Loving and Political Change for the Better

Living during the Orgy of Sacrifice, which constitutes the bipartisan political agenda of the past 30+ years in the US, losing hope for a better future can be easy, especially for younger citizens who have never known different circumstances.

While historical successes for freedom through the protection of individual rights can be a comfort, I find as I get older that truly phenomenal advances have been made within my own lifetime and experience.  Further, I note that such changes are not achieved by activism in a single election or in the short term, but instead by consistent political action over time based upon the principle of individual rights.

Consider an example that has had decades to demonstrate the positive consequences of government protecting individual rights after centuries of curtailment.

On the day that I was born, it was illegal for a white individual to be married to another individual of a different race, as define by Virginia law.  While it did not have much impact on me at the time, the Virginia law did impact Richard and Mildred Loving, who had been married in 1958 under the laws of the District of Columbia.  After they returned to Virginia to live peacefully as man and wife, the local police raided their home, captured them asleep in their bed, and arrested them.  After they confessed in court to being married, which was a felony in Virginia, the Lovings were given the choice of prison or exile.

The resulting appellate case Loving v. Virginia was unanimously decided by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn such anti-miscegenation laws then active in 15 states, including Virginia.  For the unanimous court, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote,

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.

Twenty years later, I was free to marry the individual whom I loved without being a felon subject to the sanction of Virginia laws and compelled by government force to be exiled across the river.  Years later, at a family reunion, while sitting in the shade under a tree with my uncle-by-marriage, while we watched our family’s next generation of various hues playing together, he said to me related to race relations, “Things are much better now than they ever have been before.”

More than 300 years of bad law in Virginia related to interracial marriage was overturn by individuals acting selfishly upon principle to demand the protection of the law so they could freely live their lives without being subject to the tyranny of the majority acting with the force of government.  Frankly, this long lasting question of interracial marriage (in history see debates over ending slavery, freedman colonization to Africa, anti-Union talking points before and during the Civil War, Jim Crow, and states’ rights imbeciles) was far more intractable than more recent issues such as the relatively simple winding down of irrational entitlements like Social Security; our challenges today are much easier.

Recently, we have seen well publicized advances in protecting individual rights related to legal recognition and protection for same sex marriage, and the slow liberalization of irrational anti-drug laws.  Meanwhile, the progress of existing irrational laws related to health care and financial regulation expand.  Why the difference?  Success happens when individual rights are explicitly articulated concretely related to the injustice towards specific individuals, and failure happens when policy opponents concede the irrational premise of seeking the collective public good.

Irrational public policies of today (like ObamaCare) can be just as repugnant and unthinkable in the future as the historic anti-miscegenation laws are to us today.  The change begins with using principles to defend individuals from the injustice committed by the majority abusing the force of government to achieve their irrational whims.

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Chewing The Case for Cuccinelli

Given the upcoming gubernatorial election in Virginia, Selfish Citizenship has two recent posts coming to different I-am-going-to-vote-for-X conclusions:

Missing is any selfish case posted for Democrat Terry McAullife, so he must be the standard bearer for unselfishness and altruism; however, in fairness, Cuccinelli would passionately argue that he is the mostest unselfish altruist in the campaign.

While of course, if you are a Virginian, you will selfishly make your own choice; however, I want to take a moment to chew the guest post by @CouldntBRighter, because it has the virtue of being thoughtful and not partisan.

In summary, @CouldntBRighter makes the following points:

