Saturday, January 31, 2009

Adam & Steve

And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth:
and breathed into his face the breath of life,
and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2.7 (Douay-Rheims translation)


The good old days



Obama's recent appearance on Al-Arabiya TV to make nice with the Arabs and Muslims contained his wish to "restore the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago."

Let's see. That would be 1978-1988.

Hmmm. Anything of note there?

Oh, yeah.  

Iran hostage crisis, 444 days long from 1979-1981.

Obama is so brilliant, isn't he?

I was telling an Obama-voting friend today that The One reminds me of a combination of John Edwards and Jimmy Carter, who, by the way, has my vote for worst president of my lifetime and worst ex-president, as well.

I am not responsible for anything much in this world. I have zilch power in international affairs. And it was thirty years ago. So, I can afford to let myself have the kind of reverie I had, on remembering those days.

Here's the message I wish Carter had given then.
Good evening. By invading the American embassy and holding our citizen-diplomats prisoner, the government of Iran has broken a sacred contract universally honored among nations . It is equivalent to directly attacking our sovereign soil.

Consequently, unless all hostages are released unharmed and allowed to leave Iran within ten days, I will ask Congress to declare that a state of war exists between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following on that declaration, Iran can expect to be reduced to rubble. Any loss of life will be the direct responsibility of that country's government. Good night. God bless America.
____________________

Demography and destiny




Growth rate of Muslims in formerly Great Britain.

___________________

You/we R 1



Now we know what the new President means by bi-partisanship.
Both parties stop "bickering" and do what he wants
and then we have unity!
So cool!

Sounds like my ex!

_____________________________

Friday, January 30, 2009

Deep structure



Gabriel Ledeen, along with Michael Yon, tries to figure out why so many in the West cannot see the war between Israel and Hamas & Company except as Israel's moral problem. No matter what the jihadis do there, they get a pass. He rejects anti-Semitism as a complete answer.
No, the fundamental answer to this question is that we, as democratic and liberty-loving societies, are afraid to identify candidly the defining nature of our common enemies.
And his own point:
Why are we afraid of candor? I see two connected reasons: 1) an honest understanding would require decisive action; therefore 2) it would make us feel weak.
I think he's go a point, but my question is this: Why would we feel weak? My guess is that "we" would realize that our enemy is self-assured and utterly unapologetic and that we are apologetically self-obsessed and hesitant because we have been debilitated by our faux-guilt about racism, white racism (for highminded Westerners and those victims who profit from that paradigm, the only kind that counts).

Israel has the status of a white Western nation facing off against people who have both ethnic and religious status as brown. Muslims, regardless of race, have brown status in the progressive taxonomy. To stand with white Westerners against Muslim Arabs provokes the deepest anxiety a Western liberal can feel: racism. After you lay aside all the surface niceties, to take Israel's side means to look on a group of brown people as your enemy. Intolerable. Hence, it is crucial to paint Israel as the evil aggressor and oppressor, the racist Caucasian Cowboy who stole the land of the native Palestinian Indians.

Ask yourself this. In any conflict in the current world, or for quite some time in the past, ask yourself how often the Western elites have combined both passion AND action unless one of the parties to the conflict has been White.

Tibet and China. Tut-tutting, but no passion and no action. Where's the call for an academic boycott of Chinese professors or divestment of Chinese investments? The terrible civil war in Sri Lanka. Almost no interest at all. Darfur? Lots of handwringing, but no action. Remember the Hutu/Tutsi genocide? Same thing.*

The shadow racism and ironically Eurocentric narcissism in this pattern is that battles between people of color, where no whites are directly involved, are not important, not really.

*Afternoon update: Turkish PM upraids Israeli PM at Davos and asserts that Turks "know how to kill." Note world silence on Turkish treatment of Kurds:

One obvious point is that Turkey is hardly in a position to criticize Israel for responding firmly to terrorist attacks. Ankara frequently does the same thing, as exemplified by this December 2007 report in London's Daily Telegraph:

Turkey has launched its heaviest air strikes in years on positions in northern Iraq that it claims were occupied by its enemies from the Kurdish Workers' Party, the PKK.
After a series of bloody attacks by the PKK against the army in the south-east of Turkey, Ankara sent its warplanes to attack targets in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq yesterday.
The PKK said seven people, including two civilians, died in the strikes. In a statement on its website, it said the attacks wounded "many civilians, among them women and children."


_________________________

Good line

Watched a segment of Peter Robinson's series of video interviews, Uncommon Knowledge. Lots of good stuff there I have benefited from over the years.

Interview with 90's CIA Director James Woolsey on the difference between the Cold War and the Long War with the Jihad. He characterizes the Soviet leadership, at least after the Second World War, as basically "thugs with a cover story". They no longer believed in Marxism except as a tool of their own power. No desire to lay down their lives for the classless society. They were interested in perks and dachas, not martyrdom.



With the current group of enemies, the sons of Jihad, he finds that they are passionate believers, religious believers, something that liberal Westerners find very hard to take seriously. His description of these sons of Muhammad: "theocratic totalitarian genocidal maniacs." In a way, the Communists of the Soviet era (and I would exclude Mao and Company) were "rational actors", though no less our enemies for that, no less totalitarian. But a review of Muslim history makes it clear that this is religion, one of the most powerful forces in the archetypal treasury. You ignore or underestimate it at your peril.*




Indeed, much of the blindness of Western progressives is that theirs is a faith, a secularized one, but a faith nonetheless. Global Warming and the rest of the Seven Pillars.

One of the ingredients in my Turn to the Right since 2000 is the realization, not just the knowledge, but the visceral realization, that most places in human history, past and present, are run by "thugs with a cover story". Hence my protective aka conservative attitude toward the West and especially toward America. My own phrase is that the world is run by the Crips and the Bloods. But with the current Jihad, Woolsey is right.

*A truly horrific video of the close-up beheading of Eugene Armstrong (pictured above, seconds before his murder). This is not swift death by guillotine, but having your head slowly sawed off with a knife . I do not recommend you watch it unless you are prepared to have your stomach turned by the sight and the sound of it. But it's the true face of Jihad.

_____________________

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Self-erasure a la Canuckistan

Because "immigrant" parents object, parents about whom the principal will say nothing, because of "privacy", Canadian kids in a New Brunswick school can no longer sing their own national anthem. He doesn't want anyone to feel unwelcome or excluded.

How about the friggin' Canadian kids????!!!!!

