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


The Death of Socrates [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 9:03 pm

First, before I comment on this topic, I’d like to apologize to my readers (does anyone even read this thing?) about the lack of posts lately. I am a college student after all, and I have been quite busy.

In the course of my studying of philosophy, I am currently reading Plato’s Phaedo and I recently completed Plato’s Crito. In Phaedo, Phaedo (the narrator) recollects the discussion that Socrates had with his friends prior to being put to death. In Crito, Socrates discusses why he will obey the ruling to be put to death, even though he considers his death to be an injustice against him. I would like to elaborate on the views of Socrates and Plato in order to show you the disgusting nature of this philosophy which is still dominant today.

Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher, in fact, one of the first Western philosophers in history. In the Athenian democracy of ancient Greece, Socrates was sentenced to death for espousing views which the State did not agree with. Specifically, he was charged with not believing in the gods of Greece (though it seems he believed in a different god) and with corrupting the youth of Athens.

After Socrates had been sentenced to death by the people of Athens, he was given the chance to escape the death penalty through exile from Athens. Socrates refused to disobey the ruling of the people of Athens on the grounds that it is unjust to disobey anything that the State commands, regardless of whether it is an injustice or not. Plato wrote about Socrates’ view on this issue in Crito:

…are you too wise to see that your country is worthier, more to be revered, more sacred, and held in higher honor both by the gods and by all men of understanding, than your father and your mother and all your other ancestors; and that you ought to reverence it, and to submit to it, and to approach it more humbly when it is angry with you than you would approach your father; and either to do whatever it tells you to do or to persuade it to excuse you; and to obey in silence if it orders you to endure flogging or imprisonment, or if it sends you to battle to be wounded or to die? That is just. [Emphasis added]

In Phaedo, the disgusting philosophy of Plato is evident in the account of Socrates’ discussion with his friends prior to his death.

As long as we have this body, and an evil of that sort is mingled with our souls, we shall never fully gain what we desire; and that is truth. For the body is forever taking up our time with the care which it needs; and, besides, whenever diseases attack it, they hinder us in our pursuit of real being. It fills us with passions, and desires, and fears, and all manners of phantoms, and much foolishness; and so, as the saying goes, in very truth we can never think at all for it. It alone and its desires cause wars and factions and battles; for the origin of all wars is the pursuit of wealth, and we are forced to pursue wealth because we live in slavery to the cares of the body. And therefore, for all these reasons, we have no leisure for philosophy. And last of all, if we ever are free from the body for a time, and then turn to examine some matter, it falls in our way at every step of the inquiry, and causes confusions and trouble and panic, so that we cannot see the truth for it. Verily we have learned that if we are to have any pure knowledge at all, we must be freed from the body; the soul by herself must behold things as they are. Then, it seems, after we are dead, we shall gain the wisdom which we desire, and for which we say we have a passion, but not while we are alive, as the argument shows. For if it be not possible to have pure knowledge while the body is with us, one of two things must be true: either we cannot gain knowledge at all, or we can gain it only after death.

In truth, then, Simmias, he said, the true philosopher studies to die, and to him of all men is death least terrible.”[Emphasis added]

These two dialogues, Crito and Phaedo clearly demonstrate the mysticism and altruism which is at the center of Plato’s philosophical thought. For refutation of the mysticism, collectivism, and altruism of Plato I refer you to the philosophical thought of Ayn Rand and Aristotle.

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Movie Business Enacting Justice [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:45 pm

Movie studios are looking to block the illegal downloading of movies.

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24 — If Hollywood executives have learned anything watching their peers in the music business grapple with online file sharing, it is how not to handle a technological revolution.

While the major labels in the music industry squabbled among themselves about how best to deal with Internet piracy and failed to develop consumer-friendly ways to buy music online, the movie industry has gone on a coordinated offensive to thwart the free downloading of films before it spins out of control.

This summer, night-vision goggles became a familiar fashion accessory for security guards at movie premieres as they searched for people in the audience carrying banned video recorders. The industry’s trade association began a nationwide piracy awareness campaign in movie theaters and on television. Studios are aggressively putting electronic watermarks on movie prints so they can determine who is abetting the file sharing. And some movie executives are considering whether to send out early DVD’s to Academy Award voters, fearing the films will be distributed online.

Good for them. Now if only the government would actually enforce its laws and recognize the right to life (and therefore the right to propert), then the criminals who steal movies and music from artists could be put to justice.

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No WMD’s in Iraq? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:37 pm

A report claims that so far, there has been no evidence of weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq.

No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq by the group looking for them, according to a Bush administration source who has spoken to the BBC.

This will be the conclusion of the Iraq Survey Group’s interim report, the source told the presenter of BBC television’s Daily Politics show, Andrew Neil.

It seems that either the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were either destroyed or shipped off to another country (which is not surprising considering the fact that we gave Hussein 9 months to do so), or the advancement of the weapons of mass destruction program was deliberately exaggerated by the Iraqi regime.

Either way, it seems pretty clear to me now that our invasion of Iraq at this point in time was a complete mistake. It was a mistake NOT because the Bush administration lied to us, NOT because it was a war of “blood for oil” or any of that hippie nonsense. Instead, I believe that it was a mistake because as I said in my 9/9/2003 post, U.S. Foreign Policy has failed:

while I believe that the elimination of the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein was an important task, it was not nearly as important as the elimination of 7 other regimes. I believe this to be true for many reasons. First of all, at this present time, having eliminated the threat of Afghanistan, I believe the dictatorships of Iran and North Korea to be the biggest threat to America’s security. I believe this to be true because North Korea has openly admitted that it has nuclear weapons and is pursuing a more advanced nuclear weapons program, and Iran is in the process, according to U.S. intelligence, of developing the capability for a nuclear weapons program (perhaps obtaining nuclear weapons within 2 years). Additionally, these two countries are staunch enemies of The United States of America.

If only President Bush would have the guts to say that he made a mistake in attacking Iraq at this point in time, and we will now conduct a campaign against Iran and North Korea (instead of following the current course which includes negotiating with the North Koreans and attemping to use the U.N. with Iran), we would all be a lot better off.

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Saudi Arabia - A Nuclear Power? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 1:04 pm

Saudi Arabia is “considering” to begin a nuclear weapons program.

Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian has learned.

This new threat of proliferation in one of the most dangerous regions of the world comes on top of a crisis over Iran’s alleged nuclear programme.

