The Rational Egoist

Welcome to my blog. My name is Steve Giardina. I consider myself to be a student of the philosophy of Objectivism, and these are my many thoughts. Feel free to leave comments, as well as your opinions.

"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. But to win it requires your total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence of that which is man: for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the Morality of Life." Ayn Rand


Extortion [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:23 pm

It looks like the United States is giving in to extortion from North Korea.

BEIJING - North Korea (news - web sites) told a six-nation conference that it has nuclear weapons and has plans to test one, a U.S. official said Thursday. However, other participants said delegates agreed on the need for a second round of talks.


The current round of talks are scheduled to end Friday after three days. The United States, North and South Korea (news - web sites), Russia, Japan and China are trying to balance U.S. demands for an end to North Korea’s nuclear program and the communist nation’s insistence on a nonaggression treaty with Washington and humanitarian aid.

“There is a consensus that the process of six-party talks should continue and is useful,” said Wie Sung-rak, director-general of the South Korean Foreign Ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau.

As I said in my 7/11/03 post, North Korea Must Be Stopped:

We have discovered that the North Koreans are very close to achieving a full nuclear weapons program, and they are threatening to attack South Korea, Japan, and the U.S., unless we continue to give them aid. Currently we are engaged in “multilateral discussions” with the North Koreans. This simply means that we are discussing new means by which the North Koreans will extort money from us. It amounts to the United States saying: there is no need for you to develop a nuclear weapons program in order to extort money from us, we will give you money without any such threat, we will allow you to continue to murder and torture your people, free of charge.
[Emphasis added]

The United States should pull out of these extortion “negotiations” immediately. By negotiating with a regime that threatens us, we send a message to the enemies of the United States that the way to get what they want (such as power, recognition by the U.S., monetary support, etc.) is to threaten us. While many claim that such negotiations with those that threaten us helps to enhance peace, I maintain that it actually does the opposite. By negotiating with those who threaten us, we grant legitimacy to the dictatorships and terrorist regimes that we are negotiating with. Worst of all, we tell these regimes that all they have to do is threaten the United States and they will get what they want. We say to these enemies of the United States that killing innocent civilians, building weapons of mass destruction, and threatening the world is BENEFICIAL to them. Such a message only emboldens our enemies to build larger forces and make bigger and bigger threats as we continue to give concessions to such threats.

Instead of this ridiculous policy of appeasement, I advocate that the United States eliminate threats BEFORE they become a “crisis.” Also, I believe that United States should not negotiate with any dictatorship or terrorist regime, and should not provide ANY aid whatsoever to any dictatorship, terrorist regime, OR population living under such regimes.

We should immediately end the negotiations with North Korea and eliminate their capability to extort money from the world.

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Way to Go Israel [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:00 pm

According to this report, Israel has a plan ready to bomb a nuclear facility in Iran if they gain the capability to create nuclear weapons.

Israel has ready a plan to bomb Iran’s Bushehr nuclear-power plant should the Persian Gulf coast facility, now under construction, begin producing weapons-grade material, an insider tells us.
This source says Israel has mapped out a route its jet fighters would take to destroy what is designed to be a two-reactor plant. A successful strike would ensure that the radical Tehran regime does not develop nuclear weapons. Iran has tested 600-mile-range ballistic missiles that can reach Israel and carry nuclear, biological or chemical warheads.

Great for them. Bombing any nuclear facility that allowed the theocratic regime of Iran to produce nuclear weapons would be very much in the self-interest of Israel, as well as the United States. If such an action were taken, it would demonsrate Israel’s proud upholding of their right to self-defense. Now if only they would do the same with the Palestinians, a lot of problems would be solved.

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The Roadmap to “Peace” [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 8:55 pm

Check out all of the violations of the “road map.” (Hat tip: Hootinan)

On June 24, 2002, President Bush set forth the conditions that the
Palestinian Arabs must fulfill in order to merit U.S. support for the
creation of a Palestinian Arab state. Among the major obligations are that
the Palestinian Arabs must “dismantle the terrorist infrastructure,” “end
incitement,” “elect new leaders not compromised by terror,” and
unequivocally embrace democracy and free market economics. None of those
conditions were fulfilled.

In March 2003, Yasir Arafat chose Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the number two
man in the PLO since the 1960s, as the new prime minister of the Palestinian
Authority. Mazen took office on April 29, 2003. Less than a day later, the
Bush administration unveiled its “Road Map” plan, which set forth conditions
that the Palestinian Arabs must fulfill prior to the creation of a
Palestinian Arab state.

The Road Map stipulates that the Palestinian Arabs are required to undertake
concrete steps to combat terrorist groups and democratize Palestinian Arab
society. Those obligations, which are quoted below, were supposed to have
been fulfilled during Phase 1 of the Road Map, which concluded at the end of
May 2003, but they were not.

This report analyzes Palestinian Arab violations of those obligations during
the 17th week following the unveiling of the Road Map plan, August 19 -
August 25, 2003.

While I believe that the “roadmap to peace” is fundamentally flawed, as I have argued for countless times in this blog, this article is another piece of evidence demonstrating the support of terrorist organizations on the part of the Palestinian Authority.

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The Results of Mysticism [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 4:22 pm

Yet another example of the disgusting and hysterically irrational nature of mysticism has been demonstrated.

Terrance Cottrell Jr. died Friday night at the Faith Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith on Milwaukee’s northwest side. The cause was “mechanical asphyxia due to external chest compression,” according to the medical examiner’s office.


A high-ranking Milwaukee police source said Ray Hemphill told investigators that he would sit on the boy’s chest for up to two hours at a time during prayer services at the small storefront church


Three women - including Terrance’s mother, Patricia Cooper - sat on the boy’s arms and legs while Hemphill tried to remove the “evil spirits” from him, said Hemphill’s brother, David Hemphill, the pastor of the church where the service took place.

Tamara Tolefree of Milwaukee said Monday she held Terrance’s leg during the prayer. After at least two other physically intense sessions like the one Friday, Tolefree said, Ray Hemphill decided to devote his entire vacation from his job as a janitor to “getting that spirit out of” the boy, who was also called “Junior.”


After more than an hour of restraining Terrance and praying for him, Tolefree said, the group saw the boy had shut his eyes and slowed his breathing. Ray Hemphill then “took control” of the situation and attempted to revive the boy, she said. Paramedics were called but could not save Terrance.

Sick. Absolutely sick.

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NASA: A Victim of Environmentalism [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 3:04 pm

A report blames the “culture” of the NASA program for the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

WASHINGTON – A long-term relaxation of safety vigilance at NASA culminated in the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and seven astronauts, investigators said Tuesday, warning that without sweeping changes, “the scene is set for another accident.”

In a report that cited disturbing “echoes” of the shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986, investigators said, “NASA’s organizational culture had as much to do with this accident as foam did.”

Officials have known for months that a piece of insulating foam material broke away from the orbiter’s fuel tank during launch, struck the leading edge of the left wing and led to its disintegration from the heat of re-entry on Feb. 1.

“Given the current design of the orbiter, there was no possibility for the crew to survive,” the report said.

The space agency lacks “effective checks and balances, does not have an independent safety program and has not demonstrated the characteristics of a learning organization,” the board said in a stinging 248-page report.

In my opinion, the Columbia space shuttle disaster was caused by the government forcing environmentalism on NASA.

A human being has no automatic means to achieve survival and happiness. The requirements for doing so do not exist ready-made in nature. By his nature as a human being, he must PRODUCE the conditions necessary for the highest benefit of his own life. This means that he can not adapt to the environment around him but rather must alter the envrionment around him in order to achieve survival and happiness.

According to the philosophy of environmentalism, the environment has intrinsic value. An intrinsic value is a value which is divorced from reality, from any mention of beneficiaries or valuers. An intrinsic value is something that, according to its proponents, is good regardless of reality. Since the environment, according to environmentalism, is intrinsically good, anything done to alter the environment is intrinsically evil. Therefore, since a human being must alter the environment in order to produce the conditions necessary for the highest benefit of his own life, according to environmentalism, a human being’s existence is inherently evil.

Like most other anti-man, anti-reality philosophies, most of its adherents do not believe in it fully. However, to the extent that a person does advocate the philosophy of environmentalism, they are advocating that human beings do not act to achieve their own survival and happiness. The biggest examples of environmentalist outrage can be seen with technologies and industries which benefit human beings the most at the cost of the highest alteration of the environment; such as genetic engineering, power plants (especially nuclear ones), technology which uses oil (especially SUV’s), medicines and pesticides which cure diseases at the expense of insects and small animals (such as DDT), and many others.

Some environmentalists even engage in terrorist attacks against what they believe to be the biggest threats to the environment.

WEST COVINA, Calif. — Fires destroyed dozens of SUVs (search) and a warehouse at an auto dealership Friday, and vehicles there and at three other dealerships were spray-painted with slogans such as “Fat, Lazy Americans.”

“With all the evidence … it’s highly likely it’s an arson fire,” said Rick Genovese, fire marshal for West Covina, a Los Angeles suburb.

The radical group Earth Liberation Front (search) issued an unsigned e-mail Friday calling the incidents “ELF actions,” and the FBI was investigating the dealership fire as domestic terrorism, Police Chief Frank Wills said.

The underground group has claimed responsibility for a slew of arson attacks (search) against commercial entities that members say damage the environment. It is suspected in a multimillion-dollar arson fire Aug. 1 that destroyed a five-story apartment complex under construction in San Diego, though an ELF e-mail claimed the group had not been in contact with those responsible in that case.

The blazes at the Clippinger Chevrolet dealership broke out about 5 a.m. Friday. Flames destroyed about 20 vehicles, mostly Hummer H2s, which are luxury SUVs patterned after the military’s workhorse Humvee. Another 20 vehicles were badly damaged. A separate blaze caved in a warehouse roof.

There were no reports of injuries, but damage was estimated at $1 million.

One such terrorist envrionmentalist group is the Earth Liberation Front

Earth Liberation Front Guidelines:

* To inflict economic damage on those profitting from the destruction and exploitation of the natural environment.

* To reveal and educate the public on the atrocities committed against the earth and all species that populate it.

* To take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.

Through the pressure of environmentalists, the government has enacted a large number of laws aimed at “protecting the environment” by forcing individuals to act against their own judgment.

According to Hannes Hacker at Capitalism Magazine, government edicts in line with environmentalism were the cause of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.

Now that a dramatic new test has confirmed that a piece of thermal insulation flaking off of space shuttle Columbia’s external tank during launch was the most likely cause of its destruction during reentry, the typical second-guessing in the press has focused on NASA engineers, asking: “What did Mission Control know, and when did they know it?”


Why did the shuttle’s foam insulation flake off? In response to an edict from the EPA, NASA was required to change the design of the thermal insulating foam on the shuttle’s external tank. They stopped using Freon, or CFC-11, in order to comply with the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an agreement designed to head off doubtful prognostications of an environmental disaster.