        • Using Reagan as an example, a grossly flawed candidate, who is wrong more often than he is right, can be a better office holder than the worse candidate.  Related to this point, see the prior selfish post Voting the Lesser of Two Evils?
        • The U.S. Senate now contains Republicans who more explicitly and consistently advocate for individual rights, which increases the possibilities of a better presidential Republican than Reagan, who will need the support of governors like Cuccinelli.  Related to this point on the relative strengths and possibilities of Republican factions, see the prior selfish post The Republican Hydra.
        • Cuccinelli advocates better economic policies (lower tax rates, expanded production of fossil fuels in Virginia, opposition to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion), which is more important than Cuccinelli letting religious troglodyte Del. Robert Marshall loose on the uteruses of Virginia.  Related to this point about the conflict between the protection of economic and abortion rights, see the prior selfish post An Open Letter to America’s Spinsters.
        • Democrat Terry McAullife is an evil bastard hybrid of the Clintons and Obama, who will become the Pol Pot of Virginia governors, which could not be achieved by prior Democrats:  Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Doug Wilder, Gerry Baliles, and Chuck Robb.   In fairness, but in response to a lack of consideration for the limited powers of Virginia’s governor, I admit that I am using a good bit of cheek and hyperbole in my summary of his point, so the reader should consult the original post.
        • A vote for anyone other than Cuccinelli is a vote for McAulliffe.  [Editor’s Note:  Really, so I should just vote for McAulliffe instead of via write-in for the best man for that particular position, novelist Ed Cline?  Those are really the same?  I should sacrifice my personal franchise to the selection of the Republican Party’s selectorate, because that has worked so well in the past.]
        • Anyone who makes a different choice than Cuccinelli in this election lacks integrity.  [Editor’s Note:  Really? I have to sacrifice my independent judgment in a life-boat-election to that of another person so that I can have integrity?  Is that how virtue works?]

Despite my disagreement with the conclusion, there are several positive points that I would like to draw from @CouldntBRighter argument,

“A moral code is a set of abstract principles; to practice it, an individual must translate it into the appropriate concretes—he must choose the particular goals and values which he is to pursue. This requires that he define his particular hierarchy of values, in the order of their importance, and that he act accordingly.”

There are few relevant concepts to my disagreement with his conclusion, although he and I are in full agreement on these points:

“Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it—that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life—that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence.”

“Integrity is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake your consciousness, just as honesty is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake existence—that man is an indivisible entity, an integrated unit of two attributes: of matter and consciousness, and that he may permit no breach between body and mind, between action and thought, between his life and his convictions—that, like a judge impervious to public opinion, he may not sacrifice his convictions to the wishes of others, be it the whole of mankind shouting pleas or threats against him—that courage and confidence are practical necessities, that courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to truth, and confidence is the practical form of being true to one’s own consciousness.”

IMHO, the crux of our disagreement relates to Virginia politics.  @CouldntBRighter always references national political issues as being the deciding factor in Virginia gubernatorial politics; whereas, I look at issues particular to Virginia politics (for example, see my reference to the 1994 Senate race previously, my list of Democratic governors in this post, and my reference of Bob “I’m an Platonic-Christian asshole” Marshall).  My concern relates to the co-optation of Virginia’s Republican Party by Christian extremists (see Pat “I’m a delusional asshole” Robertson) ; whereas, my friend excuses or forgives such excesses to block the evil of Democratic economic rights violations.  Further, we disagree about the power of a Virginia Governor, who cannot be re-elected.

Essentially, in current politics, no good options are available…like a thermometer, our politics gets down to do you want to take it orally or rectally.  I have chosen to explicitly reject that choice and personally vote for my highest values; does that mean that I have no integrity?

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ObamaCare’s Website: I Didn’t Build That (a confession)

Given recent news about the significant failures in ObamaCare’s website, I have a disclosure to make about my contribution to that event; literally, I shrugged.  Usually, I cannot discuss specifics about what I am doing professionally; but in this case, as it was something that I did not do in the past, I judge that commenting publicly is fine.

Several years ago, I was out of work and it was bad for me; I lost 80 pounds on the Obama diet.  At that time, while I did not know it going into an interview, I was almost hired by the federal contractor, currently on the hot seat over ObamaCare’s website, to work on that now failed contract delivery.  Instead, at much lower pay, I chose to work on a project promoting the rule of law outside of the US.

My point is that if I had chosen to take that ObamaJob then many of the specific issues that are currently failing with the ObamaCare website would not have failed; my particular talents, which the contractor and I discussed in that interview, are applicable to those defective areas of the failing system.

So, if you oppose ObamaCare, then you are welcome; however, if you support ObamaCare, then know that I consciously stepped aside and refused to give my sanction…I did not try to save you from your own stupidity and I allowed you to fail.  Apparently, someone less able than myself accepted that job, and that person probably really needed that job, which they could not do; isn’t that what is important, the needs of others?