A strategy paper being considered at the highest levels in Riyadh sets out three options:

· To acquire a nuclear capability as a deterrent;

· To maintain or enter into an alliance with an existing nuclear power that would offer protection;

· To try to reach a regional agreement on having a nuclear-free Middle East.

Until now, the assumption in Washington was that Saudi Arabia was content to remain under the US nuclear umbrella. But the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US has steadily worsened since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington: 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudi.

It is not known whether Saudi Arabia has taken a decision on any of the three options. But the fact that it is prepared to contemplate the nuclear option is a worrying development.

Saudi Arabia is a disgusting Islamic dictatorship which brutalizes its people, has very little conception of individual rights, and is heavily influenced by Islamic Fundamenatlism. In fact, Saudi Arabia is one of the key financiers of Islamic terrorism

For example, they are the main financier of the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group, Hamas, whose mission is the destruction of Israel through the process of murdering innocent women, children, and all Israeli citizens.

New York, September 17: At least 50 per cent of the Palestinian militant outfit Hamas’s current budget of about five million dollars a year, comes from people in Saudi Arabia, top US officials said.

After the September 11 terror attacks, the Saudi portion of Hamas financing grew larger as donations from the US, Europe and other Persian Gulf countries dried up, a media report said on Wednesday quoting American officials and analysts.

The estimated donations coming from Saudi Arabia - about five million dollars a year - are a significant sum for Hamas but a very small portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars that flow into Saudi charities each year, officials said.

Nearly all the donations are given in cash, making it extremely difficult for Saudi and American authorities to track the money, the The New York Times report said.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed the claims, asserting that it contributes solely to the Palestinian authority. “It’s a ridiculous accusation; no Saudi government money goes to Hamas, directly or indirectly,” said Adel Al-Jubeir, the Foreign Affairs Adviser to Prince Abdullah.

“Why on earth would we not stop this kind of funding? Why on earth would our crown prince say we do not want to support Hamas and then allow people to do this under the table?” Saudi officials were quoted as saying their government’s support for Palestinian causes goes solely to the Palestinian authority, about 80 million dollars to 100 million dollars a year.

But the report said that a senior Hamas leader personally thanked Saudi crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in 2002 for the financial support that his group received.

In October 2002 in Riyadh, senior Hamas leader Khalid Mishaal thanked the group’s Saudi benefactors, saying, “This is indeed a brave posture deserving appreciation,” as per a document on the meeting.

A summary of the meeting, organised by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a Riyadh-based charitable organisation, was seized by the Israeli military during a raid in Gaza in December, 2002 and recently given to the The New York Times by a former Israeli official, the daily said.

Even if the claim by the Saudi government is true, that they only finance the Palestinian Authority, such support IS support of terrorist organizations since the Palestinian is a government which harbors and supports numerous terrorist groups (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, etc.)

And yet, for some reason, we are “allies” with Saudi Arabia. We have a military base with U.S. troops in the country, and we continue to support the existence of the Saudi Arabian dictatorship.

This support should have never existed in the first place, but we shall see how deep this support runs if the Saudi Arabians begin to develop a nuclear weapons program….

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St. Augustine - A Philosophy of Horror [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:53 pm

St. Augustine was a philosopher of the 3rd and 4th centuries. In his philosophy, he writes about the miserable nature of physical existence and the superiority of God and the human soul. He portrays mankind’s physical existence as filled with terror, disease, and a horribly evil nature. St. Augustine, can be described as one of the founding figures in the idea of Original Sin, which states that a human being is innately depraved by his very own nature as a human being, and therefore must spend his entire life begging forgiveness of God. Additionally, the idea that the body and the soul are separate, as well as the soul being superior to the body, are both very prevalent themes in Augustine’s works (although Plato is truly the intellectual father of these ideas). Also, there are mentions of altruism and collectivism in his works (again, as heavily influenced by Plato). Every individual in society has a moral obligation to ensure that every other individual is obeying God, and, every individual themselves must also obey God.

One of Augustine’s more famous works, City of God, deals with the themes I mentioned earlier, but most importantly, the demonstration of the ideal political system. According to Augustine, the ideal political system is one which forces every individual of the society obey God, condemn the inferiority of physical existence, and sacrifice oneself to all others in the society if they (or God) so demand.

The following are some quotes that I picked up on in my reading of part of City of God for my Political Ideologies class.

“what is it that we would do, when we wish to be made perfect by the ultimate good, unless it be that the flesh should not lust against the spirit, and that there should be in us no such vice for the spirit to lust against it? But since we can not bring that to pass in the present life, however much we may desire it, we can at least with God’s help so act that we do not yield to the lust of the flesh against the spirit by failure of the spirit, and we are not dragged with our own consent to the perpetuation of sin. Far be it from us, then, so long as we are engaged in this internal war…”

He is saying here that every human being is innately depraved because of his physical nature. Every human being therefore must wage a major conflict between his physical existence and his soul. However, since the complete elimination of physical desire ("lusts” as he calls them) would require nothing short of death (and committing suicide is not good because then one can not obey God and sacrifice oneself for others), a human being’s physical existence is filled with terror, misery, and despair.

“….all these persons have sought, with a surprising vanity, to be happy in this life and to get happiness by their own efforts. Truth laughed at these men….”

“…such is the stupid pride of these men who suppose that the supreme good is to be found in this life, and that they can be the agents of their own happiness…”

“…so we look forward to happiness, and a happiness to be won by ‘endurance.’ For we are among evils, which we ought patiently to endure until we arrive among those goods where nothing will be lacking to provide us ineffable delight, nor will there now be anything that we are obliged to endure. Such is the salvation which in the life to come will itself be also the ultimate bliss. But those philosophers, not believing in this blessedness because they do not see it, strive to manufacture for themselves in this life an utterly counterfeit happiness by drawing on a virtue whose fraudulence matches its arrogance.”

Happiness in this physical life is impossible, Augustine says. The physical existence of mankind in this world is a horrible misery filled with constant conlifct, terror, and despair. No individual human being is able to achieve happiness in this world, on their own, because only eternal peace with God (which is the permanent escape from the misery of physical existence) can enable one to achieve happiness.

What a horrible life this man must have lived. It seems that his entire philosophy can be described as an absolute terror of reality and a constant wish to explain the unbearable pain of his own existence. But such misery is NOT an intrinsic feature of man’s existence but rather the inevitable result of any human being who attempts to act in contradiction with reality.

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U.S. Absurdity [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 3:54 pm

The United States government has blocked the Israeli military from capturing a raid intended to seize Palestinian terrorist leader, Yasser Arafat.

