Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Global Warming Is A Fraud and An Excuse To Grab Power

See David Deming's "Global Warming Is a Fraud" who says in part,
As the years pass and data accumulate, it is becoming evident that global warming is a fraud. Climate change is natural and ongoing, but the Earth has not warmed significantly over the last thirty years. Nor has there been a single negative effect of any type that can be unambiguously attributed to global warming.

As I write, satellite data show that the mean global temperature is the same that it was in 1979. The extent of global sea ice is also unchanged from 1979. Since the end of the last Ice Age, sea level has risen more than a hundred meters. But for the last three years, there has been no rise in sea level. If the polar ice sheets are melting, why isn't sea level rising? Global warming is supposed to increase the severity and frequency of tropical storms. But hurricane and typhoon activity is at a record low.
As to power, consider the so called cap and trade, global warming bill that just passed the House. Among many other requirements, you will have to pass an inspection of your house to assure that it is global warming efficient before you can sell it. The arbitrary bureaucracy this alone will involve is nauseating to imagine.

It was a Prodemocratic "Coup" Folks

"Honduras Defends Its Democracy" By Mary Anastasia O'Grady

Hugo Chávez's coalition-building efforts suffered a setback yesterday when the Honduran military sent its president packing for abusing the nation's constitution.

It seems that President Mel Zelaya miscalculated when he tried to emulate the success of his good friend Hugo in reshaping the Honduran Constitution to his liking. More here

Monday, June 29, 2009


The Competitive Enterprise Institute has obtained an EPA study of the "endangerment" to human well-being ostensibly caused by carbon dioxide emissions, together with a set of EPA emails indicating that the study, which concludes that carbon dioxide is not a significant cause of climate change, was suppressed by the EPA for political reasons. More here.

One cannot question the prevailing political/environmentalist religion

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hope or Despair for the future of the United States of America

I need not write a long discourse on what is happening in America today. We have been creeping toward socialism and outright statism for the last 76 years, and Barack Obama is now accelerating this movement toward the end of our free market and liberal democracy. This country may well become an authoritarian state, soft tyranny, or even totalitarian if the interference in and regulation of individual freedom continues its geometric progression.

An exaggeration? Just note some recent events. Two auto companies in effect have been nationalized. The government so controls Ford, the remaining “private” company, that it cannot produce cars it thinks will meet public demand. Some big banks have been nationalized and the rest are under government control. Even regulating employee salaries of private companies is under serious consideration.

Already affected are myriad “small things”, such as water that flushes our toilets, the catsup and hamburger we buy, the light we use (incandescent bulbs will soon disappear), what we smoke, and the guns we buy. Our right to free speech is curtailed in certain ways, such as during elections. Political correctness rules. In the not too distant future, speaking ill of certain minorities will surely become unlawful, a hate crime to be added to those already on the books.

Our courts were meant to protect our constitutional freedoms. But our judges, even the strict constructionists, now are hard or soft statists. They interpret the constitution as allowing some version of government intrusion on business and private lives, and our property. Cities and towns can now take our homes for the development of business, and our ability to change a small pond in our backyard maybe prevented by law. And many more regulations are sure to come, such as those “religious ones” in response to the pseudo-scientific threat of global warming.

As if to confirm what I am writing, the House just passed the energy nationalization Clean Energy and Security Act that “would affect the way electricity is generated, how homes and offices are designed, how foreign trade is conducted and how much Americans pay to drive cars or to heat their homes.” “would affect the way electricity is generated, how homes and offices are designed, how foreign trade is conducted and how much Americans pay to drive cars or to heat their homes.”

American culture is now changing, largely in the Southwest. The region is being slowly Mexicanized. English is becoming the second language, and in many cities and towns, unnecessary. In the country as a whole, the manuals of what we buy are in Spanish and English.

The most appalling is the weakening of America in the world and in its security. Such is the cutback in missile defense just as North Korea is testing its long and short range missiles, and the refusal to recognize that we are at war, and to respond with an enhanced defense. Nothing exemplifies this better than Obama’s frequent apologies for previous American “failures” without articulating what we have done positively in the world to defend and aid both enemies and friends.

For more detail, I highly recommend Mark Levin’s excellent, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. (A best seller with 4.5 stars by 1,587 readers).