This gets back to a core Obama premise that independent individuals do not matter in politics.  If the candidate can get just 50% plus 1 of the votes, then they and their supporters can realize any abominable whim violating individual rights, such as ObamaCare.  Obama, his supporters, and the premise that force is practical evades that it takes someone like me to make those programs work.  It does not matter what the polls said regarding public opinion for or against ObamaCare; I dissented, chose to deny you my ability, and you failed to steal what you could not build.

Remember our President’s attack on businessmen?  He said, “You didn’t build that” and proceeded to give credit to the many for what was only achievable by the one, the individual, trading with other individuals.  Well, in the case of ObamaCare’s website, I did NOT build that.  However, the American electorate did build that failure in its willingness to support candidates that promise to violate individual rights in order to give the unearned to those that would vote for them.

This month of ObamaCare website failure is just a very small and ephemeral demonstration that force is not a practical way for the majority to get whatever they are promised by our leading politicians.  Bigger failures are coming (see public pensions, Medicare, and Social Security).  Check your premises; are these failures actually your fault?   Are you building those failures and many more?

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The Case for Cuccinelli by @CouldntBRighter

Guest Post from Twitter’s @CouldntBRighter in response to previous post Voting with Integrity.

There are many strategies for voting, and each person has his or her own priorities in life, so two otherwise rational people can and will disagree on who to vote for in any given election.

Given the mixed premises (or downright evil) of most politicians, it may seem somewhat irrelevant who one votes for in an election. However, small differences may have large effects, both in the course of history and the well-being of citizens.

I like to point to the presidency of Ronald Reagan. During his presidency, I was usually in high dudgeon about something Reagan did (agree to tax increases, fail to cut spending, meet with the Soviet leader). I was constantly disappointed with Reagan as I lived through his presidency.  In my estimation, I thought he did or said the right thing maybe a third of the time. And yet, looking back over thirty years and the disastrous presidencies of four other men, I realize now that Reagan was a giant among leaders, and that my frustrations and disagreements during his presidency masked in an emotional way the elements he got right, from both a rhetorical perspective and a policy perspective.

No, he was very far from perfect–my annoyances at the time were accurate–but on a few very important issues, he both held firm to the right principles and implemented the right policies, and thus saved the United States in a time of great peril. His moral leadership on lowering taxes, reducing regulation (started in the Carter administration but accelerated under Reagan), and his ruthless alliance with Paul Volcker to wring inflation (and thus enormous economic malinvestments) out of the economy led to the strong basis for 20 years of capital accumulation, and thus huge living-standard enhancements and the new industries we saw in the 90s and 00s.

Without Reagan’s commitment to economic freedom, would we have seen the rise of the internet-based economy we have today? With the high taxes, high regulations, and high inflation that marked the 70s, I doubt it.

Similarly, in foreign policy, a number of Reagan errors (the disaster in Lebanon and the “rescue” of the PLO) were overshadowed by two enormous achievements: the rebuilding of the American military into the most powerful force on the planet, and the subsequent dissolution and collapse of the Soviet Union caused in my view by the Soviet reaction to Reagan. In just this area, Reagan did more to protect and defend individual rights than any president since World War II, and he should rightly be admired as the giant he is.

Now the preceding discussion is about a president who got it right roughly 33% of the time. Imagine if we had a president who got it right 40%, 50%, or even 75% of the time? Imagine the heights to which America could soar in untold industries, discoveries, and prosperity, given a president with a moral conviction in, and rhetorical skill in communicating about, individual freedom even better than Reagan? Our own rational self-interest would necessarily dictate that we support such a politician, even if he was of mixed premises, and even if he held some viewpoints that were not completely consistent with individual rights. There are political leaders emerging today such as Ted Cruz and Mike Lee (with the possible inclusion of Rand Paul) who could be the next Reagan, but at 75% correct, rather than 33% correct.

They need help, however, especially in the statehouses, where Governors wield subtle but important influence over the political course of the nation. It therefore matters, both morally and practically, that we elect governors that are simpatico with the emerging leaders of a reinvigorated pro-individual-rights right wing of the Republican Party.

One of the most promising new candidates for a governorship is Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia. Ken has been my state senator for 4 years, then attorney general for four years. I have met him, and he is not only a man of integrity, but he is another potential Ted Cruz or Mike Lee on the national political scene if he were given a chance as Virginia governor.

