Saturday, February 28, 2009
In first century Palestine, occupied by Rome, local men, Jews, would purchase tax contracts from the government and then use that authority to collect taxes from their fellows. Of course, they collected more than was required. So not only were they seen as traitors but as thieves.
Women were not eligible for this kind of activity, so prostitution was the status that made them outcasts.
Jesus pointed out the particularly gendered way in which males and females became pariahs to their communities and included these groups in his mission.
I am considerable less Christian than Jesus, so my sense of gendered flaws is not about find a way to reconcile them, but simply to point out the different ways in which males and females can be obnoxious or worse.
As much as I am a fan of the male animal, there is one set of classical male behaviors which, even if they are evolutionarily comprehensible, I find morally reprehensible: men in a group, ganging up on a weaker individual. To me it is irredeemably cowardly, the worst behavior of the gender. They deserve a humiliating corporal punishment that matches their foulness.
What I find most obnoxious in women is when they use the cover of their gender, with the permission they have to be irrationally emotional, temperamental and superficial, and nowadays the cache of victimism, to terrorize those around them while they seek out some kind of gratification. An example? The narcissistic cow called the bridezilla and her typological sisters and cousins. (Talk about moments when heterosexuality is utterly incomprehensible to me!)
Friday, February 27, 2009
One of the major reasons is that it makes such accurate fun of the silliness of the human race, skewers the peacenick and elitist assumptions about fascinating extra-terrestrial cultures who will relieve us of our sense of being alone in the cosmos* (Annette Benning is a hoot here) , and it has the solution to the problem come from one of the aspects of American culture most despised by these groups.
The historic encounter takes place in Pahrump, Nevada, a metropolis I have actually visited, as part of an epochal trip to nearby Beatty, where adventure awaits you, and the exotic El Portal Motel.
The trip. And the movie.
Always makes me smile.
* I bet the Aztecs were equally thrilled when they had their solitude assuaged by Cortez.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In my wanderings yesterday, the ones that led me to the grim and radicallove feminist and the veganettes of color, I stopped off on a blog by a man of Reformed theological conviction. A lot of these guys really do have conviction. Anyway, he expressed breathless affection for...John Calvin.
This man described his conversion. He had been raised a Methodist and professed never to have heard the Gospel. But he read St Paul one night, about the foolishness of God and the foolishness of the world, and came to the conclusion that not only did God hate the worst things about him, but God hated the best things about him.
I guess this is what the Prots mean by "total depravity".
And why the Reformation never found much traction in Italy.
I kinda have Calvinist ancestry. On my mother's side, her dad came from Scandinavian Lutherans who were originally French Calvinists who fled to Denmark, the Huguenots.
My chief reason for liking Protestantism is that only Protestants...few of whom were of the grimly Calvinist persuasion of the above-mentioned fella...could have created America.
Anyway, I had a bad day today and feel the wrath of God on me. But my atavistic Catholicism figures that He still likes the best things about me, even when I can't remember what they are. On a good day, even I do.
My mother said to me, Well, maybe the Lord is testing you. I replied to her, No, mom, the Lord is not testing me. The Lord is fucking with me.
Well, He's at it again.
Not only did Barack Hussein Obama win the election, but the economy and my 401K decided to melt down just after I took the biggest financial risk I can remember.
I am negotiating a big shift in a major relationship very important to me.
My decennial sigmoidoscopy was declared incomplete and I have to do it again.
I have put my back out and sprained my knee so that my gym routine is sidetracked and my bod is not feeling as frisky as I did last summer.
I am about to age another year in three weeks.
Due to financial stress, I have no sound system in my recently broken-into-yet again car.
Then my laptop's electrical connection broke yesterday and I discovered that it has to be sent to the manufacturer for three weeks! and if the warranty doesn't hold, a couple hundred bucks repair.
I woke up for three whole hours in the middle of the night, prime time for catastrophic thinking.
While I am having a Bad Day but trying to cope bravely, the neighbor's cat comes to visit and has rancidly foul-smelling diarrhea all over my bedspread.
God hates me, clearly, and today I don't blame Him.
I feel as if every flaw in my flawed character is in wide-screen technicolor.
TMI? I don't care.
The two recurring themes to which supposedly complex psychological reflection usually boiled down to were shadow projection and the unintegrated feminine. This repetitive and rather reductive pattern meshed well with most of the Seven Pillars of Liberalism and its complex-ridden attitudes toward racist whites, brutal males, colonializing nation-states, devouring consumers, inquisitorial Christians, etc. The Usual Suspects.
Lo and behold, I just received a notice of a new edition of a "scholarly" Jungian journal and its three items exemplify my previous assessment. One is a scolding of Europeans for scapegoating the Gypsies with their own shadow projection. The other is a scolding of Europeans for the shadow projection, gender dis-integration (and essentialism) involved in a novel about slavery. The third is a book review on ecopsychology which scolds Europeans (and American whites) for....well, shadow projection on the wise and environmentally reverent dark native peoples.
The scholarly character of the pieces lies primarily in reflecting the obsessions of the pomo world of cultural studies and academic political correctness. The discourse has become so narrow and predictable that it qualifies for John Kekes' definition of an ideology.
Funny how the thought of an eccentric Swiss psychiatrist has come to match so well --absent his pre-feminist "essentialism"-- the opinions you could hear any day at the Mall in Kentfield or the faculty lounge at Stanford.
