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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From Slavery to Freedom

As another Passover begins, the echoes of "Once we were slaves and now we are free" and "Next year in Jerusalem" resound briefly and then fade into the background noise of everyday life. We can board a plane tomorrow and fly off to Jerusalem. Some of us are already there now. But will that make us free?

Since Egypt we have become slaves again, lived under the rule of iron-fisted tyrants and forgotten what the very idea of freedom means. And that will likely happen again and again until the age ends. What is this freedom that we gained with the fall of a Pharaoh and the last sight of his pyramids and armies?

Freedom like slavery, is as much a state of mind as a state of being. It is possible to be legally free, yet to have no freedom of action whatsoever. And it is possible to be legally a slave and yet to be free in defiance of those restrictions. External coercion alone does not make a man free or slave, it is the degradation of mind that makes a man a slave.

What is a slave? A slave is complicit in his own oppression. His slavery has become his natural state and he looks to his master, not to free him, but to command him. Had the Jews of Egypt merely been restrained by physical coercion, it would have been enough to directly and immediately smash the power of the Egyptian state. But their slavery was mental. They moaned not at the fact of slavery, but at the extremity of it. When their taskmasters complained to Pharaoh, it was not of slavery, but of not being given the straw with which to build the bricks.

The worst slavery is of the most insidious kind. It leaves the slave able to think and act, but not as a free man. It leaves him with cunning, but not courage. He is able to use force, but only to bring other slaves into line. And most hideously, this state of affairs seems moral and natural to him. This is his freedom.

The true slave has come to love big brother, to worship at the foot of the system that oppresses him. It is this twisted love that must be torn out of him. It is this idolatry of the whip before which he kneels, this panting to know who his superior and who his inferiors are, this love of a vast order that allows him to be lost in its wonders, to gaze in awe at the empire of tomorrow which builds its own tombs today, that must be broken. These are his gods and he must kill them within himself to be free.

The Exodus is not the story of the emergence of free men who were enslaved, but the slow painful process by which slaves became a nation of free men, a long troubled journey which has not yet ended. That is why we celebrate Passover, not as an event of the past, but as of a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

Having escaped from Pharaoh, they built a glittering calf, and having left the desert behind, they sought out a king. Every idol and tyrant was another token of slavery, a desire to put one's ear up against the doorpost and become slaves for life. The idols have changed, but their meaning has not. There is still the pursuit of the master, the master of international law, of a global state, the gods of the superstate who rule over the present and the future and dispose of the lives of men.

There are far too many synagogues that worship the Democratic Party, rather than G-d, that bow to the ghost of FDR, the glittering echoes of Harry, Adlai and John, and the great golden statue of Hope and Change squatting obscenely over it all. And in Jerusalem far too many eyes look longingly to Washington and to Brussels, to the cities on the hill which offer order, truth and peace.

It is easy to slip into this kind of slavery. The pyramids are grand, the slogans are clever and the future seems assured. It is only when the dusty messenger comes along to whisper that "He has remembered". that those who have not forgotten gather and some among those who have forgotten, remember that they are slaves.

In Egypt the system of the state had to be smashed, but not simply smashed, but discredited. It could not be a mere contest of power, but of reason. The war between slavery and freedom could not end until the system of slavery had become ridiculous, until Pharaoh appeared a buffoon and his power no more than organized madness. And yet even so for a generation liberated from slavery, this majestic system, the only one they had ever known, remained their template, and in times of crisis, their immediate instinct was to retreat back to the only civilization they had known.

The slavery of the present is a more subtle thing. It grips the mind more tightly than the body. It still remembers that men enslave themselves best. It knows also that true power comes from making all complicit in its crimes so that they are also complicit in their own degradation. The system only asks that each man enslave himself and kill his own children. And once he has done that, he will only feel it right to demand that everyone else do likewise.

Do it for the environment, for social justice, for the Pharaoh of every age and his ideology. Enslave your mind. Kill your children.

This is the slavery of the system. It requires few whips and many words. It nudges men to be their own taskmasters and to reach out their hands to the new Pharaoh in the hope that he will save them. It is this slavery which is so pervasive, which Passover wakes us from, if it has not already been perverted into the Passover of the system, into civil rights seders and eco-matzas with donations to Planned Parenthood which will do what the midwives did not, if has not become yet another tribute to the Pharaoh of Hope and Change.

"Once we were slaves," the ancient words call on us to remember that we have been freed. That it is no longer Pharaoh who enslaves us, but we who enslave ourselves. "Now we are free men." But what is freedom really? Is it the freedom of the system or the freedom of the self? The system proclaims that they are one and the same. And that is the great lie which ends in death.

Like the slaves of ancient Egypt, we are shaken, dragged out of our everyday routine and commanded to be free. But how do you command men and women to be free? You can lead them through the habits of free men and women who think of themselves as kings and queens, who drink wine while reclining, who sing loudly in defiance of all oppressors, who boldly proclaim "Next year in Jerusalem" while the Pharaoh of Hope and Change bares his teeth at Jews living in Jerusalem.

You can unroll the scroll of history and show them how they were taken out, but all this routine is useless unless they understand and are sensible that they are free. Free not in their habits, but in their minds. Ritual is the gateway to a state of mind. A ritual of freedom only succeeds when it invokes a state of mental freedom. Otherwise it is a rite, a practice, a habit whose codes may help some future generation unlock its meaning, but which means little today.

Passover is the beginning and the end. It is the start of the journey and the end of it and we are always in the middle, on the long road out of Egypt, discovering that there are more chains in our minds than we realized a year earlier or a hundred or a thousand years ago. Each step we take toward freedom also reminds us of how far we still have to go.

It is the ritual that reminds us that we are still on the journey, that though we have been lulled by the routine of the system, the trap of the present that like the soothing warmth of an ice storm or the peaceful feeling of a drowning swimmer, embraces us in the forgetfulness of the dying moment, concealing from us the truth that the journey is not over. The desert still lies before us.

This journey is the human journey. It is the recreation of what mankind lost when it defied G-d, when it turned with weapons on each other, when it built towers, created systems and tried to climb to heaven on the backs of slaves and pyramids. It is a transformative road that requires us to not only endure, but to learn.

Surrounded by willing slaves who preach the creed of slavery, we must speak for freedom. Though few seem to remember the journey or the chains, it is our duty to remind ourselves. The message of Passover fully begins only when the holiday ends and its habits carry over into our daily lives. Once we were slaves, now we are free.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Paranoid Party

The Democrat may no longer believe in God, the Constitution or even motherhood and apple pie, but he devoutly believes with all the faith of a 9/11 Truther in the impermeability of steel and of a Neo-Nazi in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that somewhere out there Republicans are sitting in a sealed room and plotting to bring back the 50s.


And if not the 50s, then at least the early 60s.

The left accuses the right of being deeply paranoid. Meanwhile the left is convinced that every Republican sneeze is a racial putdown of America's first black president since Bill Clinton.

Forget about looking for Communists under every bed. The proper progressive never lies down with his or her partner of choice and their government mandated birth control from the Catholic institution with no choice in the matter without first checking their privilege and checking for conservative bigotry.

Sometimes, somewhere in Kentucky or Alaska, a minor Republican functionary forwards an email depicting ObamaCare as the work of a voodoo witch doctor and the first lefty to discover it dines out on that triumphant accomplishment for a year before writing a book about it. The rest of the time, the McCarthyists of the left have to work hard to unpack the subtext of the overlay of the puzzle box of a random remark.

When Mitch McConnell complained that Obama plays too much golf, MSNBC's chief late night lunatic, Lawrence O'Donnell, barked that “Well, we know exactly what he’s trying to do there. He is trying to align to Tiger Woods and surely, the lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama.”

The famously Calibnasian Woods didn't actually identify as black, but that was probably because of the way Republican racism stigmatizes black people. Will the right-wing bigotry never stop?

After its collapse under Reagan, the reinvented Democratic Party runs entirely on outdated conspiracy theories about Republican bigotry. It complains that Republicans secretly believe that they're a secret Communist conspiracy to destroy America, while their entire platform is an accusation that the Republican Party is a secret conspiracy to enslave black people. 

Or as the famous admirer of articulate, bright and clean-looking African-Americans, Joe Biden said,  "He is going to put y'all back in chains."

The chains would be redundant considering that he and his boss have run up the national debt to $17.6 trillion or a post-racial slavery of $55,234 by every American, regardless of race or creed, owed to China, Japan, Brazil and the Muslim world. And it's easier to accuse Mitt Romney of wanting to bring back the 1850s (when Mormons were persecuted) than to have an honest discussion about the chains of debt already there.