But it was the elimination of the old foam that led to a real disaster for the shuttle program. The maiden flight with the new foam, in 1997, resulted in a ten-fold increase to foam-induced tile damage. The new foam was far more dangerous than the old foam. But NASA–a government organization afraid of antagonizing powerful political interests–did not reject the EPA’s demands and thoroughly reverse their fatal decision. Instead, they sought a compromise, applying for a waiver from the EPA that allowed them to use the old foam on some parts of the external tank.

Under the pressure of government edicts, the scientists at NASA were forced to act against their own judgment, and thereby not able to use their minds properly. They were unable to create the safest conditions for the use of the space shuttle because environmentalists, using the gun of the government, forced them to use unsafe products.

The proper response to environmentalism is to reject it outright, to uphold man’s right to produce the conditions necessary for the benefit of his own life by altering the environment around him.

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Weapons of Mass Destruction [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 3:30 pm

According to U.S. intelligence, the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction claimed to exist by the U.S. may have been located.

U.S. intelligence suspects Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction have finally been located.

Unfortunately, getting to them will be nearly impossible for the United States and its allies, because the containers with the strategic materials are not in Iraq.

Instead they are located in Lebanon’s heavily-fortified Bekaa Valley, swarming with Iranian and Syrian forces, and Hizbullah and ex-Iraqi agents, will report in tomorrow’s new weekly edition.

The United States has a clear enemy: Islamic fundamentalsm. Islamic fundamentalism is strong in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, etc. The governments of these countries are striving to achieve weapons of mass destruction programs, and firmly support a large number of Islamic terrorists groups including Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, etc. These countries and terrorist groups are also a threat to the state of Israel.

The United States can easily wipe out this enemy. We clearly have the military might to eradicate the governments of these countries and all of the terrorist groups that they support. Combined with the strength of the Israeli military, we could easily eliminate these threats to our country.

Why haven’t we done so? Why haven’t we eradicated the terrorist threat against us? Moral uncertainty. The United States is losing its moral certainty that it has the right, as a free nation, to attack all countries that threaten us. As a result, the leaders of The United States and Israel, instead of clearly identifying the enemy (Islamic fundamentalism) and ruthlessly wiping it off the face of the earth, they fail to identify the enemy and succumb to the pressure of today’s prominent intellectuals who are all proclaiming that reason is invalid, egoism is “materialistic” and “selfish,” capitalism is outdated, and only a “consensus” can determine what is morally right. Our leaders, unable to rebel such a philosophical attack, are failing to uphold the fundamental principles of this country: reason, egoism, and capitalism and are thereby failing to uphold our right to self-defense.

The leaders of our country should repel this philosophical attack, in regard to the war on terrorism, by clearly identifying our enemy and firmly upholding our right to self-defense by eradicating the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and others, and the terrorist groups which are supported by these countries.

President Bush: GO into Lebanon and find those WMD’s. If they aren’t there, then at least we have eradicated more Islamic terrorist scum from the planet.

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Another Jerusalem Post Editorial [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:49 pm

This is an excellent editorial written by Caroline B. Glick on the true nature of the “cease-fire” (hudna) between the Israelis and the Palestinian terrorists. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

It must be wonderful to be Abbas and Dahlan and Arafat. They can stand before the world and be embraced as peacemakers while making war on Israel. No matter what they do, no matter what atrocities they enable or conduct, they will never be blamed. Patience with them will never run out.

Israel’s military successes during Defensive Shield and even the successful operations undertaken yesterday in Nablus, Jenin, and Ramallah make clear that if our leaders would just muster up the will to win, our armed forces will deliver the victory.

A decision to kill, deport, or arrest Arafat and try him for crimes against humanity in an Israeli court of law would be an immediate catalyst for a military operation that would in fact bring this country victory and the security that would ensue. Why is this? Because the only way to win a war is to identify who the enemy is. After 10 years of lying to ourselves, the blood on the streets of our capital city calls out the truth. Hamas and Islamic Jihad could never operate if it weren’t for the PA and Arafat and his new straw men Abbas and Dahlan. The longer our leaders dither and deceive us, the longer our army officers will believe that their work is meaningless and the longer our lives will be at the mercy of our enemies.

Our future lies in the hands of our leaders. Victory is the only option. What will it take for them to find the will to lead us to it?

The answer to that question is: the right philosophy. For too long now, Israel has abandoned the philosophy that it has the right to defend itself against terrorists who initiate force against them. Instead, at the urging of the world (ESPECIALLY the United States) Israel has been bowing down to terrorism and the government that sponsors the terrorists: The Palestinian Authority. This is the equivalent of the United States negotiating with Al-Qaeda to determine how best we can give them what they want (the death of America and the rise of Islamic theocracy). This would be the equivalent of negotiating with Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in order to determine how best we can give them what they want (the destruction of America and the rise of dictatorship). And yet, The United States, which claims to be so emphatically determined to wipe out terrorism wherever it exists, has been urging Israel to negotiate with ITS terrorists.

Israel needs to proudly reject the philosophy which says that one must negotiate with terrorists. Israel must proudly uphold their right to self-defense, their right to kill murderous savages with no concept of individual rights who intentionally murder innoncent women and children. Unfortunately, it appears that the Israeli government is still unwilling to do so. What will it take to convince them that negotiating with terrorists is not a successful policy? How many innocent Israelis must die? How many concessions must the Israelis make? How much land must the Israelis give up?

The Palestinian terrorists, along with the government that supports them, will not cease until Israel is destroyed. The “peace process” and the “cease-fire” (hudna) are merely the new means for terrorists to cash-in on bankrupt philosophy. The Palestinians are MUCH weaker militarily than the Israelis and would have absolutely no chance in a direct confrontation. So, they manipulate the bankrupt philosophy of the Israeli government and get the Israelis to gradually hand over what the terrorists want (the destruction of the state of Israel). They attack the Israelis just enough to get them to submit to negotiatons, then declare a “cease-fire” while Israel gives the terrorists land in return for the “promises” of the Palestinian government to stop the terrorist groups. The Palestinian government does nothing to stop the terrorist groups (and in fact supports them) in order to give these groups enough time to build up their weapons and their strength during the “cease-fire.” Once serious concessions have been made to the Palestinians, the attacks continue. The Israelis retaliate, but not nearly enough to stop the terrorists, and are QUICKLY condemned by the United States and the rest of the world. This pressure from the United States to submit to terrorism causes the Israelis to abandon their self-defense prematurely and committ to a new round of negotiations, and so, the cycle continues.

To the extent that the Israel government continues such a cycle, they will be contributing to the destruction of their country. Israel must proudly uphold its right to self-defense and completely wipe out all of the Palestinian terrorists groups AND the government that supports them: The Palestinian authority. I also fully support Israel’s right to continue on to such countries as Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and others, that either have weapons of mass destruction pointed as Israel now or are in the process of gaining such capability.

To the extent that the United States government continues to advocate that Israel must negotiate with its terrorists, the enemies of The United States will grow stronger. The enemies of The United States will learn that threatening us and attacking us with terrorism will eventually cause us to negotiate with you (as is happening now with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, North Korea, and many terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda.) The United States too must proudly uphold its right to self-defense and completely wipe out all of its enemies (ESPECIALLY the terrorist organizatons of the Islamic fundamentalist movement and the governments that support them).

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America is Not Winning The War [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:46 pm

Written almost a year ago, this op-ed by Onkar Ghate rings ever true today.

To wage a war in self-defense you must know who your enemy is. But our enemy remains unidentified and, therefore, untargeted. Ours is a war against “terrorism"—a form of violence, not an ideological opponent intent on killing us. Our enemies, however, are dedicated to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, which extols faith, mindless obedience, sacrifice to state and God, primitivism, theocracy. This is why they are at war with the “Great Satan,” America, the foremost embodiment of the opposite values: reason, individualism, the selfish pursuit of happiness, secularism, capitalism. Bin Laden understands this: “Hostility toward America,” he declares, “is a religious duty.” But our politicians, schooled in pragmatism and range-of-the-moment non-thinking, cannot conceive of an ideologically motivated conflict. An individual terrorist brandishing a bomb, like bin Laden, may still be real to them, but the movement for which he fights, Islamic fundamentalism, is not. Thus, we try to kill a few terrorists—but leave untouched the main militant Islamic states breeding the terrorists. We have no long-term plan to achieve victory in the war because we cannot identify the enemy that must be incapacitated. Ask yourself: Would America have been victorious in WWII if our goal had been to destroy “kamikaze-ism,” not Japanese totalitarianism?


Bush—programmed by feelings formed from millennia of assertions that it is evil to uphold one’s own interests, that the strong must sacrifice to the weak, that the meek shall inherit the earth—undercuts any genuine action taken in America’s self-defense. In Afghanistan, for instance, morally unsure of his right to safeguard American lives, Bush feared world disapproval over civilian casualties. He would neither commit the number of American ground troops required to capture the enemy nor authorize the kind of massive bombing necessary to kill the enemy before it fled. The result: hundreds of Taliban and al Qaeda escaped to plot further American destruction. In the Middle East, uncertain of America’s right unilaterally to defend its interests, the administration obsesses with “coalition-building” (which includes shunning Israel and courting Saudi Arabia) and refuses to proclaim the superiority of America’s ideals over those of medieval barbarism.

Lacking the moral conviction to uphold its values abroad, America increasingly and self-destructively turns inward, shifting its focus to such relatively trivial questions as whether airline pilots should be armed or government bureaucracies reshuffled. Because of our inaction on foreign soil, we resign ourselves to more terrorist attacks like that of September 11.

How then goes the war? An objective answer must be: badly. But our cause is not yet lost. We lack not the wealth nor the skilled military necessary to defeat the enemy, only the ideas and the will. If we articulate and practice a rational foreign policy, one actually premised on America’s self-interest, we will prevail. Nothing more is needed to achieve victory than to replace the pragmatism and self-sacrifice now dictating America’s actions with the principles of reason and rational self-interest; nothing less will do.

So very unfortunately correct.

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Media Agenda? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:30 pm

This is a great article from Thomas Sowell over at Capitalism Magazine.

Here we are, five months after the war in Iraq began, and we haven’t yet solved all of that country’s problems. Who would have thought that we would?
Apparently a significant section of the American media either thought that we would or is simply piling on the Bush administration, in hopes of bringing back the Democrats in 2004. The New York Times has led the way, managing to come up with at least one negative story to put on the front page almost every day.
When there is nothing bad to report from Iraq, they can always go interview families of soldiers who had been killed before, in order to continue a regular dose of negative news. We have, in effect, our own home-grown fifth column, even if their purpose is not to aid the enemy but to lay the groundwork for next year’s election.
None of this goes unnoticed by our enemies. North Korea could dare to engage in nuclear blackmail, in defiance of overwhelming American strength, only because our internal divisions limit our options politically.
Despite all efforts to defuse the North Korean threat by diplomatic means, force may ultimately be the only language that the North Koreans understand. Unfortunately, there are too many Americans who do not understand that and too many for whom protest and indignation are a way of life – a potentially fatal habit.

I am not sure if the television media’s constant reporting of negatives in Iraq is due to the desire to undermine America, get as much sensationalism as possible, or both. However, the fact remains that the majority of media outlets are not accurately reporting the situation in Iraq.