PS. What, you may be wondering, has the picture got to do with the post? Well, only this. I was searching in Google image for something appropriate and came up with this unlikely image of a homoerotic cartoon hunk named Jung. Not what you usually see in Jungian publications....
et in cinerem reverteris.
-Book of Genesis
FEAR no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finish'd joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
Fidele, Wm Shakespeare
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Now here's a group we need to integrate :)
into the post-cowardly discussion on race...
"because they don't have the luxury
of being single-issue".
One of the vegobloggerettes says that her cuisinal practice
"offers me the opportunity to resist the colonial influences that the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow and forced poverty has forced onto my people’s diets."
I found these exotics thru my usual semi-free
association style, via a page from a womyn
whose PC-itude was enough to suck all the air
out of my patriarchal living room. She has been
a writer for Bitch Magazine. Her blog is
called My Ecdysis. That means molting.
It is a place "where
radical love meets feminism."
Example of this meeting:
"The face of G*d for me is the liberation of those in pain, myself included. My definition of feminism is not a worded explanation, limited by my westernized and elitist tongue. It is a drive, dare I write spiritual drive, to do what I can, when I can, and make one thing, or as many things, better for another human being born in my lifetime, on our planet, this place we all call home. With all the mystery and fear in my body, soaked in ethnocentric alcohol, I sober my life by sitting on the edge of my bathroom sink and pulling the bathroom mirror into my face.Really. I did not make that up. Really. I'm gonna go put some ethnocentric alcohol on my westernized and elitist tongue.
I look up.
Pogo? Pogo, where are you?
what do you know about him now
on the basis of that description, "far-right"?
And if I were to say to AG Eric Holder, one of our current crop of national schoolmarms, "Guess what. I don't want to be part of your nation of cowards anymore. I am giving up the pretenses. I am a racist."
know about me now
that you didn't know before?
With "far-right" complex, I think we have the image of the Nazi: again, a White Male who uses Nationalism and Militarism to oppress freedom and difference in favor of an upper class and ethnic oligarchy. Hitler, the Afrikaaners, Franco, the Pinochets, etc. To be called "far-right" evokes the images of Nazism: concentration camps, genocide, nationalist war, etc.
As John Ray points out, the taxonomy which puts conservatism in the same camp with National Socialism, rather than with its fellow Socialist ideologies where it belongs, is one of the great leftist lies and coups of the last century.
And as for "racist". KKK. Bull Connors. Long time ago. It describes Don Imus, but excludes Louis Farrakhan, excludes Hamas but encompasses Israel. That's because only whites can be racist, or so the doctrine goes. (Anyone who thinks that has no friends "of color", believe me.) It is so complex-ridden that actual rational discussion about it grinds to a halt almost as soon as it begins. This is one of the most useless words in our vocabulary.
Up there in vapidity with, though far more dangerous than, "open-minded" or "spiritual."
Monday, February 23, 2009
The Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Congregationalist traditions have now largely shrunk in size to a tiny minority of Americans and whatever theological issues once separated them --and gave them their identity and vitality--have now become antique even, or especially, to them. What they care about are social issues, leftist and liberal and predictably "prophetic" aka anti-American, and that is all there is to them. They would all happily embrace each of the seven pillars of liberalism. Theology is treated with some embarassment, since it tends to take positions that exclude alternatives. Although their "social justice" stances are equally exclusionary, they are so convinced of their inherent rightness that they do not care. Nor, really, does anyone not already in the club.
The case of Ann Holmes Redding (pixed above), a black Episcopal woman priest who declared in 2007 that she had also become a Muslim, is instructive. Her local bishop at first declared himself excited at the interfaith possibilities. Yes. Her bishop of license met with her and although she found Redding bright and full of integrity, gave her a year to think about it, after that year, and some, she gave her til the end of March 2009 to change or be deposed from the ministry. Not, notice, ejected from the Episcopal church.
Although many observers were nonplussed, the gulf between Islam and Christianity being obvious to others not so afflicted with brightness and integrity as Redding, many Episcopalians applauded the careful, pastoral approach.
To no one's surprise, Redding continued to hold that becoming a Muslim made her a better Christian.
I have not met this woman, with her PhD in New Testament studies (which gives her a job at the Jesuit Seattle U's school of ministry...). Her bishop may find her bright and full of integrity, but I think she is a self-deluded idiot.
Can you be a Christian...an actual Christian holding to the Triune God and the full divine-human incarnation of Christ...and be a Muslim...thereby explicitly rejecting both in favor of the unitarian Allah and Muhammad, not Jesus, as the perfect man and the ultimate prophet of the Koran, the Word made text?
Well, here's an experiment for Redding. Get one of your Muslim sisters to stand up in the mosque and announce that she had been baptized and that she believes that becoming a Christian makes her a better Muslim.
Muslims, lacking pastoral sensitivity, have a word for that. It's called apostasy.
The open, diverse, inclusive and sensitive pastors of the disappearing Prot Mainline may not understand that, but unless you're a bright and integrity-filled idiot, it's clear. And if the content of your religion has become so fuzzy that you cannot bring yourself to say, "Look, lady...", then why should anyone go to your for political advice, an area, as the current President says, above your pay grade?
As I have noted, I no longer practice the Catholicism of my earlier life. My interest in the question has to do with the health of the West and its institutions. These folks are symptoms and pathogens at once.
Looking for something to read with my morning coffee, I see a pile of books on the desk at the back of my kitchen. Armistead Maupin's 2007 piece, Michael Tolliver Lives. I saw Mr Maupin at the checkout line at the grocery store yesterday or the day before.