The Democratic Party now runs on racial paranoia, on class paranoia, on gender paranoia; on an endless McCarthyism in which the Republican Party is savaged as a phantom Nazi cult dedicated to serving Southern racists, the Koch Brothers and Israel.

The sanest liberal of the 21st century makes the looniest member of the Birch Society in the 60s seem positively grounded in reality. Conspiracy theories aren't a fringe element in the Democratic Party now; they're the entire ticket.

The War on Women, the constant claims of racism (according to ex-MSNBC'er Martin Bashir IRS was the new "N Word") and the invocation of class warfare by wealthy residents of entirely white bedroom communities is a litany of conspiracy theories. The frenzied search for new IRS and Tiger Woods "dog whistles" that prove the Republicans really are out to bring back the 50s is the psychological breakdown of an entire political party taking refuge in political paranoia.

The progressives are reactionaries who can't run on their record and can't even run on the record of their political opponents. So instead they run on the imaginary record of their political opponents derived from reading their minds, unpacking their subtext and then reading a few tea leaves.

The bible of the left's conspiracy theory is a Lee Atwater interview from 1981 in which he described politics becoming post-racial. Since conspiracy theorists can always locate that one frame that proves that the plane heading for the World Trade Center was a hologram and the magic bullet that shot JFK was really fired by Jackie Kennedy, they carefully excerpted a part of the interview to make it look like Atwater was saying the exact opposite of what he was saying.

Based on that out of context quote, the left built its pyramid of racial paranoia, its obsession with a Republican "Southern Strategy" to prove that the real racists weren't the Democrats who fought for segregation, but the Republicans who fought against it, and its claim that since then the Republicans who fought segregation (but were secretly segregationists), unlike Democrats like Al Gore's father who fought for segregation (but was secretly against it), have hidden their racism even more deeply by calling for small government and lower taxes, which, if you own a special Noam Chomsky decoder ring, really means Supermegaracism.

The Atwater revelation, treated in progressive circles the way that a Rabbi admitting that the Jews really do run the world from a moldy Brooklyn basement would be by a Neo-Nazi group, became the basis for justifying a reverse Atwater.

If Republicans are covertly disguising their racism in low taxes and small government, anyone who believes in low taxes and small government is probably a racist. And since Republicans hide their racism in innocuous policies, any conservative policy must be another racist Trojan horse.

Everything is a conspiracy. Everyone is a conspirator. If a Republican supports X, it must be racist. If he says Y, it must be racist.

Understand that and you understand why MSNBC's cast of lunatics insist that IRS is the new N Word and that the Republican Party keeps mentioning Obama's golf game to suggest to its base of racist voters that he's really off having affairs with a string of blonde women.

Progressive racial paranoia makes perfect sense if you assume that your opponents are part of a conspiracy whose defining feature is a paranoid projection of your own racism.

That's why you can't win an argument with a conspiracy theorist. He already knows that you're going to deny everything because you're in on it. Every argument is deeper proof that you're a 749th degree racist Freemason who faked the moon landing while shooting JFK. (Sure the dates don't match up, that's what they want you to think.)

The racial Atwaterization of the Democratic Party, its Northeastern Strategy, is typical of conspiracy theorists, whether it's the Muslim Brotherhood's front groups or the LaRouche zombies, who engage in byzantine conspiracies and vicious underhanded attacks that are justified by their own worldview in which a vast conspiracy is being waged against them.

Think of Hillary Clinton invoking a "vast right wing conspiracy" in public while justifying her husband's adultery as being caused by Republican attacks in private, targeting women who complained about her husband's sexual harassment in private, while claiming to be a role model for women in public.

That gap between ideals and actions, ends and means, is typical of the conspiracy theorist who projects every evil onto a single enemy, an Emmanuel Goldstein or Dick Cheney, and acts out every horrifying power fantasy in order to destroy him without ever acknowledging that he has become the thing he hates the most. He has become, not Dick Cheney, but Dick Cheney as he envisions him, an abuser of the Constitution who uses the IRS as a political weapon, invades countries unilaterally and destroys political enemies with lies, smears and innuendo.

The Dick Cheney of the left's paranoid imagination sits in the White House. His abuses are justified by the paranoid belief in a vast right wing conspiracy of Dick Cheneys.

To the conspiracy theorist, law is only a tool of the conspiracy. There is no such thing as compromise, only the supreme entitlement of grievance. Anything you can do to your enemies is fair because they already did it to you... and worse.

Political paranoids are totalitarians... and totalitarians are political paranoids. The modern Democratic Party has become both. Its paranoid totalitarianism runs on conspiracy theories that justify its politics of personal destruction and its abuses of power. It has accepted the left's classic formula of the conservative political opposition as a reactionary force that is the source of all evils in society.

If the Republican Party and the conservative opposition embody racism so thoroughly and covertly that there is nothing non-racist about them, then there is nothing left to do but to destroy them. Having reduced the right to a total evil with no redeeming qualities, destroying them seems downright benevolent.

If the right really is totally racist, if even their most benevolent programs and policies conceal a hidden racist agenda, then there's nothing else to do but to destroy them.

There's no way to leave behind racism, except through the destruction of the Republican Party.

Ordinarily intelligent adults would have trouble taking paranoid ravings seriously. Or so you would think. But it's surprising how sensible even the looniest conspiracy theory can seem if you dress it up in a tuxedo and take it out for a night on Fifth Avenue.

9/11 Truthers, moon landing hoaxers and Holocaust deniers can sound polished and sensible even with low budgets. The JFK conspiracy theories have convinced millions because they were given unofficial support by a liberal establishment obsessed with redirecting blame away from the Communist who killed him and at the "right-wing culture of hate", not to mention the Cuban mob and everyone who was the exact opposite of the radical Socialist ideology that actually pulled the trigger.

Imagine how polished 9/11 Truthers, moon landing hoaxers or Holocaust deniers could seem if they had the resources of the New York Times, CNN, Disney, Harvard and Random House at their disposal. Paranoid conspiracy theories only seem cheap and shoddy if they're the refuge of a handful of mouth-breathers. Put them in the New York Times and on the teleprompter of every talking head in a ten thousand dollar suit, turn them into college courses and box office blockbuster movies and they begin to seem exclusive and intellectual.

Like treason, conspiracy theories never prosper. When they do prosper, no one calls them conspiracy theories anymore. Instead they are the pantless emperor, the big lie and the derangement of an entitled elite using lies and conspiracy theories to justify its abuses of power.

Totalitarian governments in Russia and Germany maintained a ruthless grip on power by circulating conspiracy theories so ridiculous that no intelligent adult should have believed in them. But that abstract optimism in human reason doesn't hold up to 5 minutes of MSNBC. It's entirely possible to be wealthy, well-educated and a MENSA member while believing poisonously stupid and malicious things that a child could disprove in 5 minutes.

It's not because they're stupid. Like Agent Mulder, they want to believe. They need to believe.

If the Democratic Party isn't the progressive force standing against Republican bigotry, then what is it? An alliance of urban technocrats, corrupt community organizers and corporations? A Socialism Lite party that is despised by most European Socialists for its backwardness? A machine for printing money and moving it around to its special interests?

The average MSNBC viewer, New York Times reader and progressive suburbanite is not interested in a close look at his political movement or its track record. Instead of giving him something to believe in, his party's media outlets give him someone to hate. His political identity is shaped not by what he stands for, teachers' unions, unsustainable debt and an incoherent foreign policy of platitudes, but by his resistance to the Tea Party hordes who want to put black people back in chains, put women back in the kitchen and put homophobes back in the CEO's office at the Mozilla Foundation.

The politics of paranoid hatred is the crutch of mental cripples who protect the source of their dysfunction by projecting it onto phantom enemies. It's Hillary Clinton with her unfaithful husband, her list of enemies and her conviction that the Republicans made him cheat on her multiplied a million times over. It's the frenzied MSNBC talking head who sees the N Word everywhere because it's inside him. It's an Attorney General who pursues racial grudges without ever admitting it while calling the country "a nation of cowards" on race.

The Democratic Party is broken. It's broken spiritually, mentally and morally. But that doesn't mean that it's defeated. It's often the dysfunctional and the deranged who temporarily succeed because they are driven by their own demons. The completely unfit are often the most determined to disprove what the voices in their heads are telling them. And they are exceptionally talented at convincing other people of the lies that they tell themselves.

