22 February 2010


There are innumerable lessons to be mastered from the dissection of history; there have been tremendous accomplishments and horrendous misfortunes from which we can learn.  It is relatively easy to predict the outcome of present and future action by consulting the records of what has been or what failed to be.  My personal viewpoint on the efficacy of understanding history – in opposition of the excessively regurgitated phrase “history repeats itself” – is that human nature only goes so far: history doesn’t repeat itself per se, but rather, modern times dictate similar reactions to undefined dilemmas—things happen that mirror historic events, but for reasons inaccessible to even the most gifted of modernity’s time-travelers. 

It would be easy to assert that what I have said is nothing more than a highbrow reiteration of “history repeats itself.”  In a way, it is; permit me to redefine my terms, avoiding hyper-scholastic phrasing: hindsight is not foresight; looking back will not enable one to see forward; however, reflection upon humanities past undertakings – the pros and cons – does benefit the forecasting of a sagacious, cognitively vital individual. 

That being said, it seems appropriate to quote one of America’s most purely sagacious minds, so that my purpose may be framed.  Benjamin Franklin once said; “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom,” when he spoke of the Constitution’s strength in guarding Virtue and Freedom—constitutive parts of the Republican Ideology—which helped establish the United States of America as a sovereign Nation.  Sagacious Ben’s predication following the previous quote was an ‘ah ha!’ moment for me; “As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” 

Our nation’s helmsman of late, seems to have neither the power of hind- nor foresight.  His politicking feels void of lessons learned from history, doubly affecting his ability to lead America into the pole position of the future.   I have a difficult time envisioning a world championed by the Chinese Communist Party or the Russian Federation.  Critiquing the president is not my intention – although the continuous finger-pointing is really starting to make me raise a finger – I feel that the bitching is being done by more critics than necessary—similar to saying f**k in every sentence, the potential power of slander is being so diluted that it may become entirely ineffective if we don’t start focusing our efforts elsewhere. 

It is not the conductor I am worried about though, his ability to conduct even a community orchestra is at this point questionable.  I’m concerned with how he got to where he is, and how we can avoid seating another demigod borne of American Democracy.  I see Obama as the result of irrationality; the first – and hopefully last – president voted into office by a nation of citizens unwilling or unable to think rationally for themselves.  If the current education system in America continues on its path of below average result, we will not only be outsourcing American jobs, but American thinkers as well.  I desperately hope that there are student who appreciate the opportunity to be in college – like myself – using the brief period to develop rational and pragmatic skills paramount the “real” world.  I know they are out there; why must they insist on remaining thoughtless, voiceless, and nameless.  Obama’s victory was so one-sided on University campuses nationwide, in part, because there was no opposition to oppose; no voices to silence—for me, the silence was deafening.  People voted for him because other people were voting for him, they did not know why he was to be voted for; they did not give or ask for a reason.    Fortunately, I see a light at the end of the ignorance tunnel: the mind. 

Without thinkers in America – the “integrated man: a thinker who is a man of action” – society inevitably spirals downwards; the economy collapses and the irrational demigods seize power.  The mind, fueled by rational thought, is the motive power that fuels man’s existence; the only evil is the refusal to think for ones self.  What we’re currently facing is the destructive power of the state potentially overtaking the creative power of the individual. 

President Obama is an example of one of the great paradoxes of socialism: a great mind (give credit where credit is due) becoming employed in hindering the progress of the state—that my friend is “Progressticide.”  

Socialism destroys innovation: when the government influences the economy, corruption and mediocrity inevitably follow, ultimately creating an irrational system in which need matters more than production.  Our current – and previous – government’s interference in the economy and private sectors has had – and will continue to have – unanticipated effects that will require further intervention to fix. 

The more the government tries to fix the American system, the more repairs it seems to need.  America’s political structure was designed to make legislation at the federal level difficult, not easy.  

With the security of retaining full knowledge of our course – not the blind sense of being pulled into the unknown by an unknown power – do not trust, but know, that We [the American people] can take the power back; not for a political party, but for the America of the future.  The historic need for leaders who think has been great before, but the consequences of inaction have almost never before been as dire as they are today.  Raise your hand and be counted no more!  Raise your head, and count on yourself as someone who will not permit mediocrity!  Know that we will fight against great odds, and win!

“We who are not about the die…”

Talon’s Out.

11 February 2010

"This Is Sagacious Sam Speaking"

From time-to-time, when I am feeling unfounded, confused and overlapped – by no cause other than myself – I make a genuine effort of intrapersonal understanding.  There are so many things that I think, I know, I “believe;” for me, that known knowing is the exigency which entices me to rewrite myself.  I’ve recently – for the last three weeks, and at limited expense to my societal duties – allowed myself time for myself: time to think for myself, time to discuss myself, and time to read for myself.  I have written very little in that time, but I was purposed with my inaction.  The entire process of de- and reconstruction of one’s self should be, in my mind, internal, until there is no longer a metaphysical fog through which the mind’s eye must strain.  I am happy to report that today is that day. 

Where I have cognitively landed is hard to say, being that I’ve just arrived and I’m psychologically jetlagged, but I’m back, and my voice – thought it may be shaky at times – is more focused and will remain to be unapologetically assertive: Objectivist.

From this day forward, “This Is Sagacious Sam Speaking,” and we – myself and I – will be championing the “New Intellectual,” “We who are not about to die…” as Ayn Rand prophesized and philosophized in her essay For The New Intellectual.