I loved the Tales of the City series. Before I ever visited the wonderful city where I have now lived for more than 17 years, those fantastical stories populated it in my soul. On my first trip here, in February of 1988....I still recall my shock at seeking cala lilies growing on the street...the San Francisco I met was much shaped by Maupin's gift for storytelling and outrageous characters. I almost expected to see the Barbary Lane folks on the street. Had my picture taken on the steps of Macondry Lane, above.
Nostalgia is selective. That year, the plague was in full swing. Death was visible. Just the year before, I had made a wrenching life-change. And the man I visited San Francisco with, who was my new lover, would later, when we moved here a few years after that, become so irksome to be around that it was fifteen years after our breakup before I could sit down to lunch with him.
When the Tales movies started being made in the early 90's, one of my workmates, who became a friend, whom I loved, and who died soon after, watched them with me. Seeing the book, I think of the film, and of him, and tears come to my eyes. He was one of those guys who had a big dose of "guy", who loved home improvement, gadgets, his motorcycle. But he also had a shy sweetness and boyish playfulness about him. I miss his smile still.
In More Tales of the City (1980), Michael Tolliver writes a coming-out letter to his parents. In it, he tells his mother that by accepting to be loved for who he is, he feels that he has at last "joined the family of man." Maupin has said that the letter is the piece he is most proud of having written.
I agree. I know how that felt, when the internal sewer of fear and shame is purged after years and years and the stunning gift is given of being seen in the open for who you are, in daylight, without apology. You finally feel human.
When I read Michael Tolliver Lives, I was nostalgic for the younger Tolliver, the Maupin of bygone days. Not because life was simpler twenty years earlier. As I said, death was everywhere. But what I found in MTL was that "the family of man" had shrunk.
The Tales had always been merciless about some kinds of people: closeted homophobes and religious bigots. Friends who disappointed you. Yet there was still play and open-heartedness and the hopefulness of people looking for something. The new book is full of self-righteous victimism and all the cliches of the Bush-hating years. More laughter is described in this book than provoked. Michael, now in his mid-fifties and despite being loved by a handsome and good-hearted guy twenty years his junior (Maupin's real-life situation now), has become, as one reviewer noticed, sour and whiny. And worse.
Returning to see his family, with his mother on her way to death, Michael can still only see one thing: their not seeing him exactly as he sees himself. His narcissism is painful to witness. They are part of the family of man, these flawed people, these white American Christians from the South, but they dare to maintain a value and belief system different from Michael's, one in which he is not completely ok. Within that world, they do their clumsy best to treat him decently but will not undo their whole world in order to make him feel embraced. So, too typically of what San Francisco has become a quarter century later, he coldly excommunicates them --and most of America-- from the little sect of victims he has now canonized as his "real" family, his queer family.
He encapsulates what "tolerance" has come to mean: an angry and self-centered demand to be celebrated loudly and fully precisely for those qualities that other people honestly find hard to take. What is supposed to come off as his hard and noble choice actually feels small-souled, bitter, and totally lacking in compassion. An unforgiving Michael Tolliver has forgotten his letter and has become the very people he fled from.
Unlike Maupin, there is another author, Federico Fellini...whose genre makes him an auteur, I guess...who knew what Maupin has forgotten. My favorite film, Amarcord, is going to be shown at the Castro theater next week. Fellini is able to portray his characters in all their blindness and smallness and fear, but while we laugh at them he never lets us hold them in contempt. He never forgets that they are part of his family, our family. Perhaps that's an Italian gift, or perhaps the gift of a spirit who can look the world in the face and still find some affection for it. No easy task. Maupin's way is the easier way, self-indulgent and clear, but it's not better. Makes me sad, makes me miss the old days. Nost/algia.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
What brought it on? Wandering through the blogosphere, my own form of free association, I came upon the story of Sir Alec Guiness' conversion to Catholicism.
Filming one of GK Chesterton's Father Brown stories in France, he kept his costume cassock on as he went home to his hotel. All of a sudden, a young boy walked up next to him and took his hand, called him "Mon pere" and started gabbing with him. He was so struck by the trust of the child in him just because of how he appeared, that it provoked the kind of curiousity that eventuated in his conversion years later.
Nowadays, such a story would be unbelievable. And that is very sad.
I was an altar boy. I learned the Latin of the Mass by heart, using a phonetic booklet. I spent a lot of time with priests when I was young. One in particular took an interest in me when I was in 7th and 8th grade, had me accompany him on pastoral errands, even on trips to the beach or the park. He was a darkly handsome, charismatic man in his thirties. I realized years later that I had a serious crush on him. But he never did anything remotely untoward. Nor did any of the others.
It turned into a wierd joke in the gym one day last year, chatting with another guy who grew up in the same era as me, another untouched altar boy. He said, "What was wrong with us? Not cute enough? Were we chopped liver?"
When I was a kid, priests were kind, or interesting, or intimidatingly severe. But they were never a threat to your safety. In a pinch, even the cranky old Irish pastor was dependable.
Sad that things are not like that anymore.
I knew a parish priest for a while. A gay man struggling with that issue, but certainly one without any interest in teenagers, much less children. But the news was full of all the pedophilia. I was in the vestibule of the church after Mass one Sunday and he was chatting with parishioners, when a little boy about four ran down the aisle toward him, smiling, with his arms out, heading for him.
The priest reached down when the kid arrived and picked him up in his arms and then I saw the look in his eyes, the fear that the people would see a priest and a child and ....He put the little fella down in what he tried to make a fluid motion. But I saw the look.