I don't need to tell you what I think or what the dickless principal deserves.



_________________________

What to say about this?

In Scotland, social workers award adoption of a little boy and girl, children of a drug addicted single mother, to a male couple. The children's grandparents are alive and desirous of caring for them (but were told they were too old at 59 &46) so both mother and grandparents agreed to placement with a male/female couple, of which several were available and willing...The family was told to agree to the male couple's adoption or they would never see the children again.

Details here.

Before anyone starts giving me the self-loathing gay routine, consider this scenario:

In Scotland, social workers award adoption of a little boy and girl, children of a severely handicapped Muslim widow, to a Christian couple. The children's grandparents are alive and desirous of caring for them (but were told they were too old at 59 &46) so both both mother and grandparents agreed to placement with a Muslim couple, of which several were available and willing. The family was told to agree to the Christian couple's adoption or they would never see the children again.

Gives new awful meaning to the Nanny State.

______________________

Political Thinking




I occasionally run Alternate History narratives through my head, about my own life. If I had not made the choices I made, etc. One of the late-life interests I might have taken on earlier is politics. Not running for office or anything like that, but constitutional law. American, not Californian*!

I just finished John Kekes' The Art of Politics, several of whose other works I have gone through in the last years: Against Liberalism, A Case for Conservatism, Illusions of Egalitarianism, The Roots of Evil, as well as various articles.

He is a philosopher in the Anglo-American analytic tradition, which has dominated the philosophy departments of public and secular universities in North America for many decades. It is not a school of thought I much liked during my philosophy-studying days. I got a C in metaphysics while at Columbia because the professor, of the aforementioned tradition, was so mind-numbingly dry and boring, and trivial, I thought, that I simply stopped studying as a form of adolescent protest.

The analytic tradition tries to stick with ordinary language, use logic and reason, and respect science. Though Kekes' style --very careful and workmanlike-- aims for clarity over verve, and it takes some perseverance to think in such a pedestrian** way, I have found his approach to political thinking very enlightening, and pretty congenial. His work is not so different from his politics: not flashy, but careful, responsible and trying to pay attention to reality, in all its complexity.

It does not mean he lacks passion, which shows up in print only once in a while and thus more memorable for its infrequency. He is a determined and convinced enemy of the ideologies of egalitarianism, whose seductiveness and pervasiveness in the liberal West he deems to be a great danger to the political goods which have made our civilization so successful.

Aside from his very skeptical attitude toward religion (one reviewer calls him "tone-deaf" on the subject), he stands in the wider conservative stream coming from Edmund Burke and continued by such folks as Russell Kirk, but with an American specificity. Kekes must be commended as well for his ability to tolerate the intolerant realm of American academia, where he has been a minoritarian figure in a sea of liberals.

I hope to blog about the book over the next while. The title illuminates his thesis, that politics is an art, not a science and especially not that pseudo-science, political ideology. Ideology is so pervasive in politics on the left that many liberals assume that conservatism must be an ideology, the work of "hard-right ideologues." But most conservatives, who are happy to lay out principles, would say that the heart of conservatism is that it has no ideology. Kekes makes that case intelligible.

In outline, he holds that a political philosophy is ideological if it grants to one value (or to a small group of values) the highest place in a hierachical way of thinking about politics. Libertarianism is ideological in that respect, since it privileges individual liberty above all. And certainly Marxism is an ideology of hard-despotic egalitarianism, the parent of our Western soft-despotic liberalism. I suspect he would be quite critical of the crusade to plant Western democracy in the Middle East, as neo-conservatives would have us do. A nice idea, but how realistically adapted is it to places which lack the presumptions that allow it to work, which value quite different political goods?

What also comes to my mind is the post-Vatican II Catholic shorthand, enshrined in the titles of so many nuns' and priests' commissions, "Justice and Peace". Given the lingo, such endeavors quickly become ideological and most of them --all of them?-- follow a leftist line of overt or covert Liberation Theology, which is Marxist at heart.

Kekes holds that human nature is inherently mixed and that natural contingency and man's flawed character make political arrangements basically defensive (my word, not his) and always needing to be adapted to circumstance. Liberals imagine that conservatives are "hard-liners", when it is their attitude which is strong, but their philosophy is precisely about how to most prudently manage the complexities of change. As well, a preference for valuing historical experience (the best kind of human ethology, reality-based...) over rationalized or revealed programs of change marks most conservatives.

Funny how "conservation" is a virtue for progressives when it comes to trees, but a dark evil when it comes to human political life.

Anyway.

In this book, he makes a list of American "political goods", each of which he then explores. His contention is that all of them constitute our society's complex political framework and all need to be taken into account in a variety of constellations in order to make decent political decisions. Slogan-thinking in politics is attractive, but ultimately unsatisfactory or worse.

I'll try to outline them from time to time.



*The State constitution is over 110 pages long and has been amended well over 500 times; the US Constitution: a mere 4 pages long and only 27 amendments.

**I mean pedestrian in the root metaphorical sense, of having your feet walking on the
ground rather than flying around.

_________________________

Buzzy Bezerkeley


Discalced Crusader in Berkeley,
Speaking Truth to Power


HT to Mark Steyn for this link to that Paper of Papers, the SF Chronicle, which alerts us to the following struggle between good and eeeevilll. The opening line is a wonder.

Berkeley's public library will face a showdown with the city's Peace and Justice Commission tonight over whether a service contract for the book check-out system violates the city's nuclear-free ordinance.

Up there with my all-time favorite opener, from Anthony Burgess' Earthly Powers
It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.
Which conversation would you really rather continue with?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Europa/Entropa

Schadenfreude or delectatio morosa, your choice.

This public sculpture in the Czech Republic. It's called Entropa.



Wiki-description here.

And David Solway's passionate piece on its meaning here.
Damn, the boy can write.

______________________________

On not being able to smoke a cigar in Golden Gate Park

In John Kekes' The Art of Politics, (p. 205) he quotes the great Alexis de Tocqueville, author of the classic 1840 work, Democracy in America.

A democratic government may
cover the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate...The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are continually restrained from acting. Such power does not destroy, but prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes and stupefies people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Soft despotism.

___________________________

Tyrant victims

It is a commonplace in Jungian psychology that the shadow takes a form opposite to the persona, that we carry within ourselves that very thing which we would never wish to be or to be seen to be.

