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.