 1812. Whether or not the Democrats are completely destroyed by their actions during our current war is not able to be foreseen, but they certainly don't stand much chance of expanding as they explicitly and implicitly work to let America's enemies win by default of their refusal to deal with objective reality and properly counter the real weaknesses of the Republican Party.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Why?

I seem to be the only Objectivist, that I've talked to (except for my sister), who thinks the trailers for "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" look terrible. The plot, assuming there is one, is pretty indecipherable from the trailers I've seen. And the actors in it are less than respectable, politically, morally, and in terms of their previous "work," if you wish to call it that.

I can't imagine why this movie would ever be anything more than a tremendous bomb, except that no big movies have opened recently and people may be restless. Short of that, I'll be surprised if many people even see this movie, let alone think it to be good.
Rather Courageous in the Face of Reality

CBS "journalist"/anchorman Dan Rather is an amusing figure to watch fall apart. He seems to believe, or else he is a pathological liar, that what he does at CBS is objective and reality based journalism about relevant issues of the day. Typifying this is his call on competing media outlets to ask President Bush the questions he raised in a recent "60 Minutes," questions based on what almost seems certainly faked documentation.

But think back on Dan's earlier career. What other controversies has he been embroiled in? He argued with Richard Nixon during Watergate, albeit Richard Nixon deserved a good yelling and some time in the slammer one would expect a little more decorum from a reporter. He argued with then Vice-President George H. W. Bush over the Iran-Contra scandal. And now he is hounding the current President over irrelevancies in his National Guard record three decades ago. Any pattern here? In a career that covers two of the worst Presidents in history, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, where is the story about Dan arguing with Bill Clinton about his constant lying and breaking the law? Where is the story of Dan smacking Jimmy Carter for doing nothing when American citizens were taken hostage on American territory in Iran? These stories don't exist for a reason, Dan Rather is a partisan Democrat parading about like an objective journalist.

Granted, one could be a partisan and still be an objective journalist, but Dan Rather certainly isn't the model for that. If he were why would he have producers working, according to Dan Rather, for five years on a story as dumb as the Bush National Guard story, yet devote no investigative energy to what Kerry talked about covertly with the leading representatives of North Vietnam in the early 1970's. It seems to me that the possibility of high treason trumps whether or not the President was a slouch thirty years ago. And going by Rather's own standards, where were the stories of what Clinton was doing thirty years ago, while protesting the Vietnam War on foreign soil where he could conveniently avoid going to war and also smoking marijuana? That slouch was elected to the office twice, yet Rather didn't angrily report on these things and then call on his colleagues to "ask the President these questions."

Rather's total bias is so blatantly obvious it becomes pathetic watching people attempt to defend his actions, which are indefensible. You know an investigative piece is useless when you ask yourself, "Even if what is alleged is 100% true, what is the point? What difference does it make?" This story makes no difference. We're not electing the Bush of thirty years ago, and he's already been the President for four years, an ample reservoir of experiences from which to judge his abilities or lack thereof. If we accept the premise of the Rather report as justifiable then we should look to the much more egregious cases of John Kerry, talking with Le Duc Tho is Paris covertly, of Ted Kennedy, killing a woman and getting away with it, of Robert Byrd, joining the Ku Klux Klan (though his supporters say he was merely a "young man" in his early to mid-twenties). Why not spend years asking questions to these people? Oh yes, Dan Rather and his cabal aren't objective, they are just objectionable.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

NPR appearance

I will be on the local NPR station September 28, 2004 to reminisce about my Columbus article fiasco. In all seriousness though, the hour long program "KNPR's State of Nevada" will feature a panel of guests (me included) to discuss student speech issues on campus. I just hope the show is focused on that and not my article, but you never can tell with these things.

The shows are archived online at http://www.knpr.org/son/archive.cfm if anyone is interested in listening to the discussion sometime (obviously after the 28th).

I will comment on this again after the program, to perhaps offer some more details that aren't conveyed by the program itself.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Kerry Endorsement He Doesn't Want to Talk About

Fox News reported several weeks ago that the North Korean news agency denounced George W. Bush and called for his defeat in the November election, effectively endorsing John Kerry.

