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Election 2013

Don’t make too much or too little of tonight’s election results. Voters in New York City, once and no longer America’s greatest city, elected a New Left radical who aims to rob the rich and handicap anyone who wants to become rich. In Virginia, a Clinton crony was narrowly elected governor over an attorney general that earned his reputation opposing ObamaCare. New Jersey’s voters re-elected an Obama bootlicker who supports building an Islamic mosque near where the Twin Towers were destroyed by Islamic terrorists. Who’s a conservative, leftist, Democrat and Republican doesn’t matter as much as this: Obama’s cronies won and proponents of liberty lost.

But there’s more to today’s election results and it’s not all negative, though it’s mostly and overwhelmingly negative, especially for those living on the eastern seaboard, which Barry Goldwater once joked ought to be sawed off from the rest of the nation. The upside of New Yorkers electing a leftist that sanctioned a communist dictatorship is that that cesspool of nanny-statism will get what it deserves faster which can only be considered good to those of us cheering for New York City’s eventual comeback. In New Jersey, the Obama-worshipping populist Chris Christie, who opposes individual rights such as the right to abortion and is rumored to have ties to the criminal underworld and Islamic terrorist sponsors, delivered tonight’s acceptance speech in a characteristically underhanded way. Christie comes off more clearly as the consummate fatcat, making loud-mouthed power grabs in backroom favors and veiled threats through intimidation – thanks also to a new political insider book – with his cronies. He has never articulated a single coherent policy position on principle and he’s not starting now. He did, however, talk about hugs in some of the worst pap ever pronounced on stage. That’s what ought to be remembered about the governor’s speech: he’s all pap and powerlust and with nefarious ties to malcontents.

Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli, on the other hand, is a principled politician. The religious conservative lost to an indistinguishable Clinton type named Terry McAuliffe, who quoted Jefferson with no regard for Jefferson’s political philosophy. The lessons of Cuccinelli’s loss are three points:

  • The split between Republicans who want a libertarian approach to government and those who want a conservative approach is real; Cuccinelli probably would have won had a libertarian not also been running for governor.
  • Opposition to a woman’s right to abortion is, as Ayn Rand argued, an automatic disqualification for a proper grasp of man’s rights. Cuccinelli is a staunch and extreme opponent of the right to abortion and it is a huge factor in his loss.
  • Opposition to ObamaCare, an extreme law which is an example of fascism, is real, strong and growing thanks to the predicate of grass-roots activism achieved by activists who argue against the dictate on principle. Now that the law is affecting more people, activist arguments by grass-roots campaigns are being realized in people’s lives and, thanks to activism, those suffering most are more acutely aware of the denigration of their rights and lives. This is the only reason why Cuccinelli came as close as he did.

In sum total, the Virginia election should encourage conservatives, libertarians and Republicans – and, in particular, Tea Party supporters – that the Tea Party movement ignited by a Chicago member of the mainstream media (read about it here) is alive and that it thrives upon support for capitalism and individual liberty, not opposition to sex, drugs, gays, abortion and the right to travel, speech and property. The upshot of all three major races is that three politicians who heartily endorse Obama’s nihilist agenda to annihilate the United States gained power. This is unequivocally bad. This in turn ought to embolden Obama’s opponents to fight harder, be smarter and make better arguments on proper principles.

What Moves Snowden, Thanks to George Will

I’ll never forget watching The Lives of Others (2006) for the first time six years ago.

lives of othersI sat in a movie theater on Sunset Boulevard and was blown away. After the film finished and the theater lights came on, I sat still. I felt like I couldn’t move. I think I was stunned by its brilliance, shocked by its honesty and horrified at the realization that the film, set in communist East Germany, depicted what was becoming the brutal truth about the United States of America.

It’s only more so now. The movie’s power continues to astonish, and, like We the Living and V for Vendetta and other well-made dictatorship-themed motion pictures, it offers a preview of what’s to come in America. I was among the first to praise The Lives of Others in print, I’m proud to say, and among the only film journalists to identify it as a dramatization of the morality of altruism. I’ve urged every thinking person to see the film, which is available on DVD (read my review of both here).