The United States has prevented Israel’s military from capturing the headquarters of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

U.S. government sources said the Bush administration sent a harsh message to Israel to suspend plans to capture Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah over the weekend. The sources said the had military planned to raid the so-called Muqata’a on late Friday and capture Arafat.

Both Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice telephoned Israeli and PA leaders and warned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to suspend the military plans, Middle East Newsline reported.

The U.S. sources said the Bush administration was alarmed by the Israeli entry into Ramallah on Thursday. An Israeli military force captured a PA ministry about 300 meters from Arafat’s headquarters and established a command post for the capture of the Muqata’a.

At that point, the sources said, the administration was informed by the CIA that Israel planned to imminently capture Arafat’s headquarters and seize the PA chairman. They said Israel planned to exile Arafat to a distant Arab country.

“The United States does not support either the elimination or the exile of Mr. Arafat,” Powell said. “It is not our position and the Israeli government knows this. There would be rage in the Arab world and the Muslim world. And I don’t see this moving forward the roadmap.”

This is utterly absurd and a COMPLETE perversion of all that is just and right. This is equivalent in my eyes to some foreign power blocking the United States military from capturing Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Colin Powell is afraid that the death or seizure of Arafat will anger the Arab world? Since when do we not prosecute criminals, murderers, and terrorists because we are afraid that it will anger people?!?!?!

It is now completely apparent to me that this administration has absolutely no idea of what fundamental principles are, nor how to apply them. Our government is a collection of pragmatic morons who have absolutely no conception of how to run our government (especially our foreign policy) properly.

While I believe that Arafat should be shot, not exiled, Israel has the absolute right to act in its own self-interest and should clearly reject this blatant violation of justice on the part of the U.S. administration.

It is now absolutely clear to me that instead of ruthlessly eliminating the enemies of this country (Islamic fundamentalism), the Bush administration hopes to appease them by handing over Israel to their bloodthirsty, hateful and murderous ways. This will fail, as all appeasement of terrorists and dictatorships must by necessity fail.

The result of this policy of appeasement will be another terrorist attack on our soil, I guarantee it. God (speaking metaphorically) help us all.

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Israel Will Expel Arafat? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 4:56 pm

The security cabinet of the Israeli government has agreed “in principle” to expel Arafat from the area.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s security cabinet agreed in principle Thursday to exile Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, but not immediately, sources close to the government said.

One source said the security cabinet decided to ask the army to prepare a plan for Arafat’s exile from the region but decided against swift expulsion because of U.S. opposition.

A senior Palestinian official denounced Israel’s decision, saying exiling Arafat would destabilize the Middle East.

“Harming Arafat or expelling him will destabilize the region and will only bring disaster to the Israeli people,” the official said.

The United States also opposed expelling Arafat, but for different reasons, saying it would give him greater publicity.

“We don’t believe that dealing with Mr. Arafat … through expulsion is going to be helpful at all with the situation,” a State Department spokesman said.

“It would just give him another stage to play on.”

This is unbelievable. Yasser Arafat is a terrorist who is attempting to give support to the Palestinian terrorist groups. There is absolutely no reason why this sick piece of scum should be allowed to stay in the area.

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Stand Tall [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 10:01 am

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Saudi Arabian Dictatorship [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:50 pm

The ‘Barbie’ doll has been deemed a threat to morality according to the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia’s religious police have declared Barbie dolls a threat to morality, complaining that the revealing clothes of the “Jewish” toy — already banned in the kingdom — are offensive to Islam.

The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, as the religious police are officially known, lists the dolls on a section of its Web site devoted to items deemed offensive to the conservative Saudi interpretation of Islam.

“Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful,” said a poster on the site.

The poster, plastered with pictures of Barbie in short dresses and tight pants, and with a few of her accessories, reads: “A strange request. A little girl asks her mother: Mother, I want jeans, a low-cut shirt, and a swimsuit like Barbie.”

Such posters are distributed to schools and hung in the streets by the religious police, or muttawa, an independent body affiliated with the office of the Prime Minister.

Vice police officials were not available for comment Monday.

Sheik Abdulla al-Merdas, a preacher in a Riyadh mosque, said the muttawa take their anti-Barbie campaign to the shops, confiscating dolls from sellers and imposing a fine.


An exhibition of all the violating items is found in the holy city of Medina, and mobile tours go around to schools and other public areas in the kingdom.

The muttawa act as a monitoring and punishing agency, propagating conservative Islamic beliefs according to the teachings of the puritan Wahhabi sect, adhered to the kingdom since the 18th century, and enforcing strict moral code.

The muttawa patrol the streets of the kingdom, preventing men from mingling with women, enforcing strict Islamic dress for women, chasing worshippers late for prayers, and punishing shop keepers who stay open during prayer hours. They sometimes work with a police officer who can enforce legal punishments on people deemed violators.

Is this another example of the “peaceful” teachings of Islam?

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U.S. Foreign Policy Has Failed [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 4:49 pm

In my opinion, President Bush’s unprincipled and pragmatic approach to foreign policy issues has begun to spell disaster for the security operations in which our country has engaged in (the war with Afghanistan and Iraq), and for the continued security of the citizens of America. President Bush has failed in two primary ways: the failure (or the refusal) to identify the enemy of this country as Islamic fundamentalism which has resulted in the failure to pursue the best military strategy necessary for defeating this enemy.

According to pragmatism, there are no absolutes. In the pragmatist view, everything about reality is in constant flux, which means, that no truth can ever remain constant; including, fundamental principles of philosophy. When making a decision about what course of action one should take therefore, according to pragmatism, there is no method of reason which one can appeal to except whether or not that specific course of action “works.” There is no way of knowing beforehand if that course of action will work, which means that one must constantly experiment to see if their idea will work in practice. However, unlike the scientist in the laboratory who is able to derive causal principles of reality and attain knowledge, the pragmatist claims that what works today may not work tomorrow. As a result, in EVERY situation regarding decision-making (and every other aspect of one’s life), a person can only try what they FEEL to be right and hope that it goes well.

Under President Bush, our foreign policy (along with many aspects of our domestic policy as well) has been riddled with pragmatism.

Here are the facts:
1. On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists working for the Al-Qaeda organization hijacked 4 jet airplanes, flew 2 of them into the two towers of the World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon, and another headed towards Washington D.C. but was apparently taken down by the brave hostages of that flight (presumably, this airplane was headed towards The White House or Capitol Hill).

2. The reason for this attack was not that the members of this organization wanted to engage in terrorism as such, but rather, wanted to force their particular agenda through a specific method: terrorism.