Amazingly, he's not talking about this ringing endorsement, even though he mentioned on the campaign trail months ago that he had talked to foreign leaders who said they wanted him to win. Wouldn't this prove he wasn't lying? Hasn't Kerry made making friends with the rest of the world a cornerstore of his effort to become President? Why leave out the endorsement of a prominent world leader?

Kerry was more that willing to secretly (not so secret now) meet with Le Duc Tho, a leader of the North Vietnamese communist state during the Vietnam War, did Le tell Kerry he wanted him to be President? Of course the great and objective media in the USA isn't covering any of this, even though according to some very good liars (or very stupid idiots) the media is conservative in its bias.

Just remember that when you push the button for John Kerry, you're picking the unanimous choice of the North Korean people as relayed by their free and representative government.
A Tale of Two 9/11s


On September 11, 1814, Thomas MacDonough looked out across Lake Champlaign to see the fruits of his work over the summer. Upon the lake were near twenty ships, ranging in size from small gun boat, no more than a large row boat with a small cannon inside, to small sloops and "frigates" with up to twenty guns. Like his colleague Oliver Hazard Perry a year earlier on the Great Lakes, MacDonough had built an armada from scratch in a matter of months. This wasn't for an offensive mission though, MacDonough knew the British were planning to invade from Canada down the Richelieu River-Lake Champlain-Hudson corridor and that his naval and land forces were all that would prevent the British from cutting New England off from the rest of the country. This was part of a three pronged British strategy to end the war and perhaps win back territory from the American Revolution. The other two parts were the capturing of New Orleans, thus cutting off the western territories of the United States and the pacification of the interior by capturing Washington D.C. and Baltimore. The latter part of the operation succeeded in the embarrasing loss of the capital but was repulsed by the ability of Fort McHenry to withstand the British onslaught. Unable to get into Baltimore the British had to turn away. In a remarkable feat for 19th century warfare the British carried off the invasion from the North and the Chesapeake campaign almost simultaneously, both occurring in the second weeks of September 2004.

These three separate, but coordinated, campaigns posed a very real danger, especially since the force going towards New Orleans was feared and rumored to be massive and full of regulars from the Napoleonic Wars. But the Northern invasion threatened to push New England into secession in order to remain independent of British rule. It had to be stopped. On the day of September 11, MacDonough's men engaged the British flotilla on Lake Champlaign while a brisk, but fierce battle was fought on the hills of Plattsburgh overlooking the Lake. The British ships were almost all sunk in the engagement and therefore the whole expedition had to turn around, for without supplies the land force of Canadian militiamen and British regulars, despite how well they fought, would not survive in upstate New York unprovisioned. The nation waited nervously until the news of the great victory spread. Parades and celebrations abounded. For once New Englanders had felt threatened in the war and basked in the defeat of an invading force designed to harm them. The only thing remaining, aside from Indian upstarts on the frontier who were under the misguided impression that the British were fighting for them, was the invading force in the South. This seemed remote from most Americans, many of whom lived East of the Appalachians, unlike the invasions down Lake Champlain and up the Chesapeake. And anyway the great Indian fighter Andrew Jackson was preparing for the British. The even more spetacular victory Jackson achieved overshadowed Plattsburgh, which was slowly forgotten and totally ignored when it was decided 100 years later that the War of 1812 was a failure and emblematic of the problems created by all Madisonian policies.

On September 11, 2001, American was invaded again. This time it was not down the Champlain route and Thomas MacDonough, as well as his America, was not there to prevent the invaders from achieving their goal. The enemy this time was not animated by mere orders from Whitehall to put together an invasion with only a detached willingness to "do one's duty." This new enemy had a ideological point to make against America as much as anything else. America, after the deaths of its founders, has not been led by particularly intellectual men who can understand this type of "nuanced" enemy. Not fighting particularly because they want territory, wealth, or subjects, they fight to prove to their God their worthiness in his war against those who do not recognize his supreme and singular divinity. We have fought against Muslim barbarians before, but those men were interested only in slaves and tribute, not killing themselves in an effort to destroy our symbols, buildings, and national character. But two hundred years has changed the men who once tried to emulate the Western world into men who despise it. They despise that it is secular, that it is selfish (capitalism), that it is free (from God's prescripts).