This country is too great, not in size, but in mind, to be under the yoke of mediocrity; we, the Future Force, can be America’s re-Founding Fathers.  This will be a long fight, but I intend to win.

The Founding Fathers were America’s first intellectuals and, so far, her last.  It is their basic political line that the New Intellectuals have to continue. … The New Intellectuals must remind the world that the basic premise of the Founding Fathers was man’s right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness—which means: man’s right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; and that the political implementations of this right is a society where men deal with one another as traders, by voluntary exchange to mutual benefit.

Who are to be the New Intellectuals?  Any man or woman who is willing to think.  All those who know that man’s life must be guided by reason, those who value their own life and are not willing to surrender it to the cult of despair in the modern jungle of cynical impotence, just as they are not willing to surrender the world to the Dark Ages and the rule of the brutes.

The need for intellectual leadership was never as great as now.  No human being who has a trace of personal worth can be willing to surrender his life without lifting a hand—or a mind—to defend it, particularly not in America, the country based on the premise of man’s self-reliance and self-esteem.  Americans have known how to erect a superlative material achievement in the midst of an untouched wilderness, against the resistance of savage tribes.  What we need today is to erect a corresponding philosophical structure, without which the material greatness cannot survive. … To support a culture, nothing less than a new philosophical foundation will do.  The present state of the world is not the proof of philosophy’s impotence, but the proof of philosophy’s power.  It is philosophy that has brought men to this state—it is only philosophy that can lead them out.

Those who could become the New Intellectuals are America’s hidden assets; their number is probably greater than anyone can estimate; they exist in every profession, even among the present intellectuals.  But they are scattered in silent helplessness throughout the country, or hidden in that underground which, in human history, has too often swallowed the best of men’s potential: subjectivity.  They are the men who have long since lost respect for the cultural standards to which they conform, but who hide their own convictions or repress their ideas or suppress their minds, each feeling that he has no chance against the other, each serving as both victim and destroyer.  The New Intellectuals will be those men who will come out into the open and have the courage to break that vicious circle.

If they glance at the state of our culture, they will see that the entire miserable show is kept up by nothing but routine and pretense, which disguise bewilderment and fear: nobody dares to take the first new step, everybody waits for his neighbor’s initiative. … The greatest need today is for men who are not strangers to reality, because they are not afraid of thought.  The New Intellectuals will be those who will take the initiative and the responsibility: they will check their own philosophical premises, identify their convictions, integrate their ideas into coherence and consistency, then offer to the country a view of existence to which the wise and honest can repair.

The New Intellectual will be the man who lives up to the exact meaning of his title: a man who is guided by his intellect—not a zombie guided by feelings, instincts, urges, wishes, whims or revelations. … He will discard its irrational confliction and contradictions, such as: mind versus body, thought versus action, reality versus desire, the practical versus the moral.  He will be an integrated man, that is: a thinker who is a man of action.

The New Intellectuals must fight for capitalism, not as a ‘practical’ issue, not as an economic issue, but, with the most righteous pride, as a moral issue.  That is what capitalism deserves, and nothing else will save it.

The New Intellectuals must assume the task of building a new culture on a new moral foundation, which, for once, will not be the culture of Attila and the Witch Doctor, but the culture of the Producer.  They will have to be radicals in the literal and reputable sense of the word: ‘radical’ means ‘fundamental.’  The representatives of intellectual orthodoxy, conventionality and status quo, the Babbitts of today, are the collectivists.  Let those who do care about the future, those willing to crusade for a perfect society, realize that the new radicals are the fighters for capitalism.

It is into the midst of this dismal gray vacuum that the New Intellectual must step—and must challenge the worshipper of doom, resignation and death, with an attitude best expressed by a paraphrase of an ancient salute: ‘We who are not about to die…'

-Ayn Rand, For The New Intellectual, 1961

Talon's Out.

01 February 2010

Righteous Justice: American Style, Straight Up

Remember the terrorist who got on a plane with a half-assed bomb built into his shoe and tried to ignite it mid-flight?

Did you know his trial is over?  Did you know he was sentenced?  As it should be, he will be locked away until he expires, or someone kills him.

Ruling by Judge William Young; US District Court.  30 January, 2003, United States v. Reid).

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.  

His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his ‘allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I  will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am  at war with your country.'

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below; one of the most articulate monologues on what the term “American” truly stands for; Judge Young is a true patriot:

'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General....  On counts 2, 3, 4and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively.  (That's 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed.  The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million.  The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298...17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes.  It is a fair and just sentence.  It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you.  We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid.  We are Americans.  We have been through the fire before.  There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.  Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals.  As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant.  You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war.  You are a terrorist.  To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature.  Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not—you are a terrorist.  And we do not negotiate with terrorists.  We do not meet with terrorists.  We do not sign documents with terrorists.  We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court.  You are a big fellow. But you are not that big.  You're no warrior.  I've known warriors. You are a terrorist.  A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders.  In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific.  What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing?  And, I have an answer for you.  It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious.  You hate our freedom; our individual freedom.  Our individual freedom to live as we choose; to come and go as we choose; to believe or not believe as we individually choose.  Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom.  It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea.  It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.  It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom.  Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.  Make no mistake though.  It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.  Look around this courtroom.  Mark it well.  The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.....  The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.  The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically,  to mold and shape and refine our sense of  justice.

See that flag; Mr. Reid?  That's the flag of the United States of America.  That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom.  And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer.  Stand him down.’

Talon's Out