Sad that things are like that now.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
In the midst of chores, with the TV on, I find myself watching Dr. 90210, about Beverly Hills plastic surgeons, especially Dr. Robert Rey. The man is very talented and very accomplished and successful. He is also good-looking, in great shape, a martial artist, husband and father, etc.
But damn, he dresses like an LA gay hustler. He could be an ad from an old International Male catalog.
Dude, if you're a Latin guy with a bit of pizazz, ok, but there are alternatives to the way overdone hyperpastel too-bedecked boytoy look. And for a Mormon!
But the whole way liberals work is to redefine manners and morals in such a fashion that conservative common sense automatically becomes hateful.The whole thing, here.
If you note that women and men are different, you’re misogynistic. If you denounce the destruction of marriage in black communities, you’re racist or moralistic. If you call for the defense of America against the world-wide Islamist menace, you’re a bigoted warmonger. If we take this garbage seriously even for an instant, we spend our whole lives playing catch-up, saying sorry, going on defense.
What I just discovered is that the first Muslim member of the House of Lords, Ahmed, threatened to summon a mob of 10,000 Muslims against that very House if Wilders were allowed in.
This is the same Lord Ahmed, who along with Muslim members of parliament, joined 38 Islamist groups in warning the UK government that they should change their foreign policy or expect to be attacked.
AND the same Lord Ahmed who decried the award of Knighthood to author Salman Rushdie - Ahmed accused Rushdie of having 'blood on his hands'
AND this is the same Lord Ahmed who was too busy text messaging while driving his Jaguar X-type over 60mph to see a broken down car in the road ahead of him. Ahmed's negligence caused him to smash into the back of the vehicle and fatally injure a father of two children.
Now this 'pillar' of the House of Lords is demanding that British Jews, that may have served or are serving in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), be arrested.
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, arrested Wilders and returned him to the Netherlands. She is the same Jacqui Smith (Jacqui?) who has required the Brits to rename Muslim terrorist incidents as..."anti-Islamic activity."
If I get any more speechless, I'll be a Trappist.
Friday, February 20, 2009
throughout the earth,
inflaming Zeus himself,
wounded with unquenched fires.
Ares the war god has felt those flames.
he who forges the three-forked thunderbolts,
and Apollo, the divine sun,
sure archer himself,
is pierced by a younger god
of surer aim,
the bane both of heaven and earth.
1st century AD
Thursday, February 19, 2009
One of the regular items checked on is whether you want to have kids or not. Many of them checked, "Not sure."
Who in their right mind would undertake a child at age 60? Can you imagine being parent to a teenager at age 75? Talk about masochism and child cruelty combined.
Think, boys, think.
Citing the failure of such state-dominated economies elsewhere, he pointed out the costly lesson which comes from making an economy uncompetitive. He continued: “Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.”
In the same tough-minded vein, he held that“we must assess the real situation and write off all hopeless debts and ‘bad’ assets. True, this will be an extremely painful and unpleasant process. Far from everyone can accept such measures, fearing for their capitalization, bonuses, or reputation. However, we would ‘conserve’ and prolong the crisis, unless we clean up our balance sheets.”
“The time for enlightenment has come. We must calmly, and without gloating, assess the root causes of this situation and try to peek into the future.”And this Goldwaterish, Freedmanish, Ron Paulish politician is.....click here.
The guys at Powerline put my thoughts very well, minus the obscenity:
"his real complaint is not the absence of candid discussion, but rather the articulation of positions he doesn't like."As long as whites are the bad guys who have yet to learn to "embrace the right", and blacks get to be the righteously aggrieved victims, we're cool. I told you that electing Obama would not end this stuff, but entrench it.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Can you imagine if a bunch of gay or lesbian firemen were required to march in a Focus on the Family parade where their sexual orientation would be an object of disapproval?
Or if women firemen were forced to ride in a Mardi Gras parade, where they'd be subjected to the sexual overtures and taunts of drunken males?
Not only would they be upheld, but the damage awards would have been far higher, IMHO.
Making anyone participate in an extracurricular like that against their will is straight-up, or should I say gay-up, stupid. And wrong.
Liberals are suicidally ethical when it comes to how we treat Muslim terrorists who want to behead us. We have to be super moral to avoid become like our enemies. But when it comes to forcing our fellow citizens to revel in the New Age of Tolerance, no such compunctions arise.
And it does help if the fellow citizens are white males.
SD Fire Chief Tracy Jarman is a lesbian, btw. I wrongly assumed that she gave the orders for this in this instance. As I was checking out the info for this post, I discovered that she did not and was not named in the complaint. It came from lower down in the chain of command. And the policy has since been changed.
Reminds me of a friend of mine, who used to cover his high IQ and rather ruthlessly dogmatic frame of mind with that aw-shucks Midwestern good-hearted ordinary guy response that Donohue shows here. Gee whiz, doncha think maybe we could make the world a little nicer?
Classic (honorary; he's too old) Boomer meets a realist. This is funny. HT to Dr. Sanity.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Music is a great hook there. Whether it's the "vivos et mortuos" of Palestrina's Credo in the Missa Papae Marcelli or Brad Paisley's "It's Rainin' You"...or this evening's culprit:
"And So It Goes."
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along
I spoke to you in cautious tones
You answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much
My silence is my self defense
And every time I've held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes, and so it goes
And so will you soon I suppose
But if my silence made you leave
Then that would be my worst mistake
So I will share this room with you
And you can have this heart to break
And this is why my eyes are closed
It's just as well for all I've seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows
So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows.
