In the wake of the financial crisis that’s engulfing the world right now, there have been many on the Left that proclaim that capitalism will cease to exist, since it alone (in their deluded eyes) has caused this collapse.

I’m astonished at their ignorance and lack of gratitude for the monetary system that has, singlehandedly (well, along with the establishment of the United States), lifted much of the world out of poverty and into a culture of freedom, free from the monarchs and Communists.

These Leftists spout useless drivel about how it’s capitalism’s fault that people are losing their jobs, that it’s capitalism’s fault that the banks did ill-advised lending, that it’s capitalism’s fault that people are in poverty in undeveloped countries, that it’s capitalism’s fault for somehow putting a gun to the head of our legislators and “making” them institute a $700 billion bailout for these banks. It’s not capitalism’s fault, and I can guarantee that those people who lost jobs wouldn’t have had them in the first place without it, that the banks would commit more fraud without it, and there would be more government intervention without it.

And then they say that capitalism is not moral; that it doesn’t give people living wages and it makes them poor. Except, naturally, they forget that capitalism has lifted hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and into work, that it allowed people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to make millions with a vision for the future and the drive needed to make that dream a reality. Capitalism has let people make money with their work and their skill. It allows the individual to pursue the course that they want (economically), and they are rewarded for their competence – nothing more, nothing less.

It is these hypocrites that do not know what they’re saying when they say, “Capitalism must go!”, because they, truly, don’t have an idea of what capitalism is. They scream that the capitalist system must go, but they have no idea what economic system to put in its place; it is this fact that makes these people ignorant and nothing more than sheep. They don’t understand that, in eliminating capitalism, you must erect something with the structure of socialism (perhaps even Communism) in its place, which would surely destroy the framework of this country and all the worlds’ economies. Surely, if we’re going to remove capitalism, where capital is held and moved primarily by the private sector, we must consolidate it within the public sector – giving more control of the economy to the state.

It is this that reveals the true hypocrisy of these fools. These are probably the same people who (correctly) say that our government has grossly mishandled and misled us into two wars, the government that is putting most of its money into feeding the military-industrial complex in doing so, and is corrupt to the core. But, in destroying capitalism, these people are advocating letting the very same government run our economy, giving out handouts as they wish. How does that make any sense? Our main legislative body has a single-digit approval rating, and these imbeciles think that we should give them more control over the country?

This is why capitalism cannot and will not fall: the citizenry will wake up and realize that more (bad) government isn’t the remedy to the situation. In fact, it’s more poison.

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I’m not making this up.

The London Times reports:

With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to Mr Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.

Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”

I’m with Putin on this one: I’d want to see the Georgian president hang. Though, that’s only as long as Putin was also having a noose tied around his neck as well. They both need to go.

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Magik Quilter, in the comments from yesterday’s post, proposed that I write about the girl from Hereford who won a case in which she decided that she’d avoid getting life saving heart surgery in order to “die with dignity”, reported here by the BBC.

First of all, I think this represents a wonderful step in the right direction: a society where euthanasia will be legalized. If people have debilitating sicknesses where they’re just vegetables or fractions of what they were before their conditions (perhaps they were born that way), I think it’s important that, for the sake of the person and their friends and family, that we allow them to be put to death with their consent. It’s ultimately up to them, though the line gets blurred as we start discussing what to do when people are comatose and other conditions where they are unable to express their consent for euthanasia (I am, however hesitantly, against euthanasia in those situations). We need to get over the label of “murder” and realize that euthanizing someone is a way to put them out of their misery, again, if they have their consent. Why make them go through terrible pain and anguish if they have horrible sicknesses like ebola or the AIDS virus if we can just put them to death with their consent.

I’ll be the first person to say that I love my life and I’m scared of death, but I’d call to be euthanized if I knew death was imminent. After all, I could die on my terms then – potentially, I could die with a loved one if I so chose, rather than dying at a random time, all alone, in my sleep.

The most important part of this, if I hadn’t made it clear already, is that we need the consent of the person who we’re going to euthanize. If we don’t have that, then it is murder, and euthanasia could be a “clean” way of disposing of people in a tyrannical government (look at the cruel experiments conducted on the Jews during the Holocaust).

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A Challenge

I’ll keep this short and sweet: you, the reader, get to pick tomorrow’s editorial. Leave a comment under this post and I’ll pick one submission to write an editorial about tomorrow.

Make the subject an unexpected one!

The BBC reports that Russia is willing to move the Iskander missiles it placed on its western border as long as the US removes the plans to build a missile shield in Poland.

Was there ever any doubt?

Russia’s foreign minister has said it will abandon plans to station missiles in Kaliningrad if the US does not base part of a missile shield in Europe.

Sergei Lavrov said short-range Iskander missiles would only be deployed in the western enclave, which borders Poland, to neutralise any perceived US threat.

President Dmitri Medvedev unveiled the planned counter-measure a week ago.