3. This agenda is called Islamic fundamentalism, which states that any individual (and thereby society as well) which does not believe in the Islamic conception of God, Allah, is evil and therefore it is good to declare jihad (holy war) against those individuals and societies. Additionally, the commonly held values amongst Islamic fundamentalists are faith, sacrifice to a higher power (in this case, Allah), and force (through Islamic theocracy). Therefore, any individual or society that advocates the opposite of these things (reason, egoism, individual rights, and freedom) is natural enemies of Islamic fundamentalism. These Islamic fundamentalists have openly declared war against The United States and the allies of freedom, and are actively engaging to inflict great harm on us.

4. Islamic fundamentalism has influence in the government as well in the citizens of such countries as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Pakistan, etc., and formerly Iraq and Afghanistan). As a result of this influence (which is particularly strong in many of these areas), these dictatorships present a grave threat to the security of The United States, not only because of their own ideologies, but because they support Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, etc.

5. The theocracy of Iran is the heart of the Islamic fundamentalist movement. It was in Iran where jihad was first declared against the United States of America, it was Iran that engaged in the first terrorist acts against the United States of America, and it is in Iran where the Islamic fundamentalists hold the most power over the government. Additionally, U.S. intelligence reports have ascertained that Iran is developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons, perhaps achieving that capability within 2 years time.

6. The communist dictatorship of North Korea has developed nuclear weapons and it is reasonable to assume that they would sell such weapons to those with whom they share a common enemy. It is reasonable to assume that North Korea would supply Islamic fundamentalist organizations with such weapons. (In fact, reports have alleged that North Korea and Iran have agreed to share weapons technology with one another.)

7. The United States military has the overwhelming ability to wipe out all of these threats in a short period of time, thereby ensuring the security of the citizens of The United States from further, and perhaps more severe, terrorist attacks.

The critical error of President Bush was the failure (or perhaps the refusal) to identify our enemy as Islamic fundamentalism. Instead of identifying this ideology which has openly declared war on The United States, President Bush has labeled our enemy as “terrorism,” which clearly confuses the method by which the Islamic fundamentalists are waging war against us with the actual threat itself: the ideology of Islamic fundamentalism. There are many potential reasons for this failure, such as merely ignorance on the part of the Bush administration, or more likely, the fear that labeling our enemy as “Islamic fundamentalism” would anger the Islamic world. Either way, this failure to properly identify our enemy as Islamic fundamentalism has resulted, along with the influence of pragmatism, in our clear inability to formulate a proper military strategy for defeating this threat.

The failure to properly identify our enemy as Islamic fundamentalism, along with the influences of pragmatism; have resulted in three failures in our military operation against the Islamic fundamentalist movement: a failed military campaign in Afghanistan, the failure of attempting to gain the support of the United Nations, and the overall failure of not executing a proper military strategy.

Afghanistan was an important target to attack in our war against Islamic fundamentalism because a large number of Al-Qaeda operatives were operating in that region, with the assistance of the government of Afghanistan: the Taliban. However, due to the policies of the Bush administration, the war against Afghanistan was in many ways, a failure. First of all, the Bush administration did not send enough troops into Afghanistan in order to ensure that it would be difficult for Al-Qaeda operatives to leave the country. While we did eliminate a large portion of the funding, support services, and the Taliban structure that was supporting Al-Qaeda, by not engaging enough troops, we failed to prevent many Al-Qaeda and Taliban from escaping the country (perhaps including the leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden). What was the cause of this failure? The fear of upsetting our enemy with too many civilian casualties rather then ensure that the lives of American soldiers and citizens are safe, and the pragmatic conception that our enemy will somehow respect us if we endanger ourselves rather than the enemy.

As the next target for the U.S. war against Islamic fundamentalism, the Bush administration decided that the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein was the best target to wage war against. Prior to engaging this war however, the Bush administration spent roughly 9 months attempting to gain the support of The United Nations in this engagement.

As I stated in my 9/7/2003 post, I Condemn President Bush:

The United Nations is a thoroughly corrupt and evil organization. While an organization composed of free nations, working together for their own mutual self-interest would be quite beneficial to all involved, that is certainly NOT what The United Nations is. The United Nations is an organization comprised of a number of dictatorships and terrorist states, along with semi-free countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. The basic premise of the UN is that there is little or no distinction between a free nation, such as the US, and an evil dictatorship, such as the Soviet Union which was a member of the UN during its existence. There is no ethical or political superiority between nations, but rather, every nation is on an equal ethical and political playing field, regardless of whether or not they respect individual rights or slaughter millions.

Based on this premise of moral and political relativism, the UN advocates the idea that no one nation is capable of determining what is right or wrong for themselves, and thereby acting on that knowledge. Instead, only a consensus of many nations (whether or not they are free or dictatorships is irrelevant to them) can decide what is right or wrong. (This is what is meant by the condemnation of the U.S. acting “unilaterally” and the advocacy of “multilateral” action.) ”

By negotiating with an organization which sponsors terrorist states and dictatorships, The United States explicitly sanctioned those very terrorist states and dictatorships. By doing so, the Bush administration sent the message to all of the terrorist organizations and dictatorships of the world that if they attack The United States, we will spend months negotiating with the very enemies that attacked us. The United Nations is totally incapable of properly protecting the security of America for these reasons. What was the cause of such negotiation? The influence of pragmatism. Since there are no absolute truths, since there are no principles by which we can consistently determine the correct course of action, let’s experiment by attempting to negotiate with The United Nations, to negotiate with the very enemies of our country; said the Bush administration. As a result of the negotiation with The United Nations, the Bush administration wasted critical time in the war against Islamic fundamentalism, the Bush administration provided time for our enemies to build-up their capability of attacking us, and the Bush administration provided moral sanction for the terrorists that have attacked us and are plotting to attack us again.

When the negotiation with The United Nations failed, the Bush administration, correctly, decided to wage war against our enemies by “going it alone.” However, by targeting Iraq as the next target in our war against Islamic fundamentalism, I believe that the Bush administration made a critical mistake. In my opinion, based on the influence of Islamic fundamentalism and the capability to produce nuclear weapons, I believe that there are 6 essential threats to the security of the United States which must be taken out.

The following is a list which includes Afghanistan and Iraq, which means, that I am assuming, with this list, that it is Sept. 12, 2001. In some cases, I have put two countries in the same spot which indicates that I believe that they should be (or should have been) attacked at the same time. While I do not consider myself to be an expert on this situation and the status of these countries by any means, I believe that this list accurately portrays the overall importance to eliminating these threats.