I am wondering about transgenderism and race.
When you run into gays, most of them are white, matching the general population. I am getting the impression that a much higher percentage of (MTF?) transgenders are non-white.
Have no idea if there's any basis to this.
The liberals who fought to erase blasphemy laws now write laws that have the same effect, criminalizing speech which insults something you find sacred because of your faith, liberalism.
You have to be deaf and blind not to notice that hate speech law is only invoked in favor of certain specified groups, official victim groups beloved of liberals. Only conservatives and righties can speak hatefully.
But, mirabili dictu, even a Salon liberal lawyer like Glenn Greenwald finds the use of law to punish such speech a very bad idea indeed, noxious and oppressive and "stomach-churning."
Mr. Greenwald finds people like the "pernicious" Ezra Levant and the "odious" Mark Steyn "hateful purveyors of a bitter, destructive, authoritarian ideology." But he wants to take them on in an extra-legal forum. Yes, dude. Yes. Good for you. Argue! Call each other names!
(Under hate speech laws, wouldn't Messrs. Levant ande Steyn be able to plead against Mr. Greenwald for making them feel bad?)
Now here's a bi-partisan project I could get on board with!
And they would be more than happy to take the loathsome and rank Mr. Greenwald on.
That's that way we do it in a "liberal" democracy.
Long live Psalm 139.22
A thought. Were I surrounded by contemptuous and hungry vultures with flamethrowers, rather than swooning acolytes with thrills running up their legs, would I expose a wound?
And BTW, Ms. Clift, on his way out, when his friends in the press could no longer savage him to any effect, Mr Bush did just that.
If you'd paid attention, madam, your refreshment would have arrived earlier.
Sooooo....what happened to the inalienable right of a woman to choose? To control her own body?
If she had decided to abort the eight, no one would have heard of her. But since she carried them to term....
I get confused sometimes.
*Ironically, her name is the Arabic form of Solomon. King Solomon is famous for his wisdom in dealing precisely with a complex issue of motherhood and newborns.
James Taranto points out the immediate responses of the National Organization of Women (NOW) to the beheading of a woman in Buffalo, as well as a couple of other news items featuring rank physical brutality perpetrated on women in America.
Here they are, as Taranto writes, "in their entirety and edited only for spelling and punctuation:"
Why the silence from a group which usually has a lot to say?
Guess what? The male perpetrators are Muslim.
I repeat that the psychological enemy of all progressives can really only be a white male, preferable American, Christian, straight, successful, etc. Exceptions are made for rednecks, who can be poor as dirt. And Israelis. And sometimes blacks who step off the plantation and take on unacceptable (conservative and/or Republican) values.
No one with the victim status that comes with either actual or imputed brownness (as in the case of Muslims, who have people-of-color status regardless of race) can be taken on. Regardless of what happens to their women.
Monday, February 16, 2009
This is a condition a local philosopher refers to as "oingy-boingy". I am familiar with it myself. It has a long tradition.
The philosopher Spinoza wrote this in his Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione (ca. 1656-61), perhaps echoing Aristotle's broader suggestion that omne animal post coitum triste est:
Nam quod ad libidinem attinet, ea adeo suspenditur animus, ac si in aliquo bono quiesceret; quo maxime impeditur, ne de alio cogitet. Sed post illius fruitionem summa sequitur tristitia, quae si non suspendit mentem, tamen perturbat et hebetat.For those of you without a classical education, here is Edwin Curley's translation:
For as far as sensual pleasure is concerned, the mind is so caught up in it, as if at peace in a [true] good, that it is quite prevented from thinking of anything else. But after the enjoyment of sensual pleasure is past, the greatest sadness follows. If this does not completely engross, still it thoroughly confuses and dulls the mind. (A Spinoza Reader, p. 3)
Sunday, February 15, 2009
He joins Brazilian Dominican Frei Betto, who styled Che Guevara as "the Saint Francis of politics", in his affection for the dictator.
The homeland of my Danish ancestors still has some sense. This editorial from the country's largest newspaper, with HT to Gates of Vienna.
Editorial: Dangerous Feelings
It should be self-evident that in a democratic country everyone is allowed to debate all kinds of matters freely and make harsh statements and mercilessly analyze anything, even if it involves strong emotions.
Something that comes naturally for native Danes, but not for immigrants and their descendants born in Denmark.
A study by CEPOS (Center for Political Studies) shows that half of immigrants and their descendants hold the opinion that criticism of religion in, for example, books and movies should be forbidden.
These appalling figures show once again that the nation’s timid and cautious attempts to familiarize certain foreigners with Danish ideas and values have failed miserably. Had it only been about some uprooted youths from immigrant ghettos trying to establish a sort of identity and self-respect, the task would probably be manageable.
But it’s much worse. The problem must be viewed in a global perspective, in which old, deep-rooted European democracies pathetically submit themselves to Muslim intolerance and jeopardize basic values.
It seems that politicians dare not face the fact that a dark, destructive force is at work here, pretending to be something most people in the civilized world, at least until recently, associated with some sort of friendliness.
However, the kind of religious view we see here reveals itself as a clear and present danger to democracy. If these dark forces ever really gained power they would be able to stop any new idea, any new philosophical trend or knowledge, and any new advance in science by shamelessly claiming a right to define what constitutes illegal criticism of religion. The right to define insult will always be claimed by those who feel themselves insulted.