The leftist victimism permeating gay identity shows up in moves like a gay man suing Eharmony for not providing him service in looking for a same-sex partner. They wind up caving, having to set up a parallel business they don't want, plus offering the first several thousand subscribers free service in reparation for their crime, plus several thousand bucks to the aggrieved homo in question.

But I just got an ad to join ProudSingles, for gays only. Look on their sight and you only have two choices: man seeking men and woman seeking women. Who's gonna sue them? Or Black Singles?

In the Alice in Wonderland world we are making, the privileged victim gets to play the tyrant and we are not supposed to notice.

______________________

Tony Martin

This video starts out with protests in Britain, by native Brits (!!), against foxhunting laws.

But it moves on to the story of Tony Martin, the icon of Blairite England. This is the kind of world that pacifist liberalism creates at home, mirroring its absurdity abroad. Orwell would recognize it.
Thank God for the Second Amendment, if we can keep it.

________________

Monday, January 26, 2009

Liberating intolerance



One of the darlings of the 60's intellectual generation was Frankfurt School Marxist Herbert Marcuse, author of the 1965 essay Repressive Tolerance. He opined that the freedom of speech provided by the West simply enshrined a permanent bourgeois majority culture and co-opted deluded minorities into thinking they were free because they were tolerated, though they would always remain inferior in power. His solution? "Liberating tolerance".
"Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left."
Sound familiar? All men are equal, but some are more equal than others? I actually took part in a small group discussion starring Herr Marcuse, back during my Columbia undergrad days.

Anyway. I was unhappy with Gene Robinson's prayer last week. Gay philosopher John Corvino writes that others, especially evangelicals, have targetted the same part of the prayer I did, namely, the hope for "freedom from mere tolerance". His response is frank and much to the point:
And that's where the culture war really is a zero-sum game, and "common ground" is impossible without dramatic concession: we want their kids to believe something that is diametrically opposed to what they want them to believe. There's no point in sugarcoating that conflict.
Corvino does not clarify, however, that while evangelicals want us all to accept Jesus as our Savior, they do not intend to make it a law. The post-tolerant prayer of the Robinsons has in view a change in state power. It is a Crusader's prayer for victory, in a velvet glove.

Not only gay marriage by any means necessary, but the thought-crime laws which outlaw free speech as well as the non-discrimination laws which wind up forcing people to participate in and support activities they find objectionable. In the contemporary US: Photographers fined for declining to shoot lesbian weddings. Churches fined for being unwilling to rent their buildings for these events. Religious adoption agencies closing in order to avoid mandated placing of kids with same-sex couples.

The situation in non-Anglo Europe is pitiful. Things like this go on in Britain and Canada (even worse) and now here in America, once the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Robinson's "embrace" is a code word for surrender.

I am not an evangelical Christian. I am a homosexual man. But both they and I are Americans. I cringe at the notion of the state enforcing on people who disagree with me not only a course of action they reject but even their right to express that rejection in vigorous speech. That First Amendment protects precisely the kind of talk we would rather not hear!

Liberals want to treat the jihadis in Guantanamo as if they were American citizens and they are all uniformly horrified by the idea of torture. All this, lest by surrendering our values for our security, --which The One just told us was a false choice--we turn into copies of our enemies.

Apparently gay liberals are not so worried that theitr drive for societal acceptance through greater and greater state coercive power might turn them into the very people who used to use it to keep us silent, closeted and afraid for so long. They, however, will see it all as liberation, because, as we know, if you are a victim, you can't really be wrong.

A commited liberal is looking more and more like a fascist with a smile.

_________________________________

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aquinas' Sixth Proof

for the existence of God discovered...



Details can be found here.

The ethics of suicide



A longtime friend criticized me yesterday for my current conservative worldview. He noted that years ago, when I was present at a meeting where some person of color would criticize white men as a group, I would regard it simply as a stupid and ignorant form of political correctness. I would say that since the person did not know me, it did not apply to me, reject the idea, and move on. Now, says my friend, this rejection has become a fundamental philosophical attitude, part of a political stance that puts me at odds with most people around me.

True enough.

I was wondering today, as I unsuccessfully attempted to find a sympathy card to send to the husband of a recently deceased dear friend --who would think it so hard to find something dignified?-- why I get so exercised about liberalism in its current form and have to have this blog to discharge my thoughts and feelings against it.

After all, liberals just want to be good.

The ethical aroma in liberal politics galls me. I have never been a fan of ethics. It is a useful and necessary consideration, but if taken to extremes, brings about unhappiness. Being good enough is good enough for me.

But why, I asked myself, should the desire for a political system to be good provoke me so?

I think I have the answer.

During the Cold War, it was common for American politicians and other cultural spokesman to trumpet the moral superiority of the West. I have no problem with that; the Eastern bloc, the Communist world, was in the grip of a rankly evil ideology which brought misery to hundreds of millions and death to at least one hundred million, as well as deforming the souls of those it touched. Why not make your opposition to it a moral crusade?

The difference now is that the moral high ground which liberals proclaim and seek to enact is aimed at their own people, their own culture, their own civilization, never at others. It is not an ethical stance of superiority over an enemy, but over our ancestors, one's own history and finally, oneself. The deep drive of liberalism is to atone by committing suicide. The task of the West, that is, the civilization of the white Christian male, is to repent and to disappear. We live in the time of White Lent.

The almost total inability of liberals to rouse themselves to any kind of moral fury or indignation against anyone but members of their own tribe is painful to see. Liberals are utterly blind to the savage thuggery of the jihadi Hamas in Gaza and spend all their energy condemning Israel, the Western democratic enclave in the middle of the tyrant-riddled Middle East. The pathetic antics of the Dutch and the British these days show an almost invariable pattern of punishing those who stand up for their native culture and values, and appeasing the immigrant Muslim strangers whose expansionist theocracy waits, without a hint of self-doubt or apology, to supplant them.

It is the suicidal self-hatred at the bottom of this narcissistic liberal moral drive which angers me so much. And it is the stupidity of erasing the very ground of the highminded morals so that it can be occupied by a backward and totalitarian religion that stands against every value the liberal loves --- except his own right to live.

Burnham's description comes often to my mind: The liberal is morally disarmed in the presence of anyone he deems less well off than himself. And now that includes the whole world outside the white Christian West.

____________________________

Amsterdam: Gay Mecca


El Ourna Mosque, Amsterdam


Free-wheeling Amsterdam is a destination of choice for a lot of American gays. The Dutch are so cool. You can smoke pot and you can get married there. Lots of sex. Drag queens play Mary in the Christmas pageant. Very Euro. So much better than troglodyte USA.