The great tragedies of the last two centuries were brought about by men and women like these, obsessed, maniacal, filled with churning hatreds and fears, commanding crowds, spreading lies, manufacturing ridiculous philosophies out of thin air and spreading them like an infection on the wind.

The Democratic Party has been contaminated by the madness of the left through its alliance with the left. Its one night stand has developed into a syphilitic infection and it's slowly going insane. You can see the derangement in Nancy Pelosi, staggering through aimless rhetoric, or Harry Reid, burning with inchoate anger, telling increasingly implausible lies, doing anything to hang on to power.

One of America's two major parties has become deranged and the entire country is paying the price.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Hope and Fail



THE ENLIGHTENED LEFT

The left does not care about gay marriage. In most left-wing regimes, homosexuality was persecuted. It was illegal in the USSR. Gay men were locked up in Cuba and are still targeted in China. Nicolas Maduro, the current hero of the left, openly uses homophobic language without any criticism from his Western admirers. It goes without saying that homosexuality is criminalized throughout the Muslim world.

Engels viewed homosexuality as a perversion born out of the bourgeois way of life that would be eliminated under socialism. The Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States stated that homosexuality “is a product of the decay of capitalism” and vowed that once the revolution took place, a “struggle will be waged to eliminate it and reform homosexuals.”

The left’s shift on this issue, as on many issues, was purely tactical. The left’s leading lights were racists who jumped into civil rights. They were sexists who became feminists. They were advocates for the working class who despised the idea of working for a living.

The Left Isn’t Pro-Gay — It’s Pro-Power




29 Muslim Terrorists Accidentally Blow Themselves Up




 NON-NEGOTIABLE

Terrorists and states negotiate differently.  Terrorists escalate a conflict to achieve leverage for their latest demand. They don’t seek a final settlement. There can be no final settlement because that would mean the end of terror.

Arafat and Abbas always negotiated the same way. They arrived prepared to disrupt the negotiating session at a crucial moment. The “peace process” was their hostage and they always hijacked it and began issuing demands.

It’s no surprise that the same thing happened yet again.

Negotiating With Terrorists Doesn’t Work



DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF CROOKS AND THIEVES

 “But there were some goods missing, a substantial amount around $75,000 worth and we were unable through our internal investigations and our ongoing dialogs with the DNC to resolve this,” said Taylor, “So, we’re working with our insurance company and the Charlotte police.”

How did that dialogue go?

LG: Give back our TV’s.

DNC: Why are you people so racist?

LG: What? Who said anything about race?

DNC: Homophobes! We are the 99 percent. Your televisions have been occupied by the poor. They were unsustainable. Hope and change.

Democrats Stole $75,000 in TV’s from DNC Convention




Socialist Muslim Politician: “Women who are Raped should be Hanged”

Mulayam Singh Yadav defended rapists saying sometimes boys make mistakes.
In a bid to woo the Muslim voters, Mulayam said: “It is not that I am with the Third Front for some post in the government. In fact, I am with them for the Muslims. If the Third Front comes to power, I would expect from them to solve the problems of the Muslims within a year.”





THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT HILLARY

 Protesters threw tomatoes and shoes at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade on Sunday during her first visit to Egypt since the election of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

A woman was taken into custody after throwing what she described as a shoe at Hillary Clinton during a Las Vegas speech.

Something About Hillary Inspires People to Throw Shoes at Her





Obama to Spend $1.5 Billion Promoting ObamaCare - Including $52 million spent on celebrity endorsements




DOWN, DOWN, DOWN

While Google Chrome has been struggling with market share, Firefox has been in a steady decline down to 17% market share in March from 20% in May of last year.

Firefox fell below 18% this year so that it no longer even claimed a fifth of internet users.

Mozilla Firefox Falls to 3rd Place, Hits Lowest User Level Ever



RAINED OUT

The Noah drop is worse than Russell Crowe’s previously unpopular Robin Hood which only fell 48% on its second weekend. At the rate that Noah is falling, it will likely not make back its production budget domestically, let alone its promotional budget.

Cinemascore still rates Noah at C indicating that audiences hate it more than any other movie in current release.

Noah Falls 61.1% in Second Weekend




Biden’s Son Defends Judge Who Spared Du Pont Pedophile from Prison




TWO HOBOS FIGHTING OVER AN OLD POTATO

With all the publicity that Letterman’s retirement is getting, you would think that anyone was still watching the Late Show with David Letterman.

And you would be wrong.

By 2011, Nightline was beating both Letterman and Leno among young viewers.

America to Not Watch Colbert, Just Like It’s Not Watching Letterman





IF YOU LIKE YOUR COW, YOU CAN KEEP YOUR COW

Elect a madman, get insanity. Forget the economy and Ukraine. Let’s pivot to cow burp prevention while raising meat prices.

Obama to Save Planet by Strapping Gas Tanks to Cows




Democrat Declares War on FOX News, Gets Owned by FOX News (VIDEO)




TRAGEDY

In one of his essays, Oz wrote, “Israel could have become an exemplary state… a small scale laboratory for democratic socialism.”

“Why didn’t Israel develop as the most egalitarian and creative social democratic society in the world? I would say that one of the major factors was the mass immigration of Holocaust survivors, Middle Eastern Jews and non-socialist and even anti-socialist Zionists.”

“Then there were the masses of Orthodox Jews… to whom socialism meant blasphemy and atheism.”

Brandeis Gives Honorary Degree to Critic of Judaism, Refuses to Give One to Critic of Islam




Jimmy Carter: US Should Give Visa to Iran Embassy Hostage Taker




FACEBOOK JIHAD HAS CONSEQUENCES

Last year, Bin Shakaran announced that he had a big new Jihad going down. Ibrahim Bin Shakaran aka Brahim Benchekroune went on a social media Jihad.

Brahim Benchekroune created accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to attract Moroccans to his new jihadist movement, Sham al-Islam. The group also announced a media arm, “the Mashers” Foundation, to oversee its public outreach.

On August 31st, the group outlined its principles, based on al-Qaeda’s takfirist ideology.

“We consider democracy to be kufr against God Almighty and a doctrine that is in contradiction to Allah’s sharia,” Sham al-Islam said. The movement calls for engaging in jihad against apostates from Islam.

Al Qaeda Terrorist Freed from Gitmo Finally Blown Away in Syria




State Department Misplaced $6 Billion Under Hillary




UP WITH KRONE, DOWN WITH KOCH

Krone came by his hard edge honestly. He spent more than 15 years in the private sector, where he once lobbied for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and more recently was a top Comcast executive.

During his private-sector career, Krone remained friends with Reid. “We always just kept in touch,” he said. “He just always looked after me.”

Krone also became one of the senator’s biggest donors, giving about $35,000 to Reid’s campaigns and leadership political action committees, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Harry “Man of the People” Reid’s Comcast Connection




 ...AND NO

The only reason that Pollard even came up is because Netanyahu tried to stall the endless demands by claiming that he couldn’t keep making concessions without bringing down his government.

But that assumes that Obama doesn’t want to bring down Netanyahu. Instead there’s every reason to believe that he does. So why would Obama give Netanyahu anything?

The answer is he wouldn’t.

Why Pollard Won’t Be Released




Illegal Muslim Alien Plotted Drone Bombing, Was Not Deported After Multiple Arrests




PEACE THROUGH WHATEVER

Neoconservative positions on foreign policy have shifted over the years. Their broad center, a strong military, peace through strength, values export and international alliances against geopolitical enemies don’t have much opposition from either side which is why most of Washington is neo-conservative; whether or not it uses that term.

Neo-conservatism has become a shorthand for a dissatisfaction with a particular strain of Washington politician and foreign policy expert. It remains more of an emotional and cultural critique than a policy critique

David Harsanyi Doesn’t Know What a Neo-Con Is, But He Knows He Hates Them




LIGHTS, CAMERA, SCAM

Gore has been churning out new environmental screeds (or his ghostwriters have) every few years. Even devoted Warmists would have trouble naming a single one.

Our Choice was Gore’s literary sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. Then came The Assault on Reason. Followed by The Future. Then Earth in the Balance.

Every few years reviewers dutifully comment that Al Gore (or his ghostwriter) has written another “passionate”, “informed” plea for everyone to go back to the caves and pay him lots of money for fire carbon credits.

Al Gore Considering “Inconvenient Truth” Sequel No One Wants




Muslims Beat Their Wives, UN Human Rights Commissioner Blames Israel




FENCING

The third organization called HaKilerim (The Killers) was considered the most dangerous and specializes in collecting protection money from Jewish businessmen, Sudanese refugees and Romanian workers, Chinese and Filipinos who settled in the area and opened small businesses, as well as prostitutes and drug addicts. This organization also operates betting parlors, massage parlors, nightclubs, cafes and restaurants. In addition to all those engaged in smartphone robbery, kidnapping cases, pimping, drug dealing in very large quantities, bike theft, running stalls selling ethnic foods and making deals on the street.