1. Iran and Afghanistan
2. North Korea
3. Saudi Arabia
4. Pakistan
5. Syria and the Palestinian Authority
6. Iraq

As you can see, while I believe that the elimination of the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein was an important task, it was not nearly as important as the elimination of 7 other regimes. I believe this to be true for many reasons. First of all, at this present time, having eliminated the threat of Afghanistan, I believe the dictatorships of Iran and North Korea to be the biggest threat to America’s security. I believe this to be true because North Korea has openly admitted that it has nuclear weapons and is pursuing a more advanced nuclear weapons program, and Iran is in the process, according to U.S. intelligence, of developing the capability for a nuclear weapons program (perhaps obtaining nuclear weapons within 2 years). Additionally, these two countries are staunch enemies of The United States of America. As I stated earlier, Iran is the heart of Islamic fundamentalist movement. Additionally, North Korea is a communist dictatorship which has obtained nuclear weapons and is threatening their use against the United States in order to extort aid. As I demonstrated in my 7/11/2003 post, North Korea Must Be Stopped:

Every dictatorship today attempts to survive through two means: conquest of other nations, or mooching aid under the veil of altruism from powerful countries. Centuries ago, there were numerous dictatorships who survived by the means of the first, conquest of other nations. In modern society, war is heavily frowned upon and may bring immediate sanction from many others in the world. Now, most dictatorships turn to the second method. They appeal to the alleged “duty” of the freest nations of the world (which are also the most successful) to pour money into their dictatorship. One reason why some claim that the successful nations of the world have this is duty is because of the false idea that wealth is fixed, and when one country gains wealth, it is taking wealth away from others. Thus, the economically successful nations have a “duty” to “give back” what they have expropriated from third world countries.

As a result of this alleged duty on the part of the successful nations, these dictatorships have found a new source to loot from. Now, these dictatorships play on the “guilt” of the economically successful nations and are therefore able to survive as a parasite for a long period of time. This is readily apparent with the situation with North Korea. North Korea however doesn’t only live off of the second method of mooching, but the first as well. The people of North Korea are starving, which is a regular condition of a dictatorship. In response to this, nations such as the U.S. provide aid to North Korea so that the people of North Korea will not starve to death, which on the face of it, seems like a very humane and benevolent thing to do. However, this action of giving food aid to North Korea allows the dictatorship to continue its existence. Instead of having to be concerned with feeding its starving population and deal with rising dissent because of it, North Korea can pour a lot of money into its military. If North Korea (and all other dictatorships like it) can amass a large military force, or a large amount of power through nuclear weapons, they can extort more money from the economically successful nations of the world. This is exactly what is happening with the U.S. and North Korea today, and in the past 50 years.

While Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program and North Korea ALREADY HAS nuclear weapons, the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein seems to have been much less of a threat than the Bush administration made it out to be. Instead, it appears that even if Iraq was pursuing a weapons of mass destruction program (which I believe they were); they were much less advanced than Iran and North Korea in the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Why then, if not for objective reasons, did the Bush administration decide to target Iraq as the second target in our war on Islamic fundamentalism? It seems to me that the cause of this decision was, once again, pragmatism. The Bush administration most likely believed two primary things:

1. They could “sell” the campaign against Iraq because of its past transgressions against the civilized world and because Iraq is viewed as a secular dictatorship as opposed to an Islamic theocracy such as Iran.

2. Establishing a free society in Iraq would result in the immediate influence of freedom in the surrounding countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria; thereby eliminating the need to use military force against these threats.

Both of these potential premises of the Bush administration are totally wrong. First, there was no need to “sell” this war to our enemies, nor to The United Nations. The U.S. military clearly has the ability to wipe out these threats with ease. Second, the establishment of a free society is not something that can be done overnight. It requires very firm and correct philosophical ideas along with the best means of applying those philosophical ideas into practice. Considering the fact that The United States does not have those correct philosophical ideas or the correct practical implementation of those ideas itself, how could it bring these things to Iraq? Additionally, it is ridiculous to believe that the enemies of freedom, capitalism, reason, egoism, etc., would somehow replace the ideals of faith, sacrifice to a higher power, and theocracy; which are present in Islamic fundamentalism. Even if The United States could establish some sort of free society in Iraq, it would take many years to do so, in which time, the enemies of The United States (such as Iran and North Korea), would have a lot of time to develop nuclear weapons and plot new ways of attacking The United States.

For all of these reasons, I firmly believe that the foreign policy of the United States government has been an utter failure. The Bush administration has clearly failed to identify our enemy as Islamic fundamentalism and therefore has conducted an inept military campaign which has included the failure to prevent many Al-Qaeda operatives from escaping Afghanistan, the failure of negotiating with terrorists and dictatorships through The United Nations, and the failure of attacking Iraq instead of Iran and North Korea. Additionally, I believe that military campaigns against the 6 remaining threats that I mentioned would not be difficult at all. The people of Iran have been SCREAMING for the overthrow of the Islamic theocracy, the people of North Korea are starving and would welcome the end of the communist regime; and we could completely eliminate the Palestinian terrorists by supporting Israel in eliminating them (see all my posts on Israel and the Palestinian terrorists). Therefore, I condemn the foreign policy of President Bush, and I firmly believe that our course of action in the “war on terror,” which should actually be referred to as the “war on Islamic fundamentalism,” has failed.

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Closing In On Osama? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:37 pm

It appears as though we are closing in on Osama Bin Laden.

Sept. 8— The hunt for Osama bin Laden has been narrowed to a 40-square-mile section of the Waziristan region of Pakistan, senior U.S. officials told ABCNEWS.

“[It is] a very hostile area in terms of geography, mountains, terrain, ravines and two ferocious tribes, the Wazirs and the Mahsuds who dominate the area,” said Dr. Akbar Ahmed, professor of International Relations at American University in Washington, D.C.

Authorities are casting a net around the towns of Angoor Ada and Wana in southern Waziristan, which are infested with al Qaeda supporters, but it is a difficult and dangerous area to operate in.

Great. Let’s move in and kill the piece of scum. That will be one less murderous, fundamentalist Islamic terrorist that we will have to worry about.

