Articles

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Rationing Society

There are two types of societies, production societies and rationing societies. The production society is concerned with taking more territory, exploiting that territory to the best of its ability and then discovering new techniques for producing even more. The rationing society is concerned with consolidating control over all existing resources and rationing them out to the people.

The production society values innovation because it is the only means of sustaining its forward momentum. If the production society ceases to be innovative, it will collapse and default to a rationing society. The rationing society however is threatened by innovation because innovation threatens its control over production.

Socialist or capitalist monopolies lead to rationing societies where production is restrained and innovation is discouraged. The difference between the two is that a capitalist monopoly can be overcome. A socialist monopoly however is insurmountable because it carries with it the full weight of the authorities and the ideology that is inculcated into every man, woman and child in the country.

We have become a rationing society. Our industries and our people are literally starving in the midst of plenty. Farmers are kept from farming, factories are kept from producing and businessmen are kept from creating new companies and jobs. This is done in the name of a variety of moral arguments, ranging from caring for the less fortunate to saving the planet. But rhetoric is only the lubricant of power. The real goal of power is always power. Consolidating production allows for total control through the moral argument of rationing, whether through resource redistribution or cap and trade.

The politicians of a rationing society may blather on endlessly about increasing production, but it's so much noise, whether it's a Soviet Five Year Plan or an Obama State of the Union Address. When they talk about innovation and production, what they mean is the planned production and innovation that they have decided should happen on their schedule. And that never works.

You can ration production, but that's just another word for poverty. You can't ration innovation, which is why the aggressive attempts to put low mileage cars on the road have failed. As the Soviet Union discovered, you can have rationing or innovation, but you can't have both at the same time. The total control exerted by a monolithic entity, whether governmental or commercial, does not mix well with innovation.

The rationing society is a poverty generator because not only does it discourage growth, its rationing mechanisms impoverish existing production with massive overhead. The process of rationing existing production requires a bureaucracy for planning, collecting and distributing that production that begins at a ratio of the production and then increases without regard to the limitations of that production.

Paradoxically the rationing infrastructure increases in direct proportion to the falloff of production as lower production requires even greater rationing. This is what we are seeing now in the United States, in a weak economy, there is greater justification for the expansion of rationing mechanisms. And the worse the economy becomes, the bigger government will become to "compensate" for the problems of the economy.

In a production society, the role of government is to expand the territories of exploitation and to protect those territories. In a rationing society, the role of government is to control the available quantities of production with a view to distributing them fairly. Naturally, the rationers, as always, get the best rations. In a production society, government is a means of protecting everyone's ability to produce. In a rationing society, government prevents the bigger from grabbing the rations of the smaller and protects everyone from grabbing all the rations at once and starving to death.

The sort of society we have is fit for passengers adrift at sea on a lifeboat parceling out their last crackers. It is an emergency society for the lost and the starving. And perversely we are starving amidst plenty.

The rationing society discourages people from farming and encourages them to peer in each other's mouths to see who is eating more than his fair share. In the rationing society everyone is certain that they are not getting their fair share and eager to sign on to initiatives to get their group's fair share. In a rationing society everyone is an informer because everyone's livelihood depends on informing on others.

In a production society, people compete for production. In a rationing society, people compete for entitlements. Everyone is always bitter and suspicious in a rationing society, and when they aren't, they're resigned and phlegmatic. They either accept that life is unfair or they rave against it. They are either jealous or give up on material things entirely making their society into a comprehensive failure.

I met a man once who told me that his greatest dream was to be feasting at a full table while outside hungry people pass by and look longingly through the window. This is the type of mindset that a rationing society produces. Its denizens instinctively absorb the idea that resources are finite and their competitiveness takes place at a zero sum level that is incomprehensible in any open society.

In a rationing society, people are certain that if another has something, then he came by it unfairly. And every group has an exaggerated sense of the material prosperity of other groups. This is not a bug, it is a feature. The rationing society deliberately cultivates a sense of unfairness to make it clear that individual efforts are meaningless and the only thing that matters is one's connections to the rationers and the degree of mutual support from the group for the rationers and the rationers for the group.

Individual initiative is discouraged by a web of bureaucracy to make it difficult for individuals to act outside the plan. In a monopolistic system, rules and permits make it difficult for the individual to move forward. The permit regime also promotes corruption which makes honest enterprise almost impossible. Through these means the system restrains the micro, which is ordinarily too small to be properly controlled, while focusing on the macro.

The rationing of present day America, which has the resources, the wealth and the techniques to produce, is being managed in political terms. The politicians still talk in terms of innovation and production, even while enacting policies meant to discourage both. The dominant political class has been dedicated to one form of rationing or another throughout the 20th Century. The only difference between them is the degree of radicalism and their understanding that the rationing is a transition, rather than a safety net or an emergency measure.

When you listen to the larger message of the left, it is one of finity. We have a finite amount of planetary resources and domestic wealth. This finity represents a global and national crisis that has to be tackled with rationing mechanisms. We are all on a lifeboat and some of us are gobbling up more than their fair share of rations. Unless the rationers step forward, seize everyone's rations and pass out limited rations, then we are all doomed.

The essential 21st Century conflict is between the rationers and the producers. This is not a class conflict, that is the fallacy that the left has fallen into for over a century. It is a conflict between a system of bureaucratic collectivism and a society of individuals. It is not a conflict between the rich and the poor, the majority of the rationers are either rich or close enough to it. Their charges may be poor, but the representatives of their victim groups invariably become rich. The rationer camp is funded by some of the wealthiest men and companies in America who agree with its premise that we need to ration everything from children to jobs to food to carbon emissions.

This is a fundamental philosophical conflict between those who believe in a free society and those who believe in a managed society. It is not simply a conflict between capitalism and socialism, many of the capitalists are on the side of the rationers because they agree with them or profit from the rationing. It is a conflict that predates the American Revolution, a conflict that became inevitable with the rise of the supercity and the closing of the frontier.

This is a struggle between those who believe that people should be managed and those who believe that people should manage themselves. Our institutions now depend on a class of managers who fill the ranks of the institutions of the public and private sector, who produce little, but whose goal is to make production completely predictable. And we are, in short, being managed to death.

Scientific management, rather than predicting human variables, has done its best to make everything predictable, and a perfectly predictable thing is static. It has no ability to move forward. The drive to make the behavior of people predictable has led to the institutionalism of every aspect of life. And that has led to rationing programs that depend on predictability, and when that predictability fails,respond with greater efforts at control.

A production society defines achievement in terms of production. A rationing society defines it in terms of control. In a rationing society, it is possible to starve amidst plenty because the rationers would rather see people starve, than lose control over them.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Islam Begs to Differ



REALPOLITIK

Poland wasn’t sending troops to Iraq because it was worried about Saddam Hussein. It made the commitment because it wanted to be part of a partnership with the United States that would also provide security in its own backyard.

These days Poland won’t be sending 2,500 men to Iraq. It needs its soldiers back home now that Putin is on the rampage and Obama has shown that he can’t and won’t stop him. The same goes for most of the Eastern European countries that were eager to show that they could contribute to the Pax Americana.

The very insults that the left tossed at Bush, warmonger and cowboy, were the reason he could bring together unlikely countries and get them to contribute boots on the ground. Meanwhile the very attributes that won Obama the Nobel Peace Prize are why the spearhead of his coalition is France.

Obama’s Coalition of the Uncertain




ISLAM BEGS TO DIFFER

“There’s nothing in Islam that condones or suggests people should go out and rape women and sell off young girls or give them as gifts to jihadists and cut people’s heads off and tie people’s hands behind their backs and put them on their knees and shoot them in their backs,” Kerry said.

Islam begs to differ.

“We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah’s Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai.  Bukhari: 1:8:367

"The women of Khaybar were distributed among the Muslims." Ishaq:511

Kerry is Wrong, Selling Girls as Sex Slaves is Islam


THE INTERVIEW

I joined Robert Spencer a few days ago for an interview with Ann Marie Murrell of Politichicks. It was an interesting conversation, especially in light of recent events.



Ann, along with two conservative co-authors, also has a new book out, What Women Want.

Muslim Leader in Scotland: No Independence Because Scots are Racist and Illiterate




MASTER RELIGION

A victim of Rotherham’s child sex abuse scandal confronted a man she says groomed her – but was left shocked when she was the one arrested.