Successful foreign criminals wear the best brands, Nike or Adidas, wearing gold watches, necklaces and bracelets, and sunglasses luxury. Many of them resemble the look nicer part of American rappers. While the soldiers are living in apartments and moldy old room south of the city, senior bosses can afford to rent apartments of three and four rooms and frequently travel in taxis.

Put a Big Fence Around Our Country”: Quoting Sheldon Adelson Out of Context




Wife of Democratic Politician Narrates Holocaust Denier’s Documentary Claiming the Sun Revolves Around the Earth




LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL ILLNESS

Chief Illiniwek was already eliminated by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but the Chief has stuck around despite attempts to ban him.

“I dont need a counselor, I need you to #BanTheChief” and then contradicts herself by saying, “Emotional damage should be more important than the money you get from pro-Chief alums #BanTheChief”

“I was told I was acting like a “personally wounded party, and like a child”

“On March 11, I had the thought that I should commit suicide. I specifically thought “blow your brains out on the quad.” #BanTheChief

Insane Leftist Student: “Ban the Illini Chief or I’ll Shoot Myself”




UH-HUH

“[Studio executives say] ‘We’re going to take your stories but, you know what? You’re going to go starve over here and we’re not going to let you get a job.’ The so-called liberals that are in Hollywood now are not as good as their parents or ancestors. They feel that they’re not racist. They grew up with hip-hop, so [they] can’t be racist. ‘I like Jay Z, but that don’t mean I got to give you a job.’”

Man Who Directed 10 Movies Claims Hollywood “Doesn’t Let Black People Tell Stories”




THE ROUNDUP



REFORM

Islam is a totalitarian ideology. They suffered under it. Yet they do not condemn it. They talk as though Islam can be "reformed" or recast as a tolerant, humane creed. It can't. It is, root, trunk, and branch as evil an ideology as Nazism and Communism. I don’t think they were afraid to condemn Islam. I think their statements about it reflect a profound ignorance of its ends, or a collective delusion. To a woman, they stress that Islam's depredations against women are "cultural," not "political." They do not see that those crimes – forced marriages of children and adult women, female genital mutilation (FGM, or, what a friend prefers to call it, "female castration"), the role of "honor," and the ubiquity of "honor killings" in Muslim and Western countries – are intrinsic to the ideology, not aberrations or anomalies.

Two segments of Honor Diaries impressed me, and not positively. One indicated just how accommodating the film is to Islam. This segment featured one of the participants, an American, Raquel Saraswati. She had a pierced nose and a pierced lower lip. Her eyebrows looked painted on. She wore the whole "approved" Muslim garb for women, including an unflattering hijab, most of it outlandishly decorated. The overall impression was that she could've been a dancer for the Star Wars villain, Jabba the Hut. At one point, the film showed her preparing to pray and praying. That segment underscored the film's, and the participants', acceptance of Islam as a legitimate creed.

From Edward Cline; No Honor at Brandeis University




IF ONLY THE PEOPLE WE WERE FIGHTING ACTUALLY THOUGHT LIKE THIS...

The bottom line is, you don’t beat an idea by beating a person. You beat an idea by beating an idea. Not only is it counter-productive—nobody likes the kid who complains to the teacher even when the kid is right—it replaces a competition of arguments with a competition to delegitimize arguments. And what’s left is the pressure to sand down the corners of your speech while looking for the rough edges in the speech of your adversaries. Everyone is offended. Everyone is offensive. Nothing is close to the line because close to the line is over the line because over the line is better for clicks and retweets and fundraising and ad revenue.

... if this view reflected liberals in general, it might be possible to have a conversation, but it doesn't.

And there's no reason why it would. The debate has long since become internal rather than external, an assertion of anger and contempt. The left's views have become fixed in amber even as they keep "evolving". Functioning within a bubble, they have become unused to dissent and convinced that since they are on the right side of history, it is their sacred mission to stamp out reactionary views.



A REVERSE ATWATER

Jonathan Chait's anticipated New Yorker piece on Obama and race has finally come out, to boos from the left, and it's mostly predictable, depicting conservatives as out of touch racists in denial.

What struck Goldberg was Obama’s juxtaposition of “ideology and small thinking”—terms he has always associated with his Republican opponents—with “prejudice and bigotry.” He was not explicitly calling them the same thing, but he was treating them as tantamount. “That feeds into the MSNBC style of argument about Obama’s opponents,” Goldberg told me, “that there must be a more interesting explanation for their motives.”

It’s unlikely that Obama is deliberately plotting to associate his opponents with white supremacy in a kind of reverse-Atwater maneuver.

And yet that's what liberals have been doing for a long time now to the extent of labeling any conservative views as covert racism.

That indeed is the purpose of invoking Atwater, to prove that even innocuous views are coded racism. It's not really a reverse-Atwater, it is Atwater, instead of shouting a racial slur, they're shouting racist.

Liberals experience the limits of historically determined analysis in other realms, like when the conversation changes to anti-Semitism. Here is an equally charged argument in which conservatives dwell on the deep, pernicious power of anti-Semitism hiding its ugly face beneath the veneer of legitimate criticism of Israel. When, during his confirmation hearings last year for Defense secretary, Chuck Hagel came under attack for having once said “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here,” conservatives were outraged. (The Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens: “The word ‘intimidates’ ascribes to the so-called Jewish lobby powers that are at once vast, invisible and malevolent.”) Liberals were outraged by the outrage: The blog Think Progress assembled a list of writers denouncing the accusations as a “neocon smear.” The liberal understanding of anti-­Semitism is an inversion of conservative thinking about race. Liberals recognize the existence of the malady and genuinely abhor it; they also understand it as mostly a distant, theoretical problem, and one defined primarily as a personal animosity rather than something that bleeds into politics. Their interest in the topic consists almost entirely of indignation against its use as slander to circumscribe the policy debate.

And that is an interesting point, since indeed the left considers anti-semitism complaints to be a pretext for a smear.




BLACK, NO SUGAR

It never ceases to amaze me to see what kinds of problems are being blamed on “climate change.” Good or bad, these days it’s just about “de rigueur” for the author(s) of any report to attribute any and all problems on this mysterious catch-all phrase of “climate change.” What is even more vexing is that any scientific proof of such claims is not required. After all, it’s all self-explanatory and based on “settled science.”

Of course, the real cause of the declining coffee production is fungus- and insect-derived problems befalling these large mono-cultures. These problems would be easy to overcome with genetic improvements of the coffee plants as has been done for grains and other fruits. However, some coffee aficionados vehemently resist such intentions. They want their morning double-double beanies grown without the use of any “-icides” or genetically enhanced beans.

I think here is your chance to invest in my up-and-coming enterprise of the Greenland Mountain Coffee Cooperative (GMCC). With the claimed rapid melting of the ice sheet on Greenland it ought to be just a matter of time when your investment in coffee trees on Greenland’s slopes (yet to be planted) will bear a rich harvest. The GMCC is currently taking on new (only well-heeled) members; serious inquiries welcome. We’ll even invite you to a free double-double.

...from Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Rise of Fakectivism

What do the forced departure of Brendan Eich from Mozilla and #CancelColbert have in common? They are both examples of Fakectivism.

Fakectivism is social media activism by small numbers of people that is integrated into the news cycle because it matches the media’s political agenda.

Every Tea Party member knows that media coverage of actual protests is unequal. Twenty students, most of them volunteers at an environmental non-profit, protesting Keystone will get media coverage that a thousand Tea Party members protesting ObamaCare won't receive.

The same is true of online protests.

Many of the real life protests covered by the media are fake. For example, unions hire non-union protesters to protest on their behalf, a fact that the media organizations covering the protests rarely point out. (That same privilege wouldn't be extended to Tea Party members who hired professional protesters to yell at the cameras for them.)  Other protests pretend to be grass roots when they actually consist of members or even paid employees of a single organization.

During the Bush years, many anti-war protests were actually run by the same small number of radical left-wing groups, but were reported on as if they were mainstream marches of ordinary people.

The situation has become much worse online as the media applies this same selective sloppiness to internet Fakectivism.

Fakectivism online multiplies the problems with media coverage of left-wing activism by completely distorting the number of people participating in a protest and their credibility in representing anyone except themselves.