Guess what? Not only are gays far more likely to be attacked in public in Holland, but the whole country is in the process of self-erasure, in favor of its North African Muslim immigrant population. And sometimes even the victims* don't want to recognize the truth!

The latest outrage, the prosecution of filmmaker Geert Wilders, has been preceded by other forms of Submission, which is what "Islam" means in Arabic, by the way, not peace.

Bruce Bawer, American gay man who moved to Europe for a better life, points out the dangerous fall of the Dutch. What really outraged me was the new knowledge that the Queen of Holland would not attend the funeral of Theo Van Gogh, knifed to death in the street by a jihad murderer, but after a few mosques were attacked in the wake of his murder, she visited a North African immigrant youth center. Her Royal Dhimminess.

Why is it that the most liberal and highminded Euros and their kin elsewhere, the great champions of human rights, always wind up supporting the most patriarchal, violent and totalitarian religion on the planet?

*When 6'7" gay journalist Chris Crain was beaten up by a half-dozen Moroccan guys in Amsterdam, he took the opportunity to write an article attacking the Pope and Christian fundamentalists in America...

______________________

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dogma verified by experience



I used to say that the only empirically verifiable dogma of Christianity was Original Sin. Look around. Slam dunk.

My recent bout of bad back had me watching daytime TV and I got to see several episodes of a program I have never watched, "Desperate Housewives." I know it's a stupid comic soap opera --with some pretty hot but hopelessly whipped males--and designed to magnify the flawed and histrionic, but it does serve the empirical verification process pretty well.

And if you want to move to "real" life, try ten minutes of Real Housewives of Orange County, or their sisters in Atlanta.

Kyrie eleision.

______________________

Lord God of Liberals




The evil fascist skinhead self-loathing misogynist pro-patriarchy masculinist, Jack Malebranche/Donovan, (pbuh) alerted me to an article by a conservative Catholic writer from Brooklyn (!), James Kalb, in which Kalb points out the totalitarian drive underlying liberalism's apparent, well, liberal-ness. He names "the extraordinary moralism and intolerance of liberalism, its tendency to treat any tolerance for non-liberal standards and distinctions as the worst human quality imaginable."

Kalb joins people like Jonah Goldberg, John Kekes, and Stephen Hicks in targetting the fundamental inconsistency in this ideology as it unfolds and comes to power: “ 'getting government out of our bedrooms' has turned out to mean sensitivity training, sexual harassment law, compulsory radical redefinition of marriage, and training children to put condoms on cucumbers."

It is really no accident that the generation which was inaugurated by the Berkeley Free Speech Movement ends up by enforcing restrictive speech codes on the campus of UC Berkeley. In this fallen world, enantiodromia is all too common a fact of life.

Some sections from gay bishop Gene Robinson's pre-inaugural prayer/speech are illustrative. I could fisk the whole infomercial, but it's too obvious and not so interesting.

One amusing element of this is that while he was scheduled to speak at 9.20 AM, CNN's broadcast of the event did not start til 9.30, so he was cut out of the world-wide feed. A parable of Obama's (and the Democrats') bait and switch game with GLBT's?

Anyway. First, he sets the stage by demoting and desacralizing the moment with a folksy invitation that lets everyone know that the primary reality is the party unfolding, and reducing the role of God to a "pause" on the way to the "fun".
Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.
Rather than attempting to set the Inauguration sub specie aeternitatis, he does what pretty well all hired shamans and poets do for their masters, suborns the Deity to the service of the state instead.
Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.
His prayer for the transcendance of mere tolerance is just the kind of unconscious animus that drives the Left. If you have to get beyond tolerating, that is, accepting to live with what you would rather not, then your only choice is to celebrate and affirm points of view and values which actually undermine your own. As long as they are on the approved list of diversities.

I am sure that a big warm hug to Islam is included in the bishop's shout-out to his "God of our many understandings" but somehow I can't imagine that it makes room for the unapologetic traditional Protestantism of the conservative evangelicals of America. They, as we know, must be converted away from the sin of discrimination against the approved groups.
Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
I speculate that if one of the Rev's children from his marriage were to convert to Islam, he would be supportive and have to warmly embrace her difference, but if the child became a Southern Baptist or worse, he would be grieved.
Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.
Funny how folks who are all "wall of separation" become enthusiastic chaplains when the head of state is one of their own. And apparently Obama is not one of those "politicians" who have deceived us with these "answers". Talk about American exceptionalism.

One of the smug mantras of the Boomer clergy --along with "speaking truth to power" ---is that the task of Christians is to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." By affecting a furrowed brow and some well-placed "concern", these usually well-entrenched clerics gain faux-credit as prophets by taking on the mantle of advocates for the approved victims by brow-beating their ordinary congregants. A lot of these guys and girls wind up sounding like velvet-gloved secularized versions of Jonathan Edwards: Consumers in the Hands of an Angry Gaia.

The part which irked me most is his request for this:
Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.
This from a man who had to know that accepting his post as an Episcopalian bishop would bring discord to his church and to the wider Anglican communion, and in the face of a global schism, has chosen, with all the self-righteousness of the sacred victim, his own needs.

But then, the Anglican church owes its existence to just such a man, so maybe Gene is a traditionalist after all.

_________________________

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Post-prayers

I checked out the video of the National Prayer Service of yesterday morning. Its ultimate ancestry comes from a resolution of Congress that directed newly minted President Washington and his administration to join the Senate and House at St Paul's Church in NY in order to "hear divine service". Yeah, those founders really wanted nothing to do with religion.

Anyway, turns out that the barrage of clerics which included the Hamas-friendly prez of one of those Muslim groups, Ingrid Mattson, just read out a prepared part of a longer prayer shared among them all, with a response by the congregation. Very innocuous stuff and not at all Mohammedan except for her dress.

But I remain very unfriendly to Islam, which is essentially an expansionist theocracy. Please tell me where it has set up shop in any non-Muslim country and after achieving a certain population and/or brownskin victim status, has not produced social problems and put the native people on the defensive, if not begun to terrorize and murder them?

Holland is the case of the moment. It is painful to witness. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

___________________

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pretty amusing

HT to Bookworm for this.

_____________________________

The New Eurabia


Dutch Judges


Beyond disgusting, yet completely predictable.

Here, the film which provoked this.

Can you imagine anything remotely like this
taking place because of a criticism of
Christianity or Israel?