Will we recognize the seriousness of the conflict and deal with the extremely dangerous reality we find ourselves in, like our leaders and people did in 1814? Or will we continue to be naive and gullable, thinking the old tools created to deal with old threats will work with the completely irrational and singularly focused Islamists who wish to destroy all vestiges of civilization? This war can be won, just as the War of 1812 was won (despite assertions that the conflict was at best a draw). But it will take leadership that recognizes the threat, is prepared to deal with the threat all alone if need be and will not use the threats and dangers of war to take away or "temporarily suspend" the rights of American citizens or to deal improperly with our vanquished foes.

President Madison was a great commander-in-cheif because he recognized these things and did not exacerbate problems in the country by abusing the powers of the government. He ran huge deficits, as a war for survival dictates and only treasonous quacks in New England complained, but Madison said nothing of them nor did he attempt to silence their continual protests. British prisoners were treated exceedinly well, especially when one considers the total misery and filth Americans were forced to endure in British prison ships. Attempts to conquer Canada may have failed, but America's ability to hold her own against the greatest naval and land power on Earth showed that the country was already gaining immense ground on the Old World, on Old Europe. American frigates and privateers gained victories and prizes throughout the whole war and did serious damage to the British mercantile economy. The war was fought for the principle of free trade and the ability to sail the seas as a neutral country unmolested by belligerants. But those goals are no less serious than today's goals. As Madison and other leaders realized, there is no point in having a country if it cannot protect the rights of its citizens or have its sovereignty respected. And since all the major campaigns occurred in North America the war was just as much about the survival of the country as our war today. The weapons and tactics have changed, but the principles have not. If we are to win any conflict for survival we must look at reality and deal with it accordingly or we shall surely perish, and it will be our own fault. Should that day ever arise then brave will be the man to say that that United States was the same country that produced George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Adams, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Kerry Thinks What???

In the typical fashion of the press, ignoring real stories that are too "complex" for them to comprehend, or would probably be passed off as "red-baiting," the new book Unfit for Command written by John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi has been the rage of the media for the past week for its various accounts (which differ from John Kerry's) of how candidate Kerry won his medals in Vietnam. Personally I think it's rather irrelevant. The medals Kerry won he obviously thought weren't worth much considering he threw them away, although even this point he belabors with different accounts, saying he also tossed his ribbons aside, or that ribbons are medals and other similar statements violating the law of identity. But one section of the book does tell us something very alarming about candidate Kerry and I have posted the excerpt from the book below.

"The FBI field surveillance reports document a speech that Kerry gave in 1971 in which he praised Ho Chi Minh, the founder of Vietnamese Communism. The occasion was a speech Kerry gave to a group at the YMCA in Philadelphia on June 14, 1971. As reported by the FBI:

'On June 29, 1971, [BLACKED OUT SECURITY EDIT] advised the JOHN KERRY of the National Office of the VVAW, spoke at the YMCA, Philadelphia, on June 14, 1971. In this talk he stated that HO CHI MINH is the GEORGE WASHINGTON of Vietnam. Ho studied the United States Constitution and wants to install the same provisions into the Government of Vietnam. KERRY criticized United States activities in Vietnam, saying we are destroying villages, cities, crops, and the people there and these activities must be stopped.'

Kerry gave many antiwar speeches in 1971. His tendency to idealize the Vietnamese Communists and to demonize the United States was possibly most apparent when he chose to praise by association with America's founding father the man responsible for introducing Communism to Indochina." Page 137

I doubt many have heard of this episode since it hasn't been picked up by the press. It amuses me that President Bush's intelligence (or lack thereof) gets so much play in the media, but I'll never be convinced that Mr. Bush would ever make such a callous, thoughtless, unpatriotic, and incorrect comparison about the man most responsible for the creation of the United States, the greatest (thus the freest) country to ever exist on the Earth. Only a fiend or an uneducated idiot in the extreme could make such a comparison seriously and in either case it indicates an intellect and disposition entirely unworthy of the office of the presidency.

The reasons to oppose Kerry, if not to support Bush, keep piling up.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

You're No Good, You're No Good, You're No Good, Baby You're No Good
Alexander Marriott from vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota

 
I've heard Linda Rondstadt was shown the boot at the Aladdin in my town of Las Vegas when she decided to dedicate the song "Desperado" to Michael Moore and encourage her audience to go see the notorious piece of propaganda Fahrenheit 9/11. It has also been reported that people in the crwod booed, heckled, threw drinks, stormed out of the event, and then proceeded to tear down posters of the singer in the casino or throw drinks at the posters as well.