Is then a dictatorship of some kind with an alien culture our future? It would seem so. When the only real opposition party, the Republicans were in ultimate power controlling both congress and the executive, they were a Democratic “light” party. They never confronted the assumptions of the liberal statists. While paying lip service to freedom, security, and traditional American values, Republicans have cheerfully accepted the Democrat’s agenda, tweaking it here and there. That is why socialism and statism have advanced so far in three generations, even with so many Republican presidents in power. Note that the American Clean Energy and Security Act just mentioned would not have passed without the vote of eight Republicans.

Then should we despair about our future?

No, there is hope. Futures are not fated. We control it, as we do our individual lives. Freedomists, and patriots can change it.

How so? Three things. First, Americans are generally conservative. Polls show this. Leftists and statists are a minority. How then have they been able to grasp so much power and affect our freedom, regardless of public opinion? It is because most intellectuals -- the major media, and academia -- are from the left. Barack Obama happens to be the most charismatic of them all. He is unmatched in his ability to spout vague rhetoric which his listeners interpret to hear what they want to hear. As an added bonus, he is our first black president. Small wonder people are now are also heavily invested in the success of this celebrity president.

However, an alternative media now is gaining independent power. Blogs, talk radio, Fox News, a few conservative newspapers, magazines and books, and the new social media of Twitter and Facebook. All can finesse the statists and warn the people of the suppression of their freedom, and provide an avenue for action and communication. Statists cannot prevent this. The Iranian people got their words and pictures out despite government bullets and clubs.

Moreover, large sociopolitical systems as is America change in fits and starts, like earthquakes Such is the accession of Obama. Since he assumed power, he has been marching us toward socialism, as I have noted above. But, I think his election is an anomaly due to one factor. His victory was a gift from a Republican Administration, and not the win so many think..

It is not too late if Americans are made aware of what has been done to their freedoms and values. And that realization can only come from the new media, and a reinvigorated freedomist-conservative movement within the Republican Party. It will come, I am sure.

House Passes Climate Bill

We should weep for the free market and individual freedom at this abomination and the associated religious like faith in global warming:
Landmark legislation to curb U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions was approved by the House of Representatives in a close vote late Friday, securing an initial victory for a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's agenda.

After months of negotiations, the Democratic-controlled House has narrowly passed sweeping legislation calling for the nation's first-ever limits on pollution linked to global warming. Stephen Power explains the bill's implications.
The 1,200 page bill -- formally known as the "American Clean Energy and Security Act" -- will reach into almost every corner of the U.S. economy. By putting a price on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, the bill would affect the way electricity is generated, how homes and offices are designed, how foreign trade is conducted and how much Americans pay to drive cars or to heat their homes. More here

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yes, The Iranian Revolution Is About Freedom

See "Freedom craving 'fuelling Iran unrest'"


Iran today is a revolution in search of its Yeltsin. Without leadership, demonstrators will take to the street only so many times to face tear gas, batons and bullets. They need a leader like Boris Yeltsin: a former establishment figure with newly revolutionary credentials and legitimacy, who stands on a tank and gives the opposition direction by calling for the unthinkable -- the abolition of the old political order.
--More in Charles Krauthammer's excellent article "What Will Mousavi Do Next?"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Message to Obama: Don't coddle a thug

President Obama came into office apparently believing that his non-traditional background, charisma and good intentions could placate dictators hostile to America and ease global tensions.

In these first six months, the new administration has made clear to Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Russia's Vladimir Putin and other strongmen like them that Barack Obama is not a mean-talking George Bush. A kinder, gentler United States has promised to push the "reset" button. In the interest of peace, an American president would finally be listening rather than lecturing, and willing to talk to authoritarian bullies without preconditions. See more by Victor Davis Hanson

The use of the term "thug" in the above by Hanson is most appropriate for dictators, and I apply it to them all the time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stopping the bomb what counts

Raw numbers don't mean very much in the Middle East, where running into the streets to demonstrate, usually but not always against the Great Satan, is the national sport. It's more fun than evening prayers at the mosque.

What is impressive is the simple fact of the outpouring of popular sentiment in Tehran. Lifting even a finger to mock the indifference and arrogance of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Impertinence Be Upon Him), or even President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Palaver Be Upon Him), is asking for a hard thump on the head, or worse. Usually much worse. More by Wesley Pruden.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iran will change, on its own terms

How ironic. A regime that came to power through a brutal revolution, in a country suspected of secretly developing a nuclear weapon, is now facing its biggest challenge from peaceful civil disobedience.