See “Bush Good, Saddam Bad”

AL HILLAH, Iraq–There’s more to America than New York, Washington and Los Angeles. The same is true for Iraq; there’s a vast country outside Baghdad and the “Sunni triangle” that’s now the center of a guerrilla campaign. It’s understandable that Western press reports are fixated on attacks that kill American soldiers. But that focus is obscuring what’s actually happening in the rest of the country–and it misleads the public into thinking that Iraqis are growing angry and impatient with their liberators.

In fact, there is another Iraq that the media virtually ignore. It is guarded by the First Marine Division, and, unlike Baghdad, it has been a model of success. The streets are safe, petty and violent crime are low, water and electrical services are almost universally available (albeit rationed), and ordinary Iraqis are beginning to clean up and rebuild their neighborhoods and communities. Equally important, a deep level of mutual trust and respect has developed between the Marines and the populace here in central and southern Iraq.


The “Arab Street” I’ve meet in Iraq loves–that’s not too strong of a word–America and is deeply grateful for our presence. Far from resenting the American military, most Iraqis seem to fear that we will leave too soon and that in our absence the Baath Party tyranny will resume. This sentiment is readily apparent whenever we venture into the city. We don’t make it far outside of our camp before throngs of happy, smiling children greet us.

“Good, good!” they yell, as they run into the street, often oblivious to oncoming traffic. They give us a hearty thumbs-up and vigorously wave and pump their hands. They are eager to see us and to talk with us. To them, it is clear, we are heroes who liberated them from Saddam Hussein.

“Bush good, Saddam bad!” many Iraqis tell us emphatically–and repeatedly. I’m not sure how George W. Bush is faring with the American public, but he’s got a lock on Al Hillah.

Iraqis routinely ask me to “thank Mr. Bush for freeing us of Saddam” and tell me, “We are very grateful, because you have freed us of our worst nightmare, Saddam Hussein.” (A lot of Iraqis speak surprisingly good English because most studied it in primary and secondary school.)

It all reminds me of my experience a decade ago in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Most ordinary Russians, Poles and Czechs hailed Ronald Reagan as a hero for bringing down the “evil empire” when few people had the courage even to call it that.

In much the same way, ordinary Iraqis have a tremendous reservoir of goodwill for the president who coined the term “axis of evil"–and who then acted to eradicate a primary source of that evil.

The Iraqis know who their foes are too. Two Iraqi children once spontaneously shouted to me, “France, Chirac!” while giving the thumbs-down sign and shaking their heads disapprovingly. The children quickly smiled and shouted “Bush!” while punching the sky.

“We are very glad that you are here and we hope you never leave,” Zaid, a 31-year-old mechanical engineer, told me. “If you leave, then there will be more trouble. The Bath Party thugs will take over.”

(Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

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The Truce is Over [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 10:26 pm

The truce is over.

This is such ridiculous reporting on the part of Yahoo News.

JERUSALEM - Palestinian militants called off a tattered two-month-old truce on Thursday after an Israeli helicopter killed a senior Hamas political leader with a volley of missiles. Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters marched in protest through the streets of Gaza, vowing revenge.

According to aides, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas had ordered a major crackdown and drew up lists of militants to be arrested, but scrapped the plans after the assassination.

What about the suicide bombing in Jerusalem which killed over 20 including little children? Was that part of the “truce” that the Palestinians were engaged in???

The fact of the matter is that the Palestinian militant groups had no intention of peace with Israel. They have been using this declared cease-fire (hudna) in order to restock their weapons and prepare for more attacks on the Israeli people. As I have stated before, the head of Islamic Jihad has openly admitted this to be true.

The media, the Bush administration, and many others, paint the picture that the Palestinian government is firmly against the Palestinian terrorist groups and has taken large steps to eliminate the terrorists. This is simply not true. The Palestinian government, under Yasser Arafat, has done next to nothing to stop the terrorist groups. In fact, Arafat himself has his very own terrorist group with the mission of destroying Israel, Fatah.
Now that this ridiculous “cease-fire” is over, maybe the Israeli’s will shake off the outrageous demands of the U.S. to negotiate with terrorists and instead destroy the Palestinian terrorist groups and the government that support them: The Palestinian Authority. The new prime minister, Abu Mazen, The new Prime Minister, Abu Mazen, is a puppet of Arafat, and the U.S. now seems to be supporting Arafat, the leader of the terrorist group Fatah who wants to destroy Israel.

I am too disgusted to comment further. The absolute hypocrisy and moral outrage of advocating that Israel negotiate with terrorists while America should fight against terrorists is too sick to contemplate.

I have commented on this disgusting hypocrisy many times before, but I think that this picture speaks for itself.

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Victory For Individual Rights in Alabama [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:14 pm

A monument displaying the Ten Commandments, a fundamental aspect of Catholicism, has been removed from the Alabama Judicial Building.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - State Supreme Court justices overruled Chief Justice Roy Moore on Thursday and directed that his Ten Commandments monument be removed from its public site in the Alabama Judicial Building.

The senior associate justice, Gorman Houston, said the eight associate justices instructed the building’s manager to “take all steps necessary to comply … as soon as practicable.”

A federal judge had ruled the monument violates the constitution’s ban on government establishment of religion and must be removed from its public place in the rotunda. He had set Thursday as his deadline, but Moore said he would not move it.

The associate justices wrote that they are “bound by solemn oath to follow the law, whether they agree or disagree with it.”

According to the Founding Fathers of this country, every individual has the right to life (and all of its derivatives) which means: the right to take whatever actions one deems necessary for the benefit of their own life as long as they do not violate the right for others to do so in the process. From this right, it was derived that the initiation of force could violate this right to life of individuals, and therefore, the purpose of a government is to protect its citizens from the initiation of force. Unfortunately, while this was the fundamental philosophy behind the creation of America, the Founding Fathers failed to fully implement this philosophy in practice.

As a result of this failure, our country has seen an increase in the government initiation of force against its citizens. The push by many conservatives to incorporate their own religious beliefs into law is one such example of this initiation of force. The Constitution which founded this country, which was based on its fundamental philosophy, clearly stated that the government is FORBIDDEN to officially recognize ANY religion (or atheism either). By attempting to incorporate their own religious beliefs into law, many conservatives are attempting to force the individuals of this country to accept (at least in part) these religious beliefs. Having the Ten Commandments in a courthouse is an example of such an attempt.

Therefore, I support the State Supreme Court Justices’ action in removing this monument from the courthouse on the grounds that it represented the initiation of force against the citizens of this country in the attempt to establish an official religion.

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Jerusalem Post Editorial [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 4:02 pm

This is a very good editorial.

The objective of the terrorists is to make us think what we have done wrong, to wonder what we have done to provoke such a heinous crime. And the answer is always the same. It is not what we, the US, or the UN has done wrong, but who we are and what we have done right. [Emphasis added]

There are two simple lessons from the suicide bombings yesterday in Baghdad and Jerusalem: No one is safe and there is no turning back. Suicide terrorism is the plague of this century. It cannot be escaped, denied, or appeased. It must be defeated.

So far, the terrorists have successfully played divide and conquer. They have first succeeded in convincing the world that terrorism against Israel, while condemnable, is somehow understandable, and that it can be addressed by delivering on supposed “root causes,” such as the call for a Palestinian state. They have also lulled the world into thinking that only those who stand up to them, such as the US and Israel, will be attacked, while those who are willing to resist the war against terrorism will be spared.

Terrorism will be beaten when these twin myths are dispelled. So long as the terrorists see that the world is afraid to take Israel’s side against them, why should they stop? And so long as key European democracies, such as France, will not back concerted action against terrorism-supporting countries in the UN Security Council, why should countries like Iran and Syria change their stripes? We know that Iran, Syria, or both actively support Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah, all of which are charter members in the global fraternity of suicide bombers.

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Israel Strikes Back [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:19 pm

Israel is exercising its right to self-defense and planning to attack some of the Palestinian terrorist groups.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon approved a series of military strikes against Palestinian militants in response to a suicide bombing that killed 18 people in Jerusalem, a senior security source said on Wednesday.

The source said the army operations, which could begin as early as Wednesday night and last several days, would go ahead regardless of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas’s order for security services to arrest militants behind the bombing.

Good, but not good enough. The typical cycle in this situation seems to be continuing: Palestinians terrorize Israeli’s, Israeli’s retaliate, Palestinians “promise” not to attack again, Israeli’s agree to negotiate (while under severe pressure from the U.S. to do so), Palestinians terrorize Israeli’s, cycle continues. It is my firm belief that the Palestinian terrorist groups have absolutely no intention of peace with Israel, but rather, manipulate the peaceful hopes of the Israeli people in order to secure enough time to rebuild their terrorist forces and weapons so that they may strike again. The head of Islamic Jihad has openly admitted that this is the case. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

The Israeli military needs to respond to this farce by completely dismantling ALL of the Palestinian terrorist organizations, including the government that supports them: The Palestinian Authority.

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Rational Egoism [About Me] — Steve Giardina @ 2:08 pm

Since I refer to this blog as The Rational Egoist, I thought I’d take some time to explain what a rational egoist is.

Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates what man perceives through sense data. First, one’s sense organs receive sense data, which is then integrated by the process of concept-formation. While the process of perceiving reality through sense data is automatic, the process of concept-formation is not, but rather it is volitional. This means that one has the ability to choose to integrate one’s sense data to the best of their ability or to choose to evade the integration of one’s sense data to the best of their ability. If the choice is made to integrate one’s sense data to the best of one’s ability, a specific method is required for achieving that integration, which is: logic. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. Through the use of logic, one can properly integrate their sense data into concepts and thus achieve knowledge of the facts of reality.

According to Objectivism, based on the nature of a human being, reason is the only means of knowledge. This means, that reason is a value to human beings. According to Ayn Rand, a value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep. Translated into action, a virtue is the action by which one gains and keeps a value. In the words of Ayn Rand,

The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action. It means one’s total commitment to a state of full, conscious awareness, to the maintenance of a full mental focus in all issues, in all choices, in all of one’s waking hours. It means a commitment to the fullest perception of reality within one’s power and to the constant, active expansion of one’s perception, i.e., of one’s knowledge. It means a commitment to the reality of one’s own existence, i.e., to the principle that all of one’s goals, values and actions take place in reality and, therefore, that one must never place any value or consideration whatsoever above one’s perception of reality. It means a commitment to the principle that all of one’s convictions, values, goals, desires and actions must be based on, derived from, chosen and validated by a process of thought—as precise and scrupulous a process of thought, directed by as ruthlessly strict an application of logic, as one’s fullest capacity permits. It means one’s acceptance of the responsibility of forming one’s own judgments and of living by the work of one’s own mind (which is the virtue of Independence). It means that one must never sacrifice one’s convictions to the opinions or wishes of others (which is the virtue of Integrity)—that one must never attempt to fake reality in any manner (which is the virtue of Honesty)—that one must never seek or grant the unearned and undeserved, neither in matter nor in spirit (which is the virtue of Justice). It means that one must never desire effects without causes, and that one must never enact a cause without assuming full responsibility for its effects-that one must never act like a zombie, i.e., without knowing one’s own purposes and motives-that one must never make any decisions, form any convictions or seek any values out of context, i.e., apart from or against the total, integrated sum of one’s knowledge—and, above all, that one must never seek to get away with contradictions. It means the rejection of any form of mysticism, i.e., any claim to some nonsensory, nonrational, nondefinable, supernatural source.