The British Empire, with its proud democratic traditions, is now a pathetic, servile lackey and forbids an elected Dutch parliamentarian to visit the country. It’s beyond pathetic, and should rightfully trigger a common European protest. But that remains to be seen, because the democratic foundations of Holland itself are in deep trouble. There the authorities brutally persecute a cartoonist who works in full compliance with the principles of public debate in a democratic society.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) tries to take over the agenda at the UN’s so-called Durban-2 Conference this April and compare criticism of religion to racism.
According to the CEPOS study, those dark forces have evoked so much response among immigrants and their descendants in our country that they advocate criminal sanctions for people who call things by their right names. Democracy must defend itself, draw a line in the sand, and oppose such tendencies. First and foremost by scuttling the so-called blasphemy clause, secondly the racism clause.
Not because the criticism of religion and religious people is a goal in and of itself in order to make way for defamatory utterances against groups — but because opinions must be met with opinions. Not violence, imprisonment or public flogging.
We should have come further than to discuss such obvious matters. But it appears that we have not.
In the public sphere, we can resolve to protect the good things that we have inherited. That means making no concessions to those who wish us to exchange citizenship for subjection, nationality for religious conformity, secular law for shari’ah, the Judeo-Christian inheritance for Islam, irony for solemnity, self-criticism for dogmatism, representation for submission, and cheerful drinking for censorious abstinence. We should treat with scorn all those who demand these changes and invite them to live where their preferred form of political order is already installed. And we must respond to their violence with whatever force is required to contain it.
Of these seven, the one that provokes my attention is nationality, the capacity of a group of people to think of themselves and to act together as "we", which of necessity creates "they".
Multicultural ideology combined with massive immigration, especially from places which are historically inimical and/or culturally alien, weaken this capacity for nationality. Once you define your nationality as multiculturally diverse, you are undoing it. It is precisely the prior and transcendant claims of the nation which allows (inescapeable) diversity to be contained rather than to corrode.
The United States is not so named for nothing. Anything called "united" is so called not because it is naturally unified, but because it is engaged in overcoming division. This is built into our national history, the 13 fractious and independent colonies trying to act in concert without losing their ferociously held local identities. That tension has continued through out the Western expansion to the Pacific, to say nothing of the war between the states.
People who call for things like official English or the pledge of allegiance or loyalty to their homeland, etc. are cast now by the elites as "nativists" or "jingoists" or "xenophobes" because these elites have no stake in anything so crass as nationality. They have sworn allegiance to a higher group, their own trans-national class, epitomized in Davos Man.
My second country, Canada, was constructed not on a self-created revolutionary process among 13 centers of power, but as the forcible containment of two inimical groups, English and French, one dominating the other until the other found modern liberal means to hold the previously dominant group hostage to its victim status. Canadian nationality since Trudeau has degenerated into a series of highminded nostrums centering on socialized healthcare, pacifism, anti-Americanism and secularized multiculturalism.
In a country where immigrant groups are coddled and encouraged to resist becoming part of the previously existing nation, aka assimilate, the nation becomes a paper fiction incapable of responding as "we". When the huge group of Catholics came from Europe after the middle of the 19th century, native Americans, ie the Protestant majority, was understandably tense. But the agenda of the Catholics, which holding to their own religion, was to prove to the Protestants that they, too, could become good Americans. They did not arrive with the kind of chip on their shoulders which multiculturalism and the leftist narrative encourages.
After 9.11, the huge outpouring of anti-Muslim violence in America was...non-existent. And did the Muslims come out in the streets to parade their patriotism, to assure the rest of us, the native population --now Christian and Jewish-- that they, too, wanted to be good Americans? No. They played the victim and took every opportunity to scold us with the possibility that we might be bigots.*
Reminds me of a terrible and btw self-invited house guest I once had, who slept in my home, ate my food, opportuned my friends and then proceeded to criticize the whole experience....to my face...without the slightest hint of irony.
How can we face China boldly if we are anxious not to inconvenience, upset or confuse our Chinese-American citizens? How can we invade Iraq if our Iraqi-American communities are divided over that? We privilege the alien culture of the immigrants' motherlands over our own common identity and hobble and balkanize ourselves.
And we know what happens in the Balkans**.
*In Buffalo, Muzamil Hassan, founder of Bridges TV, which seeks to portray a pro-Muslim vision for Americans, has just beheaded his wife after she got a restraining order against his domestic violence. His reason for setting up the media network after 9.11: “American Muslims saw their entire faith hijacked as the perpetrators of these murders claimed Islam as their religion,” the fledgling company said. “The Muslim victims were not only the 358 innocent souls that perished that day, but the entire 7 million American Muslims.” See? Who are the victims of 9.11? Muslims.
**America A. attacks Christian Serbs to defend Bosnian Muslims and B. is rewarded with the thanks of the Islamic world. Oh, yeah, sorry. Wrong scenario in Part B.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Until a lifelong eating disorder caught up with him
at 350 lbs,
requiring gastric bypass surgery.
As eventually it does for us all.
Friday, February 13, 2009
A comment received via email, from a man not of partisan mien:
"As he promised, this president is bringing change we can smoke."
Can there be any good in any Western country allowing anything more than token immigration of Muslims? Please tell me.
Do Muslims or Muslim organizations ever apologize for their rancid anti-Semitism or at leaswt tacit support of jihadi thuggery and murder?
Are hate speech laws ever successfully invoked by any other religious group besides Muslims?