However, it must be reminded that the capture of Osama Bin Laden will NOT mean the end of the “war on terrorism.” We are not fighting a method of war (terrorism as such) but rather we are fighting against an ideology (Islamic fundamentalism). We will not guarantee victory by eliminating the method (terrorism) by which the Islamic fundamentalists are waging war against us. Nor we will guarantee victory by eliminating the terrorists themselves. Instead, we must eliminate the ideology by elminating the sources of its power: the states which sponsor it. This means, that in order to win the “war on terror” we must eliminate the source of Islamic fundamentalism, not just the people who carry it out in practice. This means, that we must ruthlessly eliminate the governments that are ruled by Islamic fundamentalism (such as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc.), thereby eliminating all support for the Islamic fundamentalists who are waging war against the ideology of this great country of ours, America.

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Get Our Forces Out of Liberia [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:31 pm

12 Marines have been diagnosed with malaria after returning from Liberia and 21 others are showing symptoms of the disease.

WASHINGTON - Twelve U.S. Marines who were in Liberia (news - web sites) last month have been diagnosed with malaria and 21 other U.S. troops have symptoms of the disease, defense officials said Monday.

Two of the Marines were flown from the USS Iwo Jima warship off the coast of Liberia to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany on Saturday. Thirty other Marines, plus one sailor, were flown Sunday to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., according to a brief statement from U.S. European Command, which is in charge of the Liberia mission.

A spokesman at the Bethesda center, Lt. Cmdr. Chito Peppler, said he could not comment on the patients’ condition.

Col. Jay DeFrank, a Defense Department spokesman, said the Marines, members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., were in Liberia in mid-August as part of a U.S. quick-reaction force of about 150 U.S. troops. They operated from an airport outside Monrovia, the capital.

In addition to the 12 confirmed cases of malaria, test results on the 21 other patients are pending, Peppler said.

There is absolutely no rational reason for our forces to be in Liberia. The purpose of government is not to mediate disputes between murderous savages but to protect the individual rights of its citizens and the individual rights of other citizens when it is in our self-interest to do so. Clearly, there is no interest in our military forces being in Liberia at this point in time. If one side of this dispute were a firm advocate of individual rights, then conceivably, it would be in our self-interest to defend them. Additionally, it would be to our interest to use military force in Liberia if their government posed a threat to our security (such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, North Korea, etc., do). Since neither of these condition exist, it is ridiculous for our military forces to be present in Liberia.

On a second point, it is horribly wrong to be subjected our military forces to harm for no reason other than self-sacrifice. I proudly support our military, but I severely condemn our government for deploying our military forces and putting them in harm’s way for the self-sacrifice of mediating disputes between savages. Let’s get our forces out of every such savage dispute, and keep them from entering such disputes in the future, unless it is in our self-interest to do so. Let the brutal savages with no conception of individual rights slaughter themsleves, we will be better off with less scum on the earth.

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Justice Being Served? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:21 pm

The RIAA is suing 261 people for their illegal downloading of mp3’s.

The Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) (RIAA) today said it filed lawsuits against 261 people accused of trading copyrighted songs on the Internet. The group also said that it would not sue file sharers who promise in writing not to do it again.

The lawsuits, which were filed in federal courts across the country, are the RIAA’s latest tactics in its war against the illegal file sharing that record companies blame for plummeting CD sales.

In June, the RIAA promised to sue hundreds of Internet users suspected of illegally trading music using file-swapping services like Kazaa and Morpheus. The association in August clarified that it only would target the most egregious file sharers.

RIAA President Cary Sherman in a teleconference today characterized the people who were sued as “major offenders” who distributed about 1,000 copyrighted music files on average.

This is great news. The RIAA has upheld its right to make money, and has upheld the rights of every one of the artists with whom they contract to make money as well. Most importantly, this act on the part of the RIAA is an affirmation of the right to life of every individual, the right which states, that every single individual regardless of race, class, sex, religion, income, etc., have the right to take whatever actions they deem necessary for their own lives as long as they do not violate the right of others to do so in the process.

Recently, I modified my 7/17/03 post, “Swapping Mp3’s as a Violation of Individual Rights,” which I intend to submit to my school paper as an op-ed. Since this piece has major relevance to the topic at hand, I have decided to post it here:

When did theft stop being punished by the law in America? Apparently, in America, theft is not theft when it is done by a large group of people. A robber steals the purse of an old woman in a dark alley, it is called theft; millions of teenagers steal the property of an artist, it is called “swapping.” A burglar comes into the home of a rich family and steals their prized possessions, it is called theft; politicians steal the earned money of a large number of rich individuals, it is called “redistribution of wealth.

Face it folks, swapping mp3’s and movie files IS stealing, if those files are unlicensed by the artist, meaning, if the artist did not consent to the distribution of his property in that given medium. Put yourself in the position of the artist in this situation. Imagine spending years of your life painstakingly developing a given talent (such as singing, performing an instrument, creating a movie, etc.), only to be told that you have no right to trade that talent with others as performed in a given medium. Imagine being told that you have no right to be compensated for all of your effort. Imagine, having your art being physically taken from you and distributed to anyone who wants it, without your consent. Imagine spending close to twenty years of your life being educated, spending hours upon hours in your business, and working extremely hard every day of your life only to have the result of that hard work, your product and your money, stolen from you.

This country was founded on one fundamental principle: that every human being, by their very nature, has one fundamental right, from which all others are the result: the right to their own life. This means that every human being has the right to take whatever actions they deem necessary for their own life, just as long as they do not violate that right of any other individual or group of individuals. This right, according to the political philosophy of America at its inception, is inalienable, which means, that the government, as well as its citizens, do not have the right to violate it in any way. This means that every single individual has the right to life, regardless of race, religion, sex, income, sexual orientation, etc., and that the purpose of government is to recognize and protect this right. Based on this right, if an artist creates a product (such as a song), that artist has a right to that product. That artist has a right to distribute the product how they see fit or to keep it to themselves.

But those who support the downloading of mp3’s claim otherwise. They claim that they have a right to the products that the artists create because they enjoy the product, or because they want the product, or because they believe that they are being charged too much for the product, etc. Or, those who support the downloading of mp3’s claim that the artists have so much money anyway, what does it matter that we steal their property?

No group has the right to proclaim that they have the right to violate the rights of individuals. Those who engage in unlicensed file swapping on peer-to-peer networks have no right to steal the property of artists and swap it, politicians have no right to steal money from the rich individuals of America, nor does any single group have the right to engage in the violation of any individual’s rights for any reason whatsoever. You do not have the right to steal the property of artists because you want it, or because you believe you are being charged too much for it, or because you believe that the artist has a lot of money anyway, etc.

