Monday, September 03, 2007
Afghan ... Fucking ... Goatherds?!?!
Galileo Blogs comments that, "Our Christian President has imposed these rules [of 'engagement'] on our soldiers," as he points to a Washington Times article by Diana West that should be required reading for those of us who favor defeating Islamic totalitarians.
Although she does not explicitly blame the religion, Ms. West recounts how Christianity, as put into practice on the battlefield, directly led to the needless sacrifice of nineteen American patriots:
[T]he SEAL team was unexpectedly discovered in the early stages of a mission whose success, of course, depended on secrecy. Three unarmed Afghan goatherds, one a teenager, had stumbled across the Americans' position.Three of these men died, along with sixteen of those sent to extricate them from the attack they received as thanks from the "innocent civilians" whose lives they were forced by their own country to spare.
This presented the soldiers with an urgent dilemma: What should they do? If they let the Afghans go, they would probably alert the Taliban to the their whereabouts. This would mean a battle in which the Americans were outnumbered by at least 35 to 1. "Little Big Horn in turbans," as Marcus Luttrell would describe it. If the Americans didn't let the goatherds go -- if they killed them, there being no way to hold them -- the Americans would avoid detection and, most likely, leave the area safely. On a treeless mountainscape far from home, four of our bravest patriots came to the ghastly conclusion that the only way to save themselves was forbidden by the rules of engagement. Such an action would set off a media firestorm, and lead to murder charges for all. [bold added]
Read it all, out of respect for these men and for the sake of learning for yourself that liberals at home are not always, as Ms. West points out, the main threat to American lives on the field.
Christian conservatives are basically crucifying our soldiers rather than allowing them to do what they signed up for: defend our country.
Edwards Would Enslave Patients, Too
John Edwards obviously doesn't need me to connect the dots for him to realize that when the government enslaves physicians, the precedent has been set for it to enslave everyone else:
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.As an added bonus, notice the total contempt for the opinion of others those last two sentences show. As if anyone is choosing to enter his "universal health care" system. As if one owes something to somebody who points a gun to his head.
"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."
I have noted numerous times here that under socialized medicine (and often, under the current semisocialist system), the ability of a physician to practice according to his best medical judgement is severely compromised. Here, that goes for the patient as well!
On top of the universal indignity of citizens being herded into doctor's offices, consider what happens to those who disagree with what the government decrees is proper "preventative medicine". Some drugs have severe side effects (or pose big enough risks for them) that some may find them unacceptable in their particular context. Edwards is (perhaps) only a step away from making it illegal for you to turn down such drugs, to make certain lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking), or even to avoid certain medical procedures!
In that light, I propose the following name for the Edwards plan: MengeleCare.
Having said that, I would add only that MengeleCare is only the most obviously evil plan for socialized medicine so far. Any plan that forces physicians to practice on terms not their own is a violation of individual rights and as such is immoral and is a step towards the same end result.
Two Creeps in the Bathroom
Mark Steyn, between wisecracks, makes a point about the Larry Craig morals scandal that has been conspicuously absent from the public debate:
And so we have the bizarre situation of a United States senator convicted of the crime of brushing his foot and placing his carry-on luggage in the only available space of a men's room stall. Larry Craig feebly accused Sgt. Karsnia of "entrapping" him but, in fact, the officer didn't even need to entrap him into anything other than an allegedly intrusive shoe movement. That's a crime? On the tape, Craig sounds sad and pathetic, a prominent man cornered in a sordid transaction. Yet Karsnia sounds just as weird and creepy: a guy who's paid to sit in a bathroom stall for hours on end observing adjoining ankles. [bold added]Not to condone Senator Craig's personal dishonesty or marital infidelity, but sexual activity between consenting adults violates nobody's rights and should therefore not be a crime.
[Update: A commenter brings up an issue I should have been explicit about here: There remain valid reasons for the police to have planted an officer in a public restroom and make an arrest like this. These are related to the property rights of the business owner, and not to enforcing Judeo-Christian sexual morality, however.]
Even More Looks at the Fair Tax
This morning, the Inspector and the Software Nerd tipped me off to a couple of in-depth discussions of the proposed Fair Tax over at Objectivism Online. I'm not sure when I'll be able to read them thoroughly, but if it gets enacted as advertised and it does not get watered down or vitiated later, it might warrant heavily qualified support from advocates of capitalism.
Take a look and judge for yourselves.
Regarding threads on Objectivism Online, it is unusual for me to have the time to keep track of them. I appreciate people tipping me off to such discussions, especially when something I say gets the ball rolling, and regardless of whether the people there agree with me.
Political "Spectrum" as Communist Apologists
I am unimpressed both by Pete Seeger's sudden "realization" that Josef Stalin was a butcher and by the following conservative writeup in the New York Sun:
Mr. Seeger continued in his letter to me: "the basic mistake was Lenin's faith in [Party] DISCIPLINE!" He often tells his left-wing audiences, he said, to read Rosa Luxemburg's famous letter to Lenin about the necessity of freedom of speech. And despite all of my criticisms of Mr. Seeger over the years, he ended warmly, saying: "You stay well. Keep on."Note that Seeger regards Stalin as merely "mistaken" about methods. Ron Radosh then notes that Seeger remains a leftist.
I was deeply moved that Mr. Seeger, now in his late 80s, had decided to acknowledge what had been his major blind spot - opposing social injustice in America while supporting the most tyrannical of regimes abroad. [bold added]
Both men are saying the same thing about Stalin, which is a variant of "I admire his ideals, but oppose his methods." In doing so, both are serving as apologists for communism by implying that it could lead to anything other than a brutal dictatorship (or that it could really be compatible with freedom of speech).
I am grateful that Ayn Rand, who fled for her life from Soviet Russia, noted that one's ends ultimately dictate one's means and, therefore, one's results. Theory and practice are inseparable, because theory guides practice.
I reject the idea that one man's efforts should be expropriated for the sake of another man's life. I admire neither Stalin's methods nor his (or Seeger's or Radosh's) altruist-collectivist ideals.
Josef Stalin was not merely mistaken: He was unspeakably evil.
Today: Added note to Senator Craig section.
9-4-07: Fixed a typo.