The US insists the planned shield is designed solely to guard against attack by “rogue states”, such as Iran.

At present, the system will include a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in northern Poland. Moscow says they could threaten its own defences.

These would be in addition to radars and interceptors in Alaska and California in the US, and another radar at Fylingdales in the UK.

Another move in an ongoing game. It appears that the two sides have stalemated, with Russia trying to get the US to remove its missile shield by putting missiles of its own to disrupt said shield. Wouldn’t it be counterintuitive for the US to even keep its shield there if the Russians got jam it with their own ballistics?

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The BBC reports that the EU will finally begin talks with Russia for the first time since the Ossetian conflict.

European Union foreign ministers have decided to resume partnership talks with Russia, despite failing to reach unanimous agreement.

Lithuania, the former Soviet republic, remains unconvinced, saying the decision is a “mistake”.

The EU suspended talks over Russia’s intervention in Georgia, and Lithuania argues it has still not fully met the terms of the truce and withdrawn.

But the 26 other EU members agreed it was time to re-engage with Moscow.

“We have found a good way to proceed,” said EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, after the foreign ministers met in Brussels.

“We think it is time to resume the talks.”

About time they realized that they need Russia more than anyone, and it was particularly foolish to suspend talks after the Georgian debacle. Maybe they figured out that it was Georgia that fired the first shot, not Russia?

He is, indeed, a true American hero, and his work, from Common Sense to the Age of Reason, is recommended to anyone with a brain. A few money quotes:

From The Age of Reason (which I’m currently reading):

Each of those churches show certain books, which they call revelation, or the word of God. The Jews say, that their word of God was given by God to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of God came by divine inspiration: and the Turks say, that their word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from Heaven. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.

The Christian Mythologists, after having confined Satan in a pit, were obliged to let him out again to bring on the sequel of the fable. He is then introduced into the Garden of Eden, in the shape of a snake or a serpent, and in that shape he enters into familiar conversation with Eve, who is no way surprised to hear a snake talk; and the issue of this tete-a-tete is that he persuades her to eat an apple, and the eating of that apple damns all mankind.

After giving Satan this triumph over the whole creation, one would have supposed that the Church Mythologists would have been kind enough to send him back again to the pit; or, if they had not done this, that they would have put a mountain upon him (for they say that their faith can remove a mountain), or have put him under a mountain, as the former mythologists had done, to prevent his getting again among the women and doing more mischief. But instead of this they leave him at large, without even obliging him to give his parole—the secret of which is, that they could not do without him; and after being at the trouble of making him, they bribed him to stay. They promised him ALL the Jews, ALL the Turks by anticipation, nine-tenths of the world beside, and Mahomet into the bargain. After this, who can doubt the bountifulness of the Christian Mythology?

Having thus made an insurrection and a battle in Heaven, in which none of the combatants could be either killed or wounded—put Satan into the pit—let him out again—giving him a triumph over the whole creation—damned all mankind by the eating of an apple, these Christian Mythologists bring the two ends of their fable together. They represent this virtuous and amiable man, Jesus Christ, to be at once both God and Man, and also the Son of God, celestially begotten, on purpose to be sacrificed, because they say that Eve in her longing had eaten an apple.

From Common Sense:

Mingling religion with politics may be disavowed and reprobated by every inhabitant of America.

Youth is the seed time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals.

From The Rights of Man:

I am contending for the rights of the living, and against their being willed away and controlled and contracted for by the manuscript assumed authority of the dead, and Mr. Burke is contending for the authority of the dead over the rights and freedom of the living. There was a time when kings disposed of their crowns by will upon their death-beds, and consigned the people, like beasts of the field, to whatever successor they appointed. This is now so exploded as scarcely to be remembered, and so monstrous as hardly to be believed. But the Parliamentary clauses upon which Mr. Burke builds his political church are of the same nature.

Every government that does not act on the principle of a Republic, or in other words, that does not make the res-publica its whole and sole object, is not a good government. Republican government is no other than government established and conducted for the interest of the public, as well individually as collectively. It is not necessarily connected with any particular form, but it most naturally associates with the representative form, as being best calculated to secure the end for which a nation is at the expense of supporting it.

The best part is this: you can have all his books for free here. Read them, and read them swiftly.

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I’m still angered over President-Elect Obama and his support for the missile defense shield in Poland. The BBC reports that an Obama aide said he was “uncommitted” to the defense shield, contradicting the past statement that he supported it, which I alluded to yesterday.

I am relieved that Obama doesn’t explicitly support the missile shield, at least in public. As anyone who has followed politics over the past 8, 12, hell, even 40 years, going back to the Johnson administration, knows, what politicians say to the public is different from what they actually say behind closed doors, which is when they say what they mean. There cannot be a contradiction here; Obama cannot simultaneously support and be “non-committed” to the missile shield at the same time. To do so would be an example of Big Brother politicking: a fantasy world where war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. Due to the previously mentioned behavior of politicians, I’d wager that Obama was speaking the truth on the phone with President Kaczynski – all Kaczynski has to gain from the missile shield is a giant bullseye put on his chest from Russia, so why would he deliberately misquote Obama?