Put yourself in the position of the artist. Imagine that someone demanded that you give up your property to them. Would you agree that they have the right to steal your money and your property because they want it? Would you agree that they have the right to steal your money and your property because they believe they are being charged too much for it? Would you agree that they have the right to steal your money and your property because they believe that you have so much money anyway?

The swapping of mp3’s IS a violation of the individual rights of the artists whose property is stolen. By downloading their music and using it for your own purposes, you deny the ability for the artist to choose the method by which a voluntary trade is enacted for their property. Instead, by downloading their music, you steal their property and give them nothing in return, thereby profoundly violating their right to life.

At the founding of this country, the philosophy of individual rights was not fully implemented by the government and was partially ignored by its citizens. The individual rights of women, slaves, and many other groups were violated. Today, that violation of rights continues, except the individuals whose rights are being violated have changed. Today, artists are just one example of a group of individuals whose rights are being violated. Let’s put an end to the violation of individual rights. As college students, there is not much we can do about the current violation of rights of many of the individuals in this country. However, every single one of you has the ability to end the violation of the rights of artists by ending your practice of downloading mp3’s. Join me in condemning this practice and putting a stop to it.

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I Condemn President Bush [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 1:23 pm

The Bush administration is demanding that the United Nations take “urgent action” to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program.

America will tomorrow demand that the United Nations takes urgent action to prevent Iran acquiring the atom bomb as fears mount that Teheran is on course to develop a nuclear weapons capability within two years.

United States officials will make the demand at a special meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna that has been arranged to consider a 10-page report by Mohammed al-Baradei, the agency’s director-general, into the state of Iran’s nuclear programme.

Washington has already expressed deep concern about the discovery of traces of weapons grade uranium found in soil samples taken from one of Iran’s top secret nuclear facilities last July.

While President Bush did retain some of his worth with his foreign policy in the past, he has now lost all worth in my eyes. When Sept. 11 occurred, our great country rallied around its leader, President Bush, who promised swift and just action against the terrorists of the world and the countries that support them. During this time, President Bush proudly declared that you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.

Now, almost 2 years since that event, President Bush has violated his own words at almost every turn. This latest incident with Iran is yet another example out of many.

The United Nations is a thoroughly corrupt and evil organization. While an organization composed of free nations, working together for their own mutual self-interest would be quite beneficial to all involved, that is certainly NOT what The United Nations is. The United Nations is an organization comprised of a number of dictatorships and terrorist states, along with semi-free countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. The basic premise of the UN is that there is little or no distinction between a free nation, such as the US, and an evil dictatorship, such as the Soviet Union which was a member of the UN during its existence. There is no ethical or political superiority between nations, but rather, every nation is on an equal ethical and political playing field, regardless of whether or not they respect individual rights or slaughter millions.

Based on this premise of moral and political relativism, the UN advocates the idea that no one nation is capable of determining what is right or wrong for themselves, and thereby acting on that knowledge. Instead, only a consensus of many nations (whether or not they are free or dictatorships is irrelevant to them) can decide what is right or wrong. (This is what is meant by the condemnation of the U.S. acting “unilaterally” and the advocacy of “multilateral” action.)

As I have stated in many previous posts, Iran should be the #1 target for the war on terrorism. It is the heart of the Islamic fundamentalist movement, their government is an Islamic theocracy, and they are attempting to develop a nuclear weapons program (not to mention that the people of Iran are SCREAMING for the government to be overthrown). The Bush administration seems to have recognized the fact that Iran is a central target in the war on terrorism, but they are failing to deal with this threat properly.

By attempting to work with the UN to solve the problem of Iran, the Bush administration is throwing the war on terrorism down the toilet, among other things. First and foremost, Bush is handing over our war on terrorism to a corrupt organization which is comprised of a number of dictatorships and TERRORIST STATES such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, etc (and formerly Iraq). Bush is handing over the war on terrorism to the enemies which this war is supposed to be eliminating (the governments that support Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism). Secondly, Bush is throwing away the sovereignty and security of the U.S. By working with the U.N. President Bush is essentially saying that 1. the U.S. does not have the ability, nor does any other nation, to determine what is right and what is wrong; 2. only a consensus (the UN) can determine right from wrong, 3. if you (the terrorist nations and organizations) attack the United States, eventually, we will negotiate with you.

I now fully condemn President Bush for his foreign policy for being absolutely wrong. President Bush has now clearly violated his promise to the American people to protect us from terrorism by ruthlessly eliminating terrorist organizations and those governments that support them.

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Puppet of Arafat Resigns [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 1:12 pm

The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, a.k.a. puppet of Arafat, has resigned.

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, increasingly unpopular and worn out by a power struggle with Yasser Arafat (news - web sites), resigned Saturday. Within hours, Israel bombed a Gaza City building where top Hamas leaders were meeting, lightly wounding the group’s founder.

Arafat told lawmakers in a meeting later Saturday that Abbas now heads a caretaker government, implying that he had accepted the resignation. However, some Palestinian officials said that for that acceptance to become formal, Arafat would have to send a letter to Abbas — which he had not done.

Arafat also said he had called meetings for Sunday with his Fatah (news - web sites) faction to begin discussions about the leadership crisis.

(Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

There are two potential outcomes of this development in my opinion.

1. A new Prime Minister takes control of the Palestinian Authority and actually dismantles the terrorist network.

2. A new Prime Minister takes control of the Palestinian Authority and does nothing to dismantle the terrorist network, actually supports terrorist regimes, and is under the control of Yasser Arafat. While Israel falls for the “cease-fire” ploy, the Palestinian authority works to take more land from Israel in conjunction with the terrorist groups building up their weapons arsenals for a continued round of suicide bombings.

As I said in my 8/22/03 post, Another Jersualem Post Editorial:

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.

I believe that the most likely outcome of Abbas resigning is the continuation of this cycle. For once, I hope that I am wrong.

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A Win For the Court System [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 5:52 pm

A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit against McDonald’s which alleged that they deceived their customers into eating fatty foods.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday threw out a revised lawsuit against McDonald’s Corp . that accused the fast food restaurant of using misleading advertising to lure children into eating unhealthy foods that make them fat.


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Bowling for Truth [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:30 pm

Recently, I came across this website that demonstrates in detail exactly how Micahel Moore manipulated the truth and outright lied in his documentary, Bowling for Columbine.

I think Michael Moore is one of the biggest idiots that I have ever known, and I do not believe that he deserves to take up my time in demonstrating how much of an idiot he is. Therefore, I recommend checking over this site and seeing for yourself the extent to which Michael Moore is a liar.