Of course you can't.

Update. Mark Steyn's take on this as part of the suicide of the West.
____________________

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Public prayers

Mr. Obama chose to mention that America is a religiously diverse country, saying, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers."

Christians and Muslims.

Not Christians and Jews.

His liberal love of diversity overprivileges the outsider and reduces the great historical majority to one more spot on the "patchwork".

More than 75% of Americans are Christian. Muslims 1.5% perhaps.

As for the rest of his speech, my response to it is predictable.

On Rev. Robinson, the gay bishop who is horrified at the aggressively Christian tone of previous inaugural prayers. His prayer was, as most liberal prayers are, actually a speech.

On Rev. Warren, the supposedly bigoted homohating pastor, his prayer was mixed. Some speechifying and some actual praying. And he prayed authentically as a Christian, mentioned Scripture, used "the J word" (in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish) and culminating in the Lord's Prayer.

If you combine secularism (the reduction of religious belief to the private sphere) and multiculturalism (the celebration of non-white cultures), you get this kind of stuff. The PC bishop just takes his politics and deifies it, but without any "offensive and marginalizing" specificity, at least for theists. The evangelical tells his truth, but has to make sure that Jews and Muslims...and Hispanics!....feel somehow included.

All in all, a strategy worth far less than any of its results. Since, in the end, what it can't handle is either reality or diversity.

__________________________-

A President in Black and White



Barack Hussein Obama is President of the American Republic.

And here are his parents.

The first mixed-race president.

As for his performance, we shall see.
Few of his policies and attitudes
appeal to me.

_____________________________

Monday, January 19, 2009

Even Dolly Lamar finally gets it



Apparently the Dalai Lama, the cool and groovy Pope-replacement for the spiritual Left, has woken up to the fact that Muslim terrorism can't be addressed by ahimsa, harmlessness.

Wow. Dude. Musta taken a long retreat in the Himalayas to get you to that one.

Maybe the history of Buddhism's disappearance in northern India, where it arose, brought back some memories of what the jihad can do.

And apparently he stunned his audience by declaring that he loved George Bush even though he disagreed with some of his policies.

So.

Here's a bunch of highminded folks all ready to meet Islamic thugs with non-violent compassion,
but the fact that their icon feels affection for George Bush stuns them.

There you have it. "Spiritual but not religious" in a nutshell.

It has been a regular experience of mine that people of that sort are very good at loving classes and masses but not so good with actual individual people.

Or reality.

____________________________

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why I'm bothered

I am reading John Keke's new book, The Art of Politics. Kekes is that rare bird, an areligious conservative.

His political philosophy tries to base itself on reason and experience. His fundamental stance is anti-ideological. By ideology he means the privileging of a single value by which political decisions are to be made, regardless of circumstance, and the consequent rationalizing program to organize society. So both the Libertarian stance of making liberty the dominant value and the Communist stance of making equality the dominant value are rejected. To put it in my own demotic way, since the world is messy and people are messy, simple answers in politics make for an even worse mess.

I remember when I was first migrating away from my liberalism around the turn of the century (!), I took on a libertarian stance, but rejected the Libertarian Party as soon as I saw its self-description as "The Party of Principle." I like Jonah Goldberg's wry comment: "As you know, I consider Libertarians to be like Celtic barbarians deployed by British kings in the Middle Ages against the Scots or the French. They are extremely useful for fighting your enemies, but you would never want one to actually sit on the throne." Pretty funny!

Some of Kekes' writing, though clear, is painstakingly careful and abstract, in the way that you expect from philosophers, but which is not always pleasant to read. Oddly, though he is no friend of natural law theory --to him, another ideology-- I often find him sounding like Aquinas. At least in his dialectical mode of argumentation and the careful, step-by-step way in which he proceeds to build up his case.

And a recent review by a religious conservative used exactly the same phrase, "hollow at the core" to reject his work as did a typical liberal professor some years ago. Both find him insufficiently ideological.

It has been his work that has made it clearer to me how a utopian and collectivist egalitarianism lies at the heart of the contemporary left, one which has no ground in either planetary or human nature and which can only be imposed by massive coercion. Its spirit is full of that postmodern contradiction which Stephen Hicks outlined, a militant cultural relativism combined with a highminded absolutist moralism. Puritanical nihilists, the will-to-power disguised as empathy.

He also is very clear and unapologetic in valuing the political order of America as one of the great achievements of mankind. Not because it is perfect but precisely because it has taken into account the inherent imperfection of the world and of human nature and has provided such a wealth of goods of all kinds for us who have the fortune to live in it. For all its ideals, the American Revolution was a conservative and limited one, built on compromise, unlike its high-flying French cousin, from whom all the revolutionary evils of the West has since taken descent.

And the incoming President is the darling precisely of the pomo liberals, those contemporary Copperheads, who have done their level best to supplant the traditional American and messy and imperfect way of proceeding with their own seven-pillared fantasy vision of a better world. Australian John Ray puts in well: "It's the shared hatred of the rest of us that unites Islamists and the Left. American liberals don't love America. They despise it. All they love is their own fantasy of what America could become. They are false patriots."

This is the intellectual background, the proximate context, this morning (!), of "why I'm bothered". The immediate point is discovering that the Muslim woman whom Barak Hussein Obama has invited to take part in his post-inaugural prayer service is president of an organization named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case involving support of Hamas, etc.



It will be no surprise that the mere participation of a Muslim in this event irks me. And it does not surprise me that he chose a Muslim woman to play the role; politically smart, as usual. But why in the name of God does he choose someone tainted by connections to the very people who would erase us? Giving these people a place on the national horizon is a mistake. Couldn't he find some Sufi imam, whose version of Islam actually does place far more emphasis on the internal jihad against egoism?

Bush was hardly better, so I guess I should not be surprised. But I am upset.

"These people" are completely self-confident and unapologetic and clearly wish to replace our society with their own ideology, and they have found their niche in a gutless liberal West, as the perpetual victims, in order to proceed. Galls me deeply.

And I bet her prayer will not be a self-hating de-racinated blurb like the one we can expect from Rev. Mr. Robinson.

_________________________

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Where's Jay Leno when you need him?

On a gay Catholic website....
I must have slept through this lecture in theology class.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

HomoFascism, continued

The number of homosexual men involved in explicitly fascists groups must be infinitesimal. The numbers of homosexual men involved in crypto-communist groups is much larger, since being leftwing is a constituent part of the gay identity. You are far more likely to find a gay man supporting Castro or Hamas than one who is nostalgic for Himmler. Far more. And no one will give the leftoid homo any grief about it.