The street demonstrations by day and haunting chants echoing across rooftops by night are not — so far — a counterrevolution.

That's not even their intention. What they are doing, however, is forcing Iran's Islamic regime to face the same ideals that have swept across five continents over the last quarter of a century — the supremacy of popular will, justice, accountability and the transparency of power. More of Robin Wright's article

The Four Keys To Obama's Mind

Based on the 53 minutes and answers to 15 question, here's where President Obama's mind seems to be at:

1. Obviously, he wanted to send a direct message to Iranian people without intervening. (Non-intervening interventionalism.) He is still not willing to say that the election was illegitimate. He is still willing to talk to this regime, but he didn't say who that regime included. (Strategic ambiguity.) I think the key to understanding where he's at on Iran now: ""We don't know yet how this thing is going to play out. I know everybody here is on a 24 hour news cycle. I'm not." The soundbite will be the response to the Neda murder video. That's what the world -- and the Iranian protesters -- will hear. More at Marc Ambinder

Dodge Facts, Skip Details, Govern Chicago-Style

We pundits like to analyze our presidents and so, as Barack Obama deals with difficult problems ranging from health care legislation to upheaval in Iran, let me offer my Three Rules of Obama.

First, Obama likes to execute long-range strategies but suffers from cognitive dissonance when new facts render them inappropriate. His 2008 campaign was a largely flawless execution of a smart strategy, but he was flummoxed momentarily when the Russians invaded Georgia and when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. On domestic policy, he has been executing his long-range strategy of vastly expanding government, but may be encountering problems as voters show unease at huge increases in spending. More by Michael Barone

Understanding Obama

This is a revision of the commentary The American Vs. French Revolutions—A Freedomist Interpretation to shed light on President Obama’s policies.

First, some history. During the Middle Ages, the power of kings was checked by the a belief in the higher laws of God, to which kings and commoners alike - the nation, country, or kingdom, in short, the State -- were subject. But with the 16th century Reformation and the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism, the battle was decided for the State. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 ended the Wars of Religion, and established the modern nation-state system.

The power of the State in the person of kings, unchecked by the Church, was now supreme. However, kings needed legitimacy, money, and men for wars, all of which required the approval of the aristocracy. Jealous of their own power, stingy in supporting their kings, the aristocracy was a counterweight to the State, which enabled some Freedom to survive. For most of the 17th and 18th centuries, the State and Freedom therefore existed in uneasy equilibrium -- neither complete, both limited.

Then, in the late 18th century two momentous Revolutions destroyed this balance, triggered a great battle between the State and Freedom. Freedom emerged victorious in one; the State in the other. The great historical struggle since has been between the principles and conception of these two revolutions, for as the old balance between kings and aristocracies was destroyed, the success of Freedom or advance of the State has depended on the triumph of one of these two sets of principles and conceptions.

The American Revolution was the first. As a struggle against monarchical and aristocratic power, it was an explicit attempt to establish the greatest possible common Freedom. The leaders were careful historians who knew their political philosophy. Descendents of the English tradition of common law and rights, they were influenced by the great liberal philosophers, such as Sir John Harrington and John Locke. They understood that Freedom would be short-lived, that defeating an imperial State would only unleash a new State at home, unless the power of the State could be shackled. Their efforts, after a short experiment with the Articles of Confederation, were soon enshrined in the Constitution of the United States in 1787. In simple words, the Constitution was a conscious attempt to limit the State and preserve Freedom.

The Constitution's basic conception is that man pursues different, and often selfish, interests. The maximum satisfaction of all these interests requires that no one interest dominates. And what prevents such domination is a balance among opposing interests. The Constitution makers saw interests as different species in nature. A balance among them is established as each in nature pursues his different and often contradictory desires and instincts. The balance then assures the life and independence of each.

But this conception is abstract and needs a supporting structure of rights to guarantee that interests can compete and balance. If all interests share absolute Rights, then the aggrandizement of any one would be prevented. So, with this conception of Freedom being the outcome of a balancing of interests, each sustained by natural rights, the Constitution embodies three principles. One is that all men have certain inalienable Rights standing above and limiting government, the agency of the State. Among these, as enshrined in the First Amendment, are the rights to the freedom of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition.