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Plato [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 10:12 pm

For my political ideologies class I am required to read Republic by the famous Greek philosopher, Plato. I must tell you that I am apprehensive about reading this work because I consider Plato to be one of the most evil philosophers in the history of mankind.

Plato’s philosophy in a nutshell:

1. There are two realities: a perfect, shapeless reality in which concepts exist as an unified whole; and an imperfect reality which is composed of broken reflections of that perfect reality (mysticism)
2. To common sense, an individual human being is an individual entity. But this is false. A human being is just a broken reflection of one perfect whole: Man. Since it is the unified whole which is perfect, it is the unified whole which is the standard of value, the standard of reality. The good, in this imperfect world, is to best represent that perfect whole in the separate reality. (collectivism)
3. Since the good is represented by the perfect whole, every individual should be willing to sacrifice themselves so that the whole benefits in the best way possible and best represents that perfect reality (altruism)

In Plato’s Republic, the fundamental question is: what is justice? Plato answers that justice is every individual serving the whole in the best way possible by fulfilling his designated function to the state.

This means that YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO EXIST, unless you are sacrificing yourself to the whole. You have no right to your own life as you see fit, you have no right to exercise your free will and determine what profession you want to choose, you have no right to determine where you get your education from, you have no right to determine what activities outside of your profession you engage in, you have no right to determine what art you want to be exposed to, you have no right to exist.

Since every individual should sacrifice themselves in order to form the perfect whole (Man), the purpose of government according to Plato is to force all individuals to serve the state, to create that perfect whole.

Plato is the father of dictatorship in our world. He is ultimately the founder of a form of political system which has been responsible for millions and millions of deaths. He is the intellectual father of the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.

Absolutely sick. This utterly barbaric and savage philosophy should never be taught by any rational education system except to establish the historical context necessary to ensure that the influences of this philosophy are completely eliminated from this earth.

However, this philosophy still has a very large influence in academia as well as in various political systems across the world. Join me in condemning this horrific philosophy.

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My Classes So Far [About Me] — Steve Giardina @ 4:20 pm

I have now attended the first lectures in each of my five classes that I am taking this semester at Drew. So far, I am moderately pleased.

I thoroughly enjoy the teaching of Professor Lee the most, who is the professor of the history of ancient and medieval philosophy course that I am currently taking. His best attributes in teaching are that he welcomes the challenging of the philosophies we are being taught, he presents the philosophies in an objective, unbiased manner, and he is a very friendly and amicable professor.

I was very surprised by my professor of comparative political systems. His first lecture centered on the process of concept formation and how political science uses an exact method to integrate a number of practical systems into theoretical abstractions. I was very surprised by the intelligence this professor possesses and was even more suprised to discover a firm epistemological base in his thinking.

My political ideologies professor was a big dissapointment however. His communication was chaotic and unclear, his organization of ideas was quite lacking, and his intelligence and objectivity seemed non-existent. Seems like I will not be attending too many of his lectures.

Overall however, at this point in time, I am more satisfied with my education here at Drew than I was in my first year, especially the first semester. I was extremely dissapointed with the lackluster quality of education I received from my first 4 classes here: my freshman seminar on city governments, introduction to statistics, introduction to sociology, and introduction to philosophy. But now it appears as though the education is improving.

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Exile Arafat? [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 12:57 pm

I have a few minutes before I’m off to my political science course in comparative political systems, but I thought I’d quickly remark on this piece of news:

Israel may attempt to exile Arafat.

JERUSALEM - Regretting that Israel had not already done so, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday that it might move to expel Palestinian President Yasser Arafat by the end of the year.

“Arafat never wanted to reach an agreement with us, and all he wants is to continue the conflict and bleed the citizens of Israel,” Mofaz told Israel’s Army Radio on Tuesday morning. “I believe that he has to disappear from the stage of history.”

“The state of Israel made a historic mistake by not expelling him some two years ago and we had more than a few opportunities to do this,” Mofaz said. “We will need to address this matter in a relatively short space of time, very possibly the end of this year.”

About damn time. But the Israelis should do more. They should expel the entire Palestinian authority as well as the terrorist groups that they support, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc. Only when the hordes of terrorists and murderous savages who want to destroy Israel are removed from that area will peace be achieved between the Palestinian and Israeli people.

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Declaration of War [Posts] — Steve Giardina @ 4:41 pm

Israel has declared war on the Palestinian terrorist organizations, specifically, Hamas.

JERUSALEM (CNN) – Israel declared “all-out war” against Hamas Monday and said it is freezing diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority unless the Palestinian leadership takes “tangible steps to deal with infrastructures of terror.”


Monday’s statement from Israel said it has adopted the following positions:

• “An all-out war against Hamas and other terrorist elements, including continuous strikes at the organization’s leaders";

• “Pressure on [focuses] of terror” in the West Bank; and

• A freezing of “the diplomatic process with the [Palestinian Authority] … unless [Israel] sees that the PA is taking tangible steps to deal with the infrastructures of terror.”

Good. It appears that Israel is once again beginning to assert its right to self-defense from the Palestinian terrorist groups. However, it remains to be seen if Israel will succumb to the international pressure characterized by condemning self-defense or if Israel will proudly uphold its right to self-defense no matter what the rest of the world says. Unfortunately, in the past few years, Israel has usually followed the first of these two paths.

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Back at College [About Me] — Steve Giardina @ 4:08 pm

I am back at college! After spending roughly 3 and a half months at home away from my centralized education of philosophy and political science, I am back at Drew University eagerly awaiting the beginning of my second year of education here. This year I will be taking a total of 7 courses: Philosophy of Language, History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Introduction to Logic, Comparative Political Systems, Political Ideologies; and two courses with the Objectivist Academic Center: Introduction to Philosophy and Introduction to Writing.

In addition to these courses I hope to be a part of at least three extracurricular activities including the Drew University Philosophical Society, the Drew Wind Ensemble, and the Drew Chess Club.

As you can see, I will be quite busy this semester. I am unsure at this point how demanding my schedule will be. I hope to continue to post regularly as I have throughout the summer. However, if at any point the work really starts to pile on, I may be unable to continue with posts for a while.

On a positive note however, now that I am back at Drew, I will have A LOT of topics to dissect and examine as I learn them in the course of my education here. Time permitting, this should result in more posts than previously in the summer. As I said before, the key factor will be the amount of time I have to write.

Keep checking back here regularly, feel free to leave your opinions, comments, questions, etc.; and feel free to put some money in my tip jar!

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