The concept of egoism denotes a philosophy that says that every man should be the moral beneficiary of his own actions by acting in his own self-interest. However, what exactly is in one’s self-interest and how one is to judge what is in one’s self-interest? Philosophers have given different criteria for determining exactly what is in one’s own self-interest, which has resulted in two different “forms” of egoism that advocate different criteria of self-interest: those philosophies that advocate whim (subjective feelings) and those philosophies which advocate reason. According to the egoistic philosophies that advocate whim as the criterion of self-interest, an action is in one’s own self-interest if one feels it to be so; whereas, according to the egoistic philosophies that advocate reason as the criterion of self-interest, an action is moral (in one’s own self-interest) if it is objectively demonstrated by reason to be moral.

While both the whim-oriented and reason-oriented egoistic philosophies claim to advocate the proper criterion for what is in the self-interest of the individual, there is only one proper criterion, and that is reason: the identification and integration of reality. In order to determine what is in one’s own self-interest, one must properly identify the facts of reality and then take the correct course of action according to the method of logic. Only a philosophy that strictly adheres to this principle can properly allow an individual to act in his own self-interest. This philosophy is rational egoism, as advocated by Objectivism.

Thus, I refer to myself as The Rational Egoist because I recognize that reason is the only means to knowledge for a human being, egoism is the only proper ethical philosophy, and the strictest use of reason is required to correctly follow egoism.

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Some Good News [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 10:29 pm

U.S forces have arrested Saddam Hussein’s former Senior Vice President, Taha Yasin Ramadan.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) – Iraq’s former vice president Taha Yasin Ramadan is being held in U.S. custody, U.S. military and Kurdish officials told CNN on Tuesday.

Ramadan was the senior of two vice presidents in Saddam Hussein’s regime and had been with Saddam Hussein since the start of the toppled Iraqi leader’s rise to power.

The former vice president is an ethnic Kurd who is believed to have coordinated the brutal suppression of 1991’s Shia rebellion in southern Iraq. He is No. 20 on the U.S. military’s list of 55 most-wanted members of the Saddam regime. He is pictured on the 10 of diamonds in a special deck of cards distributed to U.S. forces in Iraq.

Good. Saddam Hussein, you’re next.

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Israel Reversing Course? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 10:10 pm

Little Green Footballs is reporting the following story from the Jerusalem Post, about the Israeli response to today’s Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

Reacting to the bombing, Justice Minister Yosef Lapid (Shinui) said: “The game is over. The PA can no longer hide behind the word ‘hudna’ without taking strong measures against the terrorist organizations. Abu Mazen [PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas] and [PA Security Minister Muhammad] Dahlan must decide if they want peace with us or peace with the terrorists.

“After this terror attack, Israel will not continue to appease the PA so long as it does not fulfill its responsibilities under the road map.”
Health Minister Danny Naveh said the transfer of cities must be immediately halted and that the attack again illustrates that the PA “does not want, or cannot, fight terror.”

Labor and Social Affairs Minister Zevulun Orlev (NRP) said, “Israel should give Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and PA Security Minister Muhammad Dahlan a 24-hour ultimatum: start dismantling terrorist organizations or Israel will have to do it.” Israeli lives can not be left in the hands of Abbas and Dahlan, Orlev said.

Science Minister Eliezer Sandberg (Shinui) said the attack proves how disconnected Abbas is from reality. He accused Abbas and his government of acting only as diplomats and failing to take the steps laid out for them under the road map.

Members of the Central Likud Committee, following a telephone vote, said that if the prime minister does not respond harshly, Central Committee members will convene a meeting urging Sharon’s dismissal as head of the party and will ask MKs to call for a no-confidence vote in the Knesset.

This is potentially very good news.

Israel is a semi-free repbulic based on the partial recognition of individual rights (the most recognition by far in the area). The Israeli military has one purpose: to protect its citizens from the initiation of force.

There are only two kinds of force: the initiation of force (which means an entity beginning the force) and the retaliatory use of force against those who initiate force. Every human being, by their very nature, constantly chooses between two or more alternatives in action through the use of their own mind. The initiation of force entails the physical compulsion of another individual from being able to make a choice between two or more alternatives. The initiators of force attempt to forbid an individual from making a choice by dictating to that individual what action they must take in some given area. The retaliatory use of force is the response to those who initiate the use of force. This entails doing whatever is necessary in order to stop those who have initiated force.

The Palestinian terrorist groups have one mission: the destruction of Israel. The Palestinian terrorist groups initiate force against innocent civilians by suicide bombing them in the attempt to destroy Israel.

The proper course of action for the Israeli military is to ruthlessly eliminate all Palestinian terrorist organizations and all other organizations which threaten them in order to protect their citizens from the initiation of force. It appears that they may be closer to doing so. I sincerely hope that they are.

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Injustice [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:52 pm

Another bomb blows apart a bus in Jerusalem.

Terrorists attack children, children get their faces ripped apart by the shrapnel and flames of suicide bombs, hundreds die over a long period of time. In what sort of sick world do we live in where it is not the terrorists who are blamed for the attack, but rather the people being attacked??? This is what is happening in Israel.

A terrorist slaughters innocent civilians, including blatant attacks on young children, and the blame for such attacks is directed at the country of THE VICTIMS. The world, in response to such attacks, does not support the victims in ruthlessly eliminating the terrorists behind it, but rather screams at them to negotiate with its murderers. What sort of sick and twisted world do we live in where the response advocated by the majority of the world to murder and terror is to bow down and ask for more!?

I can not begin to describe the injustice and the horror of what is advocated by the world for the response to terrorism in Israel.

Today I’ve seen the video of the aftermath of this attack. I’ve seen emergency services trying to recessitate a three year-old girl with her legs shattered and gone, not breathing. What kind of sick person would claim that that girl’s death is not the fault of the terrorist who killed her, but rather, the victims of the attack?

I fully support the Israeli army marching into the Palestinian territories and killing every Palestinian terrorist they can find, and continuing onto every other country that supports the murderers of Israeli civilians.

For people to advocate that Israelis negotiate with their murderers is absolutely sick and disgusting.

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Liberia [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 11:30 am

President Bush “promises” that U.S. forces will leave Liberia by Oct. 1.

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush pledged yesterday that American forces would be out of Liberia by Oct. 1 as the Liberian government and rebels signed a peace accord to end a bloody three-year insurgency.
“It’s short-term,” Mr. Bush told Armed Forces Network in an interview he gave Thursday but that was made public yesterday. “We have a special obligation in Liberia to help with humanitarian aid. And therefore we will.”

Mr. President, what “special obligation” to we have to help the Liberians? My guess, is that President Bush believes in altruism, which in foreign relations, says that it is the duty of the powerful nations to sacrifice itself to weaker nations.

We have absolutely no obligation to the Liberians. The purpose of the U.S. military is not to sacrifice itself for savages killing each other, but rather, to protect U.S. citizens.

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Terrorist Attack in Baghdad [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 11:23 am

A suicide bombing has hit the United Nations H.Q. in Baghdad today.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A car bomb exploded in front of the hotel housing the U.N. headquarters on Tuesday, collapsing the front of the building, the U.S. military said. At least nine people were wounded, including the top U.N. official in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

I have no love for the U.N., but this is a vicious terrorist attack against people who are trying to HELP the Iraqi people. This is a cowardly attack against civilians and I fully condemn it.

Reports are comning in that Islamic terrorists are coming to Iraq from countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria in order to committ terrorist attacks against coalition forces.

Increasing numbers of Saudi Arabian Islamists are crossing the border into Iraq in preparation for a jihad, or holy war, against US and UK forces, security and Islamist sources have warned.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if these terrorists are receiving support from the governments (at least in part) of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. This latest terrorist attack only reminds me that we must ruthlessly eliminate all Islamic terrorist organizations AS WELL as the governments that support them.

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The Contradiction of Public Education [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:12 pm

This story about a course on “how to be gay” being taught at the University of Michigan demonstrates the contradiction between public education and individual rights.

A course called “How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation,” scheduled this fall, has reignited a culture war at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
A family-values lobbyist is leading public opposition to the self-proclaimed “uncompromising political militancy” of the professor who teaches “lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender.”
The lobbyist, Gary Glenn, says professor David M. Halperin and the university “are guilty of perpetrating a fraud against UM students and the people of Michigan [with] propaganda statements about so-called cultural studies and academic freedom” as they promote “queer studies” at taxpayer expense.

According to the concept of individual rights, every individual, regardless of sex, race, religion, class, sexual orientation, ideology, etc., has the inalienable right to their own life, which means, the right to take whatever actions they deem necessary to the benefit of their own life, as long as they do not violate that right of others. Based on this concept, the purpose of government is to protect this right to life of every individual.

A corollary of the right to life is the right to property, which says that every individual has “the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values.” Every individual has the right to do whatever they want with their own property, and thus, has the right to do whatever they want with their own money. Therefore, every individual has the right to choose to monetarily support a given institution or not to. In the case of education, every individual has the right to choose whether or not to support a given educational facility (and consequently, the ideas which are being taught at that institution) or not to.

According to the idea of public education, every individual has the “right” to an education, and it is the obligation of other individuals to provide for that education (at least in part). Based on this idea, it is the purpose of the government to forcibly take money from certain individuals under their control (through taxes) and give that stolen money to those who have the “right” to an education. Thus, certain individuals in our society are forced by the government to support ideas and institutions which they may not agree with. In fact, it is very possible in many cases that the stolen money taken from these individuals is used to propogate ideas which are the opposite to their own.

Public education clearly violates the right of every individual to their own lives, and consequently, their right to property, which means, the right to use their own material values in any way that they decide to. Those taxpayers in Michigan, such as this lobbyist, Gary Glenn, are being forced by the government to monetarily support ideas which they consider to be evil and detrimental to their own lives. As a result, taxpayers such as Gary Glenn are justifiably outraged that their money is being used to support ideas which they do not believe in.

However, these people do not go far enough. The majority of such people only speak out for the teaching of THEIR ideas, at the expense of the taxpayers, as opposed to another set of ideas. They do not consistently advocate that no individual should be forced to support anything that they do not want to.

Our government says that you do not have the right to use your own mind. You do not have the right to determine what is best for you, you do not have the right to choose who to support and who not to, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE AS YOU SEE FIT. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE. You, according to the government, only have the right to do what they tell you to do. Or you, only have the right to do what the majority of people leaving in a society tell you to do, whose wishes are enforced by the government.

Fortunately, our government does not practice this principle consistently at present. However, the government IS becoming more and more consistent at it, and will continue to do so unless this principle is challenged. The inevitable result of this principle being practiced fully is dictatorship.