Despite being taken down from the net repeatedly, Wilders' film Fitna is here.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Part of an article on Dan Montgomery (see pic), who starred in a favorite flick of mine, the low budget independent and quirky Red Dirt.
On television, daN Montgomery is especially known for its recurring role in Providence and its participation in the series Wasteland created by Kevin Williamson. It camps there the role of Russell Baskin, young person gay still in the wall cupboard, its sexuality being likely to compromise its male notoriety of star of a soap opera to success.____________________________
A Canadian homo-ette.
Gays are usually all in favor of hate crime and hate speech laws.
I have found this kind of thinking increasingly ironic.
And very dangerous to everyone's freedom.
But a columnist in Xtra, a Canadian gay weekly
not known for its balanced views*, takes exception
to the way in which offensive speech is now virtually criminalized
And she's a law professor!
Of course she sees anything "right-wing" as intrinsically evil,
but at least she gets the concept of freedom of speech.
HT to Kathy Shaidle.
One of many growing examples of the harm that this hate speech mindset does
can be seen here and the rotting Europeans excel at this, here.
And can anyone find me any case, anywhere, where people get hauled
into court for insulting any religion other than Islam?
*The principal at Pink Triangle Press, which oversees Xtra, is Ken Popert.
His friends in Toronto used to refer to him as part of the very lefty gay
clique, the Homintern.
Despite the current gloomy first days of the Age of the One, reasons for hopefulness:
On the scientific front, the largest number in the universe is discovered.
PALO ALTO, CA - An international mathematics research team announced today that they had discovered a new integer that surpasses any previously known value "by a totally mindblowing shitload." Project director Yujin Xiao of Stanford University said the theoretical number, dubbed a "stimulus," could lead to breakthroughs in fields as diverse as astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and Chicago asphalt contracting.And, always a moment for joy, a previously silenced group of victims speaks out:
WASHINGTON - Waving invisible banners proclaiming "Census Rights Now," an enormous throng of Imaginary-Americans rallied at the National Mall today to support the Obama Administration's planned takeover of the U.S. Census Bureau.HT to Instapundit. "Heh" back atcha. And kudos to Iowahawk.
"I want to thank everyone in the Imaginary community for turning out for this great cause," said President Obama, speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Monument to a reportedly cheering crowd estimated at between 0 and 12 million. "For too long, the Census Bureau has discriminated against people on the basis of their existential status, or perceived lack of appearance. That must stop. I promise you that under my administration, Imaginary-Americans everywhere will enjoy the same rights that they do in my home town of Chicago."
ABC News analyst Jake Tapper said the rally underscored the growing national political clout of Imaginary-Americans.
"It used to be that Non-Existentials were mostly confined to a few wards in Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit, but we're seeing them more and more in opinion polls and elections around the country," said Tapper. "With dozens of congressional seats and billions of dollars in federal grants hanging in the balance, the President wants to make sure Imaginary citizens don't get undercounted in the 2010 Census."
"It's just smart politics," added Tapper. "According to the exit polls, President Obama carried the Imaginary vote 346% to √-12%."
PS re Stimulus. I read somewhere yesterday (forgot the source) that the text of the bill is 800 pages long. So that makes about a billion dollars per page...800 x 1,000,000,000.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers - such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.
But, oh, wait. Whose unAmerican policy is this? Oh. Hmmm. Oh. Never mind.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF ARMIES
OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE FIELD
Prepared by Francis Lieber,
promulgated as General Orders No. 100
by President Lincoln, 24 April 1863.
HT to A Jacksonian.
After lamenting the Pope's unwillingness to cave in to every fashion of the cultured despisers of Catholicism, Kung issues a call to action, asking for
First an episcopate which does not conceal the manifest problems of the church but mentions them openly and tackles them energetically at a diocesan level;
Secondly theologians who collaborate actively in a future vision of our church and are not afraid to speak and write the truth;
Thirdly pastors who oppose the excessive burdens constantly imposed by the merging of many parishes and who boldly take responsibility as pastors;
Fourthly in particular women, without whom in many places parishes would collapse, who confidently make use of the possibilities of their influence.
But can we really do this? Yes we can.
Like Obama, Kung is man of mere rhetoric. I mean, what the hell does that all mean? Air. BS.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Congressional Budget Office says the current recession should come to a natural end at the end of 2009.
Of the trillion dollars, which looks like this, btw, $1,000,000,000,000, only one-tenth, which looks like this, btw, 1/10, will be spent in 2009.
So the thing looks like a recipe for national indentured servitude.
Monday, February 09, 2009
I like the original series (very funny and human, pre PC). I used to watch Next Generation often. The Janeway Voyager series was terrible, although not as bad as Deep Space Nine.
In my passing over to the Dark Side in the last decade or so, I have paid more attention to the political and moral messages in the series and, no surprise, most of them strike me as pompously silly or worse. And so much of their moral highmindedness is based on a technologized and homogenized Earth far beyond possibility, one that makes scarcity and contingency insignificant. A Rawlsian paradise.
An episode of Next Generation tonight. Two alien species who hate each other are on board the ship to have their differences mediated. The crew can't tell what the basis of their differences are. Picard and the always annoying Number One exchange thoughts about it. Picard says, with some amazement, that in the past, on earth, people used to fight over things like God-concept and even...dramatic pause...over economic systems. Shocking.
An example of how immoral these moralizing shows can be. The battle between the West and Communism was not just about economics --although that is not at all trivial to the issue. May I say Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, etc? One hundred million deaths in seventy years. The "economic system" came with an inherently vile political system. But Jean Luc is too evolved to find that of interest.