Let me be clear, I do not agree everything Ken stands for. He is a conservative and is thus anti-abortion (as was Reagan, and as is Cruz, Lee, and Paul). While Governors have the ability to affect abortion rights in small ways in the third trimester, the current legal climate makes it simply impossible for governors to have any effect on the core abortion right in the first trimester and up to at least the end of the fifth month of pregnancy. No matter how much a politician at the state level strives to ban abortion, there is simply no legal mechanism in place that will allow him to succeed. Therefore Ken’s views on abortion are irrelevant to his performance as governor. In addition, Ken has pledged not to use his position as governor to change the abortion laws of Virginia during his term, and I have no reason to disbelieve him.

Ken’s campaign has focused on lowering Virginia’s income taxes for both individuals and corporations. The income tax is the worst tax imposed by government since it directly prevents capital accumulation and thus the purchase and use of new capital equipment. The income tax is a direct attack against the productivity and thus the wages of workers. Ken is the only candidate for governor in my 20 year residency in Virginia who has campaigned on lowering this destructive tax on businesses, and has even mentioned the possibility of repeal. For that alone he deserves a vote.

Ken has devoted a lot of time to championing the exploitation of Virginia’s fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas. The Obama administration is working overtime fighting a war on coal, on which much of Western Virginia depends for its livelihood. Ken has promised to fight vigorously for the right to exploit fossil fuels in Virginia and on Virginia’s continental shelf. A strong energy sector would, though modest leasing fees, allow the reduction or possibly the elimination of the income tax, which would be a triumph.

What makes me think Ken can stand up to Obama’s War on Coal? Because Ken was the first attorney general in the nation to legally fight Obamacare and win in federal court. This was immensely important because without any legal victories against Obamacare, the law would never have gotten to the Supreme Court. We on the right correctly assess the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision as a loss. This is true. But it was not an unqualified loss.

There were two aspects of the case that were big wins. First, the court ruled that the commerce clause could not be used to force individuals to buy a commercial product, and also ruled that the Obamacare “penalty” (now interpreted as a tax) was so low as to not be onerous, but if it were higher it would be unconstitutional. This limits the amount of “penalty tax” Congress can impose. Second and most importantly, the Supreme Court ruled that states did not have to take on the Medicaid expansion offered in Obamacare. Medicaid is the single most destructive government program on the budgets of the states.

Virginia is poised to consider accepting the Medicaid expansion, but Ken has stated that he would not allow it in no uncertain terms. Ken’s repudiation of the midnight tax increase passed by the most recent Virginia legislature gives hope that both the taxes that were passed could be lowered, and that the Medicaid expansion (and thus the ruination of Virginia’s balanced budget) could be avoided. None of this could have happened unless Ken challenged Obamacare and was a good enough lawyer to win his case.

Ken’s opponent in the race, Terry McAuliffe, the confidant and bagman of the Clintons, has stated that he would oppose cutting taxes (and indeed has backhandedly indicated he would look to raise them), he would fight for more boondoggle “green” energy programs while sentencing Virginia’s coal miners and energy entrepreneurs to poverty or forced migration to other states. He has pledged to accept and expand the Medicaid expansion and thus destroy Virginia’s balanced budget. And he has shown that he would infect Richmond with a class of moochers and fellow looters the likes of which even the moderately corrupt Richmond political class is aghast at. In addition, Virginia is one of only five states that have so far rejected the “Common Core” statist educational standards. McAuliffe pledges to implement them and thus sentence our children to 12 years of mindless indoctrination and helplessness in math. He is a carpetbagger and a slimeball. He is Wesley Mouch in spirit and Floyd Ferris in action. He must be opposed by all freedom-loving Virginians.

So we all have a choice. A vote for Ken is a vote for a better Virginia economically, a better tax climate, and an educational system that while not the best, at least will not be flushed down the toilet. A vote for McAuliffe is a vote for Obamaist nihilism applied at the state level; it’s a vote for corruption on a scale not seen in Virginia since Reconstruction. It’s a vote for our own destruction.