I am mostly on the same page with people like Hari in my dislike of fascism. I watched some clips from a Rosa Von Praunheim film on neo-Nazi identified gays in Germany. The film simply lets them speak for themselves, in their own words. I found it hard to watch after a few minutes; my stomach started tightening up.

What galls me is that homos can support all kinds of equally vicious leftist forms of totalitarianism and they will get a pass, even get rewarded for it. Loving Hitler is evil. Loving Stalin is...what? A bit misguided?

Most men who grow up homosexual experience a massive wound to their masculine identity. And there are all sorts of ways to deal with that. Attraction to the hypermasculine images associated with fascism is one way. Fascism frankly and enthusiastically makes hierarchical order a value. And rank is a fundamental form of male eros. So it makes sense on that level.

_______________________

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

HomoFascism




Garden-variety lefty Johann Hari has just produced a piece on the threat of gays in fascist movements.

(How did I find this HuffPost post? I was trying to find a therapist for someone in NY, a therapist who'd be a good match for a man who read and liked Androphilia. I googled and one of the links was to a blog called "Androphilia". On which some guy called Gay Species included an assertion that Jack Malebranche aka Donovan, the author of the book, was a skinhead fascist. And he linked to Hari's article, which I then read. The wonders of cyberlinking.)

Fascism. It's about as slippery a term as racism. But Hari at least offers a description of it as "a political ideology advocating hierarchical government that systematically denies equality to certain groups." Hey, I thought this was about fascism, not Islam.

Anyway, Hari makes two mistakes of fact, just for starters.

He places the male-lover bonded Sacred Band of Thebes at Thermopylae as its 300 defenders. All wrong. No historical evidence for that. There were 300 Spartans there at the head of an army of several thousand other Greeks; Thebans were included, but not the Sacred Band. Sloppy gay mythologizing, Mr. Hari.

Second, he calls murdered Dutch gay politician Pim Fortuyn a fascist because he found the growing numbers of Muslims in Holland a threat to its culture and social order. Fortuyn was more of a libertarian, but understood that liberty can only function in a culture of liberty. Which Islam is definitely not. According to Hari's own definition, Fortuyn could not be a fascist. Again, sloppy leftoid blahblah.

Speculatively, imagine if the inrush of immigration into Holland were not North African Muslims, but South African Afrikaaners going back to the land of their ancestors. Do you think for a moment that the left would hesitate to name the threat which the immigrants posed to Holland's tolerant democratic order? Please. The rule: only Whites can be evil; people of color, never (unless forced by circumstances laid on them by whites.)

Moving on, he matter-of-factly condemns fascism, especially in its Nazi form, as "the most hateful and evil political movement of all"? Pardon my dissent. Was/is Nazism hateful and evil? Of course. It was a form of dictatorial totalitarianism. But only one form. Older, briefly contemporary, and longer-lasting and more murderously and globally damaging is The Other Fascism: Communism.

Nazism was, without doubt, a horror of the first magnitude. But I submit that what is supposed to make it most evil --its racism-- is precisely what makes it less evil than Communism. It is utterly clear (at least now; Euros then as now were very often blind to it) that National Socialism is an ideology benefitting a particular ethnic group. Its self-interest is blatant and upfront about Aryans vs the rest of the inferior world, especially Jews.

Communism is more hateful and evil because it masquerades as an angel of light for an oppressed worldwide undergroup transcending race and parades equality as its banner. In fact, in every case where it has struck, it is precisely fascist, totalitarian, vengeful against whatever group held "privilege" prior to its arrival, vastly murderous of both body and soul, and blights whatever it touches. In seventy years, 100 million dead.

And, as testy and thorough Aussie John Ray has pointed out, one of the big lies of the last century, still in force, is that Nazism was a right-wing movement. This allows leftist to paint all righties as Nazis*. In fact, Nazism and Communism are both forms of socialist fascism, each one as totalitarian as the other and each as given to tyranny. Hitler....then, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, PolPot, KimJongIl, Ceaucescu, Castro, etc. etc. etc. See Jonah Goldberg.

I note here, by the way, that it is Islam which fits the above definition of fascism, and while Hari is all bothered about homosexuals in European fascist movements, past and present, he is blind to and silent about the deeply anti-gay and anti-Semitic religious fascism growing under his highminded gay nose. Again, typical lefty denial.

And while I am at it. I suspect that part of what makes fascism and Nazism so uniquely evil for Mr. Hari is their Jew-hatred. Fair enough. No argument. But, I ask, which group is the effective heart of Jew-hatred today and which entity sits by silently and complicity while it grows louder and more vile by the day? Not the fascists, but the Muslims and their lefty allies, and their dickless societies of post-Christian bien-pensant Euro dhimmis-in-training.

I have some thoughts on the "substance" of the article, male homosexuals and fascism, but for another post. I have to go off now and get to the gym, shave my head, put on my uniform, get together with my secret lover and oppress someone of color.



*And why, btw, I ask, why did George Bush never get around to opening all those camps he had set up for us homos? Could the man do nothing right? I expected this to be included in his confessional list of mistakes, but alas, no.

____________________

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gay, yes; bishop, sorta




It seems Prez O has invited gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson to pray at a pre-inaugural prayer fest. Rev. Robinson has said it is a nice way to embrace all the people, GLBTs included...but he has announced that he will not be using the Bible for his prayer or making it Christian, since not everybody is Christian. and previous inauguration prayers "horrified" him by how "aggressively Christian" they were. Wow, so open.

So even though not everyone is GLBT, he is accepting this public view on behalf of that group, yet he decides that since not everyone is Christian, the bishop (!) is going to erase his Christianity for the sake of inclusiveness. Well, since there are atheists in America, why pray at all? Why not include them by shutting up?

The metamessage here is that being GLBT is important and will be proclaimed to the nation, but that being Christian is not and will be hidden. Or maybe it is so important, as a negative, that it must be hidden.

This is how liberal "diversity" really works. Any traditionally successful (aka "dominant" or "conventional") group must erase itself in order to make room for the traditionally unsuccessful (aka "oppressed" or "minority") group.

I wonder if any imams are invited and if they will be acting as if they are not imams. We know how ecumenical and humble Muslims are about all this.