I must say this isn't unusual for Vegas crowds, I'm just surprised it's been reported so widely on the news (on a side note, when in the wilderness and without cable I highly recommend satelite radio, this is one of the greatest inventions to come about in some time). A similar occurrence happened in Vegas not so long ago with notorious liberal singer Elton John who proceeded to take time out of his performance of his hit songs to go on a tirade against President Bush and was soundly booed by the crowd. This incident was mentioned breifly on some national news outlets but didn't get nearly the amount of attention as this latest flap, probably because the hotel Elton John is playing at didn't throw him out on his ass with all of his luggage and personal effects, not to mention his husband.

Entertainers, conservative or liberal or green or whatever, ought to learn from these examples that when they go out amongst the public for the purpose of selling tickets to entertain that people expect entertainment, not political speeches from uninformed jackasses. If they wanted the latter they could just have stayed at home to turn on CNN or MSNBC. Or they should save the politics for explicitly political concerts like FarmAid or some other pseudo-communist enterprise.

It is heartening though that despite the red herrings from those who don't know what they are talking about, that this is somehow an abrogation of Ms. Rondstadt's first amendment rights, the management of the Aladdin saw fit to remove her from the premises and cancel her tour there because she wasn't doing her job. Good for them, and bad for her, as it should be.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Meryl Streep Calls Bush on Inconsistency

According to reports of John Kerry's big celebrity fundraiser Meryl Streep got up to say that those who wish to use religion and Jesus to run for the presidency (obviously meaning George Bush) should read what Jesus said (or is reported to have said). She used the mount speech of Jesus, i.e. "Blessed are the peacemakers" "Blessed are the meek" etc. She's right, one should be consistent, but she's making the case for reelecting Bush because she's clearly saying that he's not living up to any of these sentiments. Good!!!! The last thing you want in a time of war in Jesus as your leader (you don't want him as a leader at any time) and if she's saying John Kerry will be more like Jesus than Bush then it only burries his candidacy further with me.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Another Reason to Oppose Kerry

John Kerry is now tieing his campaign to nationalized healthcare insurance, which will lead quite quickly to nationalized healthcare. Should he win he will see it as a mandate for that policy and the dunderheads in congress will follow along in the honeymoon. Not only will the war on terror end, the continuing war on business will get two great allies in the White House to continue the wholesale dismantling of American capitalism. Perhaps not since Johnson and Nixon has the country been so close to another precipice of statism.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

A Reminder

Jose Contreras.

Recognize the name? If the answer is no, then I'll tell you. He is a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees who is currently working with a 5-3 record. But the purpose of this article is not to discuss his pitching, but to shed some light on his recent newsworthiness. Namely, his wife and two daughters' defection from the prison island of Cuba. The reunion of a man with his family, a family which braved the dangerous waters between Cuba and Florida on a small craft with the prospect of being brought back to Cuba if they didn't make it or dieing at sea which has been the fate of countless defectors, is a beautiful story, and one that is unique for America. What other country do people seeking a better life and freedom think to defect to? It certainly isn't Canada and definitely not Cuba. But will this reminder of what kind of place Cuba is and what kind of man Castro is mean anything to some seriously derranged people? Not likely. What follows are statements by the rich and famous about Cuba and the butchering dictator running it. This stands as a reminder that in our struggles against communism, islamist fanatacism, and whatever else may confront us in the future, it is not they who will win, but us who will lose.


"[Castro] has brought a greater equality in terms of wealth distribution than I guess any country in the world today." - Saul Landau, filmmaker

"[My time with Castro] was the eight most important hours of my life." - Steven Spielberg

"He [Castro] is a genius. We spoke about everything." - Jack Nicholson

"[Castro is] a source of inspiration to the world." - Naomi Campbell

"Socialism works ... [and] Cuba might prove that. I think it's conclusive that there have been areas where socialism has helped to keep people at least stabilized at a certain level." - Chevy Chase

"It was an experience of a lifetime to sit only a few feet away from him [Castro] and watch him relive an experience he lived as a very young man." - Kevin Costner

More from Saul Landau, this is an excerpt from an article by Marc Morano from December 17, 2002 CNSNews.com. The previous quotes are also from the article.