A vote for anyone other than Ken Cuccinelli, no matter how good those people are or how wonderful they would be in some fantasy world where Objectivists can be elected to office, is a vote for McAuliffe and thus for destruction. A vote for Ken is a vote for someone good–not perfect, but good. A vote for Ken is also a vote against McAuliffe, against Obamacare, against higher taxes, against corruption, against green boondoggles, and a vote against President Obama and his reign of tyranny.

The only way to vote with integrity in the upcoming Virginia election for governor is a proud vote in favor of Ken Cuccinelli.

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Voting with Integrity

If you do not follow @SelfishCitizen on Twitter, then you missed some of my commentary on the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial elections:

Radio show host Mark R. Levin was like all: “Support Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia Governor! http://www.Cuccinelli.com”.

And then I was like all:  “@marklevinshow re: Cuccinelli. As a Virginian, no! He can’t draw the line between his religion and my government. I will vote write-in.”

And then my friend @CouldntBRighter was all like:  “@SelfishCitizen @marklevinshow No! Ken’s the most pro-individual rights candidate in my 20 years in VA. Vote Ken all the way!”

And then I was like all: “@CouldntBRighter @marklevinshow My integrity ticket: Ed Cline for Gov, Lee Sandstead for Lt. Gov, and Nick Provenzo for Attorney General.”

For those out of the loop, Virginia (like New Jersey) votes for state offices in the year after the national presidential elections, so for us Virginians it is all like hardcore election time for the next few days.

@CouldntBRighter and I have already had a bit of this conversion on this topic offline in the real world.  He is correct in saying the Cuccinelli should be praised for his anti-ObamaCare litigation; however, for me, Cuccinelli ain’t running for Attorney General anymore and I judge him based upon the veto power of the office that he seeks.

This disagreement raises a broader question…”Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for an office are incorrigible bastards, so who should I vote for?”  Some suggest that you have to vote for either the Democratic or the Republican candidate so that you can vote for a potential winner.  However, I take a different approach…if both of the major party candidates are losers, then voting for either is voting for a LOSER even if they get more votes than anyone else.

Instead, I choose to act virtuously with my vote and write-in the individual whom I judge to be the best individual for the job.  Yes, in Virginia, we still have that freedom.   So instead of being obsequious to the selections of the Republican and Democratic party (Libertards do not count because they aren’t ligit), I chose to vote via write-in for the particular individual whom I judge best for that office.  The last time I checked 1% of my precinct did the same, which in a close election is more than the margin of “victory”.  Am I gonna get a parties’ attention by voting for their selection or by being the “reason” that they lost a close election?

Back to the point my friend @CouldntBRighter made “Ken’s the most pro-individual rights candidate in my 20 years in VA.”  If that is not an indictment of the Republican Party in Virginia, then I don’t know what worse you could say about them…says the guy that voted Marshall Coleman for Senate [old school reference to Senate contest in 1994 between Chuck Robb(D), Oliver North(R), and Marshall Coleman(I)].

Unfortunately, we cannot vote none of the above against today’s political corruption (see other post about the modern Spoils System ); however, thinking, choosing, and voting for your own personally selected best alternative is another option when both parties offer you shite on the ballot.

In conclusion, Selfish Citizenship endorses the following candidates in the upcoming 2013 Virginia gubernatorial elections:

For Governor:  Edward Cline, novelist 

                For Lt. Governor:  Lee Sandstead, art historian

For Attorney General:  Nicholas Provenzo, political activist

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Top 10 Books for Selfish Citizens, 3rd Quarter 2013

The following are the top 10 books for July – September 2013 as identified by the readers of Selfish Citizenship.

  1. The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope by John A. Allison | Related post: John Allison, Capitalist of the Year 2012
  2. A Turn for DeWurst by Sydney Kendall | Related post: A Turn for DeWurst, an alternative to the state of education in America
  3. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 – 1964 by William MacArthur | Related post: President Truman vs. General MacArthur: Six Lessons for Today
  4. The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out by Leonard Peikoff | Related post:What is the DIM Hypothesis?
  5. The Head of Athena (The Cyrus Skeen Series) by Edward Cline
  6. Black & White World III by Cox & Forkum
  7. Truman and MacArthur: Policy, Politics, and the Hunger for Honor and Renown: Michael D. Pearlman | Related post: President Truman vs. General MacArthur: Six Lessons for Today
  8. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H. W. Brands | Related post: How to Learn American History
  9. Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821. Vol. 1 by Robert V. Remini | Related post: How to Learn American History
  10. Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins by Joshua M. Dunn | Related post:  Cargo Cult Education Reform in Public Schools

What are you reading? Tell us in a comment.