If people take their moral clues from Star Trek, cluelessness follows.
Essayist and author Theodore Dalrymple on the passions of ideology: how legitimate complaints easily morph into grand self-justifying causes.
"Ideological thinking is not confined to the Islamists in our midst. The need for a simplifying lens that can screen out the intractabilities of life, and of our own lives in particular, springs eternal; and with the demise of Marxism in the West, at least in its most economistic form, a variety of substitute ideologies have arisen from which the disgruntled may choose.
Most started life as legitimate complaints, but as political reforms dealt with reasonable demands, the demands transformed themselves into ideologies, thus illustrating a fact of human psychology: rage is not always proportionate to its occasion but can be a powerful reward in itself. Feminists continued to see every human problem as a manifestation of patriarchy, civil rights activists as a manifestation of racism, homosexual-rights activists as a manifestation of homophobia, anti-globalists as a manifestation of globalization, and radical libertarians as a manifestation of state regulation.
How delightful to have a key to all the miseries, both personal and societal, and to know personal happiness through the single-minded pursuit of an end for the whole of humanity! At all costs, one must keep at bay the realization that came early in life to John Stuart Mill, as he described it in his Autobiography. He asked himself:
“Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?” And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, “No!” At this my heart sank within me: the whole foundation on which my life was constructed fell down. All my happiness was to have been found in the continual pursuit of this end. The end had ceased to charm, and how could there ever again be any interest in the means? I seemed to have nothing left to live for.This is the question that all ideologists fear, and it explains why reform, far from delighting them, only increases their anxiety and rage. It also explains why traditional religious belief is not an ideology in the sense in which I am using the term, for unlike ideology, it explicitly recognizes the limitations of earthly existence, what we can expect of it, and what we can do by our own unaided efforts."
Sunday, February 08, 2009
One of the sisters is about to have a baby, and her mother threw a baby shower. All the women in the family were invited....and the gays. A little granddaughter wants to know why her daddy can't come and grandma says it's just for girls and granddaughter ask why then Uncle Scotty and Uncle David and Uncle Sol are coming.
Earlier in the evening, watching Big Love, about Mormon polygamy. A daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock and starts looking secretly for a couple to give up her child to. Meets a prospective couple, two very devout Mormons. During the interview, the wife confesses that she is challenged by OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the husband chimes in that he is challenged by SSA...same-sex attraction. But to reassure the young mother, he tells her that he is working on adding masculinity to his personality.
Malebranche is right. For the culture, a gay man is a girl.
And guess what? The creator of Brothers and Sisters is gay.
The creators of Big Love? Two gay men.
I wonder why redistribution should be restricted to wealth?
Had a cranky fantasy about a class in a university where a liberal student takes an egalitarian stance and favors taxing the wealthy to better the poorer. I suggest that the student's grades be taxed and given to students who have not done as well.
Why not take a B instead of an A and save a failing student by raising her grade to a D? It spreads the wealth around. I mean, why not?
I had a conversation (an argument) recently with a European, about contemporary culture. I tried to explain the mutually reinforcing elements of socialism, atheism, utopianism, pacifism, and statism (he was giving America a second chance to morph into Euros under Obama).I certainly don't claim that my model of the Seven Pillars of Progressivism is original, but it is nice to know that Mr. Hanson has a similar sense of the interlocking nature of these isms. He gives them slightly different names, but I think we'd agree on the general idea.
And just in case you haven't had the benefit of my little exercise in political science...
The heart of contemporary liberalism, the progressive agenda, is compulsively egalitarian justice.
The basic leftist narrative is this: In a just order, all designated groups would have equal status and power.
The greater status and power of traditionally successful groups has been immorally gained at the expense of traditionally less successful groups.
Traditionally successful groups are called oppressors and traditionally less successful groups are called victims
Being less powerful, victims have moral entitlement; being more powerful, oppressors have moral debt.
The moral and liberal agenda is to use social control and state coercion progressively to reduce the status and power of the oppressor groups in order to increase the status and power of the victim groups.
There are seven major areas where unjust inequality produces serious harm and where the liberal solution is required:
White dominance of non-whites, called racism
Male domination of women, called sexism.
Capitalist economic injustice, called classism.
Competition/conflict among states, called nationalism.
Religious bigotry and social control, called theocracy.
Organized violence, called militarism.
Environmental degradation, called consumerism.
The solutions to these seven unjust inequalities are seven isms, called
the protection, celebration and promotion of non-white cultures.
the protection, celebration and promotion of women.
the transfer of wealth from those who have it to those who don't.
the reduction of national identity and sovereignty.
the privatization of religion, especially Christianity.
the derogation and rejection of the military, police, and weapons.
the protection, celebration and promotion of non-human species
(and the mythic veneration of the planet as a female victim)
It should be noted that the West, being the most successful civilization of the last five hundred years, is an oppressor to the rest of the planet. Consequently, reducing its status and power in order to increase the status and power of the rest of the planet is included in the progressive agenda.
And as I have noted, behind the progressive set of ideas stands a single kind of enemy, the source of the unjust inequalities that each of the seven pillars addresses:
the white male capitalist patriotic military Christian* consumer.
*Israel and Jews now function as stand-ins. Ironic. And Muslims, although they are masculinist theocrats who regularly engage in violence and some of their countries' ruling classes are among the richest on the planet, are accorded victim status by being coded as non-white non-Westerners.