The second principle is that all governments carry within themselves the seeds of tyranny, of the absolute State, which can be limited only by a system of checks and balances. Thus, the Constitution balances aspects of monarchy, aristocracy, and the commons in the independent powers of the executive, judiciary, and legislature; it balances a democratic tendency to mob rule by protections of minority views and rights. It balances popular representation in the House of Representatives against the equality of large and small states in the Senate. And it balances the need to satisfy popular interests with the requirement for their careful and dispassionate consideration.
The third principle is that Freedom must reign, that no man working in his own interests can be unjust against himself, and that therefore, government must be limited to defining and administering the common law.

Government is to be an arbiter between interests, to serve a janitorial role of defending and maintaining the commonwealth. All else is the preserve of Freedom.

This conception of Freedom as an outcome of contending interests, each guaranteed inalienable Rights, and the three principles of Rights, checks and balances, and limited government, constituted the American Revolution -- a revolution that established and preserved Freedom down almost down to modern times.

Only a few years after the American Constitution was founded, a second revolution -- a Counter Revolution -- occurred in France. The French Revolution of 1789 was also a revolt against the power of a monarch and aristocracy. Its motto was Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Its end was Social Justice. Its means were to establish the sovereignty of the people, and to eliminate social and political inequalities.

Unlike the American Revolution, whose philosophical ancestors were English liberals, the French Revolution was fundamentally fathered by the French radical philosophers, especially Jean Jacques Rousseau, and inherited the faith in reason engendered by The Enlightenment. René Descartes' trust in geometric like reasoning and Rousseau's belief in the common will and sovereignty of the people framed the conception guiding the French Revolution. This conception is mechanical. Government was seen as a machine, fueled by coercive power, and driven by reason; and its destination is Social Justice. Government is thus a tool to reach a future goal -- improving man. Those in charge of the State would therefore use reason to apply government to further and create Social Justice.

This conception is clearly different from that of the American revolutionaries. For the Americans, interests were the guiding force; for the French, it was reason. For the Americans, Freedom was to be preserved against the State; for the French, the State was used by reason to achieve Social Justice. For the Americans, individual rights were essential to protect interests; for the French, the collective, the sovereignty of the people, the general will stood above rights. Finally, for the Americans, no one interest could be entrusted with the State -- all interests had to be limited and balanced by their opposition; for the French, the State was a tool that should have no limit so long as Social Justice was pursued according to the common will.

These two conceptions -- one of a natural realm of competing interests with happiness and justice as an outcome of Freedom, the other of Social Justice achieved through the State directed by Reason -- entails opposing principles. Those of the American Revolution, as I have mentioned, were of rights, of checks and balances, of limited government. Those of the French were also three, and they are in direct contradiction.

The first principle is that the benefits to the Community outweigh individual rights. This is what the common will or sovereignty of the people means -- that individuals are members of a Community which takes precedence over the individual, and that the Community has a will to be gratified, a justice to be sought, which no individual should bar.

The second principle is that the State, and thus government as its agent, can be beneficent instruments of progress, a tool to be used to pursue the common will, the Community's betterment. Government, of course, had been feared when ruled by kings and aristocrats. But in the hands of the people, government can only serve the people's ends. Therefore, government should not be checked and balanced. Its powers should not be divided, for then the State is severely restrained. The Application of Reason to further Social Justice is crippled. Unlike the Americans, the French revolutionaries did not fear the State as such, but only the State in the service of the wrong class and bad ends.

And this led to the third principle of the French Revolution -- unlimited government. As the State's implement of Reason working on behalf of the Community, government should not be limited. If necessary to pursue Social Justice, government should centralize, regulate, and control. No local or provincial government, no local council, court or judge, should be able to limit or contradict the pursuit of Social Justice by the State; no minority interest should have precedence over the General Will.

No wonder, then, that the American Revolution forged a Freedom that has survived for most of America's history, while the French Revolution created a bloodbath and an unlimited State surpassing that of previous kings and aristocracies, a despotism ending in a Napoleon whose perfidy, aggression, and power was eventually defeated by the combined arms of the frightened monarchies of Europe. But the conception and principles of the French Revolution lived on to gain new vigor.