In real life protests, the media routinely reported higher turnout for left-wing protests and lower turnout for conservative protests. Online, Fakectivism dispenses with head counts. If it's a trending topic, then it's news. And sometimes it's news, even if it isn't.

Fakectivism begins with left-wing agitprop sites selectively collecting tweets in support or against something. Invariably the handful of tweets are described in collective terms as "The Internet" being outraged or supportive of something. The use of the collective "Internet" is a staple of Fakectivism because it conflates a manufactured story with the impulses and opinions of billions of people.

Successful Fakectivism moves up the ladder to higher end left-wing websites searching for teachable controversies. These websites have enough status that they are monitored by producers and editors from the mainstream media looking for stories.

The mainstream media harvests content from sites such as Slate or the Huffington Post and reframes it in biased but credible language while disguising its sources. Twitter Fakectivism is invariably described as a "backlash" or a "firestorm". Phrases such as "Twitter was lit up by outraged users" give non-technical readers the impression that the complainers represent the consensus of the site instead of a small number of overactive users.

The manufactured Fakectivism becomes a major news story by a successive filtering process that disguises the dubious source and the credibility of the originating event.

Eich's donation in defense of marriage had already become an issue two years ago. The same Twitter attacks were curated by left-wing Fakectivist websites, but the 'spark' that would allow the story to go mainstream was missing. Instead Eich walked away, mostly unscathed, because the protests did not gain traction in the media.

The Fakectivism directed at Eich in 2012 fizzled away because without media involvement the professional social justice activists are nothing more than their own feeble rage echo chamber.  It's the mainstream media that makes Fakectivism work by choosing to report on it. Its outlets put the final "fake" in Fakectivism.

It's not mythical grass roots outrage that seals the fate of someone like Brendan Eich. It's the mainstream media. The social justice Tumblr and Twitter activists like to think that they can claim scalps, but the only scalps that they claim are the ones that the media allows them to take.

Fakectivism is really a means of allowing media professionals to pursue their political agendas through selective reporting. The Fakectivists are only the hook that the media hangs its dirty fedora on. They manufacture the stories and are repaid with social justice fellowships at the left-wing agit prop outlets that pick up their manufactured stories and pass them up the media ladder.

The left-wing online ecosystem lives or dies by its ability to move "edgier" material and agendas into the mainstream media and the media decides whether the time is right to force the agenda on its viewers, listeners and readers.

Media and social media Fakectivists both calculate their stories and protests around a larger agenda.

It's the role of the social media Fakectivists to aggressively push their most radical agendas and of the media Fakectivists to moderate their tone. The media act as the formal gatekeepers of liberalism determining which radical agenda can be mainstreamed this week while the social media activists keep forcing the gates to open even wider.

It's never about the facts. The media and social media Fakectivists only care about emotional manipulation in the service of their agenda. Their stories are morality plays that expect the audience to view a human drama and come down on their side and for their agenda. The drama is the narrative which both sets of Fakectivists skew their way through misleading reporting.

In the Eich case, the media deliberately misreported  facts about the Mozilla Foundation. For example, media stories claimed that board members were resigning in protest over Eich's role. That was untrue. Mozilla was in turmoil and had been for some time, but the reasons for that had nothing to do with Eich’s views on marriage. Eich had stepped into a thankless role that he didn't want in an organization whose signature browser had been steadily losing market share.

Likewise the media failed to explain Eich's major contribution to the modern internet while highlighting protest Tweets from a handful of Mozilla employees, mostly non-technical and/or associated with the Open Badges Project.

Some of this can be attributed to sloppiness, but had Eich been a gay CEO targeted by Twitter protesters angry over his sexual identity, there is little doubt that the backstory would have been researched and accurately clarified. Media sloppiness is a calculated blindness on stories where research would only damage the narrative.

The media outsources much of its research to left-wing sites and often only rewrites their stories. A belated fact check may occasionally shoot down a false story, as with the Washington Post's Keystone attack on the Koch Brothers, but mostly content from Media Matters, Think Progress, Salon, Gawker and worse streams uninterrupted into the newspapers of record and the wire services with changes in style, not substance.

The media only truly goes into research mode when the facts fit a conservative narrative. If ocean temperatures are rising, then no research is needed. The talking points are rewritten and jammed in. But if ocean temperatures aren't rising, then suddenly research is needed to explain why the lack of warming is actually proof of Global Warming. This brand of counter-intuitive apologetics attracts the "brightest" figures in the media because it requires that they make an argument that disproves the facts, instead of rewriting a Media Matters release.

The traditional "prestige" media that we used to know still exists, but it exercises less influence than ever. The real media now mainly reports on trending internet content, whether it's Twitter protests, pop stars or cat videos. The distinction between CNN and any random website that collects the same viral content is that the viral site is likely to have it first. That's increasingly the same distinction between NBC News and the Huffington Post.

Fakectivism extends a convenient relationship in which the media acts as a gatekeeper for social media into the political realm. The difference is that while the media is agnostic when it comes to passing along cat videos or reporting on a pop star's trashy antics, it carefully curates which protests it takes seriously, which causes it advances and which people it gets fired.

The media has come to embody a decentralized relationship between different levels of left-wing content providers from major activist groups to random aspirants for social justice fellowships trying to get a hashtag going on Twitter. What we think of as the media is only the formal tip of the iceberg with its billion dollar brand names and national and international operations.

The real media isn't a station or a newspaper, it's an agenda. It's a network of relationships between open radicals and covert radicals. It's a pipeline for pushing a viewpoint through fake stories.

The media has become a closed loop of the left, inventing its own stories and reporting on the stories that it invents. Fakectivism has allowed it to manufacture its own system of non-profit content providers who have become an extension of it. It applies the political relationship between elected officials and non-profits who answer to community activists funded by national foundations rather than their own voters to the news business.

Fakectivism manufactures news. It frees the media from reporting on actual events and allows them to report on non-events manufactured by their political allies with a pre-made narrative. How many people really wanted Eich gone? It doesn't matter. The media takes refuge in abstractions. It treats the internet as a collective force that drives its reporting, when it's actually just the echo chamber for its agenda.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Islam Is What Happens When Civilization Loses

Saudi Arabia and Qatar aren't talking to each other. Syria and Turkey are shooting at each other. Not only are the Shiites and Sunnis killing each other in Syria, but the Sunni groups have been killing each other for some time now. There are even two or three Al Qaedas fighting each other over which of them is the real Al Qaeda while, occasionally, denying that they are the real Al Qaeda.

There's something about Syria that splits down everything and everyone. Even Hamas had to split between its political and military wings when choosing between Iran's weapons and Qatar's money. Doing the logical thing, the military wing took the weapons and the political wing took the money so that the military wing of Hamas supported Assad and its political wing supported the Sunni opposition.

It's not however money and weapons that splits Muslims over Syria. Money and weapons are only the symbols. What they represent is Islam. And what Islam represents is the intersection between identity and power.

A modern state derives its power from its identity. That is nationalism. The Japanese and the Russians were willing to die in large numbers for their homeland during WW2. Both countries had undergone rapid de-feudalization turning peasants into citizens with varying degrees of success. Japan and Russia however had historic identities to draw on. The rapid de-feudalization in the Arab world had much messier results because countries such as Jordan and Syria were Frankenstein's monsters made out of bits and pieces of assembled parts of history stuck together with crazy glue.

The Middle East is full of flags, but most are minor variations on the same red, green, black and white theme. The difference between the Palestinian flag and the Jordanian flag is a tiny asterisk on the chevron representing the unity of the Arab peoples.

The Iraqi, Syria and Egyptian flags differ in that the Egyptian flag has an eagle sitting on its white strip and the Iraqi flag had three green stars (now it only has Allahu Akbar) while the Syrian flag has two green stars. The Iraqi flag was originally the same as the Jordanian and Palestinian flags. So are most of the flags in the region which are based on the Arab Revolt flag which was in turn based on the colors of the Caliphates.

Every time you see the Al Qaeda "black flag" of Jihad, it's already represented in the black stripes on the flags of every Arab nation. What Al Qaeda has done is strip out the other colors representing the various succeeding caliphates and gone back all the way to the black of Mohammed's war flag.

(Mohammed hadn't originated the black flag. Like the rest of Islam, it was a tribal adaptation. Black had been the color of the headdresses worn into battle. It symbolized revenge. As a warlord, Mohammed often wore black. Black came to symbolize Islam, the color which does not change, for the religion that does not change. Impermeable, offering no illumination or light.)