According to newspaper columnist George Will, at least one thinking person apparently did.

snowdenMr. Will, a conservative journalist with a freethinking streak who writes for the left-wing Washington Post, recently reported during a passionate outburst on a Fox News panel discussion that, according to one of his sources, seeing The Lives of Others was the catalyst to American whistleblower Edward Snowden‘s choosing to flee America for Hong Kong, defy the government and reveal secrets about U.S. high technology surveillance of its citizens. Anyone who has seen The Lives of Others will know what this means. Anyone who has not seen it should see it with this new, crucial and relevant information in mind.

George Will, a staunch opponent of the NSA’s domestic spying, was similarly passionate about the individual rights of a child refugee from communism named Elian Gonzalez. That Mr. Will is the source for linking the American hero Snowden and the German movie The Lives of Others in fact – and that he did so during a segment in which he took exception with those on the left and those on the right and railed against those who defend government spying on Americans – is a strong and stinging reminder to be vigilant about locating and listening to liberty’s true defenders.

GeorgeWillThe best sources for important news about liberty, such as a banished government whistleblower being inspired by an accessible foreign film about a government whistleblower, may work in the mainstream media, appear on cable news channels you don’t watch, disagree with those on channels you do watch, be old and deal primarily in words, not in pictures, and have a better grasp of a particular philosophical point than you might think.

These are potentially dangerous times. So I think it’s crucial to be especially suspicious of those who treat philosophy as a religion in which one is required to have faith. One should be unyielding about having fidelity to facts, accessible only to facts and arguments based on reason. Even when facts come from those with whom you otherwise may not agree.

We now know, for example, that the single cause of what’s known about the massive government program to spy on Americans was moved to act by a movie that made him think twice – and we know it from an old columnist for a newspaper that’s often hostile to individual rights speaking as a substitute guest on a network that purports to oppose government control. The truth in an advancing dictatorship will get harder, not easier, to discern, sort and single out. This week’s game-changing news about an obscure movie that moved a man to become a hero, which was buried in the din of the day, is a lesson in being a better detective.

Ted Cruz and Praying for Time

541392_10151663374817596_1191695315_nIf Texas Sen. Ted Cruz represents a revival of the deceased Republican Party, as some Objectivists and Tea Party types argue, we’re in deeper trouble than I thought. I’m not a supporter of these Christian libertarian politicians, such as Cruz, Rand Paul and others, who rightly claim that Big Government violates individual rights while wrongly claiming we should have Big Government control our personal lives. If we come out of the New Left pre-dictatorship we’re getting deeper into by the hour, they are a threat to liberty, too.

I realize that this is a big if and I get the rational case for Cruz, who was right to challenge ObamaCare on principle until he finally agreed not to challenge the debt deal, which is another legislative disaster, contrary to this week’s endorsement by Alan Greenspan (who has apparently misapplied all of Ayn Rand’s lessons). Reasonable people can disagree about which advanced stage of fascism we’re in or what to do about it. Cruz is correct to fight ObamaCare on principle and, as a potential presidential contender, he has set himself up as the nation’s foremost opponent of a dictate that more consistent voices of reason have been warning against for years.

However, Cruz is not an advocate for reason and those of us who support his position on ObamaCare should qualify the support – however urgent – in strong terms. He is an opponent of a woman’s right to abortion. He seeks a government dictate on marriage. He seeks laws that amount to establishment of a government religion. In other words, by all the evidence, he is an opponent of man’s rights and advocate of theocracy. As the greatest defenders of reason, rights and liberty, Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff, have argued in serious, philosophical writings and literature, Cruz’s viewpoint is incompatible with a nation based on rights. It’s true that we must strive to remain to some extent a nation based on rights in the first place. That’s obvious to anyone concerned with the rise of fascism in the TSA‘s travel dictates, ObamaCare’s medical dictates and the NSA’s domestic spying on Americans, to say nothing of Obama’s sinister appeasement of jihadist Islam and recent firing of America’s most senior military generals.