They underlie the revolutions of 1848 in Europe, the first stirring of socialism, the writings of Marx and the birth of communism and democratic socialism. The French Revolution was defeated but the Revolution was victorious. Infecting intellectuals everywhere, its ideas eventuating in the successful Russian Revolution.

So, the American and French Revolutions launched an historic struggle between two conceptions and two sets of principles. One fosters Freedom and peace; the other furthers a statism which mankind has seldom, if ever, before known, a disease that not only blighted half the world, but even with the defeat of its most monstrous version, communism, it still infects European politics, the American liberals, and especially, the socialist left.
The opposition between these principles remains the major schism today, the major historic battlefront. It is happiness and justice as an outcome of a free balance of opposing interests, each guaranteed inalienable Rights, versus justice to be sought by reason using the State. The principles are those of individual rights versus a collective benefit; of checks and balances versus government as an unchecked instrument; of limited government and common law versus reason using government to create new law to further justice. To put this into the current political framework, we have here the opposition between Leftists and Freedomists.

Now, consider which set of principles governs the American federal, state, and local scene today. Is it not an assumption of legislators, courts, and executives at all levels, and particularly President Obama, that they have a responsibility to use the State to create Social Justice? Are not laws, regulations, and rules created to this end, and individual rights forced to give way before the presumed needs and requirements of communities, groups, or minorities? Is not Reason (often in the cloak of science) applied through government, presumably to better our lives and to protect us against our own interests? Is not planning -- that incarnation of Reason -- king?
Of course. and the best measure of all this is that largely in the service of reason's drive for Social Justice, the State now confiscates directly and indirectly somewhere between 40 to 50 cents of every American's dollar, more than kings generally dared to take from commoners. All of our earnings for the first five to six months of the year is taken by government. And this does not include the governmentally induced, hidden tax, called inflation.

And our Freedom is suffocating under a very thick blanket of rules and regulations. For example, 74,937 pages in the federal Register in 2006 covered the federal government. And that was before Obama was elected.

Thus my assertion: the Freedom established by the American Revolution has been losing in the struggle against the Counter-Revolution. Yes, Freedom still lives. But we must not be blind to the State's grip on our lives. As a professional, as a businessman, as a family member, as one simply seeking happiness, most of what one does now is subject to government rules, regulations, and laws, and can be vetoed by judges or bureaucrats who are backed up, ultimately, by the gun.

Now, on this I should also be clear. It is fashionable in intellectual circles to soundly condemn the American political and economic system. Usually, what is desired in its place is one variant or another of democratic socialism or communism. I take a diametrically opposite stand. I say that we are gradually being converted from the American to the French revolutionary principles.

Political terms are slippery and often are used or misused for political advantage. The Constitution of the United States with its First Amendment established a republic and minimum, balanced government. Its economy was initially agrarian, but the freedoms of the republic were congenial to vigorous free market growth. Today, however, the United States is neither completely free market nor agrarian. In over 200 years the republic has turned into an industrial, mixed free market-socialist democracy, less than the European, democratic socialisms of England, Denmark, or Sweden, to be sure, but along the socialist path nonetheless in adopting the conceptions and principles of the French Revolution. In this lies the source of many of our social ills and domestic violence, and not in the free market or democracy.

But, we can still reverse directions. We are still heirs to the American Revolution; we still have sufficient freedom, and the future is what we make it to be. This task alone could be the focus of all our energy and ingenuity, were it not for the thug regimes and terrorists they support that threaten us from abroad. Nonetheless, I think we can fight both battles and win. It all depends on democratic peoples understanding that the American Revolution is dying from a possibly malignant cancer - the statism of the neo-French revolutionaries, of Obama and the American left - and in one form or another, domestic or foreign, it threatens us. The people's common sense and their desire for freedom will in the end win out, if they comprehend the battle being waged against them. It is the freedomist’s mission to assure this understanding.