Syria is split, roughly speaking, between the Kurds, who want their own country, Greater Kurdistan, to be assembled out of pieces of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Sunnis, many of whom want to form it into a Greater Syria, to be made out of pieces of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and the Neo-Shiite Alawites.

Greater Syria was the original agenda of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It's still the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. And Al Qaeda in Iraq has become the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and is fighting for its own version of a Greater Syria tying together Iraq and Syria.

What is Syria? The civil war answered that question. Like the USSR, it's a prison of nations. It exists only by virtue of men pointing guns at other men. As long as all the men with the guns agreed on what Syria was, the country existed. Once they no longer did, there was no longer a Syria. The same is true of much of the Middle East.

There are questions that you can resolve with democracy within a functioning country, but when your country has less of an existence than the conflicting religious and ethnic identities of its people, democracy only makes the problem worse. Democracy in Iraq means Shiites voting to be Shiite, Sunnis voting to be Sunni and Kurds voting to be Kurds. Democracy in Syria would mean the same thing. And that way lies a federation and then secession and civil war all over again.

The problem in the Middle East isn't a lack of democracy. It's the lack of anything to be democratic about.

Everyone in the Middle East (who isn't a Jew, Christian, Kurd, Bahai, Zoroastrian, Armenian, Circassian, Druze, etc.. ) agrees on the importance of Arab and Islamic unity and that their specific flavor of it, their clan, their tribe and their Islamic interpretation should be supreme.

It's not surprising that the Middle East is constantly at war. It's only a wonder that the fighting ever stops.

Arab nationalism is the ideology that Arab elites used to complete the de-feudalization of their population from peasants into citizens. But what worked in Japan and Russia fell flat in the Middle East where tribe and religion are still supreme. The peasants didn't become Egyptians or Syrians. They remained Ougaidat or Tarabin. After that, they were Muslim. Their national identity came a distant third.

What the Arab Spring truly showed is how little national identity mattered as democracy and the fall of governments demonstrated that there was no national consensus, only the narrower one of class, tribe and institution. It's not something that Americans should be too smug about. The left's efforts are reducing the United States to the same balkanized state in which there is a black vote and a white vote, a rich vote and a poor vote, but no national identity that transcends them. We too are becoming ‘Sunnis’ and ’Shiites’. It's no wonder that Islam finds the post-American United States and the disintegrating territories of the European Union fertile ground for its work.

It's the same reason why Islam is rising in the Middle East. The rise of Islam is a striving for an era before nations and before whatever remnants of civilization accreted to the Mohammedan conquerors over the years. It's a desire for pre-civilization, for the raid, the noble savage and the twilight of morality. It's a heroic myth dressed up as a religion cloaking the naked savagery of it all.

Islam rose out of the death of the Roman Empire. It's rising now out of the death of the West, but it would be a mistake to call that a clash of civilizations when it’s civilization succumbing to barbarism. Western civilization has grown degenerate and the only things resembling civilization that the other side has, it has borrowed from the same civilization that it is preying on.

Hasan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood's founder, wrote, "Our task is to stand against the flood of modernist civilization." Syria is the desert that remains when the flood of civilization has passed. The atrocities there show us life in Mohammedan times when banditry was the only civilization that there was.

Islam can't unite Syria. It can't even unite Sunni Islamists. It can't even unite those Salafis who identify with Al Qaeda.

It can't unite, because Islam is a disruptive force that achieves its unity through violence. It's a supremacist ideology whose final solution is always the sword. Mohammed won his debates by killing his enemies. A rising Islam is forcing Christians out of the Middle East while obsessively hurling its force against the Jewish State. But it doesn't end there. A religion that can't co-exist with other religions... also can't co-exist with itself.

How do Muslims settle religious arguments with each other? The same way they settle them with Jews and Christians. That is what we are seeing in Syria.

This isn't civilization. It's the complete collapse of civilization. At its barest minimum, civilization is co-existence. Islam is the opposite of co-existence and of civilization. Its sheer age only means that there is even more in its past to fight over.

Arab nationalism failed to provide the modern identities that its people needed. Instead they are reverting to Islam which provides an identity of war, an endless splintering of cities into armed camps, brigades into bands and nations into quarreling ethnic and religious groups at each other's throats.

Islam is the conscious abandonment of civilization and co-existence for the nomadic life of the Jihadi who drifts from place to place, his weapons on his back, destroying cities and farms, taking anything and anyone he likes, and moving on to the next fight and the next burning city.

The Jihadist is at war with civilization, with the city, the family and the settled way of existence. He is a nomadic raider rolling back time to pre-history. He is the savage warrior of the savage past.


Syria is what happens when Islam wins. When Islam wins, civilization loses.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Government Power and Evil

We are not a violent society. We are a society sheltered from violence. No one in Rwanda spends  time wondering what kind of man would murder people. They probably live next door to him. If your neighborhood is diverse enough, you might be unfortunate enough to live next door to war criminals all the way from Eastern Europe to Africa.

Guns are how we misspell evil. Guns are how we avoid talking about the ugly realities of human nature while building sandcastles on the shores of utopia.

It's not about the fear of what one motivated maniac can do in a crowded place, but about the precariousness of social control that the killing sprees expose. Every murder tears apart the myth that government is the answer.

The gun control issue is about solving individual evil through central planning in a shelter big enough for everyone. A Gun Free Zone where everyone is a target and lives under the illusion that they aren't. A society where everyone is drawing peace signs on colored notepaper while waiting under their desks for the bomb to fall.

That brand of control isn't authority, it's authority in panic mode believing that if it imposes total zero tolerance control then there will be no more shootings. And every time the dumb paradigm is blown to bits with another shotgun, then the rush is on to reinforce it with more total zero control tolerance.

Zero tolerance for the Second Amendment makes sense. If you ban all guns, except for those in the hands of the 708,000 police officers, some of the 1.5 million members of the armed forces, the  security guards at armored cars and banks, the bodyguards of celebrities who call for gun control,  and any of the other people who need a gun to do their job, then you're sure to stop all shootings.

So long as none of those millions of people, or their tens of millions of kids, spouses, parents, grandchildren, girlfriends, boyfriends, roommates and anyone else who has access to them and their living spaces, carries out one of those shootings.

But this isn't really about stopping shootings; it's about the belief that the problem is individual, not evil, and that if we make sure that everyone who has guns is following government orders, then control will be asserted and the problem will stop.

It's the central planning solution to evil.

We'll never know the full number of people who were killed by Fast and Furious. We'll never know how many were killed by Obama's regime change operation in Libya, with repercussions in Mali and Syria. But everyone involved in that was following orders. There was no individual agency, just agencies. There were orders to run guns to Mexico and the cartel gunmen who killed people had orders to shoot. There was nothing random or unpredictable about it.

Gun control is the assertion that the problem is not the guns; it's the lack of central planning for shooting people. It's the individual.

A few million people with little sleep, taut nerves and PTSD are not a problem so long as there is someone to give them orders. A hundred million people with guns and no orders are a major problem. Historically though it's millions of people with guns who follow orders who have been more of a problem than millions of people with guns who do not.

Moral agency is individual. You can't outsource it to a government and you wouldn't want to.

The impulses, the codes of character, the concepts of right and wrong, take place at the level of the individual.

Organizations do not sanctify this process. They do not lift it above its fallacies or do a very good job of keeping sociopaths and murderers from rising high enough to give orders.

Gun control does not control guns, it gives the illusion of controlling people, and when it fails those in authority are able to say that they did everything that they could short of giving people the ability to defend themselves.

We live under the rule of organizers, community and otherwise, committed to bringing their perfect state into being through the absolute control over people, and the violent acts of lone madmen are a reminder that such control is fleeting and that attempting to control a problem often makes it worse by removing the natural human crowdsourced responses that would otherwise come into play.

People do kill people and the only way to stop that is by killing them first. To a utopian this is a moral paradox that invalidates everything that came before it, but to everyone else, it's just life in a world where evil is a reality, not just a word.

Anyone who really hankers after a world without guns would do well to try the 12th Century which was not a nicer place for lack of guns. The same firepower that makes it possible for one homicidal maniac to kill a dozen unarmed people also makes it that much harder to recreate a world where a single family can rule over millions and one man in armor can terrify hundreds of peasants.

Putting miniature cannons in the hands of every peasant made the American Revolution possible. The ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution would have meant very little without an army of ordinary men armed with weapons that made them a match for the superior organization and numbers of a world power.

Would Thomas Jefferson, the abiding figurehead of the Democratic Party, who famously wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants", really have shuddered at the idea of peasants with assault rifles, or would he have grinned at the playing field being leveled?