Ted Cruz, a statesman who openly and explicitly prays as a matter of government policy and seeks to enact religion in government (and therefore government in religion), did not succeed in his effort to persuade others in his party, his house of Congress and the House of Representatives. He failed. Part of being a successful leader is persuading others that one’s position is correct, so it is legitimate for people to question his legislative tactic – questioning Cruz is not an inherent sign of compromise on principle – and point out that he failed to weaken ObamaCare and may have instead obscured ObamaCare’s disastrous Web site launch. Ted Cruz may in fact be a politician who advances us toward liberty, though – as with others praised by those praising Cruz including Newt Gingrich – I doubt it. The Texas senator who kneels for guidance from God in matters of state is at his best buying time for a country which is slipping into a state of slavery. But if Cruz succeeds, we have every reason to believe that he’ll use the time – and any power – to turn America into a nation ruled by Big Government Religion.

Why are America’s Top Generals Being Fired?

The nation’s top military generals are being fired by the Obama administration one by one, according to Reuters in an article published today.

It’s a disturbing trend for several reasons. The government says that each firing does not indicate any type of breach of U.S. military security or preparedness. But this makes one wonder why the generals are being fired. If the purported offenses are so puny – a commander at the crucial U.S. Strategic Air Command was reportedly fired for gambling – as to pose no threat to national security, why are the generals being fired? Contrast this with the administration’s treatment of those who commit repeated offenses, infractions and violations of law in countless government corruption scandals from Benghazi and Boston to the IRS, TSA and ObamaCare and it becomes clear that the firing of America’s military generals is cause for grave concern.

The government’s secrecy in these supposed wrongdoings by the generals is also suspicious. For example, the latest general to be fired is in charge of America’s nuclear missiles and, while the Obama administration insists that his infractions pose no threat to our missile defense and capability, the government refuses to identify, address and explain what the general is accused of doing that merits being fired. This amounts to Obama saying the fired general deserves no suspension, no punishment, no warning – just ‘you’re fired’ but we’re not telling anyone the facts or circumstances and we’re not disclosing why he’s fired but the people must have faith in the state and it’s not a big deal.

But firing one after another military general without cause, explanation or disclosure is a major issue. Especially coming from a government that shoots to kill, as we recently saw when the Secret Service or Capitol Police (we still don’t know which) gunned down an unarmed single mother driving recklessly in the nation’s capital. This is in the context of an administration which is systematically persecuting individuals and businesses and imposing total government control of the economy.

We have reason to believe that former U.S. military Central Commander Gen. David Petraeus, who became CIA director, may have been pushed out by the Obama administration using personal information obtained by secret U.S. government spying on Petraeus through the NSA, as whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden have warned against. Now we have top military generals in command of the most essential military weapons being fired one by one by a government that negotiates with Islamic dictatorships threatening to annihilate the U.S. with nuclear weapons while refusing to negotiate with Congressional leaders over the health care dictate. There’s a sinister pattern here.

million_vet_march_memorialsThis is why it is encouraging that our nation’s oldest and bravest defenders, our war veterans, have resolved to act in defiance of the Obama administration. This Sunday, the vets will march on Washington to storm the barricades erected around that which memorializes their acts of courage and assert their individual rights.

We already know that Obama wants to destroy what’s left of our nation’s republic. But Americans need to know why generals are being fired at the highest levels of military defense. We must know if the NSA is systematically spying on our generals to intimidate and force them into submission. We ought to know more about the American who was gunned down and killed in the nation’s capital, too, such as who fired upon her and why because the rights of the individual are why this country exists. Our immediate future is at stake. The truth may be worse than what’s known. This Sunday, every American should express support for America’s protesting veterans. Whatever happens, each among us should find inspiration in their acts of bravery versus the state, summon the courage to follow their example and become an activist for life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. Obama is dictating everything from health insurance to war memorial visits as he negotiates Islamic jihad nuclearization. Now he’s removing top military generals. The people should stand united in opposition.