How then would I characterize Obama in one word? In beliefs, social justice is his rallying cry, and equality his aim. In this he is a socialist. But not all his policies are socialist, and this can be confusing. While nationalizing some corporations, as a socialist would do, he has left some big ones largely independent, although under government control and more severely regulated. This is what the fascist would do. The best characterization of him, however, is neither socialist or fascist, but Statist. He does not fear government tyranny, as did the American Revolutionary. Rather, He sees government as a tool of reason for creating social justice and equality. In this he is heir to the French Revolution

The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test

Successful revolutions have three phases. First, a strategically located single or limited segment of society begins vocally to express resentment, asserting itself in the streets of a major city, usually the capital. This segment is joined by other segments in the city and by segments elsewhere as the demonstration spreads to other cities and becomes more assertive, disruptive and potentially violent. As resistance to the regime spreads, the regime deploys its military and security forces. These forces, drawn from resisting social segments and isolated from the rest of society, turn on the regime, and stop following the regime’s orders. This is what happened to the Shah of Iran in 1979; it is also what happened in Russia in 1917 or in Romania in 1989. More here:

George Friedman, The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ayatollah Khomeini Ordered Massacre of 30,000 in 1988

Execution of Iranian homosexuals. source

Below republished from my Democratic Peace Blog

Part of the problem in communicating the nature of our enemies and their depths of depravity is finding the right words to describe the horrors they inflict on people. The following from an article, “Khomeini fatwa 'led to killing of 30,000 in Iran’” by the diplomatic correspondent Chrisina Lamb, helps (link here):
Children as young as 13 were hanged from cranes, six at a time, in a barbaric two-month purge of Iran's prisons on the direct orders of Ayatollah Khomeini, according to a new book by his former deputy.

More than 30,000 political prisoners were executed in the 1988 massacre -- a far larger number than previously suspected. Secret documents smuggled out of Iran reveal that, because of the large numbers of necks to be broken, prisoners were loaded onto forklift trucks in groups of six and hanged from cranes in half-hourly intervals.

Gruesome details are contained in, The Memoirs of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, one of the founders of the Islamic regime. He was once considered Khomeini's anointed successor . . . . The most damning of the letters and documents published in the book is Khomeini's fatwa decree calling for all Mojahedin (as opponents of the Iranian regime are known) to be killed. . . . the fatwa reads: "It is decreed that those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Monafeqin (Mojahedin) [regime opponents] are waging war on God and are condemned to execution."

. . . . According to testimony from prison officials -- including Kamal Afkhami Ardekani, who formerly worked at Evin prison -- recently given to United Nations human rights rapporteurs: "They would line up prisoners in a 14-by-five-metre hall in the central office building and then ask simply one question, 'What is your political affiliation?' Those who said the Mojahedin would be hanged from cranes in position in the car park behind the building."

He went on to describe how, every half an hour from 7.30am to 5pm, 33 people were lifted on three forklift trucks to six cranes, each of which had five or six ropes. He said: "The process went on and on without interruption." In two weeks, 8,000 people were hanged. Similar carnage took place across the country.

Link of Note

”A 14 year old boy is sentenced to 85 lashes for breaking his Ramadan fast!” (11/16/04 )

A 14 year old boy died on Thursday, November 11th, after having received 85 lashes; according to the ruling of the Mullah judge of the public circuit court in the town of Sanandadj he was guilty of breaking his fast during the month of Ramadan.

But, we shouldn’t intervene in Iran, even to help the anti-regime, democratic movement. Right? Yes, tell that to the dead souls of the 30,000 (among hundreds of thousands) slaughtered, and the 14-year-old boy. And all their surviving loved ones.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why Are Revolutions As Is That in Iran Like Earthquakes?

A martyr to freedom. Born in 1982, her full name was Neda Agha-Soltan. She was shot and killed by a basiji riding by on a motorcycle. She is buried at Behesht Zahra cemetery in Tehran (Source)

Neda alive. (source)

Tectonic earthquakes occur because the earth’s many tectonic plates move in relation to each other, not smoothly, but in fits and starts. Where there is contact between these plates, there may be long periods where friction holds the plates still. Then as the force for their movements builds up, it eventually overcomes the friction, and the plates suddenly jump to a new balance between friction and potential movement. The earth is still, apparently solid, until the friction gives way and we have an earthquake.

Social affairs often follow this pattern, particularly revolutions (and war). There is usually a long period in which a people's desire for change, such as for greater freedom, builds up over time. Sociopolitical dissatisfaction and tension grow, and eventually can be felt in the air. And then something occurs that crystallizes the discontent, and triggers a mass uprising. Such was the case with Iran in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini and his Mullahs overthrew Shah Pahlavi's monarchy to create an Islamic republic. Since then, Iranians have become increasingly dissatisfied over their lack of freedom, democracy, and over the Mullah's enforcement of Sharia—Islamic law -- a totalitarian legal system which governs the most personal and intimate behavior.