But the Democratic Party is no longer the party of Thomas Jefferson. It's the party of King George III.  And it doesn't like the idea of armed peasants, not because an occasional peasants goes on a shooting spree, but because like a certain dead mad king who liked to talk to trees, it believes that government power comes before individual liberty. Like that dead king, it believes that it means this for the benefit of the peasants who will be better off being told what to do.

The question is the old elemental one about government control and individual agency. And tragedies like the one that just happened take us back to the equally old question of whether individual liberty is a better defense against human evil than the entrenched organizations of government.

Do we want a society run by kings and princes who commit atrocities according to a plan for a better society, or by peasants with machine guns? The kings can promise us a world without evil, but the peasant with a machine gun promises us that we can protect ourselves from evil when it comes calling.

It isn't really guns that the gun controllers are afraid of; it's a country where individual agency is still superior to organized control, where the trains don't run on time and orders don't mean anything. It's afraid of individual power.

Evil finds heavy firepower appealing, but the firepower works both ways.

A world where the peasants have assault rifles is a world where peasant no longer means a man without any rights. And while it may also mean the occasional brutal shooting spree, those sprees tend to happen in the outposts of utopia, the gun-free zones with zero tolerance for firearms. An occasional peasant may go on a killing spree, but a society where the peasants are all armed is also far more able to stop such a thing without waiting for the men-at-arms to be dispatched from the castle.

An armed society spends more time stopping evil than contemplating it. It is the disarmed society that is always contemplating it as a thing beyond its control.

Helpless people must find something to think about while waiting for their kings and princes to do something about the killing. Instead of doing something about it themselves, they blame the freedom that left the killer free to kill, instead of the lack of freedom that prevented them from being able to stop him.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Rogue Nightmares


from the People's Cube

GOING ROGUE

Saddam had invaded other countries and cultivated terrorists, while the governments that Obama helped overthrow, aside from Gaddafi, were not expansionistic, were not obsessed with building up WMD’s and had helped maintain regional stability.

Bush had sought to stabilize the Middle East by removing Saddam. Obama instead destabilized it by trying to remove every government that was in any way friendly to the United States and was not covered by the umbrella of the Saudi GCC.

Bush’s Axis of Evil had consisted of “rogue states”. Obama’s Axis was made up of allied governments. Bush had set out to stabilize the Middle East by clearing out rogue states while Obama set out to empower rogue states by clearing out stable allied governments… which left the rogue states in charge.

Obama’s Mideast Nightmare




OUR WORLD

Noah reflects the same message as that of Creation itself. It places man first in the universe. Creation culminated with man. The undoing of man, undoes Creation.

It’s a succinct refutation of the entire moral viewpoint of the current Noah movie. The world exists for man. Animals exist for the purpose of man. Man is meant to fill up the world. The world exists for him.

Noah is the Ultimate Anti-Environmentalist Story





THEIR OWN OBJECTIVE

For Western diplomats, success means bringing an enemy to the negotiating table and keeping him there, but as Rubin’s book quotes Kissinger as saying in regard to negotiations with the USSR, “When talks become their own objective, they are at the mercy of the party most prepared to break them off.”

That is the phenomenon that we are seeing in the latest round of negotiations between Israel and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas who has to be bribed with an escalating series of freebies just to stay at the negotiating table to negotiate the pre-negotiating process.

It was also the response of Obama to any talk of sanctions on Iran as the negotiations process became something that Iran offered as a reward to America in exchange for ‘good’ behavior… instead of the other way around.

Dancing with the Devil




WORKING FOLKS

Reid gets his money from ordinary working Americans like Comcast and AT&T. Not to mention MGM Resorts. He no doubt spends a lot of time listening to the ordinary voices of the working people at the New York law firm that is his top donor.

Reid, Whose Campaigns are Funded by Law Firms, Claims Supreme Court Decision Drowns “Voices of Working Americans”




BORN TO RUN AWAY

The real question that should have been asked of Christie at the RJC is about his association with Hamas Imam Mohammed Qatanani, instead Christie diverted to a defense of why he appointed Sohail Mohammed, the Imam’s lawyer, to a Superior Court Judgeship.

Christie isn’t even trying to be honest here. He has left out the most basic pieces of the puzzle. And the quality of his memorized speech strongly suggests to me that this was a planted question which reeks of extreme ugliness because that would mean that he chose to use a Jewish forum as a platform for going into his “Just because he’s a Muslim ” rant.

It smacks of another planted viral video, except this time pandering to the liberals who have turned on him.

Christie’s Dishonest Response on Appointing Terror Lawyer as Superior Court Judge




LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF LIBERALS

Maybe I’m being optimistic here, but at some point in his prep work for Secretary of Defense, surely Hagel had come across the phenomenon of countries invading other countries. We’re not living in some distant utopian future in which no one had done this sort of thing for hundreds of years and everyone controls their emotions with food pills.

Everyone who predicted a hippie takeover probably didn’t anticipate that we would one day have a feebleminded Secretary of Defense who seems unable to grasp the concept of invasion and annexation.

Secretary of Defense Hagel Still Doesn’t Understand Why Putin Annexed Crimea




Palestinian Authority in Violation of 11 out of 15 Treaties it Just Signed




SNAKE EYES

Moran was an active trader again in the mid-2000s, with assets owned by his wealthy third wife. After their 2010 separation and eventual divorce, his financial situation changed significantly. His most recent financial disclosure report, covering 2012, shows him to be one of the least wealthy members of Congress, with no assets other than a money-market account worth $15,000 or less.

As recently as 2007, Moran’s wealth was estimated at $12.7 million.

Democrat w/$174,000 Salary and 20+ Years in Congress Says He’s Underpaid





Rand Paul on Illegal Aliens: “40% Came with the Proper Documents and Somehow Lost their Documentation.”




SMART CAMEL POWER

The title “Camel Contemplating Needle” would suggest that the reference here is Christian, rather than Muslim. But hey it’s a camel. Pakistan is a Muslim country and Muslims are not fond of realistic depictions of living things. But who cares about the details. Let’s have another three cups of tea.

Obama Cancels Tomahawk Missile, Spends $400K on Camel Sculpture in Pakistan




#CancelColbert and Context




JUST ASK NANCY

The Founders wanted to separate health insurance from employment, an issue that didn’t exist at the time, so that people could become photographers, a profession that didn’t exist at the time. Also they were deeply concerned about the ozone layer, opposed the death penalty and were big fans of Common Core.

Pelosi: Founding Fathers Wanted ObamaCare





Gay Marriage vs. JavaScript




HOAX STORY IS HOAX

The author claims to be in Anchorage. With sentences like, “Vote for secession of Alaska from the United States and joining Russia” he’s more likely to be based out of Moscow.

No, 30,000 Alaskans Did Not Sign a Petition to Join Russia




8 of 10 Richest Congressional Districts are Repped by Democrats




THE ROUNDUP

“Some people are calling me a fascist and are talking me about me like I’m a dog because I champion equality, because I stand firm in transforming this nation into the one I envision,” President Obama intoned at a recent pre-taped press conference at which we all watched a video of the president’s remarks.  “These people are unAmerican and are clearly brainwashed by Fox News.  Any white person who does not volunteer for the government sterilization program or agree not to have children for 10, possibly 30ish, years is clearly a racist, maybe even a traitor. All these so-called ‘black conservatives’ who are outraged should add themselves to this list; I hereby deem them no longer black.  And that’s official!” 

Fuzzy Logic's look into the near future




THE CARPENTER'S WAR

Two things. First, a point about language. President Obama and most of the journalists who use the expression “settlement construction” are native English speakers. Yet they persist in using this misleading expression, which anyone who didn’t know differently would think means “building (new) settlements.” But in fact, the construction they are referring to is construction of houses and apartments within the boundaries of existing communities.  The truth is that there have been virtually no new settlements established since the 1990s, except for unauthorized outposts which the government often demolishes by force.

Is there a deliberate intent to deceive? Certainly those who suggest that such construction “gobbles up land” are simply lying. The President carefully avoids saying this, referring only to his position that “settlements are illegitimate” (Europeans say “illegal”) and are “unhelpful” to the process, although he or other officials never explain exactly what “illegitimate” means or why the Palestinian claim on the land is justified.

Second, are new homes springing up like weeds? Based on the urgency expressed by the President, the Europeans and the Palestinians, one would think so. So how many new homes and apartments are being built? Time tells us:

    Israel began work on 2,534 new housing units in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] in 2013, according to the report — more than double the 1,133 units built in 2012.