A police van came and six male officers piled out. ‘Two of them dragged her away, handcuffed her, put her against a wall and then shoved her into the back of the van.’

A spokesman said: ‘The woman was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences.’

I highly doubt that a police van with six officers is dispatched everyone time someone in South Yorkshire is suspected of being drunk. The key there is “Racially”. A Muslim complained and the hounds were released.

The same police who wouldn’t step in when young girls were being raped, are on the go whenever a Muslim’s feelings are hurt.

Rotherham Child-sex Victim Confronts Muslim Abuser, Gets Arrested for Racism




UK PM on Beheading: “They Are Not Muslims. They Are Monsters.”




YES ALL NON-MUSLIMS

It was from their friend, former Kings Cross bouncer and now senior Islamic State commander, Mohammed Baryalei: go out on the streets of Sydney and kill “a random kaffir (non-­believer)”.

Kill a random Kaffir is telling.

It didn’t matter to them which non-Muslim they killed or what his specific views on them were. He could have been a left-wing anti-war radical for all they knew.

It didn’t matter.

All that mattered was that he wasn’t a Muslim. And so he deserved to die.

Australia ISIS Beheading Order: “Kill a Random Kaffir”




COEXIST: Interfaith Marriage Between Muslim Man and Jewish Woman Ends in Bomb Threat




+1
Or as Kerry said in his testimony, “There are more than 50 countries that already have agreed or are now doing something. Not every country will decide that their role is to have some kind of military engagement, but every country can do something.”

Where Bush had managed to assemble a coalition of countries willing to send ground troops, Obama and Kerry have assembled a coalition of countries for a war that won’t actually fight in the war, but will do something.

The 50 number isn’t a coincidence. The “Coalition of the Willing” had 49 members. Obama is trying to show that he can go one country more. Even if unlike the “Coalition of the Willing” its members won’t fight or do much of anything.

Saving Private Kerry




Chicago has 53% Literacy Rate, 2 Schools Named After Obamas




ALSO MURDERING A CHILD

Paramedics who found him dead said at her trial that they were shocked to learn his age. He weighed 36 pounds, about half the weight of a normal 9-year-old.

A pediatrician testified that he had more than 250 injuries, including burns from cigarettes or cigars and scars from ligatures, and that a lack of food made him stop growing.

“There was not an inch on his body that had not been bruised or scarred or injured,” said Dixie Bersano, one of the prosecutors.

But according to her lawyer, it’s because she’s a black lesbian.

“What she’s really guilty of is being a black lesbian,” Stickels said.

Lawyer for Child Murderess: “What She’s Really Guilty of is Being a Black Lesbian.”




Hillary: I Forgave Bill Just Like Blacks Forgave South Africa




BOYCOTTING THE GANDER


The Amcha Initiative put out a list of college faculty who support pro-terrorist boycotts of Israel. Its sources were mostly the boycotters themselves. But now the boycotters, who love playing the victim like they love Made in China keffiyahs, are chanting the name of a dead Irishman.

Corey Robin, a political science professor accused AMCHA Initiative, of “McCarthyism,” and asked that it add his name to the list.

But wait… isn’t adding his name to the list also McCarthyism? Doesn’t that make Corey Robin a McCarthyite?

Apparently it’s not McCarthyism to boycott Jews. It’s only McCarthyism when Jews boycott back.

BDS Boycotters Say Boycotting Them is McCarthyism



Tranny Traitor Bradley Manning has a Plan for Letting ISIS Win



HAVEN

And yet the only remaining options are emigration to the West or setting up a religious majority state.

Israel’s experience shows the perils of the latter course, but there may be no better option. Western Christians have the same demographic weakness as Eastern Christians. France, which attempted to set up Lebanon as a Christian enclave only to see it totter under the impact of Muslim demographics, is now seeing its own cities flooded by Muslim immigrants. France expanded its civic borders to admit too many Muslims and may be as doomed as Lebanon.

However Eastern Christians suffer from fewer illusions about Islam than Western Christians do. With a state or states whose borders offer a solid demographic majority, a competent military could secure their territory in ways that Western Christians with no memory of persecution would instinctively reject.

A Christian Federation in the Middle East

... from the comments

fahamjp  •

I agree that the current borders in the Middle East are artificial based on the decisions made by French and British colonial rulers post WW1. I do see 3 areas where potential Christian nations could be created. There are several Assyrian groups that support the creation of an independent Assyrian Chaldean nation in the region east of the Tigris and bordered by the Tigris and Zab rivers extending to the Turkish border. This area has a population of approximately 1.5 million which is the same population of Christians that were in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion. There are also 200,000 Assyrian Christians in northeastern Syria who could move to this new nation. The 2nd Christian nation would consist of the area of Lebanon from Jubayl to Zahlah and extending into Syria to include the city of Damascus and then southwest to include the Golan heights. There are approximately 2.5 million Christians in Syria and the population of Damascus is 1.7 million. This assumes that independent nations for the Druze and Alawites ( north of Jubayl and extending to the Turkish border-their traditional homeland) would also be created. In Egypt, the Coptic Christians are 10% of the population. A Coptic nation could consist of the region of Egypt east of the Nile extending as far north as the area parallel to Zafarana and including the Sinai peninsula. These areas contain approximately 10% of Egypt's population matching the Coptic percentage.



LET US PRAISE LIBERALS OF GENIUS

"When the participants were led to believe that the suspect was white, exposing them to the ape words beforehand made no difference in their judgments about the use of force displayed in the video. However, when participants believed the suspect was black, those who were exposed to the words thought the police officers were more justified in the amount of force they used."

Stanford Prof Who Claimed Police Brutality Caused by Subliminal Monkeys Wins MacArthur “Genius” Grant




POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS THE LAST REFUGE OF A SCOUNDREL


In 2010, Rand Paul went on the Maddow show and defended the legality of segregated businesses that deny service to black customers.

A few years later Rand Paul reinvented himself as the best candidate to reach out to minorities. Rand Paul didn’t actually win any significant number of black votes the one time he ran for office, but he’s being treated as the great hope for the GOP when it comes to minority votes for the usual reason…

… he keeps accusing Republicans of racism.

Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday blasted his own party for making it tougher for minorities to vote.

“So many times, Republicans are seen as this party of, ‘We don’t want black people to vote because they’re voting Democrat, we don’t want Hispanic people to vote because they’re voting Democrat,’” he said.

Will Rand Paul Please Stop Accusing Republicans of Racism




Congressman “Taliban Alan” Grayson Joins Code Pink’s Pro-ISIS Campaign



DO YOU EVEN READ?

This isn’t the biggest issue in the history of NASA, but it’s telling that Neil deGrasse Tyson didn’t seem to know the problem with using pencils in space.

Or that he casually passed on the kind of myth that gets recirculated through chain emails.

Or that none of the people who read his book and knew better took the time to correct his mistake.

It adds up to a self-promoting fraud whom no one calls out because he seems to be for all the right causes.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Doesn’t Know Anything About NASA Either




9/11 Commission Member Warns NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Undermining Counterterrorism




A TRAGEDY IN ONE ACT

"And what can I do after the act has been done? Can I wolf down my yoghurt, even though the settlement of Sussia eats up lands that don’t belong to it?"

MK Yossi Sarid once admitted in a radio interview that his mother used to bathe him in the tub until he was 21 years old.

Dumbest Man in Israel Denounces Government Force Feeding Him Jewish Settler Goat Yogurt




Canadian Union Demands Time Off for Grieving “Spirit Friends”




THE GAYS OF IRAN

An 82-page document recently issued by Iran’s parliamentary research department is stark in its findings. 17% of the 142,000 students who were surveyed said that they were homosexual.

At 17% Iran would be far gayer than America. Or most places.

While the Middle East does have a higher prevalence of homosexual behavior (which is really not the same as our construct of gay as a permanent genetic identity, itself an unscientific notion) it’s doubtful that these numbers are accurate.


Iranian Parliament Discovers Lots and Lots of Gays in Iran

...from the comments

MarilynA • If these surveys are anonymous and given to students in the lower grades they have little meaning. I remember my son and his best friend laughing about the answers they had marked on one of those surveys when they were in the fifth grade. Kids, especially boys, have an impish, mischievous streak in them and will do things to shock adults, especially if they know they can get away with it. (aka anonymous surveys) My kid's friend said he marked "I have to have a drink every morning before I go to school.