The top 10 posts on Selfish Citizenship for that period were:

  1. President Truman vs. General MacArthur: Six Lessons for Today
  2. Obama Attacks Free Speech Again
  3. Thanks for the cheap train ride…Suckers!
  4. A Turn for DeWurst, an alternative to the state of education in America
  5. Cannibal Culture
  6. Top 10 Books for Selfish Citizens, 2nd Quarter 2013
  7. Obama Recording Oval Office Conversations, Presidential Taping Continues
  8. Teaching to the Test
  9. The Cult of Thrasymachus
  10. Cargo Cult Education Reform in Public Schools
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Chewing Obama’s Syria Speech, a DIM view

Let’s chew President Obama 9/10/2013 speech regarding his advocacy for a US military strike against Syria.  The transcript used is from The Washington Post.  I will interject my own commentary throughout our President’s text, which begins:

My fellow Americans, tonight I want to talk to you about Syria, why it matters and where we go from here.

Here our President is setting two goals for his speech.  Does he achieve those goals?  In order to do so, there are four unstated tasks to be done, which should be made explicit:  (1) explain the selfish national interests at stake, (2) state an objective for our action, (3) explain the relevant principles that will guide our actions, and (4) explain the cause and effect relationship between the recommended actions and the achievement of our objective.  How does he do?

Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the oppressive regime of Bashar al-Assad has turned into a brutal civil war. Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country. In that time, America’s worked with allies to provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition, and to shape a political settlement, but I have resisted calls for military action because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The situation profoundly changed, though, on August 21st, when Assad’s government gassed to death over 1,000 people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas, others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath, a father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk.

On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits, a crime against humanity and a violation of the laws of war.

There are a few points to breakdown here and in doing so I am focusing on his argument not from a rhetorical perspective, but looking at evidence of the mode of integration (related to yesterday’s post on the DIM Hypothesis; briefly, for mode of integration consider what is, how do you know it, and how do you bring it together or not).

First, we have “The situation profoundly changed…”  While I do not want to discount that an event can cause a profound change, see Pearl Harbor and 9/11, I do not see how the Syrian government use of a particular kind of weapon after killing thousands of its own citizens not only in the recent civil war but over decades of racist (pan-Arabist) dictatorship raised to the level of a sudden change.  This is akin to the Democrats’ fetish for gun control as if an inanimate object was inherently evil.  However, this sudden change claimed by Obama is a disintegrating tactic…that was then, but this is now and all the feelings that direct Obama’s actions are different.

Second, Obama is perceptually bound using both visual and kinesthetic trigger words in an appeal to emotions, which is a rejection of reason and conceptual integration.

Third, Obama appeals to a source of truth beyond objective reality.  For Obama, truth is determined by the momentary opinion of “the overwhelming majority of humanity”.  Thus, truth is whatever we agree is truth; at this point unstated by Obama, the corollary to this position is that individually truth is unknowable, thus we are dependent upon mass agreement about what we cannot know.  Note:  do not blame me if Obama and his supporters do not make sense.

This was not always the case. In World War I, American G.I.s were among the many thousands killed by deadly gas in the trenches of Europe. In World War II, the Nazis used gas to inflict the horror of the Holocaust. Because these weapons can kill on a mass scale, with no distinction between soldier and infant, the civilized world has spent a century working to ban them. And in 1997, the United States Senate overwhelmingly approved an international agreement prohibiting the use of chemical weapons, now joined by 189 governments that represent 98 percent of humanity.

A few obscured points from our President’s account:  Does the US have stockpiles of chemical weapons plus extensive research and know how about them?  Are there other weapons used and/or stockpiled by the US that can kill on a mass scale without distinction between soldiers and infants?  Doesn’t the US military train its soldiers in chemical warfare?  I do not raise these points to crap all over the US, but to point how that Obama’s points are disintegrated…they do not connect to and integrate with reality.