And if any black Christian preachers show up and use the Bible and Jesus in prayer, I am sure Rev. Gene will "respect their choice". Cause we all know that blacks have an instinctually religious nature and their history of oppression, blah, blah, blah.

Why does this bug me?

Because it is part of the suicidal confidence game whereby what is called "diversity" is actually dissolution. The so-called celebration of difference is actually a hatred of difference, real difference. Only the pre-arranged potted plants are allowed to be "different." And it is the people and traditions who have made the West who are expected to dissolve, all in the name of this highminded bullshit.

I am no fan of Rev. Robinson. It seems to me that for a man to accept episcopal ordination knowing that it would split his church in two...well, I guess that's what Protestants do.

And as you know, I think they are all on their way to becoming Unitarians. Which is fine, for Unitarians! They're not making believe about it.

_____________________

Monday, January 12, 2009

My anti-semitism, a note

Clear-eyed, butch-mouthed Canuckess Kathy Shaidle at FiveFeetofFury, who doth not suffer Mohammedans gladly, has a note on the Jewish non-response to the pro-Hamas Death-to-Israel rallies across Canada. She wonders if too many Jews are stuck thinking that Christians are their enemies rather than Muslims.

BTW, she remarks that in her Catholic school childhood, it was made very clear to her that anti-Semitism was a sin. Same here, from the nuns and the priests. Right smack dab in the middle of 1950's NY Irish Catholicism.

It was made clear that it was our sins that killed Jesus and that the Jews of the time were only God's instrument. And the words of Pius XI, "spiritually, we are all Semites", were quoted.

Social anti-Semitism certainly existed. In the rough-and-tumble of NY, we called each other names in the playground and on the street before it became a capital crime (for Prince Harry but not for Muslim thugs and friends during DeathToJews rallies) but there was no theological support for it.

Certainly Jesus was God and the Jews denied it. Certainly the Church of Rome was the One True Religion and the Protestants denied it. But what we knew and which the highminded asshats who dominate our culture now don't know is that you can actually disagree with someone on a fundamental level and still be friendly, neighborly...hell, even fall in love with them and marry them. It's called tolerance.

____________________________

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mozilla's Breakdown




My religioussexualpolitical interests tend to take me to divergent places on the net.

This morning, after my usual perusal of the usual suspects, I opened a site that tracks and promotes the return of traditional Roman liturgy in the Catholic Church and then also a site which promotes a "progressive, gay, Catholic agenda" somewhere in the Midwest.



While I was pouring myself a cup of coffee, I got a message that my Mozilla Firefox browser had encountered an insoluble problem and closed itself down.

I can relate.

:)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An unsettling image



Part of recent pro-Hamas and anti-Jew protests in San Francisco. The local ummah prostrates to their god Allah, with the city hall of SF in the background.

_____________________________

Beautiful cultural diversity




Ah, those wacky Papua New Guineans*.

*Pic is generic of burning woman, not PNG event.

_______________________

Jack Malebranche revealed


as Jack Donovan.

Shoulda known the shit-disturber was Irish. :)

The author of Androphilia, well interviewed.

Examples:

Our culture’s strategy for integrating women into the workforce has unfortunately been to strip men of any distinct virtues, qualities, social roles or responsibilities. This is one of the great tragedies of our time, and time will tell if this gender neutral society thing is really sustainable, practical or even truly desirable.


Most people who throw around the word “misogyny” a lot are completely hysterical.



The gay community embraces everyone and doesn’t expect its men to be anything but gay and “proud” of it. There is no pressure to be a “good man” because gays aren’t held to the same standards as other men.



Modern gay culture is a by-product of marginalizing homosexuals, who “came out” in cahoots with the various forces who want to dismantle western culture—the culture that marginalized them.



Gay culture shows homosexual males how to behave like clowns, how to get laughs at their own expense, or to get laughs by gossiping or insulting others. The gay community celebrates “fabulousness” and shows homosexual males how to be the center of attention, no matter what kind of attention. It shows them how to be beautiful and popular and desired in the way that high school girls want to be beautiful and popular and desired.



I’m an advocate of holding homosexual men to the same set of expectations as other men, in the traditional sense. They should be expected to be strong and self reliant, they should be judged by their achievements and their actions, and they should be expected to have some sense of honor. They should be expected to do the right thing and take responsibility for their actions without resorting to the shirker’s response of blaming society for their personal failings



The whole thing, here.

My usual disagreements with the man remain,
mostly products of the historical experience
of growing up in different times.
But he is always well worth listening to.
An impressive young fella.

His upcoming work:




_________________________

The Battle of Algiers, continued





Robert Avrech writes:

"The Palestinians are a lucky people.

Because their enemies are Jews."

Rather than fellow Arabs.

Fascinating stuff, history.

HT to the articulate Shrinkwrapped.

____________________________________

Friday, January 09, 2009

Chronicles of the open-minded liberal


Chilling stuff from Hollywood. Stop the H8TE.

Some actress named Susan Egan (seen above in some Disney play). All for diversity of views, as long as they don't conflict with hers.

A perfect Orwellian example of enantiodromia. And of the evil progressive slogan that the personal and the political are one. She is so liberal and tolerant that she becomes an agent of inquisitorial revenge and can't even see it. Awful woman.


'

My own anti-semitism






The current war between Israel and Hamas has brought to the surface --or at least highlighted what was already plain to see-- the great reservoir of Jew-hatred in the world. If you are pro-Israel, as I am, the coverage in the MSM is incredibly one-sided. It almost beggars belief.
And the "collateral damage" of anti-Jewish protests and violence is downplayed by the same media.

In the current liberal West, racism is the most evil crime, hands down. Part of Western suicidality is an internal shame at being white and a granting of moral supremacy and instant victim credit to any group of non-Whites who claim it. The only moral ground, tenuous and never achieved once for all, that Whites can hold is if they embrace this tale and proclaim it. This alone would be enough to explain how the Israel/Hamas issue gets narrated.

The sentimental idea that any human group is without serious defect is ludicrous. Nothing in history or experience provides any evidence of it. So why can you not have a poor opinion, even an active dislike, of a human group? Ethnic, religious, racial groups included. In fact, this kind of dislike is a human universal. I am of the opinion that it is a necessity for group survival to believe that your group is better than all others and to dislike some others, most often your neighbors. Why? Because almost every group in history (White liberals excepted, at least on the surface) believes this. And without that bulwark of self-confidence, you cannot stand against them and theirs.