OUR SHAMAN IS BIGGER THAN YOUR SHAMAN

The mess of comments defending Tyson by saying that his mistakes are minor and that they don't disprove "science" (as if any one man is equivalent to science) are elementarily tribal. It's not just that Tyson is functioning as a tribal leader, rallying the troops against the forces of ignorance using quotes that he made up and fake facts that he is too ignorant not to know were fake.

Tyson is the shaman who summons the forces of science. It's not science as method or practice, but cargo cultish science as superstition.

Science functions as a religion in this frame. It embodies a moral code of sorts (be smart, don't listen to stupid people on the right) and therefore makes one superior. It's a mysterious force which you harness by clicking Like on YouTube videos and spreading memes of the tribal leader.

Neil deGrasse Tyson can't be wrong because he embodies science. That makes him a transcendent being of light who may not know what he's talking about, but is innately superior because of a patina of cool plastered over him. It's not really about Tyson, it's about the tribe needing a shaman to show their superiority.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Science as Tribe




TURTLES OF THE LAST BRIGADE

Edward Cline at Rule of Reason summarizes some of the insanity of the debates over immigrationon the libertarian side.

Stossel argues for less restrictive and less onerous legal applications for citizenship and residency, and that’s fine. But, again, he argues from the standpoint of ideal circumstances, in which we lived in an ideally free country and not in the trough of statist controls and in a continuous state of crisis, situations created by political pragmatism and multiculturalism. As with other open border positions, this is surely another argument of gossamer. To ignore these aspects is to indulge in wishful thinking.

 Americans must first extricate themselves from the claws of statism before they can begin to credibly address peripheral issues such as immigration. Otherwise, it’s a matter of the dog chasing its own tail.

I've said something similar that any system or ideology whose policies function as a suicide pact is self-nullifying. It proves itself wrong through the simple fact that if its ideas were implemented it could not survive. Libertarians who argue for open borders are like Jews arguing for more Islamic immigration.






EYES, EARS, ETC...

From a Charles W. Cooke article on Biden's Shylock gaffe...

Reading these words, one can only marvel at how exquisitely thinly Foxman has managed to slice the critique: ensuring with his throat-clearing that his friend would be protected from any serious repercussions, while managing to extract his pound of outrage nonetheless.

Since I'm not Abe Foxman, I'll avoid any outrage, sliced any way, and just note that Cooke has provided a helpful a little reminder of why I avoid the National Review.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Don’t Mention the War

Bill Clinton was ambiguous about the definition of “sex” and “is”. Barack Obama is uncertain about what the definition of “war” might be.

And wars are central to the duties of the man in the White House.

Whether or not we’re in a war depends on who you ask and on which day of the week you ask him. Secretary of State John Kerry said that bombing ISIS in two countries wasn’t a war. After the White House spokesman said it is a war, Kerry agreed that maybe it might be a war after all.

Forget about finding a strategy, this administration can’t even agree on whether the thing that it needs to find a strategy for is a war.

Democrats don’t like the “W” word. They bomb more countries than Republicans do, but they find a prettier name for it.

One of the first things that Obama did in Iraq was to change the name of the war. It was no longer Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was now Operation New Dawn. Even though there were 50,000 troops in Iraq, the combat mission was officially over. The 50,000 were renamed “Advise and Assist” brigades.

As John and Yoko said, the “W” word really could be over if you wanted it to be. Or pretended it was.

Obama bombed Libya to implement regime change, but no one called it a war. It was just one of those things where we dropped a lot of bombs on another country in coordination with rebels on the ground to help them take over that country. Definitely not a war. Possibly one of those “man-caused disasters”.

At least that was how Obama Inc. tried to rename terrorism in the early heady days of hope and change.

A compulsive need to avoid calling things what they are is an obvious form of denial. But when a politician at the head of a government begins behaving in that shifty way, it’s also deeply dishonest.

Democrats could defend Bill Clinton’s need to lie about what they termed his private life, but even they can’t defend an administration that plays Clintonesque word games with something as big as a war.

We are currently not in a war with the Islamic State, which according to this administration is neither Islamic nor a State, with a strategy of possibly destroying them (unless that doesn’t work out and then we’ll settle for degrading them) and we are backed in this non-war by a coalition of Muslim nations that can’t as of yet be named, but which have possibly pledged to help us with certain undetermined things.

These undetermined things include aiding the Syrian Islamist rebels, some of whom are fighting alongside ISIS, some of whom are fighting ISIS and some of whom switch back and forth based on their mood, the latest shipment of TOW missiles from the CIA and how much the Saudis are paying them.

We don’t know a lot more about the war, which may or may not be a war, than we know about it.

And that’s the problem.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was mocked for talking about “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” by people who are too stupid to realize that their ignorance has turned the world around them into “unknown unknowns”.

Obama’s culture of denial, his charm bracelets of Orwellian synonyms for conflict that seem to have been invented by a bureaucrat with no sense of humor, turn everything into unknown unknowns. If we can’t even properly define what we’re doing, how can we do it at all? If we can’t even admit that we’re fighting a war and that ISIS is inspired by Islam, how can we beat an enemy that we can’t fight or name?

For the longest time this administration refused to admit that ISIS was a threat or that it was at war with us. Only when the Jihadists were preparing to knock on the doors of the US embassy in Baghdad, was it finally able, after a delay of some weeks, to use the “W” word.

What you call something is important. Ideologues, like the kind that fill the ranks of Obama Inc, think that changing a name changes reality. It doesn’t. A rose will still be the same plant by any other name and ISIS will still be the same band of Islamic headchoppers even if you insist on referring to them as a junior varsity team of man-caused disasters belonging to no particular faith or religion.

It’s your awareness of reality that changes.

Casinos and credit card companies use substitution to diminish your awareness that you are spending money. Drug companies play soothing music and show pastoral scenes while telling you the lethal side effects. Car salesmen and cable companies avoid giving you the full amount that you’ll be paying.

Obama has a bad habit of using these same tactics. His administration tried to make the illegal war in Libya look good by refusing to call it a war and comparing the cost to the Iraq War using bogus figures. It tried to erase the existence of terrorism by refusing to use the word to describe terrorist attacks that were taking place, whether at Fort Hood or in Benghazi.

His tactics showed that he didn’t believe that the problem was terrorism, but the overreaction of Americans to terrorism. All he had to do whitewash every attack as an isolated incident that had nothing to do with Islamic terrorism and then Americans would cease to be aware of terrorism. If Iraq were to vanish from the evening news, no one would know that Al Qaeda there was getting bigger and bolder.

In the latest leaked private conversations printed in the New York Times, Obama whines and mopes, he blasts critics and denies that his policies have failed. Despite his muscular rhetoric in public, in private he complains that he is being stampeded into bombing ISIS. It’s a revealing conversation because it shows a man who believes that his failures are not the problem. It’s other people becoming aware of those failures that concerns him and forces him into addressing them. ISIS isn’t the problem: America is.

ISIS is to Obama as Monica was to Bill Clinton. They’re both the dirty little secrets of powerful men that they did everything possible to hide. And once that was no longer an option, they quibbled over words.

Denial only works until reality forcibly intrudes. Even with a friendly media, the philandering of the President of the United States couldn’t continue indefinitely. And even with a friendly media, the rise of a new generation of Al Qaeda after the Arab Spring wouldn’t stay buried in the back pages forever.

It was only a matter of time until everyone knew.

Futile exercises like debating the meaning of “War” are delaying tactics. People are not interested in abstractions like the meaning of “Is”, “War”, “Sex” or “You can keep your doctor”. They take words at their common meaning. If bombs are falling, it’s a war. And if it’s a war, then it has to be won.

Democrats don’t believe in wars now because they don’t believe in winning. Instead of wars, they spend a lot of time on “interventions” as if dropping tons of explosives on a country is like telling your drunk cousin to stop drinking. They never win any of these interventions and that’s fine because Americans don’t really care what happens in Yugoslavia, Haiti or Somalia.

But on September 11, thousands were murdered in one day. The Democrats don’t like calling what happened on that day an act of war. Americans however know it’s a war and are determined to win it.