Thus, Iran was ready for a trigger event. There was in Iran, as among all people, a natural reluctance to endanger oneself and one's loved ones, to risk prison, torture, and death. This was the friction that prevented large scale protests and demonstrations until now. The reelection of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the context. A blatantly stolen election provided the trigger. And the people’s dissatisfaction turned into trembling outrage at this final injustice. They have turned on their authoritarian government with a massive outpouring of protests—a sociopolitical earthquake— not simply over the election fraud, but more profoundly, at their lack of freedom.

Links of Day

Robin Wright's "The evolution of Iran's revolution"
Robin Wright, the author of "Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East," has been covering Iran since 1973. She is a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.
"Freedom craving 'fuelling Iran unrest'"

And then there is Obama's terribly weak response. So, let us consider his world by Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One blog, Three Pillars

My Freedomist View is based on three pillars. One is a theory of conflict, war, democide, and cooperation called the Conflict Helix, which can be found on my website, especially in my five volumes of Democratic Peace. These tests are best exemplified by Statistics of Democide.

The third pillar is the lifetime of research I have done on the historical, social, and political role of freedom. This research has been posted on the above website and blog, and is reflected in my The Bluebook of Freedom.

Link of Day

"3 foreign women dead in Yemen, al-Qaida suspected"

I trust these women were read their rights when captured. And given a fair trial and right of appeal before execution.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why This "A freedomists View" Blog?

This is a blog for those who want to foster freedom, through communication and activism, at home and abroad. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, or conservative or liberal, if you believe that individual freedom is foremost, as a right of all people and as an obligation to free those now suffering repression and enslavement by the dictators of this world, this blog is for you.

Why invent a new term, freedomist or freedomism? Why not one of the conventional political party labels?
Because freedom is not their central theme, although a few of their leaders may emphasize such in some instances. Among Republicans, former President
Bush is representative. Mr. Bush was a Freedomist in his foreign policy, to a much lesser extent in his economic policies, and not at all in his traditional social conservatism.

Democrats, including President Obama, who is to the far left of his party, and liberal Congressional Democrats, may want to spread democratic freedom, but give precedence to the UN, normalcy, and stability in international relations.
National defense is important, but second to diplomacy, international aid, and building bridges to past and present enemies. Moreover, Democrats are soft socialists at home, believing in nationalization, tight economic regulation and controls, spreading the wealth, equality, and cradle to grave welfare. However, on social matters (such as prostitution, drugs, and abortion) they do emphasize freedom, rhetorically and in their policies.
Surely then, the libertarians are much closer to what I mean by freedomists. As a youth, with my heart on my sleeve, I was a democratic socialist. In the early 1970s, persuaded by the arguments of
Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman, I became a libertarian. And libertarian is what I called myself until recently. I remain so in domestic policy, which is to say the more freedom from regulation, government ownership, control, taxation, and oppressive laws, the better, up to a point. I am not an anarchist, but believe social justice means minimal government consistent with protecting and guaranteeing equal civil and political rights to all.
However, on foreign policy libertarians, with some exceptions, are isolationists fundamentally opposed to foreign involvements and interventions. They want international relations also to be free, with free trade and commerce, and freedom for other countries to do whatever they want with their people. Not our business.

On this, libertarians are blinded by their desire for freedom, not realizing that everything, including freedom, demands contextual qualification (should a carrier of a dangerous infectious disease be free to spread it far and wide, perhaps killing thousands with it?). Isolationism makes the world safe for the gangs of thugs (dictatorships) who murder, torture, and oppress their people, and rule by fear.
Not our business, the libertarian still will say. Thus we must infer that such a horrific violation of his fundamental belief in freedom is fine, as long as somebody else is suffering, and not I, my loved ones, nor my friends.
This is blindness to the libertarian's own welfare. In an age of readily transportable biological weapons, such as anthrax, and nuclear weapons, a country like the U.S. no longer can afford to ignore what goes on elsewhere in the production and deliverability of such weapons. Those who hate the democracies and their libertarian values will not hesitate to use them. We are vulnerable. Involvement and intervention in the rapacious affairs of thug regimes are necessary to protect democracies, not to mention advancing human rights and the freedom libertarians praise. Quite simply, no thug regimes can be trusted with either the possession or the capability of producing such weapons.

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