By upholding the concept of individual rights, that every individual has the right to their own life, a dictatorship can be prevented from coming to this country. The end of public education is one step in that direction.

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More Regulation? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 1:45 pm

The head of the FCC has warned that more government regulation of the economy may be on its way.

ASPEN, Colo. - Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell said Monday the threat of terrorism and the “despicable activity” of some companies has led to a shift toward more regulation that could harm innovation and the economy.

“I do see a mood swing in Washington. I see a mood swing in the country,” Powell said at the Aspen Summit, a technology and telecommunications summit held by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a Washington think tank.

Powell said he worries about the rising belief that regulations do a better job than free markets because “the telecommunications sector and the high-tech sector are at a point in history where they can ill afford to be lined up with that kind of thinking.”

This is horrible. The further regulation of the economy will force individuals to not be able to trust the conclusions of their own mind, thus not be able to take whatever actions they deem necessary for the benefit of their own lives, thus destroy progress, technological innovation, and economic prosperity.

Our country is on the road to dictatorship, but it is coming not by an overwhelming army or a solid ideological force but rather by the default of those who compromise, piece by piece, the freedom on which this country was founded. This is just another piece on that road to dictatorship.

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Blackout Response Not Good [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:51 pm

President Bush has responded to the massive blackout in the east by saying that the electricity grid “must be modernized.”

Who is going to modernize the power grid Mr. President? The United States government completely controls the energy industry, thus completely eliminating competition and thus eliminating the vast majority of technological innovation, increase in productivity, and increase in the quality of the product that the energy market creates.

It is ultimately the government that is at fault for this blackout, and the response by the majority of government officials so far is not to eliminate the crippling government controls on the energy industry but rather to INCREASE THEM. One such example is current Governor of New Mexico, former energy secretary, Bill Richardson, who suggested that the government pass a massive energy bill that includes mandatory standards of efficiency that energy companies must abide by. Not only does Bill Richardson want to dictate to the energy companies WHERE they provide service, but now he also wants to dictate to the energy companies HOW they will provide service.

This is the attitude that is prevalent among politicians regarding our nation’s energy. They believe, that SOMEHOW, by enslaving the individuals who produce and distribute energy, the energy market will be the most efficient and the product (distributed energy) will be at its highest level of excellence. When the energy distribution begins to fail major cities, these politicians, instead of blaming their crippling government controls, advocate that the government hasn’t controlled the market enough and must introduce new and more crippling controls on the market.
The results of such a policy will be the further crippling of the energy market and a national energy crisis within a decade or so, but only IF such a policy is continued. The government has the ability to release its crippling controls on the energy market and thus open it to competition.
But how does competition yield an increase in productivity, efficiency, wealth, quality of the product, etc? In a free market, a number of individuals are free to join together and form a business venture with the purpose of creating and selling a given product in order to reap a profit and benefit their own lives. Generally, consumers will favor a product that is of the highest quality and the lowest price. Thus, in order to make the most profits, a business must strive to produce their product at the highest quality and the lowest price, and their product must be in demand by consumers.

When another business venture attempts to create the same product that the original business created, and is striving to do so at an even higher quality and lower price, competition ensues. Remember, in order to achieve the best profits a business generally needs to produce the highest quality product at the lowest price. When a number of different businesses are all attempting to out do one another, the result is a gradual increase in product quality, and a gradual decrease in product price.

Competition greatly benefits not only the owners of these businesses but the consumers as well. When a number of businesses are all competing to provide the same or similar product, they are all fighting to provide the consumer with the highest quality product at the lowest price, which as I said, results in the gradual increase of product quality and the gradual decrease of product price. This in itself is an enormous benefit to the consumers who gradually (and sometimes drastically) have the ability to buy a product at a lower and lower price and a higher and higher quality. But also, competition GREATLY affects the overall quality of living of the people in a given market as well by decreasing the costs of important products, increasing their quality, increasing the wages that the successful companies pay its workers, and massive amounts of technological innovation (see the past 100 years of America’s progress for evidence of this).

What is the precondition of competition? Freedom. In order for competition to exist, every group of individuals who create these businesses must have the freedom to take whatever actions they deem necessary for the benefit of their own lives. If the government intervenes in a given market, that market will lose competition to the extent that the government controls it. In a government controlled market, which companies succeed is not determined by their ability to create the highest quality product at the lowest price but rather how much political pull the companies have to the whims of politicians. In a government-controlled market, ability does not create success but rather PULL does. Political pull in an economic market is the ability to persuade politicians to give a certain business unfair governmental favors (such as money) and to restrict competition by striking down the companies that are the best at it (an example of this is the antitrust laws).

Thus, in a government regulated market, the way that a business competes with others is NOT by having the best product but rather by having the most political pull designed to eliminate competition. The result of such a policy? In a government-regulated market, it is not beneficial for a business to create the highest quality product at the lowest price; so, most either do not attempt to do so or are unable to. As a result, all of the stated benefits of competition disappear in such a market, which are replaced by eventual stagnation and recession.

This is what has happened in the energy market. The government has regulated it so much that competition is virtually non-existent. As a result, technological innovation, the increase in product quality, and the decrease in product cost have disappeared. This has also occurred in all of the other utilities such as water, gas, railroads, and the airlines (if some politicians get their way).

The solution? Eliminate the government controls that destroy competition in favor of political pull. Let the energy market be free to compete with each other, thereby gradually increasing the quality of their product and gradually decreasing the cost of their product. More government controls will only cripple the market and result in further stagnation and recession, resulting in an energy crisis if that policy is not reversed.

Mr. President, the only thing that will “modernize” the electricity grid, and prevent the likelihood of these blackouts from occurring again is the full de-regulation of the energy market.

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No Pay Cut For Troops In Iraq [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:36 am

There will be no pay cut for the troops in Iraq.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Moving to quash a political firestorm, the Pentagon on Thursday denied that it will cut the pay of nearly 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by $225 on Sept. 30 when special military pay hikes approved by Congress are due to expire.

Defense officials said that even if lawmakers do not reinstate increases passed in April in both “imminent danger pay” and “family separation allowances,” the Pentagon will make up the pay losses to troops in those countries in other ways.


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Atlas Shrugged Anyone? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 9:06 pm

In a scene reminiscent of Ayn Rand’s epic novel, Atlas Shrugged, the skyline of NYC went dark today. While her novel was not meant to be prophetic, it’s not too far off from modern America.

The biggest blackout in history hit the eastern U.S. today.

The biggest power blackout in history hit steamy U.S. and Canadian cities Thursday, stranding people in subways, closing nuclear power plants in Ohio and New York state and choking streets with workers driven from stifling offices.

Officials were looking at a power transmission problem from Canada as the most likely cause, said a spokeswoman for New York Gov. George Pataki. There was no sign of terrorism, officials in New York and Washington agreed.

The blackouts robbed power for millions of people in a broad swath of the U.S. Northeast - stretching west to Ohio and Michigan - and in southern Canadian cities, starting shortly after 4 p.m. EDT. In Toronto, Canada’s largest city, workers fled their buildings when the power went off. There also were widespread outages in Ottawa, the capital.

Power began to come back in some cities as afternoon turned to evening, but officials said full restoration would take hours longer.

What was the fundamental cause of this blackout? The government.

A government is an agent that forces other individuals to do something. A proper government ONLY uses retaliatory force against those who initiate force against the citizens under that government. When the government is extended beyond this purpose (to protect its citizens from the initiation of force) the government NECESSARILY causes stagnation and recession in the area that they control.

As I stated in my 8/5/03 post, Where We Are Headed:

A human being is a being who possesses a volitional consciousness, which means, that the mind does not work automatically, but rather, either a human must CHOOSE to use his mind and try to observe and identify reality correctly, or a human must choose to evade that effort of observing and identifying reality and instead let his mind wander. As an example, think of reading a book. When reading a book, you can either choose to concentrate on what is written as you read down the page, or you can let your mind wander, not concentrating on the words in front of you (have you ever read a page of a book and afterwards thought to yourself, what did I just read? This is what letting your mind wander is like). Since a human being has no automatic means of survival and his mind does not work automatically, the CHOICE to use one’s mind is critical to producing the materials which will benefit his own life which includes everything ranging from the basics such as food, water, and shelter to the advanced materials such as technology, industry, and medicine.

Since a human being needs to use their mind in order to create the materials necessary for the benefit of their own life, and since one must choose to either use one’s mind or not, it follows that one should choose to use their mind as much as possible. What is the precondition for being able to use one’s mind as much as possible? Freedom. In order to be able to use one’s mind to the fullest capacity, and thereby create the best conditions for the benefit of one’s life, one must be able to be free to choose to use their mind or not to use their mind. Why is this? Because the mind and force are OPPOSITES. Force entails the physical compulsion of an individual to act in a given way, against the will of the individual, thus removing the ability for that individual to choose to use their mind or not. Without the ability to choose to use one’s mind, it is impossible for a human being to choose between a number of alternatives (because force entails the physical compulsion to act upon one of those alternatives against one’s will). Thus, it is impossible for any human being that is forced to create the conditions necessary for the benefit of their life.

By regulating the energy industry, the government rendered the individual members of this industry incapable of using their minds properly, and thus, incapable of creating the conditions necessary for the benefit of their own lives (which includes creating the best product in their particular industry: energy).

In a free market, the fact of competition drives certain businessmen (if they want to succeed) to attempt to create the best product at the highest quality and the lowest price. This is a natural result of a free market in which there is no government intervention. In order for consumers to buy one’s product, one has to produce the best product and the lowest price in comparison to the competition. In a government controlled market however, a business does not have to provide the best product at the lowest price, but rather only needs to pull political favors from politicians. This (along with the inability of individuals to use their mind under a governmentally controlled market) results in the stagnation and recession of that given market.

Therefore, this massive blackout was the inevitable result of a continued amount of government intervention in the economy.

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Troops Face Pay Cut [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 3:01 pm

The troops in Iraq are now facing a pay cut.

Washington – The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.

Unless Congress and President Bush take quick action when Congress returns after Labor Day, the uniformed Americans in Iraq and the 9,000 in Afghanistan will lose a pay increase approved last April of $75 a month in “imminent danger pay” and $150 a month in “family separation allowances.”

The Defense Department supports the cuts, saying its budget can’t sustain the higher payments amid a host of other priorities. But the proposed cuts have stirred anger among military families and veterans’ groups and even prompted an editorial attack in the Army Times, a weekly newspaper for military personnel and their families that is seldom so outspoken.

These pay cuts are absolutely wrong in my opinion.

According to my philosophy, the proper role of the government is to protect the individual’s inalienable right to their own life, NOTHING MORE. Any attempt for the government to provide healthcare, welfare, social security, etc., is a violation of another individual’s right to their own life since the only way for a government to fund such programs as healthcare, welfare, and social security would be to force certain individuals (such as the rich) to pay for these programs through taxation.

In a proper system of government there would be only three institutions, all charged with the task of protecting the inalienable right of every individual to take whatever actions they deem necessary for the benefit of their own lives, as long as they do not violate that right of others in doing so. These three institutions would be the military (to protect individuals from foreign enemies), the police (to protect individuals from criminals), and the objective law court system (to protect the contracts of individuals).