Obama was guiding Americans away from the awareness that we were in a war. In wars, someone wins and someone loses. If he refused to call it a war, maybe we wouldn’t realize that we were losing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Americans Alone

For the first time in American statistical history, the majority of American adults are single. 124 million or 50.2% of Americans are single. Some will get married, but increasing numbers never will.

 Demographically a population of single adults means the death of the Republican Party. It eliminates the possibility of libertarian and fiscally conservative policies. It leads inevitably to the welfare state.

Single people are less likely to have a support system that keeps them from becoming a public charge. Children born to single parents perform poorly in school and are more likely to engage in criminal behavior. A nation of single people will inevitably become a welfare state and a police state.

The statistics have always been known and the conclusions to be drawn from them are inescapable.

A lot of attention is being paid to the political consequences of the nation’s changing racial demographics, but it’s not a coincidence that the racial group that Republicans perform worst with is also the least likely to be married. While there are other factors in the mix, Republicans do better with married than unmarried black people.

The same is true of most other racial groups.

The latest Reuters poll shows that 36% of married Hispanics are planning to vote for a Democratic candidate in the upcoming midterm election and 28% are planning to vote for a Republican candidate. Among unmarried Hispanics, those numbers change to 42% Democratic and %15 Republican.

If Republicans want to start getting serious about the Hispanic vote, they might want to spend less time muttering about amnesty and more time thinking about where their strength with married voters lies.

Married white voters lean toward a Republican candidate by 43% to 24%. Among single white voters, Democrats lead 34% to 26%. There are other factors that affect these numbers such as age, race, sexual orientation and religious affiliation. Growing minority demographics have certainly helped make single Americans a statistical majority, but it’s dangerous to ignore the bigger picture of the post-family demographic trend.

If Republicans insist on running against the nanny state, they will have to replace it with something. That something was traditionally the family. Take away the family and something else has to fill its place.

In the West, government has become the new family. The state is father and occasionally mother. The nanny state is literally a nanny. It may be hated, but it is also needed.

That is why married whites oppose ObamaCare 65% to 34% while single whites also oppose it, but by a narrower margin of 53% to 47%.

ObamaCare’s support base among whites is highest among single white men and women. (Despite Julia and Sandra Fluke, the latest poll numbers show that young single white women oppose ObamaCare by a higher margin than young single white men. Pajama Boy with his hot cocoa is more likely to be a fervent proponent of ObamaCare than Julia. But the margins for both sexes remain narrow.)

It’s unrealistic to expect people to vote against their short term interests. Without family, the individual is vulnerable. A single bad day can leave him homeless and hungry. While the system of social welfare actually intensifies the overall economic conditions that are likely lead to such a state of vulnerability, those who are caught in that cycle will choose to protect themselves from the consequences in the short term without considering the long term causation cost to themselves and everyone else.

That was the logic behind ObamaCare. It’s the logic behind the entire spending spree of the nanny state.

If Republicans are going to start winning based on something other than the public’s frustration with Obama, they will have to address this reality. Republicans have treated family as a reference point, like the United States or the dollar, a verity that would always be there, a word that they could reference to show their singular virtue without having to meaningfully assess and address what was wrong with it.

The American vision of limited government depended on a stable society that could fend for itself. The progressives originally gained power from the collapse of large economic institutions which they used to prove that their intervention was needed. They have gained even more power from the collapse of social institutions.

Without an underlying network of families maintaining a working society, the nanny state grows. And it doesn’t limit its attentions to those who seek it out. Small scale solutions are made possible by the integrity of small institutions. Without the order created by the small institution of the family, the order that teaches children right from wrong, that cares for its elderly parents and supports members of the family, the only alternative becomes the large scale solution of the totalitarian state and its bureaucracy.

Republicans cannot campaign on policies that assume that the family is the dominant institution once it no longer is. If they do not place a fiscally conservative agenda within the larger context of restoring the family, they will become the advocates of policies that hardly anyone except their donor base supports.

Three choices lie ahead.

The Republican Party can fight for the family. It can abandon fiscal conservatism and social conservatism in both word and deed to pursue its real program of trying to make big government work. Or it can look for alternative institutions that can replace both family and government.

Faith-based programs attempted to bypass the social disaster of the lost family without ceding the social territory to big government, but there is only so much that any entity outside the family can do. No amount of programs can fill the gap for a child or an adult. The family is an organic wraparound entity. Replacing it led to a Great Society in which a horde of social workers, teachers, psychologists, parole officers and sociologists struggled to fill the role of a mother and a father.

It doesn’t take a village to raise a child except in a failed state and no village can afford to hire an entire other village to raise its children. That, among other things, is what is bringing California to its knees.

Replacing the family, with or without government, is expensive and difficult. Republicans can and should champion private sector alternatives to government takeovers, faith-based or otherwise, but such an approach will only delay the inevitable. There really is no institutional replacement for the family.

The demographic shift taking place is critical because it will determine whether we have a big government or a small government. Republicans can either adapt to a post-family America by becoming the party of the welfare state or they can work toward an America that is once again centered around the institution of the family.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Headchopper Next Door

Every week another lad or lass from St. Louis, Toronto or Sydney makes the trip through Turkey to the Islamic State. A reporter dispatched by a local paper to talk to the neighbors scribbles down the same recollections about how nice and normal Jihad Joe or Jihad Jane was.

Classmates remember a loud partier or a shy student. Neighbors mention that everything seemed normal until those last few years when he began wearing a robe and she began wearing a burka.

The Somali and Algerian immigrants, the German and American converts, the black burkas and dyed beards, headed into the dying summer to kill Christians and Kurds, Turkmen and Shiites, to behead babies and crucify critics, don’t seem like monsters. They loved their parents. They posed for jokey snapshots on Facebook. They had dreams of becoming biologists or boxers. Until they began killing people, they seemed just like the rest of us.

And with one difference, they were.

The forensic examinations of their lives rarely reveal anything of significance. The extensive digging into the lives of the Boston bombers told us nothing about why they would plant a bomb near a little boy.

The answer lay in the topic that the media carefully avoided. As with the other Muslim terrorists, the meaning of their motives was in the little black book of their religion which commanded them to kill.

The Jihadist isn’t a serial killer. While there are some converts attracted to Islam for its violence, the Muslim convert usually doesn’t convert for the killing, he kills because he converted. Likewise the nice Muslim Jihadist next door might well be moderate by inclination and immoderate by faith.

As the Koran says, “Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” (Quran 2:216)

Allah knows you have to kill. Even if you think you shouldn’t.

The nice Jihadists flocking to rape Yazidi girls in Mosul are convinced that Allah knows best and his Caliph knows best. The worst of them are acting on impulse. The best of them are acting on faith.

Faith is irrational. Believers believe without understanding and act without thinking. The holy men of our religions acted on faith. So do the holy men of Islam. It’s what they have faith in that is the problem.

Charles Manson’s girls, Jim Jones’ followers and Mohammed’s companions all believed in much the same things. They saw the world as a fundamentally hostile place and they believed that only one man could change the world. And they believed that people had to die for that change to come about.

In a multicultural environment in which we believe that all religions are the same, we don’t like to think about what might have happened if Charles Manson had a million groupies instead of a few elderly women locked up in prison. Nor do we like to think about how we would handle Jim Jones if he were running California, instead of just being closely linked to the political infrastructure of the men like Governor Brown and Harvey Milk who did run it.

It’s easy to dismiss a small enough religion as a cult because its leader sleeps with young girls and its members are willing to kill for him. But when the cult grows big enough, we say it’s a religion of peace and hope that its followers believe the peaceful version of Islam that the infidels preach to them.

And they never do. Why should they?

Mohammed was quite clear about what he wanted. For all the abrogations, the Koran is reasonably clear on what it expects its followers to do. Mohammed’s history was that of a man who tried to convince the Arabs that he had seen an angel by telling them and failed, and who succeeded only when he killed enough of them, not to mention the Jews and any other infidels hanging around the place.

That is the history of Islam.

Germany was not a nation of monsters. It was a nation that behaved monstrously. The average German would not stick his neighbor in an oven in his basement or chain him up as a slave. He would however do these things in Poland because he was contextually contaminated by a monstrous ideology.

As an individual he was a nice man who loved his children, petted his dog and enjoyed street fairs. As a loyal member of a system run by the Nazi Party, he would do monstrous things. And then when the Nazi machine was switched off, he would go home to his wife and children without ever killing anyone else.