'Cuba is King'

Filmmaker Saul Landau, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who produced four separate documentaries on Castro's Cuba for PBS and CBS, including a 1974 CBS documentary with Dan Rather, thinks Hollywood's assessment of Cuba reflects reality.

Landau rejects the idea that Castro is duping celebrities.

"How the hell is he duping them? They've got two eyes, they've got two ears," he told CNSNews.com.

"Cuba is the king of all of Latin American countries," Landau said.

He believes Hollywood stars have seen the truth in Cuba.

"You don't have millions of homeless people in Cuba, you don't have 42million people who don't have access to medical care," Landau said, comparing Cuba to the United States.

Cuba outperforms the United States "when you talk about the right to food, the right to shelter, the right to a job, the right to a retirement," according to Landau. These issues are "less than rigorously enforced in the U.S." he added.

Landau also believes Castro's detractors have exaggerated his human rights abuses.

"I have not seen any evidence that he is a sadistic monster or a brutal dictator," he explained, adding that he has little regard for Cuban American refugees.

"People in Miami who are running their anti-Castro lobby, are, in my opinion, not representative of the Cubans in the country," Landau said.

"Cuban human rights violations take the form of procedural violations. They involve legal and political rights rather than economic and social rights," he added.

Landau did not deny that Castro's rule has included suppression of a free press and multi-party electoral process, but said like in any revolution, "they broke a lot of eggs" to achieve their goals.

He also made it clear that he is no fan of President George W. Bush.

"It's very difficult coming from the U.S., to imagine a political leader with whom you could have an intelligent conversation. Well, I guess you could with Bill Clinton, but you certainly can't with the moron that is in there today," Landau said.

Castro has a "religious aura" about him, according to Landau.

"When he comes into room, a wind follows him. He intimidates people by his very presence, he emanates, he vibrates power," he explained.



"I am opposed to capital punishment by any country, by any persons. I disapprove of Mr. Castro's executing. I understand that the trial was very fair, that the death penalty is exercised in Cuba and therefore, by Cuban standards, the trial was fair and judicious even though I abhor the death penalty." - Ed Asner on the trial, conviction, and execution of three men who attempted to come to America by hijacking a boat.

"We should look to (Castro) as one of the Earth's wisest people, one of the people we should consult." - Oliver Stone

"For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent." - Barbara Walters narrating her interview with el presidente.

"The worst that could be said is that, in Cuba, you were in jeopardy of receiving free health care whenever you needed it, an excellent education in one of the few countries that has 100% literacy, and a better chance of your baby sister being born and making it to her first birthday than if she had been born in Washington, DC." - Michael Moore in an Open Letter to Elian Gonzales on the virtues of going back to Cuba.


Congratulations if you made it through all that. Should these people succeed we will surely collapse as a country, for they are explicit communists and communist-sympathizers. But for the Contreras family Cuba is but a fading nightmare, as it is for other celebrities who escaped and now rail against the "worker's paradise," people like Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan. Hopefully when Fidel dies he will be torn apart so that no funeral will take place for all of his friends, people like Michael Moore, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton to pay homage and lament that they could not be as powerful as their departed comrade.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Beheading People in the Middle East

This is the common punishment for murder in such countries as Saudi Arabia, but it is quickly becoming the punishment of choice among terrorists for their western captives. It makes no difference to the dead people how they are killed or subsequently mutilated, as they are dead all the same. A gun shot in the head or having one's head cut off makes no difference except perhaps in pain if one is alive when the beheading begins. The point is to frighten the living with the prospect of being beheaded. It is not unlike Vlad the Impaler's efforts to frighten his enemies by impaling defeated armies on pikes and letting the impaled die a slow painful death which all would witness in one way or another, either by sight, sound, smell, or combination of the three. The news coverage and the sheer terror that strikes most people at the idea of having one's head cut off will no doubt have some effect. Whether the effect is to harden people's resolve or to make them fearful and wish to cut and run is not clear yet. But given the general decline in the masculinity of society at large, the unwillingness to act and not look back tends to suggest that more people will become weak-kneed as opposed to becoming more resolved.