We should be pouring as much money into these three institutions of government as we can, so that they may act on the proper purpose of government: the protection of individual rights. Any pay cuts or funding cuts to these institutions in favor of statist programs such as welfare, social security, and medicare are an extreme violation of the proper purpose of the government.

Those people who choose to be a part of these three institutions which make up a proper government should be given the best treatment possible so that the strength of these institutions increases through more membership and higher morale. This is especially important to our military, including those who are fighting in Iraq.

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Our Status [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:19 pm

Our status in the War on Terrorism:

Iran: The heart of the Islamic fundamentalist movement, the leading state sponsor of terrorism according to the U.S. State Department, continues to refuse to hand over top Al-Qaeda officials to the U.S., is currently involved in a nuclear weapons program along with North Korea, has sent a number of militants into Iraq to help Saddam loyalists kill U.S. soldiers, are directly funding many Palestinian terrorist groups, etc. The U.S. response? Nothing.

Saudi Arabia: This country has a number of people sympathetic to the cause of jihad (holy war against all who oppose Islam), and others who are either directly supporting it or are waging jihad themselves. The stolen ("nationalized") Saudi oil fields are a major source of wealth for Islamic fundamentalism and the terrorists who wage jihad against us. (For more, see Robert Tracinksi’s column, Blood for Oil) The U.S. response? Nothing.

North Korea: They are threatening nuclear war against the United States and demand that we continue to give them aid or else they will attack us. As I said in my 7/11/03 post, North Korea Must Be Stopped, the North Korean dictatorship is extorting money from us under the threat of nuclear war in order to maintain their dictatorship. Also, North Korea is trading weapons, including deals for a nuclear weapons program, with Iran, and potentially many other anti-American terrorist organizations. The U.S. response? Appeasement. They are giving in to the North Korean’s demands and calling for talks to negotiate a “settlement.”

The Palestinians: While the Israeli’s and Americans have their heads stuck in the sand and are attempting to change the facts of reality with wishes, the Palestinian terrorist groups are using the “cease-fire” to re-arm themselves and prepare for another series of attacks against Israel. (See and for more details). The U.S. response? Appeasement. The U.S. is calling for Israel to stop trying to defend themselves and instead give in to the terrorists’ demands.

I could go on and on with a long list of enemies of our country, and the U.S response to these threats, but I think you get the point.

On Sept. 11, it was realized that decades of appeasement and negotiation with terrorists resulted in these groups becoming stronger and more daring to attack the United States. When this was realized, our President promised the end to such a policy. He promised that we would ruthlessly go after the terrorist organizations threatening our country and the states that sponsored them. This has not occurred. After two half-assed campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the heart of the Islamic fundamentalist movement, Iran, has been left untouched.

Our country has returned to a policy of ignorning threats and the appeasement of terrorist organizations and the states that sponsor them. The inevitable result of such a policy, if continued, will be another terrorist attack on our country.

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No More Tax Cuts? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:29 pm

At his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush has signaled that there is no need for further tax cuts at this time. The reason? Not that individual rights are no longer violated by taxes, but rather, that the “goal” of his tax cuts has been realized: the creation of jobs.

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush on Wednesday said he saw no need for a new round of tax cuts since those enacted earlier this year appeared to be working to boost the economy and create jobs.

“This administration is optimistic about job creation,” Bush told reporters at his ranch in Texas after meeting with top economic advisers. “As of this moment … the plans we have in place are robust enough to create jobs.”

This says to me that the fundamental drive behind President Bush’s tax cuts was not the fact that every individual has the right to their own life, which is violated by government taxes; but rather, that it is the goal of the government to manipulate the economy, and the individuals who comprise it, to achieve certain ends. For Mr. Bush, this end is “the creation of jobs,” most likely to serve some sort of altruistic purpose such as the greatest benefit for the greatest number.

It is a sad wake up call to me that very few, if any, politicians today have any idea of fundamental principles whatsoever. Yet another example of this wake up call has been demonstrated by President Bush.

However, there is a fundamental principle driving the policies of Mr. Bush, and almost every other politician today: that it is the purpose of government to force individuals to strive for certain ends. The only disgareement among politicians is exactly WHAT ends these individuals should be forced to strive for. This principle has been the driving force behind every dictatorship in the history of the world. Either this principle will be challenged and defeated in the future, or some form of dictatorship will gradually envelop our country.

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Feedback [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 11:02 pm

This blog of mine is more than just a personal journal or a very informal blog. I take my writing, as well as my ideas, very seriously. I am extremely interested in philosophy, and I am just as interested in discussing philosophy with others. If you read this blog, and you enjoy reading my entries, please feel free to give me lots of feedback. Knowing that there are interested readers out there would give me more motivation to write more entries, so, let’s see some feedback!

P.S. Being that I am an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism and the trader-principle (that all exchanges between individuals should be a voluntary trade), I welcome payment for my ideas! Just click that little button on the right hand side of my blog, Pay Pal Donate.

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Foiled Terrorist Plot? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 10:53 pm

Authorities have arrested a man suspected of attempting to bring weapons into the U.S. capable of bringing down an airplane.

Aug. 12 — A British national was arrested this morning on suspicion of being involved in a plot to smuggle a surface-to-air missile into the United States, ABCNEWS has learned.

The man was arrested in Newark, N.J., as part of an international sting conducted by the FBI, British and Russian authorities. The sting began five months ago in Moscow, law enforcement sources said.

The man arrested allegedly sought to smuggle a Russian-made surface-to-air missile into the country, and he believed he was selling the missile to would-be terrorists, sources said. The terrorists were really undercover agents. The name of the person has not been disclosed.

The man, of Indian descent, thought he was dealing with terrorists in the United States who wanted to shoot down a passenger jet, sources said.

While the arrest of this man is a good thing, it is a reminder to me that we can not treat terrorists as isolated criminals. Our government should actively pursue to foil terrorist plots and arrest terrorist cells operating in our country, but their primary means of eliminating terrorism should be the elimination of the primary means of support for these terrorists. The terrorist groups which threaten our country receive a lot of their money, weapons, supplies, and safe-havens from other governments. Our government must investigate and identify these governments for the terrorist-supporters that they are and eliminate them. By eliminating the primary base of support for terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, we will greatly reduce the terrorists’ ability to engage in attacks against our country.

But as of now it seems that the current policy of our government is to merely treat these terrorist groups as isolated criminals, which will greatly help their ability to continue to attack our country. Also, our government has even begun to negotiate with terrorist groups, which will only embolden our enemies (see my posts, “Israel is Comitting Suicide” and “The Consequences of Advocating Israel’s Suicide").

What we need to eliminate the terrorist threat against our country is not the arrest of a few isolated individuals but rather ruthlessly eliminating all of the terrorist organizations which threaten us and the governments that support them.

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Another Ridiculous FCC Rule [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 10:39 pm

Another ridiculous FCC rule comes into the limelight as the result of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s run for governor of California.

LOS ANGELES - Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foray into California’s gubernatorial recall election poses a dilemma for broadcasters who might be tempted to show his films during the race: Doing so would allow rival candidates to demand equal time.

For that reason, broadcasters in California will likely not air Schwarzenegger movies such as “Total Recall” and the “Terminator” or a repeat of a “Diff’rent Strokes” episode with Gary Coleman for the next few months.

Cable channels are not covered by the Federal Communications Commission’s equal-time provision, which in the past kept reruns of “Death Valley Days” off the air while Ronald Reagan ran for president. A repeat of a “Saturday Night Live” episode featuring Don Novello, aka Father Guido Sarducci, on cable, for instance, would not trigger the provision.
The rule also requires broadcasters and radio stations to offer candidates their lowest advertising rates, a right that would be given to Davis along with the other candidates based on the FCC’s previous ruling.

This is one of the most ridiculous FCC policies that I have seen yet. According to this rule, candidates in a political race should be given “equal time” to speak in a given medium (in this context, television). It is the right of every political candidate, according to this FCC rule, to be given an equal amount of time to speak to the people who will be involved in that particular election. Who is to give these candidates this time? Who is to provide these candidates an equal amount of time to speak? Blank out. The answer to this question is, the owners of certain television stations and television programs will be forced either to provide time to political candidates evenly, in fear of reprimand from the FCC, or the owners must pull their own property off of the airwaves (including, as in this case, movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger).

This is yet another profound violation of individual rights on the part of the FCC. Through this rule, they are violating an individual’s right to decide what to do with their own property, in this context, how to manage their television station, or television program.

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Should We Have Gone to Iraq? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:53 pm

According to Robert Novak, a report will come out in mid-September which demonstrates that Iraq was pursuing a weapons of mass destruction program.

The United States absolutely had the right to take down the Iraqi dictatorship, but should we have taken down the Iraqi regime? Was Iraq really an imminent threat, or a threat at all, to the security of the United States?

There are very few people who would attempt to claim that our security is worse off now that we have taken down Saddam Hussein’s regime. However, at this point in time, I do not believe that taking down the Iraqi regime was a very high priority for the security of the United States.

It seems that the rationale behind going after Iraq was that they were developing a weapons of mass destruction program, which, in the hands of terrorists, would prove absolutely devastating to the security of the United States. So, it would be better to take out a potential weapons dealer for terrorists before they have the ability to give such weapons to any terrorist group to inflict harm on the United States. This rationale makes a lot of sense.

While it was clear that Iraq had attempted to amass a weapons program in the past, that the Iraqi regime hated America and its Western allies, and that Saddam would take the chance of inflicting damage to the United States through terrorist organizations, I do not believe that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a so-called “imminent threat” to the security of the United States. Nonetheless, the elimination of the possibility of this threat could have been accomplished A LOT quicker and easier than the 9 month process of begging the U.N. for help, and sending over 150,000 U.S. troops into Iraq. I believe that the fall of the Iraqi regime (or at least the drastic reduction of their threat) could have been accomplished with three bullets to the heads of Saddam, Qusay, and Uday Hussein. This would obviously not require the use of a lot of American troops, and would allow these troops to act against the real security threats to our country. But who are the real security threats to our country?

As I said in my previous post, The War on Terrorism, the biggest threat to the security of the United States at this point in time is Islamic fundamentalism. According to this ideology, America is a “great satan” because of all of its virtues: reason, egoism, capitalism, justice, integrity, etc., and followers must engage in a jihad (holy war) to rid the earth of this evil (America and the rest of the West).

The heart of this movement can be found in the theocratic regime of Iran. This movement also either controls the government of the following countries or is a strong influence in the population: the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ideology of Palestinian terrorist groups (although their main enemy is Israel), Pakistan, Syria, and others. These are the threats that we should be primarily concerned with at this time (along with the dictatorship of North Korea which is not a part of the Islamic fundamentalist movement).

Iran is a theocratic regime based on the principles of Islamic fundamentalism, Iran is the heart of the Islamic fundamentalist movement, the people of Iran are SCREAMING for the regime to be overthrown, hell, even the grandson of the founder of the Iranian regime, Ayatollah Khomeini, is saying that the Iranian regime should be overthrown.