He was not a good man. Good men don’t do the things he did. But he wasn’t a budding serial killer. He was just doing what a death cult told him to do.

The problem isn’t “radicalization”. What Western governments call radicalization is the process by which the Muslim becomes aware of the dictates of his faith and their relevance to his life. It’s not the internet preachers with their fatwas. They are just the vectors for that awareness. The problem is Islam.

The current misguided thinking is that we can win a debate between a “good Islam” and a “bad Islam”. The good Islam will tell Muslims to refrain from joining ISIS, to work for social change, to embrace diversity and to champion democracy. But this “good Islam” is just a liberal’s conception of what religion should be. Its only real followers are liberal non-Muslims and it has little to do with what Islam really is.

Within the historical context of Islam and in the words of the Koran, our idea of the good Muslim is actually a very bad Muslim. And our idea of the bad Muslim is the best of all Muslims. When we argue that Islam is a religion of peace, we are pushing against the full weight of over a thousand years of history and religious ideas and counting on Muslims to be too ignorant of them to know any better.

Those who genuinely want to change Islam will not do it by lying to Muslims about their religion. Trying to convince the nice Jihadist next door that Mohammed would have rejected his expedition to rape and pillage non-Muslims in Syria is futile. The nice Jihadist may not be a scholar, but he knows his Koran.

If they want to change his mind, they will have to be honest about what Islam is.

Mohammed would have been as happy rampaging around Iraq and Syria as a pig rolling around in dung. ISIS is Islam. It’s the naked religion. There are no angels or djinns, no revelations, just piles of mutilated corpses and children playing with severed heads while other children are raped in prison cells.

It’s Mohammed, but it’s also Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad and Gaddafi. Islam doesn’t end the cycle of tyranny and oppression. It is the reason that the cycle continues.

“Deradicalizing” the nice ISIS Jihadist by lying to him will fail in the long run. Telling him the truth and offering him a clear choice is the only way.

Americans were brutally honest about the evils of Nazism, but failed to equally condemn Communism. Germany hasn’t had another Fuhrer, but Russia is back to acting a lot like the Soviet Union. And while Nazism is confined to trailer parks, sympathy for the red devil is prevalent among Western elites. ISIS is exposing its own evil to the West in a way that neither the brownshirts nor the flyers of the red flag did. If we destroy ISIS without exposing the ideology behind it, then we will have won a Pyrrhic victory because we will still be fighting the nice Jihadist next door for the next thousand years.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Our Hero



OUR HERO

September 11 had disrupted the multicultural consensus by raising serious questions about immigration and Islam. It had also thrown away the consensus that the collapse of the USSR had made American military power obsolete. Obama had come to revive these consensuses and as recently as the last election dismissed Romney as a reactionary warmonger who didn’t understand the new world order.

Obama had declared victory over an undefeated enemy. He had passed off a strategic withdrawal as a victory. His wars, victories and withdrawals were a series of blatant lies that are catching up with him.

His administration tried to blame the takeover of Libya by Islamist militias after his disastrous regime change intervention on a YouTube video. But there isn’t a YouTube video big enough to blame ISIS on.

ISIS: Obama’s ‘Al-Qaeda on the Run’




I WILL HAVE TO CONVINCE MYSELF TO MOCK HILLARY CLINTON

I sure hope that Hillary Clinton can talk Hillary Clinton into running. It would be a shame if all those donors to the Clinton Foundation had wasted their cash. Especially the foreign donors.

Hillary Clinton has a full campaign in motion. She has a media operation. She has a campaign biography. She’s selling merchandise. Whom is she kidding here?

“And I will have to be convinced that I have a very clear vision with an agenda of what I think needs to be done,” Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton: “I Will Have to Convince Myself to Run for President”



RESET BUTTON II

“Would she be quicker than President Obama to order kinetic military action? Yes,” the former official said. “Her tendencies are more bellicose than the president. … She is a decisive person. She doesn’t speak with a whole lot of semicolons and commas.”

Hillary Clinton never uses commas. She speaks entirely in exclamation marks with occasional guillemets and sheffer strokes thrown in.

As a bellicose and decisive leader, since last week, she will decisively bomb countries without using any commas. If you bring her coffee without sugar, she will bellicosely and decisively bomb Columbia.

At least until the polls change and then her bellicosity will be confined to throwing shoes at Secret Service agents.

Clintonites: Hillary Will be “Bellicose Interventionist”




THE LAST REFUGE

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” Samuel Johnson said. A few centuries later his fellow Englishman, Winston Churchill, quipped, “The United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.”

It’s not true of the United States, but it is true of Barack Obama who, having exhausted every alternative that involved appeasement or pretending that ISIS wasn’t a threat, has decided to do the right thing.

As long as he gets enough applause for doing it.

Obama Will Fight ISIS by Arming ISIS




Now that ISIS is Threatening to Kill Twitter Employees, maybe Twitter will Stop Hosting Terrorist Accounts




CHECK YOUR HYGIENE PRIVILEGE

 Body odour is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers. Cabbies say that smacks of prejudice and discrimination.

It does discriminate between cabbies who smell like an open sewer and those who don’t. It further prejudges what a good smell is.

Check your hygiene privilege. Cabbies who smell badly are probably just oppressed folks who came directly from their terrorist training camp to the airport and didn’t have time to change.

Third World Cabbies Say Expecting Them to Shower is Racist




State Department Proof Most Muslims Reject ISIS Fails So Hard




CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE, PRIVILEGE

A study by Rutgers University – Newark claims that minorities are obese because racial microaggressions cause them to eat fast food and avoid exercise.

“When you are exposed to negative stereotypes, you may gravitate more toward unhealthy foods as opposed to healthy foods,” said Luis Rivera, the experimental social psychologist who conducted the study.

Psychologist Says Minority Obesity and Lack of Exercise Caused by Racism

"There were years when I failed the majority of my classes. This was not a matter of my being better suited for the liberal arts than sciences. I was an English minor in college. I failed American Literature, British Literature, Humanities, and (voilà) French… These observations cannot be disconnected from the country I call home, nor from the government to which I swear fealty."

Because it was Uncle Sam who was responsible for Coates’ lack of interest in French. Despite the fact that Coates did manage to graduate high school and attended college.

It wasn’t his fault. It was America’s fault.

The whole country.

Nothing is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ fault. Not even his stupid name. If he failed a class, it was because of America.


Ta-Nehisi Coates Sucks at French and it’s Your Fault

...from the Twitter responses after Coates retweeted it..."the existence of Daniel Greenfield ably illustrates the pathologies of white culture"




Terrorist Group Says Kids Soccer Game is “Crime Against Humanity”



COMRADE, REALLY IT'S TOO MUCH

Asked by [Dan] Patrick whether Obama would make the current roster in Los Angeles, [Kobe] Bryant said almost immediately, “yes, he could, actually.” The comment wasn’t a slight against his current Lakers team, which despite promising young talent is comprised mostly of borderline NBA players; Bryant said his belief in Obama is more a testament to the President’s skill:

A 53 year old man who shows no particular facility for sports can just make it in the NBA. Why not? They can just sink the baskets for him. Unfortunately they can’t call players who block his shots racists.

Obama Set for Exciting NBA Career After White House



ENDGAME

We were fighting ISIS until fairly recently. The last Americans were killed fighting in Iraq in 2011. Despite Obama’s multiple withdrawals, American advisors continued to stay behind trying to organize a fight against ISIS.

Did that war ever really end? The Iraq War was a complicated beast. We began it by fighting Saddam and we ended it by fighting Al Qaeda. Except we’re still fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Obama decided that the war was over. Certainly ISIS never considered the war over.

Yes, the 9/11 War Authorization Covers ISIS




Mohammed, Obama’s Caliphate Loving Advisor, is Now Born-Again Republican




GAME ON

The game industry has always wanted to be Hollywood. Now the industry is a warped version of Hollywood with a handful of mega-publishers buying up smaller companies and merging with each other. Its AAA games are hugely expensive gambles which can cost upward of $100 million.

In that environment, nothing can be left to chance. The gaming press is an arm of the gaming industry promoting its products. Its “journalists” and “critics” can be fired if they review a game poorly. The “journalists” compensate by promoting social justice narratives and attacking their own readers.