This is an area with a Jewish population of more than 300,000, and a birthrate greater than 3 children per (Jewish) woman, in a country with a booming economy. For comparison, Bakersfield, California, with about the same population, a lower birthrate, and a somewhat depressed economy, built 2238 privately-owned dwelling units in 2013. I don’t see any aggression here, do you?

at Fresno Zionism




SHUT UP THEY DEMANDED

It’s the politics of “‘SHUT UP, they demanded” — and has as its core the totalitarian assertion that dissent from the orthodoxy of the official narrative, which becomes official and ascendant only after dissenters within the identity group are either excommunicated, shamed into silence, or denied their identity status altogether as inauthentic (that is, after the internal argument is “won” by sheer will to power and the facade of consensus), is akin to a hate crime or a civil rights violation.  And it protects its hypocrisy — here, for instance, a religious or constitutionalist  view that places certain public policy questions into the proper and essential arena of intellectual and legal debate — by claiming that “the powerful” can’t be the victims of the very kind of intolerance these politically powerful identity groups claim as their own exclusive bailiwick.  Victimization, that is, can only go one way.  And if you don’t like it, you’re a bigoted hater who hates and deserve to lose your job, your livelihood, your reputation, and often times vast sums of money defending yourself against the legal arm of these kinds of organized jihads and inquisitions.

from Jeff at Protein Wisdom




Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Twilight of the Red and Green

The left has never adapted to the transition from nationalistic wars to ideological wars. It took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different foe than the Kaiser and that pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics. And yet much of the left insisted on approaching the war in just that fashion, and had Hitler not attacked Stalin, it might have remained stuck there.

The Cold War was even worse. The moderate left never came to terms with Communism. From the Moscow Trials to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the left slowly disavowed the USSR, but refused to see it as anything more than a clumsy dictatorship. The only way that the left could reject the USSR was by overlooking its ideology and treating it as another backward Russian tyranny being needlessly provoked and pushed around by Western Europe and the United States.

Having failed the test twice, it is no wonder that the left has been unable to come to terms with Islam, or that it has resorted to insisting that, like Germany and Russia, the Muslim world is just another victim of imperialism and western warmongering in need of support and encouragement from the progressive camp.

The anti-war worldview is generations out of date. It is mired in an outdated analysis of imperial conflicts that ceased being relevant with the downfall of the nation-state and its replacement by international organizations and causes based around ideologies. Nazism could still loosely fit into the jackboots of the nation state. Communism was another creature entirely, a red virus floating around the world, embedding its ideas into organizations and using those organizations to take over nations.

Islamism is even more untethered than Communism, loosely originating from powerful oil nations, but able to spring up anywhere in the Muslim world. Its proponents have even less use for the nation state than the Communists. What they want is a Caliphate ruled under Islamic law; a single unit of human organization extending across nations, regions and eventually the world.

The left is incapable of engaging with Islamism as an ideology, instead it reduces the conflict to a struggle between colonial and anti-colonial forces, showing once again that the left's worldview is usually at least fifty years out of date. Mapping colonial and anti-colonial conflicts over a map of Mali, where the anti-colonial forces are represented by the slave-owning Tuaregs and the Arab and Pakistani Jihadis invading an African country, makes very little sense, but that is all that the left knows how to do.

The anti-war movement does not deal with wars as they are, but with a revisionist history of war. The continuum from Oliver Stone to Ron Paul resolves all questions through a historical revisionism that locates the source of every conflict in American foreign policy. By blaming America for it all, they are freed of the need to examine who the other side is and what it wants.

During WW2, Trotskyist unions in the UK claimed that American troops weren't coming to help fight Hitler, but to break up labor protests. That same obtuse obliviousness, the insistence that a conflict spanning centuries, religions and continents is all about their pet cause, is how the left has responded to every conflict since.

Their response to the Clash of Civilizations has been to include Islamists in the global rainbow coalition of minorities, gays and gender theorists, indigent third world farmers, transsexuals, artists and poets, sex workers and terrorists; without considering what the Islamists were or how they would fit into this charmed circle.

The left views the Islamists as just another front group to be used. The Islamists see the left the same way and in Iran, Egypt and Tunisia, the Islamists have a better track record of getting the better of the left. But the left never learns from history. It never questions its outdated Marxist fisheye view of events or realizes that the Industrial Revolution, feudal peasants and the banks are not a metaphor for absolutely every struggle that takes place anywhere in the world. And so the left dooms itself to repeat again and again the history that it refuses to learn.

The left only recognizes one ideological war. Its own. Through its narrow garret window, it sees only the dead hand of the capitalist establishment and the fossilized nation-state bound together by a devilish compact of greed blocking its way. It cannot recognize that there are other historical forces at work and other fanatics who dream of exploiting the collapse of the western nation-state for their own purposes.

Progressives see history moving forward in their direction and ignore the Islamists who see everything coming up Jihad. There are two ideologies who both see themselves as the culmination of human history going down the same track and only one of them can make it to the final destination. The Islamists understand that, but the left does not.

Rather than deal with Islamism, the left persists in fighting phantom wars against nationalism, capitalism, militarism, colonialism and imperialism; all things that are approaching extinction in its sphere of influence, while thriving outside its sphere of influence. The left is too busy fighting a civil war to see that if it wants to survive, it will have to fight a global war. True to its nature, it is determined to finish digesting the West before it is ready to defend it, and by the time that the left digests the West, with the help of its Islamist allies, the war will be over and the left will have lost.

The left is undone by its own conception of history as a treadmill moving forward through historical stages, rather than a chaotic morass of forces colliding together. In the progressive understanding of history, progressive forces defeat reactionary forces and humanity advances to the next stage. There is no room in that neat orderly evolution for the violent chaos of Islamism and its resurrection of tribal forces, ethnic grievances and religious intolerance into a worldwide movement that is every bit as fanatical and determined to forcibly carve out its own vision of a new world order.

From the progressive perspective of history as an evolutionary process, Islamist tribal fanaticism is from too early a stage to threaten the left. Socialism must battle against the industrialism of the previous stage, with each generation advancing the future by destroying the achievements of the previous generation in a species of grim historical cannibalism. The left fears being held back by capitalism, not by Islamism. It does not believe that the values of the 6th century can compete with it, only that the values of the 19th century can.

The left's rigid view of history has caused it problems before. It rejected Zionism as a historical aberration, and spent over a century fighting against the idea with spiteful hate, propaganda, terrorism and tanks. In the left's view of history, a Jewish State is an attempt to turn back time by building a state whose roots are in religious scripture. Israel is ahistorical and must therefore be destroyed. 

What it rejected as ahistorical for the Western Jew, who was expected to assimilate into the Socialist society, rather than building a nation state of his own, it accepted from the Muslim world, which it deemed more backward and in need of passing through all the historical stages to get to the red finish line. The left has been willing to tentatively accept Islamism, even when it is destroying Arab Socialism, because it assumes that Muslims are backward enough to need an Islamic simulation of Socialism.

While the left sees itself as progressive and Islamism as reactionary, it is the left that has trouble adapting to new developments, while the Islamists have successfully glommed onto everything from the Cold War to the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of international organizations and even the War on Terror, and exploited events for their ends. In the new century, the Islamists have been riding the left over the finish line, without the left realizing that it was being ridden.

The Islamists are intellectually and morally backward, but unlike their collaborators on the left they are not bounded by an inflexible vision of history. Their strategy is flexible and they are willing to do anything that works. They are utterly unconcerned with the tactics they use or with the historical implications of movements and events so long as they lead to them toward a Caliphate.

The Islamists do not need to understand the left. All they need to do is go on using it. The left does need to understand Islamists, but generally chooses not to. When some among the left, like Christopher Hitchens, take a long look at the Islamists, they have the same reaction that the USSR did when the Nazi tank began rolling across the Russian border, and realize that it's come down to fight or die.

The left dwells in an intellectual bubble of its own making. It transforms that bubble into an elaborate place, furnishing the space until it resembles a miniature world, but a bubble is not a world, it can only ever be a bubble. Ideology is the left's bubble. It is the lens that the left sees through, the air that it breathes and the clamor that fills its ears. Ideology conditions the left to view history as an orderly progression. An arrangement of chess pieces moving forward in a complex strategy to cripple their opponents.

The left is often vicious, hysterical and irrational, but underneath that is the vision of an orderly historical progression toward a great society. Trapped inside the bubble, it cannot realize that the world is going backward, not forward, that the 21st century is really the 7th century and that the future is the past. The Islamists understand this quite well. The left cannot.