Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Gerald Ford and the Mayaguez Incident
Andy over at the Charlotte Capitalist shows a photograph of President Ford and Alan Greenspan, accompanied by Greenspan's mother and Ayn Rand at his 1974 swearing-in as Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors. (And if that last link is any indication, Time magazine is posting at least some very old archived material on the web.)
He also quotes the following comment by Ayn Rand on Ford's decisive action after the Cambodians committed a brazen act of piracy against an unarmed American ship.
To go from the horrendous to the grotesque, consider the Mayaguez incident. I hasten to say that were it not for the proper and highly moral action taken by President Ford, the consequences of that incident could have been more horrendous than Phnom Penh.Andy adds, "If we had consistently followed President Gerald Ford's actions in the Mayaguez incident, we wouldn't be where we are today in the Mideast." Indeed.
That a small band of those same Cambodian savages dared seize an unarmed American ship, was such an affront to America (and to civilization) that the collapse of international law would have followed, if President Ford had not acted as he did. To borrow Senator Goldwater's very appropriate phrase, every "half-assed nation" would have felt free to attack the U.S. -- which would have meant world rule by terrorist gangs....
...The American people's reaction to the Mayaguez incident was a great -- and tragic -- demonstration of America's sense of life. Great, because when the news broke out, the letters and wires received at the White House ran -- ten to one -- in support of President Ford's intention to use military force against Cambodia. The American people -- battered by disillusionment over a senseless war and by vicious pro-enemy, anti-war propaganda -- could have had an excuse to fear and oppose the potential risk of another war in the same geographical area.
But they did not. They understood the principle involved; they were willing to fight, but not to accept an affront. (Which, incidentally, is the only way to avoid a war, but not many leaders said so.) This grasp of principles, when the chips are down, this proudly rebellious independence in the face of lies and threats, is what defeats the calculations of the manipulators, foreign or domestic, who attempt to con the American people. (Ayn Rand, 1975: "The Lessons of Vietnam" -- available in The Voice of Reason)
It is heartening, at least, that this historical example shows that under principled leadership, our country is quite capable of rallying itself for military action again even so soon after its leaders have made a mess of a war.
"Tolerance" versus Common Courtesy
Multiculturalism, through government-mandated hiring quotas represents an attack on individual rights, but the cultural poison it introduces is quite insidious, running through nearly every level of social interaction including, as Diana Hsieh points out, basic etiquette -- and all in the name of "sensitivity"!
[J]ust imagine the uproar that this version would create: "I am writing to you because I hope you will bring the job advertisement below to the attention of qualified white males who work in 18th and 19th century history of philosophy."This reminds me of the time a past employer, upon learning by accident that I am part Amerindian, tried to get me to sign on to a minority fellowship. I found this intrusion into my own business rude to the extreme. I have absolutely no desire to discuss my politics (I oppose all affirmative action laws, needless to say.) or my ancestry, a personal matter, with my employer. Furthermore, I don't want future potential employers to wonder, as they most certainly would, whether something on my CV was there due to my "race" or due to my ability.
More Lunacy in Albion
And I'm not talking about charming British eccentricities here. In a nation where physicians are already refusing to treat the obese, it seems that the nanny state has decided that it needs to protect television viewers from -- how best to put this? -- "liminal", I suppose, television ads.
Cheese is to be treated as junk food under new advertising rules for children's television.When the government pays for medical care, the government will make decisions affecting your health based on its budgetary constraints. When it controls television, it will control what the people can see based on what it thinks is good for them. This is why, when it controls both, cheese, an ancient food staple, is declared worse than junk food and speech about it regulated!
Commercials promoting it will be banned during children's TV programmes and those with a large proportion of young viewers.
The rules, which come into force this month, are part of a Government drive to reduce children's exposure to foods high in fat, salt and sugar.
Whoever first observed that, "Controls breed controls," never got to complete his sentence. I believe he meant to add, "like cockroaches".