Anita and Zoe Quinn, whose inappropriate relationship with a game reviewer generated the GamerGate scandal, make useful weapons, and joined the pantheon of “victims as weapons,” but it’s not about misogyny. Game developers and journalists are all largely white men using women as weapons in a power struggle between a flailing industry, its apologist journalists and its disgruntled fans.

Game On: Anita Sarkeesian and GamerGate




Founding Editor of International Gay and Lesbian Review Guilty of Internationally Abusing Young Boys




FAT MAN YELLS AT CAMERA


The Roger & Me producer added the following message to POTUS: “Eight years of your life and that’s what people are going to remember. Boy, I got a feeling knowing you that you probably wished you were remembered for a few other things, a few other things you could’ve done. So it is on that level of a big disappointment.”

That’s not much to be remembered for, but it beats being remembered as a novelty fat guy yelling at buildings in carefully edited sequences.

Obama Finally Loses Michael Moore




IRS Commish: “Whenever We Can, We Follow the Law”




RESIDENT SCAM

Why was Burger King taken off the table? Because the Dems don’t want to talk about it because one of their backers is behind it.

That’s an admission that the entire campaign was a scam. The Dems aren’t against inversions. They’re for staying in power and protecting their money supply.

Just as they aren’t for campaign finance reform, they’re for protecting their Democracy Alliance money supply.

Warren Buffett’s Greed Killed Obama’s “Inversion” Campaign




Pro-Hamas Mayor’s Nude Selfies Blamed on Jewish Conspiracy




EVITABLE

Too many Middle Eastern Christians still believe that Arab nationalism can salvage their situation. It clearly cannot. Allying with Hezbollah, a group that puts Shiite Islam ahead of ethnicity, is clear folly.

Sabotaging a conference for persecuted Christians on Hezbollah’s behalf is criminally stupid.

America can save persecuted Christians. Hezbollah will only use them until it no longer has a use for them.

The Unfair and Dishonest Media Attacks on Ted Cruz




Hamas Supporting Yale Chaplain Blames Jewish “Bullying” for Resignation



DENIED

 In 2010, Scott Brown and Joe Lieberman had introduced the Terrorist Expatriation Act. It was similar to Cruz’s bill, but without specifying the voluntary angle. It simply added terrorism as one of the acts already covered by the Immigration and Naturalization Act.

At the time quite a few people on our side attacked them for the bill and it went nowhere. Cruz’s bill reflects a more knowledgeable reading of the law, but it would take a Republican Senate for this to even have a shot and Obama is almost certain to veto it

Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann’s ISIS Denaturalization Bills

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Divided We Stand

Time brings distance to all events. No pain is as fresh twenty years later as on the day it happened. The shock of the impossible becomes the new normal and then it becomes more background noise.

"A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic," Joseph Stalin said. The statisticians in Doha, Tehran and Riyadh know it quite well when they count up their numbers. Compound death is more than a statistic; it is incomprehensible.

The banal media coverage of September 11 grapples with a story too big to tell that can only be broken down into human fragments of personal stories.

This is true for most of the dark footprints of history. There is no story of the Holocaust, there are only countless personal stories of survivors and the procedural story of the Nazi killing machine. These perspectives never come together into a single story only human fragments and procedural details, the departments and mechanisms, how many milligrams of Zyklon B it takes per kilogram to kill a person and how many people can be loaded on a train in how much time.

The coverage of 9/11 breaks down into these same mini-stories, survivors describing how they escaped, the families of the dead relating how they reacted to the news, the stories of firefighters and officers, and the procedural questions, how long it takes a falling body to achieve terminal velocity and what happens to the human body when it breathes in enough ash and soot. On the other side are the killers who plotted and planned, checked flight schedules, got their boxcutters and their korans and killed thousands for Allah.

The story of the attacks cannot be told because there is no boundary to it. Where do we begin, with a handful of upper class Muslims in Hamburg? With a scion of the Bin Laden clan becoming a Ghazi or with Hassan Al-Banna finding inspiration in Third Reich propaganda to modernize Islamism? With the Gates of Vienna, the Shores of Tripoli or Mohammed in Mecca? All but the last are incomplete, and even the last leaves too much out.

When a murder happens we trace back the motives of the killer. Was he abused as a child, did the authorities fail to act in time, what made a once sweet boy turn into a killer? To do the same for September 11 is to travel back over a thousand years and still come away with few answers except that sometimes human evil can be congealed into an ideology and passed along from generation to generation like a virus of hatred and cruelty.

"Where were you when the planes hit," attempts to orient us in time. But the question is only an attempt to make the impossible seem real. The businessman covered in ash and stumbling over the Brooklyn Bridge and the Seattle housewife waking up to see news coverage of it on television are more human fragments of a thing that is more than human. War.

War fragments perspectives, and though we have grown used to formal stories of war which began with a legal declaration of war and end with a surrender, these things have as little to do with war as a coroner's statement has to do with death. The laws of war, the treaties and the formalities are ways that human civilization attempts to make the wild force of human nature into a manageable thing.

Europeans and their colonial descendants may pen laws of war, but only they are constrained by them. In the real world outside the dinner parties of Washington D.C. and Brussels, there are no laws in war. Islamic law which has regulations for which foot to use when entering a bathroom (the left foot) and which side to sleep on (the right) has very few laws of war that cannot be nullified by necessity or even whim. On the battlefield, Islamic jurisprudence is boiled down to, Do what thou wilt in the cause of Allah, that is the whole of the law.

The West has tried to make war into a moral force by governing its means, without regard to its ends. But in the Muslim world, war is moral so long as its ends are Islamic-- the means are a technicality that Islamic scholars may squabble over the way they do over every petty matter, but in practice it's anything goes so long as it serves the Ummah. And even those technical debates over civilians in war and terrorism are governed by the ultimate welfare of the Ummah.

What happens when people who believe that the ends justify the means fight against people who believe that the ends never justify the means? In Afghanistan and Iraq the people who believed that the ends justify the means have gained their ends-- while we have lost both the ends and the means, not going far enough for the hawks and going too far for the doves.

This is the broken way of war that we practiced in Vietnam and Korea, constrained by invisible boundaries of our own making that did not prevent us from bombing cities, but did keep us from wiping out entire villages. To our enemies, these morals of ours seem every bit as senseless as their foot washing regulations seem to us. Why do the people who bombed Dresden beat their breasts over Mai Lai, and why was Shock and Awe acceptable, but not Abu Ghraib?

The answers invariably come down not to some externally consistent philosophy or divine law, but our need to feel good about ourselves by setting up a code that makes us seem moral in our own eyes. That makes us feel good about war. And the first law of that code is that killing en masse without really meaning to is more moral than pointing a gun at a man and pulling the trigger. This is the plausible deniability morality of the firing squad which uses enough dummy cartridges so that no one can be sure who fired the shot. No wonder drone attacks are a favorite of an anti-war administration putting as much automation and distance as possible between the soldier and his target.

Laws tell much about a people. Our need to legislate the use of force, and their need to legislate everything but the use of force. We have learned to be afraid of our lurking potential for evil.

It is a fear absent in Islam where a man who serves Allah cannot be a devil no matter what he does, but we know all too well that the devil can come wrapped in a saintly cause. We know it so well that we sometimes forget that while devils do occasionally come wearing halos, mostly they come wearing horns. To our great pain and woe, we have forgotten that we are not our own enemies.

A hundred years ago the attacks of September 11 would have marked the beginning of a war, but in this century they only marked a day of pain and sorrow, and years of a war that was never truly a war. It is this conflicted un-war that the anniversary marks. A war that never ends, because it never began.

War is a framework for violence, which the Muslim world hardly needs. While we search for an enemy to declare war on, all they need is a Fatwa with a clerical argument dubbing us the enemy, our nation, our soldiers, our civilians and our children. All of us.

We have no comfortable war framework except nation building which pretends that war is really the Peace Corps with bombs, habitat for humanity with the homes blown up before they can be rebuilt.

Are we fighting because they attacked us or because girls in Afghanistan can't go to school or for some figment of regional stability in a country where stability isn't even a word. That lack of clarity is fragmentation.  And fragmentation makes all stories seem senseless.