But, back to Jew-hatred.. Or, as it is formally called, anti-Semitism.

I am mostly a Jew-lover. I grew up with Jews (my language is peppered with Yiddishisms), I have worked well and happily with Jews, and my family is now partly Jewish. I know more about Judaism, and like it more, than a lot of Jews. And I support Israel, even more than some Israelis do.

But, some of me dislikes Jews. As Jews. I do not cringe about this, nor am I ashamed of it, because in the three and a half instances I will note, members of this human group annoy the hell out of me precisely by the behavior involved, combined with their Jewish identity. It is in those moments that my anti-Semitism appears.

Two point five of the instances involve behaviors not unique to Jews, but when Jews engage in them, it is as Jews that I dislike these people. Their Jewishness is part of my reaction. Another is one which only a Jew could carry out.

Two point five of these contexts provoke me to irritation and dislike, but nothing more. So Jew-"hatred" is not involved, not even close. The third offends me, makes me angry, and I find myself wishing I could find some way to damage these people.

Enuff with preliminaries.

Item one: Well-off and successful American Jews who invoke the Holocaust or some other narrative of Jewish suffering to inflate whatever blockage, inconvenience or slight they feel into a genocidal crime, hoping to induce in me and other Gentiles a sense of guilt or shame. Being on the receiving end of this kind of manipulation only makes me resent them as Jews. Jewish victim groups. Upper middle class American Jews who want to make some kind of equivalence between being excluded from a country club and being herded into cattle cars...well, it burns me. So patently self-serving and rather obscence, actually.

Item two: (This is one unique to Jews). When a Jewish scholar takes his shared Jewishness with Jesus to point out to Christians that they have completely misunderstood Christ. The argument comes down to shared blood and the same attitude you used to find on stupid t-shirts: "It's a Hebrew thang, you wouldn't understand." A smugness that irritates me.

Item three: (And this is the strongest by far for me). Jews in America, especially, who adopt a leftwing or progressive stance which makes the very country that has welcomed them the source of all the world's evils and do what they can to damage it. The ikon here is Noam Chomsky. Or Howard Zinn or Saul Alinsky. The ACLU and its war on Christianity. But Hollywood Jews and the armies of Jews on the left are included. What makes this different from my dislike of leftists generally is that I deem it a special case of ingratitude approaching betrayal. What other Western country has been as welcoming to Jews as America? To be an anti-American Jew pushes deep and dark buttons in me.

And the fourth is the pushy Jew, the kind who, in a discussion or even on line in a store, reacts with an unrelated and arrogant aggression. That's not something I run into very often, but when it happens, the person involved becomes not just another jerk, but an Other Jerk, an alien. The ordeal of civility.

So, there it is.

One of the good things I have learned from my years in psychology, especially Jungian, is the value of differentiation: to try to calibrate emotional assessments of provocative phenomena into discreet parts. So, as I said, my attitude toward Jews is at least 90% very positive. And I have had and have personal connections with Jews who exhibit the stereotypically positive traits of their people: a warmth, generosity, loyalty, humor, intelligence, and related straight-forwardness which has a particularly Jewish feel.

And even with Israelis, who are famed even among American Jews for their abrasiveness, I would take them over the surrounding Muslim sea any day of the week.



_____________________________________

Thursday, January 08, 2009

An easy life






I am sure Matt Lauer gets up early and works hard, but to do what he does and make 13 million (or is it 16?) a year...Seems to have a very nice life, with a nice family. And despite my lack of appreciation for the general milieu, I can always overcome that to appreciate a particular man. He is a lucky and fine lookin' fella, in terrific shape and wears his jeans well.

________________________

Later on

We don't hear much about Nelson Mandela's South Africa, now that the days of apartheid are over and the majority black population governs. Apparently the place is a mess. Can you spell "Rhodesia"?

I had yet another politically incorrect thought the other day. Colonizing. We all know that the Europeans pretty well colonized the planet over a period of several centuries. And we are all told it was a bad awful terrible thing.

But what if the Europeans had suddenly transcended their human nature and become post-colonial liberals and never colonized anyplace? What if they had left the rest of the planet alone? Would Africa and the Americas now be great tribal theme parks? Would the Ottoman Empire still rule the Balkans, the Aztecs still lord it over Mexico?

Now there's a fertile matrix for alternative history.

PS Note that the Ottomans got their empire and the Aztecs their by...colonialism and/or outright invasion and conquest. Do Turks feel bad about their history? Do Aztec descendants in Mexico think they got what was coming to them? Hmmm.
______________________________________________

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Daily absurdity




I have very bad car karma. I have to park my car on the street. It gets dinged and vandalized. One got stolen. People back into it, side-swipe it. Etc.

This week, some thug broke the passenger window and ripped off my radio/CD player. So it's in the shop. Insurance provides me a rental car. BUT. I live in neighborhood with area-specific parking privileges. My rental car will get ticketed. This has happened before.

So. I go down to the parking and traffic place to get a temporary permit to park in front of my own house...

I fill out the forms, and hand the woman my license. She tells me, "We don't accept a driver's license as proof of residence."

You know, you can vote for frickin' President on the strength of a driver's license, or satisfy Homeland Security that you can board a plane, but the bureaucrats of SF do not find this document important enough to give a you a temporary parking permit.

______________________

Friday, January 02, 2009

Crisis in Canada





Canada is little less than an abusive police state. This, from folks who ought to know.

___________________________________

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Jan 1 2009

I have never been a fan of New Year's. Some folks hate Christmas; I find the whole hoopla about a new calendar unmoving. So I will not indulge in the rituals of reminiscence and prognostication. Except to say that 2008 was a decidedly mixed bag: moments I would not have missed, and moments I could very well do without. But as so often in life, they are linked together. To want one is to accept the other.

I normally spend this time of year at home in SF. Currently I am back East to help attend to the family matter of aging and ailing parents. It is sobering. I thank God for my siblings.

I am with my Dad, who is now just a barely audible echo of the man he once was. I don't think he knows who I am now. For this New Year's it's just me and him and his caregiver.

Instead of the mildly cool and wet days of January by the Pacific (47 and cloudy today), I have the pleasure of hearing the wind howl outside the house, over a sunny rural landscape covered in snow, with the temperature at about 15 and a windchill factor that makes it feel like -2. Getting to the gym today --a pillar of my sanity-- will not be the usual ten minute walk but a longer drive in the heated up car.

Thank God for movies on the Internet.

____________________________________
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...