On August 21st, these basic rules were violated, along with our sense of common humanity. No one disputes that chemical weapons were used in Syria. The world saw thousands of videos, cell phone pictures, and social media accounts from the attack, and humanitarian organizations told stories of hospitals packed with people who had symptoms of poison gas.

Moreover, we know the Assad regime was responsible. In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces. Shortly after those rockets landed, the gas spread, and hospitals filled with the dying and the wounded.

We know senior figures in Assad’s military machine reviewed the results of the attack and the regime increased their shelling of the same neighborhoods in the days that followed. We’ve also studied samples of blood and hair from people at the site that tested positive for sarin.

When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory, but these things happened. The facts cannot be denied.

“Wait a minute!” you say, “Obama is talking about knowing and facts, so he cannot be totally disconnected from reality.”  Again, do not blame me for his inconsistencies.  In his DIM Hypothesis book, Peikoff talks about a middle ground between the Integrating (I) mode and the Misintegrating (M) mode; this middle ground is where our culture currently resides, and our President reflects that.  In this middle ground between I and D, Peikoff finds empiricists who compile data and facts from reality but say that such information has to be taken as a given and that we cannot induce these facts into broad abstractions.  Notice how when you omit the non-essentials from Obama’s tour of the facts that you can see broader concepts involved, one’s that are inconsistent with Obama’s myopic focus; Obama rejects those broader concepts that even you can see without significant effort.

The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it, because what happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security. Let me explain why.

If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield, and it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and to use them to attack civilians.

If fighting spills beyond Syria’s borders, these weapons could threaten allies like Turkey, Jordan and Israel. And a failure to stand against the use of chemical weapons would weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction and embolden Assad’s ally, Iran, which must decide whether to ignore international law by building a nuclear weapon or to take a more peaceful path.

This is not a world we should accept. This is what’s at stake. And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. The purpose of this strike would be to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, to degrade his regime’s ability to use them, and to make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use.

So now, President Obama is finally going to give us the SELFISH reason that we should care based upon America’s interests when he says “…it’s also a danger to our security. Let me explain why.”  While this was his opportunity to convince us, he instead demonstrates that profound detachment from reality that I was warning of earlier.  I note that this transition to beyond reality happens when Obama goes from facts to conjecture.

Did you see it yourself?  For those that did not let me hit some points quickly.  “…the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons,” but they have stopped using them and are now offering to give them up.  “If we fail to act…” because our actions against Germany in WWI and Saddam, plus Israel’s bombing of reactors in both Iraq and Syria, taught Syria not to use WMD?  “…other tyrants will have no reason to think twice…” like when Libya gave up its WMD programs and the AQ Khan network to the Bush Administration prior to the Obama Administration bombing the Libyan government to termination.   “Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield…” like they already did in both Gulf wars and throughout the entire Cold War.  “…it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons…” without reference to Syria being a state sponsor of terrorism and host to many terrorist organizations for decades without American action.

Contrary to our President’s conclusion, America has had decades of reasons to destroy Syria (see bombing of Marine barracks in Beirut).  During that time, our Secretary of State has been all cuddly with Syria.  However, it is only when it comes to acting for others and not for self that the Obama Administration feels compelled to act.  This is an altruist’s war in which America is to sacrifice itself in the name of others, but not even for the actual benefit of others.

That’s my judgment as commander-in-chief, but I’m also the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security to take this debate to Congress. I believe our democracy is stronger when the president acts with the support of Congress, and I believe that America acts more effectively abroad when we stand together. This is especially true after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the president and more and more burdens on the shoulders of our troops, while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.

One more point about the disintegrating mode of our President, note the separation of his role as commander-in-chief and constitutionally bound President.  Those are not separate and distinct things, but are an integrated unity.  By disintegrating the two, Obama claims a unilateral and causeless privilege to send the troops wherever and to do whatever to whomever he whims.  The congressional Democrats of 1973 are rolling in the political graves.

This has been a long post, so I will cut off the section by section review here as I have made the relevant points.  However, as an exercise for yourself and for your benefit, follow the link to the full transcript in The Washington Post and chew on the rest of the speech to see what you will find.

In conclusion, beyond the DIM related points, I want to note that not only did our President fail in the two points that he promised to establish at the beginning of the speech, but he also failed on the four additional points that I said should have been made explicitly.

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