The pain and shock of the attacks gave us a measure of clarity. We were hit hard enough that we felt once again that justice was on our side and we no longer had to feel guilty for standing up for ourselves. In a society whose highest morality has become that of the victim, we were suddenly victims and entitled to defend ourselves.

The need to question ourselves temporarily went away and it felt good. For a brief shining moment the country became aware of external enemies and was united. We stopped being fragments warring with each other and we became Americans.

Had that clarity been sustained, the country today would be a dramatically different place. But it diminished and fell apart, and our identity went with it.We were once again our own enemies and the real enemy went unrecognized. Now the anniversary of the attacks has become like the memory of an old war that was fought once, but no longer really matters. The nation is at war, but it doesn't know that it's at war. And those who know that we are at war, often can't even state who the enemy is.

Without that clarity and unity, all we have are fragments, individual stories without the means to wrap them together. Stalin was right, a million deaths is a statistic unless you find a way to bring together what it means to an entire people. For the Holocaust, it was "Never Again." For 9/11 it was a more ambiguous, "United We Stand", but what do we stand for and what do we stand against?

The anniversaries have long since been reduced to a national therapy session, with pain released and healed in the media's own talking cure. But it isn't the pain that matters, it's what we do with it that counts. We have not yet lost the war-- but we are losing it, and unless we decide as a nation what we stand for and what we stand again, then we will lose. It will take time, like our banks we are too big to fail, but given enough appeasement, enough immigration and enough terrorism-- it will come.

Over a decade of war has passed, and before that a thousand years of war with lulls and pauses, but the din of the scimitar being sharpened for war never truly stopped. Each year that passes is a chance to learn the lessons of the years that have gone by and to remedy their mistakes. The best way to pay tribute to the dead is to unlearn our mistakes so that what happened to them will not happen again. Everything else is the fragmentation of self-indulgence, the therapy of tears, the sensitivity of grief, that will ease our pain, but not our fate.

Every man and woman must defeat their own doubts before they can defeat the enemy. Only then they can they battle the false reasonableness of the consensus that denies war and the enemy, with a consensus that briefly formed after the attacks and that forms even more briefly after every attack, to see ourselves in relation to the outside enemy. To unite against that enemy and to rebuild our identity around a common conflict with those who want to subjugate and destroy us. It may be ten more years before we are ready to do that, but as long as it takes-- that unity is our only hope.

The raw reaction in the aftermath of an event is the true one and the more distance we put between ourselves and that reaction also increases our distance from the truth.

The years of war have added layers of distancing between that first raw reaction when we saw the towers fall. And it is important this day to return not only to the emotion of that moment, but to the clarity that is our greatest weapon. Only that clarity will end this war.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Obama's "Iraqization" of America

When it comes to Iraq, Obama lectures the Sunnis and the Shiites on getting along and forming a government that won't exist for the sole benefit of a single group at the expense of the other.

But in America he runs exactly that sort of government.

Only 27% of whites see Obama as a "Uniter" compared to 78% of blacks. Those are Sunni-Shiite numbers. And numbers like that have consequences. 

Iraqis are not stupid. They look at the news and they see Ferguson and Al Sharpton screaming at
angry mobs and know that Obama is not practicing what he preaches to them. Obama may have forced out Maliki, but his own tribal politics are hard to distinguish from those of Maliki or ISIS.

Obama rules not by inspiring people, but, like Maliki and ISIS, he divides and conquers, setting people against each other. Obama's America is as spitefully tribal as Maliki's Iraq. Its bosses, like Eric Holder, hold a divisive worldview that excludes much of the country.

Al Sharpton, Obama's close political ally, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his mentor, are familiar types in Iraq. You can find a thousand Jeremiah Wrights on any given Friday screaming about killing the Shiites or the Sunnis. You can find a million Al Sharptons community organizing local hatreds until they explode. One of the most prominent Sharptons of Iraq is a Shiite named Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Sharptons and Wrights of Iraq have guns because the machinery of law and order there has collapsed even more comprehensively than it has in Detroit. In a country divided by ethnic and sectarian politics, a multicultural military and police are incapable of enforcing the law and uninterested in standing up to violence from their own people.

Those are the ugly tribal politics that Obama has brought to America. Instead of repairing the economy, he focused on wealth redistribution. Instead of bringing Americans together as one nation, he calculatedly tore them apart around manufactured crises of race, gender, class and religion. He pitted blacks against whites, liberal Protestants against Catholics, the poor against the middle class and the cities against the suburbs.

Not only did Obama pit his own voting bases against the country, but he even sought to make his own voters fight each other.

Instead of reaching out to white Americans after they thoroughly rejected him in the 2012 election, he instead decided that divisive and racist politics were the key to staying in power.

In 2012, Obama decisively lost white voters 59% to 39%. He lost white voters of every sex and age. He lost white voters in almost every state. In the three states where he won them, it was only by the narrowest of margins.

And he only tied Romney among white voters in New York with a 49% to 49% split.

Obama lost white men. He lost white women. He lost young white voters. He lost middle aged and old white voters. He lost white Protestants and he lost white Catholics.

That did not happen because the white voters of 2008 who came out for him in New York 52% to 46% or the young white voters who came out for him 54% to 44%  (only to turn him down 44% to 51% in 2012) developed a sudden belated case of racism.

It was Obama's governing style that developed a sudden belated case of racism.

Obama promised us a united America and gave us a divided America. He has shown that he is a slicker and more polished version of Al Sharpton.

After coming to prominence with a vision of "There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America" he shrugged off helping Americans as a whole and instead championed narrow tribal interests.

Maliki wasn't the Prime Minister of Iraq. He was the Prime Minister of a Shiite Iraq. Obama isn't the President of the United States. He's trying to be the President of Black America, Gay America, Latino America, Asian America, Transgender America and a thousand other micro Americas.

At no point in time has he been the President of the United States of America.

His antics in Ferguson, as in Florida, are yet another reminder that his governing style is tribal. It's Iraqi, not American. He doesn't bring people together, he tears them apart. He plays on racial crises to make minorities feel vulnerable and insecure while his emissaries denounce the majority.

To the left, this politics of acrimony is passed off as being more legitimate than the Sunni and Shiite tail-chewing in Iraq because one race is guiltier than the other. It's not. It's equally vile and equally cynical. And while there is no ISIS rampaging around America (though Muslim violence continues to flare up regularly with brutal killings) the miasma of hatred has consequences.

The victims of the Knockout games and the stores looted and burned in Ferguson are a consequence of Obama's tribal style of leadership. On the other side of the rusty coin are the people stocking up on weapons and preparing for a national collapse.

All that doesn't add up to Iraq, but it's not as far away from it as we would like to think.

America has been weakened by being divided. Divided nations are too busy fighting among themselves to put up a strong defense. The world is going to hell because everyone from Putin to ISIS is confident that Americans are too busy fighting over Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, over gay marriage and illegal alien amnesty, to pay much attention to them.

And they're right.

Obama's governing style isn't just inept, it makes America seem weak. Strong leaders don't need to divide and conquer their populations to keep them in line. Only weak leaders afraid that the people will wake up to their corruption and incompetence play those games.

America's strength was rooted in a republicanism that transcended tribal politics. Now America is sunk in a swamp of tribal politics. Its government is obsessed with negotiating every possible tribal demand on terms favorable to the tribes. There can be no better formula for tearing apart a nation.

Obama's America is as intimidating to ISIS as Maliki's Iraq was. A country at war with itself frightens no one. And Obama's America leaves the world with the impression that it's taking every possible effort by the authorities just to keep it from devolving into another Iraq.

There's nothing to spare for Putin or Al Qaeda except more token gestures. And we're almost out of those.

Democrats accused Bush of wrecking Iraq. Now they have turned America into another Iraq; a tribal society that is growing poorer every day while the tribes bicker over preferential treatment from the government. Americans are losing hope in the future as the left promises them that these conflicts will continue indefinitely because its social justice tribal grievances matter more than national unity.

Iraq fell before ISIS because despite its heavy armor, its air power and large military, it lacked national unity. As we move through a century of Islamic wars, we must take a lesson from the Iraqis.

If we live as a divided nation, we will forever be at the mercy of demagogues like Obama and tribal armies like ISIS. If we cannot unite as Americans, then we will find ourselves scattered as separate tribes, arguing to the last about precedence and privileges, like the Iraqi parliament, while the enemy destroys everything in its path.