Yes, I realize that Obama isn’t making any decisions since he is not president yet, but I fear that he is showing is true colors as a mere politician – he isn’t showing any traits out of the ordinary except his charisma and speaking power. He has, regardless of his verdict on the shield, shown that he, like Bush, is going to be running an operation where the public talking points are different than what he’s actually doing – he acts contrary to what he says to the public. To lie to either the Polish president or the public is the same Bush schtick we’ve seen for the past 8 years, and I can’t make up my mind as to which action is worse. Recall how Colin Powell got in front of the UN and told them how grave the threat in Iraq was? Remember how Bush told us that Iraq had biological weapons and posed a serious threat to the United States? Those were statements that blatantly contradicted reality. If the reality in this situation is that Obama has committed to the missile shield, then he has lied by saying he “isn’t committed” to the missile shield; likewise, if the reality is that he isn’t committed to the missile shield, then he lied to the Polish president. It is, again, Orwellian in either case, where 2+2=5.

Again, if the latest story is true, I am relieved and somewhat pleased with Obama, though it doesn’t take away the fact that he lied (of course, there is a slight possibility that he misspoke, but you do not do that with an issue of this magnitude) to a leader of a foreign country. Remind you of the Bush administration?

People who voted Obama in as a “lesser of two evils” should remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

So, Will, enjoy your honeymoon with Barack. Hopefully you’ll be able to report on the bad decisions he makes while he’s president rather than president-elect, since that “-elect” somehow negates the legitimacy of his action. “Wait until he actually makes decisions!” you cry. But you forget that any action constitutes a decision, just as any decision constitutes an action. This is a decision he makes, just not as President of the United States. But, the point is, decisions he makes now are going to be indicators of what he will do as president. And it doesn’t look good.

To paraphrase a famous politician: this guy says he’s going to change politics, then he uses the same kind of doublespeak and contradictions we’ve seen from the Bush administration! This isn’t change we can believe in! This is 4 more years of the same, failed politics that put us in bad standing on the international stage.

(Although, I’ll admit, the sample size on the decisions is too small. We’ll have to, inevitably, wait and see)

Barack Obama has announced that he will continue to try to isolate the Russians in a strategy ripped right out of the Cold War: he supports the bogus missile shield that Bush has planned to erect in Poland to defend against so-called “rogue states”, also known as Russia (though, they say, it’s Iran they want to shield the world from).

The BBC reports:

US President-elect Barack Obama will go ahead with plans to build part of a controversial missile defence system on Polish soil, Poland has announced.

President Lech Kaczynski’s office said the pledge was made during a telephone conversation between the two men.

Russia opposes the US plans, and early this week said it planned to deploy missiles on Poland’s border and electronically jam the US system.

This is the first signal that Mr Obama plans to continue George Bush’s policy.

During the US election campaign, Mr Obama said he wanted to review the system to build a missile defence system in central Europe to ensure it would be effective and would not target Russia.

Moscow says the plan to locate 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic will do exactly that.

In his first state of the nation address earlier this week, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Moscow would neutralise the system by deploying short-range missiles in its western enclave of Kaliningrad on Poland’s border.

The US military insists the shield is incapable of destroying Russian rockets and is designed solely to knock down long-range missiles fired from the Middle East.

This is also the first signal from the US president-elect that he has no intention of backing down in the face of the Russian threats.

This is not a change at all – in fact, it’s more of the same. This is not what Obama promised during his campaign: he has gone with George Bush instead of against him on this issue, trying to make it look like he’s a tough guy to placate the militaristic population of the United States. Obama should take the opposite approach and play pacifist, unless we are attacked by another nation (not terrorist groups like al-Qaeda). He’s deliberately stirring up anti-West Russian sentiment by supporting the missile shield, and a second Cold War is certainly something this country and the world cannot afford.

To get a perspective of how Russia feels, consider this: how would we feel if they trained a proxy army in Quebec and killed citizens there, and we had to clean up their mess? Or if they placed a missile defense shield in Panama, saying that they had to defend against “rogue states” like Morocco? Would we not cry of them meddling in our affairs, and call them out on their missile shield?

Obama’s doing nothing but saying he’ll advance the Bush Doctrine, and that’s not change.

In the greatest example of irony since McCain said, “In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations,” blacks, according to the LA Times, voted in favor of Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in California, in a 2-1 ratio (for every person voting no, two voted yes).

I’m awestruck about how blatantly ironic and hypocritical this is. Everyone who voted for Prop 8 should be ashamed of themselves for denying gays the right to marry based on certain religious beliefs; whatever happened to the separation of Church and state?

Here’s the irony: the demographic that has campaigned the strongest for civil rights in the history of this country is the same one to deny it to another group, based on what their imaginary friend Dog says.

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