It would make sense to eliminate the satellite countries of an ideology if the heart of that ideology was an extremely powerful and formidable enemy. However, this is simply not the case. The Iranian regime is near imminent collapse, all it needs is a little blow from the U.S. military.

The Saudi Arabian regime is experiencing the same thing: contiued resistance towards the Islamic fundamentalist leaders of the country, and thus, would easily fall to U.S. pressure.

In conclusion, at this point in time, I believe that it was NOT in the best interest of the United States to invade Iraq. I believe this because of the fact that Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two critical targets in our War on Terrorism, and because of the fact that we could have eliminated the Iraqi threat (at the very least for the moment) by putting a bullet through the heads of Saddam, Qusay, and Uday Hussein.

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The War on Terrorism [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:25 pm

On Sept. 11, our country received a wake up call. But have we listened? No.

Sept. 11 was not the result of an isolated group of criminals, but rather, the culmination of decades of appeasement towards an ideology: Islamic fundamentalism.

Islamic beliefs dictate that mysticism, collectivism, and altruism are the ideals that should be strived for by the one true faith: Islam. All who disagree with this are infidels, or evil powers, or a “great satan,” etc. The religion of Islam dictates that it is the duty of the members of its faith to declare jihad (holy war) against all those who oppose Islam. Most of the individuals in our world who follow such a religion do not accept that it is their duty to engage in jihad against the opponents of Islam. However, certain individuals DO accept that it is their duty to sacrifice themselves to Allah in order to rid the world of all opponents of Islam.

The clearest opponents of mysticism, collectivism, and altruism would be a country whose fundamental values are reason, egoism, and capitalism. That country, while it struggles with its own philosophy is America. America was founded on the ideals of reason, egoism, and capitalism, and all of the success and greatness that America has achieved has been a result of that. In the eyes of Islam, America is the opposite of everything that they hold to be ideal.

In the past 30 years, advocates of Islamic fundamentalism have gradually increased their jihad on America and other pro-America allies (such as Israel), in the attempt to eradicate reason, egoism, and capitalism from the face of the earth. According to Onkar Ghate in his op-ed, “Don’t Blame Our Intelligence–Blame Our Unprincipled Foreign Policy:

In 1979 theocratic Iran—which has spearheaded the “Islamic Revolution"—stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 54 Americans hostage for over a year. In 1983 the Syrian- and Iranian-backed group Hezbollah bombed a U.S. marine barracks in Lebanon, killing 241 servicemen while they slept; the explosives came from Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. In 1998 al-Qaeda blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 individuals. In 2000 al-Qaeda bombed the USS Cole in Yemen, killing 17 sailors.
So we already knew that al-Qaeda was actively engaged in attacking Americans. We even had evidence that agents connected to al-Qaeda had been responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. And we knew in 1996 that bin Laden had made an overt declaration of war against the “Satan” America.

Islamic fundamentalists have been engaging in a jihad against America for a long time now. How did America respond to such a threat?

America either ignored or appeased the Islamic fundamentalists whenever they committed an act of terrorism against us. Instead of eliminating a very weak threat, the American government allowed the Islamic fundamentalist movement to grow in power, despite the attacks against us. In fact, the American government even aided and put into power certain regimes based on a jihad against America! (The rationale at the time was that if we gave power to regimes in the Middle East, they would be able to block the communist advance of Russia and China into the Middle East, which is utterly ridiculous). For further evidence of the results of appeasing and ignoring the Islamic fundamentalists, please consult my 7/30/03 post, The Consequences of Advocating Israel’s Suicide.

As I said, Sept. 11 was a wake up call for all of America. We realized that such a policy of appeasing terrorism will only embolden our enemies and allow them to grow stronger. Thus, President Bush firmly declared that we will hunt down and eliminate terrorist organizations that threaten the United States and eliminate the regimes which support them.

But President Bush has not done so, as I have clearly indicated in many posts here on my blog.

The primary reason why President Bush has failed to do so, in my opinion, is that he has failed to identify that we are fighting against an ideology, not a band of criminals. This ideology, Islamic fundamentalism, is dominant (in some cases in different variants) in places such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the Palestinian territories, and many others. The governments of these countries are either controlled or heavily influenced by Islamic fundamentalists, and many support numerous Islamic terrorist organizations.

It seems that the American public has resigned itself to accept that terrorism is an unstoppable force which can only be appeased or “prevented” through things like the Homeland Security department. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, did the American public resign itself to accept that Japanese bombings of America would become a regular occurence? Hell no they didn’t!

Terrorism IS NOT an unstoppable force. Islamic terrorism can be deprived of its power to inflict harm and terror on the United States. But, in order to do so, the policies of the past MUST be abandoned. We must NOT appease terrorist organizations, which means ANY terrorist organization, and we must identify the enemy which we are fighting: Islamic fundamentalism. This means, the end to “negotiations” with the Palestinian terrorists, the identification of the strongholds of Islamic fundamentalism: Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the removal of these regimes.

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Good for Them! [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:30 pm

According to the Securites and Exchange Comission (SEC), several banks have been shifting funds in order to evade income taxes on them.

Some of the nation’s biggest banks have sheltered hundreds of millions of dollars from state taxes by creating investment funds that didn’t sell shares publicly but paid tax-exempt dividends to the banks, Thursday’s Wall Street Journal reported.

A review of Securities and Exchange Commission records shows that at least 10 major banks shifted more than $17 billion into such funds. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) alone transferred at least $8 billion into its fund, sheltering more than $750 million in income from 1999 through last May. The banks contend the funds were legitimate vehicles for raising investment capital, but many appear to have served little purpose beyond sheltering income. In effect, the funds converted interest income from the banks’ loan portfolios into tax-exempt dividends.


The rationale behind the charges leveled by the SEC (and consequently behind the income tax) is that a rich person has no right to their money and should be taxed in order to provide for those who are “in need,” and therefore have a right to that money. This is completely wrong. Every individual, whether they are rich, poor, black, white, atheist, theist, gay, straight, etc., has the INALIENABLE right to their own life, which means, the right to take WHATEVER actions they deem necessary for the benefit of their own life, as long as they do not violate the right to life of others.

Taxing an individual because they are rich is the equivalent of a robber putting a gun to their head and stealing their money. The only difference is that it is done by a group of people (the government) as opposed to one individual (the robber). We condemn a robber for stealing from another, but we praise an act of Congress which does exactly that on a much bigger scale! The average robber may steal thousands from one individual whereas our government steals MILLIONS from many individuals!

I applaud the actions of these banks in firmly rejecting the immoral income tax and upholding their right to their own money.

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Iran [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 4:05 pm

“The grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini the late Iranian cleric who hated America and founded the Islamic state that rules Iran is now blasting his own country’s clerical regime, calling it, ‘the worst dictatorship in the world’ and suggesting that U.S. military force might be needed to remove the regime.”

The heart of the Islamic Fundamentalist movement is SCREAMING to be taken down.

U.S. government: TAKE IT DOWN.

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Our Economy [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 2:10 pm

Apparently, in the second quarter, the producivity of our economy is back on the rise.

WASHINGTON - America’s business productivity soared in the second quarter of 2003 and new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a six-month low last week, a double dose of good news as the economy tries to get back to full throttle.

Productivity - the amount that an employee produces per hour of work - grew at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the April to June quarter, the best showing since the third quarter of 2002, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That marked an improvement from the 2.1 percent growth rate in productivity posted in the first three months of this year.

What was the primary cause for this increase in productivity? A decrease in government controls on the economy.

As I stated in my 8/5/03 post, Where We Are Headed:

A human being is a being who possesses a volitional consciousness, which means, that the mind does not work automatically, but rather, either a human must CHOOSE to use his mind and try to observe and identify reality correctly, or a human must choose to evade that effort of observing and identifying reality and instead let his mind wander. As an example, think of reading a book. When reading a book, you can either choose to concentrate on what is written as you read down the page, or you can let your mind wander, not concentrating on the words in front of you (have you ever read a page of a book and afterwards thought to yourself, what did I just read? This is what letting your mind wander is like). Since a human being has no automatic means of survival and his mind does not work automatically, the CHOICE to use one’s mind is critical to producing the materials which will benefit his own life which includes everything ranging from the basics such as food, water, and shelter to the advanced materials such as technology, industry, and medicine.

Since a human being needs to use their mind in order to create the materials necessary for the benefit of their own life, and since one must choose to either use one’s mind or not, it follows that one should choose to use their mind as much as possible. What is the precondition for being able to use one’s mind as much as possible? Freedom. In order to be able to use one’s mind to the fullest capacity, and thereby create the best conditions for the benefit of one’s life, one must be able to be free to choose to use their mind or not to use their mind. Why is this? Because the mind and force are OPPOSITES. Force entails the physical compulsion of an individual to act in a given way, against the will of the individual, thus removing the ability for that individual to choose to use their mind or not. Without the ability to choose to use one’s mind, it is impossible for a human being to choose between a number of alternatives (because force entails the physical compulsion to act upon one of those alternatives against one’s will). Thus, it is impossible for any human being that is forced to create the conditions necessary for the benefit of their life.

The more the government controls the economy, the more they force individuals to act against the own conclusions of their mind and thereby reduce their ability to produce the materials necessary for the benefit of their own lives. When an individual is unable to use their mind to their fullest capacity, a society suffers as a whole (since a society is merely the culmination of a number of individuals).

President Clinton, during his presidency, vastly increased the number of government controls in the economy, including education, welfare, social security, and other areas. As a result of this policy of increasing government controls, the individuals in our country were less able to use their own minds properly, and thus, less able to produce the conditions necessary for benefitting their lives, which resulted in a recession.

President Bush, by passing two tax cuts, was able to decrease government control on the economy, which has allowed individuals in our country to be more able to use their minds properly, and thus, more able to produce the conditions necessary for benefitting their lives, which has resulted in our economy moving out of recession.

However, while President Bush has decreased government control on the economy in this regard, he has, and is proposing, to increase government control on the economy in such areas as social security, campaign finance, and others.

Any action which President Bush takes to increase government control on the economy will only decrease our economy’s march out of recession, as well as decrease his chances at being re-elected.

What SHOULD be done is the gradual reduction of government control on the economy in all areas, until the government is completely separated from the economy. I do not believe that the separation of government and economy should be done immediately, because I do not believe our economy is ready for such an action. Think of it as taking a heroin addict off of heroin after being addicted for quite some time. Taking the addict off immediately would most likely result in great harm to the addict, with a decreased ability of being able to recover, whereas, taking the addict off gradualy would most likely result in a better and quicker recovery.

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Landed in Liberia [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 9:30 pm

U.S. Forces have landed in Liberia.

Bush on Tuesday authorized the contingent to deploy for logistical support of the steadily building West African deployment.

A senior Bush administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the team could grow as large as 20 in coming days. The official said that the team should not be seen as a vanguard of a larger force.

All I have to say about this is: secure American interests at our embassy there and then get the hell out. Let the barbarians with no concept of individual rights slaughter each other, less morons in the world for the rest of us to deal with.