On the Government Shutdown

Amid all the fuss and nonsense today, the second day of a partial (really, miniscule) Big Government shutdown, an exchange between a powerful government official and a reporter captured the essence of the central issue at stake: life versus death.

The reporter, a CNN broadcast reporter not some Fox News Channel personality or reporter (and that channel just gets worse every day in terms of objectivity), dared to challenge the U.S. Senate’s top politician, a slimy official from Nevada named Harry Reid, on a new proposal from the opposition party that would restore part of the U.S. government that has been effectively shut down over a dispute about ObamaCare. CNN’s Dana Bash, who is generally not known for being antagonistic toward the Obama administration and certainly not noted for being objective, asked Senate Majority Leader Reid a simple if cliched question: “If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?”

Sen. Reid’s answer ought to go down in history – with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s infamous line that the government had to “pass” fascist ObamaCare to “find out what’s in it” – as capturing the essence of how the state regards the individual when the state has omnipotent power. The question and answer exchange, which happened the day after ObamaCare went into fuller effect, finished with the Mormon senator’s short, angry response: “Why would we want to do that?”

To have a United States senator openly question why someone would demand to know why the government ought to intervene on behalf of a defenseless, sick child – supposedly the primary recipient of ObamaCare’s purported benefits – is itself revealing. ObamaCare is not about helping others. Altruism is all about enslaving, not helping, others, and Sen. Reid’s vicious, savage-like answer demonstrates the pure, raw primitivism Americans can expect from ObamaCare and its fascist bureaucrats. Over time, and sooner than later, they will ultimately seek to maim, harm, cripple, torture, enslave and murder patients because ObamaCare is based on death not life as the standard of value, though most people don’t yet know it. Redistribution of wealth, and that’s what ObamaCare means, is an act of the initiation of force. It is a form of violence that acts to subjugate the individual and all of his choices and break the individual’s spirit so that he serves others.

Others, however, will not be served. That’s only the bait. The switch is that the others whom robbing the healthy, wealthy, productive and otherwise are presumably intended to serve will be among the first victims – the old, the sick, the young, the weak, those too timid to speak out and fight back; they are doomed to die. They will cost too much, they will require too much medicine, too much care, and they are more easily extinguished and exterminated.

Sen. Reid’s horrifying comment, which is being treated as yet another conservative talking point – or, these days, with cynical comedians passing for intellectuals, laughing point – offers ObamaCare’s meaning in starkly clear and immediate language. It not only lies in what he said – which amounts to why do you dare to presume we care about the life of an individual?!? – it lies in how he said it: with outrage, contempt and venom.

But there’s more from the religious senator from Nevada. On top of showing his hatred of the innocent, the vacant weasel named Harry Reid showed a glimpse of what’s to come under the emerging American dictatorship with regard to freedom of speech, which covers freedom of the press. Singling out the mousy reporter – who is hardly known as a brave lion in the arena of journalism – for attack, as the Obama administration did when singling out CNN for assault after the news network questioned the government’s role in defending Americans at Benghazi, Harry Reid spit at the wispy young woman, with no particular attention to her: “To have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.”

This is an unmistakable warning to the press: submit to fascism … or else. That’s what Reid’s comment means. So, while ObamaCare’s defenders – and the government shutdown is chiefly about taking down or letting stand the monstrosity known as ObamaCare – spew their plain hatred for children, especially children with disease, they lace it with their contempt for the one who dares to speak his, or in this case her, mind. But this is precisely what every civilized human should do: question what ObamaCare is, what it means, how it applies to you and whether it’s moral or monstrous. Study the facts if they’re available for your consumption and make your own judgment. Then get in some government official’s face and speak up and make some noise about it. Think, question, and speak, just like CNN’s Dana Bash. Do it again. And, whatever else, don’t let the bastards bark you down.