I would suggest that we retaliate in kind. When we kill terrorists we should do everything to their bodies that is out of keeping with their fundamentalist Islamic faith. I'm not exactly sure what this would entail in full, but I know that Muslims, like Jews, need to be burried quickly and that they are pointed in specific directions (i.e. towards Mecca). Terrorists should not be afforded any of this treatment. We should find out what the most disdainful thing that can be done to a dead muslim body and do that to the dead terrorists. Use their own irrationalism against them. It won't stop them from their jihad, only death can do that, but it will show them that we will ruin their chances to go their afterlife when they are dead and that will count for something.
What the Hell is Britain Going To Do About Its Men?

A very underreported incident occurred a couple of days ago in the straits of Hormuz when the Iranian government abducted eight British seamen for allegedly violating Iran's territorial waters. Now the Iranians are going to prosecute these men. WHAT is Great Britian going to do about this affront to its citizens by a terrorist state that certainly has no right to prosecute its own citizens, let alone British citizens. Talk about emboldening the terrorists. If the British do nothing about this all they and we can expect is more affronts to our citizens and our security.
Giant Leap For Mankind

Private space travel got a boost yesterday with the remarkable sub-orbital space flight of "Starship One." For $25 million, much of which was contributed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, a complex and brand new space vehicle was developed and successfully put into space. NASA would be lucky to purchase the fuel for one shuttle mission with such a sum, let alone design a new space vehicle. Not to say NASA has never achieved anything, but one thing is certain as of yesterday's flight, NASA's days are numbered. Private space entrepreneurship, spurred by the funding of individuals like Allen and the consortium of groups and individuals who are underwriting the X-Prize (a $10 million prize for launching a man into space twice in two weeks through private means), is clearly what is going to advance man's exploration of space. The commercial possibilities of space, not just tourism and the novelty of weightlessness, but resource exploration and scientific experimentation are what will drive more flights, more vehicles, and more men beyond the gravitational bonds of the Earth and into the cosmos.

Burt Ratan and Paul Allen are heroes (they were already heroes for different reasons) and I salute them!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Hopeful Signs: Israel and Iran

The Iranian state is rushing headlong into disaster and I'm not referring to an iminent invasion by the United States. Iran is developing nuclear weapons and is attempting to filibuster international agencies which are attempting to monitor Iranian actions. For the security of the United States this situation is intolerable in the long term because the Iranians could use terrorists to attack the United States with nuclear weapons. However there is another country under an even more immediate threat from Iranian actions, a country that has not shown much reluctance in the past to take unilateral action to prevent its enemies from destroying it. The country is, of course, Israel.

Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke reported June 19 on their Fox News show "The Beltway Boys" that the United States has sold giant refueling tankers to the Israeli Air Force. The timing of this sale is very encouraging and it portends good things because the only real enemy Israel has that would require such equipment is Iran. The Israelis have done this kind of operation before against another of their arch-enemies, Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The value of that hardly seems worth argueing and it seems more than likely at this point that the Israelis are about to do it again. It's unfortunate that we don't do this ourselves, but thank God that someone is going to pick up the ball on this issue. The question is, I believe, a matter of when and not if. Perhaps after the next round of meetings between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations, which is bound to achieve nothing, the Israelis will begin destroying the various sites that are believed to be the centers of the Iranian nuclear program. I think the true question is whether the Israelis will use nuclear weapons in their strikes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

GROSS MINUS NET EQUALS ZERO
By Michael Marriott June16, 2004

When I worked in Saudi Arabia as a technical consultant in the 1990s, my coworkers and I were astounded upon receiving our first paycheck: we actually were paid the full amount we had earned. Gross pay minus net pay equaled zero. Never before or since in my lifetime has such a thing happened. Since every working person in the United States deserves such a delightful, fulfilling experience I would like to submit the following proposition.

Let us together repeal the sixteenth amendment to the Constitution by the year 2013. This infamous income tax amendment was passed in 1909 by “progressive” republicans as the best method to collect government revenue, ensure “fairness” and get around the pesky Supreme Court. The latter had the gall to rule in the late 19th century that such levies on income were unconstitutional. Undaunted, the politicians of the era decided that an income tax amendment was necessary. It required four years for the states to ratify the amendment, which became part of the Constitution in 1913.

Hence 2013 presents a nice target date for the amendment’s repeal (rather then a year of mournful reminders, 2013 could become a jubilee year that strikes a majestic blow in favor of individual rights). Further, we all can participate in the nine year debate to determine if our country is to be truly free. Repeal of the 16th amendment would be a real and symbolic reaffirmation that our government is truly limited; no other single act we could possibly perform would so effectively reinforce the idea that America is a country dedicated to individual happiness.