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Where We Are Headed [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:19 pm

For the past 200 years, America has been thought of as the greatest beacon of freedom, opportunity, and progress in the world. In this span of time, we have seen a massive increase in quality of life, industry, technology, wealth, progress, prosperity, and happiness. The “American Dream” has been considered by many to be better off than the previous generation, as the result of an ever-increasing level of prosperity. But what is the state of the belief in this dream today? What is in store for the future of America?

First, in order to answer these two questions, one must determine the fundamental causes of all of the prosperity that America has enjoyed in the past 200 years. The answer to this is: America’s philosophy. Throughout the history of mankind prior to the creation of America, the governments of the world reflected a number of different philosophies, however, they all retained one essential characteristic: that the government SHOULD force individuals to apply themselves towards certain ends, forcing those individuals to be unable to use the conclusions of their own mind. America, on the other hand, was the first country to recognize that the government SHOULD NOT force individuals to apply themselves towards certain ends, but rather, should allow individuals to decide what actions to take for themselves (at the beginning of America this principle was only applied to a certain segment of the population, however, this was due not to a flaw in the principle behind the creation of America but rather the failure of the original government of America to institute this principle fully). But what does this profound difference between the philosophy of America and the philosophies of the governments of the past mean?

In order to answer that question, one must first determine the nature of the human mind. A human being is a being who possesses a volitional consciousness, which means, that the mind does not work automatically, but rather, either a human must CHOOSE to use his mind and try to observe and identify reality correctly, or a human must choose to evade that effort of observing and identifying reality and instead let his mind wander. As an example, think of reading a book. When reading a book, you can either choose to concentrate on what is written as you read down the page, or you can let your mind wander, not concentrating on the words in front of you (have you ever read a page of a book and afterwards thought to yourself, what did I just read? This is what letting your mind wander is like). Since a human being has no automatic means of survival and his mind does not work automatically, the CHOICE to use one’s mind is critical to producing the materials which will benefit his own life which includes everything ranging from the basics such as food, water, and shelter to the advanced materials such as technology, industry, and medicine.

Since a human being needs to use their mind in order to create the materials necessary for the benefit of their own life, and since one must choose to either use one’s mind or not, it follows that one should choose to use their mind as much as possible. What is the precondition for being able to use one’s mind as much as possible? Freedom. In order to be able to use one’s mind to the fullest capacity, and thereby create the best conditions for the benefit of one’s life, one must be able to be free to choose to use their mind or not to use their mind. Why is this? Because the mind and force are OPPOSITES. Force entails the physical compulsion of an individual to act in a given way, against the will of the individual, thus removing the ability for that individual to choose to use their mind or not. Without the ability to choose to use one’s mind, it is impossible for a human being to choose between a number of alternatives (because force entails the physical compulsion to act upon one of those alternatives against one’s will). Thus, it is impossible for any human being that is forced to create the conditions necessary for the benefit of their life.

This is the reason why America’s philosophy ushered in the greatest wave of progress mankind has ever seen. America’s philosophy was better than all of the philosophies of the previous governments of the world because America’s Founding Fathers recognized these facts about the nature of the human mind. They realized that in order for a human being (and thus a society of human beings as well) to create the materials which will benefit one’s life, the human mind MUST be free to choose between a number of alternatives and thereby act upon whatever they choose.

Thus, it was FREEDOM which set the preconditons necessary for the highest use of the human mind, and as a result, all of the technological and intellectual innovation ranging from new technologies to industry to a massive increase in quality of life, great growth of wealth, etc. Names such as Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Rockefeller, and Carnegie spring to mind as examples of people who were able to utilize the full capacity of their minds because they were free to act upon their own conclusions rather than be forced to blindly follow the conclusions of others.

Contrast this with the earlier periods of mankind’s history such as the Dark Ages, where there was very little or no freedom throughout the countries of the world, which resulted in a much smaller ability for humans to use their mind to their fullest capacity, which resulted in the brutal conditions of living that are characteristic of periods such as the Dark Ages.

Coming back to the original two questions, what does this all mean for the American dream and the state of America in the future? I have established that it was FREEDOM which was the essential precondition for all of the material progress that America has enjoyed in the past 200 years. Therefore it follows that the future success of our country is very much dependent on the level of freedom which Americans enjoy.

The idea of freedom as the ideal has been rejected by virtually every philosopher and politician in modern times. All of the philosophical principles which underly the concept of freedom, such as the primacy of existence, reason, logic, egoism, and capitalism, are under attack on all sides. The idea now being accepted by the vast majority of these politicians and philosophers is that a “middle-of-the-road” government is the best way to go. Under this middle-of-the-road system, referred to as a mixed economy, the government should initiate force against certain individuals in order to achieve some ends while recognizing partial freedom in the other areas of their lives. The only area of debate is not whether the government should force individuals at all but in what areas of their lives the government should force individuals. (For example, political conservatives in America typically want to directly force man’s mind by controlling things such as morality and religion and political liberals in America typically want to indirectly force man’s mind by controlling his body by deeply regulating his economic business with others.) This premise is UNCHALLENGED by any dominant political party or philosophical system.

To whatever extent a government forces its individuals to act against the conclusions of their own mind, those individuals will be unable to utilize their minds to their fullest extent, and therefore, will suffer. This remains true for every society, in this case America, as well. This is the cause of the drastic reduction in progress, technological innovation, industry, etc., that the American economy has seen in the past 70 years, in which time government actions intended to force individuals to act against their own mind have increased drastically. This is the cause for many people today to cry that the “American Dream is dead.”

As long as the premise that it is good for the government to force individuals to act against the conclusions of their own minds is unchallenged, America will continue to suffer greatly. Right now, that premise is not fully accepted but rather it represents a compromise between freedom and statism (statism is the form of government which believes it is right to fully force its individuals to do whatever the government dictates). This compromise can only last for so long. Either the American government will eventually move closer and closer to freedom (and thus progress as well) or it will eventually move closer and closer to statism (and thus death).

One of the purposes of my blog is to demonstrate how certain current events represent either the move closer to statism or the move closer to freedom. Unfortunately, as many of my posts have demonstrated, as well as the works of Ayn Rand and other Objectivists have demonstrated, we are moving closer and closer to statism.

What can be done to prevent our country’s eventual fall into dictatorship? The rebirth of the philosophy which is the precondition to the acceptance of the ideal of freedom. This philosophy was present during the Enlightenment, but it was not comprehensive enough and it had contradictions, which, the enemies of freedom and man were able to seize upon. The philosophy required to return to the ideal of freedom must demonstrate conclusively, without contradiction, the primacy of existence, the potency of reason and logic, the rightness of egoism, and the potential greatness of man. Only such a philosophy will allow our country to rediscover freedom and escape the death of dictatorship.

Such a philosophy exists. It’s name: Objectivism.

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Space Travel [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 9:06 pm

After the Columbia space shuttle disaster, some people were asking, should the government continue to fund space travel? My answer is yes and no.

First in order to demonstrate my view on this issue, I must briefly explain my view on individual rights and the purpose of government. As derived from an objective theory of metaphysics and epistemology, every individual has one fundamental right from which all others are its corollaries or consequences: the right to one’s own life, which means, the freedom to take whatever actions one deems necessary for the benefit of one’s own life, as long as you do not violate that right for others to do so as well. A government is an institution created in order to protect a group of individuals from other individuals who seek to violate their fundamental right to life. Any other institutions, such as social security, healthcare, welfare, etc., require that the government initiate force against certain citizens (i.e. the rich) in order to rund these institutions. Such initiation of force is clearly in violation of the purpose of a government. Thus, the only proper institutions for a government to have are a military (to protect its citizens from foreign enemies), a police force (to protect citizens from criminals), and an objective law court system (to protect contractual agreements between two or more citizens).

This being said, should the government fund a space program? I believe, that based on the proper function of government, that the government should have a space program for military applications only. This includes the development of a “Star Wars” missle defense system, a potential defense against asteroids/aliens (if they do exist), a space-based weapons system, etc. The other side of a space program, space exploration, should not be a government institution but rather a private endeavor.

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The Mind and the Body [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:34 pm

An extremely important fact of human nature is widely ignored today: that a human being is an integration of both mind and body.

Rival theories in philosophy state that a human being is only a mind, that the physical world is only an illusion, including one’s one body (idealism); a human being is only a mind, the mental world is only an illusion (materialism); and the mind and the body exist in two separate realms (dualism), (along with the many variations of these essential theories).

Objectivism, the philosophy created by Ayn Rand, holds that a human being is an integration of mind and body, which means, that both are critical to his own survival, and both should be exercised to their fullest extent.

This being said, many people today implicitly accept either materialism, idealism, or a hazy combination of both. According to materialism, the mental world is only an illusion, and therefore, the physical is what is really important. People who implicitly accept this idea are generally characterized by being in great physical shape and having great physical abilities but lacking in intellectual prowess and emotional stability. According to idealism, the physical world is only an illusion, and therefore, the mental is what is really important. People who implicity accept this idea are generally characterized by having good intellectual skills, emotional stability, and peace of mind; but lacking in physical abilities and being in good shape. Those who accept materialism seem to implicity scorn the mind, and those who accept idealism seem to implicity scorn the body.

The correct theory concerning the mind and the body is Objectivism, which recognizes the mind and the body as of equal importance to a human being’s survival.

I used to implicitly scorn the material as inferior to the mental, and as a result, I have become quite out of shape physically. Now that I have finally grasped that man is the integration of mind and body however, I will be able to benefit my life much more than I previously could while I believed that only the mental has importance.

This may seem like simple common sense, that one should exercise one’s body and one’s mind, but it is something that many people forget today.

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Gay Marriage, revised [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 3:29 pm

It has come to my attention that my views on the gay marriage situation are not exactly correct. In my previous post on gay marriage, I believed that the legislation proposed by President Bush would make it illegal to be married as two gay individuals. This is not entirely accurate. The controversy is over whether or not gay marriage should be legally recognized as the same thing as marriage between a man and a woman.

If a company, such as an insurance company, sets different business policies for single individuals as they do for married individuals, a federal standard of what constitutes being single and what constitutes being married needs to be objectively defined in order to legally protect the contract of the individuals involved.

Currently, marriage is a contract which is legally recognized as the union between a man and a woman. This contract is legally protected by the federal government, and is defined as a relationship between a man and a woman in which they can be recognized as one legal entity.

Based on my current knowledge, it seems that gay rights advocates are attempting to have the federal government legally recognize that marriage between two gay individuals is the same as marriage between two heterosexual individuals. This is wrong. If marriage between two gay individuals is to be recognized, it must be recognized as a different legal contract than the contract between two heterosexual indivduals.

If gay marriage were to be federally recognized as the same thing as heterosexual marriage, the rights of businesses would be violated because they would be forced to contract with gay married individuals in the same way as heterosexual married individuals, which violates the right of the businesses to dictate their own contractual terms.

Therefore, I support that the federal government recognize homosexual marriage, however, I strongly advocate that homosexual marriage be recognized as a separate contract than that of heterosexual marriage.

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