Freedom was America's promise. Our equality was not based on tribal privileges, as the left insists it was and as it demands that it should be, but on the open equality of freedom.

Obama's tribal politics are dedicated to squelching the open equality of freedom and turning every aspect of life into a subsidized commodity to be dispensed by a central authority on a tribal basis.

That is not America. That is Egypt. That is Saudi Arabia. That is Iraq.

Iraq couldn't afford Saddam or Maliki. America can't afford Obama. A leader that divides a nation, bribing one half to support him and punishing the other half on account of their religion, their skin color or any other tribal variable is not out to make a nation strong or just.

He is out to weaken it by strengthening his own power over them.

The "Iraqization" of America, the "Sharptonization" of America, will mean the end of America. It will transform us from a country of hope and ambition into a warren of quarreling slums protected by rival gangs whose citizenry feel they have as little in common as the Sunnis and Shiites of Iraq.

That will strengthen Washington and destroy America.

While Obama lectures Iraq on unity and its politicians on working together, he is leading America down the same ugly path of tribe against tribe, religion against religion and citizen against citizen. It's too late for the Iraqis to change, but it's not too late for us to learn from their example.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Poor Little Rich Liberals

No group has been hit harder by the Obama economy than American liberals. From Marin County, where bundlers have had to struggle to scrape together a few ten grand bills to attend Obama fundraisers, to Washington D.C. whose bedroom communities now have seven of the ten highest household incomes in the country, poverty is hitting poor rich little liberals really hard.

In 2006, Alaska had the highest household income. But voters chose Obama over Palin and these days it's Maryland. Because six-figure consultants on sustainable development, diversity and transgender bathrooms also need McMansions to go home to after a long day of team building exercises, celebrating Pride Week and snorting small mountains of cocaine.

Despite numbers like these, liberals are barely making ends meet. Some are "dead broke" like Hillary Clinton. Forget about a dollar not buying what it used to. Not even a hundred million dollars does. And there's poor Joe Biden who claimed not to have a savings account or any stocks and bonds. And he doesn't. He has five savings accounts and eleven investment funds.

But wealth is relative. Despite earning $100 million, Hillary Clinton claims that she isn't "truly well off". And if a woman with a colonial mansion for every occasion is, in the words of her adviser, still just "trying to earn a living", the economy must really be bad.

With income inequality such a hot topic and Washington D.C. hoovering up more of the country's wealth than ever, the Democratic Party's presidential frontrunners are taking a vow of poverty. They aren't actually draping themselves in burlap sacks and begging for spare change, though they do make a point of being seen shopping at Target or Costco before being driven back in their limos to a pricey exclusive neighborhood, but they are working hard at pretending to be poor.

If Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden can't convince Democrats that they're just one step away from begging for spare change on street corners and truly understand the plight of the people who actually work for a living, Elizabeth Warren is always waiting in the wings. After all who better than a Harvard professor who made $429,981 in her last full year of teaching to understand how hard it is to barely get by under income inequality.

Elizabeth Warren has a net worth of around $15 million, making her more working class than Hillary, but less working class than Joe Biden at around a cool million. Like Biden, Elizabeth Warren also isn't big on investing

 "I realize there are some wealthy individuals – I’m not one of them, but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios," Warren told an MSNBC host.

Like "Dead Broke" or "Truly Well Off", “Wealthy Individuals” and "A Lot of Stock Portfolios" are relative terms. Warren only had $8 million in investments. It's not a lot if you're a millionaire who, like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, spends a lot of time around billionaires.

When you have twenty bucks in your wallet, a million seems like a lot. But when you have a million and hang around those who have fifty million, it doesn't seem like so much anymore. And when you earn a hundred million and go to cocktail parties with billionaires, you no longer feel that you are “truly well off”. It's hard to convince the working class that you "feel their pain" when what you really feel is your pain at having to borrow private jets from your billionaire grocery mogul friend to fly to Africa, instead of being able to buy your own fleet of jets.

There's nothing wrong with making money, unless you're a liberal or unless your money comes from dubious sources, such as charging the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles $150,000 for a speech (the Clintons), ripping off asbestos victims (Elizabeth Warren) or getting your brother some juicy contracts (Joe Biden). After rich liberals unleashed class warfare against Mitt Romney, they have been reduced to competing against each other in a game of "Who Is the Poorest Democrat?"

(The answer is Harry Truman who had to rely on an Army pension after leaving the White House and moving into a property owned by his wife's family. Now that's dead broke.)

Bill Clinton tried to bail out his wife by rephrasing the question as being which candidate can connect to the plight of ordinary people. The answer is none of them.

Biden has been in politics for over four decades. Hillary Clinton hasn't held down a non-government job in two decades and most of her work before that was really an extension of her husband's politics. Elizabeth Warren spent decades in academia. These are not lives designed to connect them to the daily realities of ordinary people. They are a privileged insulation from those challenging realities.

When Hillary Clinton talks about "working hard" for her money, she means putting her name on books that someone else wrote and reading speeches that someone else wrote to groups that would pay her even if all she did was bark for five hours straight. Bill Clinton may be a compelling and interesting speaker, but no one has ever accused Hillary of either of these things.

Hillary isn't being paid six figures to appear in front of some trade group to talk about how much she cares about the children of the world because she is a powerful and inspirational speaker. The money is being paid out to buy influence with the likely future president or to help elect her president. Hillary's speaking fees, like her law work, are essentially legal bribes from special interests.

It's no wonder that liberals like Elizabeth Warren seem to have a certain disdain for money. They like the money well enough, but they are aware that they have done little to earn it. Elizabeth Warren is well aware that the words that come out of her mouth aren't worth $429,981. Her paychecks only reinforced her conviction that wealth is unearned.

But Warren was making an invalid generalization. Just because she hadn't earned her paychecks and the money she was receiving had little relation to the actual value being created did not mean that the same was true for everyone. There are people out there who really do build that and who actually earn what they are paid through hard work and the creation of value for others and for themselves.

Contempt for wealth has historically been the attitude of wealthy Socialists. Like many modern leftists, Karl Marx went from being a perpetual student supported by his parents to a radical writing angry screeds about the plight of the workers without ever having actual direct experience of their labor. It was no wonder that Marx, who lived most of his life being supported by others, had no clue about the realities of economics or labor.

Dissolute elites put on working class airs while treating their unearned wealth as a shameful secret. Hillary Clinton's fake poverty act is a bit of 19th century theater that is out of step with American values, but an inevitable outgrowth of the renewed radicalization of the Democratic Party.

The concentration of wealth around Washington D.C. is not the work of the Tea Party. It certainly isn't something that the Koch Brothers did. It's what happens around an imperial capital. It's not that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer, it's that the politically connected get richer while the politically disconnected get poorer.

The significant division is not along lines of class, but of corruption. The working poor may be suffering, but the politically connected welfare poor have plenty of opportunities to game the system. Most of all it's the politically disconnected private sector middle class that invests its time in working instead of voting that is sliding down the hole and taking the economy with it.

The radical technocrats of the Democratic Party champion big government policies that concentrate wealth in a smaller number of hands while campaigning against income inequality. They denounce the rich at fundraisers for the rich. They buy mansions so that they can run for higher office and then claim to be dead broke. They are not only guilty of hypocrisy, that is a common enough sin for politicians, but they are also guilty of creating the conditions of income inequality that they condemn.

Faking poverty isn't just an election strategy, it's also protective camouflage as the members of a political movement that is robbing the country blind cry poverty and point at the Koch Brothers. "They're the ones who robbed you. Go get them, boys."

The Clintons want to enjoy the privileges of their ill-gotten wealth, without accepting any of the responsibility. They want to have their mansions and their class warfare. They want to pile up vast fortunes and then talk about the problems of income inequality. Like many liberals, they want to have the radical privileges of poverty and the prosperous luxuries of wealth at the same time. They want to yammer about capitalism while flying a private jet to a vacation resort.

The poor little rich liberals have made themselves wealthier and the country poorer. Now they are exploiting the miserable economy that they are responsible for with more class warfare.

They are poor, but not in money. They are impoverished in industry and suffer from severe poverties of honesty, decency and shame. They hardly have a single truth to their name and their fake poverty is as fake as their concern for the poor.