Consider some of the travesties the 16th amendment has spawned in the last one hundred years. The power to tax has become the ultimate politician plaything. The progressive nature of the tax code allows permutations uncountable as politicos raise, then lower, individual tax rates. The tax code can tailored to benefit specific special interest groups to garner bloc votes. As seventy five percent of government revenue is made possible by this insidious amendment, great sums become available to wage war, pay premium prices for toilet seats and allow certain folks to sit and do nothing for a living.

Upon approval of the 16th amendment, a new agency was sired to “help” reticent citizens “volunteer” personal, private income data, the Internal Revenue Service. And such a service it provides! If the IRS suspects tax cheating it can: garnish wages, freeze bank accounts, seize assets and in general make life hell for its “customers”. Over the amendment’s existence, citizens of the United States have been harassed, hounded, and in some cases, driven to suicide for failing to pay their “fair” share to the government. Never mind due process, innocent until proven guilty or other such tripe. The 16th amendment horribly contradicts other parts of the Constitution, such as depriving citizens of property without a trial. These things make one yearn for the good old days of taxation without representation under Great Britain.

The diminution of individual rights is sordid enough but by no means the only effect of the 16th amendment. The income tax has served to raise costs on the very people made poorer by paying the taxes in the first place. The government is able to finance great agencies that cause prices to increase artificially: milk subsidies raise the price of dairy products as do a whole host of similar subsidies in other industries; medical care costs have spiraled since the inception of Medicare and Medicaid; housing costs have ballooned astronomically, in part due to government support of unions, underwriting of loans and special tax write-offs for mortgage interest. I could mention OSHA, EPA, minimum wage and a thousand other regulations but you get the point. The tax system often makes us pay twice.

Lest we overlook another point regarding taxpayers: they pay taxes so that others can have material things that the taxpayer himself may not be able to afford. Housing instantly springs to mind. Poor folks (i.e., unproductive folks) move into government subsidized housing while the hapless taxpayer struggles to save for a down payment, a process made more difficult by the act of paying taxes. Many persons work but have no health care coverage. Not so with those refusing to work at all. Still other taxpayers struggle to capitalize a business while their fellow citizens stop at the Small Business Administration for government financing of their start-up costs. Poor mom and pop farmers feed at the government trough to save their acres of land while a struggling taxpayer in the big city lives on a sliver of land called an apartment.

At the philosophic level there is something morally repugnant in forcing people who get off their butt and work for a living to pay for that privilege. Life can be trying to say the least but when one works, prospers and finally succeeds it is a travesty to levy a tax on that person’s “good fortune”. No working person should have to look over their shoulder to see where the taxman is hiding. The income tax system makes citizens angry at their government, and distrustful to boot. It makes enemies of people who vie to place tax burdens on their fellow countrymen. It divides the nation into permanent classes of the “haves” versus the “have-nots”, divisions that accentuate envy and ill will among the populace.

Finally I note that taxing income is hardly fair as it fails miserably as a barometer of who should pay what. With great envy (see above paragraph) I calculate that for the year 2003 I paid a higher income tax rate than ketchup nabob Theresa “Heinz Inheritance” Kerry (me, 20% average rate on income of 200k, Ms. Kerry, 11.5%, on income of 5.1M). Her fabulous wealth immune from government pillage, she smugly endorses taxation on others so that all below her can be equally poor. I marvel continuously that such a system would ever employ the term “fair” as an adjective.

Of course the income tax system is not fair, has never been fair, and indeed can never be fair. As the Ms. Kerry example demonstrates, our tax system is based on the faulty premise that a person’s income can be arbitrarily classified to produce a tax that affects all taxpayers equitably. A person making $200,000 in San Francisco may be worse off financially than a rustic living in Idaho on an income of $30,000. Net worth is the true measure of wealth, not income.

The solution to these systemic injustices is not to tweak the tax code so that Ms. Kerry pays more. The solution is to scrap the entire system. Anything that has had one hundred years to prove itself and fails to do so is, well, a failure. Dismally so. The efforts of our great people must be directed toward invention, business and improving life rather than filling tax forms, hiring accountants and fighting the government. Work must always be rewarded. So let us begin the fight against freedom’s enemies by finally making gross -minus net-pay equal to zero.